italian dual citizenship: how much does it cost?

Friends and family that are unfamiliar with dual citizenship process are often shocked at how much it costs. In a funny way, it reminds me a bit of wedding planning. Sure, there were some bigger ticket items, but it was the smaller things (flowers, rentals, invitations, etc.) that really added up -- fast.

Expenses for our Italian dual citizenship process fall into four distinct categories:

  • Cost of records
  • Cost of translations
  • Cost of special certifications, apostilles, etc.
  • Consultant and legal fees

 We are about 3/4 of the way through the process and have spent:

  • $350 on birth, death and marriage records
  • $250 on translations
  • $40 on apostilles (this number will increase 3x in the near future)
  • $250 on our Sicily-based records requester/researcher

So, already we've spent over $850. The scary part? We're still waiting on the work estimate from the lawyer that will be handling the amending of my grandfather's birth certificate. In the end, I expect us to spend about $1,500 on the entire process.

We get the "oh my, is it really worth it?" question all of the time. The answer? A resounding YES! By the time we get to Italy, we'll have sold our car and won't be paying car insurance. In one year, the lack of car insurance will just about pay for these expenses. What's more, once we get into the Italian health care system, our health costs will go way down (remember, we are self-employed). So, yes, totally worth the expense!

Lessons Learned
  1. Depending on the state, birth/death/marriage certificates cost between $6 - $20.
  2. I ordered two of everything. In the short term, having back-ups makes me feel safe. In the long-term, I'm excited to create a family archive of records. Just remember, this doubles your records expenses!
  3. Apostille costs vary per state, so do some research and factor that into your budget
  4. Hiring Italy-based researchers is a much faster way to get records from the homeland -- it can also be a tad expensive. You need to weigh speed vs. cost.