Costs

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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helpplease
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Costs

Postby helpplease » 08 Jan 2009, 22:17

I am in the process of searching out documents and need to go back to my great-grandfather. I am a student and so I am curious as to the cost of the process and if anyone has any ideas that will make this process cheaper. I heard that you can translate your own documents at some consulates does anyone know if Los Angeles is one of those. I am 95% sure that my great-grandfather never Naturalized and am curious if I need to do the searches and get a “NO RECORDSâ€

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mler
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Re: Costs

Postby mler » 08 Jan 2009, 23:54

Yours is a difficult question to answer because the cost varies. If your documents are complete with few or no discrepancies, the cost will be low: the cost of the document ($15/$20) plus the cost to obtain the apostille (this cost varies as well (figure about $15). Translations, of course, add to the cost unless you do them yourself.

Some consulates require documents from both sides of the family; others, only the citizenship side.

If you have discrepancies that require amendments, the cost will rise.

My application in NY (going back to my grandfather but including my son who was going back to his greatgrandfather) cost approximately $500. I was required to get two amendments to my birth certificate and a legal name change, but because NY requires documents from only the citizenship line and accepts self-translations, the cost remained fairly low.

I would strongly suggest that you do a thorough search (ancestry.com is a good option) before you decide that your great-grandfather did not naturalize. Often families are unaware of the naturalization details of their ancestors. Proof of naturalization is often easier and less costly to obtain than proof of non-naturalization.

Best of luck.

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matta
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Re: Costs

Postby matta » 09 Jan 2009, 00:06

Question 1:

Costs vary. Starting with a GGF, I would be shocked if you can do it for under $300, with $500 as a good estimate of probable cost. If you have to travel to the consulate (i.e. if you live in Atlanta, and your nearest consulate in Miami), then add on travel costs, as well (probably pushing you closer to $1000). If you have document discrepancies that need a court order to fix, you can add a thousand or two to that number. If you have to translate a divorce decree, that can be an additional $100 by itself.

We used to have a nice breakdown on the ICGS boards before that site went down.

That said, there are a few things you can do to cut down the cost. First, living in the same city as a consulate is a big plus. Second, if you can translate documents yourself, that really cuts down cost. Third, if you need a discrepancy corrected, learning to file petitions for court orders on your own can save thousands.

There aren't many shortcuts, other than that.

Question 2:

The required documents to prove no naturalization depends on the consulate at which you're applying. All consulates require the certificate of non-existence of naturalization from the USCIS. That's the bottleneck of the entire process.

The NARA letter of no record is very easy to obtain (entirely online), is fast (a week, usually) and is free. Just request a naturalization file online, and put a note in the MISC field asking for a letter of no record if they find nothing. They'll ask for a credit card when you place the request, but if there's no record, they don't charge your credit card.

A search of county records might be free or not (usually $10 or less). Again, it varies on the county, but I usually find that the local archivists aren't very busy, so they reply relatively quickly.

The consulate may also want a certified census record from after your granfather/grandmother's birth. That's easy to get from NARA, but it's somewhat expensive ($45) and takes longer than a naturalization record (month or two).

Sometimes the consulate also wants to see the citizenship listed as "Italy" on the death certificate. This won't really impact you, since you'll probably need the record anyway, unless it's wrong on the death certificate. You may have to then fix the document.

Good luck.

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helpplease
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Re: Costs

Postby helpplease » 15 Jan 2009, 06:06

Thank you all for the help it was, well, very helpful :lol:

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Costs

Postby johnnyonthespot » 15 Jan 2009, 09:33

helpplease wrote:Thank you all for the help it was, well, very helpful :lol:


And, when you are all done...

I figure my Italian passport (just the passport, not the cost of obtaining citizenship) cost me around $200 to obtain.

a) Passport photos: $7

b) Round-trip drive from my home in Litchfield County, Connecticut to the train station in New Haven: around $20

c) Round-trip, off-peak, train tickets to Grand Central Terminal, NYC: $28

d) Round-trip subway, Grand Central to 68th Street station (it was too cold to walk...): $4

e) Passport fee: $110

f) Coffee/donut for the train ride; lunch (pizza!) in New York: $20

and so on. The New York consulate is one of those that requires a personal appearance to apply for the first passport; renewals can be processed by mail.

In total, including a few mis-steps and ultimately unnecessary documents as well as three trips to NYC, I would estimate that I spent in the neighborhood of $600 - $800. If I add in time lost from work for two of the NYC trips (the third was during the holiday shutdown), well, that's a bunch more money...


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