All You Need to Know About Applying for a US Visa as a French or Italian Citizen

Many French and Italian citizens who want to visit the United States are confused about how to go about applying for a US visa, particularly because Italy and France are not part of the Visa Waiver Program that makes it easier for some other countries to obtain visas. This article will explain all you need to know about applying for a US Visa for Italian Citizens or French citizens, including what documents you need, how long it takes, how much it costs, and where you can apply.

What are my eligibility requirements?

To apply for an F-1 visa, you must meet several requirements. First, you must be enrolled in school at least half the time. Some schools offer study abroad options in which students take one semester of classes abroad; if your program is eligible and you’re offered admission, you may be able to extend your stay without applying for an F-1 visa. Additionally, unless you are under 21 years old on Oct. 1 of your year of application, you will need high school graduation documents such as transcripts, diplomas and certificates of completion from secondary school programs in order to apply.

Where do I apply?

If you live in Italy and have never applied for a visa before, you must apply at your local consulate. If you live in France, however, things are slightly different: You’ll need to apply at either your local prefecture if you’re living within one of 12 regions (called départements) that border with an EU member country; or at any of France’s seven consulates in non-EU countries. After determining where to apply, complete and submit an application form—known as an affidavit of support—and a copy of your passport photo page. Make sure these documents are signed by your employer and no older than six months. Applications without them will not be accepted. US Visa for French Citizens

How much does it cost?

Non-immigrant visa applications must be accompanied by an application fee in order to be considered. Fees vary depending on your citizenship and where you are applying, but typically cost between $160 and $190. If you are applying from Europe, Africa, Asia, or other parts of North America, it’s going to cost closer to $160. For Canadian citizens applying from North America, it’s about $160-$200. And for people in Latin America and anywhere else around the world, expect to pay over $200—in some places up to over $400! It depends on if you need a visa waiver (which can save time but will increase your costs) and if there is reciprocity with any countries where you live.

What should I bring with me?

First and foremost, know that you will need your passport, which needs to be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of return. The exact documents you will need depend on where you are applying and how you’re applying. If you’re applying with a visa expediter like us, they will know exactly what documentation is required. However, we’ve heard anecdotally that most Consulates ask for proof of onward travel such as an airplane ticket; evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself in the United States; letters from employers indicating employment (if applicable); marriage certificates if traveling with family members; letters from family members who already live in America (such as roommates) verifying their address; and so on.

How long will it take to get my visa?

The amount of time it takes to process your visa will depend on how busy your local consulate is. Generally, if you apply during off-peak months (January–May and September–November), you’ll be able to get your visa much faster than if you apply in high season (June–August). And obviously, if there are any delays—for example, because you didn’t include all required documents with your application—it can take significantly longer. The best advice is to apply at least three months before you plan on leaving. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Is there any way of speeding up the process at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Italy or France?

If you are an American citizen, I can only give you my best advice: Do not do it. There is no way of speeding up the process at U.S. Embassies/Consulates in Italy or France. The application process is long and complicated, so get all your documents in order before you apply. Find out everything you need to know here. Keep in mind that applying for a visa may take months, depending on how busy Embassy staff are. Don’t expect them to speed things up because you have already been waiting for three months. They won’t help you; they will tell you to come back when your passport has expired and start over again with another new one!
Today’s Travel Tip: Get Documents Certified By A Notary Public Or An Authenticating Agent When Possible
Many countries require that certain official documents be certified by a notary public or an authenticating agent.

When can I travel if I have received my visa stamp in my passport?

As long as you have a valid visa stamp in your passport, you can travel. However, there are time limits on when you can begin traveling with your visa stamp. If you have received a single-entry visa and plan to use it in conjunction with an approved temporary I-551 form, these two documents must be used together within 90 days of your first entry into the United States. With multiple-entry visas, you may use each individual entry within six months of that date. The validity date printed on your temporary I-551 form is determined by how long your visa allows you to stay in the country—so make sure it matches up with your arrival date and departure date.

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