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Sucecessful H1-B stamping in Tijuana Nov 2009 (7th year)

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  • Sucecessful H1-B stamping in Tijuana Nov 2009 (7th year)

    I booked my appointment to Tijuana, Mexico for 20th Nov 2009 and then started wondering if I had made the right decision as I read so many things online.. thought I should share my experience so others can use it if required. The important thing is to fax and/or email your H1 to the consulate prior to your appointment.. they did confirm that they received it but they did not really confirm if its available in the PIMS database. Also the Tijuana consulate now uses the new DS-160 form.

    We traveled the previous night, 19th Nov to San Diego and at 6:30am on the 20th Nov left san diego to drive to the Yisidro parking lot. Parked at Border Shuttle and Border Station (Address: 4211 Camino De La Plaza San Ysidro, CA 92173, phone Number: 619-428-1422, $8/day). I did not get any visa for Mexico ....Crossed the border through the rolling gate there was no line and this was pretty simple then took a taxi ($5 to our hotel Camino Real and checked in. We then left our stuff there and went to Banamex bank near US embassy to get the receipt i think this was about $142. The process is pretty simple.

    Once you get to the consulate there is a long line because all Mexicans will be in the same line and there is no separate line for H1-B. The line is pretty long but it moves pretty quick. They initially check your paper work and give you a number. Once you are in you are seated in the outside seating area and in a particular order and then asked to switch your seat every time someone leaves...I found this process pretty amusing. Finally you make it to the inside room where you so do your finer prints and photos and then taken and then you go back to the outside seating area then you again make it back to the inside seating area.... ( I was not kidding when I said the process is amusing) and wait for your number to be called for interview.

    Once your number is called you go the visa officer. She asked me a bunch of questions including my employment letters, pay stubs, W2s, tax returns. How long I have been with the company. If I am based out of one office or different once. She also asked me why my company is requesting a 1 year visa as opposed to 3 which I thought was a strange question as my h1 petition was for 1 year too anyways I explained to her that it was a 7th year extension. She then said the visa is approved but that since it was a friday I would get it only on monday. I requested to get it friday but she said it was not possible as they were overloaded and less resources.

    FYI my hubby and I both travelled so we spent the weekend in tijuana which I quiet enjoyed. We explored a bit .. tried different cuisines, watched Luna Nueva (New moon ). We however got back to the hotel at a decent hour towards night ... since we had been hearing so much about the drug wars. The hotel itself was very safe however.

    Monday at 3 picked the passport which took till like 4 pm and then headed back to the border...to get the I-94 you have to go to a separate line called "PERMITS" this is a line even before you get to the area where everyone is heading. This process took the longest about 1 hour. Paid $6 for the I-94 and then headed back to the official crossing. They just checked the US visa and boom done back to the states!!

    Hopefully this helps few of you who are planning a to go for stamping

  • #2

    This is realy helpful..espectally "NO VISA TO MEXICO" part..