Mar 192012

Here are some pictures from my trip to the Detroit consulate. The consulate is in the Buhl building in downtown Detroit on the 18th floor. An old building. A fairly standard office. But a great experience.

Buhl Building

outside the Buhl Building

on the 18th floor

the hallway to the consulate

Consolato D'Italiano

Feb 202012

Today I emailed the Italian Consulate in Detroit asking, (1) What the process is for making an appointment? and (2) How far out appointments are being scheduled? We'll see what they say.

Here are some links to relevant sites:

Italian Consulate in Detroit

Italian Consulate in Detroit's Citizenship page

Citizenship Criteria from the Italian Interior Minister

Citizenship Information from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The consulate is located in the Buhl Building, 535 Griswold, Detroit, Michigan, Telephone: (313) 963-8560.

Update 20 Feb 2012

Quick response back telling me that I could have an appointment on March 19 or March 29. That was too close for me since I needed to get translations and I still need to get my grandparents' marriage certificate. But it was cool to know that they had appointments so close out.

I also found an interesting suggestion about going to the consulate even if you think you might have things to amend:

I tend to prefer waiting for the consulate's guidance in such matters, at least before investing too much effort and expense. The consular officer is the person who needs to be satisfied, so his/her views are controlling. Also, if you have to go back to try to re-amend a record it's at least embarrassing.

I also have a hypothesis that some officers want applicants to overcome at least one obstacle — that there's sort of an informal "obstacle quota." So if you're going to have to jump through a hoop or two anyway, why take the easiest hoops off the table before your first appointment? That's just a hypothesis about human nature, though.

Update 21 Feb 2012

Both the consulate and posts online confirm that there is no need to bring my children to the consulate appointment. The consulate did say to bring their passports however. 

Now I'm just waiting to hear if my translator can get the translations finished before 19 March. If so, I will try to take the 19 March appointment, assuming it's still open.

Update 21 Feb 2012

My translator said that she could get the translations to me between the 10th and 15th of March. So I emailed the consulate asking if they still had the 19 March 2012 at 11am appointment slot open. If they do, I'm taking it.

Feb 162012

Once I get my grandparents' marriage certificate, I will need to get documents translated into Italian. In an earlier post, I listed approved translators and the estimated cost. Today I'm checking out the Italian Citizenship Message Board to confirm what does and does not need to be translated.

This page has a number of things that others needed to have translated:

Basically, it's variable. Everything from all documents to no documents. Summarizing, at a minimum all BC, MC, and DC in the direct line, including mine and my children's, need to be translated. It might be easiest just to have everything translated I suppose.

I emailed someone who went through Detroit to see what they needed to have translated for their application. This is their response:

My initial appointment was at the end of August 2011. I went in with all my direct line documents translated and apostilled. My line is GGF GF F Me, so I had a lot of documents. Needless to say all of documents were from NY and NJ. I was given back my BC MC and my children's BCs to have authenticated. All the other documents were accepted as is. The DC were not even looked at nor retained by the consulate. I probably did not need them. I had the documents authenticated and returned them in mid November. Two months later I had my acceptance letter. I also just received my BC from my commune.

I can only say good things about my experience in Detroit, they are very reasonable and understanding.

I followed up by asking what forms this person had apostilled and translated. They said they only did that for their direct line:

By direct line I mean the male descendants in my case. It would be the same for you. Do not Apostille or translate your mother or GM or GGM. You will need spouse only if she is applying with you ( married prior to 1983). You will need minor children if that applies.

So for me, that means getting the following translated:

– GGF marriage certificate
– GGF death certificate
– GF birth certificate
– GF marriage certificate
– GF death certificate
– F birth certificate
– F marriage certificate
– my birth certificate
– my marriage certificate
– my children's birth certificates

So at the cost of $50 per document, that means about $500 or so plus shipping.

But here's another response that I got regarding translations (for Detroit):

Detroit does have a list of translators but they do not require you to use it. I think the same holds true for the other consulates that post lists of translators. If you use one of the "required" translators you will be less likely to have an issue with them rejecting your translations. If you do your own translations you run the risk of rejection and posibly more delays. I translated my documents with the help of the templates here and my limited knowledge of Italian. They were accepted for authentication by NY and Newark.

Oct 252011

I originally emailed the Italian Consulate in Detroit a couple of weeks ago. Today I got a response. They sent me two information packets:

To be of Not to Be An Italian Citizen? That is the Question

Determination of Italian Citizenship (Jure sanguinis)

The one new piece of information is that all of my documentation, if issued in other States, must be presented to this office, duly certified by the Consulate in the jurisdiction where the certificates were issued. It notes: Vital statistics certificates (birth, marriage, death, etc.) that occurred in the United States of America in relation to Italian citizens must be registered at the City Halls in Italy. The registration will be processed by the Consular Offices. In order to do so the certificates must be submitted to the Consular Office that has jurisdiction over the State in which the events occurred, in certified copies issued by the competent County Clerk Office and legalized with the “Apostille”. Simple photocopies or certified copies issued by the local registrar are not valid for registration in Italy.

Oct 072011

Emails to the Italian embassy in Washington and consulates in Detroit and Chicago went unanswered for nearly two weeks. I finally called the consulate in Detroit, which is the consulate for Tennessee. I had to call during the one hour during the day that they accept citizenship calls. In order to get questions answered about dual citizenship, they tell me I have to call a telephone number that charges per minute:

I call. The timer starts immediately after I enter my credit card. I figure about 10 minutes on hold. Someone picks up. I wanted to know if Detroit had its own dual citizenship checklist list other consulates do. They don't. I wanted to know if they have a list of approved translators. They don't. I want to know what the procedure is for getting an appointment at the consulate. You just call the same phone number. I want to confirm that my children can get citizenship at the same time I do. They can. 

I get my questions answered in about 4-5 minutes. Plus the 10 minutes on hold.

I figure about $30 in phone charges.

Update (12 Oct 2011)

After paying to get my questions only partially answered, I discovered the Italian Citizenship Message Board:

Just about any question you might have about Italian dual citizenship is probably answered here.