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Viajero Confiable, Mexico's "global Entry" Program


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#1 mstevens

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:36 PM

Mexico's equivalent of Global Entry, "Viajero Confiable", is up and running after a year of saying it was "coming in 2013". http://www.viajeroco...index.php/home/
 
At this point, it's a fairly limited program and is only available at Mexico City International Airport, Cancun International Airport and San José del Cabo International Airport. "The possibility of expansion to other cities is under review" according to the website
 
The program is open to Mexican citizens and to US citizens who are members of the US Global Entry program. Although citizens of Canada, South Korea, and the Netherlands can be Global Entry members, it looks as if they're out of luck for now.
 
The application process is much like the US one: an online application and payment of a 1,372 peso (roughly $100 US) non-refundable application fee followed by an in-person interview at one of the 3 airports listed above. If accepted, membership is good for 5 years. One difference from the US program is that no useless card is provided. Another is that they take iris scans in addition to fingerprints. A big difference is that there doesn't appear to be a review between completing the application and scheduling the appointment, which can all be done in a single brief session on the computer. Maybe they're using Global Entry to do their screening work for them.
 
You have to have a passport with 6 months left on it at the time of the interview, and the interview must be scheduled at least 2 weeks after completion of the application (so maybe they do some review during that time). You can reschedule interviews if your travel plans change or you miss it for some other reason. I am able to access the scheduling module at the application website on my iPhone, but I have not actually tried to reschedule my interview. I might need to, since it's about half an hour after my flight lands and the next one isn't until 3 1/2 hours later.
 
I don't yet know if kiosks are actually available in the airports at this time. I'll find out in a few weeks when I'm in Cancun for my enrollment interview. For Global Entry, members are entitled to skip to the front of the line if kiosks are unavailable. I doubt that applies in Mexico, but I harbor the secret hope that it might eventually do some good when arriving at Cozumel's airport (where my wife can use the teensy line for Mexican citizens and residents but I have to use the long one for non-residents).
 
This program is definitely not for you if:
 
You're not a US or Mexican citizen
If you're a US citizen who doesn't have Global Entry membership
You never fly into one of the 3 airports currently in the program
You don't want to spend a hundred bucks to get through immigration and customs faster and with no paperwork
You fear you might not pass whatever screening they do (Mexican arrest record?)

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#2 Carey

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for posting this info.  I sure like my Global Entry and Trusted Traveler status going in the states.  Whisk right through immigration, customs and security check in.

 

Not worth it to fly out of Cancun for me.  Fingers crossed for Cozumel.  But somehow I think the red light green light dance is going to be around for a way long time even if they adopt a trusted traveler program down here.


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#3 cvchief

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:00 PM

Got our interviews set up for the 25th!


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#4 pecas

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:37 PM

FYI - when I fly in with my husband we always go through the Mexican immigration line together.  Never had a problem.  In fact we were told by immigration that that was the way to go.  When I fly solo, even though I have perm. residency, I go through the long line with everyone else

 

In the U.S. different airports have different approaches - sometimes he comes through with me and sometimes we go through separate lines.


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#5 mstevens

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:00 PM

My wife is Residente Permanente and has been specifically told she should use the citizens line. I can't go with her though.


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#6 Kandy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 08:57 AM

Am I reading this initial post correctly? I already have Global Entry from the US. I have to pay an addition $100 or so to be able to use the kiosks in Mexico? Or will my Global Entry work as is?


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#7 mstevens

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 09:38 AM

Mexico has their own program, for which the application fee is about $100. The US Global Entry program is naturally only for entering the US and won't by itself allow expedited entry into Mexico.


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#8 Kandy

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:07 AM

Thanks!


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#9 mstevens

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 07:05 AM

Follow-up on my Viajero Confiable application. (None of the 3 in my family got it.)

