I know the process of getting your Italian citizenship, I just finished getting mine after 5 long years. I know which documents you need and I know how frustrating it is with consulates telling you which documents to get and not explaining things to you...
So there are a few options or categories for obtaining Italian citizenship. I’m basing this off of the consulate here in NYC, it may vary from consulate to consulate but primarily it should be the same. I obtained my Italian citizenship through bloodline, or “jure sanguinis”
Category 1: Direct descent: Father born in Italy. Italian citizen at the time of your birth and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.
Category 2: Direct descent: Mother born in Italy. Italian citizen at the moment of your birth – occurred after January 1st 1948 – and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.
Category 3: Father born in the United States or other Country (except Italy). Your grandfather was Italian at the time of his birth and neither you nor your father ever renounced your right to the Italian Citizenship.
Category 4: Mother born in the United States or other Country (except Italy). Your grandfather was Italian at the time of her birth and neither you, born after Jan. 1st 1948 nor your mother ever renounced your right to the Italian Citizenship.
Category 5: Your direct paternal or maternal ancestors were born in the United States from Italian parents. They never renounced their right to Italian citizenship. (Double check they were not naturalized when they came to the United States).
I am eligible under Category 5. So my great grandfather came to the US but never became a US citizen, therefore his Italian Citizenship was still up for grabs.
Step 1: I had a good friend of mine write a letter in Italian for me asking for my great grandfather’s birth certificate at the Comune in Palermo. My sister and I did not have the exact dates but we had a ball park idea of what the dates were. We did not know if we would receive an answer back or not.
A letter had to be sent along with 3 international coupons. Those were hard to find, I found them at a post office. I had to call around to a few places to find them. Most people had no idea what I was talking about. Oh and make sure you put a self addressed envelope too, the coupons I believe are for the Comune to send the documents back to you.
We received our answer.
Each document in English must be translated into Italian, which is a separate cost, ours was $50 per document. The translator must be an official translator with the consulate you are applying to, they usually have a list of people on their website. The document itself is $25, each document must have an apostille seal from the state you live in, which is another cost $25. Doesn’t sound too bad but it racks up when you have a lot of documents.
*Each document needs to be in “long, certified and original form”.
*Make sure you make copies of everything incase things get misplaced.
*Be prepared to do a lot of driving back and forth to vital statistic offices, translator (ours was in Paramus, NJ a 45 min drive), the consulate etc.
*Be prepared to do a lot of research on your own, the consulate won’t be much help since they have a lot of applicants. They may tell you some information but a lot of this was trial and error.
*Prices may be different in your state.
More information check it out here on my post.
Any other individual questions please contact me for a consultation: traveljerzgirl(at)gmail(dot)com