Documents Required for Italian Citizenship by Descent (Jure Sanguinis / Jus Soli & 1948 Case)

– [Narrator] This is the
Italian Citizenship Podcast hosted by Marco Permunian
and Rafael Di Furia. – Hello and welcome to
another edition of the Italian Citizenship Podcast presented by I’m Rafael Di Furia here
with Marco Permunian the head of the US office of
Italian Citizenship Assistance and an Italian attorney
and expert in the subject of Italian dual citizenship. And today we are going to
be going into a subject which we have referenced
in previous episodes and we wanted to dive a
little bit deeper into the documentation necessary for the Italian citizenship process. We will in this episode mostly be focusing on Italian citizenship by descent as we have already spoken about Italian citizenship by
naturalization through marriage in a previous episode. But let’s jump into this subject. If you had to pick one or
two very important documents, the most important pieces of the puzzle for someone to prove that
they are actually eligible, or not just eligible
for Italian citizenship but that they already may
be an Italian citizen. – If I had to pick the
most important document I’d say that probably that would be the Italian birth certificate of your Italian ancestor which you collect from the town of birth. So you actually have to get
that document from Italy in the town where your
Italian ancestor was born. Probably the second
most important document that you will need to apply for Italian citizenship by descent is probably the naturalization certificate of your Italian ancestor, or in general the naturalization records. Because the naturalization process was a multiple steps process so the naturalization records include several documents, more precisely the declaration of intention, the
petition for naturalization and the actual certificate
of naturalization. – So to go back to what we spoke about in a previous episode, the importance of showing your ancestor’s date of naturalization,
and you’re talking about those three steps to this process. When was it during this process that the Italian ancestor
would have automatically lost their Italian citizenship? – That is a question
that I’m asked very often like when did my Italian ancestor actually became naturalized and therefore when did he lose his Italian citizenship? And the answer to that question is, no matter when the declaration
of intention was filed, or the petition for naturalization done, your Italian ancestor lost
his Italian citizenship when he became an American citizen, which means when he took the oath, so at the very end of the
naturalization process. So it doesn’t matter if your ancestor filed a declaration of intention say prior to the birth of his child, it only matters when this naturalization process was concluded. – So just to clarify, an
example just a question. If your great grandfather had filed his petition in say 1918, but your grandfather wasn’t born until 1920 and then your great grandfather didn’t get his actual naturalization, didn’t actually make his oath and get his certificate of
naturalization until 1922. Then that would mean
that you would be safe because even though the petition was filed before the birth, because
the oath actually happened after the birth, you’re safe? – That is correct, and
just to add one more piece of information to that, the back of the petition normally lists the actually date of naturalization. So on the front you can see
when the petition was filed and on the back generally you see when the person was admitted
to become a citizen of the US. – Is there ever a situation where a person may have petitioned
for American citizenship but did not actually receive
American citizenship? – Yeah, I’ve had quite a few cases and that’s a pretty interesting question. Normally when the person was unable to get the American citizenship
the petition will say it. And the petition could have
been denied for several reasons because the person couldn’t speak English, that’s a pretty common reason. Or because he didn’t appear at the naturalization hearing or because he had committed a crime or another could be that the
person never followed through so they filed a declaration and never filed a petition so, the naturalization process
was never concluded. So while it’s not common,
it’s not unheard of. – So just to clarify, when you’re saying the Italian line you’re
meaning the line of descent directly from the last born
Italian ancestor, correct? – Yes. – So if you need all of
the documents of your direct line of ancestry back to Italy to show your connection, do you need any documents
that are kind of outside of that direct line, for example people who married into that line
like husbands and wives of your like, if you’re
going from great grandfather, grandfather to your father. Would you need any
documents from their wives? – That’s a good question
and the answer is sometimes. So there are some consulates
that will ask you to submit those documents
that you just mentioned. So the birth certificates
and the death certificates for the individuals
not in the Italian line but who married the people
in the Italian line. So for example if you are
applying for citizenship through your great grandfather and then your grandfather
and then your father and you, some consulates will require
that you submit documents also pertaining to your grandmother, great grandmother, your mother. It just really depends in the end on what consulate you
