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Beware the new Dellagado/Caution about Travel Letters


gschultz

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I started my temporal visa process in Arizona in April, returned to Mexico May 17, and started the registration process two weeks later. Although the Guad Reporter was running stories about how there was no backlog, my registration process was not completed in time for a trip to the U.S. July 25-August 2. I got a travel letter through an agent.

I presented my travel letter to Immigration/Customs for both my exit and return at Guad Airport. The letter was stamped when I exited. When I returned, the immigration agent scanned the bar code on the travel letter but did not stamp it. She did stamp my passport.

Immigration Services told me they would have to cancel my temporal visa (although they already had it - I was fingerprinted the day I applied for my travel letter!) because the letter wasn't stamped. Today, I went to Immigration with my agent, and she met alone with the new Delegado, a young man whose name I do not know, to plead my case. He told her I would have to pay 2,000 pesos to get my card (which he had) or he would terminate my temporal visa.

Later, I returned with an agent who spoke English so I could talk with him face to face. I told him I had done nothing wrong and that I would not pay a bribe. He did not mention money but said he would "discuss the situation with authorities" in Guadalajara and that I should return tomorrow. He was very kind and said he would try to help me. We'll see . . .

I'm sharing this for two reasons:

(1) Be sure you get your travel letter stamped in both directions.

(2) Please let's not let the Delegado bribe us. I could have had my card today if I had returned with 2,000 pesos . . .

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Delegado?

Does the delgado delegado live on Degollado Street?

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Did I spell it wrong? Obviously, my Spanish leaves a lot to be desired - which makes situations like this considerably more stressful. Thanks for adding some levity, Spencer, to what is a troublesome situation for me. I'll check the spelling tomorrow and will fix this.

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Meanwhile, thanks for posting this, Blueskies. In a couple of months, a lot of expats will return and begin the process of obtaining their permits. It is an important reminder.

It is also handy to know, if one does screw up a little, a few dollars could fix it.

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Federal employee. File a denuncia with SAT and get the jerk thrown in jail. This is the only way this crap is going to be brought to an end.

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Whoa, slow down with the accusations. There is no doubt a fine that can be imposed for not having the paperwork correctly presented. It doesn't matter who's at fault with not having the travel letter stamped, stuff happens. Jumping to conclusions is not a healthy way to go.

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Thanks for your comments, everyone. Just a couple from me:

When you fly into Guad, you must present the travel letter to the immigration agent, along with your passport. That's where it should have been stamped, but the agent only scanned ithe bar code and stamped my passport.

Even my agent called this a bribe, not a fine. I for one am not willing to pay bribes to a new delegado and help establish a corrupt immigration practice. I really don't consider 2000 pesos "a few dollars." I truly hope others will back me up!

I'll let you know what happens.

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You seem a bit confused here. It is not a customs agent who inspects and stamps your documents but an immigration agent. A customs agent's concern is with what you are bringing into the country. You failed to have your documents processed properly and should have to pay a fine. Why do you claim that you did nothing wrong and will not a a bribe? You made a mistake, pay the fine, and get on with your life.

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Cut the OP some slack here please. He/she is stressed and distressed. The problem was caused by an incompetent/uncaring immigration official at the airport.

If you read this board assiduously, then you may know that travel letters need to be stamped both coming and going - but how many of the local expat population do that? If a facilitator helps one get a travel letter, then that fact should be explained by the facilitator - but that doesn't always happen either.

This is truly, or so it seems to me, a situation of someone falling through the cracks in the system. It could happen to any one of us.

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Thank you for sharing your experience, BlueSkies. I, for one, need reminding to pay attention when leaving and returning that all the procedures are followed.

I hope everything is now settled with your visa.

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This isn't related to a travel letter exactly (which I did have to get originally), however our new lovely young Delegado at immigration loves "gifts"', whether to expedite a card which otherwise might be delayed weeks, necessitating yet another travel letter, or other issues. I speak from experience. I am anti graft, corruption, mordida, bribes of any kind...but when family issues and elderly relatives get in the way and you need to travel fairly soon and be away a longer period of time to care for them, well, you do what you need to. Made me angry with myself, the system, and the callous but oh so sweet head.

