|Consulate Review: Juarez, Mexico
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||September 27, 2010
|Embassy Review :
||This is from memory of what my fiancé told me each day as it happened.
He arrived in Juarez on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 using Aeromexico. He used Interjest for his return flight on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. He recommends those flying within Mexico to take Interjet instead of Aeromexico, as they were nicer, cheaper and had better service.
He stayed at the Hotel la Cuesta. They have $250 and $400 pesos a night rooms. Stay away from the 250 rooms though. This is an older, cheaper hotel, but the rooms for $400 pesos a night are downstairs, secure and clean. They gave him the room for only 3$00 pesos a night, since he was alone. It included WiFi, and they picked him up from the airport, drove him to the medical, took him to the consulate, drove him to pick up his Visa at DHL and even stopped for him to purchase his return plane ticket, and they drove him to the airport for his flight home. This was all free of charge, and he never needed to use a taxi for anything while there. If you don’t need anything new and fancy, this place is good to save you some money. There is a Soriana across the street, and a Wendy’s and several other places to eat nearby too. Everyone there is helpful and friendly. The driver that took him to get his Visa from DHL even talked to him about the taxi drivers that try to scam people by insisting they need to go to the border and get their Visa stamped, and how if you let them do that, you are out money and are screwed. He also told him about a heartwarming story of a guy that was denied and so sad, but came back got approved the next month.
MEDICAL CHECK IN:
He arrived at the CMI (Clinica Medica Internacional) around 6:30am. As always, ignore all those people that offer to help you with your medical and papers. He showed his passport and open invitation letter to get inside. After entering, he went to the receptionist and got number 129, and then he was told to sit to be taken into another room. Once on the other room, people were organized by the number they had and set to wait in line for the checking. At that window, they took his passport, invitation letter and snapped a picture of him to be used internally. After checking in, he was given a small letter, a bar-coded bracelet and a bar-coded card. In his case, both were marked “F” in red for “fiancé/e”. The letter had fields on it to later be filled out by the physician, so don’t write on it. It also has a small section outlining the process of the exam.
The first thing he is called for is to take his blood, then he goes back to wait some more, before they come and separate the men and women. They then called him for his eye exam. After that, in the waiting room with all men, they were calling them 4 at a time. When he was called in with 3 others, they then call their names and send each of them to different rooms to get undressed to only their underwear and socks to wait for the doctor. The doctor eventually came in and started asking him the usual questions about past illnesses, smoking, drinking, criminal record, drug use, any tattoos, STDs etc. He took his blood pressure during this time as well. The doctor had him pull down his boxers and looked at his genitals for about 3 seconds. He looked at some scars my fiancé has, and started asking absurd questions about had he ever been knifed or shot. My fiancé said no, but the doctor continued to ask him this, and then wanted to know if he was sure he had no piercings. My fiancé described the reason for the scars, and even discussed the fact that his mother is a doctor. The doctor there seemed to ease up and chatted with him a little bit about how he used to work in Mexico City too (where my fiancé’s mother works as a doctor). However, it seems he still had it in his head that my fiancé was some kind of gang member that had dealt with knifings and shootings because after the next step, which was his chest x-ray, he was sent for a urine test as well.
VACCINATIONS (or lack thereof for K-1 applicants):
After that, it was off to vaccinations. The girl there saw his bracelet and seemed to get really happy, “Oh, a fiancé, come, come!” This was because they do not have to do anything for a K-1, but when my fiancé started asking her if she could actually fill out the DS-3025 for him, she got less happy looking. She empathized with him, but showed him how that is grayed out on her screen and she cannot even click on it for a K-1. He talked to several people in the clinic, trying to get them to transcribe his vaccinations onto the DS-3025 for him, and that he would even pay them extra to give him the last shot he needs and to transcribe the shots for him because he will need it for AOS time. Nope. They refused over and over, and stated something about the consulate tells them to do it this way, and they cannot do it for him. I am not even sure why they have the people for a K-1 go through the vaccination part there at all. They give you a blank DS-3025 that is signed by the doctor. It is pointless and stupid to give out this blank form. They could have easily transcribed his vaccinations for him, since they give you this form anyway and you are told to bring along your vaccination records with you, which he did. It makes no sense to give it blank, and it is certainly of no help or use. After this useless portion of the medical, he paid $2380.95 pesos(about $189 USD), and got out of the clinic around noon. He was told to return at 4pm to pick up his results.
