Tag Archives: legalization process in Mexico

Getting Legal–Trip 3

SEGOB office in San Miguel de Allende

SEGOB office in San Miguel de Allende

I had been aiming to make the third trek to San Miguel de Allende around the 13th of the month, thinking that time and finances would be better. However, my husband started worrying me about the trip, asking me when was the last day I could go and what I had to do in this next step and hence I started having nightmares that I had missed out on getting my papers by one day or that I completely forgot to go and then was thrown out of México. So I moved up the date of the trip, after having checked on the official website to see that my papers had been approved for the next step on the 10th of this month, a mere 12 days after I submitted them (See Getting Legal–Trip 2) I remembered seeing a sign in the office saying I had 30 days for tramites so just to be safe, we would go the 9th. Maybe even stop in San Pedro for some shoes.

My husband woke up and started marching around at 4 a.m. that morning, for who knows what reason. He was worried about taking care of the animals before we left. However, that whole process (taking Beauty and Shadow to pasture and moving Shrek and Fiona to a fresh grassy spot) took a whopping 15 minutes. The goats, chickens and ducks were not awake yet, so no point in throwing food at them so early as food lying about is an open invitation to ants.

So we left the house super early. Each of us said our prayers for a safe journey and we were off. Well, not quite. Our truck battery had decided to call it quits, so my son and I gave old Butch (the truck) a good shove to get her going and then we were off.

We stopped for gas as it doesn’t do to start a trip without a full tank (see Driving Hazards–Gas and Illumination) and the truck wouldn’t start again. Fortunately, at that hour, there was little traffic and we could push-start.

Having gotten up at an unearthly hour, my husband needed an extra cup of coffee, which then required an emergency pit-stop just before we got to Celaya. As the battery was still giving us fits, we had to give it another push to get going again.

We made it through Celaya without a transito stop (See Driving Hazards–Police stops) but we weren’t too worried since our verficación sticker (inspection sticker) was still good until the end of the month. (See Getting Legal–Trip 1)

We arrived in San Miguel de Allende at 8:30 and parked in the bus stop area near the immigration office because it was on a slight downhill slant. My husband stayed in the car in case transitos (traffic police) came cruising by and I went to stand in line.

The office opened at 9 a.m. and I marched myself to the little window for a number. I was #6, so it was only 9:30 or so when it was my turn. The business tycoon in front of me gave the girl a hard time about his papers not being ready and I was feeling smug about how my papers were all in order until she told me that although I had been approved for processing, the next step was to make the payment of $3815 pesos.

What??? I thought the next step was to leave my fingerprints to send to D.F. for approval and then the 4th step was the payment and told her as much. About this time, my husband came in (I expect to check on me) and said that it wasn’t the girl’s fault, so I shouldn’t take it out on her. I thought I was calm about it–ok, so deep down I knew I had transformed into the type of annoying ex-pat that I feel superior to when he or she starts in on the inefficiency of the Mexican immigration process. But I couldn’t help it.

So my husband took over. He asked when the last day was that I could process my papers. She looked it over and said I had about a month. She also said that it might be possible to process my fingerprints the same day as the payment so that I would not have to make another trip. She was helpful and polite. However, my blood pressure had already risen and I was having some problem getting ahold of myself.

I had canceled all my classes for the day for this trip. I had spent money I didn’t have to spare for gas for this trip. I had been awake since 4 a.m. for this trip. I didn’t have the money to make the payment today. Yaddy-yaddy-yah.

My husband took hold of my arm and escorted me from the building. He pointed out that being upset wouldn’t change a thing. Since when has he been the paragon of virtue in the patience department? I certainly didn’t need any lessons from him. So I sat in silence and stewed in my own juices until we got to Celaya in mourning for my new shoes.

In Celaya, of course, there was a traffic stop for verification stickers, but we breezed through without incident. I started to calm down a bit. We stopped in San Pedro as we had planned. I didn’t see any shoes I liked, so I felt a little better about that loss.

