23 February 2006

Visa application submitted

Yesterday we met with the consular agent here in Albuquerque, Elisa, to review our elective residence visa application and documentation. Elisa is a transplant to New Mexico from Venice who examined our application in detail, was pleased with our documentation and signed off on our paperwork. She gave us some last minute details and wished us best of luck. She doesn't have the authority to approve the application or influence its approval.

We then took the packet of information and went to the post office to obtain a money order for $117.80 to cover the fee for two and then dashed off to a Kinkos/FedEx store to make a few more copies, complete the FedEx forms and dropped the whole packet into the FedEx outgoing box. As the door closed we both wished this packet "Godspeed" as it heads off to Los Angeles.

The packet we sent to the consulate for approval consists of: a visa application for each of us, a letter from us outlining why we are applying for a visa, documentation of how we will pay for our 1 year visit, FBI background checks, a letter from our friends in Rome on our housing (lettera di invito), proof of health insurance, a copy of our plane itinerary, our passports, a set of passport photos, the money order, a pre-paid FedEx return envelope and a set of copies of all documents. We included an index page and tabbed each item for easy reference for the consulate and placed all of this in a 2 pocket folder. Elisa said we had a good, organized bundle of documents. She was actually quite impressed with it.

Submitting this application is not a guarantee we will receive a visa, but we have spent a lot of effort in learning and providing what the consulate will want in order to remove any potential threat of the consulate to deny our application. This package is now on its way to the powers that be and in God's hands, we not-so-patiently await for the return of our visas.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bryan,

My partenr and I talk about moving to Italy (we are in the UK so do not have the same hurdles as you and also have two children!)and your blog is inspirational but I have one question: after language school and acclimation, what are you going to do in terms of generating an income?

Mark

Felix said...

Bryan,
Now that you've submitted your forms, how long will you expect to hear from the consulate?

Bryan said...

Felix - The consulate says up to 90 days, we expect 4-6 weeks.

Mark - With the elective resident visa we can not work in Italy. We have funds we will rely on for our 1 year visa.

Bryan

Courtney said...

Bryan,

I've enjoyed reading your blog and admire your patience and positivity through all this! We're trying to do the same thing, possibly, so I wonder if you could clarify a few things:

1. In your letter stating your purpose in wanting a visa - how much detail did you give? Was it simply, "We want to live in Italy" or "We are researching business possibilities", did you sing the praises of the country, or what?

2. For accommodation what do they require in lieu of a lettere d'invito? Must you sign a year's lease ahead of time? But would that be even possible? Is it enough to show you have sufficient funds?

We appreciate any light you can shed on this for us.
I've been keeping my own blog about our transition, including a recent 3-month trip to Florence.
http://ccjanak.blogspot.com/

Courtney

Bryan said...

Courtney,

Sorry about the delay but we had to make an unscheduled trip back to the US, one of those things you know can happen but can't plan for when you move here.

We originally applied via the LA consulate and I was very specific in my cover letter what we were doing and where; we were denied. We then applied via the Detroit consulate and I was very NON-specific in my cover letter and we were approved. I would recommend being general and if you are applying for an elective definitely do not say anything about business options.

You have to show you have housing for at least a year. I have heard some consulates won't accept the lettre d'invito. You will need a signed and registered lease agreement if you don't have the invito or own property here.

Be aware that what works with one consulate may not work at another, they have the same general guidelines but specifics can vary from one to the next. What you read on the internet (including blogs) should only be viewed as guidelines.

Best of luck in your new adventure, let me know if I can be of additional help.