We often receive this question: “Will the Italian Consulate return the original documents to me?” The answer is “they do not”, in fact all Consulates will keep your original documents in your permanent file.
Action steps: you can order two copies of each document, but of course that doubles your cost. Our suggestion is to keep scanned copies of everything: Italian Vital Records, Naturalization Papers, Certified US Vital Records, Apostilles, Translations to Italian as well as the application forms you and your living ascendant will fill out in preparation for your meeting.
REMEMBER: all Vital Records have to be issued in the “long form”. This means the following:
- Italian vital records need to list the parents’ names and all “side notations” (“Estratto per Riassunto”, not “Certificato”)
- US vital records (birth, marriage and death records) should be the photocopy of the original document (death records need to list the cause of death) and have to be certified by the local county clerk (unless issued by the State) in order to be Apostilled.
- Divorce records are a little tricky since each court is different; the Italian Consulate will require not just the divorce decree but also a “Certificate of no-appeal”. Both documents will need to be Apostilled and translated to Italian. Sometimes, the translation is required to be Apostilled.
Check with the Italian Consulate that has jurisdiction over the state where you reside to understand whether they also require spousal documents or not; most of them do not. Some Consulates require spousal documents that can be photocopies of genealogical versions (not certified) without Apostille or translation to Italian.
NOTE: If multiple family members are applying at the same Italian Consulate, they can share the same document portfolio. Although family members can share the same portfolio, most Consulates usually require that each family member presents photocopies of the shared documents.
They say “the devil is in the detail”, how true… Need assistance? We can help you from “Start-to-Finish” or you can pick and choose a specific service from our “A’ la Carte” Menu. Let’s talk! Call us at 1-888-472-0171 to SCHEDULE A TELEPHONE with us!
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