Tag Archives: Mexican immigration

Sonia Diaz Consulting

sonia

My name is Sonia Diaz. My education includes a three-year university degree in Human Resources. Hence, my Licenciada designation. My husband is Canadian and our daughter is 13. My husband and our daughter are my inspiration, my rock, my teachers.

I have been consulting for several years. The information you will find here is based on actual experience on the many topics I cover. I process visas every day. According to the staff of the various offices, I process by more visas, INAPAM, Seguro Popular, drivers’ licenses and citizenship than any other individual in San Miguel.

I work closely with staff at various government offices such as INM, (immigration); State driver’s license office; DIF for INAPAM; Presidencia (city hall); Seguro Popular (healthcare); SAT (taxation) and many others

I work both in San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City and soon Puerto Vallarta. I can also provide most Immigration services throughout Mexico.

Mexico’s greatest consistency is inconsistency. Working relationships are very important in Mexico and they often make a difference in the cost of items, level of service, including outright denial, and timing. Personally, I have friends at every government office at which I interact with. It makes the process so much easier. Bureaucracy is rampant. For example, opening a bank account may take 2 hours and there may be 20 pages of documents. In registering a vehicle if one document is missing or one is not perfect you will be turned away. This includes the need for the original bill of sale to be kept with the car for its’ life and signed off with the exact right words in Spanish by each seller. Every facet of government process is like this.

The visa process starts at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico, often requiring an appointment. Please be prepared. 

Consulates are fairly consistent but not totally in that some want original financial statements and others printouts; some want a marriage license and children’s birth certificates, etc. Once in Mexico, there is a process at your local Immigration office that may take 8 weeks or more. If one makes a mistake with the bank payment, for example, your funds are lost. If one when entering Mexico does not obtain the proper form or makes errors in the process starting over at a consulate may happen. Plan to be in Mexico until the process is completed which as noted may be 8 weeks or more.

Bringing in a lot of household items with a moving company is expensive and may be subject to tax. Mexico is a country of 123 million people and most items are available here and some better suited for the climate and lifestyle. There is always Amazon.com even in Mexico.

Those who are tourists or temporary residents may bring a foreign plated vehicle. A permanent resident may not.

Do not assume a lawyer is always the solution in obtaining assistance. There are few truly knowledgeable Immigration lawyers. Some provide the service with limited experience as they know expats will pay a higher fee than what they normally charge Mexicans. I, for example, process more visas than anyone in San Miguel and likely more than most anyone in Mexico. Lawyers have called me for advice. The same applies to citizenship as clients come to me after their “lawyer” took their money and sent them on a wild goose chase. I also process more Seguro Popular healthcare memberships, INAPAM senior’s discount cards, driver’s licenses vs anyone in San Miguel de Allende.

Come to Mexico knowing the pace is slower; the infrastructure may often not be to your expectations; you are a viewed by many as having an abundance even though you may not; mañana means not today and not necessarily tomorrow; getting angry at workers and especially in government offices while may be what you wish to do, it never works. Enjoy the beauty and the food and the spirit of Mexicans while remembering half the country is very poorly educated and live in poverty. The minimum wage is $5 US for a 9-hour day.

If you really, really want to help a family, provide all the requirements (on your own or in concert with others) to send their child to a private school. Education is the key to Mexico’s future and you will change not only that child’s life dramatically but also the parents and siblings,

move to mexico bible

I’ve co-authored the book The Move to Mexico Bible with Beverly Wood now available on Amazon to help those interested in making the move to Mexico.

I can be contacted by:

CELL: (044) 415-106-1499

EMAIL: SONIANGEL32@hotmail.com

WEBSITE: www.soniadiaz.mx  

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/www.soniadiaz.mx

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Easy Access International, LLC

Having gone through the Mexican immigration process myself, I can say that the whole ordeal is made easier with the help of someone who knows what they are doing. To that end, over the next few weeks, I am going to be highlighting some agents that work with those struggling to immigrate to Mexico legally. While these agents may not be located in the area in which you currently live, you can get a feel for what different agents offer and what you still will need to do yourself. 

alexis2

My name is Alexis Martha Cepeda [Duarte]I am a litigating attorney at law with a Master in Criminal Law and Forensic Science. Also, I am a certified/registered interpreter/translator for the state of Yucatan. Any translating services would be done in-house by me.

I am partnered up with Attorneys Jose Carlos Medina and Karla Mendoza.
We work with different “Notarios”, not to be confused with Notary Public agents which in Mexico are called Authenticators of Signatures.

alexis

Our business is “Easy Access International, LLC” and our website is www.yucatanwantsyou.org 

We provide assistance with:

  • Immigration: all processes necessary to obtain a temporary and/or permanent status in the country. Translation of all document needed and on sight interpretation.Foreign Affair process to become a Mexican Citizen.
  • Legal Counseling and litigation: Criminal, Family, Civil, Mercantile and Real Estate
    IMSS health insurance acquisition.
  • Funereal: Funeral, cremation, inhumation and exhumation, body repatriation services through “Funeraria Reyes Rodriguez”.

