A trip to Italy is a must on your bucket list, as it is a beautiful country and there’s a lot to explore here. Being one of the most visited of all Schengen countries, there’s really no surprise why everyone wants to go to Italy. It invites more than 1.5 million applications a year for travel visa. This means regardless of when you decide to go to Italy, there’ll be thousands of applications alongside yours.
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Close to 1000 applications are made from DC, and there are many rejections every year as well.
Here’s a guide to help you out if you’re applying at the Italian Embassy in Washington DC, and how to go about it, to ensure that you do it right.
There are four simple steps to getting your visa done from the Italian Consulate in Washington DC:
Make sure you’re applying in the correct jurisdiction or embassy which depends on your place of stay in the US
Register and book an appointment online at the embassy in DC ( Get Schengen visa appointment for $ 10 )
Collect all the required documents
Attend the interview, submit all the required documents, and apply for your visa
Follow this guide for a smooth visa application process to Italy.
Do I Need a Schengen Visa to Enter Italy?
In order to find out, if at all you’ll need a visa to enter Italy, visit the official Italian Consulate website in the USA
Select the language ‘English’ from top right and scroll down to answer few questions.
“Go to answers” to find out if you’ll need a visa or not to enter Italy.
In a nutshell, the questionnaire helps establish whether you’re a US citizen with a US passport or not. If you hold a valid US passport, you will NOT be needing a visa to visit Italy or any of the other 26 Schengen countries.
If you are a foreign national, living, and working in the United States under a valid permanent resident visa, then you WILL need to apply for a visa to visit Italy, and the other Schengen countries.
I am a Green Card Holder. Do I Need to Apply for Visa?
Yes, you’ll need to apply for an Italy Schengen visa if you’re a green card or permanent resident cardholder in the US. However, getting your visa approved isn’t difficult. Follow our guide to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly.
I am visiting countries like Slovakia and Denmark along with Italy. Can I apply for a Schengen Visa here?
The length of your stay is important in determining if you need a national visa (only for Italy) or a Schengen visa, that encompasses all Schengen countries. If it is the latter, then the length of stay will also determine which Schengen country you should be applying for a visa from.
A rule of thumb here is that the country in which you intend to stay the longest should provide you the Schengen visa. However, if your duration of stay is equally split, then the country which marks your first port of entry should be providing you the visa.
Apply at the Italy Embassy if you are intending to stay in Italy the longest, or if you’re making your entry into the Schengen area through Italy.
What if I’m a B1/B2 Visa Holder?
Holders of the B1/B2 visa in the United States are NOT applicable to apply for an Italian or a Schengen visa from the Washington DC consulate, or any of the other Italian Consulates in USA. You will need to apply for your visa from your country of nationality.
How do I Know If I’ve to Apply from Washington DC?
Now’s a good time to check if you are eligible to apply at the embassy in Washington DC or not. This will depend on where you stay within the United States, and which embassy has legal jurisdiction in that area. As for the Italian Embassy located in Washington DC, it’s slightly complicated.
Those living in the districts of Columbia (D.C.) and Maryland (M.D.), only two counties; the Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties fall under the jurisdiction of Italian embassy in DC. The same goes for Virginia (V.A.). Only the counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and the City of Alexandria can apply in DC. All other counties in all of these three states come under the Italian General Consulate located in Philadelphia.
If you don’t fall under the jurisdiction of either the General Consulate in DC and Philadelphia, then you can find out from the link here, which consulate you should apply through. Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Houston, and many other states and cities have the General Consulate of Italy office for you to apply through.
You Need to Start by Booking an Online Appointment at the Italian Consulate in Washington DC, for Applying for an Italian Schengen Visa
This is a simple method that requires you to log in here.
You will be taken to the following page.
Once here, click on the ‘New User Registration’ tab, and fill out the details asked. These must be typed out carefully and accurately, in order to ensure that they fully match the details in your passport. Once you’ve finished filling out everything, you will get an automated email response. This will contain your username and password that you can use to log into your account.
Clicking the link in the email will activate your account. Now you are ready to book an appointment. The appointment page, shown below, helps you pick a date and time that fits your availability. If you are unable to find something suitable, revisit the page every 12 hours or so. Cancellations are all too common and you’ll find the right time soon enough.
If you too intend on changing your appointment dates and time, then do update it on the system, so anyone else looking for your slot may take it. On the day of the appointment, carry the printed application of your visa form along with the stated documents to the office.
