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In order to get Italian dual citizenship, you must show eligibility. To do this, you collect various documents. In New York State, you may need a court order for birth certificates.

People can citizens of two countries at once. This may be automatic based on the countries’ citizenship laws. Otherwise, people can obtain citizenship by marriage or by making a special application. This special application is a naturalization.

Those applying for Italian dual citizenship are not naturalizing. Instead, applicants are asking the Italian government to recognize their status as Italian citizens. If you are eligible for Italian dual citizenship, you have actually held it since birth. Therefore, the term “applying” is not entirely accurate.

If you want Italian citizenship by descent you must provide documentation of lineage. These documents show that you are eligible. Therefore, you must get birth, marriage, death, and naturalization records of everyone in a line leading to your last ancestor born in Italy. As such, the goal is to show an unbroken “chain” of Italian citizenship.

New York State law regarding vital records

Each individual country has its own processes and requirements for citizenship. Italy requires certified copies of vital records. These vital records must have apostilles. An apostille is a special legalization attached to the original document.  Apostilles only work for certified documents.

New York State restricts access to these certified copies. Only people named on a birth certificate can obtain that document. For deceased persons, only the parent can obtain that birth certificate.

Therefore, if your ancestor is deceased along with his or her parents, the record is restricted. You cannot access it.

However, New York State will release it with a court order. It is commonly called an “Article 78 petition.”

Genealogy copies

Without a court order, New York State only issues genealogy copies of deceased individuals’ birth certificates. Additionally, genealogy copies cannot be apostilled. As a consequence, Italy will not accept genealogy copies.

Therefore, if you need a certified copy of a restricted record, you must obtain a court order.

New York State vs. NYC

New York State has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation regarding vital records. However, the five boroughs of New York City are more lenient. Therefore, if your documents are from New York City you most likely will not need a court order.

If your documents are from New York City, you have an easier time. When you require the birth certificate of a deceased individual, you do not need a court order. Simply provide a copy of the death certificate when making the request.

Court orders for birth certificates in New York State

Get Italian Citizenship staffs competent attorneys familiar with New York State law. We have years of experience in filing the relevant Article 78 petitions to unseal birth records in New York State. Please contact us if you need to obtain a birth certificate for a deceased individual in New York State.

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