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Visa Stamping from Canada/ Mexico

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H1B Tijuana Mexico
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to mail me at [email protected]

Experience in Tijuana


Pre-Appointment Stage & Post Appointment Stage
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If you are planning to get your visa stamped in Mexico, Start planning at least in 2 –3 months in advance. However, if you can keep track of the visa appointment website (http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/) you may get an early appointment date when there is one available. I got my appointment date with in 10days. Of course I was lucky enough on the day I rechecked for appointment dates, I got one with in 10days. However, the previous day when I checked the next available appointment date was after 2 months or so. So take your chance to see if you can get an early appointment date. Plan preparing documents as soon as you get the appointment. This gives you ample time to think and arrange any missing documents. Instead of waiting till the end of the appointment date, start filling the form very early and notice any missing things you may have to gather. That is how I approached though it was 10 days for my appointment. You can fill DS 156 on line and if you are a male and between 16-45 then you may have to fill DS 157 as well. However, when you fill online just fill in the data and take a print out to verify. If you feel every thing is correct you can either submit immediately or you can cancel and redo it later. Many times I just filled and verified and submitted only prior to the day of my appointment. To submit one needs to press continue buttong on the online filling form. If you don’t press continue, your application submission will not be complete.

DS-156 filling
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As soon as you are ready for submission of the DS 156, Verify the data is correct. Press “Continue’ button. It generates a PDF file that you need to print. It will have 3 pages including two pages of the actual form and the third page barcode and some additional field data . There will be a bar code generated for the application.. Print atleast 2-3 copies to be on safer side. You need to take all 3 pages to the consulate. Have your 2 x 2 inch standard passport size photo either glued or stapled on the first page of DS 156.

Questions I had while filling the form:
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Home Address: gave US address
Phone details: gave US phone details.
Office address: if your company is big and has brances at different locations and if you are working in one of those locations, mention that place as your office address and not the head office address. Talk to your HR/attornyt to clarify these doubts
Visa Refusals:
If you have visa refusals, mention them. It appears if you have had improper documentation and was asked to submit additional documents with in say 7-10days that probably that need not be mentioned in the refusal column. I guess 214b refusal probably need to be mentioned. However, double check with your attorney or HR or enqure with the consulate. If you have an updated information please amend this document so that it would be beneficial for others.

Do not be too much worried or picky about filling the form, if you have questions ask people and get clarified.

If you have different situations you may amend this document and repost it.

On the Day of appointment
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Depending on the distance you need to travel to San Diego, plan to be either the previous day or the same day early morning 7-7:30. If you are driving down by car, you can look for the 721, San ysidro blvd, san ysidro, CA where you can park your car. That I guess is one of the closest parking lot for international border crossing parking. They charge 5 dollars for 8hrs. If some one doesn’t want to drive the car, they can as well look into MTS transportation website. There are buses and trains to the exact place. The bus stand/train station are just in front of the border crossing building. Google it for further info. No one appears to take a permit, however one of our members who had the same day appointment had taken some thing like a permit at the border crossing building right before entering the bridge. Check with it before if you need further info. As such people say you don’t need any permit unless you want to be perfectly official crossing the border for your consciousness. If some one wants to have a visa, you can get one I guess in Los Angeles, however not sure about it.

Once you cross the border over the bridge, you will be landing in Mexico on the other end. And as you get out, you see lot of yellow cabs. They will be after you offering to take you to the consulate. Just take one of those taxi’s and ask for the Banamex bank or Zona rio annex depending on where you want to go. You could probably go first to the bank and pay the fee and get the receipt. Make sure the receipt has your passport number on it. Of course by default it would be taken care of by the bank teller. They will ask you for the passport. The fee for us was $106. the Q may get big around 9a.m. so try to be early there in the Q so that you would get your receipt fast. Probably if you are there by 8-8:30 that should be fine. After you take the receipt look for a cab to take you new consular annex. Please note that this is different from the regular consular which was there in some other place. I don’t know about that. The bank and consular office are about a ¾ to mile apart. If you have ample time you can take a walk. Unlike those cabs in the border, usually the cab guys do not understand what you say in the city ( they may not be even aware of the consular annex), so you may find difficulty in explaining about your intention to go to the consulate. So catch hold of English speaking people around and ask them to explain to the cab guy. May be look for the bus stop and wait for a cab there. I noticed a Abraham Lincoln statue while the cab guy took a left turn when I am coming from the bank. From the statue it is about 1000 –1500meters. It is a walk able distance. The consular doesn’t look a prominent place. It is almost at the end of the lane on the right side with guards standing outside. That is how you can make it out as the US consulate annex. Ask the guard and he will guide you. They will ask for appointment confirmation letter/printout, I-797, passport and the bank receipt and DS 156/157. You may be asked to store any electronic stuff near by shop. You can go to the adjacent café/copy shop and store your electronic stuff.

It was pretty cold the day I went so look for the weather condition and it is not a bad idea to take a sweater. Some times it may happen that you may get delayed by a day because of passport printing problems etc. However, I guess they wont be that often. In case you want to be extra cautious, give a thought to stay back for a day. Of course in our case the passport printing got delayed and we got our passports around 5:30p.m. so this is for your info. Usually I guess passports are given at 3 p.m

In the consular office
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As usual like other posts.

Questions asked
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Why u changed ur company?
Where did they interview?
When did u change the company?
What is the designation and work?
Show new company Paystubs?
Show new company Offer letter?

Visa approved. Come collect at 3:00p.m

That’s it done.

However, the visa printing was delayed for 3 hours or so and we got it at 5:30p.m. So be prepared for such scenarios.

Returning from mexico (Tijuana)
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The best we felt was to get into a bus in the downtown. So we took a cab to the downtown and asked the cab to take us to the “Mexicouch” or some thing like that don’t remember exactly. This is in downtown on Revolution Street. Further details you may google or enquire some other ways. Basically they take 5 dollars and take you to the border crossing. This is little effective in that you cross all the car Q for border crossing. And it is also better because you directly head on to the front of the pedestrian Q in the border.


Some suggestions:
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Try to get all the documentation as much as possible. This not only helps showing to the consular office but also gives you the confidence.

Get new consular annex address and Banamex address written in Spanish on a peace of paper so that you can show it to the cab guy if he doesn’t understand English

Verify you have the passport number on your bank receipt.

Keep as much change (dollar bills) as possible.

Take some Mexican pesos (if you want save couple of dollars) at the border or as soon as u enter mexico some where in the bank where ever u could get. Get exchange for about 20-30 dollars so that you can use them for taxi and other purchases. However, also plan what to do with unused pesos. Also note that you can as well get things done with dollars as they pretty well accept dollars. It only matters if you want to give exact pesos instead of rounded dollars.

Overall it was pretty easy because of good documentation and good company.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to mail me at [email protected]. I have been in the same boat as many of you, so feel like helping others. As a courtesy if you can mail me a word if this post has helped you. That makes me happy for the time I put in writing this long experience post.
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