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • This is NOT available to temporary or permanent residents (Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente). The application website did not say this anywhere when we applied, but if you have either of those migratory statuses, save your nonrefundable USD$100 application fee. This is why my wife didn’t get it. Mexican citizens and US Citizens with Global Entry on FMM (“tourist visa”) only!
  • Although the application website does not ask for a middle name, if you have one you MUST put it. The final name MUST match your passport. So, if you have a middle name, don’t just put Smith for your last name and John for your first name. Put John Terwilliker as your first name. This is why my son and I didn’t get it.
  • You can’t just change your info (online ONLY) and re-do the interview because interviews must be at least 15 days after they are scheduled. For minor problems you do not have to re-pay the fee.
  • Take the departure portion of your FMM (e.g., if your appointment isn’t when you arrive).
  • Take your Global Entry card.

We did the interviews in Terminal 3 in Cancun. The overall process was very smooth with a pleasant agent who spoke good English and delayed his lunch to see me when my flight was delayed so I didn’t have to return hours later. He also gave my son a break on the FMM, which was left in Cozumel for safety, even though ultimately that didn’t make a difference.

Part of the interview was to ask where else we would like to use Viajero Confiable (“Cozumel, please!”), and that was written in a specific place on the forms and entered on the computer.

The agent pointed out that there was one kiosk in each entry area by the handicapped lane, but that they didn’t really work. We would be given cards that would entitle us to use the crew or citizens entry lanes (which would be great for me since that would let my wife and me enter together). I did not ask if this worked at airports other than the 3 in the program, but I strongly believe it would not.

More to come in May when I do the interview again.

 

Edited to reflect that the website didn't specify the program wasn't available to temporary or permanent residents at the time we applied, because it now does specify that fairly prominently. This is a very recent change in the website.


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#10 BettyfromToronto

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 07:58 AM

mstevens:  Question please about your comment "My wife is Residente Permanente and has been specifically told she should use the citizens line. I can't go with her though.".

 

Are people returning to Cozumel with a PR card allowed to skip the long line and go through a shorter residence line?  We just received our cards yesterday (YAHOO) and my husband will be travelling in a few weeks.  I reminded him not to check off the tourist box but the resident box on the visa when returning on the plane.

 

Appreciate any help.

 

Thanks

Betty


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#11 cvchief

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 02:16 PM

I thought I would share my IMN 'blog':

 

Well, reporting in on the process:
Well…. The office in terminal 2 is to the left of Santander bank in departures. Hence you line up with everyone who lost their fmm passport or whatever and is bitching about their plane leaving. You stand outside until they signal you into the office. The lady could not have been nicer. English wasn't great but my missus translated. They have one integrated machine for photo, print and iris scan. She took us both back at the same time. They aren't too sure on using it yet I guess so that took time. missus' ridge detail required a lot of repeats to get. Then they lost the entry and had to do it all over again. They have a quick interview form. No English version was there. Basically yes no stuff. One question you answer yes and write global entry. Mine processed fine. Susan passed and got a letter at the end and they said there is a kiosk to the left by handicap line in IMN. We didn't notice it on the way in. Mine however did not pass. I am thinking Susan's had more time until they got mine done. She said I would get an email in a few days hopefully or she would call my cell the next day. If not come see her when we leave. Took close to two hours or so. Everything but them operating the machine was easy.
And the waiting. Some Brit was threatening to call his solicitor if he missed his plane.

 

Ok, more update:

I never got the email or the phone call, so I stopped back in terminal 2 IMN again. Sadly, the nice lady who did it the first time was not there. The new nice lady, after I waited in line a while, called me in. We explained everything and she tried to give us another FMM form to fill out. So we explained it AGAIN and this time she called us in and called another office. Then she told us to go outside and wait. After a while a two very nice ladies showed up and took us in the rear office. They couldn't quite figure out what was going on. They finally found us in the system. Oddly, they said I was approved but the missus was now on hold. She showed them her signed approval letter which confused them more. So then they made some more phone call and pounded on the keyboard some more. FINALLY they were able to print my approval letter. They then wanted me to check my email to make sure the system sent me the approval letter. I was able to and found it had just arrived. So we were good. Except a supervisor needed to sign the approval letter. He was off in the terminal dealing with another issue. They eventually got him to the office and he signed the letter. This took about another hour and fifteen minutes or so.