VISA FEE and MEDICAL RESULTS:
He went and had something to eat, got his passport photos taken, and paid his Visa fee at the Banamex while he was waiting. Banamex charges a higher peso to USD rate when charging the Visa fee, so just be aware of this. The guy even admitted that they do, but there is nothing you can do about it but pay or don’t pay. The Visa fee came to about $370 instead of $350 USD. He picked up his sealed medical envelope, the CD with his chest x-ray and blank DS-2035 at 4pm. They divided them into 2 lines, and then called people in alphabetical order based on last name. There was never a hint or clue as to whether everything was OK in your exams or not. You just assume you passed everything because they did not say otherwise, and were giving you your results to take to your interview. He found most of the people at the clinic to not be rude or friendly, just sort of monotone, this our job, they had done it so many times, they were functioning like robots now. He did think the guy that did his chest x-ray, and the one that was in charge where he got his urine test were a bit mean and rude. Also, he was the one that watched a female go as well. They did not have a female to watch the other females give their urine tests.
He arrived at 7:30am and showed his invitation letter. He was told which line to get in, and he did not have to wait long to go inside. When he went in, they checked for his invitation letter, passport and DS-156 before sending him through security. After going through security, a man asked to see his invitation letter again, and then gave him a number and a form for DHL. He went to a building in the back, and sat to wait for #5096 to show up. It was a bit of wait before his number was called to a window where the woman asked him to give her his documents as she asked for them, not all at once. He said she was very specific about him only handing her something if she asked for it. She asked for the Banamex receipt, his 2 passport photos, his 2 copies of the DS-156, 2 copies of the DS-156K, and said she did not need the DS-157. She asked him for his letter of intent, the CDJ 402, and told him she did not need the one from me that I sent him to take. She stamped some stuff on the forms and had him sign the 2 copies of the DS-156 and the CDJ-402. After she checked those, she asked for the original and copy of both our birth certificates. She did not give back the originals, she kept them. She also asked him for his police certificate. He told her that he was informed he only needed that if he had a criminal background, and since he didn’t, did not need to get one. She looked at him like he was lying about no criminal history, but said “OK.” Then she asked for the I-134 form and evidence of support papers that go with that. She also told him not to fill out the DHL form he was given yet, and seemed really serious adamant about this. Although the man that had given it to him had told him he could fill that out while he was sitting around waiting. After that, he went back to waiting, this time a shorter wait than the first. His number came up, and he was called to another window to get his fingerprints taken. He said the woman who took his fingerprints was very friendly and bubbly, and he wished she could be the one that would give him his interview. Again, he went back to waiting. This was the longest wait he had so far. Finally he was called to the window where the man that would conduct his interview was sitting with a file in a pink folder on his desk in front of him. He was not given the option of having the interview in Spanish or English. It was just conducted in Spanish. All he stated when he walked up was, “Name?” So, he stated his name. Then the man swore him in, and again the man said, “Name?” He asked the man, “My name or her name?”, to which he replied, “Hers.” So, he told him my name, and my maiden name. He asked if we were married, and why my name had changed. My fiancé told him I was previously married, and he asked when I was divorced. He also asked him where I was born. He asked if he had ever been in the US illegally. He asked when and how we met, and why had it taken us so long to get married (we have been together for 10 years).He asked again if he had ever been in the US, and he was told no. He asked how we communicated and saw each other then. So, he was told about how we talk on MSN daily, use the web cam and phone too. He told him about my visits to see him, and how I had brought my daughter with me the last 2 trips. He asked him about my daughter’s name, birthday, and age. He asked if he had already bought me a ring, and had I met his family. He asked if he had any pictures of us with him, so my fiancé gave them to him and he just flipped through them without even asking anything about them, then handed them back. He asked if I was there in Juarez, and my fiancé said no, she could not come. He asked if I could come in next week then, and my fiancé told him no, that my daughter was in school and had health issues so I could not leave her. He asked if I could come in 2 weeks then. My fiancé tried to explain he did not think so, and tried to tell him about my daughter’s health conditions. He just always cut him off. My fiancé told him I sent a notarized letter of why I could not be there in person, and did he want to see it. He said, “No.” Then he proceeded to ask if I could make it in a month then. My fiancé told him he did not know, but maybe I could organize some things and work it out to go there if I really had to. Then he was told not to worry about it, and asked when was the last time he had talked to me. My fiancé answered that it was just last night, and then he was told he was approved. He handed him a paper and told him to go pay DHL, and that was it. My fiancé described the Consular Officer as not rude, but definitely not friendly. He got out of the consulate at noon and immediately called me from a pay phone outside to let me know the good news.
DHL and GETTING THE VISA:
We both had the tracking number for his Visa packet, and we checked the website entirely too much. We were both disappointed when the status had not changed the next day. We were hoping he would get it the next day and be able to get out of Juarez as quickly as possible. We were getting even more disappointed when the status still was not changing on Thursday, but finally around 4pm the status changed. He called DHL to confirm, and then went to pick it up. The sealed envelope for him to turn in at his POE is fairly thick, so I think a lot of what I front-loaded the petition with must have made it through. He purchased his return flight after picking up the DHL packet, and went with Interjet this time, which was 1000 pesos cheaper than Aeromexico. He had arrived on Sunday, the 19th, and flew back home on Friday, the 24th. All in all, it was an okay ordeal, and getting approved made the costs and experiences all worth it in the end.