Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Share information about your experiences with the citizenship department of a particular Italian (or other) embassy or consulate.

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Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby Laurie » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:44 pm

Hi, I'm new to the citizenship process and didn't find the answer to my question in an embassy/consulate category search, so I'm posting this request for help in working with the Embassy in D.C.

Does anyone have a list of what is required by the Embassy in D.C. for jure sanguinis applications? Other consulate websites include detailed lists of what documents are required, as well as the translation requirements, but there is nothing like that on the D.C. site and I don't know where to begin. I've seen the required list of documents on this citizenship site as well as others, but I understand that each embassy/consulate has its own requirements and ways of doing things and I don't want to find out after having gone through the lengthy gathering process that I didn't get the right things or they're not acceptable for some reason, which happened when I had to replace a lost study visa and got the wrong agent and went through hell to make everything acceptable.

Before beginning the process of gathering documents, will anyone at the Embassy meet with an applicant to tell them what is required and whether direct line documents are enough to satisfy proof of citizenship?

Any advice or help on dealing with the Embassy would be greatly appreciated.

Tante grazie!
Laurie
 
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby jlg » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:54 pm

The DC embassy will take a lot of time, they are not the best option presently (winter 08-09). You mentioned you are in Rome in your "qualify?" post, and have valid residency there. You should try to get it done there. If you are only on a short term (semester) student visa, is your college in DC or do you actually live in their direct jurisdiction. As you mentioned you are only in Rome for a few more months, when you return to the US, where can you live? IMHO, Better (faster, more communicative) consulates at present are Detroit, Philly, Boston and SF, then LA, Miami, then NY, then the embassy, then Chicago. I am unsure on Houston as there have been changes, Newark is new to the jury is out. As always YMMV.

-JLG
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby Esatto » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:51 pm

If you follow the detailed instructions on the SF Consulate website you will probably have all of what you need. If you are living in Rome you will need to fulfill residency requirements before submitting your documents for jure sanguinis. The comune direttore has the ability to review your documents to see what you need or if you qualify but will not work on them until residency is verified. All documents including apostiles would need to be translated by an official translator. As residency times vary and considering Rome is a big city it could take a while to complete residency. In the time period while you are waiting to complete residency and then acceptance of your documents by the Rome comune it would be mandatory that you are in Italy legally. If the comune, after residency is verified, accepts your papers you will get a permesso in attessa that allows you to remain in Italy for up to a year while the JS is approved and the comune will request a non-renuncio letter from your US consulate. In addition, the comune (in this case Rome) will request a registered contract from a landlord or a deed proving that you have a legitimate apartment/residence before initiating the residency. It is not enough to stay in a hotel.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby rgfcpq » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:55 pm

I applied in November of last year at the embassy through my grandfather - father - me. Should you apply, you will be talking to Signora Provenzano. She is very busy, but very courteous. She asked for the following:

Grandfather
- Naturalization papers (notarized)
- Birth cert (from Italy)
- Marriage cert (translated, apostilled)
- Death cert (translated, apostilled)

Father
- Birth cert (translated, apostilled)
- Marriage cert (translated, apostilled)
- Signed statement indicating where he lived, and that he has not renounced Italian citizenship (notarized)

Me
- Birth cert (translated, apostilled)
- Marriage cert (translated, apostilled)
- My kids' birth certs (translated, apostilled)
- Signed statement indicating where I have lived, and that I have not renounced Italian citizenship (completed at the embassy)

I had all these docs ready when I went in for my visit (no appointment required). She does not want the non-Italian bloodline documents. I also had a list of all the (minor) discrepancies across the documents. She indicated she would have to send the original docs to the consulates in the regions they originated for validation (e.g., Chicago, San Francisco), and to write the areas where I have lived to check on any criminal past -- I think these elements slow things down. She was non-committal on how long all this would take.

But note, I am not sure where the others who replied here got their facts on length of time to get this done at the embassy vs. consulates or applying in Italy. I corresponded on another board with a gentleman who got his citizenship in less than a year. I have been in process 3 months and have gone back once to check in and see if Signora Provenzano had any questions. She indicated that things seemed to be in order and that she was working my application. I think she has been reasonable, and I know other consulates are more strict on the smallest of discrepancies and often require more documentation, e.g., spouse birth certs. I am not sure other locations will be significantly faster (maybe Detroit), but others like Chicago are CERTAIN to be longer (appointments alone are a long-lead-time item).

