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Off topic: Advice about applying for Italian citizenship
Thread poster: Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:07
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
Jul 14, 2005

After living in Italy for 13 years I've finally decided to become an Italian citizen. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has already been through this process. I'm not sure how to obtain the following documents:
-my birth certificate translated and legalized by an Italian Embassy or Consulate in the U.S.
-my criminal record (or lack thereof!)translated and legalized by an Italian Embassy or Consulate in the U.S.

Has anyone had to do this? I've been researching things online and feel like I'm chasing my tail!

Thanks for any and all advice,


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Annie Fitzback  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
In bocca al lupo! Jul 14, 2005

I just went through this process, but I can't really help you out because I come from Canada. The only thing I can tell you is that you must get these documents (in my case, it even implied I had to go to Canada to get my fingerprints taken for the criminal record - italian authorities wouldn't do it for me), then you must have the documents legalized in the U.S. The translation must be certified IN ITALY (not abroad), and it must be done after the legalization. And don't forget that the criminal record is only valid for a three-months period.

Good luck!

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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:07
English to Dutch
+ ...
I don't have experience in becoming Italian Jul 14, 2005

but I did become a US citizen two years ago, while retaining my Dutch citizenship.

Documents had to be provided with an "apostille," an internationally recognized certification that the documents are really and truly what they say they are.

From my experiences with US bureaucracy, I would suggest you try to get all the documents and the certification during a trip back to the US. I'm sure it can be done by mail, but it would take much, much longer.

For example: getting a copy of my marriage certificate and an apostille by the Secretary of State of New York, I walked from the SoS office in New York's Wall Street area to the municipal building, to a Western Union office for a money order (they don't take cash, checks or credit cards), to another office in the municipal building for a signature, to the court house next door (for a signature certifying that the original signature was indeed an original signature) and back to the SoS office. Total time: about three hours.

Good luck.


PS. You know, don't you, that the US doesn't like dual citizenship, but allows it (check the Department of State Web site,

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Giovanna Graziani  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Member (2002)
German to Italian
+ ...
have a look at this Jul 15, 2005

This is the official page of our Ministry for Internal Affairs:

Good luck (and welcome to Italy)!

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record/certificate translations Jul 19, 2007

If you are in Italy the process may be a bit different, but when you want your statement of no criminal record (I had to do it when I needed a Slovak visa) I had to go to my local police station with a print out from the FBI website, just search them for something like obtaining your criminal record. I think it costs 18 dollars, then you send your fingerprints that the police station did on that paper along with the money and then they send back to you a confirmation of no record, or a record. As for translations, in USA the consulates/embassy have lists of approved translators and you must obtain translations from an approved translator of the embassy bearing all the right seals, you can ask your country's local consul in Italy for this, the same with the birth certificate. You will need a lot of documents for the citizenship, so get used to sending away for all of them and waiting a long time. The process can take a few years. There isn't a lot of help on-line. I suggest spending a lot of time at your consul/embassy and at the local foreign police. Your local prefettura should have a list of the documents you will need to obtain. Start there.

And may I ask what your visa process for Italy was like? And what kind you applied for/validity/the whole deal?

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