On 5 December 2011 Tom and I arrived at INM (Immigration) to turn in our paperwork for our annual migratory document renewal. All the paperwork had been filled out online and printed. We had all the copies we needed of the stuff we needed. We had our photos; 3 front views, 2 side views, no makeup, eyeglasses, or jewelry, against a white background. After about a 45 minute wait to get through the line to sign in the guard informed us that they were at days capacity and that we COULD wait, but probably WOULDN’T get in. I must say I did appreciate his advice.
On 9 December 2011 Tom and I arrived once again at immigration with the same packet of info, but this time we were there an hour and a half BEFORE they even open and sat on the street in a line waiting for admittance. At 9, they open the gates and we file in to the checkin line. No problems today. We wait, while I wait in line Tom walks to the bank and makes our renewal fee payments; for 2011 it was 2801pesos each! We get in, we turn in our info, well sort of. Our proof of income were the quarterly statements from our retirement fund that show how much we get each month. NOPE They want to see how much we put in the bank each month. OKAY – race home – jump through hoops, get what they want from the internet and race back – Good thing we have a car, eh? So we get everything turned in and are told to check back after the holidays, and here that means AFTER the first week in January.
Well the second week in January we were busy with the Spay n Neuter Campaign. So about the 13th or 14th I check online and there it is – the message that says to present ourselves at the office. So Friday 13 January 2012 we again position ourselves on the street in front of INM and hour and a half early to wait in the line for them to open. Once we get to the check in line it takes 2 minutes for them to look us up and tell us we have an appointment at 10am on the 16th. Great!
On the 16th I go to INM at the appointed hour and get the process started, we get completely through my set of paperwork. Last step is to affix the photos and then laminate the card. Our photos are precisely what was asked, EXCEPT that they were from differing photo sessions so the clothing was different. NO GOOD, WON’T DO! Must have new photos.
So Tuesday we go to Wal-Mart, get the photos we needed taken, and while we wait we manage to spend 1450pesos. As we are entering Immigration we run into a friend and the fee if you turn in your paperwork in January for the same renewal is now 34XXpesos!
Now Monday, when I left, the young lady, Alicia, told me when I return to come directly to her. SO! We get to Immigration and approach the young lady who had just the day previous told me to return directly to her and she tells me we must wait in the lobby/seating area. OK fine! After about 20ish minutes they call my name, as I get ready to stand the guy doing the name calling asks me for my photos,which I give him and he tells me to wait where I am. He does however take Tom with him. In just a few minutes, less than 10, Tom is back with his card in hand. I must continue to wait – I suspect that this could have something to do with my reaction the day previous when I was told the photos weren’t going to work (and here I thought I had masked my feelings so well). Anyway, so I wait a bit more, then a just a short while longer, and then in a few more minutes, out comes the name caller guy with my card. EUREKA! Legal for another year!
So now it is about 1pm, and it is WAY past lunch time, so off we go to Centro to get lunch at Marlin Azul; now why did we choose Marlin Azul; because it is a block from the building where we can pay our taxes. You might think we are pushing our luck, but no, we walk in, approach the cashier with last years statement, she does some keyboard clicking tells us how much, we pay, and then go eat some fabulous fish and drink a few beers.
Then home for about 2 hours and off to the fun-filled dental experience I wrote about earlier!
But we did go out for a great meal with friends later in the evening, and I probably wouldn’t have had I had any type of dental surgery or procedure!