I thought I was all done writing about getting Italian citizenship on this blog. But of course I’m not, because even though I did most of the work for the rest of the Familia, who are lucky Italians-by-birth, to get their Italian passports, I don’t have a single Italian ancestor. I know this because for Mormons genealogy is a religious imperative, and members of my family have been tracing our roots back to the Middle Ages since before I was born.
I have been meaning to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage for at least eight years, but since it’s a mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy, I have so far successfully put it off. When we moved to the Netherlands almost two years ago, I realised that although I am legally allowed to live and work here as the spouse of an EU citizen, there was (surprise, surprise) considerable red tape involved. At which point I made a personal goal to successfully apply for Italian citizenship before my five year residency permit expires. Life being what it is, that goal fell by the wayside until certain recent political events in the faraway country that is currently my only country of citizenship caused me to recall how much I desire to live abroad forever. Which brings me to the alarmingly fast approaching deadline of December 2, 2020, upon which date my residency permit in the Netherlands expires.
So here I am, with another list of documents to acquire from various foreign governments. Could life be any more exciting? According to the Italian consulate in The Hague, these are the documents I need (in an gloriously unedited Google translation):
1. filling out and sending the online application for Italian citizenship: https://cittadinanza.dlci.interno.it; (I haven’t yet taken a look at this form, but I imagine it will probably be the easiest item on this list, since it won’t require multiple government seals and translation).
2. extract from the birth certificate including all pertinent data * / **; (President Obama and I know from previous experience that the long-form version is preferred)
3. criminal record of the country of origin and of any other country of residence * / **. In the Netherlands you can not get the criminal record, so it is necessary to submit the statement of the Dutch conducted with Apostille (verklaring omtrent van het gedrag voorzien Apostillestempel), issued by the Dutch municipality * / **; (This was always the most stressful thought to me. We’ll go ahead and interpret this narrowly to include only countries in which I’ve spent a reasonably long period of time actually reflected in my current passport; so only three: the US, the Netherlands, and Italy. The Italian consulate here can help me with the second two, and I know how to do the first one, so I think this may actually be doable. Much better than going back further and trying to convince, say, the otherwise occupied government of Syria to issue me a criminal record report).
4. Full marriage certificate, issued by the Italian City of recording or transfer; (easy. Just a self-addressed, stamped envelope and request mailed to the little town in Italy where this whole saga began)
5. identification document (passport); (have that down)
6. receipt of € 200,00 *** of the contribution; (of course)
7. family status (gezinsuittreksel met alle gezinsleden), issued by the Dutch municipality. (I’m assuming this shouldn’t be a problem either)
You know what, I’m already feeling better just putting this on (virtual) paper. Maybe this won’t be so bad. Of course, where they get you is the small print and the postscripts and asterisks and little rules and regulations.
The documentation must be of recent date, not older than six months.
Which means that I need to figure out which documents take the longest and request those first. Apparently the winner is the FBI report, which takes 12-14 weeks to process. Hopefully there will be no hangup with anything else, which would cause everything to go out of date, and force me to start the entire process over again. Heaven forbid.
* The acts referred to in items 2) and 3) must be legalized by the Italian consular training in this country or an Apostille (apostille), subject to the exemptions provided by the States party to international conventions.
Ah, Apostilles. Have I told you how much I love getting Apostilles? That extraneous extra gold seal that makes any official government document look twice as official and delights the sensibilities of bureaucrats working for countries governed by Napoleonic bureaucracies. Getting one from abroad involves requesting the official document in question, then somehow conveying it to the office of either the governor or the Secretary of State (depending on if it’s a state or federal document), and paying an extra fee for that governing body to certify that the document is genuine. Several of my close family members have been pressed into service on these sorts of errands.
** The acts referred to in items 2) and 3) must also be duly translated into Italian by a certified translator, also the signature of the translator must be legalized by the competent Italian consular or Apostille (apostille).
I am not even sure what this means. Probably that I will need to take my Italian translator to the Italian consulate with me (hopefully the Italian consulate here, and not the one in the US) and pay another fee for the consulate to legalise his or her signature. Because the document must be legalised, but the translation must also be legalised. In practice, this means that a one-page document turns into a four page document, so festooned with seals and signatures and flowery language that on first glance it looks like it must be nothing lower in importance than a treaty signalling the end of some terrible war.
The term for the settlement of the purchase process of Italian citizenship, as provided for in Articles 2 and 4 of the Law of 7 August 1990 n.241 (DPR April 18, 1994, 362), is 730 days from the date of final acceptance of the application.
Yes. You read that correctly. The Italian government has 730 days to weigh the merits of my application. Which means that I’d better get this thing in at least two years before my residency permit expires, or I will have to do the whole Dutch bureaucracy thing to renew my residency permit too.
All of this may or may not play into my belief that a single world government, whether democratic, despotic, or alien-controlled, is really not a bad idea at all.
Let the fun begin!