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Ram- ()     10/04/2007 21:41 PM
 


Hi All,
Don't worry about stamping in Mexico at Nogales.
Here is my experience.
Flew to Phoenix and rented a car. It is around 170 miles to the border I drew all the way and took the exit 3 and stayed at Motel8 for 40 bugs.
Next day morning I drew to the border , there will be some persons waving the flags for parking. They charged 4 dollars, I parked the car and walked into Mexico.
Took a taxi(just tell bank name) he charged 8 dollars. Then took the receipt. They accepted US dollars(100). Bank opens at 9AM.
Then walked to the US consulate at around 9:30AM. It is better to take taxi. I forgot to fill the form DS-158.
So fill all the forms DS-156, DS-157 and DS-158 for yourself and also all dependants.
They took Biometrics for my wife and myself and asked to wait for interview.
Both of us together attended the interview at around 11AM. The conversation is here
Officer: How are you doing?
self: good, How are you sir?
Office: good
self:Smile
Officer: Did you change the employer recently?
Self:Yes Sir, Smile
Officer: Are you computer Engineer?
Self: Yes Sir
Officer: Do you have kids?
Self: No
Officer:What is your current Salary
Self:70K
Officer: Visa is granted for both of you, we are giving two days time, but 90% it will be ready by 3PM today , come and check this.
Self: Thank you sir.
We spent sometime there in mcDonalds and then at 2PM I walked to consulate to pick up the passport, my wife waited outside.
One good thing here is the officer did not ask any other documents other than I-129, I-797 approval form, Passport and Employer letter.
He did noot ask W-2 forms, 1099 or pay stubs or anything.
SO I felt this is much , much better than Chennai, in which they will screw you up , if you changed employment and also they don't care about your experience. This stamping is for my 7th year extension.

Good luck for you all and don't be afraid, this is much much better center without much traffic.
Only 23 persons came when I went and all got Visa.

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Pramod- ()     10/01/2007 20:18 PM
 


Hi guys,
I'm going for H1B stamping in nogales on 12th. live in Irvine,CA and planning to fly by southwest airlines to Tucson,AZ and drive/take shuttle to nogales. Let me know if anyone is interested to come along.

Wish you good luck
Pramod
949 784 9782

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k k- ()     09/24/2007 23:13 PM
 


hello all,

hope ur doing well ? somehow all my friends have decided to get their H1B stamping in India so, I'm now left alone since I dont intend to goto India until June 2008.

i was now thinking of getting my stamping done at Nogales since, Tijuana was full and so also the canadian consulates.

if any of u r planning on going to Nogales in the Oct-Nov time frame....pls respond immediately so that we can plan to book our interview dates on the same day.

thank u all n wish u all a success in the process!!

k k

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xyz- ()     08/29/2007 04:33 AM
 


Hello All,

I got my visa approved on early monday morning of Aug 27th. The interview went pretty well and I was done with the interview in less than 5 mins. The visa officer was really lenient it seems as the student infront of me also had his visa approved. Here is how the interview went:

Me: (while entering the door) Hello!
VO: Good morning, Sir.
Me: Good morning.

VO: Token please!
Me: (Passed the token under the glass).

VO: (Asking something to the VO on next window)
VO: I am drawing blank this morning!
Me: I am not a morning person either.
VO: (murmured somthing which I could not understand).
Me: Sorry!
VO: Not many people are.
Me: I think so, because I stroll into my office with my colleagues at 10 in the morning :-)

VO: (Looks at my 797) Sir, you understand that you won't be able to go right away to the US?
Me: Yes, sir.

VO: So you are going to work for XXX company (sounds pleased)
Me: Yes sir!

VO: So you have been in the US for quite some time now?
Me: Yes sir, XXX years.

VO: So what were you doing before joining Intel?
Me: I was completing my PhD from XXX university.

VO: So you are a XXX fan?
Me: (Smile and a little nod) Yes, sir :-)

VO: So, what will you be doing at XXX company?
Me: Described the job at the company.

