IMPORTANT REMINDER: All Dates in Prenota are in the format of DAY/MONTH/YEAR. Ex: 01/08/2020 = August 1, 2020.
Before You Begin: “Why can’t I find an appointment” is our most asked question, so we will answer that first before explaining all the basics of Prenota.
When you log into Prenota and first pull up the calendar, it will default to the first available appointment. If nothing is shown, there are no openings at the moment. It will default to the month that will have openings in the future. Read below for more information.
What is Prenota? Prenota is the online program used to make appointments inside the Italian consular network to obtain consular services. Prenota is derived from the Italian verb prenotare meaning “to reserve.” Prenota divides appointments up based on the different offices available within the consular services division, primarily: Citizenship, Passports, Visa Office, and the Stato Civile / Anagrafe Office.
Continue on this page to learn more about Prenota, or if preferred, see our all-in-one guide:
IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Paying a service to obtain an appointment for you is ILLEGAL in the eyes of the Italian government.
Prenota is a free service provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although it may be tempting to simply pay a service to obtain an appointment for you, you should never do so. The Consulate reserves the right to cancel any appointment it feels or discovers were made via a paid service. The following warning is taken directly from the Italian consular webpage:
We would recommend all users to refrain from accepting any offer made by websites, agencies or other individuals claiming to be able to book an early appointment on your behalf, provided that you pay a fee. The Consulate General wishes to stress that there is no connection at all between the Consulate itself and such websites, agencies or individuals and reserves its right to take action where appropriate, including cancelling appointments it discovers or suspects were made via a paid service.
COLOR CODING OF DATES ON THE PRENOTA CALENDAR
There is a color coded guide for the dates when you arrive at the Calendar in Prenota. The corresponding color indicates the level of availability for appointments on a particular day.
Red: No availability on that day at the moment (aka: already booked)
Yellow: Medium availability of appointment slots for this day.
Green: All appointment slots available for this day.
Black: Not available (AKA: days they don’t have appointments [etc. public holidays, business days not open to the public], but also days they haven’t yet opened the availability on)
STEP BY STEP GUIDE: HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT IN PRENOTA
CREATE AN ACCOUNT
Fill in all your personal details. If you are asked to provide an identity document number, your US drivers license or Passport number will suffice. When you are finished. Prenota will email you a confirmation email with a link to click. Click that. Then you can log in. You can find links to all of the US Consular Prenota sites at the bottom of this page.
ACCESS THE PRENOTA CALENDAR FOR THE APPROPRIATE OFFICE
You will click on “Make your reservation.”
Then click on “Citizenship” or “Passports” depending on which office you wish to make an appointment with. After this, at least 1 or 2 consulates will ask you some personal info such as your passport number (your US passport you used to register in Prenota with), address, profession, etc. to verify your identity. Some might ask you what type of citizenship appointment you want, so you click on “Jure Sanguinis.”
Next will be a box for additional notes you wish to add, and a privacy statement. Once you accept that statement then you will come to the calendar that will show available (or unavailable dates).
The calendar will automatically show you the first available appointment. If there are any, you will see a date in yellow or green (see color coding section above). If you the dates shown in yellow and/or green are too soon, you can click on “>” to change the month.
You can click the date, and a list of available times will appear next to the calendar. Select your time and click confirm.
You will then be asked to type in a random 8-10 character “verification code”. Click confirm and if successful, it will show your appointment details. You can also see your appointment details under “My reservations” on the far left column.
COMMON ISSUES AND HELPFUL TIPS WITH HOW PRENOTA WORKS
HOW THE CALENDAR LOADS
If the calendar first loads to a month that only shows black and red dates, that means the consulate currently has no available appointments you can book.
When a consulate released new availability, that occurs at midnight Rome time. How often this occurs is set by the consulate. Chicago, and San Francisco do this daily, but for a different periods of time out. Chicago is about 20 months out, while San Francisco is 24 months out. Boston releases a month at a time. Detroit currently has over a month of appointments available while at other consulates, it’s rare to ever see a single opening. Houston only has appointments twice a week, thus twice a week they release new dates, and they only do bookings for a couple months out.
TIMING: MIDNIGHT ROME TIME
Note, when midnight Rome time hits, the servers can not handle the amount of people trying for new dates. The site will suddenly be taking 30+ seconds to load a page if you don’t get page loading errors. If it is 00:01 Rome time and you see a new date is red, that means the few openings they released are already gone. Yes, it can be brutal. People try time and time again to get an appointment for San Francisco as an example, while Detroit currently has over 2 months of openings. Again, each consulate does things differently.
If someone cancels an appointment they had booked, it goes right back up for grabs, that very second. If you log in now, and see nothing, logging in again in 5 minutes or 5 hours could have a different result. So if you are ready for an appointment, checking frequently and randomly would be a great way to find an appointment, or a sooner one if you already have one booked maybe 16 months in the future. Related to the release of cancellations, changing of the calendar’s month does refresh what is available, and the site’s timer to auto log you out is 15 minutes. So if you really want, you can leave the tab open, and change the months every 5 minutes to keep looking for an available appointment.
MULTIPLE APPOINTMENT TIPS
If you already have one appointment booked, you can not book a second. If you have one that is 14 months away, and are looking for a sooner one, the best way is to create another prenota account using a different email address, and a different ID document. Then you can log in at random and if one pops up, you won’t have to first worry about canceling the one 14 months out, which during those couple seconds, someone else could grab that sooner one you say. Some people have reported issues with creating a second account on the same computer. Try another browser or another computer if you have problems.
HOW TO FIND LAST MINUTE OR CANCELLED APPOINTMENTS
Here is a list of last minute available appointments. Please do not post there asking for one. This is where someone can post up if they are going to cancel an appointment for next week or if they log into prenota and see one that is available next week.
Here is a list of what consulate appointments people are looking for, or appointments they wish to give away that is not in the near future, example 6 months away.
HOW TO TRADE APPOINTMENTS
Here are tips on how to trade appointments if someone else cannot make their original date.
LINKS TO US CONSULATE PRENOTA SITES
Like this content? Help us keep it online.
The administrators of this site and the Facebook group donate a large amount of their time (and occasionally money) to keep this site operational. If this page has helped you on your path to citizenship, we would sincerely appreciate a small donation of $5 USD to help keep this site running. Websites are unfortunately not free like the time we donate. Grazie mille!