Christina Italia?

Sorry I went so radio silent! A lot has happened these past few weeks, which luckily means I have a lot to catch up on. First, Gareth came!! And we went to Portland and Seattle and had super memorable (and vastly different) experiences at both. Then I heard back from Italy, which is what this post is going to be about. I also got promoted and and got another huge piece of news, but that one I’m keeping under wraps for a while longer.

So. Italy. Remember when I said I didn’t care what they said, if only I could hear back? Remember when I was innocent and oh so naive? Remember when I thought I’d be Italian by the end of May? … Do you see where this is going?
It happened in the saddest way too. It was my sister’s birthday. I got an email that basically said see the attached. It was the form you fill out to be registered on AIRE, where Italian citizens are registered. Getting on there means you are a citizen. Cut to me crying happy tears, on the phone with my mom feeling total joy. Feeling the world at my fingertips. THE WORLD WAS WIDE OPEN, you guys. Then I notice the second attachment. This one was all in Italian and was just a REALLY long list. A list of problems. Basically every document I have needs changing in some way. My dad used his middle name on his marriage license, but not on his birth certificate. This needs to be changed. My great, great grandfather changed his Italian name from Giovanni to John. Not okay. The list is long and overwhelming and seemingly full of doom. (It is also, to quote some friends who have also gotten their citizenship, unbelievable, vindictive, unwinnable, and pedantic.)

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Italy Rant

I’m going to rant a bit, so please bear with me. But I’ve still not heard anything about Italian citizenship. And not just me–the December peeps haven’t heard anything as well.

We know she got up to November, because she tried to retroactively reject someone who applied then (my biggest nightmare) because in the 1.5 years since his appointment he had moved from the jurisdiction. NEVER MIND that there’s no rule whatsoever that states that post application you must remain in the area for the indiscriminate amount of time it takes for them to finally process you. Ignoring that during this time they can have NO ONE working on the applications for MONTHS at a time. No, you stay put for a few years while we sort it out. Ugh. (This was eventually contested and overruled, thank god.)

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Italian Citizenship – The Beginning

I realized something kind of depressing today. Even though my citizenship appointment with the Italian consulate was at the beginning of December, because I didn’t mail in my Dad’s license until February, THAT is when I’ll be processed. Which is KIND of annoying because I was told this wasn’t the case, but it’s confirmed I’m in the with Feb crowd. Lame.

In better news, people from October are getting their passports, so progress is chugging along, and with the 2 week Christmas break in appointments, I’m really not THAT further back from where I was.

Also I went back through my saved list and found this. Oh how far we’ve come! I just need patience for this last leg of the journey.

I apologize for the terrible formatting here, I can’t find a way to edit it!

Goal:	Get my Italian citizenship
Title:	Untitled
Date:	2011-03-22T04:54:01Z
Body:	I've always wanted/needed/planned on becoming an EU citizen at some point. However my options were always really limited, short of grad school or tricking someone into marriage. My mother is eligible for Irish citizenship, and when helping her research the requirements I realized—I'm eligible for Italian citizenship! I've only started the process this weekend, but as of now I've emailed my great-great grandparents' comune in Italy asking for their records, emailed immigration about my gggrandfather's immigration status, and am going home this week to get my (living) family member's records.

I am VERY excited and VERY nervous something will come to light that will make me ineligible. For example there's someone with my gggrandfather's EXACT name who was born in London, not Italy, meaning no citizenship. It took me two days to discover they were born 20 years apart so THANK GOD are not the same person with two different birth records!

Italian Citizenship Update

The last time I posted about this, it was to say that the consulate was taking a crazy long time to process applications, and I was already month past when I was supposed to receive my passport.  In August of 2015 (THREE MONTHS) after I was supposed to hear back), someone contacted the consulate and realized something actually had gone wrong, and they had stopped processing EVERYTHING. This was definitely not ideal, and wasn’t fixed until January. However, someone called in and was told they have caught up a bit, and as of January 22nd were processing September of 2014–only two months before me!

As some time has passed I realize I’m getting closer and closer to it potentially being time to hear something. ANYTHING. And the more I realize this, the more impatient I get. It was hard knowing nothing was happening. But I knew NOTHING was happening, so it was frustrating but there was no impatience. No nerves. Now I’m terrified that the woman who was sent to replace the previous woman is going to retroactively reject my application. Also there haven’t been any updates since January 22nd! Some may say that’s only two and a half weeks, but I’d argue it’s felt more like two and a half YEARS. So I emailed in very broken, Google translated Italian asking for an update. I’d done this once before in English and never heard back, but I’m hoping the Italian will work in my favor. Also they have GOT to be close to processing me by now!

Fingers crossed it all goes quickly and smoothly from here on out. I’ve been working on this for years, and I am SO ready to be a member of the EU.

Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis

Back in 2011, I realized I qualified for Italian citizenship through my Italian heritage, or actually, according to Italian law, I already was a citizen, just an unrecognized one.

Cut to years of work and research tracking down all the necessary documentation. I actually found a distant relative who had done the same thing, and used a lot of his records and his online family tree. Thank you super distant relative Don!

I qualify through my great-great grandfather, Giovanni,  in a direct paternal line.


Handwritten registry of Giovanni’s Birth

To apply you need the birth, marriage, and death certificates from the ancestor you’re qualifying through, down to yourself. For me this meant the birth, marriage, and death certificates of my great-great grandparents, my great grandparents, my grandparents, my parents, and myself. Then you need them all translated into Italian, and then apostilled. You also need proof that your descendant naturalized in America AFTER the child you are next qualified through was born (meaning if my great-great grandfather naturalized, therefore renouncing his Italian citizenship, before my great grandfather was born, the line would be broken because Giovanni could not have passed down citizenship he didn’t have. Since his son would be an American citizen from birth and wouldn’t have to formally naturalize/renounce, he remained Italian). This took some time, but I finally got his USCIS paperwork and saw that he naturalized when he was nearly 70, well after my great-great grandfather was born.

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Giovanni was from a tiny comune, Vernasca, Italy

While doing all of this I was still living in Boston, and faced the terrifying prospect of having my appointment at the Italian consulate there. The man who reviews the applications there is known to be a total stickler, and these are old documents from the early twentieth century–literally no names or dates match from one document to the next.

Vernasca, Italy

Vernasca, Italy

I guess luckily, the project fell to the back burner off and on for a few years while I moved to LA and settled into life here. By the time I was ready for an appointment, it made far more sense to go through the Los Angeles consulate. There was a six month wait time before I could get an appointment (I checked and it was eight months in Boston). So I waited and when the day finally came I went in sure I’d be rejected for all of the discrepancies, and walked out accepted and with instructions to mail in a signed affidavit that said the names and dates all related to the correct people. Easy!

My appointment was in December of 2014, and I was told I’d probably have my passport by May, 2015. In May of 2015 I was told it would be another YEAR, and since then it seems like all progress has stopped. No one in Los Angeles has been recognized in a really, really long time. So that is discouraging. But I keep hope knowing my application is in. I’ve done all I can, now it’s just about being patient. My literal worst quality. Yay.