Dual Citizenship Services

Reclaiming Your Ancestry

Petitioning for and Obtaining Vital Records

Our practice enjoys working with clients who are in the process of applying for citizenship with their respective ancestral country. We understand the importance of our clients’ goals as some of our team members are also dual citizens of Italy. We have been through the process and treat each client as an individual. We learn about your history and your goals, while determining the best way we can help you. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment to review your matter.
Our office has filed hundreds of petitions on behalf of our clients in New York State court.

Our Services Include:

  • Filing petitions requesting release of deceased ancestors’ New York State birth certificates;
  • Filing petitions requesting one and the same declarations;
  • Filing petitions requesting amendments or corrections of certain vital documents;
  • Requesting declaratory judgments with regard to missing New York State birth or marriage certificates;
  • Requesting release of certified copies of judgments of divorce and certificates of non-appeal;
  • Filing applications on behalf of clients to obtain US naturalization documents or “no record” letters from USCIS and NARA, Town, City or County Clerks;
  • Preparing forms to order marriage and death records;
  • Obtaining genealogical copies of vital records;
  • Filing name change petitions to reclaim the family’s original surname

Did your family’s name change over the years and you would like to reclaim it?

Our team recognizes that a person’s name is a very important part of identity. For many people on the journey of seeking dual citizenship, the name they were born with or given does not truly reflect how they have come to understand themselves and their heritage. If you want your family name to be restored and clarified in a way that connects back with your ancestry, we will be happy to consult with you about filing a name change petition in New York State.
Many people choose to revert back to the family surname in order to honor family members’ sacrifices and achievements that have been integral to their life story. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment to review your matter.

Send Us a Message

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Caterina Ranieri and her great team helped us with obtaining records required for Italian Dual Citizenship from the State of NY that could only be obtained with a court order. What seems like a simple request was more complicated than it appears on the surface. Her legal advice and guidance through the process were extremely helpful in getting the outcome we needed. Her team was always great with responding to questions along the process. We feel that we were very fortunate to have found Caterina and highly recommend her services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dual Citizenship Services

We are a New York State law office and our legal advice Is limited to New York State laws and United States Federal laws. To determine if you qualify for dual citizenship, we suggest you check with the rules of the country with which you seek dual citizenship.

You should check the rules of the country with which you are seeking citizenship to help you determine if you qualify. Once you know you are eligible and you know which documents you need, please contact our office to set up an appointment. If legal action is required to obtain certain documents, we will so advise you.

If you have an ancestor who was born outside the five boroughs in New York State and they are no longer living, we can prepare and file a petition with the appropriate court requesting the certified long-form copies of the birth certificate to be released.

A petition filed with the appropriate court can take anywhere from 3 months to 6+ months. The time it takes is dependent on the scope of work and the Judge’s caseload.

Whether you need to appear in Court depends on various factors such as whether your matter presents difficult questions of law, if the becomes adversarial, or the court requires it. We do our best to anticipate these scenarios and advise our clients accordingly if an appearance or a hearing is required.
A “one and the same” declaration, also known as an OATS, is a petition wherein the client asks the Court to enter a declaration with regard to their ancestors’ identities.
To determine if you need an OATS, please check with the rules of the country with which you are seeking citizenship to inquire whether an OATS is needed for certain ancestors.

Our office engages in litigation with various New York State agencies, which has become increasingly more difficult in recent years. If you are looking for a “quick fix” or a fast resolution when it comes to litigation, we may not be the office for you. Litigation is a serious endeavor with risks involved. We do our best to manage those risks.

If the Court agrees with the relief you are seeking, the Court will sign the order which will direct how the relief will be granted. For example, if the Court agrees with your request and it signs the order directing the release of an ancestor’s birth certificate, we will then have a certified copy of the order sent to you. Once you receive the certified order, you will mail the certified order, the order form, payment, and identification to the appropriate agency.

The same holds true for amendment requests where the Court directs the amendment of certain vital documents.

If the Court enters a declaration regarding the identity of your ancestors, we will have certified copy of the order mailed to you which you can then have an Apostille placed on the order by the New York State Department of State.

Yes, by filing a request for an Order to Show Cause which is a request to expedite the process. To make this request, the petition must explain why fast relief is requested.
There are two Departments of Health - the New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene maintains the records for the five boroughs, which are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. The Department of Health in Albany maintains the records for the rest of the state, including Long Island and Yonkers.
We recommend you check with an attorney who is authorized to practice law in the country with which you are seeking recognition of citizenship to determine what you will need to help complete the process. Once you know what documents you need, our office can help you obtain those documents that are located within the United States.
Litigation is a serious matter in New York State. We engage in litigation on a regular basis with various local and state agencies. It requires a significant financial investment on the part of our clients. If you are not prepared to make this investment, we may not be the right firm for you. Petitions which request the release of deceased ancestors’ New York State birth certificates start at $1,950. Legal fees for petitions that request one and the same declarations or correction of vital documents start at $3,250 and increase based on the number of ancestors whose identities need to be addressed or number of documents that need to be corrected.
If you have inquired in writing with local, county and state agencies, and those agencies have issued a “no records found” letter, as of this writing, relief that may be available is asking the Court to make a declaration that the event did in fact happen in New York State. This request is completely discretionary and the Court will make the ultimate determination if sufficient evidence has been presented or if the Court believes it has the authority to enter such a declaration.
No, judges are randomly assigned in the New York State Court system.
Please note that Caterina Ranieri is admitted to practice law in New York State and therefore cannot advise on the laws of other states or countries or whether you qualify for dual citizenship with another country.
Please contact an attorney duly competent to advise you on laws regarding the country with which you are seeking dual citizenship.
Finally, the United States permits its citizens to maintain a dual citizenship, meaning they are also a recognized citizen of a foreign nation. Each country has its own unique laws that govern the eligibility and qualifications to become a citizen or dual citizen of that country. It is incumbent upon you to research the laws of other countries to determine their policies regarding dual citizenship.
Scroll to Top
Skip to content