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rohit369

SUCCESSFUL H1B VISA STAMPING EXPERIENCE - TIJUANA, MEXICO

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I want to share my H1B visa stamping experience in Tijuana, Mexico on 29th/30th July 2019. I repeated the same steps that I did in 2016 visa stamp and nothing has changed.

Mexico Visa: Please obtain a Mexico visa if you don't have a valid US or Canadian visa. This is mandatory and they won't let you in if you don't have a valid visa. There are few more visas on which Mexico allows people in. Please check in their visa portal to know the complete list. I have a valid Canadian visa and I was let in with a 7-day visit pass. It was all free.

Day 1 - 7/29/2019 - Fingerprints:

I left early in the morning from SJC airport and reach San Diego around 8 AM. I took a Uber to the border at San Ysidro, CA. This ride took around 25mins and was $20. I suggest as this is the most convenient way to reach the US/Mexico border hassle-free. You can also get to the border using the tram, but that will take 1 - 1.5hrs since you have to take a bus first to the tram station and then hop on the tram. I think even that costs $7-8.

I crossed the border by foot and that's where you will go through the Mexican immigration. They give you a 7-day visit pass and this is sufficient. Then you will go through the x-ray scan of your baggage and then you are in Mexico officially. It's a pretty easy process. You will be on the other side in less than 10 mins. 

As soon as you get out, you will have to walk for 100-200 meters to a nearby junction where there are taxis waiting. You won't miss this. All roads lead to this junction once you are out of the immigration building on the Mexico side.

Take a local taxi from here to your hotel. It will mostly cost $5 to get to any hotel in Tijuana.

Hotel Stay - Hyatt Place

I highly recommend this hotel in Tijuana. The main reason being its located in a nice neighborhood and the ASC center for the fingerprints is right across the corner from this hotel. Its literally 2 mins walk. You also find nice bars & restaurants right opposite the hotel in a mall. There is a Walmart type of superstore next to the hotel.

I completed my fingerprints at 12 PM and I was all free rest of the day. It took me around 10 mins. Please note that no smart devices including smartwatches are allowed in this place. Leave all your electronics in the hotel.

Day 2 - 7/30/2019 - Consulate appointment:

I had my appointment at 7.30AM in the morning. I left the hotel around 7 AM taking an Uber. I reached the consulate at 7.15 AM and I was allowed inside. Like you already know, no electronics are allowed inside the consulate.

After I was done with the security check, I was told to go to the second building inside. 

First Counter - You will be screened for your application. The lady inside took around 5 mins for me to go over all the documents online. She didn't ask me for any documents, but she was checking something on her computer. You may be asked for physical documents here. So be prepared to show your documents. This counter took around 20 mins in including waiting in the line.

Second Counter - They verified my fingerprints in this counter and it was pretty quick. It took around 5 mins.

I was asked to sit in a preassigned line. This line was only for the petition based visa applicants. The line was moving pretty fast and I waited for around 5 mins. Someone inside keeps track of this line and they keep sending people one after the other to the actual visa interview counter.

Visa counter - I was asked to go to the visa counter

Me: Good morning ma'am!

Visa Officer: Hello, Good Morning! Can you please give me your passport and DS-160 confirmation page?

Me: I handed over everything.

Visa Officer: What do you work on?

Me: I work for XXX company as XXX on XXX.

Visa Officer: Do you work for the company directly or do you have someone in the middle?

Me: I work for the company directly and I am a fulltime employee.

Visa Officer: Can I see your I-140?

Me: I gave a photocopy.

Visa Officer: entered someone on her computer.

Visa Officer: Ok, do you know about your rights? 

She handed me a copy of the worker's rights manual.

Visa Officer: Ok, your visa is approved. You can return tomorrow to the same location at 3 PM and collect your passport and visa.

She handed me a white paper mentioning the same as stated above.

Me: Thank you, ma'am! 

Overall, it took around a min at the visa counter. I simply walked out of the consulate. Overall, it took me 45 mins and I was out around 8.10 AM.

I took a local taxi back to the hotel since I didn't have my phone to book a Uber. I chilled the rest of the day in the hotel.

Day 3 - 7/31/2019 - Passport collection

I checked out of the hotel at 2 PM and took a Uber and went to the consulate around 3.15PM. Collected my passport in 5 mins and it was all perfect.

I again took another Uber to the border. Completed my immigration procedure. You have to go to a building on the right as soon as you enter the gate. Please have $6 cash ready for the new I-94. This process will take somewhere between 10mins to a couple of hours depending on the crowd. It was almost empty when I went and I was done in 10 mins. In all, I was on the other side of the border by 4.15 PM.

I took a Uber to the airport and flew back home on the same day. Please plan a late flight on this day so you have enough time to finish everything right from picking up the passport to US immigration.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall, as always it was a nice experience. If you cant go to your home country for stamping, I suggest this location. I also observed almost all the other applicants who had come for H1 stamping got their visa. All the other applicants had the appointment time around the same time.

Hope this information helps. Please message here if you have any questions. I would be happy to give all the information I know.

 

 

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Hey Rohit,

Could you please shed some light on city, people, safety, crime etc, were you comfortable going around? would you recommend to anyone traveling with kids/infants?

How long is your Mexican visa valid for? 

Thanks,

Lovely

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 8:30 PM, rohit369 said:

I want to share my H1B visa stamping experience in Tijuana, Mexico on 29th/30th July 2019. I repeated the same steps that I did in 2016 visa stamp and nothing has changed.

