ballot

Pictured above is definitive proof that my application for dual citizenship has been processed and granted. I got a strange package over the weekend from the Italian Consulate. I ripped it open, expecting to see my passport application. Instead, a bunch of documents written in Italian and two strange cards, one red, one blue. My poor Italian skills aside, I was able to figure out exactly what they were: election ballots for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the two houses of the Italian parliament.

I still have not received any confirmation of my citizenship, so I thought that my application was still pending. However, it’s a fair assumption that if I can vote for parliament, then I’m probably already considered a full-fledged Italian citizen. A quick email today to the consulate confirmed it. So I’m proud to announce that after spending hundreds of dollars and almost three years, today, I’m recognized as a dual citizen. It’s absolutely an enormous accomplishment that I never thought I’d obtain.

There is one last, final step. I need to go to Philadelphia one more time to apply for my passport in person. To do so, I’ll need the following things (per the consular website):

  • Application form
  • Two recent photographs (2″x 2”) in color or black and white, frontal view with light background signed horizontally, or vertically
  • Alien Registration card or notarized photocopy of the same or valid USA visa
  • Money order, cash or cashier’s check, for $50.40 for each year of taxes I want to pay (minimum 1 year) plus $53.15 for the cost of the new passport booklet
  • Expired passport; self-addressed pre-paid envelope for the return of the passports (expired and new)

It’s pretty clear that this list was made for a natural Italian citizen who already held a Italian passport. I wrote an email to the consulate and they confirmed that “If you received the certificato elettorale that means that you are fully registered.” So I guess the plan will be to take my current US passport, and all of the rest of the list I can compile, and go on one final road trip.

For those of you following this blog in pursuit of your own citizenship, I found it surprising that I got the election ballots before any formal confirmation of citizenship. I had my original citizenship appointment back in July, so it took seven months to get any sort of notification back. Some online accounts of this process suggest that applicants received notice in the form of a passport application and an AIRE application. Others seem to be where I’m at, just waiting. I can’t offer much advice other than to call your consulate and Italian commune for verification. I still wouldn’t be surprised that in the next few weeks, I get a formal envelope confirming citizenship, so who knows?

I started this journey back in December 2009. Valerie suggested it as a means to get to London with her, and it seemed like a groovy idea. But at the time, I had no idea how long and arduous the road would be. I’ve had documents modified, certified, verified and clarified for years. So now, who knows where I’ll go? I still think London is my second (to Pittsburgh) favorite city in the world, so when grad school is over, maybe I’ll keep that idea on the table. Maybe I’ll buy a house in Italy when I retire. Maybe I’ll stay at Siemens and work in Germany for a few years. The only thing I do know is that I am now empowered with many more options than I had a few years ago, and I’m excited to see where the journey leads.

I’ll have a few more posts as I go through the motions to get my actual passport, but in the mean time, I consider myself proudly an Italian citizen and I’m really glad I’ve captured all of the stages on the blog, both for its own anecdotal value and for anyone out there who needs a little guidance on how to do the process themselves.

Total costs so far: $735.04