Tag Archives: Waiting

Jus Sanguinis: Don’t Ever Ask If It Can Get Any Worse…

A yin yang of information has come my way.
In a yin yang, there is a big, white section with a small black dot and a big black section with a small white dot, right? Well:

The dark side:

Concerning the matter of how long it’d take for my bisnonno to reapply for citizenship, I realized I could obtain the information in two different ways.
1. Order an ILL (inter-library loan) book with relevant information, and wait an undetermined length of time for it to arrive.
2. Ask a librarian.

As a librarian, I knew which of these options would be easier, and that is obviously the second option, especially knowing that USCIS does have a library.

So, I found the library’s website, and sure enough, they have an online reference service. Here is a partial text of the reply I received:

It was not all that uncommon for immigrants to let their declarations lapse or “spoil.” Many filed the Declaration or “first paper” with no or little intent to follow-up, but for other reasons related to employment, or is some states, voting. Once the first declaration had spoiled, your great-grandfather would have been required to file a new declaration. He would not have needed to wait an additional 5-years of residency (unless he had broken his U.S. residency) but he would have been required to wait the mandatory 2-years that was required between filing a declaration and filing a petition or “second papers.”

Of course. Of course it’d be only two years.

I am guessing, but I’m relatively certain my bisnonno didn’t break residency, as he had a job and a very large family to take care of, so this trail could end anywhere. In some circumstances, a bit of uncertainty can be exciting or even comforting, but I’m finding this a bit frustrating. There’s a reason why I don’t often gamble.

The white dot:

I don’t know if I’m eligible or not.

The light side:

I received a card in the mail box saying ‘Sorry we missed you,’ and it was in reference to a certified letter from Italy. This was yesterday.

The black dot:

1. I was home the entire day yesterday, and the obstinate mail person (for some reason) refuses to walk up to my house with any kind of letter or package. This has happened before, and I’m not sure why. My porch doesn’t smell, I’ve never been mean to her, we’ve never had an altercation…my mom believes that it has to do with the fact that my driveway is half paved, half dirt, and the dirt part is a bit muddy. But come on…the saying is something like ‘snow, sleet, rain, or hail,’ right? I’d believe mud is a few steps down from all of those. Besides, she COULD avoid the mud by walking on the grass. I mean, really, for fuck’s sake.
I called the post office and asked why I’m not allowed to receive certified letters, and the man who answered the phone said he’d ask the carrier, and if she hadn’t left yet, he’d send my letter along with her. Whatever it is, it’d be good to know so I may have the opportunity to remedy this situation. If I have to buy gravel for the driveway, so be it, but just bring me my fucking mail, please!
2. The letter could say anything…it could be a letter saying that they couldn’t find the birth certificate. Who knows?

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Notorized

This is a bit on the late side, but I finally got the birth certificate applications notarized by my mom. If you go to your bank, it’s typically a free service they offer, so we did that last Thursday, and was able to send them on Friday.

Funny thing, though:

As I was stuffing the envelope with the applications, I could smell something…bad. It smelled like pee…old pee. I frantically sniffed around my dining room, trying to find where the smell was originating from because…no. Then I paused for a moment and looked down at the envelope.

Sniff

‘Oh my God…’

I took the applications out of the envelope and sniffed the notary’s stamp.

‘UGH! That’s disgusting!’

Yup. The stamp was definitely the source of the smell.

Those poor sons of bitches at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should be in for quite the out-of-tune symphony of fragrance upon opening that envelope, granted it gets there.

And that’s right: Absolutely freaking nothing has been delivered to me as of today…oh, bureaucracy.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: The Well-Traveled Letter

Three letters made it to the mailbox yesterday:
1. My parents’ marriage certificate request (signed by my mother with her photo identification, the return address being hers, but the money order signed by me);
2. My grandparents’ marriage certificate request (signed by me with my photo identification, the return address being mine, and the money order signed by me);
3. My bisnonno’s birth certificate request.

I drove to the post office to send the letters because honestly, I was paranoid that something stupid would happen if it sat in the mailbox in front of my house for a full 24 hours, and I was not having that. First, I popped the grandparents’ certificate request, then the parents’ certificate request, and when I came to my bisnonno’s birth certificate request, I gave the envelope a kiss before I sent it on its long journey.

I did learn something, though…something important about stamps.

The commune where my bisnonno was born requested a self addressed, stamped envelope. Not being all that seasoned of an international mailer, I figured I’d just need the equivalent postage cost of American stamps.

I was wrong.

American stamps are worthless outside of the American post. I’d basically done the equivalent of flush three stamps down the toilet.

Deeerp.

Like a champ, I’d researched this after I’d sealed the envelope. So, I carefully opened the envelope, took out the self addressed, stamped envelope, and made a new one without stamps. I happened to find two 10 euro notes in my safe, and chose to send one of those in lieu of useless American stamps. I stuffed both the euro note and the new self addressed envelope into the commune’s envelope and taped it closed.

