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Messed up border crossing, sooo bummed

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Post by pamarie Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:50 pm

Well not only was the drive here extra long and grueling but today I found out when I tried to finish my paperwork to get my Permanente Residente Visa registered or whatever it is that one does once you are at your final destination after crossing the border that the Del Rio border crossing was not done right. I was told that I have to return to the border and get the correct slip of paper showing I crossed the border legally!!!! What a mess, and a heck of way to start my new adventure. Yet I am not going to give up easily. I love Ajijic and the Lakeside area and feel no regrets for making the decision to come here. Now to just become legal!!!! What to do and what will it cost me is the big question. I have a Mexican friend of the Innkeeper trying to help me get it all straightened out but I'm holding my breath until I know what is up next!!!! I thought I was so well prepared after all the research I did, but I obviously didn't do enough for the actual border crossing process. Feeling pretty stupid right now though I can tell you that.

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Post by viajero Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:17 pm

Before I made a trip back to the border I would talk to an immigration attorney here and maybe avoid the trip.
Did tictoc follow the proper procedures when you guys crossed the border?

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Post by Intercasa Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:51 pm

People crossing into Mexico need to check in and get an FMM form issued to them or immigration will not process their visas. The FMM is a requirement and documents that you complied with the 6 months from issue to entry requirement and the 30 days from crossing the border to file at your local immigration office.

It is quite common for people to enter Mexico and not get an FMM and some dont get a car permit.
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Post by brigitte Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:57 am

You can always take an overnight bus to the border get in legally and take the next bus back it is not the end of the world.

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Post by CanuckBob Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:01 am

I would try and get this resolved with an immigration lawyer locally. They issue new FMM's at the airport for people who have lost them so I can't see why they couldn't resolve your issue.
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Post by Intercasa Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:05 am

They do issue them at the airport but they dont show up in the system and they dont scan your passport and that used to be done alot but now they will call people into a hearing asking what flight they came in on, for luggage tags and boarding passes and how come the airline never showed them on the passenger manifest and didnt pay the tourist card fee.  If caught in a lie it can have consequences.
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Post by pamarie Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:13 am

"Before I made a trip back to the border I would talk to an immigration attorney here and maybe avoid the trip.
Did tictoc follow the proper procedures when you guys crossed the border?"

I am trying to resolve this without having to go back to the border so waiting to find out still. Tictoc and company thought we followed the correct process but we felt it was all to easy and smooth so had a weird feeling we may not have gotten everything done correctly. We just thought it was all on the up and up because we believed the immigaration agents at the border knew what they were doing. You see it was a Sunday when we crossed and Del Rio border crossing for hiring a broker was not possible because everything was closed being it was Sunday. So we thought we were fine. We had to pay for the household's goods which in itself left me feeling dumbfounded and uncomfortable because the agent only looked at Tictoc's household's good list and decided to split the duty tax 50/50 which I didn't think we should have been charged anything because we each did a Menja de Casa for $127.00 and got a certificate of approval from the Mexico Consulate in Portland. The Portland agent at the consulate did tell me though that we could still be hit with duty tax at the border it was no guarantee that we wouldn't still have duty taxes. We were pulled over about 7 or more times by the Mexico police after we got to a certain point in Mexico. They were only interested in making sure Tictoc had the permit for the trailer and van and wanted to see his passport.

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Post by David Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:33 am

Intercasa (Spencer IS an immigration attorney), and it seems he's saying you need to return to the border. Call him to be certain.
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Post by pamarie Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:38 am

Just received good news today from the person that has been helping me with this process and I will be able to go forward with it at the immigration office in Chapala on Monday morning hopefully. Then I believe it takes about a month before I will have my Visa card making me legal as a Permenente Residente!!!!! I will feel like I'm really settled for good once that happens. I have been extremely blessed to have landed in Lolita's Inn with such wonderful people that are helping me get important things accomplished. I am feeling so grateful right now.

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Post by pamarie Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:46 am

David thank you, yes I am aware that Spencer is the immigration attorney most expats go to for legal help at Lakeside. I don't have to return to the border to fix the issue and I didn't interpret Spencer's replies on my post to be that I have to return to the border to rectify the problem. Doesn't matter at this point, news I got today from the Innkeeper's native Mexico friend is I'm all set to go back now with the right document to present to the immigration office.

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Post by Playaboy Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:08 pm

How much did you have to pay to "fix the issue"?

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Post by Grizzy Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:01 pm

Good luck. This is not an issue I would try to resolve without a legit attorney. It can come back to bite you.
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Post by oncesubtle Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:16 pm

pamarie wrote:David thank you, yes I am aware that Spencer is the immigration attorney most expats go to for legal help at Lakeside. I don't have to return to the border to fix the issue and I didn't interpret Spencer's replies on my post to be that I have to return to the border to rectify the problem.  Doesn't matter at this point, news I got today from the Innkeeper's native Mexico friend is I'm all set to go back now with the right document to present to the immigration office.

Pamarie, it does matter at this point and you may want to reinterpret what Spencer said, "People crossing into Mexico need to check in and get an FMM form issued to them or immigration will not process their visas."

