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A simple explanation of the primary requirement for Italian citizenship is that your grandfather had to be born (anywhere in the world) to an Italian citizen.
If that birth occurred before 1948, that Italian citizen was male because women weren't considered citizens before that date. See http://www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it/Ambasciata_Washington/Menu/Informazioni_e_servizi/Servizi_consolari/Cittadinanza/ for more details.
While the law states that you can't quality if the children or grandchildren of your immigrant Italian citizen renounced their right to Italian citizenship, that was extremely rare because the minor children of a naturalized citizen also became citizens (even those born outside the US) on his or her application. Children born in the US who didn't return to Italy usually utilized their right to US citizenship (naturalization not required). Renouncing their right to Italian citizenship usually didn't happen unless they also became naturalized citizens. Since the naturalization of those children born in the US wasn't required, it rarely occurred.
We have assisted many clients in obtaining their Italian citizenship. The first step is to talk to your local Italian consulate to get their list of required documents.
The basic requirements include certified copies of the births and marriages from you to your immigrant in the US and official long extract forms for the birth and marriage (if applicable) of your immigrant ancestor in Italy. Also required is the naturalization record (if applicable) or letter from the INS (now USCIS) stating that naturalization never took place. Some consulate offices also require death records or passenger arrival records. All US documents need Apostile confirmation by the secretary of the state where the event occurred or the US State Department. All US documents need to be translated to Italian (a service we do not provide, but can make a referral). For more details about these records see http://travel.state.gov/about/info/customer/customer_312.html and www.state.gov/m/a/auth/c16921.htm.
There is a rumor that obtaining Italian citizenship endangers your US citizenship. This is only true if you actively renounce your US citizenship. See http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/dual_citizenship.html for more details. Since the 1986, the US has recognized dual citizenship rather than forcing immigrants to choose between their heritage and their new lives in the US.
To see some comments from clients, please see www.gentracer.com/references.html.
The fee for a basic family history research project in the Italian records is $200 - usually yields 6-9 documents and includes translations, research log, pedigree chart, and copies of documents.
Rates are payable in advance, payment can be made through the PayPal icon below:
Or, payment can be made by sending check or money order for $200.00 (US) to:
PO Box 11955
Salt Lake City, UT 84147
My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.
If you send the specific dates and place(s) of birth of your immigrant Italian ancestors, I can send you a more specific research proposal.
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask through the email link below. I look forward to hearing from you.
European Focus Photography - Includes many Italian towns, or order your own!
© Kathy Kirkpatrick 1997-2008