are applying through. – So assuming that each
one of these ancestors were married it’s not
just that they would need the marriage certificate in some cases, it would be also that they need sometimes those other persons vital documents. One thing though I have to say that’s always struck me as very strange is that even when an ancestor may
have been born in the 1800s for example, they still
want the death certificate. Like how would that person still be alive, I don’t understand why that for example, a document that’s so old, why do you need to prove
that person is dead? Why wouldn’t just their birth certificate, marriage certificate and really just naturalization papers why
wouldn’t that be enough? – All of the consulates in the US require, basically, death certificates. And like we said some
consulates will also require these extra birth and death certificates for the individuals not
in the Italian line. And I’m asked a lot of
times why that happens, like why do consulates
require these extra documents? And the answer I believe is that the consulates are very picky, so they want to cross
reference all the information on these different
documents to make sure that the birth certificates and
the marriage certificates which are basically the real key documents are really, that they
really pertain to your ancestors or to the individuals
in your Italian line. And that for example you’re
not bringing documents pertaining to other people that have nothing to do with your case. It would also seem to
be odd that consulates would require these extra documents. For example if we look at the “circolare” released by the Italian ministry in 1991. Basically it’s a clarification
to the citizenship law. It doesn’t make any
reference to the need to present death certificates for people applying for citizenship in Italy. I believe in the end the consulate, what the consulate wants
is to be extremely sure by cross referencing all
this information that the documents of birth and marriage that you’re presenting
really pertain to your ascendants and ancestor. – So, when you’re saying that
the consulates require this, do you find that this
is the same situation in an Italian comune or a municipality? – Oh no, the Italian municipality normally requires much less documents. Normally they are okay with just birth certificates and marriage records. Sometimes we advise our
clients to also bring death certificates when it makes sense when they are available. But if they are not available, the Italian municipality
at least in Rovigo, which is the municipality
that we use the most, they will be okay even
without those documents. – That’s very interesting,
I mean I have to say just living in Rovigo,
like there’s a lot of interesting pluses and it would seem that even applying for citizenship comes with it’s pluses as well. But what about something almost as bad as a death, a divorce? – If you are divorced
you also need to present your divorce records. And a question that I’m always asked is can I just present a divorce certificate? And the answer to that
question unfortunately is no. Like some counties in
the US will give you a divorce, a really nice divorce certificate which is not what you need to apply for citizenship by descent. What you need is the
full judgment of divorce because that document under Italian law will be recorded in Italy. Basically the Italian government when you apply for citizenship by descent needs to know whether
you’re single, married, divorced, and that’s
why if you’re divorced your divorce papers will
be recorded in Italy. – So you were mentioning that if the petitioner or applicant themselves has been divorced that
they would have to produce these documents for
the Italian government. But what if their parent
or grandparents have been divorced, would they need to also produce those documents
for the Italian government? – Yes, so if another
person in the Italian line was divorced you do have to present divorce records. Especially if, for example
your parents are divorced and you were born to your
father’s second marriage. In that case it would
be crucial to produce not only your father’s first marriage but also his divorce papers to prove that he was legally able to
remarry with your mother. – So I understand that a birth certificate would be important because it would show the lineage directly. But why is the marriage
document so important and why does it matter if you’re born from the first marriage
or the second marriage? – That’s a very good question, I’m asked that question a lot of times. Basically under Italian law, the father of the child is automatically presumed to be the person
married to the mother. So, when the child was
born within wedlock, then there is nothing else you have to prove regarding paternity. The child is presumed to
be the son or the daughter of the man married to the mother. But when there is no marriage then there is the problem
of proving paternity. – But what about in the situation where parents weren’t married,
it’s not that uncommon within the past couple generations that parents did have
children outside of wedlock. – When the couple was not married at the time of the birth of the child then you have to prove paternity. And you do that by
presenting other documents, normally an acknowledgement of paternity coming form the father. So the point here is that there needs to be if the
couple is not married, there needs to be a
declaration coming from the man acknowledging that that’s his child. The name of the father on
