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consolato_chicago

FAQ

 

FAQ

Please click on the desired topic to get further information:

GENERAL INFORMATION

What are the Office hours and when is it open to the public?
The Office is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Visa Office is open to the public on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
During the weekend messages are monitored to guarantee immediate response in case of EMERGENCIES. Emergency refers to Italian citizens who are residents or tourists, in case of arrest and detention (even when temporary, while in transit in airports), of serious car accidents, of medical emergency, in case of loss of travel documents in close proximity of a departure or reentry in Italy (+1 312 909-0304).

Why is it complicated to speak with someone from the Consulate over the phone?
The Consulate has a very limited staff. Employees are asked to either assist the public during open hours or to handle paperwork. If they were to also directly take phone calls from the public, your own application for passport, assistance, citizenship and the like would not make any progress. We kindly ask you to send an email over making a phone call.

CITIZENSHIP

I married an Italian citizen. Am I entitled to Italian citizenship?
If your marriage was celebrated before April 26 1983, the foreign wife automatically acquired the husband's Italian citizenship. In case of marriages celebrated after April 26 1983, either a husband or wife may acquire Italian citizenship after six months of marriage if the couple resides in Italy and after three years if they reside abroad. In both cases this documented naturalization application should be submitted.
It is a case of NATURALIZATION APPLICATION that can be filed, also from abroad, by a foreign citizen who married an Italian citizen, supplying the necessary documents provided by the Law. This naturalization is conferred by the Ministry of the Interior in Rome about two years after the necessary documents were forwarded.
The spouse can submit this application only after the marriage has been registered in Italy (please click here).

I became an American Citizen before August 16, 1992. Can I regain my Italian citizenship?
For those who became American citizens, the deadline for presenting the delcaration of reacquisition of citizenship to the Consulate passed on December 31, 1997. However, it is possible to reacquire Italian citizenship via a period of residency in Italy lasting one year o by other means. For futher information, consult this form or contact the Citizenship Office.

I became an American citizen after August 16, 1992. Did I lose my Italian citizenship?
No. You can send the Consulate a copy of the certificate of naturalization.

I was born in the US but I have a direct Italian ancestor. Am I entitled to dual citizenship?
Yes, if your ancestor remained an Italian citizen. If he acquired American citizenship, making a petition at the Consulate is necessary in order to verify citizenship.
Those who were born before 1948 may obtain Italian citizenship only through paternal direct ancestors (please visit the citizenship page under Consular Services).

My father was an Italian citizen at the time of my birth and I have never renounced my Italian citizenship. Can I reacquire Italian citizenship?
Yes. The following documentation is required:

  • your father's birth certificate;
  • your parents' marriage certificate;
  • your birth certificate;
  • your father's naturalization certificate or a letter from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service stating that he was naturalized AFTER your birth or your fathers current Italian passport and his Alien Registration Card.

The above mentioned documents should confirm that, if your father acquired US citizenship, he did it after your birth. If your father was naturalized BEFORE your birth, you are not entitled to Italian citizenship.

I was born after January 1, 1948, I have never renounced my Italian citizenship, and my mother was an Italian citizen at the time of my birth. Can I reacquire Italian citizenship?
Yes. The following documentation is required:

  • your mother's birth certificate;
  • your parent's marriage certificate;
  • your birth certificate;
  • your mother's naturalization certificate or a letter from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service stating that she was naturalized AFTER your birth or your mothers current Italian passport and Alien Registration Card.

The above mentioned documents should confirm that, if your mother acquired US citizenship, she did it after your birth. If your mother was naturalized BEFORE your birth, you are not entitled to Italian citizenship.

My father was born in the U.S. and my paternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of my father's birth and neither I nor my father ever renounced Italian citizenship. Can I reacquire Italian citizenship?
Yes. The following documentation is required:

  • your grandfather's birth certificate;
  • your grandfather's marriage certificate;
  • your grandfather's death certificate (if applicable);
  • your father's birth certificate;
  • your parents' marriage certificate;
  • your birth certificate;
  • your grandfather's naturalization certificate or a letter from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service stating that he was naturalized AFTER your father's birth or your grandfather's Italian passport and his Alien Registration Card.