VO: Ok sir, your visa is approved. Your passport will be delivered in two days.
Me: (Smiling) Thank you sir. Can I collect my passport in person in the evening?
VO: Oh yes, you can collect it at VFS after 5pm. But I must tell you that there is a horribly long line there in the evening.
Me: Thanks sir. Have a wonderful day.
VO: Have a wonderful day.

I was just going out of the door and then I heard VO call me back:
VO: Sir, don't forget your 797!
Me: (Self-deprecating smile) They wouldn't let me in without that! Thanks!

Overall, it was a nice experience. Not a single paper was asked from me. Please make sure that you do not have any electronic item with you (not even a digital watch).
When you go to collect passport, make sure that you have a photocopy of the HDFC receipt and Interview letter. You need to sign the photocopy of the HDFC receipt.
They won't allow you to take anything inside VFS for passport pickup (not even a bag). So if you have a bag, please have someone with you who can take your bag.
For some strange reason, they don't allow you to look at your passport/visa inside VFS, so I am not sure what will happen if someone finds errors in her/his visa..

Good Luck!

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Manimaran ShanmugaSundram- ()     08/27/2007 18:39 PM
 


Hi Guys,

I had my H1-B visa extended along with my wife and kid H4 stamping in Nogales US consulate.

I flew into Tuscon, AZ and drove around an hour (76 Kms on I-19 South) to the hotel.. Best Western Siesta Motel in Nogales, AZ.

Next day took a cab at 8.30 am to border, Crossed over into mexico through a gate. No questions asked.

Took another cab to BanAmex. Got the draft within 15 minutes of waiting in line. Took the same cab to the consulate..

Stood in the lane for consulate. There were 2-3 girls waiting to check your DS-156,157 & 158 along with passport and photos..

No Milk, Water, Electronic items, Baggage allowed.... I kept them in a small shed next to the consulate, which was recommended by these girls.. 1$ per luggage.

Went inside the consulate and there was a security check and another round of document check before they gave me a token number. Now comes the finger printing and photo session.. and then the Personal interview with the Visa officer. I gave the right answers for the questions and he gave me a slip saying the visa has been granted and I have to collect the Passport's the next day at 3 pm, but he said I can try at 3pm today. It was 11.45 when we come out of the consualte..

Spent the next 4 hours in Walmart Supercenter.. Ate pasta, ice creams and had coffee at left my wife and kid in walmart at 2.30pm

I got in line at the consulate for the passport.. Bad luck.. I could not my kid's passport, and was asked to collect it the next day.. had to stay in Fiesta Inn for the night.

Got the passport on the next day and took a cab and headed for the border in pouring rain..

After a wait of 1 hour, got new I-94's for 6$ each, before going back to Best Western again for the night..
 

So the whole process is pretty simple and we really don't need any agents help to get Visa. No need to worry about draft... Just get it on the day of appointment.. Be prepared for any eventuality like stay a night or two in mexico.. I bought food from Walmart and had enough clothes packed..

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Lalit- ()     08/23/2007 21:16 PM
 


Hi,
I'm planning to get my H1-B Renewed from Nogales Consulate, Mexico. Still Not taken appointment. Open to anyone who's willing to accompany anytime after first two weeks of September.

I lived in Phoenix,AZ for 2rs before moving to Jersey City,NJ. So it would not be a problem.

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Manimaran- ()     08/13/2007 16:51 PM
 


Hi, I am going to Nogales for H1-B visa extension on 23rd August 2007.. Anybody else going on the same day..

I will stay in Best Western, Nogales, AZ.

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Murali- ()     07/26/2007 16:41 PM
 


I am planning to get my visa stamped on 2nd Aug'07 at Nogales.Any one want to join

Thanks,
Murali

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Sudhir- ()     06/04/2007 22:34 PM
 


My stamping at negoles, mexico went smooth. here are the things they verified for stamping
 
1) I-94 approval, LCA documents, recent paystubs, employment letter, resume and other supporting documents.
2) There is no need of visitors visa to mexico if we were going for stamping.
3) I just rented a car, stayed at motel near Mexico border.
4) On the day of stamping I drev to border and parked the car and from there i took a taxi to us consulate.
5) There will be less people who understands english most of them are spanish. I requested cab driver to consulate and from there to banamex bank where I took bank reciept. From there its is 10 mins walk to us consulate. I just walked back to consulate.
6) I found some indians at bank so all of us kept our bagage near by tea stall. security is little strick inside consulate they ask me to put away cellphones, car keys. just a remind :-)
7) Inside consulate they will take finger prints and will take photo and may be we need to wait 1 hr or 2 hr depending on persons attending to visa. I collected passport at 3 pm and drev back to phenix on same evening.

