Being a very popular Schengen country, Italy receives millions of visa applications from all around the world. Among that, around 1150 applications are made from Chicago, Illinois as per the latest available data of 2016.
Many the Italy Schengen visa applications from Chicago get rejected for reasons that you can easily avoid.
So, here is a quick guide, for all of you living in the windy city of Illinois, and for those of you who are looking for a way to make their next escape to the home of the pizza and pasta, and a sprawling coastline spanning the magnificent Mediterranean.
What are the steps to acquiring an Italy Schengen Visa from Chicago?
Applying for Italy visa in the US from Chicago involves the following steps:
- Ensure your correct jurisdiction(embassy) is Chicago
- Book an appointment at the Italy embassy in Chicago ( Get Schengen visa appointment for $ 10 )
- Collect all the required documents needed for your Italy visa
- Go to the interview in person to get your visa application processed
You have to remember that there are about 1.8 million Italy visa applications that are processed every year. And the US accounts for a huge part of that. With Chicago being the third most populated city in the country, you’re sure to have an application among thousands.
Make sure to do everything right and everything in order to increase the chances of your Italian visa approval.
Do I need a Visa for Italy/Schengen Countries?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself.
Whether you need Italy Schengen visa or not depends on your nationality.
A good tool that helps you check if you need a visa to visit Italy is available here.
Choose ‘EN’ as the preferred language and scroll down to answer few questions.
You will come across a questionnaire that asks you four simple questions. Your nationality, country of residence, duration of stay, and the reason for your travel. Once you answer these questions, you will get to know if you need to apply for a visa to enter Italy.
If you are a US citizen, with a US passport, then you will NOT be requiring a visa to travel to Italy. But if you are a US Permanent Resident (formerly Green Card holder) then you will need to apply for Schengen visa.
Who can apply for Italy Schengen Visa at the Italian Consulate in Chicago?
The Italian Embassy in Chicago takes applications ONLY from individuals who are permanent residents of the following states—Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
If you fall outside of these states, you CANNOT apply at the General Consulate in Chicago. But do not fret, we have a collection of Italy Schengen visa articles which would help you figure out your jurisdiction.
Do Green Card Holders Need a Schengen Visa to Enter Italy?
Green card holders need a visa to enter Italy or any of the other Schengen countries.
Now that you know that you will need a visa, you also need to know how to apply for one. The next section explains as for how you can book an appointment online at the Italian Consulate in Chicago. You need to book a date for the appointment and attend the interview physically.
I am also visiting Switzerland. Can I do so with my Italian Schengen visa?
Yes, you can, provided your point of entry is Italy.
Which consulate do you approach for your Schengen visa?
The consulate at which you need to apply for Schengen visa depends on several factors. You need to apply at the Italy consulate in Chicago if your main “theme” of your trip is in Italy .
How to Get An Appointment at the Italian Consulate in Chicago?
You can make the appointment online. Please note that no one can walk up to the Italian Consulate for the interview.
You might have some difficulty getting a date and time of your preference, but you should keep checking often. Cancelled appointments are quite common and these are what you need to keep a tab of.
Remember that your application cannot be submitted more than 90 days before you decide on entering the country, so plan accordingly. But also, do not leave it at the last minute to get make your Italy visa appointment since it might be too late particularly during holiday or vacations
Before you make an online appointment, you must first register on the following website:
Click on ‘New user registration’ tab on the top right and start filling in the details:
Ensure that you are filling the correct details. Keep your passport open while filling this form. The details on this form should match exactly with the details on your passport.
Once you finish the registration, you can activate your account by logging in your email, and clicking on the activation link that you will receive in your mailbox. This is an automated procedure.
Pick the date and time that suits you best. If you are unable to find one, revisit the appointment page every few hours or so, since cancellations may leave out empty slots. Don’t forget to cancel any appointment slot that you don’t need so others can book.
Documents required for Italy Schengen visa in Chicago
Once you have your appointment date, make a list of all the documents that you will need. The following documents will all be required in originals, and not copies.
- Passport (for Schengen Visas, no longer than 10 years old)
- Fully completed visa application form
- A personal cover letter
- Photographs (As per Schengen visa photo requirements)
- US Residence permit card/visa or Green Card
- Driver’s licence/ State ID (to prove your residence in one of the above-mentioned states)
- Sustenance proof (Bank balance/credit cards/ salary slip or other means which can prove that you can financially take care of your expenses in Italy)
- Personal Cover letter/travel itinerary (stating the purpose and breakdown of the visit)
- Hotel Bookings for Italy Schengen visa
- Flight Bookings/Itinerary for Italy Schengen visa
- Schengen Visa Travel Insurance (Click the link to get Insurance as per Schengen visa specifications)
- Letter from college/university (students/if applicable)
- A pre-paid US Postal Service envelope
A personal cover is very important document since it is the first document that the embassy would read. You can write something similar.
