Visas…who knew they could be so complicated?
In order to spend a semester abroad in Italy, I need to obtain a study visa from the Italian Consulate. I thought that the application process would be easy, but lengthy. I was wrong. It’s not easy. In June, I made my first attempts to schedule my visa appointment. Please note: these complications do not have anything to do with actually getting the visa. They all surround getting an appointment to apply for the visa.
The first attempt was a flop: there were no appointments when I needed one, about 8 weeks before I depart. A strategically timed phone call, the consulate has very strange hours, helped me discover that I simply had to wait until the end of August. The appointments were not yet open for scheduling.
Cue the end of August. I logged into my account, input the necessary information, and picked the ideal date. My computer happily chugged along to the next step, payment. There is a $5.50 fee for scheduling the visa appointment. My payment, ironically made through Visa, was declined. I tried again. Declined. I tried with my mom’s card. Declined. Another. Declined.
Declined. Declined. Declined.
We knew that everything was alright with the cards we were using. I waited until the next day (those tricky consulate hours) and after ten minutes of lovely holding music, spoke with a representative. She could not help me. I could not schedule the appointment or pay over the phone. It was suggested that I email my complaint (with screenshots) so someone else could address it.
I sent the email and received a constructive response at precisely 8:00am the next morning. I quickly responded to their questions. We started a back-and-forth of them asking questions and me providing answers…and then they stopped responding.
So now I wait, appointment-less, wondering when they will respond and brainstorming what could possibly be the issue.