Moving Abroad Requires So Much Paperwork


I apologize now for the potential boringness of this post. The thing that movies such as Under the Tuscan Sun and books like Eat, Pray, Love tend to either skim over or completely avoid speaking about is the massive amount of time and energy it takes to actually move abroad. However, acquiring visas, insurance, passports, and all of the behind-the-scenes stuff is necessary to making the dream of moving abroad become a reality. So, if anyone out there is reading this and needs some assistance in being pointed in the right direction (or at least a little camaraderie in commiserating in the dull and repetitiveness of it all) then this post is for you. For the rest of you, you have officially been warned!

Wow. Moving to a new country means serious paperwork. I mean, yeah, I get why in theory: we are showing up to Italy’s doorstep for a couple of years and they want to just verify that we are there with good intentions and not like the random uninvited guests at the party who inevitably get too drunk and crash on your couch. I get it. But still, the mounds of paperwork is one of the craziest goose chases I have ever been on!

the boring paperwork and the nitty-gritty of moving abroad

So we spent almost a month preparing for our visit to the Italian Consulate. I plan on moving with a student visa while the hubs (pictured above with Papa Gino) who plans on getting dual citizenship (crossing fingers and toes) in order to make it is easier for him to find work while we are there. For those wondering, this is what I needed for my student visa:

+ Application filled out, but not signed so it can be signed in front of the consulate representative
+ Admissions letter (in Italian) to the school you will be attending
+ Proof of residency (if you are renting through the school, the school’s address will work just fine)
+ Proof of Italian insurance (I bought mine online before the appointment)
+ Your passport (you must give this to them until they mail back your visa)
+ A pre-addressed and paid-for envelope from the USPS
+ Proof of financial needs (AKA: a bank statement or investment account that has been notarized)
+ A letter from your current employer or transcripts from your school which you previously graduated from
+ A copy of your flight reservation

Really, it wasn’t too terrible for me. I had everything ready except for my transcripts, which I didn’t realize I needed until I got to my appointment. Luckily, I had a copy saved in my email and was able to forward it to them immediately. Another thing that I didn’t realize is how student visas to Italy are not issued more than three months before the start date that is stated on your acceptance letter. The Italian Consulate said that they would hold on to all of my information and send it out on that specific date since I was about two weeks early (story of my life..always the early-awkward one to the party)!

As for the dual citizenship, here is what my husband Anthony needed:

+ Application
+ Marriage Certificate, apostille, and translation
+ Spouse’s Birth Certificate, apostille, and translation
+ Original US passport and copies
+ Drivers license and copies
+ Certificate of Birth, apostle, and translation**

Getting these documents were much more difficult because we had to wait in several lines downtown for the Birth Certificates, Certificates of Birth, and Marriage Certificates. Then we had to wait in another line for the aposilles. On top of all of that, we had to find a Consulate-approved-translator to translate all of those documents. In the end, it turned out to be a very timely and costly experience, but worth it completely, yet expensive none-the-less. Also, Italy has a “blood right” citizenship law. Anthony’s grandfather was a citizen when his father was born, so both Papa Gino and Anthony are now getting citizenship since the law requires that you have direct linage to an Italian Citizen in order to qualify.

We head on back this week to complete paperwork for the passport. If anyone has any questions about any of this, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer in my very limited experience! I know there is not a lot of information on this process, so I feel that we must band together as future expats to make this happen.

Okay, enough of this boring paperwork talk. Sorry if you had to stop and take a nap half way through! To inspire/wake you up, here’s a lovely blog post I read telling you why the infamous “yeah, but…” responses to you stating you are moving abroad could kill your dreams. Let us know what you think.

**Does anyone else know that there is a difference between a Certificate of Birth and a Birth Certificate?! We sure didn’t. Not all state office of vital statistics issue a Certificate of Birth unless you specifically ask for it. Just another little heads up to add on to your planning process of moving abroad. ;)

Until next time, ciao!



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