I have four more missions at this point:

1. Get my mother to notarize the three birth certificate requests and
2. send them. Then,
3. get the court order for my grandfather’s birth certificate and
4. send away to get that one, as well.

I did call my good friend’s lawyer mother; she answered and told me that she was driving and couldn’t talk, but she’d call me when she got home. This was Thursday. I still have not received a call back.

And I still haven’t received anything from USCIS.

Stay tuned.

Jus Sanguinis: Anything Can Happen

I officially began my jus sanguinis campaign on March 2nd, and let’s just say…it’s been interesting.

When I begin to research something of this nature (meaning, something highly complicated and bureaucratic), I check sources of ALL kinds: The companies who want you to pay them for things you could do on your own, the forums for people doing the same thing or who have done the same thing, AND official government websites. When sorting through all of these resources, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out. So, the first thing I did after digging through all of the information was figure out what documents I absolutely needed.

This sounds like a simple enough task, but haha, you’d be surprised at how incredibly difficult is it, especially when the Italian consulate you need to submit your materials to does NOT have a list of what you need in order to apply on their website. This, I learned, is paramount. It does not matter what other consulates require…it only matters what YOUR consulate requires. If I had followed what random people on forums or the websites who you pay to do the research and acquisitions FOR you said, I would’ve paid for at least six more documents (apostilled and translated, not to mention the court order cost) than I needed. I don’t know about you, but even entertaining the notion of a consulate official waving a dismissive hand at documents I didn’t need after going through THAT much to get them makes me want to scream. Save yourself the time, frustration, and money and check with your consulate first.

Something else I learned is that Italian government entities may move slowly. Being completely unable to obtain the official list of required documents from my consulate (I am under the jurisdiction of the Detroit consulate), I decided to email them, despite the fact that I’d read most emails are completely ignored.
My email was sent on March 2nd; I received a reply on March 13th, so not too bad!

If you, too, are under the jurisdiction of the Detroit consulate, I’ll make it easy for you:

Determination of Italian Citizenship (jure sanguinis)

So, basically, they’re only interested in the naturalization records or lack thereof and the birth and marriage certificates of the direct descendants of the Italian citizen, it seems. This is in stark contrast to what I’d read about needing EVERY birth, death, and marriage certificate from EVERY parental person between my great-grandfather and me.

Ok, so since the list has been in my possession, I’ve become confident about knowing what materials I need. I felt that the appropriate next step was to figure out what documents will take the most time to acquire, and go after them first. Here is my best guess, from slowest to fastest:
1. Great-grandfather’s Italian birth certificate
2. Proof of record non-existence from USCIS
3. Court order for birth certificates [Let me explain at a later date!]
4. Great-grandfather and great-grandmother’s marriage certificate
5. Grandma and Grandpa’s marriage certificate/Mom and dad’s marriage certificate
6. Birth certificates for Mom/brother/me

I knew from the get-go that I’d need all of these documents, so on March 2nd, I started on 1 and 2.

Great-Grandfather DeMasi’s Birth Certificate
I’m fortunate enough to know a native Italian person who was willing to help me, so I asked him to contact the teeny-tiny Southern Italian village (or commune) my family is from. To my amazement, the commune responded to my friend quite quickly; he emailed on March 12th and received a reply on March 14th. When he emailed, he included my great-grandfather’s parents’ names and the date of birth from his naturalization petition (do try to include this information, as well, if you are trying to acquire a birth certificate).
The commune stated that they did find a certificate for Bisnonno DeMasi with all information being accurate except his birth date, which was 11 days off from the birth date he had reported on his naturalization petition. [Bisnonno is Italian for great-grandfather, by the way!] Oh, my…he really was absolutely inept at dates, wasn’t he?
The commune said that they’d need my full name (first, middle, last), birth date, place of birth…all of the same information of all of the relatives I have tracing back to my bisnonno, a copy of my photo identification, a statement saying why I want the birth certificate, a stamped envelope to send it to me IF they can find it, AND 20 days for research. And yes, I found it strange that they’d need 20 days when they said that they knew they had it.
I have typed a response letter in English, put it in Google Translate, then sent it to my friend to have it edited; he has edited it and sent it back, but my fucking printer is jammed up, so I can’t print and send it yet. I had to buy a damn claw grabber on Amazon so that I might be able to pull the two tiny pieces of stuck paper out.

Proof of Record Non-existence
This step was MUCH easier.
The concept is that if a person never naturalized, there should be no record of their naturalization. So, if my bisnonno did, in fact, rage quit the process of naturalizing, there should be nothing there, but you need the USCIS to attest to this.
It was relatively easy to send away for proof. Go here: http://www.uscis.gov/uscis-tags/unassigned/faq/how-do-i-get-certification-non-existence-record-or-no-naturalization-record-deceased-immigrant
Then type up a letter using their instructions and send it off to the address.
I sent my letter on the night of March 3rd and have yet to receive a response.

Stay tuned.