Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

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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Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby smasters » 29 Jul 2010, 22:36

Hi...I am applying for Italian citizenship through my maternal grandfather. My biggest concern was getting his naturalization records, if they existed at all, especially after reading the horror stories regarding the USCIS. I initiated the USCIS process a week ago. Then, today, I figured I'd overlap and just call the NARA. I had previously found the Declaration of Intent via Ancestry.com, so I knew where the document was located. I had not found the Final Petition, so I didn't know whether my grandfather had actually followed through and, if he did, was it before or after my mother was born. So I called the Region of the NARA (where I knew the record was located) and a gentlemen answered who seemed very polite. I told him what I wanted and gave him the info. Then I asked how long it would take to do a full search. He said "Well, it's 1PM here, would 4PM be OK?" I thought I was day dreaming. I said "Gee, let me think about that". He called back 90 min later and had found both the Declaration of Intent and the Final Petition. He turned me over to another person who took my address and credit card info, and she said that my certified copies would go out in the mail today. Amazing!

So my questions are:

1. Can I forget about the USCIS and just use the certified copy from the NARA?

2. The Declaration of Intent was dated 6 months BEFORE my mother was born. The Final Petition was dated 1 year AFTER my mother was born. Is this going to be OK? (I would think so, because he wasn't a U.S. citizen until the Final Petition, although in the Declaration of Intent, one had to renounce allegiance to the King of Italy. But Italian law says, I think that the only way to renounce is to become a citizen of another country).

Any help on these questions would be greatly appreciated!

Marilyn

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby colonello » 31 Jul 2010, 00:47

Hi Marilyn,
That is an amazing story -- thanks for sharing it! Sorry we don't know enough to answer your questions, but hopefully someone else will have some clues.
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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby KarenChristino » 02 Aug 2010, 18:06

Marilyn,

Can you give us the phone number where you found the cooperative person at USCIS? Thanks!

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby smasters » 02 Aug 2010, 18:31

Karen,

The helpful person I talked to was at the Rocky Mountain Region of NARA. I looked them up and called them because I knew that the documents I was looking for were probably there since my GF naturalized in the Federal Court for the District of Colorado. I did not talk to the USCIS, and I doubt the USCIS takes phone calls. I knew that NARA had the naturalization documents because they were listed as the source on the document that I had found via Ancestry.com.

I think the bottom line is that if you are looking for naturalization documents and you think that your ancestor naturalized through the Federal Courts, or you have a NARA cite from a document that you have found through a genealogy search, then call the region of NARA where the document would be located. For NARA locations, see http://www.archives.gov/locations/states.html#CO

Hope this helps.

Marilyn

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby mler » 02 Aug 2010, 18:55

Some consulates will accept the declaration, petition and oath in lieu of an actual Certificate of Naturalization. Actually, naturalization (and renunciation) did not take place until the Oath was taken. That is the date that would appear on the Certificate. BTW, the Oath statement is sometimes on the back of the petition.

When I applied several years ago in NY, I did not have the Naturalization Certificate. I did have the declaration, petition and oath. I removed the petition from the certified packet because my father's birthdate was listed incorrectly. It was not a problem; the consulate was only interested in the Oath.

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby smasters » 02 Aug 2010, 19:11

Thanks. Despite the fact that multiple consulates are listing the Certificate of Naturalization (from USCIS) as a required document, I am discovering that many consulates will actually accept the Final Petition certified by NARA. Unfortunately, at least for the LA Consulate, they will not tell you in advance of the appointment whether or not they will accept the NARA Final Petition. I've called to ask and they simply will not answer dual citizenship questions. So we are going to the appointment without the actual certificate (from USCIS). I am filing to get that certificate, but from what I understand, it may take 6 months or more, and in some reported cases, it's been illegible when it arrives.

Marilyn

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Aug 2010, 19:20

smasters wrote:...I am filing to get that certificate, but from what I understand, it may take 6 months or more, and in some reported cases, it's been illegible when it arrives.


Check the box which requests an electronic copy. It will arrive as an image file (a ."tif" if I recall correctly) burned on a CD-ROM. Simply printing this image on a color printer will be a huge improvement over the monochrome/greyscale printer the USCIS uses. If you open the file in an image editing application and tweak the contrast, you will be able to generate an even better printout.
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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Aug 2010, 19:24

PS: I cannot imagine why any consulate would demand the Certificate of Naturalization. Lacking a date of birth (it simply gives the new citizen's current age), it is impossible to tell if the certificate actually belongs to the applicant's ancestor.
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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby smasters » 02 Aug 2010, 19:52

I agree, however regarding naturalization the fact is that the LA, NY, and Miami consulates all list the Certificate of Naturalization (from USCIS) as the 1st required document. They then describe the case of what to do if the document does not exist (as if your ancestor never naturalized); however, where the certificate likely exists (if you have the NARA Final Petition), they do not address whether or not they will accept that in lieu of the actual USCIS Certificate. And, if you call them, they will not answer the question...rather, "just come to the appointment." It's an important question since it can take 6 months or more to get the USCIS certificate, and that's after you have the Final Petition (with Certificate number) or have done a USCIS Index Search.

Marilyn

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Aug 2010, 19:59

I am not sure what the New York consulate's website said about naturalization certificates in 2008, but I can tell you that I did not have one at that time nor was I asked for one. I gave them only the Petition for Naturalization and Oath of Allegiance; I also had the Declaration of Intent but she said it wasn't necessary and didn't even look at it.

I do know that in 2008 the website said that all birth/marriage/death certificates were required for both sides of the lineage however she neither looked at nor collected my mother's birth certificate nor my grandmother's birth & death certificates.

My lineage was Italy-born grandfather -> US-born father -> myself.
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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby mler » 02 Aug 2010, 20:17

. . . and when I applied, their web page requested documents from both the citizenship and non-citizenship line. I only had, and they only asked for, the citizenship line. I think the instructions on the various consular web pages are rather generic, and they list every possible document. In practice, however, not all those documents are actually requested or needed.

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Re: Naturalization record of grandfather in 90 min..Amazing!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Aug 2010, 20:21

mler wrote:I think the instructions on the various consular web pages are rather generic, and they list every possible document. In practice, however, not all those documents are actually requested or needed.


Exactly. And it's a damn shame, too, because I know people are spending a lot of money on certified/translated/apostilled documents that are totally unnecessary and will likely never even be looked at.

That's not to say that I am not happy to have each of the many documents I have collected. I have learned more about my family and my roots in the last few years than in my entire lifetime previous to this effort.
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