the birth certificate itself is not sufficient unless we can say the father signed the birth certificate. Then we can say that that’s
a statement coming from him. But in most cases the birth certificate was not signed by the parents and in those situations the only document that can prove paternity
is an acknowledgement of paternity coming
directly from the father. And this can be a separate
document drafted by the father or filled out by the father
at the time of the birth, or for example, and this is
a little bit more uncommon, the acknowledgement of paternity could be included in a will. – So just to clarify, the
acknowledgement of paternity and the knowledge of who that person is would only be important in the case where you are making a claim
through a male ancestor? Like your father, grandfather? – That’s correct, of
course if you are making a claim through a female,
so say your parents were not married at
the time of your birth, there is no acknowledgement of paternity, but you are going through your mother, like the Italian ancestor is
your mother’s grandfather. At that point it is no longer necessary to prove who is your father. So that becomes irrelevant
whether there is an acknowledgement of paternity, a marriage record or any of that. – And just kind of skipping
around a little bit, especially because we’re talking about when a couple may or may not be married and there would be different
last names in there just connecting that idea
just a step further than that. Going back to divorces,
what would be the situation because in America what’s
very common is that a woman will change her last name when she get married legally. But in Italy this is
definitely not the case, women in Italy do not
change their last names when they’re married
or really at any point, and name changes in general in
Italy are extremely uncommon. What would be the
situation of a person who even if they weren’t divorced, maybe for professional reasons. Maybe the person was an actor or for whatever other professional reason they might have wanted
to change their name. What would be the situation in that case? – So I’d say the situation
of a woman who changed last name because of the
marriage or multiple marriages, is a little bit different
than the person who just decided to change name for, as you said for example
professional reasons. It is very common in the US as we all know for women to get the
last name of the person that they marry which is something that doesn’t happen in Italy meaning in Italy you cannot take the last name of the person you are going to marry. And because of this different, difference in the Italian law and US law, the Italian government will grant Italian citizenship to a
woman with the name at birth. So, potentially you could
have an Italian passport with your name at birth and a US passport with your married name. Instead the situation
of a person just legally changing the name
regardless of the marriage is a little bit different. In those cases it is
possible and advisable to get your birth certificate amended based on the legal name change decree in order for you to
have a birth certificate with your current name and in those cases the Italian government would grant Italian citizenship with a
name on the birth certificate. – After a person has gathered all of the documents necessary, all
of the birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, potentially divorces and name changes. Is there anything that
goes along with that that a person would need to produce? Or can the applicant just
deliver the documents to the Italian government as is? – It is a little bit more
complicated than that of course. So the documents that
were not issued in Italy need to be apostilled. You need to have an apostille seal on each foreign document. This would be assuming that the country is a signatory of the Hague convention. So if the country where
the documents originated is part of this international
convention on apostilles, then all of your documents
will need to be apostilled. And the US is part of this convention. – And what exactly is
the apostille itself? – So the apostille is basically another document that is attached to a vital record document that proves that the documents is authentic. So what the office that
issues the apostille does is they have a registry
with all the signatures of the people who work for instance in the vital statistics offices. And when you give them a document that you want to be apostilled what they do is they will verify that the signature is authentic, and if it is they will just
attach another document which is called apostille which proves that the
document that you’re using is authentic and that it can be used in another country which
is also a signatory of the Hague convention like Italy. – So basically at it’s essence it’s just a certification of the certification? – Yes, and sometimes there are
intermediate certifications. So sometimes you cannot
apostille the document directly, you need to go to another office to obtain another certification which will allow you to obtain the final certification which is the apostille. – So you need the certification
to get the certification to get the final certificate (laughs) – Exactly. – But what about the
situation for countries that are not part of the Hague
convention on the apostille, like I believe Canada
