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I am in a bind. I have been invited by a University in Venice to attend a workshop in June 2019. I am planning to travel to Italy with my family.

I used to be on an F1 student visa, but since graduation, I have transitioned into H1B now with current I797 Notice of action (valid until 2022) in hand. My wife and I don't have our passports stamped as we did not travel outside of the United States since 2016 (last time I entered as an F1 and my wife on F2 visa status).

I have an appointment this week at the Miami Italian consulate. They are asking for a valid visa stamp on the passport which I don't have as we have not traveled to my home country (India) and we intend to get the updated visa stamping done after my workshop in Italy.

What should I do? I am thinking of going to the visa interview and justify my case politely. Please suggest.

Thank you.

  • You can get a US visa while you're in Italy, or you can go to Mexico or Canada to get one, but I suspect that the consulate will require you to have a valid US visa before they'll grant a Schengen visa, since they say that the visa must be valid for at least three months after your planned departure from Schengen territory, implying that they're looking for proof that you'll be able to get back into the US. – phoog May 1 at 20:43
  • Thank you for your response. I saw another thread: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/53833/… and I was hoping that I could produce the I797 and perhaps a US visa stamping date (schedule) back in India to justify the travel. – Arya May 1 at 20:46
  • Maybe you will be lucky as was Mandy. The current [document list]( consmiami.esteri.it/consolato_miami/resource/doc/2018/06/…) seems to be from 2018 (see the URL), though, so it's clearly not official policy to allow an application in your circumstances. The other thing you might try would be to show a plan to travel to India after leaving Italy, but then they might argue that you've failed to show that you reside in the US. Since your appointment is this week, you probably have no choice but to try and hope for the best. – phoog May 1 at 20:58
  • What I don't understand is that why is the visa stamping so important? I mean I do have a valid work permit, and that should suffice. – Arya May 2 at 3:15
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    Let's hope that they will listen to my case and judge it independently. Here is another reassuring post: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/112426/… – Arya May 2 at 7:10
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Fast-forward two days >> So here is our experience at the Consolato Generale d'Italia in Miami. We went there with my wife and 1-year old child. We reached Miami 7:30 in the morning and went from there to the consulate. Our experience has been only positive. The staffs were highly accommodating given we were traveling with an infant. They asked us only the simple questions, and when asked about producing the long term visa document, I gave them my I797A Notice of Action, and they accepted it readily. Finally, we were ten-printed, and that's all. I am waiting for my Schengen visa in mail.

I hope my experience brings some hope to others who are in the same boat.

  • Thanks for letting us know that happened. I don't suppose you asked them about the misleading information they have published online, have you? – phoog May 6 at 14:05
  • I did not dare to poke the sleeping giant! In all honesty, I was there on short notice with my 1-year old. I forgot to ask about it. Although, they seem to know that their instructions on their website are old and they are trying to get it updated. – Arya May 6 at 15:01
  • I probably wouldn't have asked either. The last thing you want to do is to jeopardize your trip! I hope at some point that someone does, or that the consulate updates the information. – phoog May 6 at 15:10

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