I've had a bit of a secret for the past year, and thought I'd share it with you; for the past 11 months I've been working on seeing whether I qualified for Italian (dual) citizenship. Some European countries allow you to apply for dual citizenship if you have a grandparent or parent who was born in the country, and you are able to present the right documentation. And the US recognizes dual citizenship with many countries.
In January, with all my documentation in hand I arrived at the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles, a bit nervous, but determined.
My 10 minute interview concluded with the consulate saying I would hear in 8 months. On Thursday, I received an e-mail confirming my citizenship, as well as our children's' citizenship. In reality, I thought this would take much longer, and wasn't even sure that it would be approved, but now that is has been approved, I'm very excited.
This will give our children the right to live and work in the EU, without having to go through work permit and other red tape drills; and the right to Italian citizenship will go through to their children.
With the world now being flat, I considered it important to give our children this gift. In researching my family, I found my grandparents birth and marriage certificates, my parents marriage license, and a host of other documents that I would not have found, had I not pursued this. What's in it for me?
An Italian Passport! This means that when we enter Italy or the EU, we can stay for as long as we like, without having to prove that we will not be a burden on the Italian system. With Dr. C. planning retirement next year, we hope to go to Italy and live for a while, and this passport will help us move from country to country without having to apply for extensions to our 3 month tourist stay.
this website was helpful and they did a great job of getting the documents I needed, as well as translating the US documents. True confession, I did look into Irish citizenship, but it wouldn't be transferred to our children and finding my grandmothers' actual name and birth record took almost as long as it did to get the Italian citizenship!