Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A Run to Polanco

I have written about the Mexico City neighborhood of Polanco... a very affluent district that I frankly find too ritzy for my middle-class tastes.  Last week, however, I found it necessary to make a run to Polanco to go to the National Institute of Immigration.

You may remember that last year I made repeated visits to this building, dealing with Mexican bureaucracy and hours-long waits for appointments, in order to obtain my residency visa.

The reason for my return visit was spurred by a discussion on the Mexico City forum on TripAdvisor.  Someone, who had a Mexican residency visa, wanted to know where she could register with immigration at the airport before leaving the country.  I responded that I did not understand her question.  I had traveled back to the United States twice since receiving my residency card, and I simply showed that card at immigration upon returning to Mexico City airport.  Someone else entered the discussion, and told me that as a temporary resident, I had to register with immigration at the airport before leaving the country.  Failure to do so could result in my residency visa being invalidated.  I checked some websites and found confirmation that my visa could be revoked.

I thought it odd.  Both times when I returned to Mexico, I handed the immigration official my residency card and my U.S. passport.  He did not ask me how long I was staying in the country as they always did when I would arrive as a tourist.  He stamped my U.S. passport and instead of writing the number of days that I was allowed in the country, he wrote "RT", which I assume means "residente temporal" (temporary resident).  If my visa had been invalidated, how was it that I passed through immigration, not once, but twice, without any problem?

Nevertheless, I was worried, and I decided that I needed to go to the immigration headquarters in Polanco again.  Polanco does not have the greatest public transportation access.  There is only one subway stop in the neighborhood (Polanco residents would never dream of taking the Metro!), and from there I had to walk a half hour to the office.  I dreaded that I might have to wait in line to make an appointment to simply ask a question.  However, I showed the policeman at the entrance my residency card and said that I had a question about my visa.  He waved me in.  Once inside, I was met by a gentleman whom I remembered from when Alejandro and I first went there to inquire about the procedure for obtaining a visa.  I explained the situation to him, and he said that I can travel anywhere without having to register. 

I was in and out in five minutes, and I felt very relieved.  Apparently, the rules have been changed.  However, the next time that I travel outside of the country, I will show my residency card when I check in at the airline desk and ask whether I need to register with immigration.  Just to be sure!  


1 comment:

  1. According to the man at the National Immigration Institute, no. I do NOT have to register when I am leaving on an international flight. When I returned to Mexico, they did NOT give me a piece of paper either time. (I handed them my passport and residency card.) It would seem that the rules have changed, just like the so-called "tourist card" is no longer required when you visit Mexico as a tourist.