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-   -   Possibly an Italian citizen (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/italy-expat-forum-expats-living-italy/456986-possibly-italian-citizen.html)

AmericanWantsToLeave 8th June 2014 03:12 AM

Possibly an Italian citizen
 
I've known for a while now that I want to leave the United States, but I wasn't sure where I'd go or how to get there with all the strict immigration laws in place in Australia, Canada, and England. However, I discovered that I may have a claim to birthright Italian citizenship.

My great-grandfather emigrated to the United States in 1905 and never renounced his Italian citizenship. He fathered my grandfather in 1932, who fathered my father in 1958, and here I am, born in 1995. According to the Italian Consulate's website, birthright citizenship extends to the direct descendants with no limit on generations. I'm going to give the Italian consulate in Detroit a call (I'm from Michigan) and see what they can do for me, however if I'm entitled to citizenship, I have a feeling that I have a flight to Rome in my near future.

BBCWatcher 8th June 2014 06:45 AM

Slow down there a bit. You'll need to make an appointment for citizenship recognition and gather quite a few documents, including U.S. naturalization searches. How far have you gotten?

AmericanWantsToLeave 8th June 2014 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 4207466)
Slow down there a bit. You'll need to make an appointment for citizenship recognition and gather quite a few documents, including U.S. naturalization searches. How far have you gotten?

That was the point in getting in touch with the Italian Consulate, is because I need to know what documents I'll need and such. It turns out it was actually my great-great grandfather who emigrated, and my father's cousin became a dual citizen through this process and informed my dad that he's entitled to it as well. Now if I read correctly, even though I've never set foot in Italy before, still by Jus Sanguinis, or citizenship by blood, I'm a citizen.

So tomorrow, I'm going to call the Consulate in Detroit and see what they need from me.

BBCWatcher 9th June 2014 12:10 AM

Did you check the Detroit consulate's Web site? They direct you there to answer any questions. If your question is not answered there you can call a hotline charged by the minute to ask questions as long as your credit card lasts. Then, if your questions are still not answered, you can e-mail or call. They'll only pick up the phone between 2 and 3 pm, and chances are it won't be your call. (And if they don't see you in the paid hotline log they certainly could hang up.)

Fortunately there are a couple forums that have a wealth of information available on the citizenship recognition process, so, in addition to the consulate's Web site, you can get tons of information online, free. Exercise your favorite search engine.

I would, however, make an appointment now in the manner their Web site describes (e-mail request). There will likely be several months before your appointment, and you can spend time gathering the necessary documents in the meantime.

Is your father applying? Where will he be applying -- which consulate?

AmericanWantsToLeave 9th June 2014 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBCWatcher (Post 4213578)
Did you check the Detroit consulate's Web site? They direct you there to answer any questions. If your question is not answered there you can call a hotline charged by the minute to ask questions as long as your credit card lasts. Then, if your questions are still not answered, you can e-mail or call. They'll only pick up the phone between 2 and 3 pm, and chances are it won't be your call. (And if they don't see you in the paid hotline log they certainly could hang up.)

Fortunately there are a couple forums that have a wealth of information available on the citizenship recognition process, so, in addition to the consulate's Web site, you can get tons of information online, free. Exercise your favorite search engine.

I would, however, make an appointment now in the manner their Web site describes (e-mail request). There will likely be several months before your appointment, and you can spend time gathering the necessary documents in the meantime.

Is your father applying? Where will he be applying -- which consulate?

Their website doesn't say anything about what documents are needed. I'd guess they'd have to find a record of my great-great-great grandfather's birth in Marcedusa, Italy, and then need to see the birth certificates of every line of great grandfather, my dad, and myself. That could be a stretch to do, however one of my dad's cousins did it through the same bloodline, though it was one of my grandfather's brothers who fathered her, giving her citizenship.

My dad has no interest in Italian citizenship, and really, he doesn't get why I want to leave the United States in the first place.

_shel 9th June 2014 05:53 AM

So she, your cousin, would be your first stop if she has actually done it and its not just something she knows she could do and is talking about.

Same as when doing family history for any reason. She may have some of the certificates you require and information of what else you need, such as naturalisation certificates etc and most importantly where to find them.

Bevdeforges 9th June 2014 07:04 AM

One small caveat when doing family research for any sort of European administrative reasons:

I notice you say >> I'd guess they'd have to find a record of my great-great-great grandfather's birth in Marcedusa, Italy,<<. It's normally the case here in Europe that they expect YOU to dig up and request all the appropriate documents. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt.

You'll definitely need birth certificates for everyone in the chain, and quite likely marriage documents, showing the children born of that marriage, and the fact that the father "recognized" the children officially.

