The U.S. Logistics Center (USLC) located in Brownsville, Texas, is a support operation of the United States Embassy in Mexico. It is operated by the assigned U.S Despatch Agent and his staff. A modern 28,000 sq. ft. building, it is divided into three areas: a 5,000 sq. ft. office and training center, a 3,000 sq. ft. mail and pouch operation and a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse.
The Mail/Pouch area has its own separate entrance and loading dock. It provides official and private mail and diplomatic pouch service to the more than 400 Americans attached to the Embassy and its Consulates and offices in the interior of Mexico. In providing this service it acts as the entry/exit point for the U.S. Postal Service and the many courier services operating in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and processes more than 5,000 pouches annually.
The warehouse area of the USLC has three docks, a drive-in ramp, a complete maintenance area, 450 ft. of racking and is fully climate-controlled. It provides shipping and customs clearances for a variety of goods and materials entering and leaving Mexico. These materials include official supplies, equipment and vehicles, as well as more than a thousand lift vans of personal household effects and vehicles for U. S. Goverment employees assigned to the Embassy and its Consulates. The Center is capable of stretch-wrapping, repairing lift vans, palletizing and has a comercial scale to verify weights of all in and outbound shipments. In addition it has covered storage for 24 vehicles outside in the parking lot.
The Center has procured locally for customs brokerage services (Martha Cano) and transportation services (Mudanzas GOU) within Mexico. The Center’s staff has negotiated very favorable rates for brokerage services and transport services that substantially reduce costs. The Embassy negotiated an expedited transport services contract (Estafeta) with very favorable rates to move Diplomatic pouch and Mail to interior posts. On the U.S. side the Center’s staff utilizes contracts negotiated by A/LM. The Center’s staff works closely with freight forwarders, trucking firms and international brokers located in the Brownsville area and coordinates transport of effects and supplies to areas throughout the United States and overseas.
To contact us via e-mail: DespatchAgencyUSLCBrownsville@state.gov
Telephone Number:(956)982-3916, (956)982-6899 or (956)982-6976 – FAX Number: (956)525-4852
Telephone from Mexico:(001-956)982-3916, (001-956)982-6899 or (001-956)982-6976 – FAX number from Mexico: (001-956) 525-4852
Ask the Consulate
Ask the Consulate is a weekly newspaper column published by the Consul General in which we answer common visa questions and concerns that we receive from the public.
If you would like to submit a question for Ask the Consulate, please send us an email at MatamorosVisas@state.gov. Be sure to put “Ask the Consulate” as the subject of your email. You can also connect with us on Facebook andTwitter.
How can I work legally in the United States on a temporary visa?
In order to inform and prevent visa applicants becoming victims of fraud during the process for obtaining a temporary work visa H2, the Consulate General of United States in Matamoros would like to clarify some concepts about the temporary agricultural worker visas known as H2 visas.
The procedure for obtaining an H2 work visa is initiated by the employer in the United States. The employer needs to prove that there are no available workers in the US that can do the job. Once his application is approved by the government of the United States, the American employer will send the documents to the Mexican worker (copy of the I-129 petition and the original approved I-797). The American company does all the paperwork in the US and once the employer submits all necessary documents, the applicant will only need to arrange for his visa interview with the Consulate.
The employment contract is temporary, ranging from six weeks to 11 months. The average length is six months. You could also return to work for the same employer, who will submit the necessary documents for you to renew your H2 visa.
We wanted to inform all applicants that the US Consulate does not recruit temporary workers, does not promote different job opportunities, does not invite, nor take people to work in the United States.
Some American employers contact local recruiters to hire Mexican workers. However, we must remind you that the workers do not have to pay to receive a job. If an agent or recruiter demands a fee from the workers, he is in a direct violation of the law of the United States.
In order to get a better idea if the job offered is real or if it’s a scam, we recommend to all workers to ask their recruiter the following specifics about their employment in the US:
– Where will the work be performed
– Petition number
– Validity date of the petition
– Type of work to be done
– Salary, accommodation arrangements, meals, transportation, etc.
We also want to inform our applicants that there are people who falsely claim that they are Consulate representatives. These individuals / organizations (commonly known as “coyotes”) charge fees for obtaining a visa to travel to the USA.