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Always always have the passport stamped going & coming. We paid a fine of some 2100 mxp each to leave because an immigration agent did not stamp our passport on a previous departure. Something we missed as well. In there position, the proof is in the stamped date or some other supporting documents which were at that point in baggage & on the plane. We paid, got our receipts, kept or tickets & connections which were far more costly if missed.

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I submitted the docs to go Permanente on July 5. I got a call yesterday telling me to go to INM on Monday and received my new RP card. No "gift," and not a long wait.

I submitted the docs to go Permanente on July 5. I got a call yesterday telling me to go to INM on Monday and received my new RP card. No "gift," and not a long wait.

How fortunate you did not have a long wait. I submitted on May 20, needed to travel almost immediately, returned mid July ( with letter stamped), and gave my fingerprints the day after I got home. They told me it would take several weeks to get the card, but I needed to travel stat, so they...jefe... said basically you want it faster, wrote a number down on a piece of paper for the amount requested...never said anything verbally...and they would give mr the card. As I said, when there is an emergency with elderly parents ... Serious... You do what you need to do. And yes, I speak fluent Spanish since childhood. But I am still furious with myself that I succumbed to the mordida.

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I easily got my card today - no fine, no bribe payment, no discussion of money at all. The delegado was very kind and seemed pleased that he could help me. I'm glad I refused to pay what would have been a bribe. (It had never been described as a fine.) To each his own . . . I learned a lot, and I hope my experience will be helpful to others, as well.

Safe, enjoyable, hassle-free travels, everyone! Thanks for all the supportive and enlightening comments.

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This is tangential to the OP's situation, but I've been following this thread with great interest and have a question for all of you. I see people write about the INM delegado. I see people write about the INM agent. I see people call that INM person the jefe. My question is this: what is the correct word to use to talk ABOUT that person and what is the correct word to CALL that person when you're standing in front of him/her?

My current understanding may be different from local usage at Lakeside. My current understanding is this:

  • Delegado is the word for the title of head of government in, for example, Ajijic.
  • Agent may be the correct English-language word, but what would be the Spanish equivalent?
  • Jefe means boss, and while you might be talking to the boss at INM, you might well be talking to an underling, in which case jefe is not appropriate.

So who can tell me the correct term? Thanks!

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I would think that you just ask his name, and if it is Martinez, you address him as Senior Martinez. Seems very simple to me. I have done that all my life, no need to change.

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Today, I went to Immigration with my agent, and she met alone with the new Delegado, a young man whose name I do not know, to plead my case. He told her I would have to pay 2,000 pesos to get my card (which he had) or he would terminate my temporal visa.

Later, I returned with an agent who spoke English so I could talk with him face to face. I told him I had done nothing wrong and that I would not pay a bribe. He did not mention money but said he would "discuss the situation with authorities" in Guadalajara and that I should return tomorrow. He was very kind and said he would try to help me. We'll see . . .

From reading the above, it seems to me that your "agent" is the one who was seeking the 2000p for themselves. Does not sound to me like the "very kind" person knew anything about it. If it were me, I would never trust this "agent" again. Good luck, and I really doubt there was any corruption here from the new guy.

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I would think that you just ask his name, and if it is Martinez, you address him as Senior Martinez. Seems very simple to me. I have done that all my life, no need to change.

That's not my main point. I want to know what his/her title actually is. In Mexico, it is considered 'correct' to address any person with a title BY his/her title, even if it is simply 'Licenciado'. An engineer (civil or otherwise) is Ingeniero(a). A doctor is Doctor(a). A lawyer is Abogado(a). Etc. Señor or Señora--and how do you know she's not Señorita?--won't get you kicked out of the office, but they're not correct, either.

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If you call a Señora a Señorita rarely will they complain

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That's not my main point. I want to know what his/her title actually is. In Mexico, it is considered 'correct' to address any person with a title BY his/her title, even if it is simply 'Licenciado'.

My Mexican wife always uses Licenciado when she does not know. I have never heard anyone correct her. I know that doesn't answer your question. Maybe this person is simply the "lead" person in that office, no title?

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