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Darth Mang

Travel to Ciudad Juarez

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I am traveling to Juarez next week for our interview, but I'm flying to El Paso and crossing over on land because it's a few hundred more to fly to Juarez and it's like 10 miles or so I think airport to airport. But I've never crossed the border on land via public transportation. Does anyone have any experience traveling between El Paso and Juarez who can advise me what to avoid in terms of safety or cost? I'm about to start researching taxi, bus, and train and see what's available.

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There are many such threads in the Mexico/Latin/South American forum, where this thread is being transferred. :)  Do a search there or simply scroll through.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Find a desktop or laptop for greater ease.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I suggest you read the Ciudad Juarez Consulate reviews. Many people in the past have posted which services they have used when flying into El Paso and using taxis to Cd. Juarez. I will be doing the same, but do not have an interview date yet. There are secure taxis from El Paso airport to Cd. Juarez. I'm not sure if you cross the border on your own and they wait for you on the other side. 

 

Best of luck during your interview.

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5 hours ago, monica7777 said:

I suggest you read the Ciudad Juarez Consulate reviews. Many people in the past have posted which services they have used when flying into El Paso and using taxis to Cd. Juarez. I will be doing the same, but do not have an interview date yet. There are secure taxis from El Paso airport to Cd. Juarez. I'm not sure if you cross the border on your own and they wait for you on the other side. 

 

Best of luck during your interview.

Thank you!

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Ok, update. Found an El Paso based service called Andaleride. They operate 24/7, have an Uber-like app, can be booked in advance, were super nice on the phone, and said they make this trip every day and their drivers are vetted. I was sketched at first and ignored it until I was reviewing the airport approved taxis, one of which is border-taxi. As I was checking their website I noticed Andaleride is actually their service. It was a little pricey, $80 to go airport to airport. But I expected about as much with a 40 minute drive (that is, 40 minutes without a border crossing, it will actually be more of course). It all seems really simple and great so far, I will report back when I can tell you from experience how they are.

 

Post edit: You can also begin your trip in Juarez with them, it's not just for from El Paso to Juarez. They advised I book as far in advance as I can so they will try to get me the same driver back. Also since my return is subject to change, they said they can be flexible as plans change. So we'll see...

Edited by Darth Mang

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Great that you found an option.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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9 hours ago, Darth Mang said:

Ok, update. Found an El Paso based service called Andaleride. They operate 24/7, have an Uber-like app, can be booked in advance, were super nice on the phone, and said they make this trip every day and their drivers are vetted. I was sketched at first and ignored it until I was reviewing the airport approved taxis, one of which is border-taxi. As I was checking their website I noticed Andaleride is actually their service. It was a little pricey, $80 to go airport to airport. But I expected about as much with a 40 minute drive (that is, 40 minutes without a border crossing, it will actually be more of course). It all seems really simple and great so far, I will report back when I can tell you from experience how they are.

 

Post edit: You can also begin your trip in Juarez with them, it's not just for from El Paso to Juarez. They advised I book as far in advance as I can so they will try to get me the same driver back. Also since my return is subject to change, they said they can be flexible as plans change. So we'll see...

Wonderful! Thank you for the update. I will keep them in mind for my trip. 

Good luck during your trip and hope all goes well.

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Ok update on all things related to my travel.

 

First off, great news, we got approved!

 

Alright, hectic week and I'm ready for bed so I'm gonna try to relay some important information, but quickly. If you want more details feel free to reply and I'll check back later.

 

First off, the area immediately around the consulate seed perfectly safe. We went to a mall called Las Misiones on most days. All the restaurants we tried were good and I can report that at least in the hotel and the restaurants in between my hotel and the consulate, I took ice in my drinks and drank coffee and no ill has befallen me, I feel fine. I wished I had a couple more days to explore in all honesty.

 

Second,  be prepared to wait a lot, separately. In the medical appointment I could not go anywhere with her except through the front door. Thankfully there was a little waiting area for everyone who is not the applicant and there was tons of space even though the were busy. They had a kid's movie playing and I had phone signal so I was able to use my phone the whole time and she more or less kept me apprised of the status of things. At the end she came to get me to pay, they gave me an access badge (A little laminated card, actually, but it granted me access when shown to the guard, haha), and I was able to go pay. We hung around a little bit and had to return a few hours later for her results. They gave us the results and we were not allowed to open them. They are to be taken to the consulate unopened by the applicant, with the evidence, affidavit of support, and all other required documents on the day of the interview.

