NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Self

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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JavaisLife
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NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Self

Postby JavaisLife » 10 Sep 2010, 20:35

Hello everyone.

First off, I want to thank everyone on this board for their help & support. It has made my process so much easier.

Here is my recap of this morning:
***FYI: I have a photographic memory. I could tell you everything everyone was wearing and really specific details of each room, if anyone really cares to know ***

I couldn't sleep last night, but planned on waking up really early just to make sure I was fully awake for my appointment, which was at the NYC Italian Consulate on 69th and Park scheduled for 9:30am.

I live in Manhattan, and took the local subway up and arrived at the consulate by 8:45am - grabbed some coffee from a local street vender and waited outside for the doors to open. Don't attempt to bring your coffee inside. :D There were only two other people aside from myself waiting at the front door on Park Ave. (the entrance for the Visa is on 69th street). The woman ahead of me was applying for her citizenship, as was I - and the man was an Italian Citizen from what I gathered.

The doors opened promptly at 9am (I believe someone rang the bell, but either/or the doors open straight away). There are marble steps once inside, and you are to face to your left and hand over your passport (your license is not needed at this time). The woman or security guard signs you in on the computer and then you pass through a gated door and proceed through the metal detector. I brought a medium leather pocket book that held both my binder and folder. I remember reading you weren't to bring a back, but I figured it'd "risk it".

Everyone greets you in Italian, but they all speak perfect English. If you do not speak Italian (like myself) just smile and respond in English. They are nice and understanding. ...and you don't actually have to admit you do not speak Italian if you greet them in English - it's kinda understood. So, if anyone is stressing that they don't speak Italian - don't worry about it.

The waiting room and office for the Citizenship Applications is on the 2nd floor. Elevator was broken - so I enjoyed the walk up around the spiral marble staircase. It's a really beautiful building.

The woman and I both sat down in the waiting area, which is more of a hallway. (There is a reason they ask for only the participants applying to attend the meeting. The waiting area consists of two small wooden love seats. Each only allowing two people each - a maximum of 4 people. So, say you wanted to bring your family along as I originally wanted too ... It'd be really rude, for there really is no waiting room to seat extra people. Keep this in mind if you are questioning about bringing surprise guests).

The woman was called in promptly at 9:05, and I only was sitting for a few minutes after her until I was called in early. I'm guessing about 9:10 or so, and the meeting ended and I was back on the street at 10:30am.

The room I was called into had about 4 desks. Three were maned w/ other Italian officials conducting Italian business. This is not a 1-on-1 meeting. The woman that went before me was sitting at a desk to the left of me, and I was able to hear her entire case (when I wasn't focused on talking about mine). Keep your focus, enjoy the process and stay calm. Its really easy to get distracted.

First I was asked to hand over my passport and my license - and I was given a form to fill out as Emilio De Francesco (my interviewer) made photocopies of both my passport and divers license. He did not ask for proof of residency at this time (I brought my lease w/ me but I also just gave a closed mailed envelope from my bank that had my home address on it). The form only asked for your personal contact information.

Now, down to business.

Emilio did not introduce himself - he asked me for my Great Grand Fathers Birth Certificate from Italy. I supplied this.
From what I read on this forum, I am assuming he's typing information into his personal spreadsheet.

I brought along a notepad with me - just to take notes, or pretend to take notes -- mostly, I wanted seem focused as well as have something to hold onto in case I started to fidget.

He then asked for my GGF marriage certificate. My GGF came it the United States in 1901, got married in 1904 to my GGM who was born in NYC and American. This was his first marriage, at the age of 22.

My GGF Birth Certificate from Italy states that he was married 2 more times to different Italian woman, once he return back to Italy in 1910. He never mentioned or recorded his 1st marriage to my GGM (who is Mary Maffia, born in NYC). He asked me about this and I said my bloodline is the first marriage, and then technically the other marriages are illigitimate. He asked if there was a divorce document or death certificate for my GGM.

My GGF and GGM never divorced. I did do the legwork and go down to both Brooklyn and Manhattan County Court and paid $100 each for them to search for a divorce record. Which I supplied him with a search not found. Emilio then asked if I requested a divorce document from Italy, which I responded saying - I didn't believe Italy recognized legal divorce until more recently in the 1960's (for my GGF died in 1935). He said that my GGF may have recognized the divorce - I raised my eyebrow and said, that'd be a very radical move on his part. ... he gave me back the search not found records for my collection, and we continued.

He asked me if I had my GGF second and 3rd marriage documents. I stated that I did not, and that these woman were not my relatives. I asked if I needed these and he mentioned I should have them. So I took a note down in my journal that I should try to go about getting these from Italy. Then he asked me if I had the death certificates of these woman from the second marriage. Again, I said they were not in my bloodline - but I took another note in my journal.

