he knowledge that my paperwork gathering is done and now I am onto the second part of this process - applying - is a relief. I was not sure this was ever going to happen. I have a call with the owner of the agency in which he says all that is left is for them to put together the application, translate the documents, and find a placewhere I can apply. Yay!
Of course, this is the beginning of July – he states that they will be working on everything in the next few weeks but nothing will happen in August. Apparently Italy closes during August. The entire country. For the entire month. So likely it will be September. And how much lead-time do I need to make the trip to Italy. He says that likely it will be the early part of September when I can start this process. He also explained how the procedure works in the time of COVID-19. Also, it seems that there is some change in the way the clerks work through the application.
The process used to be a two-week “back-to-your-roots” vacation in Italy where you present your application and do all the items that are needed in the two weeks before returning home and waiting the remainder of the time (usually about 6 months but can be longer). Now, the process requires a minimum of 45 days stay up to 60 days (!) in Italy. This is very different than before and not necessarily something I wanted to hear. The thought of uprooting my life for 2 months is discouraging.
Why so long you ask? Well, one of the ways the clerks have changed the way they are working through these applications is the check-in. To establish your claim of citizenship in Italy (that is applying in Italy), there is the idea that you are going to live in Italy, therefore, there is an obligation to check on your residency within 45 days of your citizenship application. It is also explained that there are lots of action in the first 2 weeks of the stay and the last two weeks – including the procurement of IDs, a 6-month lease on an apartment, the submission of the application, and a health card application.
August slowly passes as I make pseudo-plans and try to keep loose ends tied up. Another phone conference with italyMONDO! at the end of August brings some not-so-good news. Over the (vacation) month of August, the clerk in the town in which I am to apply for my citizenship (my historical hometown) is getting cold feet. There will be another meeting with the clerk to determine what his issue might be and to assuage his fears. And the waiting continues…