The airport is out and I doubt the native son of the Inn keeper knows more about immigration requirements than Spencer. So please do yourself a favor and call him with your new found information and take his advise. His phone number is 765-7553.

The alternative to a free phone call is showing up at Immigration with some funny business paperwork and handing it to them with your passport.
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Post by Pedro Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:31 pm

you would be advised to take all these people's advice this time. a phone call could save you further grief.
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Post by gringal Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:25 pm

Pedro wrote:you would be advised to take all these people's advice this time. a phone call could save you further grief.

Some of the most inaccurate advice I've received over the years has been from either native Mexicans or foreigners who had no idea what they were talking about but who delivered said advice with complete conviction. Thumbs down Better to talk with an immigration attorney. Thumbs up

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Post by Pedro Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:51 pm

gringal wrote:
Pedro wrote:you would be advised to take all these people's advice this time. a phone call could save you further grief.

Some of the most inaccurate advice I've received over the years has been from either native Mexicans or foreigners who had no idea what they were talking about but who delivered said advice with complete conviction. Thumbs down  Better to talk with an immigration attorney.  Thumbs up
in this case the majority has suggested exactly what you have.
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Post by Playaboy Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:44 pm

Pamarie, here is a very good post on the procedures when entering Mexico with a pre-approved visa.

http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=206043;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

I would not take a chance trying it any other way.

Before you go back to the border you might want to get a returno seguro for people from INM, considering you are an illegal alien.  You could be rounded up with the Central American illegal migrants on a bus ride north at one of those INM checkpoints and get deported.

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Post by RVGRINGO Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:27 pm

Definitely see Spencer ASAP before you do anything.
If you have no FMM, you are an illegal alien.
If you have an FMM as a visitante, it is wrong.
You must have an FMM from the border, marked CANJE, and present it to INM with proof of address within 30 days of crossing into Mexico.

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Post by Luisa Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:16 pm

Pamarie, you might also call Azucena Bateman (who I use). Spencer has a wonderful reputation and I'm sure he's very good, but Azucena is less than a block from the LCS, which would reduce your stress, and she has years of legal experience here. Her mother is Mexican and her father's from the US and Azucena works well across cultural borders. Gringal is correct btw, none of us have the answer to your situation. You need your own attorney who will sit down with you and understand your situation. Rules change and we're all probably out of date. You won't pay much for good legal council and it will save you grief.

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Post by hockables Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:59 pm

If it's not too much trouble... can I get ya ta grab me 24 Pabst Blue Ribbon whilts yer up there   ... Beer

If you do go.... take the Bus... you can read a good book, watch a movie... and it's a lot cheaper than driving....
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Post by MexSeekin Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:16 pm

viajero wrote:Before I made a trip back to the border I would talk to an immigration attorney here and maybe avoid the trip.
Did tictoc follow the proper procedures when you guys crossed the border?

Good grief, pamarie. Do not put your fate in the hands of some mysterious Mexican friend of your innkeeper. Contact Spencer or another trusted immigration attorney. Pronto.

Concerning the question about tictoc's involvement in this mix-up, I do sincerely hope that the board participants will be mindful of his presumed right to privacy. What procedures tictoc may or may not have followed seems irrelevant to me -- that is unless he wants to bring up any similar issues he may be confronting for discussion. I do realize that pamarie came down with tictoc and his family, but still. This is pamarie's issue that she chose to bring to the forum, not tictoc's. Pamarie is an adult, presumably, and in my mind solely responsible for whatever procedures she followed or did not follow when crossing the border.

Welcome to Mexico, pamarie! It sounds like you are having quite the adventure.

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Post by Intercasa Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:49 pm

People at the border screwed up, unfortunately very few people will insist and fight with an official when the official should know how to do their job.

It happens on both sides of the borders, I fought with US customs and they got pissy with me and then said oh yeah you are right for something that would have placed in jeopardy a Mexican with a US tourist visa.

There are ways to fix things without going to the border (not legit) but they are matching things up in the system and I cant be involved but they can try, I also know Azucena, worked with her years ago and she is a nice lady, ask her too and she will probably say the same thing.
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Post by Rosa Venus Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:46 pm

Good luck Pam Marie. Just please hear the overwhelming CONSENSUS that you want to fix this thing the way it will remain fixed, correctly, and not come back to haunt you. Everybody who has actual, on-the-ground experience in Mexico says the same thing: Don't rely on your Innkeeper's native Mexican friend: get real assistance. I've had experience with both Azucena and Spencer and both got the job done right on different issues.

It's an adventure living here and it's almost impossible not to screw up at some point. Every single one of us has made a mistake of some sort in this country. This one is yours. Don't let it weigh on you. Just take care of it and start living the life you moved here to begin. In the long run, it's just a hiccup.
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Post by juanrey Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:53 am

Way too important to try and do it without an attorney.

Some people try to save a couple bucks by not using an attorney and others, for some reason want to avoid involving an attorney, but when something goes wrong and you have to get the attorney involved it can sometimes be too late, or cost more.

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Post by hickton Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:01 am

must be for the first time ever on this board, everyone agrees.. its too important a subject for well intentioned amateurs be it , mexican or gringo's ,giving so called advice. go to one of the lawyers named above ! be aware there are others in town but are not as trustworthy and competent as these two..

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