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Different Names on Dual Citizen Italian Passport and US Passport

Different Names on Dual Citizen Italian Passport and US Passport

Old Jun 24, 19, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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What could go wrong

I am an American whose paternal grandparents were Italian. I have a right to become a dual Italian citizen. Unfortunately, my grandparents didn't pay much attention to the spelling of their last name, so my last name does not match the real last name of my grandparents. (All that matters is grandfather's name) For example, let's say I am named Decker. Real Italian name was De Caker.

To get dual citizenship, I would need to correct the Decker name on my father's baptismal certificate and from there construct a birth certificate for my father. (He doesn't have one) Then I have to change my name to De Caker, and I can get dual citizenship. After I would get dual citizenship, I would change my name back to Decker (easy in Ohio). I would try to get my passports aligned to have De Caker name at the same time and then switch back to Decker. Not worried about American transactions because I could simply sign (for instance, real estate papers) as De Caker aka Decker. Also, hoping that the timing of my travels would be such that maybe, I wouldn't need to change from passport from Decker to De Caker to Decker if I didn't travel for about 8 months and was able to get Italian citizenship and then quickly change my name back to Decker.

Am wondering how deep Chinese passport searches are and whether something causing a problem would pop up even if both passports had the same name on them when I was traveling. Or, whether other unforeseen (to me) issues might pop up.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 4:58 pm
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Presumably you would only apply for a visa with the US passport (as you get 10 years). They would not be aware of your other passport.
When applying for a visa, they often ask to submit previous passport in which you may have a Chinese visa
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Old Jun 24, 19, 5:58 pm
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Are you considering applying for a visa or something else? And if for a visa, would this be your first Chinese visa?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 7:40 pm
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Since your name's changed, you could not use a Chinese visa in your old passport together with your passport in your new name.

Although the requirement is very well hidden in the instructions, when you renew a US passport you have to disclose any other citizenships, and this can delay your application.

I assume when all this is over, you'll have one Italian passport in the name of DeCaker and one American passport in the name of Decker. That can cause confusion when booking flights, say from the US to Europe or vice versa, since at some point your reservation won't match one of the passports.

My general impression is that you're underestimating how many things can go wrong. For example, your birth certificate will cotinue to be in the name of Decker: how will the Italians deal with that?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:47 pm
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I already hav a 10 yr. Chinese visa with about 8 years left.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:03 pm
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But you cannot use that visa with a new passport unless the name (and nationality) match the old passport.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:50 pm
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My ultimate plan is to have my Italian name changed to Decker. I have been told once on a message board that changing your name in Italy is not easy, but I haven't checked closely.

Later edit. Just checked and changing your name in Italy doesn't appear to be super difficult. https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-...nge-their-name Particularly, since I have a good reason for the proposed name change -- Decker is the name I used for my whole life to this point.

Last edited by DaileyB; Jun 24, 19 at 10:24 pm Reason: new info
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Old Jun 25, 19, 2:13 am
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I'm not sure why you think you'd have to change your name back and forth.

Citizenship is granted based on bloodline. As long as you can establish this bloodline, your name is pretty much irrelevant (if this was your maternal grandmother for example you wouldn't have her family name, but you'd still be eligible).

The main issue is that you say your father doesn't have a birth certificate. If you can demonstrate that your grandfather was an Italian citizen, that your father is indeed the son of your grandfather, and that you are your father's son, then you are fine.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 4:42 am
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My recollection from reading genealogy boards is that Italy for whatever reason is quite fussy about names on documents being consistent over time when you apply for citizenship based on ancestry. Other countries in Europe offering ancestry-based citizenship seem more tolerant of the sort of changes minor and major that almost always crop up on documents produced over a century or so.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:18 am
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I'm with @malmostoso on this. I certainly know of Americans of Italian grandparent ancestry, where the Italian name got "Anglicized" upon arrival in the USA, who got Italian birthright citizenship without having to legally change their name back and forth in the USA. You just have to prove the relationship trail. You shouldn't have to legally change your name in the USA just to get an Italian passport....and I'd strongly suggest you think that one through, if the Italians demand you do this.