General recommendations in this visa process are:
– Do not be fooled by intermediaries
– Do not buy fake paperwork to process your visa
– Do not pay money for the visa form, it is available for free online
– Be wary of those who offer visa services because nobody but the Consulate can issue or refuse a visa
If you suspect someone is committing visa fraud, please report it by phone: 868-812-4402 or by e-mail: MatamorosFPM@state.gov.
I have been accepted to a school in the United States for the first time. What are the steps I need to take to apply for a student visa?
First of all, congratulations on your decision to study in the United States and on your acceptance at your school of choice. One of our greatest joys in the Consulate General is issuing visas to young students, like you, who want to receive an education in the United States.
To apply for your student visa, you will need to schedule appointments at the Applicant Service Center (ASC), where they will take your photo and fingerprints, and at the Consulate General, where you will be interviewed by a consular officer. You can schedule your appointments online at ais.usvisa-info.com.
You are required to bring the following with you for your interview:
1) Completed I-20: Your school will complete this form and will give it to you. It has valuable information regarding the cost of your tuition, living expenses, and the length of time you will be enrolled in your school.
2) Proof of SEVIS Payment: The Department of Homeland Security requires that every applicant for a student visa pay a fee to be added in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This fee is mandatory. The easiest way to pay this fee is online at www.fmjfee.com. There is a link to this page on our website. Your school should provide you with confirmation of your fee payment.
3) Financial Evidence: To qualify for a student visa, you must demonstrate that you have the ability to pay for one year of tuition and living expenses, as defined on the I-20 form mentioned earlier.
4) Mexican Passport: We will print your student visa in your valid Mexican passport.
5) Completed DS-160 Application: You will need to complete the online DS-160 visa application and bring the confirmation page with the barcode with you to your interview. There is a link to the application on our website.
We understand that it is important for you to have your visa ready when classes begin and we want to make the process as quick and as simple as possible. However, we cannot guarantee how quickly you will receive your visa after your interview. To be safe, it is best if you gather your documents and schedule your appointment now while there is no rush. We have appointments available Monday through Friday. As we get closer to the start of the school year, these appointments will fill and it may be more difficult to schedule your interview in a timely manner.
One final note about student visas is that you must only use your student for the course of study for which it was approved. You may not use your student visa to enter the United States for shopping or vacation. These types of trips would require a tourist visa. On the other hand, you must use your student visa when entering the United States to study and attend classes. What’s more, you must be registered for the whole academic year, or approved length of your course. If you stop studying you should inform the consulate so that we can cancel your student visa. To start again after stopping, you would need to start the process again for a new visa.
Good luck with your studies!
If you have further questions about student visas, please visit our website:http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov.
To schedule a visa interview appointment at the Consulate General in Matamoros, please visit http://mexico.usvisa-info.com.
Can I work in the U.S. on a student visa?
I understand that university can be an expensive proposition and appreciate your desire to work to help pay your bills or earn some extra money.
The answer is a bit complicated. I will explain the basics of the law here. If you have further questions, the officials at your university should have more information.
If you are attending classes full time (12 hours or more per semester) you are eligible to work on-campus. You may not work more than 20 hours per week while you are attending classes. You may request special permission to work more hours when classes are not in session. Also, you may work full time during vacation periods (Christmas and summer) if you are enrolled in and plan to attend classes the following semester.
If you would like to work off campus, you must apply for permission from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). To qualify you must meet the following criteria: 1) you have been a full-time student for one academic year; 2) you are a student in good standing and will continue to take classes full-time; 3) you can demonstrate that your employment will not interfere with your studies; and 4) your employer submits certain documentation regarding your work hours and pay.
You may also be eligible for internships and other practical training related to your degree, called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT). These permissions are also granted by USCIS.
It is important to remember that any off-campus employment must be related to your area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized at your institution to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.
Student visa interview appointments are available Monday through Friday at the Consulate General. I encourage you to schedule your appointment now while there is plenty of time to process your case. The appointments will quickly fill as we get closer to the start of the school year.
Please visit our webpage at https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/matamoros/ for complete information on the visa application process.
I hope this information is helpful. Good luck with your studies!
The father of my child is an American Citizen, but we never got married. Is my child an American Citizen?
