Our regular readers will remember when our tourist visa's were stolen back in November. We think we've followed all the right procedures to try and get them replaced, but holy cow, they don't make it easy!
And even more funny is that they don't seem to care!
When you enter Mexico, whether by land or by airplane, you are given a maximum 180 day tourist permit. It costs 295 pesos ($24) per person for this permit. When you fly, the price of the permit is included in the price you paid for your flight. When you cross a land border, you have to pay. When you cross with a car, the permit for your car and the vehicle deposit are linked to your tourist permit.
At least this is all the way we understand the system. If you think we're wrong, please correct us!
I have to admit, we did wait a few weeks before trying to fix the problem after we noticed that we didn't have our permits any longer. It was December 15th by the time we made it to the immigration office in Chapala where they told us we had to do the application online and to return when it was approved.
Then I procrastinated a bit more and it was January 1st by the time I did the online stuff. It seemed to go through fine though, and the system said we were to wait 10 days for approval of the online application and then return to an immigration office.
Come the end of January, still no approval.
So yesterday, we went to the immigration office at the airport here at Puerto Escondido. I showed them the paper copies of the application we had done online with the file numbers and everything. The girl said that we had to go to the "municipio publico" offices in town and get a sworn statement by a notary public attesting to the fact that they were lost or stolen. Hmm. Okay. Then, she says that if we're going to the Guatemala border next week that we may as well just wait and do the whole thing there when we leave. Hmm. Okay.
So we decide to go to the municipal office and at least get this statement done, for all it's worth. So we go to the office and he says no, we have to go to the judicial office to do it. There's a bit of a lineup so we wait. And we wait. And we wait.
I remembered when we were leaving the Guadalajara airport for Chicago last May and a guy had lost his tourist permit. He was made to pay a 300 peso "fine" and was on his way. Simple. So maybe the same thing will happen to us at the border. The only thing we're not sure of it the 3,900 pesos deposit we had put on the car that is supposed to be reimbursed when we exit the country. The gal at the airport yesterday said this wouldn't be a problem as we still have all of that paperwork for the little blue car.
So we got tired of waiting and we left. We will try again at the Huatulco airport when we get there on Wednesday. If nothing else, at least it should be interesting!