I’m just about ready. I have all of my documents, finally, and translations are beginning.
I’m doing my best to avoid a horror story at the consulate…
After doing some more research on other people’s experience with the Philadelphia consulate, I’m growing more and more concerned about some small discrepancies with my application. Specifically, the spelling of some first names.
For example, all documents referring to my grandmother list her name as Joan Marie, however her birth certificate inconveniently spells her name Giovannina. In the analog world of the 1920’s, this didn’t make much of a difference in document processing, but today, this will certainly get me rejected from the consulate and sent home to re-do my paperwork.
So I’m entering a whole new step of this process that I didn’t anticipate. I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on how every time I think I’ve achieved a milestone on my road to dual citizenship, something like this always seems to crop up and frustrate me. We are approaching the one-year anniversary of when I started this process. Ugh.
List of document discrepancies:
- Joan’s (GM) Birth Certificate lists her first name as Giovannina.
- Salvatore (GGF) is called Samuel on his death certificate, as well as Joan’s Marriage Cert/Application.
- Rosa (GGM) is called Rose on her death certificate, as well as Joan’s Marriage Cert/Application.
- Williams (GF) birthday is incorrect on both the Marriage Cert and Application. (Family lore suggests that he reported his age incorrectly on purpose in order to join the army a year earlier)
There are only 5 documents that are inconsistent, so I’m going to try to get these sorted out before I get my translations. So here is a brief synopsis of the process: I started out with a Monday morning call to my old friends, the West Virginia Health and Human Resources’ Vital Statistics office. I spoke to a woman by the name of Cindy that told me that of the four WV documents requiring corrections, some would be easier than others.
Joan’s Birth Certificate (WV): This is the easiest document to correct since Joan is still living. All the change required is a notarized affidavit (Cindy sent me a template) to be complete by my grandmother. It will also require another state-certified document at least 5 years old with the correct information. Since I’ve made state-certified documents essentially my profession in the past year, this is plenty easy.
Sam’s Death Certificate (WV): The consulate has informed me in an email that a notarized affidavit, attesting that anglicized names are present on the death certificate, is all that I’ll need. On this one, the consulate has been flexible, but I will definitely bring print-outs of emails for verification, just in case I get an unfriendly case officer.
Joan and Bill’s Marriage Cert/Application (WV): Here, we have entered the age old battle of county vs. state. This is a recurring theme in my pursuit of documents where both entities are under the full assumption that the other entity is responsible for my request. After calling around for hours and hours, it was finally decided that I needed to bring Joan in person to the Mineral County Court House to process the change.
One I arrived it was pretty easy. I just told them exactly what I needed, had my grandmother sign on the dotted line, and it ended up being a fairly simple affair.
POINTER: The office had a notary public on site for free, so there was no need to pay for a visit somewhere else to get the birth certificate affidavit notarized. Use your resources, people.
So with that, friends, I believe I have all that I need to present my petition for dual citizenship. It’s a big day for me, nearly 3 years in to the process.
Good news, a friend of a friend has backed out of this process, and has willingly given their appointment at the consulate to me. So now, racing on a compressed timeline, my appointment for citizenship is July 10, 2012. A quick trip to Philadelphia and hopefully I will have done what I needed to process my application.
Today, I handed over all of my documents to my translator Audra DeFalco for a quotation and I anticipate no problems getting ready for the appointment.
Cost for this step: (travel costs not included)
- Joan’s Birth Certificate: $4.95 (flat rate shipping postage)
- Sam’s Death Certificate: $0.44 postage
- Marriage Certs: $3.50 (Marriage App) + $5.00 (Marriage Cert)
Total Cost So Far: $361.11