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Nogales Mexico: Successful H1B and H4 visa stamping with US Kid

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  • Nogales Mexico: Successful H1B and H4 visa stamping with US Kid

    Background: I am on EVC model. This is my 5th H1B extension with 4th visa stamping. Last 3 times I had stamping at Vancouver Canada and this is my first time at Nogales Mexico. I have I140 approved. Only one same employer. Me H1B along with my wife H4 went for our visa stamps. Our 2 years US kid also came with us. My latest extension approved till DEC 2021.

    Mexico Visitor Visa : I was going to Mexico with my family for first time. So, I did not want to take risk and wanted to have Mexico visitor visa for me and my wife. My kid being US citizen she do not need it. After doing some research, I came to below site and saw that my place ( Santa Ana, California ) has mexico embassy office but they did not offer visa stamping service as per below site. There is no need for you to have Mexico Visa. Even without that also you can enter Mexico. If you have valid US visa stamped you have advantage of coming back into USA if you get any 221G. But having it will be BEST for you. If you have it BEST, if you do not its OK.

    One of my friend adviced me to send a mail to [email protected], explaning my case and send them my wife and my drivers license asking for whether they do visa stamping. For my surprise eventhough the above website doesnot show visa stamping services at Santa Ana, CA location still they offer it. They gave me first available appointment in an email along with Visa application form and document checklist. I followed their instructions. I took 6 months of bank statements and paystubs eventhough they say 3 months. I created seperate document packet for me and my wife. The process was smooth and I got MEXICO Visitor Visa stamped in our passports within 2 hours on same day. It took 3 hours total. They do not fulfil walkins and they will just not entertain you. Its simple. You need to have appointment.

    US Visa Stamping Appointment: I started two DS 160 forms at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and went to https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-mx/niv to create a profile, added my wife as another candidiate and went to payment page. I used services of https://usvisastampinginmexico.com/u...ess-in-mexico/ to pay my fee.Once my payment is activated, I booked finger prints ASC appointment and visa interview CSC appointments. I always wanted Monday ( ASC ) and Tuesday ( CSC ) appointment so that I can have one journey on weekend. So I booked June 10 for ASC and June 11 for CSC. At Nogales Mexico, if everything goes fine you will get passport with visa stamped on same day of your CSC interview by 4:30 PM and you can cross border and back into USA on same day.

    Crossing into Mexico: I booked a motel for June 9 night at Nogales Arizona USA said near to border. I started my journey from my home on June 09 at 3:00PM and drove to my motel by 12 midnight and just slept. On June 10, woke up and reached Ed's border parking lot by 8:30 AM. I parked my car in gated parking lot and crossed the border and into Mexico by 9:00 AM. At border, walking into Mexico is just simple. You just keep walking and put your luggage through a xray machine and walk into Mexico. If you need any border permit or stamping on your passport you can also get. I did not get any. Just walked into Mexico without any stamp in my passport. While in USA, I came in contact with a driver on Nogales Mexico side using WhatsApp and he was ready to pick me at border. My ASC appointment was at 10:00AM so we decided to give it a shot and see whether they allow early walkins. But they did not but some times they do depending on number of people. On our day they were lot of people.

    ASC finger print and photo on June 10: I booked 2 nights stay at Fairfield Inn in Nogales Mexico which is close to US Consulate where you will have CSC appointment. The Inn is a part of Nogales Mall which shares wall with US Consulate. Everyone books it since it safe and secured and have nice food and shopping options. I came to hotel. Kept all my luggage at hotel front desk and went back again to ASC site in same cab. Now they allowed 10 AM appointments. First they will ask you to stand under a shelter until 10 mins to your appointment. After that the security will ask you to come and form a queue near entrance. They DO NOT know much English. They basically say no smart watches, no electronics, no cell phones, wallets, food and so on. They just check our appointment time, passport and whether you have DS 160 confirmation page or not. After that a lady who is fluent in English comes and cross checks our appointment with confirmation page, DS 160 confirmation page, passport, petiton approval notice and ask your name and make sure everything is good. After that security will do security check and will allow you inside and ask you to stand in line.

