Dual Citizenship question?

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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MST995
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Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 14:26

Hi, I have 2 questions about getting dual citizenship. First, I'm pretty sure I qualify but can someone confirm? My Great Grandfather was an italian citizen and came to the US. My Grandmother was born in 1935 and my great grandfather was naturalized in US in 1940 and (as far as I know) no one formally renounced their citizenship. My second question is regarding military duties. I dont plan on living in Italy any time soon and I was born in 1985. Would I have military duties to fulfill even though I won't be living there?
Thanks!

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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 12 May 2010, 14:58

Any children born to your grandmother prior to January 1, 1948 (!) would not have inherited Italian citizenship from her; prior to that date, citizenship was passed only by the father.

So, barring that unlikely possibility, you are good to go based on the information provided above.

Italy, like the US, abolished mandatory military service years ago. Presuming they do not reinstate a draft, you are all clear in that regard as well.
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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 15:04

Thanks for the quick response! My mother was born in 1957 so I guess I am clear on that regard. Luckily, my italian decented grandmother is a genealogist and has all of the documents I need, I guess I just need to translate them... any tips on the best way to do that?

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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 12 May 2010, 15:25

Approximately where do you live? Your place of legal residence will determine which Italian consulate you must apply at and each consulate has its own quirky rules regarding specific documentation.

Generally speaking, documents which are more than a few years old will need to be replaced with newly issued ones. Also, the consulate will keep most of the documents, so you don't want to have to give up your grandmother's originals anyway.

At the minimum, you will need the following:

Great grandfather's Italian birth certificate. You can write or email his comune and request a new copy.

Great grandfather's marriage certificate. Did he marry in Italy or the US? If Italy, same as above. If US, obtain "long form" copy from vital records of state where marriage took place.

Great grandfather's death certificate.

Great grandfather's proof of naturalization.

Grandmother's birth certificate.

Grandmother's marriage certificate.

Grandmother's death certificate, if applicable.

Mother's birth certificate.

Mother's marriage certificate.

Your own birth and, if applicable, marriage certificates.

All non-Italian issued certificates must be in "long form" and have an "Apostille" attached by the Secretary of State from the state which issued the certificate. Your must also provide an Italian translation of your own birth and marriage certificates.
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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 15:39

Thanks again, I live in southern NY. So I have to request new copies of everything? ugh, sounds like a blast. I am going to poke around on the consulates website to see how I can apply. Thanks!

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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 12 May 2010, 15:40

Here you go: http://www.consnewyork.esteri.it/NR/exe ... =Published

You fall under Category 5.

Note that the consulate says all certificates are required for both sides of your lineage - Great grandfather AND Great grandmother, grandfather AND grandmother, father AND mother, etc. The truth is however that most applicants, when they go to present their documents, are asked only for the "direct-line" certificates - in your case, great grandfather -> grandmother -> mother -> yourself.

You can spend the extra time and money to acquire certificates from both sides of your line, or take a chance on just the direct-line.
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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 15:56

Thanks! I guess I'll get to it. I'll most likely be back for some guidence, all tips are much appreciated.

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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 12 May 2010, 16:02

Happy to help.

By "southern NY", do you mean Westchester County? I was born and grew up in Harrison; have since lived in south Florida/Fort Lauderdale for many years before arriving in Connecticut.

My own dual citizenship was through the New York consulate in mid-2008. From what I have read, they have tightened up the documentation requirements quite a bit since then.
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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 16:35

Actually yes, White Plains to be exact. I assume you recommend then getting all documents? It would just then be those relatives who married the people in the direct italian line, correct? Such as my GGM, GF, F? Or do I have to get every document for every relative up to that generation on BOTH sides of my family? That would take years.

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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 12 May 2010, 17:14

MST995 wrote:I assume you recommend then getting all documents?


No, not exactly.

Italian law seems to be quite clear in that you only need to prove a direct and unbroken line to an Italian citizen; in fact, there is no specific requirement that your parents (any of your ancestors) were even married. Thus, there is great debate as to why some consulates state they require certificates from both sides of the line, and even more curiosity as to why - after telling applicants to obtain these documents - they don't actually collect them at the time of application submittal.

What you do need to do however, is to watch out for and deal with as much as possible in advance discrepancies in names and dates. New York is known to be somewhat lenient on given name Americanizations like Giuseppe/Joseph, Maria/Mary, and so on, but less so with surname discrepancies. They will balk at something as simple as Iacova/Iacovo for example. Date discrepancies can also be an issue; a few days can usually pass, months or years will be more difficult.

It is good that your great grandfather naturalized and that you can get these documents because this is an area where consulates have really cracked down. Applicants whose ancestor never naturalized are being forced to provide multiple layers and sources of proof of non-naturalization and this is often the biggest stumbling block of all.
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Re: Dual Citizenship question?

Postby MST995 » 12 May 2010, 17:38

I understand what you are saying with the names, his italian name is Antonio and his american name is Anthony. I don't think there should be an issue with that one.... and the last name was unchanged. From all of the posts I have seen on this site, it looks like I have a long road ahead of me. Thankfully there is no urgent need for me to do this right now, it's more of a curiosity thing, I am still somewhat amazed that this is even possible. I will be sure to document my journey on here. Thanks.


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