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Citizenship question

 
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Aspasia



Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Citizenship question Reply with quote

I've just begun to research my mother's side of the family, which is all Italian (in the hopes that I might possibly be able to claim Italian citizenship, of course.)

Turns out that my great-great grandfather was the one that came from Italy to the US...now it's a question of timing: did he become naturalised before or after giving birth to my great-grandfather? Confused

Anyway, I saw this example, given to illustrate how Italian citizenship would or would not be passed on to children of immigrants, and something about it struck me as strange:

" Parents who became naturalized citizens of their new country BEFORE the birth of their children lost their Italian citizenship and COULD NOT pass citizenship on to them, while parents who became naturalized AFTER the birth of their children COULD pass citizenship on to them. For example, Achille Berto immigrated to the USA in 1895. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1919 and had a son David in 1921. Citizenship was not passed to David because Achille was an American citizen (naturalized in 1919) at the time of David's birth. Using another example, Massimo Meneghetti immigrated to the USA in 1912, had a daughter Eleanor in 1924 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1936. Citizenship WAS passed to Eleanor because Massimo was still an Italian citizen when she was born."

(from myitaliancitizenship.com)

Anyway, the time spans they use in the article seemed strange to me. Was it really common in years past for immigrants to come to the US but not be naturalised or become official citizens for another ten years or so? Would it really have been typical or likely for someone who immigrated in 1895 to not become naturalised until 1919 (I'm just using their example there.) ?

I always had the (perhaps erroneous?) idea that during the immigration tide in the late 1800's, immigrants were given citizenship straight off the boat upon arrival in the US.

Also, I was wondering about this timing issue because it says that when a parent came over and was naturalised, any children they brought with them would also have been naturalised by proxy (thus giving up their Italian citisenship rights along with their parents?). The idea of children coming over and being naturalised with their parents seems to indicate to me that immigrants were usually granted citizenship right away.

Can anyone explain whether this is accurate or not? How long did it usually take for an immigrant to become naturalised after they came to the US? Were they, at one time, really given citizenship right off the boat in the late 1800's/early 1900's?

gah. so many "what-if's"== so little chance for me. Crying or Very sad I'm trying not to get my hopes up about this whole thing, because if after all this research I find that my great-grandfather was born after his father was naturalised, I will be CRUSHED. And quite possibly more disappointed than I have ever been in my life thus far. Who am I kidding, my hopes are already up despite myself.

Evil or Very Mad

Anyway, I would be eternally grateful for any information you can give me about this.
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jnesta1



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 96
Location: Here and there

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Aspasia,

Youa re indeed incorrect in your assumption about people being naturalized right off teh boat. It was quite a lengthy process.

First, teh new immigrant had to ahve residence in teh county he applied in for at least a year prior to application. Then there was a variable waiting period after that before citizenship was granted. It's been a long time since I did this part of my genealogy, but memory says that 7 years was common. The amount of time varied somewhat depending on when the process was started because teh laws changed at least once during those heavy immigration years. I knwo in my family, great grandpa applied in 1896 nad naturalized in 1903. Since grandpa was born in 1902, this was good for me in dong what you are trying to do.

You really need to do your research on your family before you get your hopes too high or too low. But teh site you quoted is accurate. You can also get very detailed info from your local consulate, which you can find by googling it and including teh name of teh city or state where you livbe.

Best,

Jeff
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Aspasia



Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the information! That helps.

Yes, i'm doing as much research as I can; I've had some success digging up records so far...but it's pretty much useless to try and regulate my hopes either way. I simultaneously feel hopeful and hopeless; can't help it. Every time I uncover a document or piece of information, it's like a roller-coaster ride. (I'm a soprano; I'm allowed to be high-strung! Wink)

Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to reply.
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Gregorio



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Aspasia... just a heads up here. If you are seeking citizenship from your mother's side, YOUR mother needs to be born after 1948. Also, if the parents had children upon arrival in the United States and they petitioned for Naturalization, the children would also be naturalized during that process. It wasn't an immediate off the boat thing though. Usually, some type of resident or work permit was granted to the new immigrants right off the boat, but actual citizenship was a lengthy process.
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jnesta1



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 96
Location: Here and there

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Greg,

Your advice about the boat was identical to mine. I am glad you added teh piece about the maternal lineage though.

Nice to hear from you.

Jeff
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