Let's go on with our series to get Italian citizenship in 2020, talking about where to apply. As usual, information comes from the Tapatalk forum. But I had also talked about it in other posts that I'll link to down below.
Determine the consulate at which you must (or can) apply.
If you reside outside Italy, you can only apply at the consulate (or embassy) that covers the place where you live. However, each consulate sets its own requirements for what constitutes proof of residence, so you may be eligible to apply at more than one consulate if you have evidence, satisfactory to each consulate, that you reside within their jurisdiction. For example, a university student often may be able to apply either at the consulate that covers the student's home state, using the parents' home address, or at the consulate that covers the state where the school is. Typical acceptable proof of residence would be a drivers' license (or non-driver ID) and a utility bill, or sometimes a bank statement. Some consulates have become more strict about this in recent years - for example, NY now insists on a utility bill instead of a bank statement.
If you are a resident, but not citizen, of a foreign country (i.e., not Italy), a consulate in the country where you reside may tell you that you have to apply in the country where you are a citizen. This is not correct, although if your residence is only temporary it is probably better to apply in your home country than to argue.
Even if you can apply at more than one consulate, it is probably best to actually only apply at one at a time; that is, if your application is accepted at one consulate, do not apply at another without first withdrawing your application from the first. However, if your application was not accepted at the first consulate, you are free to apply at any other consulate that considers you to reside in its jurisdiction. In any event, if you have the possibility to apply at multiple consulates, there is no harm in scheduling simultaneously appointments at multiple consulates and then canceling unneeded ones later.
You may apply at a comune in Italy if you actually establish residence there, rather than just visiting on a tourist visa. This may be any comune - it doesn't have to be the one from which your ancestors came.
While it is usually the case that one does not have any choice in where one can apply, in situations where an applicant does, this is a very important consideration that can impact the rest of the process greatly. Wait times to get an appointment or to be recognized, required documents, acceptable and unacceptable discrepancies, whether one needs to go through the time and expense of a court order, which documents need to be apostilled or translated (and by whom), and even whether one is considered to qualify or not can all depend on the place (consulare or comune) at which one applies.
Let's take translations. If you're applying in Italy, it's best to have your documents translated in Italy, period. In my experience, translations brought from other countries usually lack something (like translation of the apostille, which is required in Italy). They often lack an apostille on the translation itself (which is why an Italian comune would not accept it in the first place).
You can ask quotes from translators everywhere in Italy, the place where translations are certified is not important.
If you're not sure what to expect and how this process works, read these posts:
Official Translations in Italy
Apply in Italy or abroad: how to choose
How does translation work?
Still got doubts? Just write me!
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.