Too much drama!

Getting an Elective Residency visa for Italy isn’t supposed to be easy. According to the Italian Consulate in Miami website “The elective residency visa is the most strictly regulated visa. Consular officers are required by law to investigate elective residency visa applications thoroughly.” Sounds encouraging, eh?

We completed the major tasks in Italy during our November trip: obtain a codice fiscale (similar to America’s Social Security Number), obtain a registered lease, get health insurance, and open an Italian bank account. The rest of the steps seemed comparatively easy: get an appointment at the Italian Consulate in Miami, renew our passports because they would be expiring too soon, gather all of the documentation required, and go for the interview. Hmpf…  not as easy as I imagined.

Get appointment: I had heard that it was difficult to get an appointment, but our lawyer said that he’d take care of it. I was disappointed on November 22nd to receive an email saying that the Miami Consulate wouldn’t allow this and we had to make the appointment ourselves. Yikes! I went online and got the next available appointment – for February 3rd. We planned to leave for Italy on January 31st and it typically takes 20 days after the interview to get the visa. Very disappointed, but I had a plan…  I would check daily for earlier appointments that open up due to cancellations. So, I checked many times per day. Supposedly the cancellations showed up at 6pm, but my frequent checking showed that they appeared randomly throughout the day. Oh, and the website is very unintuitive and cumbersome to use. Really hard on a cell phone – which I did a lot! When I would find an earlier appointment, I would excitedly take the next several steps to usually find out that the appointment was only for one person, not two. ☹ Finally, an appointment opened up for December 24th for two people. And I got it! Now all I needed was my passport…

Renew passports: we requested expedited service. Jim’s arrived quickly but mine did not. I finally received a letter stating that my picture wasn’t acceptable – no eyeglasses allowed anymore! Hmpf… why didn’t the guy who took the picture know that??? So, I had another picture taken and sent it back to the passport office, this time to the one in New Hampshire. Apparently bad passport applications get transferred there. ☹ They received it on a Monday, December 9th. I know this because I got a confirmation that it was signed for. I was starting to get anxious so I called them on Thursday to check on the status and they said that they were waiting on the picture. WHAT??? They sent a “message” to alert “them” to the situation. By Friday afternoon, I was able to confirm that they matched up my picture with my application. At this point, I began calling each afternoon. On Monday, I said that I needed it by December 23rd and they updated my file to indicate that and I paid for overnight shipping. On Tuesday, they said that it was actively being worked. I received it Wednesday, December 18.

Gather documentation: I felt like I was working a proposal… My BD friends will appreciate this…  Section L: requirements listed on Consulate website. Section M: gleaned from website, discussions with lawyers and other ex-pats, and reading lots of other blogs. I was to prepare two proposals (oops… I mean application notebooks): one for me and one for Jim. I was to prepare two backups to take to Italy. I bought four 1½ inch binders. I put all of the information in them with tabs separating each major and minor section. I prepared the cover sheets. We wrote our cover letters. Decades of experience was brought to bear on these notebooks! The only scary part is that Italian consulate personnel have very different perspectives from the US Government customers that I was used to…

Next step: Jim will be flying to Florida on Monday and we’ll attend the interview on Tuesday. My next blog post will either describe the wonderful Christmas present of a positive interview… or not!

5 thoughts on “Too much drama!

  1. Oh my, hats off to you for your diligence! Praying for your interview.

    Jill

    On Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 10:51 AM My Next Adventure wrote:

    > JLF posted: ” Getting an Elective Residency visa for Italy isn’t supposed > to be easy. According to the Italian Consulate in Miami website “The > elective residency visa is the most strictly regulated visa. Consular > officers are required by law to investigate elective re” >

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