by Melinda Gallo

Moving forward with my Italian citizenship

While we were on vacation, my avvocato (lawyer) called me to tell me that even if I get a new visto, I will still have to wait for the decreto flussi (quota agreement) and hope that I can fit into the small number allocated to Americans. Last year's decreto flussi was already full, so I'll have to wait for this year's decreto flussi. No one really knows when they will come out although I did hear that possibly they will be announced this month.

I wasn't happy to hear from my avvocato and especially to receive bad news. So, my options are really only two: renew my existing permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) or convert it and hope to fit into the decreto flussi.

In the meantime, I thought I'd try to move my Italian citizenship forward since I heard that I already received the response to my FBI Identification Record Request back in the US. I expected it to take at least 4 months, but it came back in less than 4 weeks.

I went to the Tribunale di Firenze (Florence court) to obtain my certificato generale del casellario giudiziale (general certificate of court records). I had talked to a police officer at the door last month and she wouldn't give me any information even though a few things were written on the wall next to the window.

She told me to return in the morning to get all the information. I had to purchase a marca da bollo (revenue stamp) for 14,62 Euros at the tabaccheria (tobacco shop). When I arrived in front of the sportello (window), the man said that I needed another marca da bollo to expedite the process.

A Moroccan girl was next to me when we found out that we both needed to buy another marca da bollo, so we walked to the tabaccheria across the street together. We talked a little bit about what she was doing in Italy and if she liked it. Her response to me was, "Diciamo di sì (Let's say yes)." I was a little surprised, but once she gets her carta di soggiorno (stay card), she'll be able to go anywhere in Italy and be a little freer. Her sister is married to an Italian, which is why she came, but I'm not sure what her plans are after she gets her carta di soggiorno.

We walked back to the Tribunale di Firenze, filled out the modulo (form), and handed them in with our passports. We were both told to sit down and within about 10 minutes we were asked to come back to pick up the letter that said that no record was found.

I was so happy with how quickly I received the certificato generale del casellario giudiziale, so I decided to go to the comune (town hall) to get my certificato storico di residenza (residency certificate that specifies where I've lived in Florence).

The line at the anagrafe (registry office) was much longer. I had to wait at least a half an hour before it was my turn to sit in front of a man at his desk and tell him what I needed. I had bought an additional marca da bollo, but he told me that I didn't need it. I decided to also get a certificato di stato di famiglia (family status certificate) while I was there. He took my 29,24 Euros and I walked out with my two certificati.

I was happy to be one step closer to filing for my Italian citizenship. I'm far from ready to file since I still have to send my translated FBI Identification Record Request and certificato di nascita (birth certificate) to the Italian Consulate in the US to get approved and sent back to me here in Italy. I am hoping there's an easier method to get the translations approved in Italy, but I won't know until I call them again.

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