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.