Apparently now we are both enrolled and ready to skip the steerage,  sweltering in the queue.

Of course while we were waiting we had to listen the cacophony of threats and complaints from all the people who needed a new FMM form in the other room. One guy apparently didn't have the $36 or so they make you pay when you lose that little slip of paper.

 

And more:

 

I did order the Global Entry cards when we got GE, but I have never taken them with me. They didn't say anything about it, but just write Global Entry in on the interview form. Do most people even spend the extra for the card? It only is for a land border crossing right?

I *think* I removed my FMM from my passport so it would not get lost. (And I would have to stand out front with all the other disgrunted types. ) I am don't think they looked at it, though I am not sure.

That also make me wonder: Does the kiosk print you an FMM to give the airline when you check in to depart?

Also no one said a word about us getting cards. We got, eventually, a signed approval letter. And they insisted we check our email while we were there to make sure we got the approval email which did contain a PDF of another approval.  They offered a computer but we found it on our phones.

The email just says:

Please find attached ‘Welcome’ letter for your Programa Viajero Confiable/ Trusted Traveler Program Mexico membership . It contains details of your membership.

Please keep it safe, because it will be necessary in case you apply for the renewal of your membership.

The letter itself says:

Thank you for your interest in participating in our Viajero Confiable Program! Now that you are a member, you will be able to enter Mexico quickly and easily through kiosks
at Mexican participating airports.* From this moment and during the validity period of your membership, the assigned number is (And there is my number). Please keep it safe, because it will be necessary in case you apply
for the renewal of your membership.

Then it lists the 5 year span it is good for.

If you need further information, please see our website: Programa Viajero Confiable :: Inicio,
we will be glad to help you.

The asterisk text at the bottom:
* Mexico City International Airport, San José del Cabo International Airport and
Cancún International Airport.

The letter they gave me that day says in Spanish basically, I proved with my passport that I am me and that I read and agree to: Then it lists a HUGE paragraph of law citations and departments that I apparently read. Seriously, half the text on the page is a list of laws. Then is says since I did agree to all that, it lists my name and VC number. It says it only automatic filter thing at the three airports.

It is then signed by the subdelegado federal of Cancun.


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#12 mstevens

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:41 PM

Betty, yes, my wife has been told to (and usually does) use the citizens' immigration line when she enters Mexico since she has RP. She doesn't get in trouble if she wants to stay with me or our son in the tourist line, though.

 

In addition to filling out the Immigration form differently by checking the Resident box and providing your document number, you also fill out the Customs form differently, by entering the number of days you've been out of Mexico since you last left rather than the number of days you'll be in the country.


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#13 mstevens

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:47 PM

This morning I went to update my and my son's applications at the website and found that the agent had already changed our First Name fields so they'll work next time. That's kind of nice, even if it means I'll have to traipse to Cancun for another interview in May.

 

I don't know if we lucked out with the agent or if Terminal 3 is easier because they have a separate office for Viajero Confiable (INM has windows in the ticket counter area for residents who need to check out of the country or tourists who've lost their FMM) compared to the single office for all sorts of INM functions at Terminal 2.


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#14 cvchief

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 08:03 PM

Yes, I am sure that was easier.  We had to wait with the DANG FMM losers.  They are pretty tight about the losing the FMM thing.  The jefe who signed my paper was in the office while we were waiting and was apparently yelling at the staff about wasted FMM forms he found in the trash can.

 

In addition to the Brit threatening to get his solicitor, there was another guy going off because the Mexican FMM form was in Spanish of all things and he can't read it.  Those IMN people in that office had ALOT of patience.  


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#15 crunch

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:45 AM

Wow.  Some people are unbelievable.


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