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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 11th/12th April 2016.

 

Important Note:

This is very important. Get a Mexican visa if your US visa is already expired. Its a very simple process. I got it from Mexican consulate in San Jose. It took me 20 mins. They charge $36. You have to make an appointment prior to your visit to the consulate. If you dont have a Mexican visa, you will not be allowed to enter Mexico. This also applied to Tijuana.

 

Day 1: April 11, 2016

I took a flight to San Diego early in the morning. Got out of the airport and took a bus to the tram station. Then, I took blue line to get to San Ysidro. This is the last city right next to the Mexico/US border. This trip will take approximately 1 hr from the airport. Its convenient and cheap.

Crossed the border by walking. Here, I passed through the Mexican immigration counter where the officer checked my visa and gave me a 7 day pass.

I took a yellow cab to the hotel. They usually quote $10 but I paid $5. It only costs around $5-7 wherever you go in Tijuana. I suggest Uber. Uber cars were safe and clean.

I was staying in Hyatt place, this is a nice hotel and located in a posh area. the ASC center is right across and takes about 3-4 mins walk.

I had my appointment at the ACS center at 3PM. I reached there around 2.50PM and was out in 10 mins. They take your photo and fingerprints. Please dont carry cellphones to this center.

 

Day 2: April 12, 2016

I had my appointment at 9.15AM. I took a Uber to the Consulate. Its near the airport and on top the hill. I reached there around 8.45AM and I was let in. After all the checks, I went to the main building inside. I was asked to go to the first counter, here an officer checked all my documents and made sure I have come for the right visa type, I797 etc.

Then, I was asked to go to the next counter where a lady verified my finger prints.

After this I was asked to sit. There were already around 60-70 people ahead of me. There were around 5-6 counters where the visa interview was conducted. But there was only one counter where they were conducting interviews for petition based visa. Unfortunately, the VO was very fussy and he was taking close to 20-30 mins for each person. There was another Indian guy who had come for the stamping and it was his 3rd stamping. This VO had made him sit for additional verification. I heard from him that the VO asked questions pertaining to his first job, school etc. which was all 10 years ago. He had also collected his latest resume.

I waited for about 2.5 hours and luckily another window started conducting interviews for petition based applications. I got lucky and my number was called there.

 

VO: Give me your passport, I797 and DS160

Me: I gave everything

VO: Are you working for ABC company?

Me: No ma'am. That was my previous company. I am now working for XYZ company.

VO: Are you contractor?

Me: No ma'am, I am a full time employee of that company.

VO: Can I see your I-129?

Me: (I didnt have my I-129, I simply gave my LCA)

VO: This is not what I am looking for.

(But the VO saw my LCA and she got the info that she was looking for. She basically wanted to know my salary. She verified something on the computer and typed something)

VO: What is your annual salary in USD?

Me: XXXXX :)

VO: Can I see your I-140?

Me: (I gave my I-140 photocopy)

VO: Do you have any dependents?

Me: I have my wife but she has her own H1B

VO: No children?

Me: No ma'am.

VO: (Typed something on the computer)

VO: Sir, your visa is approved. Please collect your passport tomorrow at 3PM outside at the consulate.

Me: Thank you ma'am.

 

I came out of the consulate, took a yellow cab to the hotel. I had no choice because I didnt have a cellphone to book Uber.

 

Day 3: April 13, 2016

I reached the consulate at around 3PM, there was a small queue and got my passport.

 

Overall, it was a nice experience for me. But the other VO was very fussy. But didn't see anyone going out with a rejection. The other VO was approving visas. Hope the other Indian guy got his visa later.

 

Suggestion: Please carry all the documents including your latest resume.

 

If you guys have any questions, please post. I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge.

 

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The border crossing will take around 3 hrs at Tijuana port of entry.

Please walk to the front and there is a separate queue for I-94. They also call that as "permits" or "permissions". They leave around 15-20 people inside in batches. There is a small building on to your right where you have to obtain your I-94. They charge $6 per I-94.

 

Please plan your return trip accordingly considering the waiting time at the border for I-94.

 

If you are planning your return the next day after collecting your passport, I suggest you to obtain your I-94 on the day when you collect your passport late in the evening. The queue for I-94 usually comes down after 9-10PM.

The next day with your I-94 is just a walk across the border showing your I-94 to the immigration officer.

