4 Easy Steps to Apply for Italy Schengen Visa at Italian Consulate in San Francisco(SFO), California
If you’ve ever been to Italy, you may have just scratched the surface of what this beautiful country has going for it. For starters, its cuisine is some of the best in the world. Add to that, the number of monuments and ruins located in vibrant cities and less-touristy towns is simply awesome. With picturesque villages, stunning lakes, a spectacular coastline with glistening beaches, and its very own volcano, it’s not surprising that Italy is a hot destination to travel to. In this article learn more about how to apply for Italy Visa at the San Francisco consulate, Italian visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Italian visa application center and Italy Visa Application Process at the SFO consulate.
Italy was the third highest in the number of Schengen visa applications received in 2017 with a rejection rate of 7.7%. The consulate of Italy in San Francisco had a rejection rate of 0.5% from a total of 2,583 applications.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
In order to apply for an Italian Schengen visa from the US you must:
- Be a non-US citizen
- Be a permanent resident of the US
- Not hold a B1/B2 visa
If you hold a B1/B2 visa, you are only eligible for an Airport Transit visa which must be applied for in your home country.
If you are not sure about which Italian embassy or consulate to apply at then pls read on. If you reside in the following areas you are able to apply for your Italian Schengen visa at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco:
California. Not including the following counties: Imperial Valley, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Ventura. Residents of these counties must apply at the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles:
American Territories of Samoa
American Territory of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Johnston Atoll, Wake Island, Midway Islands
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco
There are 2 types of visa:
- Schengen visa – Valid for a maximum of 90 days
- National visa – For stays over 90 days
You’ll need to apply for one of the following categories of visas depending on why you wish to go to Italy:
a) Tourist – vacation
b) Business – business related to your profession
c) Study – study in Italy
d) Subordinate work – temporary/seasonal workers
e) Independent work – self-employed
f) Religious Activity – participation in a religious event
g) Dependents of US Military serving abroad – family accompanying military personnel
h) Civilian employees assigned to US/NATO bases – contract with military bases
i) Family – family of non-EU citizens resident abroad
j) Elective Residency – living in Italy
k) Research – research purposes
l) Airport Transit Visa (ATV) – Change planes on Italian territory
For each of these visas you can apply for either:
1) Single entry – Maximum of 1 entry during 90 day period
2) Double entry – Maximum of 2 entries during the 90 day period
3) Multiple entry – Unlimited entries during the 90 day period
Schengen Visa Application Process at the Italian Consulate in San Francisco
The first thing to do when applying for your Italian Schengen visa is to visit the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco’s website.
All the information you need for your application is here, but there are 4 straightforward steps which you need to follow for a stress-free experience. The first step is booking an appointment.
Step 1: Making an appointment
The Italian consulate in San Francisco use an online system called PrenotaOnline and this is how you will make your appointment.
When booking your appointment, please be aware of the following things:
- The online system is free and you will never be asked to pay a fee
- It’s recommended that you don’t use any websites or companies that say they can get you an early appointment, for a fee (the Italian consulate is not connected with such companies)
You should apply for your visa well in advance of your trip and you are allowed to do so up to 90 days ahead. During busy times, it might prove difficult to book an appointment. If this happens, continue checking the website for cancellations.
ONLY, if your departure is less than 20 days, you can book an appointment under the “emergency category”. If none are available, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with APPOINTMENT REQUEST FOR FLIGHT LEAVING IN LESS THAN 20 DAYS in the subject line. You’ll also need to include the following details in the email:
- Full first and last name (as it shows on your passport)
- Departure date (tickets MUST have been purchased)
- Email address
You’ll be added to the waiting list but, in the meantime, you should continue to check the website for an earlier appointment.
If you’re running short of time, then we can also help you book a visa appointment for a small service fee!
Step 2: Preparing your documents
Once you have booked your appointment, you should begin to get the required documents in order. The items you need with depend on your circumstances, so you should check on the Italian consulate’s website. Documents include:
– Valid for 3 months after the trip
– Issued within the last 10 years.