If your child’s father spent more than five years of his life in the United States before your child was born then the answer is probably YES! However, you will need to apply at the consulate for an official determination. In these types of cases it is very important that you apply as soon as possible. According to the current law, if you wait until after your child’s 18th birthday, it is likely that American citizenship won’t transfer to your child. By applying when your child is still a minor, you ensure that if there are any deficiencies in the application, they can be fixed relatively easily. So don’t wait!
In the case of a child born in Mexico to an American father and a Mexican mother both parents will need to come to the consulate for the interview. The cost to register your child as an American citizen and obtain a passport card is $140 USD. A full list of the requirements can be found here:https://mx.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/birth/
We registered our child, who was born in the United States, with the Mexican Authorities as being born in Mexico.
We would like to now get him a U.S. passport and other U.S. documentation. Is this possible or did we forfeit his U.S. citizenship by registering him as being born in Mexico, when he was really born in the United States?
If your child was truly born in the United States, you should be able to get him or her a U.S. passport, even if you registered him with Mexican Authorities as being born in Mexico. Parents cannot forfeit a child’s claim to U.S. citizenship. The fact that your child was registered in Mexico does not cancel his or her U.S. citizenship. The process for him or her to obtain a passport is the same as all other applicants. You will need to provide the original long form of the U.S. birth certificate, the Mexican birth certificate, and all other documentation listed on our website. For further information on this process, please go tohttps://mx.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/birth/.
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention)
The Hague Abduction Convention entered into effect between the U.S. and Mexico on October 1, 1991. The treaty is designed to resolve cases of international child abduction, specifically parental kidnapping.
For the United States, abduction issues are the responsibility of the Office of Children’s Issues, in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.
The Mexican Central Authority (MCA) for the IPCA cases is the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores
Left-behind parents should immediately contact one of these offices if a child has been abducted to, or from, either country. Parents should also contact one of these offices if they suspect that a child is at risk of being abducted. Representatives can provide advice on protecting against improper removal of children from the country.
I am an adult, I never really knew my father, but just found out that he was an American, can I get a U.S. passport?
Maybe. However, obtaining a passport as an adult is often difficult as there are some actions that had to have been taken prior to the applicant’s 18th birthday. The process if especially difficult if your parents were never married. For example, if an applicant is the son or daughter of an American citizen man, and his or her parents were not married at the time the applicant was born, section 309(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) may impose additional requirements before a U.S. Passport can be issued. If section 309(a) applies, an applicant would be required to prove proof of each of the following:
1) A valid blood relationship exists between the applicant and the American citizen father.
2) The father was a U.S. citizen at the time the applicant was born.
3) The father was physically present in the U.S. for sufficient time, normally five years for applicants born after November 1986.
4) The father provided a written agreement of financial support prior to the applicant’s 18th birthday.
5) Evidence of legitimation or an acknowledgement of paternity must be made prior to the applicant’s 18th birthday.
Because requirements 4 & 5 require that something was donebefore an applicant’s 18th birthday, it is sometimes hard for an adult applicant to meet all the requirements. However, each application is different and we encourage anyone who thinks they may have a claim to U.S. Citizenship to apply for a passport.
Additionally, if you have a son or daughter whose father is or wasan American we strongly encourage you to apply for a passport for your child before they turn 18. This way, if any of the requirements are missing, there is still time to fix the deficiencies before the child’s 18th birthday.
My parent is very elderly and his visa recently expired. He doesn’t have his own source of income. Can he still get a visa?
As with any other visa applicant, we are determining whether your elderly parent is financially independent and has sufficient ties to Mexico.
On the application, please list his or her source of income. For example, if your parent receives a pension, please list the monthly amount. In terms of documentation, it is useful to bring in pension documents, bank documents, or other financial paperwork. If your parent owns property in his or her name, you can mention this on the application, and bring proof of ownership to the interview.
If you support your parent financially, it would be helpful to attend the interview with your parent, but please allow him or her to answer their own questions during the interview. Please list yourself or the family member responsible for providing for the parent on the applicant. In the interview, you should demonstrate that you have a valid visa, and be able to verify your ties and financial stability (for example, the ownership of a house or other properties, steady income in a stable job, family members, etc.).
Being elderly does not rule out the possibility of getting a visa, but allapplicants must demonstrate financial solvency and strong ties to Mexico.