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Hello,

 

I am planning to go to nuevo laredo mexico for stamping. Just want to confirm whether we can pick up passport from consulate or from DHL location. Because, while taking appointment, I was asked to choose a center to pick up passport.

 

Could you please confirm if you know anything about it?

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Hi Rohit369, 

a few follow up qns:

a) Do you get your mexican visa the same day you visited the consulate?

b) for travel to TJ and back, could we consider taking a rental car from San Diego? Or can you comment on the safety/security in TJ and at the border, if a girl has to take cabs, wait at the border line etc. 

 

Thank you!

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Hi Rohit, 

Please can you list the process and documentation needed to get a Mexico Visa(also what type of Visa). 

 

Thanks,

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Hi Rohit369, 

a few follow up qns:

a) Do you get your mexican visa the same day you visited the consulate?

b) for travel to TJ and back, could we consider taking a rental car from San Diego? Or can you comment on the safety/security in TJ and at the border, if a girl has to take cabs, wait at the border line etc. 

 

Thank you!

1. Please schedule an appointment at the nearest Mexican consulate. If you are located in the SF Bay area, the consulate is in San Jose and you usually get appointments for the next day. Visit their website and you can schedule it online. The entire process takes around 20 mins. They stamp the visa right there in front of you. Mexico visa is not required if you have a valid US visa.

2. I wouldn't suggest you driving/renting a car to TJ - not an easy going option. You have both yellow cabs (little dirty - ok for 1 or 2 rides) and Uber (AT&T network works in most part of TJ - no international roaming required) right at the border after you finish Mexico immigration. TJ is safe depending on where you stay. I was staying in Hyatt Place which is pretty safe and in a good neighborhood. Again, the rule of thumb is if you go for good branded hotels then you are assured that they are located in a safe and good neighborhood.

3. From the San Diego airport, you can take a bus and a tram to the border (takes about 1hr). The tram drops right at the border near Mexican immigration. You can also take Uber from the airport to the border (takes about 20-30 mins). Please google for McDonalds right at the border as the landmark.

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Hi Rohit,

 

I am trying to make an appointment for mexico visa at San Jose. 

I am at the site https://mexitel.sre.gob.mx/citas.webportal/pages/public/login/login.jsf

 

When i booking the slot I do not see anything for tourism. I only see appointments for ID Cards and Power of Attorney

Can you please help me out here

 

Thanks

Dinesh

Yeah, when I scheduled an appointment here...I had an option to select Visa in the "documents" dropdown. Please call the consulate and clarify. You usually get a next day appointment.

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Hi Rohit,

I am reading some forums and getting confused on some topics.

1. I had my previous H1b stamping in Canada and India. If I go to Mexico for visa renewal should I get my previous visa stamping from Mexico only or it does not matter ? Did you get your previous visa from Mexico ?

2. My current H1b visa expired on June 17th and I am going for stamping on July 5th. Will there be any problem as my visa expired and they cancel the interview ?

Regards

Dinesh

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Hi Rohit,

I am reading some forums and getting confused on some topics.

1. I had my previous H1b stamping in Canada and India. If I go to Mexico for visa renewal should I get my previous visa stamping from Mexico only or it does not matter ? Did you get your previous visa from Mexico ?

2. My current H1b visa expired on June 17th and I am going for stamping on July 5th. Will there be any problem as my visa expired and they cancel the interview ?

Regards

Dinesh

1. It does not matter. All my previous stamping was from India. All that is required is that this should not be your first stamping (there is no such rule though). It doesn't matter where your previous stamping was.

2. They wont cancel your appointment. I was in the same situation when I went there for stamping. My visa was already expired. But please obtain a Mexican visa before you go there.

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Hi Rohit,

 

Thanks for all your feedback on H1B Visa stamping in Tijuana.

It has given me the courage to approach Tijuana, for my H1B visa stamping.

 

I have a couple of questions, as of now. It will be great, if you can reply to them.

1. You have mentioned that we can Uber in Tijuana. When we make payment after the Uber ride, will Uber charge us in US Dollars or Mexican currency?

2. Does AT&T work around Tijuana, without international roaming?

 

Hope to hear from you.

In case, I have any more questions, I may trouble you again! :-)

 

Thanks in advance,

hssas

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Hi Rohit,

 

Thanks for all your feedback on H1B Visa stamping in Tijuana.