– 2 free pages
– Photocopy of relevant pages with personal data, expiration date, and signature
2) Proof of physical residence
– Photocopy of driver’s license, state ID, or utility bill
3) Proof of legal permanent residence
– S. Alien Registration Card or valid long-term U.S. visa (originals and photocopies
– Valid I-20 Form and/or I-66
4) 1 x recent photo
– Passport-size, 3 x 4 cm
– White background
– Full face, front view
– Glued to the application
5) Fully completed Schengen visa application form (you have the option of filling out your application online)
– Recent bank statement/letter
– Financial guarantee
– Affidavit for financial support (must be notarized)
|Up to 5 days: €269.60 per person/€212.81 for 2+ people|
|6-10 days: €269.60 plus 44.93 daily per person/€26.33 for 2+ people|
|11-20 days: €51.64 per person/€25.82 for 2+ people. Plus an additional €36.67 per person daily/€22.21 daily for 2+ people|
|20+ days: €206.58/per person/€118.79 for 2+ people. Plus an additional €27.89 per person daily/€17.04 daily for 2+ people|
7) Employment verification
– Employed: Employer letter signed and dated stating, salary and dates of leave
– Self-employed or company owners: Business license/Income tax return
– Students: Enrolment letter
– Retired: Proof of pension income
8) Round trip ticket(Fully Paid Ticket)
– Italian consulate in San Francisco accepts only e-tickets that are fully paid for. They do not accept flight reservations unlike most of the other Schengen embassies. Hence, we suggest you to purchase refundable flight tickets directly from the airlines to meet this requirement.
– Including internal entry and exit points of travel
– Names on reservations have to reflect the names on passports
– The thirteen-digit e-ticket number must be visible and legible on the ticket.
9) Lodging for all nights
– Hotel reservation and confirmation letter directly from the hotel
– Vacation rental agreement
– Original declaration of hospitality/photocopy of host’s ID and/or residence permit
– Tour itinerary
10) Travel Insurance
– $50,000 cover for medical expenses, hospitalization costs, and repatriation
11) Declaration for mailing passports
12) A self-addressed, pre-paid US Postal Service Priority or Express Mail envelope
13) Details of companies/employment contract
15) Confirmation of course/cultural program
16) Religious qualification and details of participation in any type of event
17) Birth and/or marriage certificate
18) Military orders
19) USSO letter
20) Entry clearance documents (Nulla Osta)
Step 3: The Schengen Visa Interview
On the day of your interview, get to the Italian consulate in San Francisco early. This is a good idea because you can spend a few minutes making sure you have everything you need and to prepare yourself before the interview begins. You want to try and make a good impression, so dress in formal clothing and treat the interview as if you were applying for a new job.
As part of the interview, you may be asked additional questions. The visa official only wishes to confirm that you have genuine reasons for traveling to Italy, so take a few deep breaths, listen carefully, and answer honestly.
Typical Schengen visa interview questions include:
- Who lives with you now and what do they do?
- Will you do business in the Schengen area?
- I don’t think you will come back. What’s your comment?
- Who will pay for your visit>
- Which countries in the Schengen area are you planning to visit?
You’ll also need to pay the relevant fee for your visa. You can only pay with money orders or cashier’s check payable to the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco.
|Type of Visa||Fee|
|Italian Schengen visa||$70.00/€60.00|
|Italian Schengen visa (minor ages 6-12)||$41.00/€35.00|
|Long Stay National visa||$135.00/€116.00|
After the interview, you may have to provide biometric data which will be scanned into the system for use by authorities.
Step 4: Receiving your visa
When your passport is ready it will be sent to you by mail in the self-addressed envelope you provided. Processing times for visas are between 7-15 days, however, it may take longer depending on your nationality and type of visa applied for.
The Italian consulate’s website is full of useful resources to help you apply for your visa and if you stick to these simple steps, you should have no problems in receiving it. However, applications do get rejected for a variety of reasons:
- Applied to the wrong embassy
- No proof of accommodation
- Travel documents are false
- Passport invalid
- Insufficient funds
- Purpose of stay isn’t clear
To avoid any of these rejection reasons, make sure you contact the correct Italian embassy or consulate and have all your documents in order and up to date. At the interview, be clear about your intentions and answer questions truthfully.
Contact detail for the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco
Address: 2590 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Website: Italy Consulate in San Francisco(SFO)
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Timings: Tuesdays: 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Applying for your Italian Schengen visa at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco is really easy and their website has everything you need. In addition, if you follow these recommended steps, it will make it even easier for you and you can look forward to your well-deserved trip to Italy.
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