Citizenship approval process via Italy?

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.
vanessam
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Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby vanessam » 24 Oct 2011, 13:12

Hello everyone!

I've had quite a day - very bitter sweet! You may recall me posting in Aug about acquiring documents in Italy. Anyway, I had my second appointment today at the Melbourne (AUS) consulate and it was to hand in all my documentation in order to become an Italian citizen (jure sanguinis through my mother), which I achieved today and was officially recognised. Hooray!

I was told that the next step was to send everything to my mother's commune in Italy for approval/permission to apply for a passport. This I was expecting. I was not expecting the officer to then say, "But it will be a minimum of six to nine months before you can apply for a passport". I nearly fell off my chair. He said that it is normal for this office and I know that there is quite a backlog of applications. So my question is, is this officer just saying this to cover the consulate's "behind"...as it were? Or am I really looking at waiting a min. of six months? I know this case is in Melbourne, but has anyone heard of such a long waiting period anywhere else? It took an 1.5 hours and lots of proof to become an official citizen, but six months or more to get a passport? Surely proving that you're a citizen is the hardest part?

Can anyone shed some light? Is this a "normal" processing time? I met some Australians while in Italy, and they were all on Italian passports and the longest it took was two weeks!

I am disappointed beyond words - this whole process has taken me nearly five years and a trip to my mother's commune in Italy and now to wait THIS long for a passport is just crazy.

Thank you in advance,

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby kontessa » 25 Oct 2011, 08:09

I think the speed at which documents are transcribed varies by comune. Guess the Melbourne consulate wants to give your comune an adequate amount of time before they allow you to apply for a passport.

My brother's appointment in Newark was this past February. Sometime in June, documents arrived in the comune. They are presently in queue to be transcribed - a 4 or 5 month wait for transcription. To be honest, unless you have a real need for a passport (job lined up, maybe?), or have a connection in the comune who can shorten your wait time, best to plan for 5 or 6 months and hope for something shorter. Good luck.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby jennabet » 25 Oct 2011, 08:15

How old are you? If you are retired and have imminent plans to move to Italy, I can almost guarantee they would speed up your passport. The key words here are "RETIRED" and "IMMINENT". If these arn't your words, then you don't need the passport anytime soon.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby kontessa » 25 Oct 2011, 08:23

There may be a consulate that sees a job opportunity as a situation where they might make an exception. Retired and moving to Italy is just one type of exception that a consulate MIGHT make, surely there are others.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby vanessam » 25 Oct 2011, 09:20

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Yes, I had a job offer but this was dependant on the outcome of my passport coming through. I have to go back to the consulate so I will ask again if there is anything they can do to move things along, I mentioned the job offer and the officer just shrugged and said it was out of his hands. The attitude of the staff at this particular consulate leaves a lot to be desired so I think I just have to bite my lip and sit tight.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby ricbru » 25 Oct 2011, 09:53

The application for italian passport depends on the time took by Italian consulate in Melbourne to send all the certificates to your mother town. Because as soon as the civil record office gets your documents, they should file them, and so you can request the estratto dell'atto di nascita, and you can apply for italian passport. Sometimes a phone call to Melbourne italian consulate, to see if all was sent, and to your mother town, to see if all was received and filed, is worth. I hope it helps bye Riccardo

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby kontessa » 25 Oct 2011, 11:43

ricbru wrote:The application for italian passport depends on the time took by Italian consulate in Melbourne to send all the certificates to your mother town. Because as soon as the civil record office gets your documents, they should file them, and so you can request the estratto dell'atto di nascita, and you can apply for italian passport. Sometimes a phone call to Melbourne italian consulate, to see if all was sent, and to your mother town, to see if all was received and filed, is worth. I hope it helps bye Riccardo


I agree this is what should happen, but sometimes the documents do sit around the stato civile office before anything is done with them. Verifying their location is good advice. Each comune is different though - some are under-staffed and over-worked, and other citizens' needs come first. In my brother's case, I know the person responsible for transcribing his paperwork, and she confessed that summer holidays and the census are what caused the delay in having his documents transcribed.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby ricbru » 25 Oct 2011, 11:51