is not a part of this. What would be the situation in that case? – Yes in those countries that are not part of the Hague convention, people still have to use the old method. So basically they have to have the Italian consulate certify that the documents originated
in the foreign country, such as Canada, are authentic. So basically you get the document from the Canadian authorities
and then you bring it to the Italian consulate in Canada, which will certify that
the document is authentic. But it’s not that easy because the Italian consulate doesn’t have, the Italian consulate
in Canada doesn’t have on file all of the
signatures of the officials who work at the vital
statistics offices in Canada. So in most cases it is
necessary to get the document and then get an intermediate, again authentication in Canada and then the Italian consulate can
certify the signature. So basically the difference
between a country that is part of the
convention on apostilles and a country that is not
part of that convention is that if the country is
part of the Hague convention then it will be an internal
authority of that country. The office that will be able to certify the authenticity of the document meaning to issue the apostille. And not only the documents
need certifications but they also need to be
translated into Italian because of course you are applying for Italian citizenship at
an Italian consulate where people speak Italian and can only process documents in Italian. So before you submit your final packet with all the documents, these documents will also need to be
translated into Italian. Of course only the documents that did not originate in Italy. – And do the translations need
any certification themselves? Or just a translation on it’s own is okay? – So when you’re applying
at the consulate, the day of the appointment the consulate will take care of certifying
your translations. So basically you go to
the, to your appointment with just regular translations. But if you are applying in Italy then the translations will need to be certified beforehand, before
you even apply for citizenship. And there are several ways of getting the translations certified. You can get them certified
in an Italian consulate, you can get them certified in Italy in an Italian court or, lately a lot of people have
been getting the translations certified in a different way. Basically it’s possible for a translator, a foreign based translator to go before a public notary. So for example a US public notary and just swear that the
translations are accurate and faithful and then
the notary certificate can be apostilled and
that will be sufficient for you to use your translated documents in Italy for an application in Italy. And this of course is something that we help our clients
with on a regular basis. So we not only help our
clients get all the documents and get the documents
authenticated and apostilled, but we also take care of
preparing the translations for our clients and when necessary getting the translations certified. – I think that’s an amazing
thing that you guys do because I think a lot of the things, everything that you guys do is amazing. Because when I went through my process I had to get the
certifications from one thing, the translations for another, it ended up being this huge headache. Yes it’s possible to do DIY but even in my own videos on YouTube I very highly recommend
working with someone who knows what they’re doing. Especially like Italian
Citizenship Assistance, because it can be time consuming to do and it can almost become
like a part time job or even a full time job
over the course of months and it’s such a headache. And to have someone there for you who knows what to do, where do get it and how that process goes. I mean I really have to commend you guys on what you’re doing
because it is really so valuable to be able to have someone there who understands this,
go through it with you. Anyway I think this may
actually be a good place to also leave this
video off for this week. And if you have any
questions about anything that we’ve spoken about in this video, or any other previous videos, or any other questions
completely unrelated, feel free to leave that
down in the comments section below here on YouTube. Or if you have a more private question that you would like potentially
answered in this podcast, you can of course contact
Italian Citizenship Assistance directly through their
email form on their website or through their Facebook page. So make sure you are
subscribed to this channel with the notification bell turned on. And if you could also
give this video a like that would also be very much appreciated. And for other updates
about what’s going on with Italian Citizenship
Assistance and these videos, you can go to the Italian
Citizenship Assistance Facebook page and thank
you again for joining us on another Wednesday for
another edition of the Italian Citizenship Podcast. I’m Rafael Di Furia here
with Marco Permunian thank you so much for joining us. – Thank you. – See you next time, later.

2 thoughts on “Documents Required for Italian Citizenship by Descent (Jure Sanguinis / Jus Soli & 1948 Case)”

  1. Can you please advise on the 1912 Rule? Is that an absolute deal-breaker or can you petition the courts? Situation is grandfather emigrated in 1899, had his son in 1909, became a US Citizen in 1910. Thank you!

  2. Good morning sirs! Does the Italian Citizenship Assistance offer a “Turnkey Service” in acquiring Italian Citizenship ? Please let me know as I would be interested in getting it done 🙂

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