Contd from previous post..
By now you should have all the documents on hand, neat and clean. Take a good look at them cause that’s the last time you will ever see them in that state ever.
Your original degree certificate/ PDC and Transcript has to be HRD verified. This has to be done in the city where you received your degree from. I studied in VTU so it was Belgaum for me. Beware HRD from any other city is not valid. A simple google search will show you the list of offices which issue this seal in your city. You may need your University letter and passport copy and original for this. It takes a few hours and has to be done in person. I had some contacts, so I could do it by post but I suggest not, ’cause it took me 2-3 weeks. Time is precious my babies!
Next step is the MEA (ministry of external affairs) and apostille stamp. This can be done through any agency but I sent mine through VFS (documents are sent to Delhi). They again require university letter and Passport copy and original. It took about 1 week to get back.
Now the two documents need to be translated to Italian. The Italian version is required to obtain the DOV (next step). I suggest you only go through the translators mentioned on the VFS website because there’s a chance your DOV request will get rejected if done from anywhere else. I did mine through Indo-Italian chamber of commerce. They will either send the translated document by E-mail or post. It took me about three days flat.
INR 4800/- for both.
This again has to be done in VFS only. You will need a cover letter where you state the reason for your request and mention the attached documents.
Apostilled degree and its translated version with 2 copies
Apostilled transcript and its translated version with 2 copies
Passport and 2 copies
Now go to the VFS office and drop your documents. The earlier the better. Documents dropped in July and later can take up to a month to be sent back. Once you drop it, they hand you a receipt which can be used to attend your pre-enrollment interview. Since you wont have your originals on you. But you MUST have copies of everything.
You need to take an appointment for this on the VFS website. Check which consulate you fall under. Mine was Mumbai consulate. Try and reach this step before the monsoons set in because that’s what I did. People who went in July and after had a lot of trouble with the city flooding and lack of transport. If you want to see around Mumbai, I suggest you stay back another day. My appointment took the entire day! The interview alone was for only 5 minutes. But the wait sooo tiring and long! Carry water and maybe a snack because if it’s not monsoon, it’s summer. VFS had no facility for students waiting. It was terrible.
Following advice of seniors, I was super prepped with my course, the map of Italy, my plan after studies (ALWAYS SAY YOU WILL RETURN TO YOUR COUNTRY) etc. But lucky for me, I had an Italian lady interviewing me and she only went through my passport and asked about a trip I had taken to Egypt. That was it. The Indian interviewers asked a lot of technical questions I heard. So, fingers crossed. At your interview, you will be given a date after which you can drop your documents for visa. I dropped mine a week earlier than that because I wanted to avoid the rush.
The list of documents is available on the VFS website. Please stick to that guys. I really don’t know why people freak out and submit unnecessary things like ITR returns, Property documents, their entire life history. If it’s not asked for, don’t attach it. Write a nice cover letter and submit. there’s really no need to take the premium facility, it does nothing. Just set aside one day for Visa and you’ll be fine. It took me all day and I had take an hour’s permission from work. So don’t do that!
Now sit back and hope for the best. I got my visa in 3 weeks but some people didn’t get any update for more than a month. There’s no easy way out of this guys, you will have to wait it out.
Total expense including flight tickets for two to Mumbai and every document was around INR 30,000/-
And what do agencies charge? 1.5 lakhs. Be smart. In my next post, I’ll write about scholarship documentation (If I successfully get it).
Lots of luck and love to you! x