Hi friends, I know it’s been too long since my last post, and while I have a huge backlog of stuff (G’s visit, I saw Kesha in Vegas!, etc), something really big/exciting happened last week that I want to talk about.
My last post about Italian Citizenship was not a happy one. I think we all deal with bad news in different ways, like I said earlier mine is to immediately get sad and feel beaten, and then get angry and SUPER motivated. My already low amount of patience ceases to exist, and I go into research overdrive until I come up with a game plan. This time was a little more difficult, because it was so dependent on other people, but when I’m determined, I’m pretty unstoppable.
I made two appointments, one with a lawyer, and one with a full service company that doesn’t charge you until they’ve successfully gotten you dual citizenship (what a deal!). I spoke with the latter first, and we went over their various packages. One of which was to apply directly in Italy, which was really appealing minus the thousands and thousands of dollar price tag.
These guys were super thorough though, and I wish I could go back in time and talk to them before ever applying. I don’t think I would be in this position if I had–I could have applied through a totally different family line, which I did NOT know. However, by the time we talked it was, of course, too late.
I could start all over, but would probably run into the same issues (Anglicization of names), and Massachusetts, where all my vital records are from, does not allow such documents to be amended. I’d need a court order, which is exactly what I need now anyway. These guys wouldn’t take me on for the apply in Italy route, even if I could afford it, because I’m definitely not a sure thing, and they didn’t want to do all the work and end up with me rejected again and them not seeing a dime. Applying myself, or through another company, would be a risk, and an expensive one I don’t feel great about taking.
So after that convo I was fairly unhappy. All my good options seemed to have disappeared, and I was pretty much stuck. The lawyer couldn’t talk to me for another few weeks, and mostly I was left sit around and ponder how the consulate woman slept at night, being such a life ruiner.
What I need is a one and the same court order. Basically it takes all the differing, conflicting documents (Giovanni to John, incorrect birth dates, etc) and the court reviews them and orders that Giovanni born on December 10th is the same person as John born on December 11th. And that goes all the way down to me. In theory, a consulate can’t reject this, because it’s the highest certification the American government can give regarding our records. If it’s denied, the burden of proof falls on the Italian government to prove that I am not eligible, shifting from me having to prove I am.
This was stressful because I didn’t have any options when it came to hiring a lawyer, there was one woman with experience and basically no one else. (This is definitely an untapped market, lawyers looking for work!) She’s based in NY and again, all of my stuff is from MA, so we weren’t even sure she could represent me. However, we found out my great great grandparents arrived through Ellis Island, which should allow the NY courts to hear my case.
It’s all a bit scary, because there are no guarantees. What if they won’t hear my case? What if they deny me? What if the LA consulate STILL rejects me? What if it all comes to a really expensive nothing? Also WHY am I even doing it anymore, in the wake of the madness that is Brexit?! (The answer to that last one is for myself and my own European dreams, and not just for a relationship #girlpower.)
There are a lot of unknowns and it’s still really expensive (just under $2,000 total). But after quite a bit of research, I realized it was pretty much my only option, and one I’m really glad exists. Without this lawyer I’d be pretty much at a dead end.
So last week I signed the contract and officially hired her. The money was sent over and we are officially in business. The ball is rolling once more! My order should come through in the first week of September. Then it gets translated and sent off to the consulate, where I’m sure it’ll get stuck in months of purgatory, but maybe not because in theory all the work is taken out of it. I’ll have definitively proven a successful claim. Please, please cross your fingers for me. I so badly want to be on the other side of this, it’s hard to even put into words. But it feels AMAZING knowing it’s back in motion. Things are happening!