It is undeniable that the rising number of applicants and subsequent backlog of pending applications, combined with the delays caused by the Pandemic are the reasons why appointments for Italian Citizenship by Descent are quite difficult to find.
Italian Consulates should not be blamed, in fact several steps have been taken in the last 12 months to manage this growing demand:
- A new online booking system called [email protected] was launched in 2021: a more versatile, secure, easier to use system that is even equipped with a “wait list”. All Consulates here in the U.S. have adopted it except for Chicago.
NOTE: the old system called Prenota is still live and in fact those who are not registered, should sign up and search for cancellations which could become available up to approximately July 2023.
- More resources are being assigned to the citizenship offices of most Italian Consulates.
The good news is that in the last six months almost all Italian Consulates have reopened their calendar; some appointments are live, others are made available only once a month (i.e., Boston), but don’t be surprised if the earliest availability is around 2025.
Let’s not forget that putting together a document portfolio is a long process in itself; acquiring old documents from Italy and the U.S. is not easy especially when dealing with States such as New York. In addition, inconsistencies in name spellings and discrepancies in dates should be corrected, and amending records takes time.
Nonetheless, processing times at the Consulates are getting longer, and some calendars are already fully booked for the next three years and have been closed for the time being. In addition, in accordance with Art. 3 D.P.R. 362/1994, Italian Consulates have up to TWO (2) years to process an application and provide a response so many of you who have already submitted your application up to or even over two years ago, may still be waiting for a response from the Italian Consulate.
So, what should you do if you are stuck with no appointments available for the near future, or if you are still waiting for a response after submitting your application over two years ago?
You have the option to obtain Italian Citizenship by submitting a claim for citizenship before a judge in the Italian Courts. Recently there have been cases brought before the Court for “lack of appointments”; the Consulates’ failing to provide an appointment within a reasonable time can now be viewed as a “denial of justice”, a condition for fast-tracking the case in front of the judge who will ultimately grant Italian citizenship. This option does not require establishing residency in Italy.
Please note that to petition the Italian Courts, it is imperative to prove that the applicant cannot book an appointment at the Italian Consulate that has jurisdiction over the State where he or she resides:
- Screenshots of the page attesting the impossibility to book an appointment, taken every day for several weeks at different times, are required.
- If Consulates are not making available any new appointment within a reasonable timeframe, copies of their automated response stating the reason why they are not re-opening their calendar is required.
- There are also cases where your appointment was cancelled, and no substitute appointment was set and/or no other option was given (such as submitting the document portfolio by mail). This notification from the Italian Consulate sent by email can be presented to the Court as evidence.
These court proceedings are very similar to the 1948 Cases and the Involuntary Citizenship of Female Ancestors by virtue of marriage. The timeline from the moment the claim is filed in Court and the Final Judgement is issued may be between 16 and 24 months, but it is really based on the judge’s calendar. NOTE: This timeline does not include the time it takes for applicants to put together their entire document portfolio to be completed prior to filing the claim in the Court.
My Italian Family TOGETHER with Mazzeschi, our affiliate Law Firm in Italy, can assist you. During our years of collaboration, we have successfully helped many applicants like you, fulfilling their dream of becoming Italian Dual Citizens. We don’t just give advice, we handle all the purchasing and preparation of your entire portfolio of documents, whether you apply at an Italian Consulate here in the US or you apply in Italy (including 1948 Challenge Courts Cases & Denial of Justice). Our experience spans the past 20 years, and we have expert knowledge of what each Consulate requires, as well as what the Italian Courts require. TO GET STARTED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
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