My Italian Heritage always played an important role in my life from the way I was brought up to the way I valued family in my life. I wanted to apply for my Italian Dual Citizenship to solidify those feelings and allow me to live, study and work in Italy and other EU countries without the need of a Visa. This was a great opportunity for me and for my future family members.
I decided to apply for Italian Dual Citizenship through my maternal great-grandfather. He was originally from Roccella Valdemone near Messina in Sicily and migrated to the US in 1912 where he settled in Albany, NY. Fortunately, he became a naturalized US citizen in 1927, AFTER the birth of my maternal grandfather who was born in the US in 1924.
To begin the application process, I gathered all of the Italian and US documents including the certified Naturalization Records; the US vital records had to be Apostilled and translated to Italian. The only real hurdle I faced was getting a “court order” to obtain several documents from NY State. You will most definitely need an attorney for this part, and My Italian Family can recommend several that are easy and affordable to work with.
So here I was on a bright and sunny morning in late August walking to the Italian Consulate in Houston armed with what I thought was a complete application. As it turns out, the official at the Consulate asked for additional documentation including:
1) filling out a Form 4 for every relative in between myself and my ascendant (in my case my great grandfather). I signed all of these in the presence of the citizenship official
2) getting an Apostille for the Naturalization paperwork (usually Naturalization records don’t need to be apostilled) AND
3) filling out the AIRE (Anagrafe per I Residenti Italiani all’Estero or Census for all Italian citizens residing abroad) form
They also took copies of my US Driver’s License and US Passport, which aren't listed as requirements, but ended up being part of the process. It took me two additional visits, so finally on the third visit my application was accepted by the Italian Consulate in Houston!
The Italian Consulate will be sending my documents to the comune of Roccella Valdemone and approximately in three months, I will hear back from the Consulate with my acceptance. At that time, I should be able to apply for an Italian passport. It’s still very difficult to get an appointment with the Houston Consulate, so you need to be persistent. What I found out is that they are extremely helpful, as long as you do your part.
It has been a long journey, but well worth it. Whether you do it alone or with the help of My Italian Family, it’s best to get started right away.
A special THANK YOU to Charlie F. W. who kindly offered to share his personal experience in dealing with the Italian Consulate in Houston with all of us. Congratulations Charlie!