The Differences Between Applying for Italian Citizenship in Italy vs. the Local Italian Consulate
APPLYING IN ITALY VS. YOUR LOCAL ITALIAN CONSULATE
If you determine you are eligible to apply for an Italian citizenship ‘jure sanguinis’ (by descent), you need to decide where you’ll apply. If you chose to apply at your local Italian consulate, you will fall under a consular jurisdiction in which you are legally obligated to apply at your local Italian consulate that has jurisdiction over your legal residence. Or you can go straight to the source and apply at our office in Italy. But what’s the difference?
For those that are eligible, the wait time can be several months to several years for the next available appointment at your local Italian consulate due to the popularity of applying for Italian citizenship through ancestry.
The rush of people applying for Italian citizenship in the US has caused two things:
The USA consulates to get very backed up as far as appointment wait times. Currently next available appointments in the US range from 6 months to 4 years out depending on the consulate you are using.
The USA consulates to become very strict with the documentation requirements and the applications they accept
As you do not have a choice of where to apply in the USA, as you fall under a consular jurisdiction that you are legally required to abide by, it helps to look at the benefits for applying for Italian citizenship at an Italian consulate in the USA compared to applying in Italy.
Benefits of Applying for Italian Citizenship at Your Local Italian Consulate
One of the biggest benefits is that you can communicate in English or your native language spoken in the country that you’re applying from. This can make the process much easier for you, especially if you do not speak Italian.
Additionally, you do not need to establish a residency in Italy. You can go about your daily life while the process takes place in your local consulate. It’s a great option if you have kids as it won’t be necessary to move them to Italy to get your Italian citizenship and uproot them from school/life routine.
While these things always involve paperwork, when you apply at your nearest Italian consulate, you submit your application and supporting documents all at once in-person. You most likely won’t need to visit the consulate on multiple occasions. In Italy, you would be required to attend several appointments with the Italian authorities present.
Regarding the application documents, you most likely will not be required to obtain certifications on your translated documents. The Italian consulates in the US will most likely accept Italian translations even if they were not certified by a professional.
Additionally, the consulate might be the best place for you if you have a complex case or unusual circumstances. Examples include documents where three countries were involved or if you are located outside of the USA. The consulate will have more experience in this regard and can understand the unique details relating to your case.
Benefits of Applying for Italian Citizenship in Italy
If you have the luxury of applying in Italy directly, you will find the process is more expedited. You’ll also be able to do away with the wait time, at least for the initial appointment. This could save you months to years (depending on where you live) as most major municipalities don’t require appointments. You can simply walk in and start the process without the need for the long wait times the US is currently experiencing.
When you apply for your Italian citizenship in Italy, you will be required to produce less documents when compared to applying in the USA. An example of this is when the consulate requires you to supply non-direct family member documents in your case. The Italian municipalities demand less documents and are a little less strict regarding translations and certifications.
After you apply in Italy, you can stay there as long as the process takes. No Schengen restrictions will be imposed on you. That means you can start enjoying the Italian life before receiving your citizenship. So, you don’t have to wait for that first appointment and you get to start enjoying the benefits of being Italian almost immediately.
You can head to Italy immediately and get in touch with your ancestral land. It’s a great idea, especially if you are planning to move to Italy or other parts of Europe. It certainly keeps your options open.