Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

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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williamsburger
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Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby williamsburger » 02 Sep 2010, 22:31

Hi! I'm brand new to commenting this site, although I have been perusing the boards for some time to help with my genealogy research.

Recently, I was able to acquire the paperwork for my mother's maternal grandfather, whom I was hoping might be able to provide me with jure sanguinis citizenship. (My mother was born in 1952, so I presume she is able to prove descent from either of her parents.)

My great-grandfather came to America in 1921 and became a citizen on January 27, 1928. (Which is oddly enough my birthday, albeit almost 60 years earlier!) On his Petition for Naturalization, filed in September 1927, he lists my grandmother as his dependent -- she was born in 1924.

However, the Declaration of Intention that began his process was filed in 1923, a year before she was born. I'm not sure where this leaves me... Was my grandmother an Italian citizen when she was born? I know that my great-grandfather wasn't an American citizen yet, but I'm not sure how the Italian government would view it. Has anyone run across this before?

Thank you so much for your help, and all the wisdom you've already shared - this is such a great resource!

jennabet
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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby jennabet » 02 Sep 2010, 22:44

Your grand-mother inherited Italian citizenship from her father because he did not renounce until he actually took the Oath, which was after your grand-mother was born.

My situation was similar. My grand-father filed his Declaration of Intention in 1920, my father was born in August 1922 and my grand-father finalized his naturalization process in 1923 when he took the Oath. I was recognized in 2001.

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williamsburger
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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby williamsburger » 02 Sep 2010, 22:52

Oh, that's wonderful news! I'm already neck deep in birth certificates and marriage certificates, so I was really dreading the thought that this whole process had been in vain. (Well, actually, it's taught me a lot about my family heritage, so definitely not all in vain.)

Actually, if you don't mind me asking a follow-up question: where were you able to get a copy of your grandfather's naturalization papers? I'm looking at papers from a similar time period, and while I was able to get a copy that came with a letter and a seal from the County Court where he was naturalized, it doesn't have the nice red ribbon that NARA uses. Just wondering if you'd had a similar problem.

In any case, thanks so much for the help!

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Sep 2010, 23:03

The county court copy should be fine for all but the most picky consulates. I used a similar copy from the Westchester County Archives when I applied (and was approved) at the New York consulate in mid-2008.
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jennabet
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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby jennabet » 02 Sep 2010, 23:40

Hi, my grand-father's naturalization papers, which included Declaration of Intention, Petition for Citizenship and Oath of Allegiance, were on microfiche at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives and a hand-written, paper copy sensa red ribbon was sent to me. Philadelphia Consulate accepted all. No questions asked. Remember, the most important thing is the product -- not the packaging.

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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby amorecusumano » 02 Jul 2011, 22:44

I am in a similar situation. I am trying to get jure sanguinis Italian citizenship through my mother's father, Giovanni. Giovanni was born in Italy, arrived in the US in 1913, and filed and signed a Declaration of Intention in 1917 in the District Court of Michigan, Eastern District. After filing an Immigration and Naturalization Records inquiry from the National Archives of all records and documents related to naturalization, including declarations, petitions and certificates, I received back only a copy of the Declaration of Intention. I was told after a follow up call that this was proof positive that my grandfather "renounced" his Italian citizenship on the date he filed his Declaration of Intent in 1917. Resigned that this answer was authoritative,I gave up. However, I've recently resurrected some hope through a second call to National Archives with another person who said that the informtion I was given is incorrect; that the DATE OF NATURALIZATION is the key date, and the only relevant date for purposes of determining the "renunciation" date. Thus far, I have not found any thing further that indicted my grandfather ever followed up with a Petition or was then later granted Naturalization. I've been told that the Petition and Certificate of Naturalization may be filed in a local State Court records Archive. M y question: does anyone else understand which date is the correct one for determining the date of "renunciation"?? From this thread it seems that it is the date of Naturalization and NOT the date of filing the Declaration of Intention. Any clarity about this would be greatly appreciated!!

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Re: Declaration of Intention vs Petition For Naturalization?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 03 Jul 2011, 13:01

Unfortunately, you were given totally incorrect information the first time around. The date which matters is the date of naturalization - specifically, the date the Oath of Allegiance is taken and signed which is also the date the naturalization certificate was issued.

Generally speaking, a person had to wait three years (but no more than 5, if I recall correctly) after the filing of a Declaration of Intent prior to proceeding with the next step, the Petition for Naturalization. If the petition was granted - usually within 6 months but up to a few years - the Oath of Allegiance would be administered and the certificate issued.

Since NARA did not have any documentation beyond the Declaration of Intent, there are two main possibilities: 1) your ancestor never completed the naturalization process, or 2) he did so in a state or county court. NARA holds state/county records for only a very limited number of jurisdictions.

You have two routes along which you can proceed at this point, the USCIS and the state/county archives. For all naturalizations after September 27, 1906, the most reliable sorce of records - no matter what level court may have been involved - is the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service ("USCIS"). Start here https://genealogy.uscis.dhs.gov/ and select the first option, "Index Search Request". If the Index Search turns up a citizenship file ("C" File), then you would follow up with a "Records Request" to obtain the actual documents.

If the USCIS should also come back with either "No Records Found" or only the Declaration of Intent, you will need to check the state and county archives for every area in which your ancestor ever resided; the consulate will want to see "No Records Found" letters from these sources as well. In order to keep the process moving along, you may want to make these state/county inquiries while awaiting the results from USCIS (which can take 3 to 6 months...).

I hope this answers your questions.
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