I had an experience with a commune in Tuscany, overwhelmed of documents coming from italian consulates around the world, we asked for an urgent process of documents because of appointment to apply for italian citizenship, and documents went from the bottom of the pile to the top of it, and in one week we had the certificates in order to apply for italian citizenship. So always try hard to get what you need, it is your right to have those documents as soon as possible, documents can not seat forever on commune's desk, because they are overwhelmed of papers to be filed, you have the right to have the certificate within 30 days (italian law states so), for the moment your request arrives to civil record office. So I suggest always to talk with registrar and go for it, good luck for everything, hugs Riccardo

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby vanessam » 25 Oct 2011, 12:04

When I went to my mum's commune in Italy I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my B&B host and the officer who worked at the commune spoke perfect English as she studied in Melbourne in the 1970s - it was a complete blessing, believe me, I know how lucky I was!!
I have emailed my B&B host and asked her (when I give her the go ahead) to phone the commune for me to check on my documents. I'm hoping they will arrive safe and sound and get processed quickly if - a. the commune officer remembers me (only two people work there and I drew A LOT of attention, thankfully) and b. they get moved to the top of the pile.

From your experiences or others on the forum, do you think that they delay (6 months or more waiting time) is 90% because of the commune in Italy and 10% because of the home consulate you're applying through?

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby ricbru » 25 Oct 2011, 12:21

From my point of view, as long as there is no one calling to speed up the process, communes take all the time they want to file all those documents (since they are overwhelmed of it), also it is your right to call Melbourne and request the number of protocoll, date and know the way your application was sent (usually it is sent by Posta Certificata - certified governative email) so at least you know when it was sent and you can give those infos to the protocoll office of the comune in Italy, to see if everything arrived, and especcially filed. I hope it helps bye Riccardo

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby vanessam » 25 Oct 2011, 12:33

I wish you were here, Riccardo!!
Melbourne is just terrible....after telling me the process will take at least six months, the officer went onto advise me "don't call every week, don't send emails - you will get the document when Italy gets it done." Excellent customer service!!
You're completely right though and I will make sure I follow up....they definitely will get reminders!

Thank you

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby ricbru » 25 Oct 2011, 12:39

Vanessa, I'm telling you, it is your RIGHT to know the number of protocoll, the date documents where send and how (if via Posta Certificata or what). Also if Melrbourne is terrible, call the comune and ask to talk with Ufficio Protocollo (protocoll office) in order to know if after you applied, the documents arrived there. I know someome applied in Boston last February and papers were sent to a comune in Sicily after the person interested went straigth to the general consular, the next day papers were filed in Italy. I hope it helps bye Riccardo

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby jennabet » 25 Oct 2011, 18:28

......Vanessa, I'm telling you, it is your RIGHT to know the number of protocoll, the date documents where send and how (if via Posta Certificata or what). Also if Melrbourne is terrible, call the comune and ask to talk with Ufficio Protocollo (protocoll office)......

Ricbru, if Vanessa had a plane ticket to Italy, she would have even MORE of a right. There are people who need their passports because they are traveling to Italy. Someone who has no travel plans should not have their paperwork shoved at the top of the pile. Regarding the work offer that Vanessa said the consulate officer shrugged off. If she showed him a work CONTRACT, then he would have expedited her passport. There is a difference between a work "offer" and a work contract. I agree with you about the 30 day law in Italy but if the consulates have big backlogs and no money to hire additional help, then people who do not have imminent travel plans will just have to be patient.

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby ricbru » 25 Oct 2011, 18:47

Tell Vanessa to send me a pm with details, and I will call the comune to speed up the process
bye Riccardo

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Re: Citizenship approval process via Italy?

Postby kontessa » 25 Oct 2011, 19:55

@ricbru - thank you so much for posting the additional information, especially the need for applicants to ask for a file number in order to make it easier to reference their case file. :D


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