This week, my son received his Italian Citizenship. He submitted all required documentation through the Houston Consulate. His citizenship came through paternal lineage.
My son's father (born in the US) and I (born in the US) were married in 1974 and divorced in 2002.
My questions are: 1. Would my son's father (my ex-husband) be considered an Italian citizen? 2. If so, since we married prior to 1983, would I be eligible for Italian citizenship? 3. Regarding our marriage certificate, as my son had to submit it for his citizenship and it was sent to the comune in Italy, would it now be recorded there? If so, does that make a difference regarding my gaining citizenship (if recorded, would that mean my ex is considered an Italian citizen and therefore, I have access to becoming an Italian citizen)? 4. If our marriage certificate is recorded in the comune in Italy, what would be my process, if any, to becoming an Italian citizen?
If I understood you correctly, your son got his Italian citizenship from his paternal line, that is from your ex-husband.
This means that your ex-husband is Italian too. In other words, in order to your son be considered Italian, all his ancestor, in the linage claimed by him in his presentation before the Italian authorities, has to became Italian too. Otherwise, it would be a gap in his lineage. Therefore, his father (your ex-husband) and his GF, GGF and so on until the ancestor born in Italia have became Italian too.
Unfortunately, the Italian citizenship is not extended automatically to the in-laws relatives, including the in-laws relatives of his Father, GF and GGF. In other words, the fact that your son has got his Italian Citizenship does not mean that is extended automatically to you, because you are in this case not liked directly (as a descendant) with his ancestor born in Italy.
According to Italian Law, persons married with an Italian citizen could apply for Italian citizenship if they fulfil certain requirements. One of them is to be married (and living together) when applying for the citizenship, and in case of those living abroad, being married for more than 3 years at the time of the application.
Unfortunately in your case, you cannot apply now because you have already got divorce from your son's father. That is, you cannot apply because you are not married with him any longer. And your son cannot transmit the Italian Citizenship to you, because it can only be transmitted to the descendants (by the ancestors), and not vice-versa. For this reason, he got it from his father (not from you, if I understood correctly), and his father from his GF, and this from the person born in Italy.
Here you have a link to the Italian ministry of home affairs (Ministero dell'Interno) where you will find the laws applicable to your case.
The three-year period does not apply to marriages before 1983. According to Italian law, if an Italian man married, and the marriage took place before 1983, his wife obtained Italian citizenship automatically. Since you married an Italian man in 1974, you acquired Italian citizenship on that date. Because you divorced after 1983, you still hold that citizenship.
Windey, tuper16 has given you the correct information. You may have acquired Italian citizenship while you were married to an Italian man but since you never applied for a passport and you do not currently live in Italy and you were divorced in 2002, you are no longer qualified to be recognized as an Italian citizen because the conditions that once allowed for you to be recognized no longer exist. If you had been married in Italy, always lived in Italy and got divorced in Italy, the Italian government would not ask you to leave Italy once you became divorced but it would also not give you an Italian passport if you had not applied for an Italian passport while you were still married.
I suggest you read the 1983 law. The OP is an Italian citizen, although at this time her citizenship has not yet been recognized. You may want to read BBCWatcher's and Malcolm's take on this at http://www.italiancitizenshi.freeforums.org Both support my contention.
I understand the logic of your position, but Italian citizenship law is not always logical. You really need to read the law.
Actually it's not even necessary to look up the law. The Italian Consulate in LA has this information. They note that a woman who married an Italian man before 1983 is automatically an Italian citizen and they even have a specific form to be downloaded and completed when a woman in this category applies for recognition. On the form she can indicate whether she is still married, widowed or divorced
Your consulate may not have such a form, but it may be a good idea to download the LA form and take it with you when you apply.
Windrey, if you are having difficulty finding the section on the LA consular website, I've copied the relevant section here:
"RECOGNITION OF ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE (Legge 555/1912) which states the following: The foreign bride who married before April 27, 1983 is automatically italian by law. The only documents required are the birth certificate (in "long form") with "apostille" and translation into Italian. A form then must be filled out by the applicant once at the Consulate. (Please click here for the forms: married, divorced or widowed)"
Since your marriage license/certificate was submitted and recorded with your son's application, you would likely only need to resubmit it if you are applying at another consulate. Your divorce decree should also be submitted.
Wendy, I'm sorry that you're receiving conflicting information. By all means do go to the website you have been referred to; however I must warn you that while questions similar to yours have been asked many times, I have NEVER seen anyone come back and confirm that in fact the information given was correct and she had indeed been recognized and received a passport. Furthermore, I have a friend in New York City who was married in Italy before 1983, gave birth to two Italian children in Italy (who still live there with their own children) but she has never been entitled to recognition due to a divorce from her Italian husband. I would appreciate it if you can return to this website to provide whatever feedback you have from your own case. Thanks.
That is good advice. You will find the details and the forms on the LA Consulate site. Miami also notes the automatic citizenship for wives in a pre-1983 marriage and suggests calling for specific guidelines. .
Like much of Italian citizenship law, the line between what is acceptable and what is not can be very subtle. In the case of pre-1983 marriages, the year of divorce is significant. Thus, had you married in 1974 and divorced in 1982 or even 1989, your application would not be viewed favorably. This may be the situation in which jennebet's friend finds herself. Fortunately, the year of your divorce falls into the parameters that allow you to retain the citizenship you automatically acquired.
This issue is very exciting to me as my mother is in the same position, my dad and I are italian citizens jus sanguinis, my parents married in 1968 in NY, divorced in 2005 in the Dominican Republic. Has anyone confirmed that an American divorcee can apply for citizenship at a consulate? Many thanks!
You may want to contact the consulate to check on the documents your mother will need. At minimum she will need to have her birth, marriage and divorce documents. If yoru father is willing to help, proof of his citizenship shouldn't hurt.
The forms jojo has provided may give you some guidance.
Thanks "mler" --- her b/c is no problem and we just have to get her divorce decree appostilled in the D.R., i have an original estratto of their marriage issued my my comune (montemaggiore belsito palermo), i've enrolled my dad with AIRE and have his b/c from italy. I just want to make sure that my parents' divorce in 2005 didn't vitiate my mother's claim -- the LA consulate's form suggests that is not a problem, but the NY consulate doesnt have a form just like it for divorced women, only a general form in word format (i guess i can modify it as necessary?!). I will email the NY consulate to be sure.
AdrianBattaglia27 wrote:This issue is very exciting to me as my mother is in the same position, my dad and I are italian citizens jus sanguinis, my parents married in 1968 in NY, divorced in 2005 in the Dominican Republic. Has anyone confirmed that an American divorcee can apply for citizenship at a consulate?
Go to the Italian Citizenship Message Board (http://italiancitizenship.freeforums.org/). We have seen cases like that, but it will probably be a little difficult for me to track down the member names of people who were in the same situation.
thank you! I did not look through that site today! If you recall anyone please feel free to let me know. I already emailed the NY Consulate my question. It would appear though that since the LA Consulate has a form just for a divorced party requesting citizenship stemming from a pre-1983 marriage that this is ok, but.... as well all know... better to get it from the right horse's mouth!!
Be sure that when she applies, she makes it clear that she is seeking recognition of the Italian citizenship she acquired when she married before 1983 and that she is NOT seeking to apply jure matrimoni. In juri matrimoni cases, divorce is significant, and a misunderstanding may cause a problem.