It has given me the courage to approach Tijuana, for my H1B visa stamping.

 

I have a couple of questions, as of now. It will be great, if you can reply to them.

1. You have mentioned that we can Uber in Tijuana. When we make payment after the Uber ride, will Uber charge us in US Dollars or Mexican currency?

2. Does AT&T work around Tijuana, without international roaming?

 

Hope to hear from you.

In case, I have any more questions, I may trouble you again! :-)

 

Thanks in advance,

hssas

 

1. Uber charges in Mexican pesos

2. Yes, its spotty though. Good signal at few places.

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Hi Rohit - I need to do my H1B stamping and H4 for my wife. My questions are -

 

- I assume they need marriage certificate for H4 stamping. Does it need to be legalized (it is from India) ?

- Do they allow kids in consulate ? They are US citizens, but we dont have anyone to look after them, so will have to take them.  

- Can I just walk in Mexican consulate without an appointment ? 

 

Thanks,

Sarang

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Hi Rohit - I need to do my H1B stamping and H4 for my wife. My questions are -

 

- I assume they need marriage certificate for H4 stamping. Does it need to be legalized (it is from India) ?

- Do they allow kids in consulate ? They are US citizens, but we dont have anyone to look after them, so will have to take them.  

- Can I just walk in Mexican consulate without an appointment ? 

 

Thanks,

Sarang

Sorry for the delayed response Sarang.

1. I think the marriage certificate from India will suffice. Please also carry few wedding pics.

2. Yes, they do since they are US citizens. Check this beforehand.

3. No, you need to make an appointment. You usually get appointments for the next day.

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Hey Rohit

 

Thanks for your detail post, I am also trying to go to tijuana for visa stamping, any idea if I face any 221(g) & its taking a while then I can withdraw my application & come back to US via automatic revalidation rule?

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Hey Rohit

 

Thanks for your detail post, I am also trying to go to tijuana for visa stamping, any idea if I face any 221(g) & its taking a while then I can withdraw my application & come back to US via automatic revalidation rule?

No idea. Please talk to your attorney if you sense a risk of 221G.

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Hi Rohit - Thanks for sharing your experience. When scheduling an appointment at Tijuana consulate, selection of courier delivery service is mandatory. Is there a way to indicate that I want to pickup passport at the consulate or do I have to select a location closest to the consulate?

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On 8/31/2016 at 11:24 PM, vijay.katam said:

Hi Rohit - Thanks for sharing your experience. When scheduling an appointment at Tijuana consulate, selection of courier delivery service is mandatory. Is there a way to indicate that I want to pickup passport at the consulate or do I have to select a location closest to the consulate?

Hi Vijay... sorry for the delayed response. I was away. However, you have to select a DHL location for your passport delivery in the visa application process, you will be picking up the passport from the consulate only. This is the same location where you would have attended the interview on the previous day. Usually, the pick up time is 3PM the next day of your interview.

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Thanks Rohit, you are very helpful,,

Hello friends

I'm going to Tijuana for my stamping in the week of Oct 17th,(17th and 18th are my appt dates) 

Anybody coming during same time ?

Thanks

Pradeep

 

 

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Hello Pradeep,

 

Did u get your visa stamped in Oct at Tijiana? Pls let me know your experience.

On 10/8/2016 at 10:39 PM, pradeep525 said:

Thanks Rohit, you are very helpful,,

Hello friends

I'm going to Tijuana for my stamping in the week of Oct 17th,(17th and 18th are my appt dates) 

Anybody coming during same time ?

Thanks

Pradeep

 

 

 

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Hi Rohit, 

   Thanks for sharing your experience. 

I changed my job 2 years ago and after that this is my first stamping after I joined my new employer. Planning to get my stamping done in Tijuana, Mexico. Was looking for someone with recent stamping experiences with changed jobs.

Did you say you already changed jobs when you went for the visa stamping ?

In  changed jobs case, is visa stamping considered as renewal ?

Thanks,

Thomas

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hello

had a question. We are planning to go for H1B and H4 visa stamping in Tijuana  next month and have Mexican visa appointment next week. 

For Mexican visa , is Marriage certificate in English enough or do we need to get Spanish translated notarized version for Marriage certificate

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