Italian Consulate Houston – 4 Easy Steps to Apply for Italy Schengen Visa
Italy’s history spans centuries back in time and across the whole country visitors are enthralled by the impressive architecture and ruins where thousands of stories are kept secret. That’s just the tip of the iceberg because there are modern cities with plenty of things to see and do, charming towns and villages perfect for exploring, and stunning beaches and islands for a spot of relaxation. Once you go to Italy, you’ll want to return again and again to this beautiful Schengen country. In this article learn more about how to apply for Italy Visa at the Italian consulate in Houston, Texas, Italian visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Italian visa application center and Italian Visa Application Process at the Houston consulate.
1,850,260 Italian Schengen visa applications were received worldwide in 2017. Of these, 7.7% were refused. The consulate of Italy in Houston received 1,390 applications and only 16 were not issued.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
You can apply for a Schengen visa as long as you are a legal US resident and hold one of the following documents:
- US passport
- US permanent residence card
- Foreign students with valid visa and I-20
- Exchange visitors with valid visa and I-66
- Long-term US visa (e.g. L1, L2, H1, H2, R1 etc.)
- US permit to re-enter
- US refugee travel document (document de Voyage de refugee)
Applicants with a B1/B2 visa cannot apply for a Schengen visa. In this case, you are able to apply for an Airport Transit visa and you must do this in the country where you were born.
First of all, you have to make sure you apply at the right Italian embassy and consulate. The Italian consulate in Houston only deals with applications from those who live in the following areas:
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the Italian Consulate in Houston
There are two types of visa offered at the Italian Consulate in Houston. The one you need to apply for depends on the duration of your trip.
- Schengen visa – 90 days
- National visa – over 90 days
Once you know which visa you need to apply for, you then need to choose the category of visa. This will be determined by the reason you wish to go to Italy. The following visas, which are valid for a maximum of 90 days, can be applied for at the Consulate General of Italy in Houston:
- Visiting family/friends
- Official visit
- Medical reasons
- Airport transit
The following visas are available if your trip is for over 90 days:
- Family reunion
- Religious reasons
- Medical reasons
- Subordinate work
All of these categories of visas can be:
- Single entry – Maximum of 1 entry within the 90 day period
- Double entry – Maximum of 2 entries within the 90 day period
- Multiple entry – Unlimited entries within the 90 day period
Schengen Visa Application Process at the Italian Consulate in Houston
If you want to apply for your Italian Schengen visa in the simplest way possible, there are a series of simple steps that will guide you through the process. First, go to the Italian consulate’s website and click on “Visa for Italy – Do you need a visa?”
Scroll down and key in your nationality, country of residence, length of stay in Italy, and the reason for your stay:
Click, “go to answers” and the system will tell you what documents you require:
Step 1: Making an appointment
The Italian consulate in Houston has their own booking system called Prenota Online which you must use to book your appointment:
You’ll need to log on or register as a new user if this is your first time using the system:
When you book your appointment, remember to apply in plenty of time. The Italian consulate in Houston takes up to 2 weeks to process visa applications and you can apply up to 12 weeks in advance of your trip. If you cannot get an appointment, you should keep checking the booking system for cancellations.
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Step 2: Preparing your documents for submission to the consulate
Check the consulate’s website for the list of required documents. These will depend on your reason for traveling to Italy, but they include:
1) Visa application form – data must match passport and the form should be dated and signed in front of a visa official. You can complete your application form online if you prefer.
2) Recent passport-style photo – full face and front view on white background. Not scanned or photocopied
3) Passport (and a copy of relevant pages) – valid for 3 months after visa expiration date, not older than 10 years, with at least 2 blank pages
4) Permanent residence card or other US immigration document allowing re-entry into the United States
5) Driver’s license, state ID, or other proof of current address
6) Copy of most recent Schengen visa (if applicable)
7) Employment verification
– Employed: letter of employment stating position held, length of employment, salary, approved vacation time and/or recent pay slips
– Self-employed or company owners: business papers, state license, most recent tax return
– Students: enrollment letter or recent transcript
8) Proof of financial means – last 3 bank statements or bank letter of financial good standing/affidavit of support for dependents/bank guarantee
9) Medical insurance coverage abroad – for the entire period of the trip for a minimum of €30,000 to cover hospitalization, emergencies, evacuation, and repatriation
10) Proof of lodging in Italy – hotel reservations with hotel’s address/cruise/trip itineraries/host’s declaration with the host’s ID and residency permit
13) Copies of visas needed for the current trip
14) Conference registration
15) Confirmation of enrolment/internship
16) Scholarship/financial aid details/sponsorship letter
17) Religious qualification and details of participation in any type of event
18) Birth and/or marriage certificate
19) Parental consent form (for minors)
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 3: The Schengen visa interview
The Schengen visa interview is a way for the consulate to review your application and satisfy themselves that you have genuine reasons for traveling to Italy. Take time to make sure you have everything you need because missing paperwork will mean that the application and appointment can’t proceed and you may have to re-apply.
Tips for success are:
- Have ALL documents ready (originals and photocopies)
- Arrive early – this will give you a few minutes to relax and prepare yourself
- Dress appropriately – this is not the place for shorts and t-shirts
- Be confident
The visa officer may ask you extra questions if they wish to confirm any information you have stated in your application. Don’t worry if they do, just answer the questions honestly and to the point. Sometimes a simple yes or no will be enough. Typical Schengen visa interview questions include:
- Have you ever traveled to a Schengen country before?
- Will you be meeting friends there?
- What is your salary?
- How will you support yourself financially in Italy?
- How do we know that you will return within the visa period?
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
You’ll also need to pay the relevant fee for your visa and you can pay by cash, money order or cashier check payable to “Consulate General of Italy”. The consulate does not accept personal checks. This fee is non-refundable.
Schengen Visa Fee
Type of Visa
Italian Schengen visa
Italian Schengen visa (minor ages 6-12)
Long Stay National visa
During the interview, you may have to provide biometric data which included fingerprints and a photograph taken. This information is then scanned into the system for use by immigration authorities.
Step 4: Receiving your visa
When your visa application has been reviewed you will be notified and can collect your passport from the consulate during their business hours. You can also arrange for your passport to be returned by mail. If you wish to do so, you need to provide a pre-paid express mail envelope. Please note, the consulate will not return passports by regular mail. The consulate of Italy in Houston aims to process applications within 2 weeks, however during the months of May, June, July, August, September, and December processing times can be up to 3 weeks.
If you follow these 4 straightforward steps, you should receive your Italian Schengen visa without any problems, however, there are times when applications still get rejected. Common visa rejection reasons are:
- Passport is not valid for 3 months after return
- Purpose of the trip isn’t clear
- No accommodation
- No itineraries
- Lack of financial means
- Inconsistent information
To avoid your visa application from being rejected make sure your passport and other documents are valid. Give as much information about your trip as you can and provide all the necessary paperwork to the consulate.
Contact detail for the Consulate General of Italy in Houston
Address: 1300 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 660, Houston, TX 77056-3088
Telephone: +1 713 850 7520
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
To conclude, all you need to do when applying for an Italian Schengen visa at the Italian consulate in Houston is:
- Make your appointment
- Prepare your paperwork
- Attend your interview
- Receive your visa
It seems like a lot to do, but in reality, there are just 4 simple steps to go through in order to follow your dream of visiting Italy.
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa and much more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.
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