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Author: Subject: Walk in to get FMM Mexicali West?
BajaMama
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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 07:04 AM
Walk in to get FMM Mexicali West?


Good morning nomads,

We're meeting with a group in early May to do some off roading. We're not sure if this group is going to stop at the border to get FMMs and we are not comfortable with that. Can we walk over the border at Mexicali West to get our FMMs then walk back? I assume if we drive in we have to drive back to the border crossing and go through all that hullabaloo, but I don't want to after a 10 hour drive.

We are parting with the group before they head north to spend more time in BCS.

Thanks.



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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 07:14 AM


Mexicali West is easy... for driving in and getting FMMs. Sorry, don't know about walking there.

I do not understand the part of your question about "if we drive drive in we have to drive back to the border crossing..."

As you enter Mexico, be in the left lane, and before the electric gates (with the red/green lights) is parking for the big building on the left. Inside that building is the INM (immigration) desk where you get your FMMs and pay, too... either at the bank teller in there or the INM agent.

IF there is no place to park before the electric gates, then park as soon as you can after, even along the street. Do not drive away from the border building. When I crossed, riding with Cameron Steeles TV group, we all parked the Raptors along the right curb, after passing the electric gates, and walked across the street to go into the big building.




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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 07:44 AM


Just as David mentions but every time we've passed there was always parking under the steel overhang/parking area. We always cross early 7:00-8:00 am. If you cross on a Sunday the agent doesnt open until 8:00am.
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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 09:21 AM
Try this site


I think you are asking...


About the pedestrian wait times to return to the USA.

https://bwt.cbp.gov/details/09250302/PED

CPB Border Wait Times search, choose pedestrian, choose Calexico West, right now, 8:00 a.m. - a 90 minute wait for pedestrians. The chart of average wait times in at the link I added.

We are dealing with the same idea but have decided instead to enter at Tecate, camping the night before near the border. Our hope is to get the FMMs in the evening, on foot, return to the US, then re-cross by vehicle the next morning. Border wait times for pedestrians at Tecate is very busy when they open at 6:00 a.m., for an hour or so, then less than 5 minutes until closing.

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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 09:39 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaMama  
Good morning nomads,

We're meeting with a group in early May to do some off roading. We're not sure if this group is going to stop at the border to get FMMs and we are not comfortable with that. Can we walk over the border at Mexicali West to get our FMMs then walk back? I assume if we drive in we have to drive back to the border crossing and go through all that hullabaloo, but I don't want to after a 10 hour drive.

We are parting with the group before they head north to spend more time in BCS.

Thanks.



Dont be a lemming. Do what you want/need to do.

Get fmm at border. Park on left, immediately after exiting lights/gates/inspection area. There are about 10 parking spots. If parking full, then one person can stay with double-parked vehicle while other goes in for fmm (take turns getting fmm, staying with vehicle).
You can also try parking on left before reaching border gate (park under canopy). But this is the “declare” parking, and they sometimes tell you not to park there if not declaring imports.




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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 11:29 AM


Sounds as you want to walk across, get the fmm, walk
back to the US with fmm, and drive across with the group.
Can be done, not without a possible hickup. The old
Mex Immigration office that was used before the revamped crossing,
is still there, as opposed to the newer vehicle crossing office.
I know, I went thru the hassle of returning an fmm
there. You may encounter a long pedestrian line coming back
to the US. It generally takes only 10 min. or so to drive
in, park on left before the red/green lite, enter Imm office
get fmm. That is what I would do. But if your bent on walking
over and back, it can be done







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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 01:19 PM


Let's add to sancho's reply that returning the FMM is NOT or should I say, no longer required by land travelers. Keep it until it expires, then toss it.



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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 02:30 PM


I have used the pedestrian crossing at Calexico West probably over 100 times and I have only been asked for my FMM once. The Mexican customs officials normally sit or stand right next to the xray machine and they have a customs office in the corner of the hallway about 10 yards before the xray machine. I'm not sure if they have a bank in the office as well, but that would be the only place it could be at the ped crossing.

At the Tijuana ped crossing there is a separate bank window where you pay the FMM fee and get the stamp. The Calexico West crossing is very low key compared to Tijuana and not very many people cross there that are not Mexican Nationals. I would just walk across and try it but don't go too late. They must issue FMMs because of the number of the people that cross there daily. Sorry I don't have a definitive answer for you.

There are several Mexicali border crossing wait time facebook pages where you could post your question. I bet someone on one of the pages would know.

I would check wait times before you cross as well. I've experienced long wait times well over an hour many times when crossing back to the US. The number of Ped lanes that CBP has open on any given day is not very consistent with the amount of pedestrians crossing.



[Edited on 2-2-2023 by rccali]
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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 03:47 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  


I do not understand the part of your question about "if we drive drive in we have to drive back to the border crossing..."

.


Ya, I wasn't real clear, was I? If the group we are meeting with doesn't want to stop for FMMs, we want to get ours ahead of the meeting time (we are meeting in Calexico). I was hoping we could walk across to get our FMMs then walk back so we don't have to drive through Mexicali and get into the "return to USA line" (we do have GE so that will help). I know you can walk across to get FMMs in Otay. Perhaps in Tecate, too?

