Why don't I qualify?

Are you eligible for Italian Citizenship jure sanguinis?

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Why don't I qualify?

Postby carlo1234 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:06 pm

Hi everyone,

In my case, my GG GF was an Italian born citizen who naturalized in the United States in 1910. He had a son in the United States (my G GF) that was born in 1895 prior to the 1910 naturalization. The line continues down to me via my GF and F.

I received a response from a consulate stating that I do not qualify because of the following:

".. when your gggf lost his citizenship, his minor son lost
it too (according to Law 2358/1865, relevant before Law 555/1912)), so
the "chain" was interrupted at that time and you cannot claim Italian
citizenship."

The argument here is that since my G GF was a minor (15 at the time) - he lost his Italian citizenship once my GG GF receiving it in 1910?

I didn't see this coming as I thought the chain was unbroken as my G GF never renounced citizenship himself. And I never knew that the 1865 Law stated that Italian citizenship is defined by the father's status once born.

By the way, when would someone be considered an adult? 18?

Thanks for any insight.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby CPA21 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:00 pm

You do not qualify because your ancestor naturalized before June 1912. It does not matter if the chain is unbroken the law creating the chanin did not come into effect until 1912.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby Em » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:51 pm

As far as I know, 1912 has been interpreted as an issue in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. It may not be a problem (as yet) at other consulates. Where did you apply?
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby nfig1 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:37 pm

Do you know for sure the exact date of the naturalization? Do you have a copy of the certificate? If you got your info off a census, it could be inaccurate.

Have you actually read the laws they quoted you? You should. Decide for yourself if their interpretation is accurate.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby carlo1234 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:15 pm

Yes, I have a copy and it the naturalization date is prior to the 1912 date.

I have read the laws (english translations of them as I am a moderate Italian speaker). I understand the position of the consulates - my only complaint is that the arbitrary date of June x, 1912. In my opinion, the law of 1912 should have been retroactive in nature. The philosophy of the 1912 Rule is correct I think.. It's just the date restrictions. In my case, my entire ancestry are rendered non-Italians because of a 2 year time difference..

But, it doesn't really matter what I think and I am not confident that my arguments could persuade a change of opinion. I suspect that that 1912 Rule causes quite a bit of hassle (but also limits the workload of the consulates).

I wonder how much flexibility the consulates have with these decisions? Is there a strong enough argument to be made for further consideration?
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby nfig1 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:46 pm

I'm not entirely sure whether the 1912 Law 555 was explicitly non-retroactive either. In this case, the law's "retroactivity" seems to be "open to interpretation" by those consulates who are "interested." "Nice" consulates will not likely not care one way or the other. Those who do "care" likely do so for personal reasons. The best thing we can do is to preserve for future applicants the "nice" consulates for as long as possible by not raising this interpretation question with them. Let sleeping dogs lie, as it were.

There are apparently a handful of "nice" consulates still around. The known ones to avoid according to this forum seem to be SF and Chicago and possibly NY. You may also wish to inquire across the northern border.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby azsumrg1rl » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:56 pm

Have you actually read the laws they quoted you? You should. Decide for yourself if their interpretation is accurate.

It is definitely good to read the laws, but it doesn't really make a difference whether you think their interpretation is accurate. The consulates have the final ruling, so what they say goes.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby nfig1 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:20 am

azsumrg1rl wrote:
Have you actually read the laws they quoted you? You should. Decide for yourself if their interpretation is accurate.

It is definitely good to read the laws, but it doesn't really make a difference whether you think their interpretation is accurate. The consulates have the final ruling, so what they say goes.


Sometimes all it takes is one person to stand up for what he or she feels is right.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby Em » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:56 am

It's good to state and defend your position, but it is also important to remember that Italians have the right to interpret their own laws, and that's what the consulates do. Unfortunately, they DO have the final word. Several people have, with legal assistance, challenged citizenship rulings, but it's a costly and time-consuming endeavor and one that's only rarely successful, so I wouldn't recommend it.

I don't think it's fair to categorize consulates as either "nice" if they interpret the 1912 ruling restrictively, or "not nice" if they don't consider it. It's simply a function of the way they read the law. In the early part of this century (WOW, it feels strange to say that), consulates never mentioned that year as being a problem. Then, several years ago, SF began to reject applicants on that basis. Unfortunately, once this interpretation became known to other consulates, the word spread that this was an important date to consider in their deliberations. As of now, NY, Chicago, SF definitely consider that date. I get the sense that others do as well, but it's a strong possibility that this interpretation will be adopted by all consulates eventually.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby nfig1 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:43 am

Well by "nice", I don't mean it in the strict sense. I mean that some consulates are more "suitable to one's needs" or "favorable." In this manner, it is fair to compare consulates. Now, SF didn't just "start" interpreting the 1912 law a certain way; some consular officer working there started interpreting the law that way. With the interpretation of the 1912 law being up to the individual consular officer, and knowing it is essentially impossible to contest, they simply "interpret" as they see fit. Nevertheless, as long as "nice" consulates still exist, it is encouraging information for the potential applicant.
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Re: Why don't I qualify?

Postby Em » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:59 pm

I knew that. :D Actually, I'm not sure if there are many consulates (if any) that still ignore 1912. In fact, NY has gone a step further if we are to consider valentinaroan's experience as an indicator of a new direction. She was denied because her U.S. born grandfather was born in 1910, even though her Italian ggf never naturalized. They interpreted the before-1912 birth to be a loss of Italian citizenship since the law defining the specific method of passing Italian citizenship had not yet been passed. They said that he was born with U.S., but not Italian citizenship. Go figure.

I began my own quest for citizenship in 2006, when the process was time-consuming but still relatively straightforward. The NY consulate did not demand to see documents from the non-Italian line, they were accepting of English translations of Italian names, and at the time I first applied, they were not even requiring translations. The changes have been dramatic. I'm not certain whether this has to do with a disinclination to entertain so many citizenship applications or a more thorough understanding of Italian law.
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