How To Get An Appointment At The Chicago Italian Consulate: Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis
With everything involved in apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis you might think there’s nothing complicated about how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate (which serves Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.) Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you’re doing it can be a lot harder than you expect.
First, you need to be within the consulate’s jurisdiction, as mentioned above, or your appointment will be completely useless. You also have to physically go to the consulate, so unless you live in Chicago you’ll need to schedule your appointment at a time that makes a trip possible.
Once you’ve figured out that you’re in the consulate’s jurisdiction and are looking into how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate, you should make sure to keep in mind that you’ll probably have to book the appointment 3-6 months in advance, and that’s if you do things right.
That’s because the specifics of how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate now require that you book your appointment through the online booking system. This booking system is new as of April or May of 2013, and the way the system actually works differs a little bit from how consulate employees tell you it works.
Basically, the booking system is a calendar that shows potential appointment dates. When all available appointment slots for a day are available, the day will be green on the calendar and you will be able to click on the day to request an appointment. When an intermediate amount of appointments are available the day will appear in orange, and you will be able to click on the day to request an appointment. If all appointments are booked for a day are booked, the day will be shown as red, and you will not be able to click on it. If there are no appointment opportunities for a day, it will be shown in black, and you will not be able to click on the day.
The online booking system opens up for new Italian citizenship jure sanguinis appointments four times a year. For my time frame the system opened up on September 15. I got this date from speaking with the consulate directly via phone, and was told that the system would open up for appointments for the following three months. That answer was confirmed in an e-mail.
Unfortunately that information is not entirely correct, or at least isn’t expressed correctly in English. Before September 15, 2013 the consulate was already booked for appointments through January 2014, which were the following four months. On September 15, 2013, the online booking system opened up for appointments starting in February 2014, and continuing for the three months after that. Not only that, but the system actually only opens up for one day of appointments at a time. So, basically, the online booking system opened up on September 15 for appointments on the first Monday of February, which was February 3. On September 16 the system opened up for appointments to be made for February 4, and so on.
New appointments fill up very quickly. Even if you’re online in the first hour that the system opens up you may not get an appointment. Because of this, my advice is to be online and ready to book your appointment the minute that the system opens up. I couldn’t get a straight answer on when the system would open up, exactly, so I ended up missing a few days worth of appointments. Through trial and error (I logged onto the system every hour on the hour for an entire day) I found out that the system opens up at 4pm Mountain Time in the United States. That’s seems like a weird time, but it actually corresponds to midnight in Italy, although I’m not sure if that’s actually the reason for the 4pm opening.
So, based on my experience, my advice for how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate for the purpose of applying for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis is to follow these five steps:
- Determine when you’re available for an appointment and will have all the necessary paperwork to apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis. Figure this out as soon as possible once you know you’re eligible for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis. Do not wait until you have all your paperwork, as you may have to book your appointment six months (or more) in advance.
- Contact the consulate by both phone and e-mail to find out when the online booking system will open up for the next round of appointments.
- Set up your account in the online booking system before you’re ready to set up an appointment. That way all you have to do is log in and click on an appointment time.
- Determine, based on when the online booking system will open up for new appointments, what day your ideal appointment date will open up.
- Be online at 4pm Mountain Time on the day your appointment will open up. Log in to the system at exactly 4pm, and click on that day’s appointment availabilities as quickly as possible. Confirm your appointment as quickly as possible. Book the appointment first, read the fine print (there’s not much) later. You can always cancel your appointment if something doesn’t work out.
Following these steps on how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate will make it much more likely that you’ll get the appointment date you want, although it will likely still be three to six months in the future.
If you want an appointment earlier than the one you actually sign up for, continue checking the online booking system. If someone cancels an appointment then the system will open up that slot and allow you to choose it. Getting an appointment via cancellation like this does require you to be flexible, though. Cancellations don’t happen very often, and they’re usually done a week in advance, if you’re lucky. Some are only done a few days before the actual appointment.
You should also keep in mind that if you’re still missing paperwork at the time of your appointment you don’t necessary need to cancel your appointment. Once you’ve attended an initial in-person appointment you’ll likely be able to complete you application for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis by mailing in documents or document corrections.
Since I haven’t actually attended my own appointment yet, that’s all the information I have about how to get an appointment at the Chicago Italian consulate for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis.
You can check out the Chicago Italian consulate’s online booking system here: http://www.conschicago.esteri.it/Consolato_Chicago/Menu/In_linea_con_utente/Prenota_appuntamento/. You can also e-mail the consulate about when the system should open up for new bookings in your time frame here: firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at (312) 467-1550. E-mail can be hit or miss in terms of getting a response, so can calling the consulate, but you can leave a message and I received a call back the next day. Good luck!