He then asked for his naturalization records. I supplied him with all records of not found.... from USCIS, NARA and Kings County Court.
:!: You will need to make sure your USCIS Certificate of Nonexistence of Record states on line 4 that

"That after a diligent search was performed in these database system; no record is found to exist relating to the subject listed below" -- and that he did not become a United States Citizen. If your Certificate of Nonexistence of Record only states what I have in the above quotes, this will not do. I specifically wrote to Mr. Michael Quinn asking for the more specific wordage and supplied him w/ photocopies of all my records of non-existance. I did this on Aug 18th and had a response by Sept 3rd.

Mr Michael Quinn
Chief, Record Operations
Office of Records
2nd Floor/Search
1200 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20529-2204


I also handed Emilio a certified ship manifest from the NARA showing that my GGF returned from Italy to the United States in 1920 with his new wife, stating he's Italian and it was not his first visit to America and that he was visiting family. This as well helped.

Emilio then said, so you don't have his death certificate if he returned to Italy? Surprise. I had it! and handed it over for him to have a look over.

My opinion at this point is that Emilio assumes that most people come to the appointment not knowing what to expect. As well, not having the proper documents or missing documents. So do not be offended he the person interviewing you just expects you to be dumb. Just keep smiling. I think they find some sick joy in making you feel uncomfortable.

Now, onto my Grandfather's Birth Certificate. My GF was born in 1905, his birth certificate was from the Municipal Archives. For each certificate from the NYC Municipal Archives I got a letter from Mr Ken Cobb stating that the documents cannot be changed. I had this certificated letter created for each document which had errors, and had these letters translated into Italian - along with the other necessary translations.

Emilio said I needed to get a court order to correct these documents. I stated that from my research that any documents from the Municipal Archives cannot be changed, as pointed out the letter that stated such for a second time. I took a note of this.

I showed Emilio a sworn affidavit from my mother (oldest living ascended - sorry mom, she really hates being referred to as that. lol.) that showcased all the discrepencies on the documents from the Municipal Archives and stated that each document was who it said it to be, etc. I had the affidavit translated into italian and had both apostilled. He said this wasn't from the court, but each time there was a discrepencies I referred back to the sworn affidavit.

My issue was that my GF birth certificate from 1905 shows my GGM maiden name as scribble and that the surname reads as Frattollillo instead of Frattolillo (two ll's). He questioned if this was my GF's actual birth certificate. I showed him the proper spelling on the marriage license (which had my GGM maiden name on it and proper surname of Frattolillo) and death certificate. He argued that this could not be my grandfather - and what do I have to say to the incorrect information.

My response is that it was a mistake on the record keepers part. Pointed back to my certified letter from Mr Cobb stating that the document couldn't be changed, and showed him my mother's sworn affidavit again. We moved on.

** at this point I felt my heart really drop, for I had 4 discrepiences in spellings that I could not change on these old documents. I heard the other woman in the room stating something similar - but her interviewer asked her where her proof stating she couldn't change or ammend these documents where? So I held faith that my certified letters from Mr Cobb was going to help me through this.

Now onto my GF marriage certificate. No mistakes since I had it corrected. :D
My mom's birth certificate. No mistakes since I had it corrected. :D

:!: Keep your translations separate and hand it to him behind the apostilled document that's behind requested. He staples the translations behind the appositled document, but looks at them side by side when comparing.


My parents marriage certificate - w/ sworn affidavit and corrections. No mistakes since I had it corrected. :D Emilio took a good 10 minutes to look this document over - for it had both my mothers birth and father birth certificate attached. I specifically enjoyed him reading my fathers birth certificate in Cyrillic, for my dad is Russian. :)

Then he asked for my birth certificate. No mistakes since I had it corrected. :D He took a LOONG time looking over my birth certificate.

Then I was asked for my forms. I handed that over and proof of residency (a letter from Chase bank address to my home address).

He took all my documents and translations. My mothers sworn affidavit w. the translated affidavit and ship manifest of my GGF return from Italy to visit our family here.

:!: I did not have to show any of the spouses information - unless there were questions about something on the direct line documents (specifically my GGF re-marrying).

He asked me for my e-mail address and said he was going to send my documents to the commune in Italy to be reviewed and I would have a response at the latest in 3 months. All my documents are from NYC, so I do expect to hear sooner. I did not get any congrats, wink, thumbs up or high five.

I wasn't sure if I should celebrate or anything. I asked him if I needed to get my GGF 2nd and 3rd marriage and divorce certificate and record or have any of those earlier documents changed via a court order, and he said no, not to bother with that.

Thoughts?!

God, I'm so happy that I do not have to worry about losing, spilling coffee or having an apartment fire and destroying my documents.