There are also dual citizens (USA + other country) that carry two different names on each of the passports....though this is more common with Asian duals than European duals. Still, it is not that uncommon (nor illegal) to be Joseph Vecchio on the USA passport and Giuseppe della Vecchio on the Italian passport. As for China, you stick with the identity you've already established and go in and out of the country and make flight and hotel tickets, on that USA name.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 12:15 pm
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Although I know I am eligible, I have always had this gut feeling that something will go really wrong, if I apply for Italian Citizenship and have name change issues. This message board has many posters who have indicated that Italy is quite fussy about having exactly the same name. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/ital...-sanguinis-f5/ Haven't read it for about 1 year, so theoretically possible that I am wrong.

Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
I'm with @malmostoso
There are also dual citizens (USA + other country) that carry two different names on each of the passports....though this is more common with Asian duals than European duals. Still, it is not that uncommon (nor illegal) to be Joseph Vecchio on the USA passport and Giuseppe della Vecchio on the Italian passport. As for China, you stick with the identity you've already established and go in and out of the country and make flight and hotel tickets, on that USA name.
Very interesting and would solve a lot of problems. Had no idea it could work that way. My main identity would always be American.

Last edited by TWA884; Jun 26, 19 at 11:17 am Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:40 pm
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Different Names on Dual Citizen Italian Passport and US Passport

My paternal grandparents were Italian, and I have the right to become an Italian citizen. However, my last name was Anglicized a bit. I travel a lot to China because my children are half-Chinese by ethnicity. I was going by the assumption that if I had 2 passports with different names that it would cause all sorts of problems. Several people at the Chinese forum said that was not the case. My question is if my American name is Decker and Italian name is De Caker, will that cause me problems when I travel. For anyone interested in the Chinese thread, here is the link: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chin...-go-wrong.html

Also, have gotten different opinions on how difficult it is to change names in Italy. (I may want to change Italian name to my American name, if I in fact do obtain dual Italian citizenship.) Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by DaileyB View Post
My paternal grandparents were Italian, and I have the right to become an Italian citizen. However, my last name was Anglicized a bit. I travel a lot to China because my children are half-Chinese by ethnicity. I was going by the assumption that if I had 2 passports with different names that it would cause all sorts of problems. Several people at the Chinese forum said that was not the case. My question is if my American name is Decker and Italian name is De Caker, will that cause me problems when I travel. For anyone interested in the Chinese thread, here is the link: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chin...-go-wrong.html

Also, have gotten different opinions on how difficult it is to change names in Italy. (I may want to change Italian name to my American name, if I in fact do obtain dual Italian citizenship.) Any insight would be appreciated.
If it's of any help, I have a different first name on my Italian and USA passport. The problem is that Italian language only has 21 letters, not 26 like English. Both contain letters that don't exist in Italian language. One of my passports contains a W, There is no W in the Italian language. The other contains a Y, There is no Y in the Italian language. I creates minimal to no problem for me. Just figure out how to explain it. I don't know anything about China. In Italy, they barely look at your passport if it is the color of an Italian passport. They just wave you through. Upon exiting maybe 3-4 times (out of many dozens) I've been asked why there is a difference in my first name. I just tell them one is the English translation of the Italian name, and they let me through in a second.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by DaileyB View Post
My paternal grandparents were Italian, and I have the right to become an Italian citizen. However, my last name was Anglicized a bit. I travel a lot to China because my children are half-Chinese by ethnicity. I was going by the assumption that if I had 2 passports with different names that it would cause all sorts of problems. Several people at the Chinese forum said that was not the case. My question is if my American name is Decker and Italian name is De Caker, will that cause me problems when I travel. For anyone interested in the Chinese thread, here is the link: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chin...-go-wrong.html

Also, have gotten different opinions on how difficult it is to change names in Italy. (I may want to change Italian name to my American name, if I in fact do obtain dual Italian citizenship.) Any insight would be appreciated.
Please continue to follow this thread as I move it to the Travel/Safety/Security Forum
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Old Jun 25, 19, 9:42 pm
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You only present one passport to whichever country's immigration you run into, so this isn't an issue at all. Just make sure that if you enter a country that has exit controls, you use the same passport entering and exiting. Note that the passport you use for immigration and customs doesn't have to be the one you use to check in to your flight.
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