Then we went to the roadside buffet we liked, but again I was out of luck. Usually, I get rice, beans, and huevos rancheros or nopales, but today everything was pork. Pork in mole. Pork in tomatillo salsa. Pork in red sauce. Blah! So just beans and rice for me thank you. Disappointing. Then the pushing of the truck took longer since there was no incline and my son and I huffed and puffed nearly 1/8 of a mile until it started, but it did start and we made it home safely.

I suggested that next time we pray for a safe journey and successful completion of the task at hand. Perhaps we had not been specific enough in our prayers. I was so tired and down that I took an afternoon siesta that afternoon. Maybe the next trip would be better.




Filed under Getting Legal

Getting Legal–Trip 2

SEGOB the immigration office in San Miguel de Allende

SEGOB the immigration office in San Miguel de Allende

Having been told by the powers that be on my first trip (See Getting Legal–Trip 1) to San Miguel de Allende that I could not turn in my paperwork until the 2nd of the following month, the day that my Mexican identification expired, I had to make a second trip, a mere 7 days later. We filled up the tank and checked the truck for problems that might cause delays. Our battery in the truck was causing us some worry. There were times when it would start just fine and other times when we would have to give the truck a good push down a hill to get it going. Well, there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a new battery this trip, so it would have to behave or else.

We also bought the inspection sticker whose lack thereof was the reason we were stopped twice by transitos (traffic police) in Celaya on the previous trip. We didn’t get the truck inspected–no one does. We just paid the inspection center mechanic and he gave us the sticker and we put it on the truck window. It cost $250 pesos and has to be replaced in August, but it would do for this trip.

So we started out not quite as early in the morning since we would need to stop at the bank before we went to the immigration office. We were not stopped in Celaya either coming or going although we saw the same transitos that stopped us for the mordida the week before. I wanted to wave and blow kisses, but then we might have been stopped on some other pretext and we were really short of cash. So I restrained myself.

We stopped at Banamex and I jumped out, leaving the truck running in case the truck battery decided to go on strike. I went in with the paper I had been given by the office next to immigration and paid my $1000 pesos and got a receipt. Then we headed to immigration. We parked on the small incline near the office and hoped that no one would park in front of us, just in case we needed a running start.

I was number 8, so I was pretty sure we’d be out of there by 12:00, but you never can tell. While waiting, we watched the parade of men in the holding room being given their bathroom breaks. There were about 8 of them. My husband determined on the basis of their dark coloring and short statue that they were probably from Guatemala and had been picked up trying to cross México for the U.S. The immigration officer carried no weapons but a billy club and there seemed little risk of the detainees making a break for it.

While we waited, one elderly British lady marched up to the desk and even though the clerk told her she had to take a number, went ahead with her problem anyway. I suppose he figured it would take less time to answer her question than to try to get her to take a number, so he told her that since she had lost her CURP (an identification number given to residents and citizens of México) she could go to the web site and print a new one herself. She was content with that answer and breezed out.

Then it was my turn. I had neglected to make a copy of my receipt from the bank, but the clerk was feeling agreeable that morning and made a copy for me in the office. That was nice of her. Then I had to wait a bit because she didn’t know the password to the computer, but it wasn’t long. I was given a sheet that registered that I had a tramite (open case file) and could check via internet en 8 días (a week) to see if it had returned from D.F. (México City) with approval or not. If my application was missing some sort of documentation, I would have to return to SMA to present the missing documentation. If everything was hunky dory, then I would have to return to SMA to put my fingerprints on the application form.

Much to our relief, the truck started right up. We headed towards home with the hope that we would have enough cash left to eat in San Pedro, a small town with numerous buffet options, even a Chinese restaurant. We had just enough for some yummy beans, cactus, rice and taquitos and two bottles of water. We drank one and saved the second for after the grass cutting–it’s thirsty work that!

Disaster free, we arrived home just in time for my son to get changed and head to school for the afternoon. Qué alivio!




Filed under Getting Legal