I decided I needed help with all the documentation required in my effort to become an Italian citizen. As I understood it, I needed the birth certificates of my grandfather, my mother, me, my sister and her boys. I also needed the naturalization paperwork of my grandfather to show he became a US citizen after my mom was born. (This date is extremely important. It shows he passed the Italian citizenship down to my mother; then through her to me and my sister, my sister to her boys). I also understood that I needed an apostille for all these documents, plus I have to have them translated from English to Italian.
What I needed to know was, “what else?”
I headed up to the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles to speak to a human. I know, I know, not my usual modus operandi, but after investigating as much as I could on the WWW, I wasn’t getting the answers that I needed.
Monday’s are my day off and with another gorgeous day, I headed, topless, into LA. I arrived at the Consulate, parked my car and headed to the third floor. I opened the door…and almost turned around.
There had to be 50 people in line ahead of me. Oddly, most were obviously not of Italian descent, and I wondered what they were doing there. I decided to stick it out, and went to Window 1, Information.
I explained to the man behind the window that I needed to speak to someone to get information about citizenship. He handed me a blue card with the number 10 on it, and told me “Someone will be with you at the back window.”
They had a track and field meet on the TV, so I watched that for a few minutes. Track and field can be mighty boring if you’re not actually competing in the event. Boring track meets made me venture around the office. I found a brochure for Italian TV and wondered if the track and field event was being broadcast on the Italian station. It was hard to tell with no sound. I checked out the brochure, and saw that TV Italia can be subscribed to through satellite or cable companies, but not every satellite or cable company. Unfortunately, my satellite company does not offer it.
Ten minutes after my arrival, a woman appeared at the window in the back and said “Number 10?” That’s me! Number 10 in only 10 minutes! Wahoo! It was then I noticed the others had green cards. These corresponded with the green “Visa” window which was not the blue window.
I explained my situation, and she clarified “what else?”
“What else?” turns out to be much more.
I need (if applicable) certificates of birth, death, and marriage of my grandparents, parents, siblings and nephews. I need them all to have apostilles attached, and have those documents translated into Italian. THEN I need to make an appointment with her to go through all the documents.
I wanted to give myself enough time to find all the documents, have them authorized, notarized, translated and approved, so I asked her when her first available appointment was.
“January 2008” she replied.
It seems I have plenty of time.