I need to attend a conference in Italy this summer. I'm currently a J-1 student with a valid DS-2019, but my US visa has already expired. I read here that in order to apply for a Schengen visa, my US visa needs to be valid for at least 3 months. However my friend who had the same situation as mine was still able to go to Spain last October, and she even renewed her US visa from Spain. So is this a strict rule or could it get bypassed depending on the consulate that reviews my application?
UPDATE: I'm not sure about the reliability of the website I linked above, but from the documents check list on Detroit consulate's website:
Original and copy of Permanent Residence Card OR other US immigration document allowing re-entry into the United States. The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least three months beyond the intended departure from Schengen territory. International students must submit original and copy of F-1 Visa and valid re-entry ("travel") signature on your I-20.
I may misinterpret it, but does it mean that a re-entry signature on my DS-2019 is also acceptable?