The fact that your father is not interested in taking Italian citizenship could pose a problem, but I suppose you can cross that bridge once you get to it. Getting the older birth and marriage records may well take some time and research.
Cheers,
Bev

BBCWatcher 9th June 2014 02:28 PM

I agree with both Shel and Bev, and moreover I don't recommend "cold calling" the consulate without doing at least some (more) homework since you tend to start off on a bad foot, and it's to your advantage to have the consulate at least neutral when deciding your citizenship recognition application. This is an administrative procedure with too few overworked consular officers handling these cases.

Your father (and any other living ascendants in your line) would need to cooperate in the process by signing a declaration form -- what some consulates arbitrarily label "Form 3." He can decline to be recognized as a citizen if he wishes -- that's OK. He would need to sign that declaration form in the presence of a notary (who checks his ID and notarizes the form), and then that notarization must be apostilled with that state's Secretary of State. Or, better yet, he accompanies you to your citizenship recognition appointment and signs the declaration in the presence of the consular officer.

Yes, undoubtedly your cousin would know what documents she had to submit to her consulate. Ideally she could provide you with a complete set of photocopies (or e-mail you the scanned images), and then you can busy yourself assembling original copies (with apostilles) of substantially the same set of documents to submit to your consulate. The differences would occur where your part of the family tree branches off. Fortunately she would have had her documents translated into Italian, so you shouldn't have to repeat that work and can just attach the translations she had done. Unless the consulate insists that you use one of their recommended translators, but even then you can provide that translator with the translations already done by another translator.

If the Detroit consulate's Web site is not informative you can visit sister consulate Web sites. New York, Philadelphia, and Boston all have pretty good citizenship recognition sections on their Web sites, as examples. But the real magic comes by finding the forum(s) with communities of individuals who have gone through the citizenship recognition process in Detroit and elsewhere (and who are currently going through the process). There's an enormous amount of excellent, accurate, current shared wisdom on the Internet about this subject, and it's free. Use your favorite Internet search engine to find those forum(s) and that information. You can presumably skip the "Do I qualify?" stage and zoom right to the "make an appointment/assemble my dossier" parts of the process.

This will not be a process that results in your being recognized as an Italian citizen next Tuesday -- with the possible exception of an Italian professional football (soccer) team eagerly trying to recruit you to their squad, but then you probably wouldn't have posted your questions here and they'd be handling all the details for you already. Those recognition cases have been known to move forward with amazing speed. There are certain priorities in life, and football is one of them. :)

You didn't really ask, but indeed you have the option of applying where you have residence, and that includes Italy. However, if you parachute into Italy to apply at a local commune -- yes, you could do that -- you must first apply for provisional residence permission, and you only get to do that if you have what looks on its face anyway to be an adequate dossier plus an apartment rental (not a hotel) or at least a bedroom in a willing friend's/relative's house. Then you get to submit your request for citizenship recognition, and, assuming your dossier is accepted for assessment, you get to wait in Italy without the ability to work. That's right, you're provisional ("PdS per attesa cittadinanza"), and you have no right to employment with that status. The commune can process your application at whatever their bureaucratic pace is (usually some flavor of slow), and they usually have to correspond with one or more Italian consulates anyway as part of their processing.

In short, do not presume any particular schedule in this process. You can't assume the process will be complete to start a job on date X, for example. It takes as long as it takes, and you might have a couple rounds with your consulate to get your documentation in proper order. Like I said, the forum(s) are extremely valuable to coach you through this.

In bocca al lupo.

AmericanWantsToLeave 9th June 2014 03:47 PM

I'm looking at the forms you have to fill out, and it only goes back so far as great-grandparents. My great-grandfather was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania to my great-great grandfather, who was the one born in and emigrated from Italy. Could this be a problem, even though as a birthright citizen, I'm not sure that he ever claimed his citizenship. Since my dad's cousin was a generation before me, he would have been her great-grandfather.

accbgb 9th June 2014 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AmericanWantsToLeave (Post 4221442)
I'm looking at the forms you have to fill out, and it only goes back so far as great-grandparents. My great-grandfather was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania to my great-great grandfather, who was the one born in and emigrated from Italy. Could this be a problem, even though as a birthright citizen, I'm not sure that he ever claimed his citizenship. Since my dad's cousin was a generation before me, he would have been her great-grandfather.

No problem; you just use a blank sheet of paper to add as many additional generations as required.

There is no generational limit unless your ancestor left "Italy" prior to 1861 when modern Italy was formed from multiple nation-states. Even in that case, it depends on whether your ancestor was still alive in 1861 and other factors.


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