Yesterday we made the 2 hour drive to Detroit to visit the consulate and try to obtain some specific answers face to face. We had tried most of the week to get answers by phone or by email with no response, so decided this was the best way to gather information so we can decide what course of action to take next to get to Italy.
The consulate is located in downtown Detroit and has a small waiting room about 10' by 10' where you talk to the employee though a glass window. There were about 8 other people there and the wait was only about 20 minutes. We had prepared a list of questions so when it came to our turn we approached with smiles. We were able to ask several direct questions and get direct answers. When I have talked to consular employees in Los Angeles in the past by telephone I was always limited to 2 or 3 questions before the employee would conclude the conversation.
We verified that a drivers license is required for jurisdiction resident verification, the FBI background report is not required, the elective resident visa is the proper visa for us, health insurance is required, marriage certificate is required, airline tickets are not required, financial documents are required and a brief letter is suggested to explain the reason for our visa request. We were also told that a lettera di invito is acceptable and given the consulate form for this. This lettera was the main issue with the Los Angeles Consulate and they told us it was not acceptable, so we are still uncertain on this subject.
With this information we can think through what our plan should be to move to Italy and review our options.