Dual citizenship fail

Amanda and I were planning to go San Francisco tomorrow for a long weekend. I had actually scheduled this trip in August 2008.

No, this wasn’t because I had some crystal ball that told me that I’d meet Amanda and should take her on some romantic weekend trip in January 2010 (although that would have saved me from some bad dates in between).

I am the last generation eligible for dual citizenship, so I started the process back then to schedule a citizenship appointment with the Italian Consulate in San Francisco, and appointments were two years out from that time.

So here we are, two years later, and it’s game time. (Hopefully you follow that Back to the Future timeline.)

All I have to do is present these original documents:

- Italian grandparents’ birth certificates - Italian grandparents’ marriage certificate - Italian grandparents’ certificates of naturalization (US) - My Italian grandfathers’ death certificate - My parents’ birth certificates - My birth certificate

All of the American-issued documents are required to have an apostille (international certification) by the Secretary of State in the state in which they were issued.

Easy enough, right? NO.

First of all, originals are hard to come by when, say, the documents are decades old.

Fortunately, my Aunt Pam has most of these documents. Unfortunately, Aunt Pam lives in Greece. Fortunately, Aunt Pam is coming to Washington the day before our trip to California.

Unfortunately – and here’s the snag – my grandfather died in Palm Springs, California. I cannot get his death certificate to the Secretary of State in Sacramento to get the apostille before my appointment.

I am one document away from dual citizenship.

So, I cancelled the trip and rescheduled my appointment. I heard back from the consulate and am rescheduled for February 2012 – another two years.

Of course, it’s my fault that I didn’t get all of the paperwork together last year. I’m guessing that the Italian Consulate books citizenship appointments so far out specifically for this reason. Sometimes procrastination works. I don’t start studying for my finals on the first day of class, and while that works out for me at the UW, it didn’t here. Lesson learned.

I’m not in a particular hurry to get dual citizenship, but I think it will be a good resource in case I find some dream academic or work opportunity in the EU. Further, it’s probably a good idea to pass the opportunity on to future generation in case they want to have some extended study abroad opportunity or in case the American economy totally tanks.

Arrivederci, dual citizenship, for now.