If you’ve been waiting endlessly for an appointment at an Italian Consulate to submit your application for Citizenship, stop! Because everything is about to change.
There are many benefits to claiming your rightful Italian Citizenship, and having an Italian passport not only gives you the freedom to live in Italy easily, but it also opens the door to the entire European Union. There is no denying that it can take years to collect, legalize, and assemble your documents to prove that you’re Italian but the most frustrating part isn’t the documentation at all, but getting an appointment to simply submit your documents is taking years!
Why is getting an appointment so difficult?
Well, it has always been a waiting game, where pre-pandemic most people had to wait a year or more for their appointment. Let’s face it, there are thousands of people who want to claim their citizenship, so the wait is long.
But now, since many Consulates closed for months during the Pandemic, old appointments were canceled and with the constant flow of new applicants, Consulates are overloaded, and the waits are even longer. In some cases, there are simply no appointments available or the Prenota system (the online appointment booking system) is closed, which goes against Art. 3 D.P.R. 362/1994, which says that Italian Consulates have up to two (2) years to process an application.
Let’s clarify what this means.
The Consulate has up to two years to “process” your application from the date that they receive it. It doesn’t say they must allow you to apply within that time frame, but rather to process your application once you’ve submitted it.
Easy to understand, right? Two years to review and confirm a completed application should be plenty of time.
But what if you can’t even get an appointment to submit your application for review? How can the two-year law requirement protect you, when you can’t get your application in front of them in the first place? How can you win the race if you can’t even get out of the starting gate?
The good news is there is a way. A new way, well, sort of as it’s a tweak from another process and it’s called the “no appointment” petition.
There have been recent court rulings in Rome that agree that by not being able to get an appointment, or by having to wait for over two years to get one is the same as a “denial of justice” which is a condition for fast-tracking the case in front of the judge who will ultimately grant Italian citizenship here in Italy.
What this means to you is, there is a potential opportunity to bring your case in front of the Court in your ancestor’s jurisdiction instead of waiting endlessly for an appointment at your Consulate.
This is significant because until now, the only way you could bring your case to the Court of your ancestor’s jurisdiction was if you were following a 1948 Rule or, you had already submitted your application to the Consulate, and they never replied after two years.
If you have been struggling with getting an appointment, faced with the no green slots available, open calendars booked for three + years, or they’re simply not even accepting appointments (at the time of writing this New York is the latter) you now have options, but you need proof.
You can only petition the court in Italy for a “no appointment” case if you can prove that you were not able to book an appointment at the Italian Consulate in your jurisdiction. This is important. The designated Consulate will depend on where you live. If your residential address points to San Francisco (who are taking appointments) you cannot petition because you couldn’t get an appointment in New York.
You must be able to prove you could not get an appointment in the Consulate of your jurisdiction.
And if you are saying WHOO HOOO! That’s me! Take my case to court Samantha! Hang on, because here’s what evidence you need to support your petition. To prove that you have a no–appointment case based on a denial of justice, you will need to do these three things:
- Take a screenshot every day of the closed or blocked calendar. Take them at different times for a minimum of 4 weeks.
- Take photos of notices on doors of closed Consulates or screenshots of closed Prenota systems. Make sure they show the date and time.
- Save emails of canceled appointments if they do not provide you with a new appointment or and alternate option.
We need to see at least a month’s worth of trying to book an appointment to file a no-appointment case in Italy” Says Avv. Arturo Grasso, our lead Citizenship lawyer based in Rome.
When asked what the likelihood of success was, he was quite positive.
“Well, there is precedent in the Courts now that agree that the Consulates must provide the availability for Italian citizens to apply for their citizenship within the legal time frame. We do not know for certain how the Courts will continue to behave based on the Pandemic being a factor, but all indications are that this is an excellent, and faster way to claim your citizenship directly by a judge in Rome.”
How long does it take?
The procedure is very similar to a 1948 case (petitioning the unconstitutional law where a female ancestor lost her right to pass on her citizenship due to marriage) in that the time frame can be between 12 – 24 months from the time the case is filed in the court of Rome. “Yes, there is still time to wait, but it can be earlier depending on the Judge’s calendar. We recently had a 1948 case that only took a few months, although that was an anomaly, it is possible,” adds Avv. Grasso.
Yes, applying through a no-appointment case can still take up to two years from the time the case is filed in court, but after those two years, you are finished! Through a Consulate, you can wait two years for an appointment and then up to another two years for a decision, that is if your application is correct and you haven’t received any “homework”. It isn’t fast, but nothing is in Italy.”
During our years of helping people claim their Italian Citizenship, this is one of the most exciting decisions to date. This is because for many people, there is now another option on how to apply for your citizenship and, that may be more beneficial in the long run.
For example, if you have a court case, you can include all petitioners that fall under the same family line, so your adult children and grandchildren can all be included in the same petition, compared to applying separately, so long as they are within the same jurisdiction. What this means is that in one decision, everyone in the family can be granted citizenship, and you don’t have to be here in Italy in person. All you need is an Italian lawyer that is an expert in this matter to represent you throughout the process by way of a power of attorney.
There is more to this than just getting your citizenship faster for one person, but for everyone in the line. By using the no-appointment option, your road to Italian Citizenship and all the benefits that await is closer than you think.
So, what are you waiting for? If you think your case qualifies for a no-appointment petition let us know and let us help you fulfill your and your family’s dream of becoming a Dual Italian Citizen.
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