Missing Document Question

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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nicolep
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Missing Document Question

Post by nicolep » 15 Sep 2018, 00:14

Hi there

While I wouldn't be able to get dual citizenship in Italy (I actually would qualify but there are way too many missing documents to even attempt), my very good friend does have a strong case and is attempting to pursue this. However, she's run into one hitch.

Her maternal great grandfather was born in Italy, and married her American great grandmother (in America). He filed a declaration of intent to become a citizen but never actually finalized it (confirmed with USCIS) however, on the two census records after he emigrated, he is listed as "naturalized." This is obstacle number one. I think this one can be overcome with the documentation showing no record of citizenship was found in NARA or USCIS.

She has the records that show her maternal great grandfather was married to her great grandmother, that they are the parents of her maternal grandfather, that her maternal grandfather was married to her grandmother, that they are the parents of her mother and that her mother is, in fact, her mother.

But her next issue threw me for a loop and I actually don't know if it will be an issue. Her mother (American) was never married to her father (American). He is listed on her birth certificate but it is highly likely that the name he listed there isn't accurate. He was not a good man and she's had no relationship with him. She wouldn't even know where to begin to get his birth record. Since her claim to citizenship isn't actually through him....does she really need his birth record?

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mler
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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by mler » 15 Sep 2018, 02:11

Generally, missing documents not in the citizenship line are not too problematic. Perhaps she can obtain an affidavit from her mother attesting to the fact that this man was indeed her father but they were not married and have no contact with him.

I would be more concerned about the “naturalization” listed on the census records. Keep in mind that, in addition to USCIS and NARA, she would need to have “no record” documents from the state counties in which he resided. If he arrived as a minor, she will also need to prove that he did not receive derivative naturalization through his father.

It is my understanding that if she applies in Italy, census records are not required, but to do so, she will likely need the assistance of a citizenship service.

For you: what documents are you missing? Sometimes there are workarounds.

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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by nicolep » 15 Sep 2018, 06:22

Thanks for the reply! I don't think she knows she needs the state/county records so I'll let her know that. I wonder, though, didn't states transfer all records to NARA and USCIS at one point? I thought anything after the early 1900s was with them. We talked about how this will likely raise questions since there is the conflicting information but she's confident that the lack of court records and an explanation may work.

And he did come as a minor (16, or 17, I think) but not with his parents. They never came to America.

For me, I am descended through my great grandfather whose birth record I just found (and got translated with the help of lovely folks on this very site!). I have his birth registry but it doesn't list his parents. I have proof he never naturalized and that he was my grandfather's father. But my mother's birth certificate cannot be obtained. The base hospital says they have no record. The county has no record. All she has is a "record of birth" filed with the state when they moved back. But it is four years later and not an official birth certificate.

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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by mler » 15 Sep 2018, 16:39

NARA is a national archive and does not hold county records, and it is my understanding that the consulates ask for these records as well. Unfortunately, proving no naturalization is often more difficult than proving that a naturalization took place at the right time. The consulates are often suspicious about missing records, and that’s why they are requiring census documentation as confirmation. That the census claims he was naturalized, will likely be a red flag for them.

Since he did come as a minor and since there are no naturalization records, she would be wise to trace back to her great grandfather’s parents. No naturalization records sometimes means derivative naturalization, so his parents’ records would be required. I understand that he came without his parents. My grandfather also came alone when he was 16. However, I had naturalization records for my grandfather, so the consulate had no need to trace further back. In this case, she will need to document that his parents remained in Italy and thus never naturalized. This creates an additional burden for her, but it’s understandable why the consulate would need these records.

Your case is interesting, and perhaps it’s not as hopeless as you think. You may want to post your information at
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/italian ... /index.php I recall someone recently posting a similar situation, and it may provide some guidance for you.

EDITED TO ADD: I just rechecked the consulate citizenship page and see no requirement for nonexistent records at the county level. However, since the census records are problematic, it may still be a good idea to get them for additional confirmation.

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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by mler » 15 Sep 2018, 18:38

I was going through some of the posts re missing birth certificates, and it appears this is not an infrequent problem. Some posters look to baptism certificates and/or attempt to obtain delayed birth certificates. It is very possible that the record of birth filed with the state would qualify as a delayed birth certificate since it is an official government document. I’m assuming it also includes parent names.

Someone also reported using a passport to demonstrate birth, but it seems a delayed birth certificate or baptism record would be preferable.

If the census data confirms no naturalization, your case may be at least as strong as your friend’s.

Also, the names of your ggf’s parents may be included on his death certificate.

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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by jennabet » 15 Sep 2018, 21:03

nicolep wrote:
15 Sep 2018, 00:14


Her maternal great grandfather was born in Italy, and married her American great grandmother (in America). He filed a declaration of intent to become a citizen but never actually finalized it (confirmed with USCIS) however, on the two census records after he emigrated, he is listed as "naturalized." This is obstacle number one. I think this one can be overcome with the documentation showing no record of citizenship was found in NARA or USCIS.

She has the records that show her maternal great grandfather was married to her great grandmother, that they are the parents of her maternal grandfather, that her maternal grandfather was married to her grandmother, that they are the parents of her mother and that her mother is, in fact, her mother.

But her next issue threw me for a loop and I actually don't know if it will be an issue. Her mother (American) was never married to her father (American). He is listed on her birth certificate but it is highly likely that the name he listed there isn't accurate. He was not a good man and she's had no relationship with him. She wouldn't even know where to begin to get his birth record. Since her claim to citizenship isn't actually through him....does she really need his birth record?

Actually it is less of a problem that your friend's parents weren't married and that she would not know where to find a copy of her father's birth certificate because she is not claiming through him and possibly he is not even Italian. However, the fact that her great-grandfather is listed as N (Naturalized) on two censi is a problem. Consulates instruct that if you come up empty and cannot produce naturalization papers but submit no record reports instead, the consulate will ask to see the census and will have a concern as to how and why he appeared as naturalized. If he answered the census himself, this will speak to his credibility and whether or not he has the kind of descendants that should be recognized as Italian citizens. Credibility is VERY important when it comes to matters of citizenship. For example, in the USA it is a CRIME for a person to claim to be an American citizen when he really is not and something like this would not and should not pass muster with any Italian consulate.

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Re: Missing Document Question

Post by mler » 15 Sep 2018, 21:20

Yes, your friend should understand that the “no record” letters and explanation would likely not be sufficient for the consulate. As I noted earlier, and as jennebet confirms, the census records are required to substantiate a no-naturalization claim.

Although the consulates are aware that the census is is subject to error, it is also information that is self reported, and, therefore carries significant weight.

Some applicants have reported that census records are not required for those who apply in Italy, but your friend should check with the various services that assist with this process to confirm.

In your case, if census records support your contention that your ggf never naturalized, you may actually have an easier case than your friend.

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