If your grandfather was naturalized BEFORE your father's birth, your father and you are not entitled to Italian citizenship.

I was born after January 1, 1948, my mother was born in the U.S. and my maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of my mother's birth and neither I nor my mother ever renounced Italian citizenship. Can I reacquire Italian citizenship?
Yes. The following documentation is required:

  • your maternal grandfather's birth certificate;
  • your maternal grandfather's marriage certificate;
  • your maternal grandfather's death certificate (if applicable);
  • your mother's birth certificate;
  • your parents' marriage certificate;
  • your birth certificate;
  • your maternal grandfather's naturalization certificate or a letter from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service stating that he was naturalized AFTER your father's birth or your grandfather's Italian passport and his Alien Registration Card.

If your maternal grandfather was naturalized BEFORE your mother's birth, your mother and you are not entitled to Italian citizenship.

I have completed my application. How long do I have to wait before I can be an Italian citizen?
Due to the enormous number of applications, the time period required for obtaining Italian citizenship has greatly increased over the last few years.
Equity and fairness reasons towards our users will compel this Consulate General to process files following a rigorous CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER of ARRIVAL.

PASSPORTS

Who can request a new passport at the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago?
All Italians citizen living in a State under the jurisdiction of this Consulate General.

If I do DO NOT live under your jurisdiction, can I ask for a new passport?
Yes, but in this case it is necessary to wait for the authorization and the proxy statement of the Office which has authority for your jurisdiction (Questura or Italian Consulate).

How long is the validity of the passport?
The passport is valid for ten years, after which it is necessary to issue a new one.

What do I need to apply for a new passport? 
Applicants must come in person, by appointment, to this Consulate General for the acquisition of fingerprints, bringing all the necessary documentation (see passport page).

How long does it take to get a new passport? 
From the day your application is accepted, the passport will be issued within the terms prescribed by Law (maximum 30 days). 

What do I need to do if my passport is stolen or missing?
You must bring to the Consulate General the Police report stating whether the passport has been stolen or lost and two passport size photos. 

What do I need to do if my ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD is too old or deteriorated or expired?
We recommend you apply for a new one with the US Authorities, as indicated by the U.S. IMMIGRATION OFFICE.

Can minor children have a passport?
As of November 25, 2009, minors will no longer be added onto the passports of the parent (or guardian or person otherwise authorized to accompany them).
New European regulations provide protection of the minor's identity and security by stipulating:
a) that all minors are required to have their own personal passport; and
b) that their pictures be routinely updated: the validity of the passport for minors differs depending on the age (three years for children from 0 to three years; five years for minors between three and 18 years of age).
In the case of minors who are already registered on currently valid passports, these will remain valid until the expiration of the passport itself. 

What is the cost of a passport?
Please check the Consular Fees document listed on our homepage. The cost of the passport is made up by the administrative fee plus the fee of the passport's booklet.

Can a woman have her husband's family name on her passport?
The husband's family name can be added if the applicant asks for it and provided that the marriage has already been registered in the Comune in Italy (if performed abroad).

Can I pay with a personal check, cash, or credit card?
No, the Consulate can accept only money orders. The money order must be payable to the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago.

Residents with Italian citizenship, who were born abroad and never had an Italian passport, can at any time apply for one?
Yes, if the birth is already recorded in the Vital Record Registry of an Italian Comune. Otherwise it is necessary to register the Birth certificate according to Italian Law on vital records. Please click here.

VISAS


When is the Visa Office open to the public?
The Visa Office is open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. Please note that the Visa Office is closed to the public on Wednesdays.

Do I have to apply in person or can I apply by mail?
Applicants are required to apply in person.

Can I provide copies of my passport?

We do not accept passport photocopies. Applicants must apply with an original, valid passport, plus one copy of it.

