Applying for Mexican Residency as a Single Parent: Part II
Updated: May 28, 2020
Disclaimer: The following post talks about my personal experience, specifically at the Consular Section of the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC. Please be fully aware that all situations and all consulates are different and may yield different results.
Back in March of this year, I learned all of the hoops that I needed to jump through to apply for Mexican residency as a single parent. While I thought that I had all of my stuff together for both me and my son to get our visas, I was quickly proved wrong, leaving only myself with a visa in my passport at the end of the appointment.
So what happened next?
After learning which days my son’s father would be flying in, I contacted both the visas office and the Power of Attorney office as requested and attempted to schedule appointments. Unfortunately the visas department only schedules online appointments up to two months in advance, so I e-mailed the office directly to try and get us in the books in advance. I received a response that they’d get us taken care of (although I still ended up booking myself an online appointment when I could, just to make sure).
Scheduling the Power of Attorney appointment couldn’t be done online and took a couple of e-mails to get a response, but we were soon confirmed for a morning appointment on the same day as our visa appointment. The e-mail outlined everything that I needed to send ahead of time, including a completed application form, a copy of my son’s father’s passport, and a copy of our son’s birth certificate. I never did get a response to my request confirming that they’d received all of our documents, but figured that at the worst case we could just bring it with us to our appointment.
A few weeks later, I received an e-mail from the visas department mentioned that they would be undergoing system maintenance on the day of our original appointment and that we had been rescheduled me for the week prior. Say what? Not possible!
I responded and told them that the father’s flight plans were already made and that unfortunately it did not include the day that we had been rescheduled for-- we only had two days to choose from the following week. I promptly received a response agreeing to reschedule for the morning that my son’s father was to leave. It wasn’t the most convenient appointment, but I didn’t complain...at least they were able to accommodate.
My next concern was that our Power of Attorney appointment would also be affected, but thankfully an e-mail to the department confirmed that we were still good to go with our original appointment. Crisis averted.
A couple of weeks after that, I received yet another e-mail from the visas department stating that they could now accommodate us the morning of our original appointment, but 30 minutes earlier than planned. I cringed at the thought of fighting rush hour traffic from Virginia to D.C., but at least now we were able to do everything in one day!
The day of the appointment finally arrived and the Power of Attorney office called minutes before my visa appointment. My heart skipped a beat as I misheard the woman on the phone and thought that she was questioning our reason for wanting to reside in Mexico; however, it turned out that she was just asking for the address where we’d be residing. I informed her that I was actually on my way to the consulate for our visa appointment and could give her the information then.
Things were pretty straightforward once we were at the consulate. I started in the visas office where I handed over my updated pay stubs, updated proof of employment (again, voluntarily provided-- these are not a part of of listed D.C. consulate requirements), and where both my son’s father and I signed off of on the visa application. She then handed me the ticket to pay once we had completed the Power of Attorney appointment.
We sat in the lobby for about 10-15 minutes before being called back to the Power of Attorney office. There, the lady who I’d spoken on the phone and during our first visit greeted us and made a copy of my son’s father’s passport, had me write down the address of where we’d be residing, and went over the details of what would be included in the document.
After typing everything up, she gave us a few moments to look over the finalized Power of Attorney paperwork which had highlighted all of the areas we needed to pay special attention to. The entire document was written in Spanish, and although my son’s father speaks decent conversational Spanish, we were both thankful to have had his parents present to ensure that we understood all of the legal terms that were written.
Once we were in agreement of the terms, my son’s father signed off on the paperwork and went to the window to pay the $44.00 fee. It was finally done...right?
But, what there’s more!
Just as my son’s father finished signing off on all of the Power of Attorney paperwork, she told me that it would be available that Friday and that I could stop by anytime between 10-2pm to pick them up. So although we are done with the visas, I still have to make yet another trip into DC to pick up more paperwork. Thank goodness I don’t live far!
After paying the $36.00 for my son’s visa, we headed back over to the visas office. Thankfully, it only took 10 minutes to put it together since we’d already had his photos and fingerprints taken during the previous trip. She reminded me to get a couple copies of his apostilled birth certificate prior to heading to Mexico for the INM office as well as for the schools. She then handed back his passport with a shiny new sticker attached. My son had officially been granted his Residente Temporal visa!
But still, this is just the beginning...
Although we have completed the process on the U.S. side, we still have several more hoops to jump through once we get to the Mexican border. Ultimately, it is up to them to let us through. Assuming we have no issues there, there will then be the multiple trips we’ll have to make to the INM to continue the visa process, get fingerprinted, photographed, and to make the hefty payment to grant us the residency for up to a year (currently $3,961.00 MXN, or roughly $200.00 USD each). From what I understand, none of the above processes are quick, and there will be zero English spoken. Although it’s been recommended to hire an immigration lawyer to expedite this process, I plan on doing so alone to cut back on unnecessary costs. This will surely be my first test of patience as a resident of Mexico.
The residency adventure continues...
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