    Update DS 160 at ASC appointment on June 10: I did a mistake in my DS 160 form. I missed out social media questions. So I created a new DS 160 form, submitted and took 2 confirmation pages of DS 160. One the new form and other the old one which I used to schedule ASC and CSC appointments. After you are inside and stand in line, a lady will call you to reception area. Here they will ask you your full name and date of birth of each applicant and thoroughly check your passport, DS 160 confirmation page, petition approval notice and their screen. Here I told her, I made mistake in my old DS 160 page and want to update my DS 160 to new. First she did not understand but I explained her and she said fine. She simply asked which one you want to use by pointing one in each hand and I pointed her which one I want and she simply returned my old DS 160 and scanned bar code on new DS 160 and did a red stamp on my DS 160 page. She wrote type of visa and gave passport, petiton, DS 160 page with stamp back to me. I asked her did she update and she said she did thats why she stamped on new DS 160. She performed same steps for my wife and asked us to have a seat. There is no change of DS 160 for my wife.

    Finger Printing and Photo at ASC Appointment on June 10: After waiting for sometime, they will call one by one ( me and my wife seperately ) to a window. They have 3 windows opened at that time and I noticed that one was struggling with English speaking applicants. At window they asked my passport and DS 160 page with red stamp. She checked the documents and asked which visa you are applying. She asked my full name and date of birth. Then she took my finger prints and photo and gave my passport and DS 160 page back. On back of passport they pasted a sticker which showed my data which had my new DS 160 number and this was my confirmation. It took around 30 minutes since they were lot of people on my day but if not much people it hardly takes 5 to 10 minutes. I came to hotel and checked https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-mx/niv and saw that my DS 160 is updated so took new printout of confirmation page which I took to visa interview. I gave USD $15 for driver for this.

    CSC Visa Interview Appointment on June 11: Our appointment was at 9:15 AM. US Consulate was just next door and its walk able distance takes hardly 5 to 10 minutes to walk. We reached there by 8:30 AM and security asked to stand in line. They checked our appointment confirmation and said they will allow so asked to stand in line. They were good in English and asked about no cellphones, watches, food, and so on. They allowed us inside. First they check passport, petiton and DS 160 confirmation page and they take DS 160 page which has red stamp from ASC appointment so do not lose it. Then they will let you inside. There we will have typical thorough secuirty check. I took harmony type of folder and they asked me to open and made sure I do not have any envelopers or folder. All must be paper documents and opened. Then they will allow into hall where we actually have interviews. We came to interview window at 9:00 AM eventhough my appointment was at 9:15 AM.

    Documents asked Passport, Marriage Certificate, H1B petition, Employment Letter, I140, all previous H1B approvals. These were asked through out the interview not all at once.

    VO and we exchanged greetings. She was good in English and greeted us warmly with a smile. Throughout the interview she made us feel warm and relaxed and where ever she is taking time she said no worries everything is good I need to just do this things and I can understand how you feel.

    Below is how the interview went on. Total interview time 15 minutes.

    Are you both applying for H1B? - No I am H1B and she is on H4
    Are you both married - Yes
    Show me marriage certificate - Gave
    She reiterated country and date of marriage - Yes

    You have a kid and US citizen - Yes
    She read my employer name to confirm - Yes
    You have many H1B extensions so your green card started - Yes
    Show me your I140 - Gave copy of it
    She reiterated my priority date - Yes
    Same employer till now - Yes
    Can you show me all your H1Bs - Gave and she went through them one by one. In her eye glasses I saw reflection that she open and closed one by one. I feel she was just making sure my H1Bs are not revoked.
    When did you move to H1B - Answered
    When did you come to USA - Answered
    You got your last visa stamped in Canada - Yes
    What is your job title - Told
    Can you show your employer letter - Gave. She checked employer details, start date, salary.
    Masters degree in which field - Answered
    She asked me where you work - Answered. Told client city name.
    She asked me my client name - Answered
    She asked me where you live - Answered
    How much time it take for commute - Answered

    She did some typing and did some checking. She said just give me few minutes I need to do some final checks and we will be done soon. She spent almost 2 to 3 minutes checking and typing. Meanwhile she was talking playfully with my kid who is 2 years old. Later when she is done she took our right hand finger prints.

    Then golden words came. Everything is perfect and I am approving your visas. She gave me the small card and asked me to come and pickup passports at 4PM today and said no need for all to come. Just one can come with this card and you will get passports with your visas stamped.

    She was laughing and talking playfully with my kid and she said now go and have party with your Mom and Dad. Ask your Dad to give you a treat and a big party.