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Kishore Chagamreddy- ()     05/16/2007 14:47 PM
 


Hi Friends,

Let me first thank every one who has contributed to this forum.

Here is my experience and some suggestions. Here is a disclaimer also: As you all know we can not certainly say that you can get your Visa if you follow all these....so these are all our experiences and hopefully help others.

Experience:
Stayed at Best Western Siesta Motel in Nogales, AZ (US side). The owner is an Indian (Manu) and really a nice man and very helpful. If you book your hotel well in advance, there is a good chance that he might give you a call to find out if you are coming for Visa stamping. You can as well call him and tell him that you need his help with getting draft for visa etc. (his phone # 520-287-4671).
Left my car at the hotel and took a cab at 7.40 am to border and paid $6. Cab driver showed the gate to cross the border.
There is no one to ask you any questions while crossing the border. Just walked through the revolving gate. Went straight and took a cab to BanAmex and paid him $7. Waited there till the bank opened at 9 am and it took 10 minutes to get draft (paid $109).
Took a cab and went straight to US Consulate, paid $6 for the cab. Left the bag with chai wala (just like in India). Chai cart is digonally opposite to the consulate. Paid him $2 to keep the bag.
Stood in the lane for consulate. One lady came to me aksing if I had all the forms filled out. Then she sent me straight ahead to the entrance with out waiting in the queue.
Went inside the consulate and there was a security check, they will not allow any electronic items (keys, cell phones etc). Then they sent me inside.
Typically there are 3 steps once you enter the consulate.
1. One lady checked passport and applications (I 156, 157 and 158) and gave me a number to go ahead and wait in the first part of waiting hall.
2. First 7 counters are for biometrics. I got my turn in 10 minutes to give biometrics (fingerprints and a digital photo). Once that is done I had to wait for almost 2 hours for the final step.
3. Personal interview with the Visa officer. Usually straight forward questions if we have not changed jobs. As I had changed couple of jobs from the previous employer shown in the Visa (which was expired Sep 2006). Then she asked why I had to change so many jobs. Its not really tough to convince them. Also questioned what kind of work I do. Then questioned why I need stamping now? I had to also fill the details of my travel plans to India in the form I 157.
Then she gave me a slip with information about collecting the Passport the following day at 3 pm. When I asked her if she can give the same day, she said NO.

Came out of the Consulate and spent some time in the Mall behind the Consulate. Met another Indian family who came for Visa. Spent some time and they wanted to check if we can get our Visa the same day, I went along with them and luckily it was given the same day at 3 pm. Other Indian family and few others from Turkey and Japan had to wait for one more day.

Took cab to border and paid $8.
Walked through the Immigration, there was one officer checking Visa and he allowed me inside, he did not talk about I-94. I asked him about I-94, he directed me to go to second floor and there is one office to issue I-94. Officer sitting there asked few questions and issued new I-94, we need to pay $6 for the I-94.
I walked back and took a can to hotel.

So the whole process is pretty simple and we really dont need any agents help to get Visa.

Here are some tips:
If you dont have Banamex reciept, you can actually enter Mexico around 8.30 am and go straight to Banamex (tell the cab driver to Banamex). You dont have to go early.

If you dont get the Visa the same day be prepared to stay in Mexico for a day or two. Visas are issued only at 3 pm every day. Also have the hotel information (Plaza hotel, Fiesta Inn) handy, just in case if you need to stay back for a day or two.

Your Cingular/ Verizon cell phone might work only for incoming calls. Outgoing will not work. I am not sure if we are charged for the roaming.

Please let me know if you have any questions ([email protected]). I will be more than happy to help you.

You dont really need any agent to take you to Mexico. It is really straight forward process. If you are travelling from far off places please book return flight atleast the late next day of your visa appointment.

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