Mexico Visa: Please obtain a Mexico visa if you don't have a valid US or Canadian visa. This is mandatory and they won't let you in if you don't have a valid visa. There are few more visas on which Mexico allows people in. Please check in their visa portal to know the complete list. I have a valid Canadian visa and I was let in with a 7-day visit pass. It was all free.

Day 1 - 7/29/2019 - Fingerprints:

I left early in the morning from SJC airport and reach San Diego around 8 AM. I took a Uber to the border at San Ysidro, CA. This ride took around 25mins and was $20. I suggest as this is the most convenient way to reach the US/Mexico border hassle-free. You can also get to the border using the tram, but that will take 1 - 1.5hrs since you have to take a bus first to the tram station and then hop on the tram. I think even that costs $7-8.

I crossed the border by foot and that's where you will go through the Mexican immigration. They give you a 7-day visit pass and this is sufficient. Then you will go through the x-ray scan of your baggage and then you are in Mexico officially. It's a pretty easy process. You will be on the other side in less than 10 mins. 

As soon as you get out, you will have to walk for 100-200 meters to a nearby junction where there are taxis waiting. You won't miss this. All roads lead to this junction once you are out of the immigration building on the Mexico side.

Take a local taxi from here to your hotel. It will mostly cost $5 to get to any hotel in Tijuana.

Hotel Stay - Hyatt Place

I highly recommend this hotel in Tijuana. The main reason being its located in a nice neighborhood and the ASC center for the fingerprints is right across the corner from this hotel. Its literally 2 mins walk. You also find nice bars & restaurants right opposite the hotel in a mall. There is a Walmart type of superstore next to the hotel.

I completed my fingerprints at 12 PM and I was all free rest of the day. It took me around 10 mins. Please note that no smart devices including smartwatches are allowed in this place. Leave all your electronics in the hotel.

Day 2 - 7/30/2019 - Consulate appointment:

I had my appointment at 7.30AM in the morning. I left the hotel around 7 AM taking an Uber. I reached the consulate at 7.15 AM and I was allowed inside. Like you already know, no electronics are allowed inside the consulate.

After I was done with the security check, I was told to go to the second building inside. 

First Counter - You will be screened for your application. The lady inside took around 5 mins for me to go over all the documents online. She didn't ask me for any documents, but she was checking something on her computer. You may be asked for physical documents here. So be prepared to show your documents. This counter took around 20 mins in including waiting in the line.

Second Counter - They verified my fingerprints in this counter and it was pretty quick. It took around 5 mins.

I was asked to sit in a preassigned line. This line was only for the petition based visa applicants. The line was moving pretty fast and I waited for around 5 mins. Someone inside keeps track of this line and they keep sending people one after the other to the actual visa interview counter.

Visa counter - I was asked to go to the visa counter

Me: Good morning ma'am!

Visa Officer: Hello, Good Morning! Can you please give me your passport and DS-160 confirmation page?

Me: I handed over everything.

Visa Officer: What do you work on?

Me: I work for XXX company as XXX on XXX.

Visa Officer: Do you work for the company directly or do you have someone in the middle?

Me: I work for the company directly and I am a fulltime employee.

Visa Officer: Can I see your I-140?

Me: I gave a photocopy.

Visa Officer: entered someone on her computer.

Visa Officer: Ok, do you know about your rights? 

She handed me a copy of the worker's rights manual.

Visa Officer: Ok, your visa is approved. You can return tomorrow to the same location at 3 PM and collect your passport and visa.

She handed me a white paper mentioning the same as stated above.

Me: Thank you, ma'am! 

Overall, it took around a min at the visa counter. I simply walked out of the consulate. Overall, it took me 45 mins and I was out around 8.10 AM.

I took a local taxi back to the hotel since I didn't have my phone to book a Uber. I chilled the rest of the day in the hotel.

Day 3 - 7/31/2019 - Passport collection

I checked out of the hotel at 2 PM and took a Uber and went to the consulate around 3.15PM. Collected my passport in 5 mins and it was all perfect.

I again took another Uber to the border. Completed my immigration procedure. You have to go to a building on the right as soon as you enter the gate. Please have $6 cash ready for the new I-94. This process will take somewhere between 10mins to a couple of hours depending on the crowd. It was almost empty when I went and I was done in 10 mins. In all, I was on the other side of the border by 4.15 PM.

I took a Uber to the airport and flew back home on the same day. Please plan a late flight on this day so you have enough time to finish everything right from picking up the passport to US immigration.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall, as always it was a nice experience. If you cant go to your home country for stamping, I suggest this location. I also observed almost all the other applicants who had come for H1 stamping got their visa. All the other applicants had the appointment time around the same time.

Hope this information helps. Please message here if you have any questions. I would be happy to give all the information I know.

 

 

How did you make the payment?

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On 8/5/2019 at 7:16 AM, lovely said:

Hey Rohit,

Could you please shed some light on city, people, safety, crime etc, were you comfortable going around? would you recommend to anyone traveling with kids/infants?

How long is your Mexican visa valid for? 

Thanks,

Lovely

 

@lovely Its a pretty decent city. I saw Indian couples with kids who had come for stamping. Pls stay in the hotel that I have mentioned in my post. You are safe & covered in all aspects.

I didnt get a Mexico visa since I have a valid Canada visa. They allow you in if you have a valid US, Canada, Japan and some 3-4 other visas. Pls check online.

Edited by rohit369

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7 hours ago, divi said:

How did you make the payment?

I have my company branch in Mexico city and I requested one of my colleagues to make the payment. I simply transferred the money to him using PayPal.

There are people who can pay the fee for you in MX for some additional service charge (usually I have seen $50). Pls search online.

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