An Emergency Run to INM

I was having a quiet, easy, Monday morning. I was an hour out from finishing all the work I had to do today, having gotten up super early to make that happen, and then I was going to take the rest of the day off and go run errands.

But the phone rang.

It was a lady at immigration informing me that there was a problem with the payment I made last Thursday and that I needed to get down there ASAP to sort it out.

I was speaking to the lady within about 40 minutes. Turns out they made a huge mistake on Thursday and gave me a payment slip for the bank that had the wrong account number on it. They had me pay into the account used for new cards, not for renewals. I therefore had to go make a new payment to the correct account. Oh, and by the way, they said, I don’t get the original payment amount back until I get my new residency card. If it’s refused for any reason, I’m out two payments.

I raced to HSBC thinking about where I was going to scrape another $7,518 from. There was no time to be bouncing money around accounts or to make multiple stops so I decided to use overdraft on my main account in Canada in combination with the money in my account here that I was going to use to run errands today. Who needs to eat when their immigration status is in peril?!

The lady at the bank was not the person who served me last week, but she recognised the transaction and was incredibly angry on my behalf because she’s seen that happen before. She said that in the other case, the lady’s lawyer ended up loaning her the money for the second payment. So this sounds like something that happens even if you have a professional do the renewal, which makes me feel better because it means that this is 100% not my fault. At any rate, got sorted at the bank and raced back to immigration…

Where nothing was moving and the waiting room was packed. They finally called number 60 and numbers 56 (me) through 59 raced to the desk to ask what was going on. Nothing in particular, she just forgot to call us and thought we’d left. Monday mornings are rough for everyone, apparently!

I then had to wait to go to the window to deal with the new payment. The lady who handled that says that to make it up to me, they are going to put my folder in the “expedited” pile, so I should get my card faster than expected. That would be nice if it happens.

I then wait to go to another window to deal with starting the request for the refund. For the refund, I had to write a letter requesting it and why. The lady started quoting what I needed to write super fast and I had to beg her to slow down a bit. I know I made a ton of mistakes, but she very kindly informed me that the only accent I knew for sure a word needed was the only one that really mattered in the whole letter, so go me on that one. LOL By the way, I am actively shopping for a course that will let me practice my writing and I think I need a remedial Spanish as a first language more than an advanced Spanish as a second language course, so it’s requiring more digging than expected. But I digress…

As I understand the next steps, the next time I go to immigration is for the fingerprints. Once that’s done, then I can go back to the refunds window and asked for a letter. I will then have to take that letter to Hacienda (Mexican IRS/CRA) and with my bank account information so they can do the refund. What a mess!

All that sorted, it was time to race home to meet my deadline. But I got off the bus a few blocks from home to go pick up food for Bonita, having only just enough cash left for that. So at least one of us won’t be hungry until payday. 🙂

So that was my Monday. I hope yours was less eventful!