Although all immigration processes could be done without an agent, many people find that it is very confusing to navigate the Mexican system and very time-consuming.
Having an agent will alleviate any undue stress allowing those moving to Mexico to concentrate on other important matters that only they can take care of, for example, where to live, packing and shipping household goods, etc.

Aside from passports, I would suggest those moving to Mexico bring their identity paperwork, such as their birth certificates duly legalized or apostilled.

When driving an automobile into Mexico it is of extreme importance to go through the first immigration post on the route and getting the necessary customs permit for the vehicle.

In order to bring in your household goods, these must be duly itemized, and you must have the “temporary” visa on your passport that allows you to continue with the process in getting your temporary residence in the city you are going to settle. This temporary visa will expire 6 months after it has been placed in your passport while you are still in your country of origin. However, you only have 30 days to finish the process in the nearest INM office to your new home in Mexico. It is always best to finish the process before the 30 days expire.

If you are making Mexico your permanent home, funereal services must be considered, and cremation services could only be done by the next of kin. I would suggest bringing paperwork to show the next of kin is such, especially if they don’t have the same last name. In these cases, one must bring: children’s birth certificates, divorce papers, marriage certificates and/or any legal document to prove kinship.

You can contact me:

By email: acepeda@yucatanwantsyou.org
US phone: 818-805-5750
Mex. Phone: +52-999-285-3239
Mex. Cell: +521-999-159-1390

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Getting Legal–Renewing our U.S. passports in México–Trip 3

U.S.-passport

The following Monday, I received an email from the U.S. consulate saying that I wouldn’t need any other documentation with the photo and that the office hours were Monday thru Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Gee thanks.

As for my change in immigration status, I decided to wait until the next paycheck before making the trip again. It was more than 5 days later, but I didn’t want to be making a trip in vain if the paperwork wasn’t processed yet. I checked the web page every other day for news. Ten business days later, I received an email that told me to check the web page. I did and it said “Se emitió oficio”. I wasn’t sure what this meant since the status of my application still said “sin resolución” but I was hoping it meant that my change of status from dependent to wage-earner had been added to my file.

Kiosk in front of the U.S. consulate in San Miguel de Allende.

Kiosk in front of the U.S. consulate in San Miguel de Allende.

Wednesday morning, we headed to SMA yet again. We arrived just after 9 a.m. and found the kiosk still closed. Well, we are in México after all and starting time is relative. So we sat down on the bench to wait. The consulate was open. The hard-working secretary behind her glass wall was working diligently. Around 9:15, the kiosk owner arrived and began setting up. I told him what I needed and he nodded. When he was ready, I stood in front of a white wall and he took my picture. He showed it to me for my approval. God, I looked old! Well, my eyes were opened and the background definitely was white, so I guess that would be good enough.

McDonald's at the strip mall in San Miguel de Allende

McDonald’s at the strip mall in San Miguel de Allende

In less than 5 minutes, my photo was ready, however, the guy didn’t have change for a $200 peso bill. The only other place open in the strip mall, even though every single store front had a clock that said they would open at 9 a.m., was McDonald’s. I sent my husband for a coffee so he could get change and headed into the consulate with my photo. I didn’t have to wait any time at all. I handed the secretary my photo and the letter the flunky from the embassy had sent me via email. She stapled the two together and that was that. I was outside before my husband had come back with the change and coffee.

SEGOB office in San Miguel de Allende

SEGOB office in San Miguel de Allende

We then headed to SEGOB. The wait was longer, about 30 minutes, but we passed the time docilely watching dachshund racing on Animal Planet and listening to the drone of this nearly hysterical 50-ish hippie woman who had misplaced her permanent residency card, had it canceled to receive her temporary residency card, then found the card and was begging to to have it reinstated and the 70-ish gentleman who wasn’t sure he wanted to proceed with the permanent residency card because he owned an American vehicle. Soon enough, it was my turn.

The clerk at the entregar documentos window asked what I needed, although he could have gotten that information by looking at the paper I presented. I explained that I was hoping the email where it stated “Se emitió ficio” meant I could get my residency card back. He said he would check in the computer, which he did. Then he went to the filing cabinet and pulled out my file. He had me sign that I have received the oficio and my residency card and I was finished.

This letter had a paragraph of immigration law references, then said that my status had changed from dependent of my husband to being gainfully employed at JJR. My address was wrong and my husband’s name was in lower case, but I suppose it was official enough.

When we arrived back in Moroleón, I took gave a copy of the letter to my boss and asked about the progress of my application through SEP that had begun nearly a year ago. She looked embarrassed and told me that the woman who received the copies of my documentation at the SEP office in Guanajuato had “lost” them. So when the lawyer representing the school had gone last week to check on my status, it was if I had never applied. My original documents that took me so much effort to have apostilled and translated (See Getting Legal-The Paper Chase and Getting Legal–Perito Traductor) were still in the custody of the lawyer and the process of SEP approval will be begun again.

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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!

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