Do I have to make an appointment?
Yes it is necessary to make an appointment in advance.

Can I pay with a personal check?

No. The visa fee (see the Consular Fees document on the homepage) is payable by money order or cashier's check. Make the money order or cashier's check payable to: Consulate General of Italy in Chicago.

How can I contact the Visa Office?
Exclusively by e-mail: visti.chicago@esteri.it.
Employees are asked to either assist the public during opening hours or to handle paperwork. If they were to also directly take phone calls from the public, your own application would not make any progress.

Who can apply for a visa at the Italian Consulate General in Chicago?
The Consulate General of Italy in Chicago will accept visa applications ONLY from legal residents of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Only holders of one of the following documents may apply for a visa: U.S. Passport; U.S. Permanent Resident Card (formerly Green Card); foreign students holding valid visas and valid I-20, valid long term visas except B1/B2.

Do I need a visa to visit Italy if I have a Green Card?
Yes. Green card holders are still required to have a visa for all Schengen Countries. Please follow this link to verify whether your citizenship exempts you from the visa.

When do I have to apply for a visa?
Visa applications must be submitted to this office no more than 90 days before the date of arrival in Italy.

How long it will take to get my visa?
Processing time for the visa, according to Law, may take between one to three weeks depending on the applicant's nationality. Rush processing is not available.

When the visa is ready can I receive my passport by mail?
Yes. Applicants can collect the passport at this Office during normal business hours. If they elect the passport returned by mail, a self-addressed, pre-paid EXPRESS MAIL Envelope must be included with the application. Regular mail will not be accepted.

Once I get my visa, am I guaranteed entry in the country?
The visa does not guarantee entry in the country. Further checks by Immigration Officers at the borders may lead to a refusal. Travelers are advised to carry copies of documents submitted with the visa application and to provide them to the Immigration Officers if requested.

Can I use my visa to make a side trip to another European country?
Yes you can. According to the present Regulation a Schengen visa is also valid for the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

To apply for a visa how long should my passport be valid?
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months upon conclusion of your trip.

I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin. Can I use the "US Permit to reenter" to travel to Italy?
Yes, you can. Before applying check the expiration of the document. It should be valid at least 6 months upon conclusion of the trip.

I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin. Can I use the "US Refugee Travel Document (Document de Voyage de refugee)" to travel to Italy?
Yes, you can. Before applying check the expiration of the document. It should be valid at least 6 months upon conclusion of the trip.

I plan to visit my family or my friends in Italy and I cannot provide a Hotel reservation. What should I do?
Your family or friends can make a letter of invitation. For the form click here.

I have my own business and therefore cannot provide an employment letter. What documents should I submit?
You can provide your business registration, your latest tax return and a recent company bank statement to complete your application.

I am a student, the tourist visa requires proof of documentation of socio-professional standing, what should I provide?
You can provide a school letter of enrollment.

I am a student, my parents will pay for my expenses while in Italy. What should I provide as proof of financial means?
Your parents can make an affidavit of financial support, click here, and provide a most recent bank statement or a bank letter of financial good standing.

Why am I required to have health insurance coverage in Italy? What do I need to provide as evidence of insurance coverage?
The present regulation requires applicants to have health insurance coverage before departing. This is necessary in case you have an accident during your stay in Italy. Please check carefully whether your medical insurance will cover costs for medical treatment abroad. If it doesn't, you need to submit a helath insurance covering your stay in Europe. Generally all major US medical insurance companies cover costs for emergency medical treatment abroad. In order to prove you are covered, you need to provide a letter from the insurance carrier confirming coverage abroad for at least the minimum amount required by the law. Insurance Card alone or information booklet will not be accepted.

I do not have health insurance in the US where can I find an insurance to cover my stay in Italy?
You can ask your travel agent or you can check the Internet by searching for international medical insurance. You may also contact your credit card company and request information on travel insurance coverage they may offer.

My US Resident Alien Registration Card expired and has not been renewed yet. Can I apply with the Advanced Paroled document issued to me by the US Authorities?
Yes you can.

