Tuesday, June 18, 2013

An Italian intermezzo

Consulate Generale d'Italia citizenship request interview | *sparklingly | "An Italian intermezzo"
{  Consulate Generale d'Italia a New York  |  18 June 2013  }

After some depressing revelations plus a fluster-filled trip to the bank last week, I'm happy to say the long-awaited, much-feared morning of my appointment at the Italian consulate has come and gone and I am done. D.O.N.E.

First though, you need to hear about that bank trip.

Despite not having a key document (at least the technically not-expired-one) yet, we decided to just act like we had everything we needed and go to our appointment at the Consulate Generale d'Italia a New York this morning as planned. To do that though, we needed to complete a wire transfer to the Minister of the Interior in Italy for my application.

So last week I went to my bank with instructions (printed from the Italian Consulate's website) and hand them over to the banker to get the money on its way. She informs me that the information I've given her is missing an address, which is required for foreign transfers. Luckily I had 10 minutes before the Italian Consulate's phone line closed (they're only open for 90 minutes a day—obviously), so I quickly call and explain the situation and asked for the address to include in the transfer.

The woman says:
"No one has ever needed an address, so I do not know why you decide to need one."

I relay this to the banker, who says she absolutely cannot send money abroad without an address, to which the Italian woman says in all seriousness:
"All the information you need is on the website, I cannot offer you any more advice than I already have, so if your banker requires something extra, I suggest you to change banks."

Awesome. So helpful. Mille grazie.

After hanging up I did some furious Googling while the banker taps her pen on the desk and found the address on the Consulate General d'Italia a Melbourne's website—thank you, Australia!—so I was able to leave with my receipt showing that yes, I did send a few hundred dollars to the Minister of the Interior in Italy for my citizenship request.

This morning I woke up completely nauseous, as I was 100% sure they'd deny my documents—either the one that was older than three months or some other one for a silly reason. Once we arrived at the Consulate (see the picture I snapped this morning, isn't it pretty?) with all my newly re-issued, doubly-paid-for, generously notarized and Apostille'd documents + stack of filled-out forms + hefty wire transfer receipt, I calmed down a teensy bit. Especially after I realized it's almost exactly 8 years to the day from when I first met R, so there's got to be some luck in that, right?

Turns out our case reviewer was the same woman who I spoke with on the phone! While I was a little annoyed with her last week, she turned out to be quite sweet and understanding. And, except for one tiny little snafu (the Italian document we have that certifies our marriage is registered in R's city hall is only a "certificate" instead of the long-form registration), all our documents were accepted!

We did have to pay another sizable fee (which was not mentioned anywhere else, of course), but we left with the promise that we'd receive a case number via email in a day or two and that the Italian government says the maximum waiting period to receive citizenship is 730 days (two years)! So, I have no idea why the woman we met last week is still waiting, but I'm holding them to their promise!

Technically we still have to get the longer (proper) form certifying our marriage is registered in Italy to have as backup just in case our abbreviated version doesn't suffice, but I'm just going to go ahead and declare that I am done! DONE!

If we move, it's easy enough to transfer our case (so they say), so sometime in the next two years, regardless of where I am, I'll get an email that asks me to come to my local consulate to swear my oath to Italy.

Best part of all this? No exam! (You actually don't even have to speak Italian, which put our case reviewer into a huff when she told us, and understandably so). For American citizenship, you have to pass a written and oral English exam AND take a test on American history, politics and laws! (I may have forgotten to mention, but we got a letter last week that R's American citizenship interview and exam is scheduled for next month, so he's studying and things are just rolling along nicely now!).

So, there you have it, my long-winded story to get to this point and now I shall make like an Italian and enjoy my much-deserved intermezzo. Whew!


  1. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Let us know when to meet you in Italy;) (And super pretty building).

    1. Serious yayyyyy!

      A lot of the consulates are clustered in that area——and lots of them are pretty——but the Italian one is definitely the prettiest :).


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