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5 replies
Applying for a Schengen Visa in the Embassy of Italy in HOustin, Texas - Any tips/advice?
anandnesan
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Hi everyone,

I am foreign national and a US permanent resident. So I need a Schengen Visa for my 5 week backpacking trip this summer to Spain, France and Italy. I will be spending the maximum amount of time in Italy. Hence I have chosen to apply for my Visa in the Italian Embassy in Houston, Texas.

I expect this process to be pretty straightforward as long as I have all the documents straight (my Green Card, my Indian passport, bank statements, letter from my University as I am a student, plane ticket reservation info, hotel reservations for the entire trip, etc.)

This questions is directed to non-US citizens of course. Can you please share your experience applying for a Schengen Visa in an Italian Embassy in the US? Was the process pretty smooth? Is there anything I need to watch out for? Appreciate your comments and advice.

Thanks
Nesan

I am leaving from Austin with $3500 for 37 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rennes, Annecy, Marseilles, Venice, Florence, Naples, Rome
luv_the_beach
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Just to nitpick here for a second, because I don’t wnt the information in this thread to confuse others who plan to do the same thing:

Italy doesn’t have an embassy in Houston. Italy has a consulate in Houston. The Italian emnbassy is located in Washington, DC.

Embassies are a country’s official representation to a foreign country, or an international body (like the UN or NATO). Italy has an official representative to the United States. That person is the Italian ambassador to the United States, and s/he works in the Italian embassy in Washington. S/He doesn’t deal with us regular folks. He deals with the US govt.

Consulates deal with us regular folks, handing out visas or passports to regular jamokes like us. For example, if you need a visa to enter Italy, you go to the Italian consulate to get a visa. Or, if you’re in Italian citizen that lost his passport while backpacking across the USA, that Italian citizen will need to go to the Italian consulate to make a new passport.

Some embassies also offer consular services in the same building.

Then there’s honorary consulates, which are not really consulates. Many of them are just traveling/visitors info bureaus and are pretty useless.

Italy’s embassy to the United States is located in Washington DC. Italy also has an embassy, or “diplomatic mission” to the UN, located in New York, because that’s where the UN is. For us regular folks, Italy has a number of consulates in major cities across the US, such as the one Houston; there’s also one in Chicago, one in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in Detroit, and a few others major American cities.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

anandnesan
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Point well taken luv_the_beach. As a tourist I personally do not care whether it is an embassy or consulate Smile

Houston’s Italian Consulate does issue short term visas. Any personal experience with short term visa applications you care to share luv_the_beach?

Thanks,
Nesan

I am leaving from Austin with $3500 for 37 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rennes, Annecy, Marseilles, Venice, Florence, Naples, Rome
luv_the_beach
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Hi anandnesan,

The intention here is not to embarass you or be snarky. This is a travel advice website and while I perfectly understood you, and wouldn’t have bothered to correct you in casual conversation, this is not casual conversation. What we type here will be recorded online for years. And while you are only concerned with your own trip [which is perfectly legitimate], lots of other newbies browse these threads, others simply lurk, and others may come across this thread during a Google search.

I know you don’t care if you get your Italian visa from an embassy or a consulate or from a Walmart. If you can get it from a Walmart, great! But if Walmart doesn’t provide Italian visas, then Eurotrip shouldn’t be telling people that they can get their Italian visa from Walmart.

Any misinformation, even something that you and I take for granted, can confuse others. From experience, there are other fields I am not very knowledgable on, like when something’s wrong with my PC and I do internet research and browse IT threads, I know I would appreciate it if there wasn’t muddled/confusing information from the experts.

The embassy/consulate confusion is something that comes up often, and I try to correct it whenever I see it, and so do other Eurotrip veterans.

As for short-term visas: all consulates provide (or should provide) short term visas. If you live within the jurisdiction of the Houston consulate (yeah, for some reason, consulates divide up territories), then that’s the one you need to go to.

For your specific experience: we’ve had people in the past who were residents of countries that whose citizens don’t need Schengen visas, but the poster him/herself was a citizen of a country whose citizens do need Schengen visas. If no one responds here with their personal experience, try the search function. I don’t remember if there was feedback about how easy/hard the process was, but it’s worth a try. It should be pretty easy for US legal aliens to get a short-term visa to Schengen.

Smile


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

anandnesan
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Thanks for the suggestion about the Search function. I did find a thread that answered my question(s).

I am leaving from Austin with $3500 for 37 days
Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rennes, Annecy, Marseilles, Venice, Florence, Naples, Rome
wellsronald18
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Keeping all the fuss aside…I wish you get your visa soon and have a wonderful vacation.