My US visa and my I-94 have expired and I cannot renew them in the US, can I apply for a Schengen visa?
No, you cannot. We can process visa request only from legal residents of the US.

My passport has my maiden name and my Resident Alien Registration Card has my married name. What should I do?
You can provide a notarized copy of your marriage or divorce certificate.

I received my visa and noticed that my name has been misspelled. What should I do?
You can bring or mail back the passport to have a correction made. Please include a cover letter specifying which name has been misspelled and a prepaid express mail envelope for the mailing of the passport.

VITAL RECORDS

How can Vital Records Acts regarding Italian citizens, issued by a foreign State, be valid in Italy?

Vital Records documents (birth certificates, marriage, death, divorce) needs to be registered: they have to be forwarded by the Consular Office (jurisdiction of citizen's residency) to the Italian comune for registration. Registration is a fundamental act for the correct archival of Vital Records matters of Italian citizens living abroad.

Can a Consular Office translate the records?
Vital Records acts have to be produced and translated in Italian by the citizen who asks for registration. All documents written in a foreign language need to be translated in Italian and the translation must display the Consular stamp for "TRADUZIONE CONFORME" in order to be registered by the Italian comune. The translation in Italian always has to be confirmed by the Consular Authority with the stamp. The service given by the Consular Office only regards the CONFORMITY ATTESTATION of the translation.

Which procedure makes the documents and certificates issued by foreign States valid for Italy?
Issued documents and certificates must be LEGALIZED. Legalization is an official attestation of authenticity and legal quality of who signed records and certificates. Legalization of USA records is made by the APOSTILLE given by the Secretary of State’s Office in the State where record was given or legalized by a public notary.

How can residents of this Consular District send their registering request of a Vital Record Act in Italy?
The request can be sent to the Consulate General by mail or presented personally, filling out the special form (available on Consulate's web site), the original document (with Apostille stamp), the translation, and a photocopy of your passport. This service is free.

A.I.R.E. (Registry of Italians Living Abroad)

What is A.I.R.E.?
The A.I.R.E. is a Registry of Italian nationals residing abroad. It's a part of the Italian registry and contains data for all the citizens that lived abroad for more than 12 months.

Who has to enroll in the A.I.R.E.?
Italian nationals who transferred their residency abroad; people born abroad who received their citizenship by blood (jure sanguinis); people who received their Italian citizenship abroad.

Who do not have to enroll in the A.I.R.E.?
Italian nationals living abroad for a period of less than 12 months, or those engaged in seasonal occupations.

How can I enroll in the A.I.R.E.?
Enrolling in the A.I.R.E is very easy. You must send to the Consular Office, either by email or regular mail, all the information as indicated in this form. The consular office will send the form to the Italian Comune (city hall) where the enrollment will happen. Citizens can also enroll directly in the A.I.R.E. at their own Italian Comune before transferring their residency abroad.

How is the A.I.R.E. updated?
Every Italian national residing abroad has the responsibility to update his own file. You are required to update your A.I.R.E. registration in any of the following cases: changes of domicile or residence abroad; change of personal status (marriage, divorce, birth); changes of employment or educational status; every other registry change.
Italians citizens have to inform the Consulate when they go back to Italy indefinitely, when there is a death in the family, or if they lose Italian citizenship.

STUDENTS

I reside in the USA, I am not an Italian citizen. I wish to enroll at an Academic Institution in Italy. May I use this application form?
NO. You need "Modello A di pre-iscrizione" (pre-registration form) to be submitted through the Italian Consulate to the University of your choice in Italy ONLY when the application terms are open by the MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Researches). Usually between March & May of each year.

I reside in the USA, I am not an Italian citizen. I wish to be admitted to a Graduate or Post Graduate Program (Master, level I or II) at an Academic institution in Italy. May I use this application Form?
NO. A specific form is needed to apply for a "Master, level I or II" program. Please ask the Consulate General for the application form by e-mail at studenti.chicago@esteri.it. Important: to be eligible for admission, you must at least be a graduate student (BA or BS holder).

