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Italian Citizenship Assistance Program

Italian Citizenship Application: Translation Requirements

So, you have all of the documents needed for your Italian citizenship by descent application, but which ones require translation and what are the translation requirements? The answer is, it depends on where your application is being submitted.

For those applying at an Italian Consulate in the US, in general all US vital records, i.e. birth marriage, death, divorce, and minor children of the applicant of the direct line (Italian ancestor down to the applicant) must be translated verbatim into the Italian language. Of course, the ancestor’s birth, and sometimes marriage, is issued from Italy so of course would not require translation. Although the translations do not need to be certified for most jurisdictions, they do need to be accurate. If you are not a native speaker of Italian, nor fluent in written Italian at a college level, it is highly recommended that you obtain a professional translator as the Consulate typically rejects inaccurate translations. Inaccurate translations include those containing grammar errors in use of preposition, in masculine/femmine concordance of nouns, and in concordance of verb tenses, as well as technical errors in vital statistical terminology. The consulates do not make referrals for translators, but many have a list of translators which you may choose to use but are not mandated to hire for your translation.  The key is that the translations are accurate and are also easy to follow, i.e. that you or the translator is able to template the translated version to match the US document.

Italian Citizenship Application Translation Requirements
Example of an Italian Translation

Although the majority of the Italian consulates in the US will certify the translations at the time of your appointment there are currently a few exceptions. The Italian Consulate at Boston requires that your translator prepare a statement of professional translation that is then notarized and authenticated with Apostille. The Italian consulate at New York requires that divorce records of the applicant are notarized and authenticated with Apostille. The Italian Embassy requires that your translations along with the corresponding US documents authenticated with Apostille be certified by the Embassy prior to your appointment. Additionally, they also require translation of the naturalization records but not death records.

It must be mentioned that the Italian Consulates can change translation requirements, so it is best that you verify the requirements before starting your translations, or work with a professional translation service that is current on your consulate requirements. The requirements are posted on the Consulate websites, but unfortunately could change before the updates are made on the citizenship by descent web page.

If you are applying outside of the US, either in Italy at a Municipality or at a Court, or at an Italian Consulate outside of the US, translations of your US documents, including naturalization must be authenticated with Apostille. Some of the Italian authorities could require that rather than Apostille, the translations be certified by the Italian Consulates in the US. It is imperative that you verify the translation requirements of the specific Italian Government Source where your application is being submitted before proceeding with translation of your documents.

Some applicants might have documents issued outside of the US. For example, the Italian ancestor or descendants might have resided in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Any civil records of birth, marriage, death, divorce, as well as naturalization that took place in Argentina must be certified and translated by the Italian Consular Office in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Visit the webpage of the Italian Consulate/Embassy responsible for the area where the certificate has been issued to know how to proceed for the legalization of the certificate and translation. A list of all Italian Consulates/Embassies abroad is available at (“Farnesina” – “Rappresentanze Diplomatiche” – “Ambasciate e Consolati” – Country).

The accurate translation of the required documents into Italian is an important part of your application! To avoid delays caused in accepting your application by needing to revise translations, be sure that you or your translator are highly proficient in written Italian and familiar with the guidelines of the branch of the Italian Government where your application is being presented.

At ICAP, we have provided translations for all Italian Consulates and the Embassy in the US, as well as the Italian Courts and Municipalities, and Italian Consulates abroad since 2007.  If you are interested in our translations, we will review all documents to ensure that they are in the proper format according to the requirements of your filing location and provide you with accurate translations that will meet the standards of the Italian Government Source.

Contact us today if you would like more information on our translation services! Be sure to include the location where your application will be submitted in your email message.