PS - If you are woman. This is a business meeting, dress very nice. Wear heels and a nice business suit. If you are a man. Dress nice. Suit. I assume it will be appreciated. :)

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!

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mler
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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby mler » 10 Sep 2010, 20:44

Sounds good to me.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby CowryShells » 10 Sep 2010, 23:00

Excellent detail, thank you so much for writing it out!

It seems to me that you aced the interview. Congratulations!

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Drew927 » 11 Sep 2010, 00:18

It sounds as though congratulations are in order!! Awesome job!

One question, the USCIS Cert of Nonexistence of Record line 4.

Mine says "That after a diligent search was performed in these database system; no record is found to exist relating to the subject listed below" and then gives my grandfathers name DOB and country of birth.

So I need to have -- "and that he did not become a United States Citizen" added to line 4.

I have 4 County Clerk letters, NARA and USCIS.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby SChiarini » 11 Sep 2010, 13:26

Drew,

Who did you write to to get the County Clerk letters?


Also, Congrats JavaisLife! I have my appointment in less than two weeks, and I am freaking out as well :)

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Drew927 » 11 Sep 2010, 14:47

I wrote to the folowing:
1) Kings County Clerks office (20.00 money order)
Supreme Court Building
360 Adams Street
Room 189, Record Room, Basement
Brooklyn, NY 11201

2) New York County Clerks Office
60 Centre St., NY, NY 10007

The other counties were Passaic and Schenectady because my grandfather did reside there before moving to Brooklyn.
You should call the offices before writing to them for the fee.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby jennabet » 11 Sep 2010, 18:50

The Consulate would not bother sending your documents to your Comune in Italy if they were not ok. Now you just need to wait for the Comune to look them over and instruct the consulate to issue you a passport.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby jennabet » 11 Sep 2010, 18:58

Javaislife, I am confused. What is the specific wording? The no record letter I received states the following:

"That after a diligent search was performed in these database systems, no record was found to exist indicating that the subject listed below obtained naturaliziation as a citizen of the United States". Document has a raised seal of Department Homeland Security and is signed.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby jennabet » 11 Sep 2010, 19:01

Another question. What is NARA? How do I contact them? Why must I contact them? I already have a no records letter from USCIS and one from Cameron County Prothonatory. Both are signed and have raised seals.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Gianna75010 » 11 Sep 2010, 19:26

NARA is the National Archives and Records Administration. There website is http://www.archives.gov/

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby jennabet » 11 Sep 2010, 19:49

Hi Gianna, thanks for the info. National Archives have copies of Naturalization docs. I found my own GF's naturalization records at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives. The case I'm working on now is for my companion's grand-father, whom we do not believe was naturalized because he died young. If an immigrant was never naturalized, he remains for his entire stay in the US an immigant or alien so USCIS would be the place to get info on aliens.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Gianna75010 » 11 Sep 2010, 20:10

My great grandfather also was never naturalized. Through a search by the USCIS an A-file was found but no naturalization paperwork. I am still waiting for a letter on non-existence of naturalization from the USCIS which hopefully they will provide me even though he had an A-file.

NARA does have information on aliens. In fact, when I requested an A-file from the USCIS, they told me that I had to contact NARA because the USCIS no longer holds A-files within a certain number range - they were all sent to NARA a few years ago. NARA will also do an independent search of your ancestor and provide you with a letter of no records which I believe the consulate requires if your ancestor was never naturalized.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Drew927 » 11 Sep 2010, 20:31

NARA
Northeast Region
201Varick Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10014
(866) 840-1752
newyork.archives@nara.gov

You can call them and request a search. If nothing is found they will provide you with a letter stating that fact. It will not be certified because they do not give certified letters. They can provide certified copies of census reports and ship manifests if you need them.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby jennabet » 11 Sep 2010, 20:33

Gianna, why do you need copy of an A-file? The foreign birth certificate (Italy) proves the person was an alien, unless you can also prove that one or both of his parents were Americans.

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Re: NYC Sept 10th Appointment Recap GGF> GF> M> Sel

Postby Gianna75010 » 11 Sep 2010, 21:42

I don't need the A-file for the consulate for dual citizenship. I requested it just to get more information on my great grandfather. It actually had some great information like the specific ship he arrived on (which I couldn't find elsewhere for other reasons) and a picture of him! I decided to get a certified copy (and a copy of the census) just in case I need extra proof that he was still an Italian citizen when my grandfather was born. I still haven't received the letter of non-existence from USCIS (and I'm worried because he had the A-file on record there) and the county clerk (Essex County in NJ) is stating that they no longer provide letters of non-existence. I figure the more documentation I have, the better, but the consulate hopefully won't even ask for it.

Have you gotten your dual citizenship already?


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