Italian Citizenship | Dual Citizenship
The process of obtaining Italian citizenship varies for many. If applying in the United States, it truly depends on where you live. We just met someone who lives in Chicago, Illinois and he received his Italian passport within 4 months of visiting the Italian Consulate. Go figure!
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In The Beginning…
Us? For those that have subscribed to our blog for a while know that we applied for Italian citizenship on November 2, 2015. When you apply, you must do so at the consulate in your region. Our regional office is in Los Angeles, California which happens to be the busiest in the country. LA covers those who live in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Southern California and us, Arizona.
Back In 2015
When we first applied in person back in 2015, we presented all the paperwork that we had gathered for about 2 years to the consulate. They then took our mound of papers that were also all translated into Italian by the lawyer we hired to help us in this process. Here is where we got stuck in the process. We were advised that if we sold our home, it would show the consulate that we were really serious. So? We sold our home, furniture, most all our possessions (see our post on Living With Less https://ouritalianjourney.com/challenge-of-living-with-less/) and believe it or not, our car. We were ready to go. But little did we know that the nice lady consulate we had met was then transferred to another department. The new consulate person was not as ready to send us to Italy.
The new replacement at the consulate informed us in late August 2017 that we needed to amend several documents. These documents were because Gary’s father’s name was not exactly the same on all the certificates we provided. This is quite common as many of the immigrants that came to America back in the early 1900’s had their names “Americanized.” Our consulate requested that we have these papers amended. It has now taken us 7-months to accomplish this through the civil and health records departments in New York state.
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So where are we in this process today?
We have received these amended documents from New York and have forwarded them on to the Consulate. We hope that they will process them immediately. Am I dreaming? I probably am because the letter that accompanied these amended documents reminded them that we have been at this process since November 2015 and would like to make our move to Italy. It is standard that this process takes a minimum of 2 years.
The most frustrating part of this entire crazy event is that we are homeless. Not homeless like we have no roof over our heads. We have been very fortunate to stay with family and at a co-workers condo when he is away. Remember, we sold our home assuming we were going to be processed right away. Silly us! There is no sense to purchase anything here as we are assuming we will love living in Italy and our children, grandchildren, and friends will come and visit us. Good thing we make good guests and pull our weight around the house by cooking, cleaning, and helping with our grandchildren.
The other frustrating part is that at this time, we can’t make any definite plans. That means we can’t be looking for cheap airfare or a place to live.
The Only Option
Our only option at this point is to wait. Wait for the Consulate to process our amended papers. Our lawyer is going to visit the Consulate for another client of hers at the end of April and again sometime in May. She will ask where our paperwork stands for us. Keep your fingers crossed. We were proactive and made an appointment for the end of June but who knows if we will be allowed to come and get our passports then.
Because the laws in Italy are constantly changing, we do not provide the information necessary to obtain Italian citizenship. What is correct today could change next week or next month. We are happy to help anyone with general information. For up-to-date and official information on Italian citizenship, check out these sites:
- Ambasciata d’Italia Washington DC
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
There is also an amazing FaceBook group we just found that has great information on the process and they are helping people like us. They have up-to-date information that you can find out answers to your questions. You can ask to join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/23386646249/
Stay tuned and hopefully, we will make some progress within the next few weeks or months. We are ready to go begin our year adventure… just need the Italian Consulate to let us go legally.
Editors Note: This post was originally published on March 8, 2018, and has been recently updated to reflect corrected information. I originally indicated that we could pull our paperwork and go to Italy to request citizenship. That turned out not to be the case. Once you are in process with a Consulate, you must finish the process with them.