USA Visa Stamping at Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
Nogales is located 60 miles south of Tucson, Arizona and 140 miles north of Hermosillo, Sonora on the US/Arizona-Sonora and Mexico border. The U.S. Consulate in Nogales is most convenient for persons staying in Arizona (such as Phoenix, Tucson) or any nearby states for visa stamping. There are not too many people who visit this consulate besides locals and hence is easier to get appointments and is not as crowded as other consulates.

Before making arrangements to go to Nogales, check out the consular holidays. Consulate office hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday, except on U.S. Federal holidays and on Mexican holidays.


ASC Appointment
This is the only location that is about 3-4 miles from most of other locations and it takes about 10 minutes in a taxi. You will have to show your appointment confirmation email and passport. Taking fingerprints and photograph takes around 5 to 10 minutes. They will stamp your appointment letter as verified and complete.

At the Consulate
You should either leave all electronics items at the hotel or expect to pay the security personnel to hold onto things like your cell phone. Alternatively, you can ask the nearby stall person to hold your bags and pay them $1.

Even though the consulate is within the walking distance from the hotel, it is advisable to take a taxi to the interview as it gets pretty dusty and hot and you don't want to appear sweaty and dirty to the interview.

While they state that you are not required to appear more than 15 minutes before your scheduled time, they usually let you in earlier if there is no rush.

Your belongings (like your transparent bag for visa papers, etc.) will be scanned through the X-ray as you walk through the metal detector. You will be given a token number once you are inside. First your appointment will be verified and your I-797 will be collected. When your number is called, your finger printing will be verified again with some basic verification questions. You will be requested to wait until your number is called again for the actual interview. You can sit in the group facing the interview counters. When your number flashes, go to the respective counter and hand over the stapled documents to the visa officer.

If your visa is approved, you will have to collect your passport at the DHL location that you specified at the time of taking an appointment, earliest on the next day. .

After Getting the Visa
Take your cab back to the border. You can buy duty free stuff at the border if you like or just head straight to the immigration line. Crossing the border back into the U.S. is quite time consuming. The officer will ask you basic questions like purpose of visit, why are you entering the US, What you do in the US etc. You may have to wait for an hour or more in line to get your I-94. You will be asked for your current address, fingerprinted, and photographed. You will be guided to an office upstairs where you will be issued a new I-94. The fee is $6 for each I-94. Please remember to keep exact cash only. Also, make sure to check the I-94 for accuracy as errors are quite possible. You will walk up the same ramp you came down into Mexico.

You can take any shuttle from any of the vendors around back to Tuscon and catch your flight back home. The drive to the nearest airport in Tucson is around an hour and fifteen minutes. There are many more flights from Phoenix than Tucson.