La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Now about the car...

We entered Mexico again in January as tourists because my official (Fulbright) visa as a researcher was still not ready. (We had been waiting since August.) Because we entered as tourists, they gave us a 180 day permit for our car. This permit expires at the beginning of July. We do not plan to leave until late July.

Last week, after 2 trips to the Immigration offices (and 8 months of waiting), I finally picked up my official visa--less than 8 weeks before we are ready to leave the country.

Now, I have to figure out how to extend the permit on my car for an additional 2-3 weeks.

Call 1: I call the main government information number. They give me a number. I call. They can't help me at that number.

Call 2: I call the main information number again. They try to tell me that I can't get an extension. I don't believe them. Ask for another number. They give me another number.

Call 3: I call the new number which is the Secretary of the Economy. They give me another number. (I have no idea where this number is.)

Call 4: I call this new number. They tell me that I handle these things at an office at Hidalgo 77, Col. Guerrero, Window #5. I ask for the Hidalgo phone number. They don't have it, but say try these other ones.

Call 5: I call this new number. After I explain my situation twice, the woman puts me on hold. She tells me that according to Article 106 of the Customs Law, I am entitled to bring my car into the country for 180 days. But, she says that I am able to override the original permit if my migratory status changes, and then, I can keep the car as long as my visa is valid. All this is according to section 4, part a of article 106 of the customs law. (Ok, this I already knew....not the exact law, but I knew I could extend the permit.)

I ask the woman, so how do I go about changing my car's papers. She tells me that I can do it according to regulation 3.2.6 at any one of the 48 customs offices in the country.

But what do I need to bring with me? My migratory document, car papers, and a "escrito libre" with (in rapid fire spanish) my name, address, acitivities in Mexico, the authority to whom I address the request, the request citing the law and regulations that she already told me.

Ok. But what exactly is a "escrito libre." Forgive me, I don't understand. Is it something a lawyer has to write? Can I write it myself? Should it be notarized? Could you tell me again exactly what it needs to include, otherwise they will reject me?

She tells me again, more slowly this time. And in a monotone.

So where is the closest of the 48 customs offices established by law?

She gives me an address on Avenida Cuitlahuac in Colonia Cosmopolita. Of course, she does not offer a phone number. Her name is Elaine (??) Torres. I ask, what about Hidalgo #77, is that one of the 48 customs offices established by law? No, it is not, she says.

Call 6: I call Telmex information to get the number for Mexican customs on Cuitlahuac. I get the correct number on the first try.

Call 7: I call customs on Cuitlahuac and explain what I need. The person tells me that they handle such requests at the Hidalgo #77 office. I ask for that number.

Call 8: I call Hidalgo #77. The person who answers says that I have the wrong extension, but they will transfer me. Another woman answers. Yes, this is the area that handles such paperwork, but it is lunchtime (3:20). Could you call back after 4pm? Fine. Sigh. Smile. Could you give me the exact extension? Yes: 9157-3394; 9157-6569; 9157-3893.

We'll see if they can help me after lunch on call #9.

If you want to read about a similar experience that I had with Migracion, check out this post on the slow burn.

posted by Michelle @ 4:28 PM,


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