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 Post subject: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 27th, 2012, 4:52 pm 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
Hi,

I’m not sure if I should even post my experience as it doesn’t sound like a typical NYC Consulate meeting. Things we are warned about were not an issue (e.g.: name and date errors, having to get a One and the Same document). I am wondering if the clerk I was assigned may have been a newbie. I am sure my second appt that I have to schedule will be a total NYC experience. For what its worth, here I go….

I arrived at the Consulate for my 9 am appt. around 8:30. They do not open the Consulate to the public until exactly 9 and you only know the door is open because you hear the door being unlocked. No one sticks their head out and invites you in. (how cool would that be for Roberto Benigni to welcome you in.) I actually didn’t mind the wait as I arrived on the train in NYC early so it gave me time to walk from 34th Street to 69th. I don’t suggest you do that especially when it’s the hottest day of the year. But having done the trek from Penn Station to the Municipal Archives so many times, I thought it would be a nice walk uptown. The consulate is about 2 blocks from Central Park and is near other nation’s consulates.

When you arrive inside, you go to the Security window and let them know you have an appt. with the Citizenship Dept. They take your driver license and enter information into a computer and give you a personal data form to fill out when you arrive on the Second Floor (so have a pen with you). Now, I made the mistake of assuming the Second floor was the floor above the first floor entry so I sat in what must have been a Diplomatic Reception Room waiting for the clerk to come and get me. After a while, I questioned if maybe I needed to go what in my mind would be the third floor, so I walked up the flight of stairs and yes, there is a sign that says Citizenship Dept.

After about 5 minutes of sitting outside the office, an attractive lady came out and asked if I was there for the citizenship office. I said I was and she said no one had called her from downstairs, and she invited me in. She seemed very friendly (although they do not introduce themselves or extend their hand) and asked if I spoke Italian. I said “no”, She asked if I spoke a little?” Again I replied “no”. While I do understand words and the gist of a conversation, I didn’t want her to think I could hold my citizenship meeting in fluent Italian, missing key points. She seemed concerned and I realized later is was due to her not being exceptionally fluent in English, although we were able to communicate. I think knowing what she was about to ask helped my ears to pick up key words, so while she conducted most of the conversation in Italian, I spoke mostly in English, throwing a few Italian words into the mix.

She took my passport, driver’s license and a utility bill and asked if I had copies. I didn’t and she said that was alright and went outside the room to photocopy them. When she came back, she asked which of my ancestors was born in Italy. I told her “mi bisnonno” and she said, “Oh, your grandfather?” but then quickly realized the English word was great grandfather. I gave her his birth certificate and then she asked for my GGM’s BC and then their marriage certificate. Everything was fine with those.

Next came my GF, which I still haven’t received the Delayed Birth Certificate. I pointed out however, that I do have a court document (Declaratory Judgment/One and the Same) in which the Judge reviewed all my documents and noted that my GF was never issued a BC. She said this is not good.

She then asked for my GF’s marriage certificate and then my GM’s birth certificate and then their death certificates. She pointed out that my GM’s birth certificate does not match the name on the marriage certificate and I told her that is true but the court document address’s that. She didn’t bother looking and seemed fine. I then gave her my GF’s marriage certificate from his second marriage (which was after my GM had died) and she asked for my step-GM’s birth certificate. She was confused a bit over how the second wife had a different name on the marriage certificate from her birth certificate. Somehow I was able to get across that she was married previously and the name on her marriage certificate was from her first marriage. She asked for all their death certificates which I had except for the step-GM which can not be found..she said that is alright.

I was surprised that she did not point out all the errors in names and dates and was a bit worried if it was to be an issue, since she didn’t seem interested at all in the Declaratory Judgment that address’ them. In fact, she said as much when she had taken all the documents to discuss them with her supervisor. She returned and said we have a two big problems (one of them being my GF not having a birth certificate) and she pointed to the court document saying this does not mean anything.

But before she left to see the supervisor, she now asked for my Father’s BC and marriage certificate. She became confused. I guess she was still stuck on my GF as she was asking if he was married a third time. Luckily I remembered the Italian word for parent, saying “Mi genitore, no nonni”. My parent’s marriage certificate now consists of 12 pages due to all the amendments. The clerk was a bit confused with the whole thing. I guess it is difficult for people to piece everything together when they are seeing it for the first time..it can be overwhelming. She also asked for my mother’s BC and my BC.

