Naturalization certificate

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.
italiangal36
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Naturalization certificate

Postby italiangal36 » 02 Sep 2011, 06:53

I ordered my great grandfather's naturalization certificate a few weeks ago from the USCIS Genealogy department. For those who have used this department for this purpose, will what they send be what the Italian consulate is looking for? Is there a way to get it certified?

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Naturalization certificate

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Sep 2011, 13:04

They will accept the USCIS documents without certification but do keep the cover letter and envelope they came in; the consulate may wish to see them.

I give you fair warning: documents from USCIS are usually in horrendous condition, especially the certificates which are often nearly impossible to read. If it turns out that your GGF naturalized in a federal court (or one of a small number of state/local courts), you will nearly always get copies which are orders of magnitude better from the National Archives. NARA has the additional advantage of charging far less than USCIS ($22.50 for certified copies) and being much faster (2 or 3 weeks as compared to 3 or more months). Also, whereas USCIS redacts much of the information on the documents (such as the birthdates of spouse and children), NARA does not.

If interested, start here https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=eservices.archives.gov and go ahead and create an account on the right. Next, click "Order Reproductions" and then "Immigration & Naturalization Records"

Be sure to request the "Certified Paper Copy" which will cost you a total of $22.50. Response time is often less than two weeks; and there is no charge if they do not locate the record.

When completing the order form, you may encounter fields which demand you enter something even though you don't have the information available; just put X's or 9's in those fields and continue; use the comment box at the bottom of the form for additional details. Be sure to give a valid daytime contact phone number as the archivist will often call in order to verify information or provide additional guidance.
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italiangal36
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Re: Naturalization certificate

Postby italiangal36 » 02 Sep 2011, 17:52

Hi johnnyonthespot, I ordered a certified copy of my great grandfathers naturalization papers from the NARA back in July. They were very quick and helpful and the papers had a lot of information. The problem is, it was only the application and such and did not include the actual naturalization certificate. I saw somewhere on their site that they do not store the actual certificates and you have to go through the USCIS for them. I guess what I am asking is, is the application paperwork sufficient for the Italian consulate or do you need to present the actual naturalization certificate? Also, I should mention I checked into whether the U.S. District Court where his certificate was issued keeps copies of the actual certificates and found out they don't.
P.S. Thanks for the warning on the condition. You would think for $35 you would get something that's at least legible.

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Naturalization certificate

Postby johnnyonthespot » 02 Sep 2011, 18:19

Only USCIS has copies of the actual certificate. I requested one for my paternal grandfather (long after my jure sanguinis case was completed) just for the sake of having it. The paper copy is just awful; most of the text cannot be ascertained at all unless you already have an idea what it says. This is partly the result of the images coming from old microfilms and partly the crappy monochrome printers they use.

Thankfully, USCIS will also send an "electronic" copy burned onto a CD if you request it. When printed on a color printer, the certificate will be substantially more legible; if you tweak it first with an image editing program, it will look even better yet.

I have read of many other people having the same problems with USCIS documents.

Now, having said all of that, I am not aware of any consulate which will not accept the Petition for Naturalization along with the signed Oath of Allegiance section as proof of naturalization. That is what I used in NYC in mid-2008 and my copy didn't even come from NARA, but from the Westchester County Archives.
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)


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