Waiting

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning to finish a small job before going to INM. I would still have another big job to finish in the afternoon, but having one off my to-do list would make the afternoon seem less daunting. I got to INM at about 8:50 and was 16th in line for when they would open at 9:00. The people ahead of me were processed and funnelled in spurts and then it was finally my turn.

As I suspected, I was there to make an appointment to have my fingerprints taken rather than actually having the fingerprints taken.

As an aside, I was asked on my Facebook why they need new fingerprints. All I can say is that when I processed security clearances for the Canadian government, prints had to be retaken on occasion to make sure they were current. There is a myth that fingerprints don’t change, but they can if there’s sufficient damage done to a finger, and I’m proof of that. I had a very bad hand accident in 2004 that completely changed the print on my right ring finger. So I don’t think INM is being inordinately fussy and a request for current photographs is also no unreasonable.

What I did not expect this morning is that I would have to wait a month for that appointment! And from that appointment, it’s about another two to four weeks to get the card. That shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is because I cannot get my more than 500CAD refund until I actually get the card, and that’s a process I’m told could take weeks as well.

Now, if you’re much older than me and well off, please PayPal me 7518MXN before telling me, “Oh, it’s just pocket change” or “You shouldn’t be here if 500CAD is a lot to you” or other things that I’ve heard recently and over the years when I get a huge shock like this. I’m more than a bit sick of it. Yes, I earn more than enough to live here. Yes, I have an emergency fund (500CAD is a huge chunk of that emergency fund so what do I do in the meantime if there’s another emergency?). Yes, I am sick and tired of people who have never lived paycheque-to-paycheque telling me how I should feel about huge chunks of money disappearing from my cash flow, especially when it’s absolutely not something I could have accounted for.

Okay, rant over. *wry grin*

Rather than return home straightaway, I took a tiny bit of a detour to Paseo de Montejo to go to the bank. Then, I slipped into the Starbucks next door for an iced coffee, a huge treat at their prices, but this store always charges me for an equivalent-sized black coffee so it’s less of a splurge than at other places that have charged me for a fancy drink. I sat on a bench for a bit and watched the world go by. At one point, a car pulled up to the curb and the girl in the passenger seat opened her door… into a small fence around a tree. The thud was unmistakable and it was almost funny to see her slap her forehead in what appears to be the universal sign for “I’m an idiot!” There was a sizeable dent in the door. Yikes. 🙁

I then got on a bus by the Hyatt and was home quickly. My power bill was waiting for me and despite my having run AC in my bedroom at about 26C most nights for this billing period, my bill was only one measly peso higher than the last bill (just under 22CAD total for the bill!). So I’ll keep doing that. The drone of the AC is really good white noise and the temperature is comfortable enough that I’ve been getting really solid nights like I didn’t think were ever going to be possible in this house.

So with my power bill being consistently around 300 pesos, that means that at the current exchange rate, my utilities here (power, water, and internet), not counting propane, are only 79CAD. I paid 2CAD more than that just for internet at Haven. So that’s how I can justify the odd 36-peso trip to Starbucks!

Resolution

The letter finally came.

So with a few more steps, I have been granted permission to be in Mexico under a residente temporal visa for another three years, to May 1st, 2021.

I have to go do fingerprints now, but literally have no time today (plus immigration closes so early that by the time I get there, they likely wouldn’t have time for me). So I will work super late tonight to clear my morning schedule and go first thing in the morning.

Monday, I will make the very long drive to the end of the pier in Progreso and get the ball rolling on giving my truck Moya the same privilege as me.

Muchas gracias, México.

Movement

Yesterday, for the first time in 12 days, there was movement on my residente temporal visa renewal — payment was finally applied and information entered into the system. This is going much, much more slowly than it did last year in Progreso — I had my card on the 22nd of May after starting the process around the same date at the beginning of the month. The situation is becoming unbearably stressful, especially since I still have my vehicle temporary import permit to renew. For that, I’ll do like last year and wait until I get the “your renewal is approved” letter before going to aduana, rather than wait for the card itself. I believe I get a grace period beyond the expiry day of the permit, but if I avail myself of that, I’m guaranteed to lose my deposit.

I have to say that the Mexican online immigration system is quite good at keeping you informed and letting you know if you have to do anything. This is because you get a notification by email if there is action needed on your part. So if you see movement on your account but didn’t get an email, you know there’s nothing to do. For example, I eventually got an email confirming that they’d processed my change of address that invited me to download a letter for my records. With the movement yesterday related to my renewal, I did not get an email.

As an English speaker, it amuses that when you’ve signed into the website with the user name (pieza) and password linked to the exact thing you’re tracking (eg. a renewal), you are asked which NUT you want to consult, which is yourself.  Hey, every bit of levity helps in life!

(The NUT is your unique “procedure” number that follows you through your immigration journey.)

I remain surprised by how stressed I am about the whole renewal process, but I guess that just goes to show how seriously I take it. Hopefully, I’ll get the invitation to return to INM to have fingerprints taken no later than this time next week…