She then asked if my GGF was naturalized. I said no and gave her the Homeland Security letter, the National Archives letter and the Manhattan Supreme Court search document. This was the second problem. She said that the National Archives letter is a form letter. I pointed out that my GGF’s name is on the letter with his birth, but she insisted it was a form letter and that she needed censimenti…which I had. She wanted to see the one for after my GF was born. So I gave her the 1905 NYS census. She didn’t want to see the 1910 census because the surname was butchered, and there was no way I could explain in Italian that these are the same people..just look at the address. They lived there 10 years before the census and they lived there 10 years after and it’s the same names. I had enough other census’ to back up my GGF being an alien. She also wanted one census for after 1912. She said that my GF was born before that time so the 1912 rules comes into effect. I had the 1930 census that shows my GGF was an Alien. I also tried showing the Alien Registration Card, but she was not interested because the date of 1940 was not clear. That made me a bit annoyed. The consulate requires that card so shouldn’t they know that the Smith Act of 1940 required all Aliens to register with the government. That document didn’t come into existence until 1940 so that should be proof he was still an alien, long after my GF was born. But she seemed satisfied with my census records so dropped the second problem

She didn’t seem interested in looking to see if any of my documents were Apostille (they were) and the only document she never asked for was my GGM death certificate. She didn’t ask who did my translations (Gabriella Einaga and Gianluca Croce) . She also saw that my father’s MC was amended to match his Italian name on his BC. She said both names mean the same so why bother (I had to ask myself if I was really in NYC).

So she said that the only problem is my GF’s BC..she said I need to find it. At this point, I wanted to let her know that actually I have a court case in the state he was born and am just waiting for the document, but my ability to get that across did not work. I think she thought I was asking how I go about getting the birth certificate and I sensed she was getting a bit huffy, so I dropped it and just let her know that I will “find” the document.

At the end she gives you a list of issues you need to resolve (just the birth certificate) and you have to sign it. She said I can either make a new appt. with Abtran…(I made a face) or you can email us and should there be a cancellation, they will reschedule me sooner. So I am not sure what that means. Will I have to go through all this with another clerk (she returned all my documents to me) or does that paper she gave me act as proof that things were already looked at and the only issue is the BC. She said if I get the BC, I should have no problems. I then gave her form 1 and 2 and 4 for my father, grandfather and great grandfather.

I guess everything turned out as I expected knowing not having the BC could be an issue - although I was hoping the Declaratory Judgment document would suffice. I was surprised that the clerk didn’t make an issue of all the errors that weren’t amended but were addressed in the Declaratory Judgment. I was even more surprised that she was not interested in the court document and I shudder to imagine the language difficult we would have had with me trying to explain every error that was on every document that was not amended. She seemed the type that once she made up her mind, nothing would change it and she decided that the court document was not good enough.

I am hoping my second appt. will go as smoothly.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 27th, 2012, 6:36 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 9:00 am
Posts: 92
Location: Rome, It
You had this meeting in NYC.

Any idea who the consulate officer was?

I just re-read your recap again and I don't know what to say other than - you had this appointment at the NYC Consulate? The one in the Big Apple, in New York State.........

-d


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 27th, 2012, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
I had to ask myself the same question. With the clerk overlooking errors and then bringing up the 1912 rule, it was like I was at a different consulate. I wonder if they brought in a clerk from a different consulate.
Im not sure who the clerk was, although her initials could be AM as that is how she signed my paperwork.
Whoever she is, I hope she is there when I have to reschedule.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 27th, 2012, 10:55 pm 
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Joined: June 13th, 2009, 10:40 pm
Posts: 13239
Location: Tokyo, Japan
You might have dealt with Anna Amoroso. She has been at NY since last year, but some people have described her as being petty clueless (read littleearthquake's posts, e.g.).

I would be pissed too that she didn't even know the significance of the Alien Registration Card. On another thread you mentioned that the no records letter from NARA only covered up to 1906. This seems pretty bizarre considering that their records only start in 1905 or 1906. Why didn't you have them search up until at least 1912?

I'm not surprised that a court order wasn't accepted as a substitute for a missing birth cert for someone in your line. I've never heard of that working.

What were the discrepancies covered by the declaratory judgment?

Why did you volunteer your GF's 2nd marriage cert? Even if his 2nd wife's name was on his death cert, you should've presented the death certificate and waited until she asked about the spouse's name to explain.

Had you amended your father's name on your own birth cert?

Did you have to submit your father's death cert?

Did you even apostille and translate the 2nd marriage cert for your GF and the birth cert for his 2nd wife?

If she returned all your documents to you, you'll have to make another appointment and go this again, with either her or whoever else is working there at that time.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 28th, 2012, 4:48 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
Quote:
you'll have to make another appointment and go this again, with either her or whoever else is working there at that time.

I kind of expected that my next appt. will be like starting over. :cry: If I had the Delayed Birth Certificate, that would have been the end of my worries.

Quote:
Why didn't you have them search up until at least 1912?

The letter reads:
We searched the indexes to petitions for naturalization filed in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York for the years 1824-1950. We also searched the Soundex index of petitions filed in New York City for the years 1792-1906.
The first sentence says they checked up to 1950 and she even underlined that, but for whatever reason, she didn't like the second sentence and seemed to focus only on that.

Quote:
What were the discrepancies covered by the declaratory judgment?

