Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chasing Down Consulate Officers

Walking into the pizzeria, happily being able to wear my suede boots that I bought in Italy last summer, donned with my Max Mara sunglasses (yes, a friend of mine and I splurged in Firenze in '07), I spotted her. She's my acquaintance hailing from the island of Sardegna. We'll call her A* for anonymity purposes. When I told my former Italian teacher where my acquaintance is from, she was rather surprised. My guess is that it's not common for sardi to leave their native land?

Upon seeing me, her face lit up, and she quickly came from behind the counter. She and her husband (named G* in my post) have been running the pizzeria for quite some time. Their story is very interesting. She is sarda, and he is Italian-American. Her entire family lives in Sardegna, and he has four brothers who currently live in Italy. While he was on a trip to Italy, they met, fell in love and were married. Before they married, they were in a long distance relationship though. At the time, it was quite difficult for them to be in touch. Her family home had no telephone, and she had to use a public phone down the street. A* said they spoke at least once a month, as calls were expensive at that time. No folks, Skype did not exist. What makes their story even more interesting came after their children were born and grown up. When her daughter went on vacation to Italy, she met her husband as well, in Puglia.

A* currently holds dual citizenship, and come February, she and G* will be applying for dual citizenship through marriage for him. We discussed affidavits (a process used to amend a record), the difficulties of making appointments with the consulate, and the drama that encircles the Italian bureaucratic system. When it came down to contacting them, she said the only thing you could do was send a barrage of e-mails. From both of our experiences, e-mailing was the best line of communication, as they now definitely do not answer phone calls. As of August, the consulate removed all extension numbers to each department. It was just too bad that I had misplaced the extension number I had before they took them down.

As requirements are different between here and Italy, I wanted to see if she knew or knew of anyone who knew about the process. I have yet to be haunted by nightmares of an "incomplete application" or some such thing, but it is certainly one of my greatest fears. What about the affidavits? Nope, she did not know anything about that either. G* did face a problem as his last name is spelled incorrectly. His brothers' last name is different from his in this way. She would not know until they had their appointment in February.

My only option was to e-mail the consulate (again) to see if I could have an appointment with someone just to go over the papers. Grrr! On numerous occasions, I had sent countless e-mails asking the same thing before I was to leave for Italy, and of course, received no reply. Perhaps the barrage effect will come handy this time. We'll see what the consulate says..... if they reply.


  1. You're still trying to get your paperwork squared away? I feel for you!

  2. Yes, unfortunately I am, only because the process differs from applying in Italy as opposed to here. In Italy, I would not need death certificates. I e-mailed the comune, and was told I only need birth and marriage certificates from the Italian side. Here they want (at least at the consulate in NJ) they want birth, marriage and death from BOTH sides.

    I am not sure if I needed affidavits for over there, and contacting the consulate to look over my papers before I was supposed to leave, resulted in no response. For some reason, they were less responsive to me after I told them I was applying here. They asked, "why?" I said, "well I'm moving there and the process is much shorter over there." My guess is my answer was offensive. haha!

    Hopefully they will allow me to meet with them before my appointment in August. I am trying to remain positive.

    Thank you for your support!

  3. correction: *after I told them I wasn't applying here. (That was before I knew I would not be leaving.)