Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy—“It’s going to take some time”–thank you, Carpenters

Frustration has reared its ugly head because this move to Italy is going to take some time. More time. I am now officially moving my departure date forward a few weeks.

After my second visit with the Honorary Consul General in Portland, I’ve jumped into the effort of applying for the Residency Visa. This visa will allow me to remain in Italy for one year. Initially I wasn’t aware that I was qualified. But the Consul General convinced me that, as long as I have sufficient assets to support myself or can provide proof of income, I could get the visa. Of course, I have to provide mountains of paperwork, including proof of said assets.

Naturally, I started pursuing this avenue. The problem is that it will take upwards of three weeks to get the visa. In the meantime, although I have most of my documents, the one primary credential for my Italian visa—an IRS criminal record, still must be requested.

For the uninitiated, an IRS criminal record is just that—a record of one’s criminal activities, if you have any. I have none. I guarantee you. However, I still must have this document. In checking the IRS’ website I came to find out that it can take eight to ten weeks to get such a record when I send in my order, an $18 check and copies of my fingerprints.

However, the IRS provides a list of companies through which a “requestee” can maneuver through the system and get a record within a couple of days. If you are like me, right now you are wondering why these companies are so high-falutin’ special that they can get this exalted document while the rest of the Great Unwashed must wait for months. Good question. One for which I have no answer.

And you’re probably wondering how substantial my assets must be. For this question, I also have no answer. I am, however, grateful that these organizations exist. I only need to pay them $40, a pauper’s pittance.

So I’ve sent off for my IRS criminal record. I figure I will receive it sometime next week. In the meantime, I have to postpone my departure, originally scheduled for October 6 to sometime in late October, early November. Remember…I still need to order my visa after I receive the criminal record. And to answer another question you’re harboring, yes, trying to organize all this in my mind and on my “to do” spreadsheet is causing headaches.

I am chagrined that I will have to wait. But I’m bent, not broken. I re-evaluated this bump in the road and came to the conclusion that this is a blessing in disguise. Let me explain…

We are now onto a different aspect of this move—my Italian passport which will allow me to stay in Italy indefinitely.

Earlier I’ve mentioned that I will be pursuing my passport via DNA samples from my biological brother and myself. My passport will allow me to remain in Italy open-endedly and to leave and return whenever I want. I will also need an immigration attorney and will have to speak in front of a tribunal.

My brother and I (along with Italian Immigration) figured that the DNA test should be enough. However, I’m going the extra mile. I have my original adoption decree and my birth certificate. I have the death certificates of my birth parents and I’m waiting for their marriage certificate. When I arrive I will order the birth certificate of my biological father.

The death certificates and marriage certificate of my biological parents is now an issue. Italy requires that these certificates be authenticated by the Province of British Columbia. The same goes for the marriage certificate. In addition, they will have to be translated into Italian. Because of the new wrinkle, this postponement, I can travel to B.C. and coordinate this issue myself rather than burdening someone else with the responsibility. Too, who else can handle this better than the person who needs the info? Traveling north will also allow me to say goodbye to friends in B.C.

There’s something about postponement that also causes me to relax a bit. Even though I was making nice progress on my “to do” list, a few extra weeks feels good. I also feel that these extra weeks should make it easier to get my Italian visa so I can stay for the year.

My Italian visa will obviously negate the need for the aforementioned three-month visit to Ukraine. This will not stop me from possibly traveling to Lviv to research my maternal grandfather’s history. But remaining in Italy will save me money and allow me to visit Ukraine on my own schedule. Also, it will allow me to travel to Krakow, Poland to research my biological mother’s history. Poland is in the EU so, once again, I won’t have to worry about timelines for remaining in Europe.

Things are in a state of flux. Dates are not yet settled. Paperwork completion is gradually occurring. It’s going to take some time.



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