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Max's Interview - October 2005
 
The first point I want to make is that the personnel at the Consulate is very kind and they really want you to get your visa; if this doesn't happen is because you did something wrong, and they will feel sorry for you.

I want to thank the employees of the Consulate, as they have been very kind and helpful; they do not hesitate to come and talk to you if there's something that needs to be solved.

Do not despair, I won the lottery after 12 years!

Day 1
There is no need to rush, you'll find plenty of people at the gate, but not everybody needs to do the medical exam. On that day, I was the only DV winner.

After the security checks, the first thing they ask you are the pictures: being used to the cumbersome Italian bureaucracy, I had brought several pictures in different sizes, and I gave the envelope to the employee asking her to choose.
The right picture was a frontal shot, 5x5 cm. If you do not have it, you'd have to go outside the Consulate to take it.

A few moments later, another employee called me at the counter, and when she started her sentence with "I am sorry" I panicked. Luckily, she only wanted me to fill the address space with the US address that I had left as "to be determined later".

They gave me the list of the different fees (everything to be paid on that day; from March 2005, the total comes to $755 in cash) e they sent me to the 2nd floor to pay, and for the examination.

The examination was exactly the same as previously described -I was the only one who did not need additional shots- with the only difference that the doctor asked me if I had ever contemplated suicide (mental disorders are reason for exclusion). After that question, usual routine.

Towards noon they gave everybody back the x-rays at the same time (so there is really no reason to run upstairs to be visited first); then fingerprints scanning.

Day 2

This is the big day, and it starts with a lot of paper: they asked me the following documents:

Birth certificate (possibly with the names of your parents, better in English if you can get one).
Criminal records certificates
Military discharge papers
School documents; I brought the original of my Architecture degree, and it was appreciated; they told me Italian architects are very sought...
Financial: they only asked for proof that I had a checking account, did not ask anything about net worth, investments, stuff like that.

I had additional diplomas of various courses, but they did not ask for them. Nevertheless, I am happy I brought them, you do not want to leave any stone unturned for that day.
 
The interview

Somehow, I expected to hold the interview inside an office, with a mahogany desk, the flag on the wall, the Consul sitting gravely at his desk. Nothing like that at all.
 
Around 10 man called me at the counter #4, and I thought it was for some small additional detail to fix in my application; he was American, spoke Italian fluently; he started to insert data in the PC, asked me about the city I had indicated in the address  - Buffalo NY- and we chatted a bit about it.

After a few minutes he asked me to sign a piece of paper, and said: "We are granting you a visa, please wait for your envelope". It was over, after 2 nights without sleeping thinking about the interview...
 
On October 26 2005 at 10:40 I left the Consulate with my envelope and tears in my eyes.