Am I able to apply to be enrolled to an Italian University if I only have a High School Diploma?
NO. You need either four AP exams, one of which in Italian and three in subjects related to what you want to study, or two years of College with the admission to the third year or a Bachelor's Degree.

Is there a fee to pay for the issue of "Dichiarazione di Valore"?
There is a fee ONLY in the case the "dichiarazione di valore" is intended for reasons other than study. If this is the case, a money order or cashier's check (in US dollars) is requested for the amount covering the consular fees. However, they are subject to minor changes every three months. Important: the exact amount of consular fees can be determined by the number of Degrees to be validated and by the number of pages of translation from English into Italian.

Can I make payments by cash, personal checks, international coupons or Credit Card?
NO. Only Money Orders or Cashier's Checks are accepted.

I reside outside the USA and I have no contact in the USA. It's impossible for me to provide a prepaid envelope (Express mail, Fedex, Ups, Dhl, etc.). Can I send cash, personal check, international coupons or my credit card number instead?
NO.

Is the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago responsible in case the self addressed - prepaid envelope is not delivered?
Please be advised that the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago assumes no responsibility for any problem or delay in returning your documents, which are forwarded using the self addressed prepaid envelope you submitted. It's important you always have the tracking number available for any investigation that will be necessary with the shipping company.

My US educational credentials were validated by the Italian Consulate in Chicago a long time ago. I don’t remember whether or not the "dichiarazione di valore" was used in Italy. I lost the originals somewhere. Now I need the "dichiarazione di valore" once again. Can I submit a photocopy to obtain a new one?
NO. You must re-submit your school documents as required in the Information page.

All my documents are ready. May I come tomorrow to the Consular Office after the Office hours to the public?
NO. Please request an appointment (Monday through Friday from 09:00am to 12:30pm) by e-mail: italcons.chicago@esteri.it.

I have only two weeks to meet the Italian University dead line for admission/ OR I have to meet within a few days my employment deadline…. if I submit the documents requested for the "Dichiarazione di Valore" by tomorrow, will I be able to meet the deadline?
NO. The time required for completing this kind of procedure can be determined only after verification of the correct/complete documentation by the Consulate General. Rush processing is not possible for the issuance of the "dichiarazione di valore".

I am applying for the "Dichiarazione di Valore" of my Ph.D. The Italian Authority in Italy does not need my High School diploma, can I submit my Master's and my Bachelor's without the H.S. diploma?
NO. Although you're requesting the "dichiarazione di valore" for a Ph.D. and the Italian Authority does not ask for your H.S. Diploma, nevertheless you must provide the Consular Office with the complete curriculum studiorum of all steps leading to your final title.

Should I forward – along with the school documents – my application for a Student Visa?
NO: The Student Office and the Visa Office are two different departments within the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago. It's advisable you contact the Visa Office of the Italian Consular Authority responsible for the area where you legally reside to obtain information about requesting the visa.

Should I enclose the School catalogues with the documents I am submitting to the Consulate for the "Dichiarazione di Valore"?
NO. IN CASE YOU NEED the validation of the list of courses you completed, please follow the following procedure:

  • provide a photocopy of the pages extracted from each school catalogue with the highlighted description of the corresponding courses attended;
  • The set of pages (bearing the School Seal) must be accompanied by a letter signed by the Registrar (legalized by means of the Apostille & translated into Italian).

Please verify with the Italian School/University in Italy if the description of courses is mandatory. Certification of school documents is not conditioned by the presence or absence of School/Academic Syllabus, however it might be useful to the University in Italy for a more accurate evaluation of your credits.

I am going to request the "Dichiarazione di Valore" for my Bachelor’s Degree, I obtained my High School Diploma in Texas and the "Dichiarazione di Valore" for it was issued by the Italian Consulate in Houston. Should I enclose the original "Dichiarazione di valore" issued by the Consular Office in Houston?
Photocopies of the "Dichiarazione di Valore" will be sufficient.


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