Successful TJ stamping on March 1.


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Hi, had a successful visa stamping in Tijuana on March 01, 2016. 


Case: 8th year H1 as FTE with a Fortune 10 company in Bay Area with approved I140.All other H1 stampings were done in Tijuana.


Mexican Visa:


My US visa was expired so decided to get a Mexican visa to be on the safer side. Had some confusion in scheduling appointment for Mexican visa at San Jose consulate. Send them an email and they helped me out with the details. It is a very simple process, costed $36 dollars and I got my visa in less than half an hour. Would defintely recommend if your US visa is expired. It is not needed but gives you peace of mind.They NEED 6 months paystubs/ 6 months bank statements. They will send you back if you don't have all 6 months. Other documents needed can be found on the internet easily.


Appointment Details:


Took appointment for ASC interview on 29 Feb at 3:30 pm and consular innterview on 1 March at 10:45 am.


Travel to Mexico:


Took Greyhound from San Jose and reached San Ysidro border at 5 in the morning. You still take the route from behind the Mc Donalds but this time go through a building. There is a lane for Mexican citizens and non Mexican citizens. If you take the Mexican citizen lane then there is no check- You can just walk out. If you choose the non Mexican citizen lane then there is a checkpoint - Lady checked my passport, saw my Mexican visa and promptly gave me a 7 day pass - no fees. Walked out, took cab and reach hotel (Real Del Rio).


29 Feb:


Hotel had no rooms at 6 in the morning so waited for an hour and then they let me do a early checkin without any charge (last time they had charged me $10 for early checkin).Showered, slept till 12, had lunch at the restaurant below and walked to the ASC office by 3:00 (The ASC is very close to Real Del Rio and it is less than 10-15 minutes walk). There was no line and they immediately check my papers - Here I realized I did not take a printout of the payment receipt. I had the appointment letter but no payment receipt - thankfully he did not make a big noise about it and let me in without a problem. Went through security and then was asked to go to another counter. He too asked for my receipt but then just wrote out the receipt number he had from the system on my DS 160 and sent me to the verification window. Window same thing - asked for my receipt but did not create an issue. Took fingerprints and I was done. The whole process did not take more than 5 minutes and I was out by 3:10. Walked back to hotel and first thing I did there was take a printout of the receipt  in the hotel lobby. The hotel guy was nice and did not charge me anything. Evening went to the Cinepolis and had dinner.


1 March:


Had breakfast in the hotel restaurant and was out by 9:45 am. Reached consulate by 10:00 am but they were not entertaining anybody coming early. Had to wait till 10:30 am and then was sent through the door. Security was very fast and then immediately went into the main building. There was no rush at all. Very few people. Saw some H1Bs getting done. Went through document verification with almost no questions and was asked to wait in front of a window while another guy was getting interviewed. Another VO got free so the guy coordinating the whole effort asked her if she could take me and she accepted. 




VO seemed like a pleasant lady.


VO: Hi (smiling)

Me: Hello

VO: So you are here for a renewal?

Me: Yes.

VO: Which company do you work for?


VO: Can I see your I797.


VO: Oh so you work in ABCD location? (It is my company's HQ)

Me: No working in the Bay Area.

VO: What is your job title

Me: Senior Engineer

VO:Can I see your I129.

Gave. Looks through it and starts typing something. 

VO: Your visa is approved. Please pick up your passport at 3:00 tomorrow.

Me: Thank you.



Again the whole thing was a breeze and it took me less than 20 minutes for the whole process once I was inside the consulate as there was no rush there.Came out took a cab back to hotel. Spent the evening again at the Cinepolis practising my spanish :)


2 March:


Checked out at 12:00 and had lunch at the hotel. Reached consulate by 1:00 pm. Again was told very clearly that they will not be giving back the passports before 3:00 pm. Waited till 3:00pm and thankfully was the first in the line to take it. Took cab and rushed back to the border (had to take a Greyhound back at 6:25 pm so wanted to make sure there was enough time). Went to the I94 line ** Anybody who is doing his visa stamping in TJ needs to make sure they are NOT standing in the regular line. Go right up to the gate where it says "Permiso" and "I94" - You will be wasting time by standing in the regular line (I learned it the hard way last time)** - They let me in immediately and went to the I94 building - Here paid the $6 fee and got into line - Subsequently was called by a lady officer - Asked a few generic questions and then stamped my passport with I94 date - She then realized she had put the wrong date - Apologized and put another stamp with another date - Gave me printed copy of I94 - I came out and realised she had again given the wrong date on the passport - Instead of 2019 she put 2016 - I again went back in and told her - She manually changed the date and was again very apologetic - I was asking if it would be ok with such a manual change of date on passport - she told me it would be ok since the printed copy of I94 had the correct date - She stapled the printed I94 to my passport to be on the safe side - Came out and joined the line - No issues at the checkpoint - Crossed the border by 5:00 and took my bus at 6:45pm and was in the Bay Area next day at 6:00 am.


Please check and double check the stamps they give - They are humans too and are bound to make mistakes. 


I have heard many people ask if Tijuana is safe. It is safe especially if you are not going out in the night time - I have been to TJ many times (other than for my visa stampings) and know the place around so I definitely feel comfortable but even for first timers it should not be any issue. The people are very nice there and if you are friendly then they too are very friendly. The language factor can be a problem at times but even if someone does not speak english there is usually someone nearby who does. Being in TJ is like being in any big Indian city like Mumbai/Delhi. If you take the same precautions as you take there, you will be fine. Happy stamping and good luck!



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Thanks for sharing ur experience. Thought the Visa stamping in Tijuana for indian citizens was not done anymore. Good to know they are still doing it in mexico. Is this the email u used for getting instruction on applying for mexican visa: ? if not can you please provide me the right one. Or the instruction that u got for applying the mexican visa can be helpful.  Is it necessary that i get the mexican visa before entering mexico because i am still in my 4th year of H-1B visa? 



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