TL;DR: If you are visiting the Schengen breadth and your beat allows it (i.e. your aboriginal point of access is not Italy or you’re not blockage the longest in Italy), I awful acclaim you don’t administer for a acceptance through the Italian consular office.
I waited until I was issued a Schengen acceptance to address this but I absolutely capital to allotment my acquaintance with the Italian admiral in Boston.
I adulation to travel. However, I am aborigine of the Philippines. This agency that for best countries on apple I charge a pre-entry acceptance afore I can biking (except for the ASEAN, Israel, Brazil, and a few others). Although I’m not a agitator for abiding and not a blackmail to their civic security, I charge to be austere afore I can access their ascendancy and pay all those ridiculously aerial acceptance fees.
Now, let me put things in context, I am currently residing in the United States of America (good ‘ol USA — home of the adventurous and acreage of the free) on F-1 acceptance aback 2009. I am a apprentice at one of the top schools in the apple and I accept accurate company visas for Canada and the United Kingdom. I accept never been denied a acceptance from any country afore and the actuality that the US, Canada, UK accept issued me assorted access visas for at atomic six months, I am appealing able-bodied trusted by these big and able countries and with a appealing acceptable history as an conflicting and absolutely does not affectation a blackmail to any country’s security.
So I capital to biking in the Schengen breadth over winter break. And for you who don’t apperceive what the Schengen breadth is (oh please — read some history books!), it’s an breadth of 26 countries aural Europe that active the Schengen acceding removing centralized borders amid their countries. And for those who apperceive what it is but are confused, for heaven’s account it’s not the aforementioned as the EU or the Eurozone and not all of the states in the Schengen breadth is allotment of the EU or use the Euro as their currency!
Going back, I bare to get a Schengen acceptance afore I can travel. Given that I am blockage in Italy for the best allotment of the trip, the EU law as provided by the Amsterdam Treaty requires me to administer for the acceptance in an Italian consular office. Now, at aboriginal it looked accomplished with me. I mean, as continued as I could be issued a acceptance it didn’t absolutely amount which consular arrangement issues it. Or so I thought.
My arrangement with the Italian admiral was at 9 AM on a Wednesday morning (pretty aboriginal huh). That was the abandoned time I could accomplish aback I was aerial to San Francisco afterwards and blockage there for bristles days. I didn’t appetite to adjournment my acceptance action so I took the agitation of activity there that morning. The Italian admiral is amid central the Federal Reserve building. Afterwards activity through the accepted aegis analysis with the Feds (which btw was like activity through the airport but abundant bigger because they were abundant nicer than the TSA), I went up to the 17th attic and waited to be alleged by the acceptance officer. As I was the aboriginal being to be in there, it didn’t absolutely booty time until I was in advanced of the booth.
With my appliance absolutely abounding out and all my acknowledging abstracts ready, I handed them to the acceptance officer. The guy seemed friendly. He asked for my I-20 (a US government anatomy proving my F-1 status), a letter from the school, my beat and the blow of the documents. It was a airy process, or at atomic at first. He went through my beat (see below) and asked a brace of questions.
New York, USA (exit from USA) -> London, UK (non-Schengen)-> Berlin, Germany (entry to Schengen) -> Prague, Czech Republic -> Amsterdam, The Netherlands -> Paris, France -> Barcelona, Spain -> Oslo, Norway ->Tromso, Norway -> Oslo, Norway -> Milan, Italy (entry to Italy) -> Genoa, Italy -> Milan, Italy (exit from Schengen) -> London, UK (non-Schengen) -> Boston, USA (entry to USA)
So although my point of access is Germany, I bare a acceptance from the Italian admiral because my accepted plan dictates that I am blockage in Italy the longest. The acceptance guy seemed accomplished with it and with an allurement letter from my acquaintance in Italy, I asked for a assorted access acceptance accurate for at best 90 canicule because I accept a assorted access to the UK and ability accept some ancillary trips there while my approval is still valid. He said 90 canicule was a little too abundant and he’d accord me 50 canicule assorted instead. I said ‘sure’ aback that’d be abundant for my biking plans.
And afresh this added adult came and aing the process…
She seemed absolutely nice and a beautiful complete lady, until she started allurement questions. She asked me questions about breadth I alive and my parents. I told her that I am currently residing in Cambridge, my parents are in the Philippines, and I don’t accept any ancestors in the Schengen breadth let abandoned the absolute European Union. And afresh she dug added about my academy status, graduation, and my finances. I showed her my US coffer statements as able-bodied as statements from my banks in the Philippines. I explained that I am a apprentice and don’t accept a lot of assets but would accept abundant abutment to armamentarium this trip. And then, she started cogent me that she wouldn’t accede my Philippine coffer statements unless it is active and absolute by their admiral in Manila. How the heck would I be able to do that? I showed my BDO coffer agenda and Metrobank acclaim agenda with Mastercard logos on it and told her that these can be accessed internationally; she wouldn’t buy it.
At this point it acquainted that I wouldn’t get my visa. She asked for added affidavit that I wouldn’t over break in the Schengen area. I told her that I am admission academy in June and showed her the letter from the academy to prove that. It wasn’t abundant proof, she responded. I was abashed to the anticipation of how I can attempt my graduation (and of course, my future) by over blockage in the Schengen breadth let abandoned Italy back I for one don’t allege their accent and accept no ties in Europe.
And so afresh I had to prove that I will be abrogation the Schengen breadth at the end of my trip. The abandoned way to do that is to appearance them accepted biking reservations. She asked for them. Acceptable affair I had abundant accessible acclaim in my acclaim cards that I was able to acquirement my access and avenue flights that aforementioned day. While added consulates like the US and the UK don’t acclaim affairs tickets afore the acceptance is issued, it seems like the Italian admiral capital me to buy them advanced of time. Chicken and egg problem.
To accomplish the affairs worse, she told me that the allurement letter isn’t valid — that it has to be beatific to them anon from the being in Italy. Now I said, that’s antic because they never mentioned annihilation about it in their website. But afresh again I charge the visa, so I complied.
Man, she has the aperture of Marilyn Monroe but the eyes of Caligula.
Overall, it took me added than an hour to accomplishment the affliction with the acceptance office. They weren’t as nice as I accepted them to be. Both the acceptance administrator allege Italian back they allocution about my appliance with anniversary other, so I acquainted absent and disrespected as well. At the end, the guy afflicted his apperception and absitively to accord me a 45-day bifold access acceptance as against to the 50-day assorted he told me earlier. I assumption it would be fine, aback it was abundant anyway. But it acquainted like it wasn’t absolutely a aphorism but added of a cardinal they artlessly ample out after.
My acquaintance in the Italian admiral wasn’t the best of all my acceptance experience. The longest I accept been in a acceptance arrangement afore that was a 5-minute account with an administrator at the US Admiral in Manila and I never had to alone arise afore the Canadian and British consulates. With the aforementioned abstracts I presented to the Italian consulate, the British admiral in New York issued me a 180-day assorted access acceptance with no questions asked.
At the end of the day, I accustomed my Schengen acceptance a little beneath than two weeks afterwards my interview. I don’t apperceive if it was aloof a bad day or the Italians are aloof like that (read the analysis of the Italian admiral in San Francisco with so abounding bodies complaining), but it absolutely wasn’t the best. And back I appointment the Schengen breadth in the future, I’ll apparently accomplish abiding to abstain the Italian consulate. And oh, I heard the Spanish are abundant added friendly!
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