Documents Required for Visa Application at the Italian Consulate in Washington DC?
This is followed by a list of documents that you will need to keep ready before you even start your application.
Application form for Entry Visa (available here)
Passport size photographs (Recent)
Tickets to and from (proof of transport)
Proof of your sustenance in Italy
Any and all documents that prove the social and financial status of the applicant
Mandatory Health Insurance (international coverage of a minimum of €43000. It must be valid throughout the Schengen area) Read this article for more details
Proof of bookings for accomodation (hotel bookings, or a declaration of hospitality duly filled out by a resident in Italy. Available here.)
Here’s a detailed guide of what you will need:
Your original passport and it should have at least two blank pages. Ensure that your passport validity is at least three months from the date of your return from Italy. Bring a copy of your passport as well. Remember, that the consulate will take your passport for verification and return it via post. Bring along a self-addressed envelope of the USPS and note down its tracking number.
If you’re an US Permanent Resident, you’ll need to bring your US Permanent Resident card. Bring all the relevant documents that prove you to be a permanent resident in the US.
Two recent photographs showing clear front-face views. Paste one of these on the printed application form.
Proof of your sustenance in Italy and this can be in the form of travel cards, credit cards, and bank statements.
Employment Letter: A letter from your employer proving that work in the US with all the relevant details like your salary, joining date, leave approval etc.
Business Registration card if you’re self-employed and running a business in the US.
If you’re student, bring a letter from your university. Student exchange visitors need to bring the relevant forms like Form DS-2019 or Form I-20.
A Cover Letter: This should talk about your travel plans in details. Include your travel itinerary and mention all the documents that you’re carrying with yourself. Mention your reason of visit and include as much information about your travel plans as possible.
All of the documents provided in accordance with the application form need to have a validity post 3 months after the intended return of the applicant from Italy. Further, the applicant must carry with them a prepaid envelope, stamps and all, with the return address duly written out. This will be used to return the passport when the application has been processed.
Once the online application is filled out and signed, it needs to be taken along with the documents needed to the Italian Embassy in Washington DC. The embassy works through ONLINE APPOINTMENTS only.
What are the Visa Fees and Charges?
It’s important to keep in mind that the charge of the visa will depend upon your reason for travel and duration of stay. Here is a short breakdown of the varying costs.
If you’re applying as a citizen of the USA, then you’d either have to pay 70.70$ for a short trip, as is ideal for a tour. If you’re looking for a longer stay, perhaps for friends and family, then you can opt for a national visa, which will restrict your stay to Italy ONLY.
The fees you have to pay must be enclosed with the application. It cannot be paid in credit or in the form of a personal cheque. Failure to provide the payment amount will lead to rejection of your application.
What about Hotel and Flight Bookings?
You’re probably wondering what you can do about the hotel and flight bookings that you need to provide as a proof order to get your visa. This is a common cause for concern with most applicants. What if you visa get rejected? You’ll end up losing a lot of money.
Take our help as we offer temporary travel and hotel bookings that you can show at the consulate. We also help you in planning your itinerary properly, so that you application have a high chance of getting approved.
We also offer Italy Schengen visa insurance.
How long will My Visa be valid for?
The embassy would also likely give you visa only for the days you request, and not the full 90 days. This could put you in a time crunch. Book your temporary hotel (accommodation) and flight (travel) tickets with us, to ensure that you don’t end up paying a hefty sum in cancellation charges and rebookings.
Start by ensuring that the dates you input in your application for your visa, are flexible to the point that you can alter your stay 5 to 10 days before and after your intended date of visit and return.
Want temporary flight, hotel or insurance for your Schengen visa appointment?
Want temporary flight, hotel or insurance for your Schengen visa appointment ?
Why should I take Flight and Hotel Bookings from You?
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What If I’m Staying with a Friend?
Of course, you also have the option to stay with friends and family, in which case they must fill out a declaration form, and send you a copy of their identity and residence permit in Italy.
Can I Apply Via Post?
No, you can only apply online. Plus, you’ll have to attend the interview in person, to get your application accepted.
Can I submit a copy of my Passport?
No, you have to submit your original passport and bring along a prepaid priority envelope from the US Postal Services, so that they can send your passport back.
How long will my Application Take?
Once all of these things are taken care of, your visa application will most likely be approved within 2 to 6 working days. During peak travel seasons it may take up to a week or more, so be patient. The embassy does not appreciate or consider rush bookings.
Related Italy Visa links