I hope this helps.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby wilberwalker » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:35 am

Criminal check for citizenship by blood? I thought this was only for marriage...did she specifically they were checking this now? Or are you also applying with your wife?
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby rgfcpq » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:40 am

She said they do a background check, on my father too. And yes, that is different than other consulates, and no my spouse is not applying concurrently. Who knows what exactly they do. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I am pretty sure if I had been able to apply in Detroit I would be close to getting approval by now, but this is Italy -- it's all a bit different than how things work here. I will let folks on this board know when I get approval.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby Esatto » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:44 am

[quote]where I have lived to check on any criminal past -[quote]


I didn't know citizenship officers ask Jure Sanguinis applicants about criminal history. This is something new and maybe procedures are changing.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby EU Ahoy » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:54 am

Background checks now? I don't know...Not to be pessimistic or anything, but I really do think that they are pulling all the ropes and trying to cut down the number of applications that they process. I read somewhere that there are around 800,000 applications worldwide waiting to be processed...I can't verify that source but it's certainly understandable that they might be worried about having all of these new citizens, especially if enough of them actually move to Italy and try to find jobs...

That being said, FBI criminal history checks are pretty easy to do. You just need to get your fingerprints done and then send it off to them. Costs around 20 dollars and should take around a month to process. I just sent a request off the other week actually (not for Italian citizenship though). I'll post when I get the no criminal history check back. Here is the website for anyone who has to do it:

http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm

Make sure when you apply to ask for a cover letter stating that they do not issue apostilles on these documents!

Cheers
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby zagnut » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:56 am

I wouldn't jump to conclusions based on this single report. Jure sanguinis citizenship is from birth, and one does not lose Italian citizenship by conviction of a crime. Unless we have independent confirmation of this, I'll remain skeptical.
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Postby Laurie » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:24 am

Thank you everyone, very helpful.

RGFCPQ, thank you especially for telling me everything Sig.ra Provenzano requested and the process you went through with her. I have seen elsewhere on the board that she has been courteous as well, albeit busy/slow. I can imagine how many requests they get and their red tape seems to slow things down. You've given me a great start. One other question, did you go to see Sig.ra Provenzano before you began the process of gathering documents to find out what they required...is that possible?

As far as the criminal check, when I looked on the DC Embassy site, the requirements are very vague and high level, saying you can obtain citizenship if your parents are Italian (duh) and a few other things that are not very helpful....and it DOES mention a criminal check and I thought that was very odd as well and didn't understand why. Who knows, but I agree with EU Ahoy, I believe they are being extra strict and trying to cut down the number of applications they process and approve.

To clarify for everyone, sorry, I should have done this in my post last night, but was very tired and didn't think about any confusion. I am a Maryland resident, in Rome on a short term study visa/permesso (not a college student, but a 40-something solo adventurer), so I do not qualify for residency in Rome nor am I trying. I will be going back to my home in Maryland this summer. My county there falls under the jurisdiction of the DC Embassy and that is where I applied for my study visa. So, I will proceed with the DC Embassy and keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks!
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby zagnut » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:38 am

The Embassy site mentions the criminal record check for persons applying for citizenship through marriage and naturalization, not for jure sanguinis citizenship, nor for reacquisition of citizenship.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby rgfcpq » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:33 am

Laurie,

One more thing... you need your driver's license and passport (she will make copies if you don't already have them with you). This will verify your current eligibility to apply through the embassy and your current citizenship. I did not see her before as I had a pretty good handle on what was needed, and I made no appointment when I presented my papers -- she just told me to come in. I went to the embassy and asked her what she wanted and started handing her documents. She very briefly glanced at them and took them. You do not need fingerprinting, etc. that some other posts implied might be required.

As to those not believing the process at the embassy, I am just posting what I have been told -- you can believe it or not. I am not alone, btw, see this post here: http://www.icgsmb.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3407&p=17797&hilit=embassy#p17797. Also, Italylink.com has a poster who also went through the embassy -- sanvito is the user name. It is also a decent enough board.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby zagnut » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:51 am

The thread you linked to says nothing about criminal record checks.
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby EU Ahoy » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:27 pm

zagnut wrote:The Embassy site mentions the criminal record check for persons applying for citizenship through marriage and naturalization, not for jure sanguinis citizenship, nor for reacquisition of citizenship.


Who is applying for naturalization other than by marriage when residing outside of Italy itself? Other than people reclaiming citizenship, who does that apply to?
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Re: Washington, DC Embassy help needed

Postby wilberwalker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:24 am

Yeah...this is news that seems strange. And wondering how the Italian embassy is going to pay the fees for searching criminal background when they make you pay to get the fingerprints for naturalization seems odd as well.
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