    Moral of the story if you are confident and you have all the documents and your case is clear no need to worry. Do not worry about number of questions or amount of documents asked. Just be confident in your answers say the TRUTH always since they know everything. 80% of my answers where simple YES and 5% are I gave answers and remaining time discussing, laughing about Southern California and how much jealous she has to us that we stay there especially for question where you work and live. We had good laughs.

    Passport Pickup: Even they ask you to come at 4PM only by 3:50 PM they will allow you to form a line and at 4:30 PM they will start giving passports. At 4PM outside, same routine security check and they will lead to exact place where you had your interview. At 4:30 PM, one window opens and they called one by one. For me they asked below since the guy was not good in English
    Family or Single - family
    Which Visa - H1B and H4
    He got our passports and gave to me one after another after showing me bio pages and confirming is that you. He tried to read our name before showing. I took passports and checked visa there itself to make sure it was correct. Everything was good and came back to hotel.

    Back to USA : After reaching hotel, I went to I94 site and filled new I94 form for me and my wife in single form and paid $6.00 each total $12.00 online and took print out of fee receipt. Then called the cab and reached border by 5:30 PM. I gave 100 pesos for driver for this. You can give USD $5 also. Since they were no queue at all for enter into US at that time we directly ended at CBP. They checked our passports and asked below questions and took our pics.
    What were you doing here.
    Why this place.
    Where are going now.

    They did Xray check of our all luggage and asked us to go to upstairs to get new I94. We went to upstairs CBP office and stood in line. We were lucky and we were first and only one. After us they were around 20 people stood behind us. A CBP officer called us to a window and took our passports she asked
    Where are you going.
    Is is she your daughter and US citizen. She checked the passport.

    She asked did you fill and pay I94 online and I said yes and showed fee receipt. She just gave glance over it but not particularly serious about it. Then she took right hand finger prints and took photo and stamped paper I94 and gave our passports. I cross checked I94 to make sure everything is fine or not. Then just came to downstairs and walked across the ramp into USA, went and collected my car.

    Take aways:
    • If you can, get Mexico visitor visa if your US stamped visa is no longer valid. If you cannot, thats fine still you can enter Mexico with out visa and take border permit at border which is valid for 7 days. I had Mexico visitor visa and did not take any border permit.
    • They accept US dollars but if possible get pesos or you can go to any place that accepts US dollars give a $20 or $50 and buy something and you can get pesos for remaining change.
    • Everyone books Fairfield Inn by Marriott since that is good, safe, secured, and near to CSC appointment and for ASC its just 10 minutes drive and Hotel reception can call you taxi and help you in transportation.
    • I see stupid queries in online and whatsapp group asking whether they can carry wallet, cellphones, watches etc. My simple advice just take some money which you might need just in case, make proper travel arrangements and leave everything at hotel either in room or in luggage at front desk. Front desk is safe and secured and we left everything there.
    • CSC is just behind the hotel so do not even take anything there. But I see people asking questions for this also. I kept everything in my locker in room.
    • Hotel is part of Nogales MALL where you have nice food court. I tried food at Burritos Haas. I eat all types of non-veg. So tried both veg and non-veg. For veg I recommend Freijol which is just beans either you can get in tacos or small/full buritto size.
    • I forgot actual name but there was some XXX WINGS bar in Mall where we had drinks and wings. It was good. You also have AppleBees, MacDonald, Chinese eatery - takes USD and easy to order. Carls Jr, Subway, others do not take USD and hard to order since they do not understand English.
    • For online filing of I94 if you are IT field select Math or Comp Sci as occupation.
    Last edited by gopalakrishnach; 06-13-2019, 01:28 PM.

  • #2
    Thank you so much for putting up such a detailed recounting of your experience. It will be invaluable for so many people in the future.

    Can you add one more thing, please? How did you pay the consulate for the visa application fees? I had read that it needs to be paid out of a mexican bank and that you need the service of someone with a mexican bank account. Can you add how you managed payment?


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mogu View Post
      Thank you so much for putting up such a detailed recounting of your experience. It will be invaluable for so many people in the future.

      Can you add one more thing, please? How did you pay the consulate for the visa application fees? I had read that it needs to be paid out of a mexican bank and that you need the service of someone with a mexican bank account. Can you add how you managed payment?
      Thanks. I used services of https://usvisastampinginmexico.com/u...ess-in-mexico/ to pay my fees.
      Last edited by gopalakrishnach; 06-13-2019, 01:30 PM.


      • #4
        This is very useful. Thank you for all your work in posting the information and congrats on a smooth ride doing this in Mexico!