 

Then the rest of the day and the day after to relax, explore, sleep, talk about the future, plan B, whatever. We watched It. I recommend their theater at that mall, it was cheap (compared to what I'm used to) and the theater was really nice (Cinepolis. We saw the movie in 4DX. A new thing for me, but was awesome). In addition on that note, you have the option of Spanish or English with Spanish subtitles.

 

Alright I've moved away from business, back to business.

 

Most hotels have a shuttle service, but also most are walking distance. We walked half the time. If you find yourself in need of a cab, most of our rides ran about 40 pesos in the immediate area.

 

Now, for the day of the interview. I have sooooo much advice for you.

 

Arrive early. For the love of all that is holy, arrive early. We arrived just a little early, and in talking to other people who arrived much earlier, they also finished much earlier regardless of the appointment time. There were two entry points. The first they make sure you have the appointment letter. If you do, good to go. If not (Like in our case, she literally never received it), then they will direct you to an information window where you can print it. She was maybe 10th in line. waited 45 minutes. This ate up all of our early arrival time. If you are an American, you can probably pass the first entry. After I was told I could not enter I showed my passport and they let me in. I saw other Americans enter as well. At this point there is line to enter the building and go through security. You may wait with the applicant in this line, but you will not be allowed to enter. I even showed my military ID and explained I'm a federal employee. Still not allowed.

 

There is a large group of people amassed outside all day. These are the people waiting for their applicants inside. When the applicant goes inside they cannot bring a phone so when they come out unless you have a strategy for where to meet, you will be waiting. We had no strategy or plan so I anxiously awaited... For 5 hours. 5 hours in the sun waiting with the mob. There were a few things to break up the monotony but stressful, scheduling related things. I'll touch on those in a minute. Basically at this point it's just watch and wait. It's stressful watching people come out. Everyone is watching for their person and every time someone comes out crying you wonder if it will be yours that comes out crying next.

 

In my fiance's case she got a really nice girl and they barely asked anything. She told me there was a male asking a ton of questions of his applicants.

 

As for the stressful scheduling. If you must leave that day, maybe get a flight later in the day. If you can stay that night, even better. We both planned on leaving a few hours after the interview. Well, we didn't know she would be without a phone. So after a few hours I realized I needed to call the hotel and get extended check out. Then she came out and told me we needed passport photos. We did not have them because the consulate told me on the phone they use the ones from the ASC appointment and we didn't need to bring any. If anyone tells you this, don't listen. Thankfully there were a few places just a few minutes away. So we went, go the photos, and came back, and she was allowed to enter directly back into the waiting room. Meanwhile I now had to go actually check out. This is where I will mention AndaleRide again, the service that brought me to Juarez.

 

I had scheduled my taxi back to El Paso around the latest time I thought we'd be leaving. Well, obviously we didn't make that window. When I texted him to tell him he was totally cool and said he'd be waiting nearby for me. I offered him that I would pay him extra to be our everything driver for the day. He said no problem. So he came and got me, took me to the hotel to check out, then brought me back to consulate to wait more. Then he just chilled with the suitcases in his trunk (We couldn't take them to consulate, though I could have in theory had them with me outside, I suppose). Then when she came out, we shared some quick happy conversation that she was approved and we were off. Got her to the Juarez Airport in time. But I did not get to the El Paso airport in time and I am stuck in El Paso for a couple days.

 

As for the price, he did not say a price for the extra. I truly felt bad for making him wait. I offered 700 pesos and he asked if he could add an additional $20 on to the initial payment. I was agreeable to all of this because he was my hero and I just received some of the best news in my life. Both my drivers I had from AndaleRide were also really pleasant to talk to and so was the lady in the office.

 

Anything else, feel free to comment.

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Major congratulations!!!

 

This is one of the most helpful embassy write-ups that I've ever read here (in 10+ years).  Be sure to post it (or at least the relevant parts, which is most of it) in the Embassy Reviews section.

 

There are far worse places than El Paso to be stuck for a couple of days.  I haven't visited in 11 years, which is far too long.

 

You did very well indeed, both in regard to your situation and in your post above!


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Oh -- file for her AOS as soon as you can after you get married.

See if your officiant will allow you to hand-carry your signed marriage license to the courthouse.

Order multiple copies of your marriage certificate* (wait for them on-site, if feasible).

 

*we ordered 7 and used 5 or 6 for various purposes

 

Then, begin collecting anything & everything that indicates your merged financial & personal lives.

Throw it all into a box.

When ROC time comes, you'll find that you have more than enough evidence to present.

 

Some of the best possible evidence is wills, medical/general powers of attorney, HIPAA releases, et al.

Even if you don't own much property, get your wills & POAs drafted (by a lawyer, on-line format, whatever).

These documents are priceless for ROC and are equally valuable to have in "life."


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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