My Road to Italian Citizenship!
Many of you moms may be interested in citizenship here in Italy…or have maybe thought of it. The benefits are not having to travel everywhere with your passport while your out and about in Europe and the whole voting thing…if you think it’s worth it. A common misconception…which I had too…is that you have to give up your U.S. citizenship…this is wrong and hasn’t been the case since 1989. You can have dual. I thought I would share with all of you my experience, even though this is just one story and the process may have changed already.
Step 1: I married an Italian—
Step 2: I had to obtain a permesso di soggiorno, which I had previously as a student, but had to get a new one when I married. This was quite complicated as they had just changed to the application at the post office! They lost my papers and I spend at least 3 days camped out at the new Questura trying to get my permesso. Finally my husband lost it and he got my permesso that day.
Step 3: Registering at the comune. I had to go to my local Quartiere and register as a legal alien living in Florence. I also got my carta d’identita at this point in time, which wasn’t really valid for anything other than proving that I was living in Florence.
Step 4: Registering for residence. I had to wait 6 months after my registration and then I applied to be a resident of Florence.
Step 5: Wait 2 years. After I had been a resident in Italy for 2 years, well a little bit before, I started collecting all of my necessary documents from the USA. I even had a fingerprint card made up so the FBI could do a background check. Most of the documents were time sensitive, so I had to be punctual. I also started collecting documents from Italy that I needed.
Step 6: Make an appointment with the Prefettura: I made an appointment with the prefettura, on the phone—but I had to go to the actual office to get the phone number. He was pretty efficient. I was super pregnant and he took pity on me so the interview was fairly short. I don’t think he wanted to see me go into labor in his office anyway 😀 He stamped my paperwork and gave me an electronic tracking sheet that I could track online…it always said processing.
Step 7: Wait another 2-2.5 years: Just after Matteo turned 2 they called me and said my appointment would be in August at the prefettura …
Step 8: Make sure all of your documents are valid. While waiting I forgot to renew my Permesso. So I had to go through that nightmare yet again!
Step 9:Go to your appointment at the Prefettura. You will have to bring your approved paperwork to the comune.
Step 10: Go to the commune and give them your paperwork. This was one of the more difficult things as they were quite unfriendly. I had to have my husband rush me some paperwork there just so I could turn in my paperwork that day.
Step 11: Wait again for your letter from the comune. I waited a little over a month for the letter calling me into the commune for my swearing in.
Step 12: Go the appointment. They will ask you again for repeated paperwork which you will have to bring in…including your carta d’identità…which was useful only in this instance! They will put on a sash with the tricolors…and read you some things to which you will have to swear…and then you sign.
Step 13: Wait a couple of days and then go and get your new carta d’identità: So, after a couple of days I went and got my new Italian identity card that said I was an Italian citizen…which now I can actually use for something!
Step 14: Turn in your old permesso di soggiorno at the Questura.
I AM NOW A CITIZEN!!!