The Declaratory Judgment covered errors that could not be changed on documents that are with the NYC Muncipal Archives. In fact, when she started to bring up about the issue with my GM's birth certificate and marriage certificate name not matching, I showed her the letter from the Archives saying they can not amend documents, but she was not interested in that either.
I dont mind the Consulate making tough rules, but how about sticking with one set of rules. Why should each appt. being a surprise? I've already decided that when I become a citizen, I plan to contact my Member of Parliament asking that the government streamline the whole process for future applicants.

Quote:
Why did you volunteer your GF's 2nd marriage cert? Even if his 2nd wife's name was on his death cert, you should've presented the death certificate and waited until she asked about the spouse's name to explain.

That was actually the reason why I did show the 2nd certificate...I was concerned that she would see the name of the 2nd wife on my GF's death certificate. But I latter realized she was not checking that closely.
I know its been debated in this forum, but I believe even stronger now - never volunteer information. That is why I was keeping quiet about my court case for the Delayed Birth Certificate, hoping she would accept the Declaratory Judgment, and only volunteered (or tried to) information about the court case when she did not accept the Dec.

Quote:
Had you amended your father's name on your own birth cert?

Yes

Quote:
Did you have to submit your father's death cert?

Yes. The only vital record document she did not ask for was my GGM's death certificate.

Quote:
Did you even apostille and translate the 2nd marriage cert for your GF and the birth cert for his 2nd wife?

Yes. My only concern with the 2nd wife was that I could not find when she died or where so I had no death certificate. And since she is not a blood relative, Im not sure even if I found the location and date, the state would release the document without a new court order. But the clerk didn't seem bothered that I didn't have her DC.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 28th, 2012, 6:47 am 
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Joined: June 13th, 2009, 10:40 pm
Posts: 13239
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
She returned and said we have a two big problems (one of them being my GF not having a birth certificate)

What was the 2nd problem?


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 28th, 2012, 10:49 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
The second problem was having the National Archives letter which she considered a form letter. But when I gave her the census records, she was fine.
When she returned from the supervisors office, she said, "I have very bad news as you have two problems with your application." I forget her exact words after that but her wording made it sound like this was the end of the line. Both issues in my opinion (National Archives letter and Delayed Birth Certificate) could be resolved so I wasn't sure why she was so gloomy. But then when we spoke about the census records her whole attitude changed and she said once I have the BC, I would have no problems. I'm not sure why she just didn't say that while the Archives letter was acceptable, they would need to look at census records of anyone who did not naturalize. Not sure why the mini-drama.

I am beginning to think that even though Italy is part of the West, Americans and Italians think differently. We are truly two different cultures. I guess like a typical American, I just thought everyone in western nations are exactly like us in the way we think or act.

Additionally, for those going for their interview, I had photocopies of every document, but it didn't seem they needed that. So I wouldn't bother bringing copies or you will just have to lug them back home.
I also felt it was not necessary that I needed to be in a suit and tie. Next time, I will just wear dress pants and shirt


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 28th, 2012, 11:03 am 
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Joined: September 22nd, 2010, 4:15 pm
Posts: 544
Italia,

Was the woman around middle age, 50-60 ish, with short blond-ish hair and glasses?

I too was told to make another appointment with Abtran, and also to ask in the event of a cancellation that I be moved up. It never happened.

However if you think you can get these issues resolved by November I have an appointment that I won't be using that I might be able to transfer to you. (I'm a citizen now - long story.)

Edit - I wonder if the form they have you sign when you leave, itemizing what needs to be fixed, actually works to help the applicant. I.e. if you go back and a new clerk finds "new" issues, can you show them the list you signed? I'm guessing it holds no water but I wonder if anyone has had occasion to use it to their advantage.

_________________
http://inbruttium.wordpress.com/

It took me eight years and three appointments. Don't give up.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 28th, 2012, 12:58 pm 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
Hi,

The clerk was probably in her late 40's/early 50s with dark hair. When you walk in the room, there is a desk to the right that a man sat at and then a desk to his right along the wall - that is where she sat.
She didn't wear glasses and in fact I thought her eyesight may be a cause of another issue. When I was showing her one of the US Census documents, she was about to toss the document to the side because she said the printing was way too small. In that split second, I was thinking, "she can't be serious that she is going to throw this document out because of her poor eyesight.". The document was the normal over-sized National Archives document of 8 1/2 x 18 inch form. If you want it bigger, go blow it up on the photocopier. She relented and accepted the form when I was able to point my relatives name on it.

Thanks for the offer of the appt. I'm not sure how that would work to transfer the appt., but I would hope that my document would be ready from the court by then. I had my court case in early May, and am just waiting on the Judge to order the DOH to issue the birth certificate. I am going to call them (Court) again on Monday to at least get an idea how long the Judge plans to take in making the decision.


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 Post subject: Re: NYC APPT - July, 2012
UNREAD_POSTPosted: July 29th, 2012, 4:32 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 8:08 am
Posts: 251
Location: New York
Well, we will just have to wait and see what will happen at my next appt.


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