Make sure to include your travel plan in detail. Also, give a list of all the documents you are submitting.
Showing the date of arrival and date of departure is very important. The embassy needs to know your date of entry and exit from Italy. Showing temporary flight bookings will do the trick.
What is flight itinerary? Is it accepted by the Schengen consulate?
Of course, in fact all the embassies mention the same. We have added links to the official visa pages which you can verify.
Your travel itinerary : you MUST BOOK your airline ticket but do not purchase until the visa has been approved.
We recommend that you do not purchase travel tickets until your visa has been approved. On the other hand, you may provide us with a reservation, a planned itinerary or an online printout of a roundtrip ticket.
Travel reservation to and from schengen area, not a ticket. Note: Make travel reservation which you can cancel
Flight (roundtrip)/travel reservations and full itinerary (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries) with the name of passenger and one copy
Round trip ticket/reservation, originating in this jurisdiction to Europe (and ultimately to Italy) and back, including internal entry and exit points of travel i.e. EURORAIL tickets, car rental, internal flights. The names on reservations have to reflect the names on passports.
We can provide you with flight itineraries which is accepted by not only for Schengen visa but for all visas. We have customers using the same flight itinerary for Malaysia visa, Singapore visa, India visa, UK visa etc.
In fact the European union visa requirements for visa states the same.
As per the official document,
Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Schengen state.Schengen authorities accept the itinerary when applying for the visa but request the original air ticket when visa is collected.
That is why we have 100% visa acceptance rate although some of our customer have been requested to provide “additional documents”,none of their visa has been rejected for providing fake documents.
With 80% of our customers being return customers or companies which process visas for their employees/clients, our approach is the best approach if you want to ensure the safety of your visa.
This is our orders screen for this month. Most of the orders have been placed by repeat customers.
The best part about our service is along with getting a flight reservation without payment, you can also get confirmed hotel bookings, personal cover letter, leave/no objection letter for your visa consulates.
Hotel Reservations : It is better to not make hotel reservations unless your visa is approved. The cancellation charges are usually hard on the pocket.
Want temporary flight, hotel or insurance for your Schengen visa appointment?
You also need to provide proof of your accommodation in Italy. Most people opt for temporary hotel bookings in such scenarios. You should do the same.
Sustenance proof can be credit cards or travel cards.
The embassy will send your passport in the pre-paid envelope that you bring with you. Write your address on top and keep the tracking number handy.
Do I need to submit my original passport?
Yes, you have to. The embassy will not accept photocopies.
What about my Flight and Hotel Bookings?
Showing your flight and hotel itinerary is important to get your visa application processed. Many people avoid making these bookings before getting their visas approved. Rejection will lead to losing a lot of money in the form of cancellation charges.
That is why it is wise to opt for temporary bookings. All these embassies accept temporary bookings. This will help in saving a lot of money in case your visa application gets rejected.
Why should I take temporary hotel and flight bookings from you?
We have offered temporary flight and visa bookings to many at nominal charges. We have more than 100,000 satisfied clients.
Will my Short Stay Schengen Visa be Granted for 90-Days?
The visa provided will mostly be valid only for the dates you mention on your application. This will make it slightly more complicated if you have permanent hotel bookings and flight tickets.
Rescheduling might cost you more than you think. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a buffer of about 10 days before and after your intended date of travel, in case any delays come up.
What if I’m Staying with a Family?
If you’re planning to stay with a friend or relative in Italy, then they will need to fill out a declaration form and send a copy of their residence permit and identity to you, which you will need to provide at the embassy.
What if I Hold a B1/B2 Visa and want to apply for Italy Schengen visa?
Those who hold B1 or B2 visas can only apply for a transit visa to the Schengen area through the United States. If you wish to visit Italy, you must apply from the country of your nationality. So no, you cannot apply for Italy Schengen visa.
What about the Fees and Other Charges?
The fees for different visa categories differ. Minors below the age of 6 get visas free of charge. A student visa (long-term) will cost you about 60 USD whereas a regular Schengen tourist visa (short term) costs about 70 USD.
You must provide a money order or cashier’s cheque since neither cash nor personal cheques are accepted. The payment must be made when you are submitting your application.
How long will my application take to process?
Processing time for the visa application ranges from anywhere between 5 to 15 days. This also depends upon your nationality and visa type. During peak tourist season, the processing time may take longer than expected.
Related Italy visa links