After researching all of the Visa types, collecting my documents and acquiring all of the required items for my Visa to Italy, I made the Italian Consulate appointment for the next available date which was Sept. 21st. During my appointment I submitted all the documents to the consulate – which included showing a round-trip plane ticket, international health insurance coverage for the length of your stay, a contract/lease showing you have a place to live for the duration of your requested VISA length and proof of financial sustainability.
Yup – that means taking a gamble by spending a lot of money before you know you are approved to move to Italy. This was just the beginning of nerve-wracking experiences!!
Finding an apartment in Italy could be a whole novel in itself, but at this time, I will say I achieved getting an apartment lease for one year in Rome. I had only seen photos online of the apartment. I hated not being able to personally see the actual apartment, but I couldn’t afford to fly to Italy to go apartment hunting, but I had no choice since to get my VISA I had to show proof I had a place to live.
At this point of the process:
All of my documents have been submitted to the consulate, my house is sold, I am selling my belongings and all I can do is wait to see IF I will get approved for the long-term VISA.
I was legally obligated to vacate my house by November 1. I had made my plane reservation to Rome, Italy for October 31. While I waited for my VISA approval, I continued to sell and clear out my belongings from my home. Trying to decide which few things I should take with me to my new life was difficult. If you could only pack four suitcases – what would you take? I opted for the basic necessities – some clothes, shoes, computer, coats, important paperwork, etc. No personal nick-knacks – just the basics. (hated this part too)
All of this work & planning had to be done and I had no idea if I was going to get the VISA. But, trying to stay positive, I just kept thinking that IT is going to happen. Trust me, it was getting difficult as the countdown to having to vacate my house & flight date was inching closer.
Finally on October 21st, ten days before I am booted from my home and my reserved flight departs for Italy, I get a FedEX envelope. The day the doorbell rang, I had so much going on that I had no idea what I was receiving from FedEx. It had been nuts in my house up until now: 4 garage sales, people coming over to buy things, I’m ordering pet cages for the trip, contractors at the house for the house sale and even tenting my house for termites to ‘please’ the buyer of my house.
Back to the FedEx man at the door…..I then realize, this must be IT – the response from the Italian Consulate. I stand in my kitchen nervous, physically & mentally exhausted and rip open the tab…. there it is, my VISA
I was approved to live in Italy for one year !!
And at this moment I broke down and cried – I was thrilled, terrified, in shock, relieved and probably a whole bunch more besides being exhausted. There it was, staring me in the face – the permission to go live ‘my dream’.
My next thought – S**T !, I’ve got ten days left in the states….better get a move on it!
If you’re from the USA and want to live in Italy for more than 90 days, you need a VISA.
Before I initiated my plans to move to Italy I had only heard of work and study visas, and as it turns out there are close to 20 types of visas to Italy. You’ll need to figure out which one can work for you personal situation.
(this information is based on an American citizen’s perspective. If you are EU – you’ll have less requirements.
If you want to only stay a maximum of 3 months – just go, no Visa is necessary.
If you want to stay more than 3 months and are from the USA and don’t feel like jumping through the hoops and skip the required Visa- that’s your choice to be illegal. However, if you get caught… you can be nixed from the entire EU for years. It’s your choice but I’d recommend the Visa route.)