[Edited on 2-2-2023 by BajaMama]
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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 03:54 PM


Quote: Originally posted by rccali  
I have used the pedestrian crossing at Calexico West probably over 100 times

[Edited on 2-2-2023 by rccali]


I am quite familiar with driving across and getting FMM at Mexicali West-my question was can you walk in? Sounds like you have done that many times before. Do we just follow the road (there was construction there end of October) or is there a specific walking path that connects US Customs/Immigration and Mexican Customs/Immigration? I believe that is what we will need since we have to re-enter the USA right after we get our FMMs.
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[*] posted on 2-2-2023 at 04:37 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaMama  
Quote: Originally posted by David K  


I do not understand the part of your question about "if we drive drive in we have to drive back to the border crossing..."

.


Ya, I wasn't real clear, was I? If the group we are meeting with doesn't want to stop for FMMs, we want to get ours ahead of the meeting time (we are meeting in Calexico). I was hoping we could walk across to get our FMMs then walk back so we don't have to drive through Mexicali and get into the "return to USA line" (we do have GE so that will help). I know you can walk across to get FMMs in Otay. Perhaps in Tecate, too?

[Edited on 2-2-2023 by BajaMama]


Just tell the group to wait while you go in and get your fmms.




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[*] posted on 2-3-2023 at 12:38 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaMama  
Quote: Originally posted by rccali  
I have used the pedestrian crossing at Calexico West probably over 100 times

[Edited on 2-2-2023 by rccali]


I am quite familiar with driving across and getting FMM at Mexicali West-my question was can you walk in? Sounds like you have done that many times before. Do we just follow the road (there was construction there end of October) or is there a specific walking path that connects US Customs/Immigration and Mexican Customs/Immigration? I believe that is what we will need since we have to re-enter the USA right after we get our FMMs.




The pedestrian crossing entrance is at 205 E 1st St in Calexico. It's about 1/4 mile east of the entrance to the vehicle crossing on 2nd street and 1 block South. When driving into Calexico on Imperial Ave/CA111 South turn left where the street ends. There are parking meters so bring a couple dollars in change. Calexico city is very strict about parking in this area.

You enter the walkway on the left of the US border inspection station building to walk into Mexico. You will see the turn-styles. The doors on the right are for people crossing back into the US.

The entrance to the pedestrian line to cross back into the US starts directly to your right as you exit the building turn-styles after passing through Mexican customs. Just make a U-turn to get in line to cross back to the US.

Like I said before there are long lines at times. The line can stretch all the way around the block where the hotel del norte is located on the corner as you enter Mexico on foot. So check the wait times before you cross.








[Edited on 2-3-2023 by rccali]

[Edited on 2-3-2023 by rccali]
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[*] posted on 2-4-2023 at 11:00 AM


You're way overthinking this and making it a pain in your ass to accommodate people who want to enter and be in a foreign country illegally. Just tell them as you are driving across you guys are stopping to do the right legal thing and if they don't want to take 10 minutes to stop and comply with a foreign countries immigration requirements then you will meet them down the road somewhere. Obviously you aren't worried about driving in Mexico by yourselves and respect the right way to travel internationally.

Mexicali West is about the easiest crossing to stop and get the FMM.




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[*] posted on 2-4-2023 at 12:22 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bajazly  
You're way overthinking this and making it a pain in your ass to accommodate people who want to enter and be in a foreign country illegally. Just tell them as you are driving across you guys are stopping to do the right legal thing and if they don't want to take 10 minutes to stop and comply with a foreign countries immigration requirements then you will meet them down the road somewhere. Obviously you aren't worried about driving in Mexico by yourselves and respect the right way to travel internationally.

Mexicali West is about the easiest crossing to stop and get the FMM.


Many people afraid to travel in mexico without convoy. Perhaps the op wants to stick with safety of her pack. Or perhaps the convoy does not want to stop for immigration out of fear of authority speaking in foreign tongue.




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[*] posted on 2-5-2023 at 01:35 PM


Thanks for all the tips. rccali that is exactly what I was looking for.

I am a 20+ year seasoned Baja traveler (add 15 more for unseasoned ha ha), this is our first time off-roading/camping and my husband feels more comfortable with a group for our maiden voyage. David K I have your Benchmark atlas and we will definitely be using it when overlanding and camping on our own. We are staying down longer than the group. I would never advise anyone not to get their FMMs upon entering Mexico but this isn't my rodeo party. I'm just along for the ride.
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[*] posted on 2-5-2023 at 08:18 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaMama  
Thanks for all the tips. rccali that is exactly what I was looking for.

I am a 20+ year seasoned Baja traveler (add 15 more for unseasoned ha ha), this is our first time off-roading/camping and my husband feels more comfortable with a group for our maiden voyage. David K I have your Benchmark atlas and we will definitely be using it when overlanding and camping on our own. We are staying down longer than the group. I would never advise anyone not to get their FMMs upon entering Mexico but this isn't my rodeo party. I'm just along for the ride.



With all due respect from this post and your original post this group that you will be traveling with does not sound like the type of people that I would want to be traveling with to a country like Mexico or anywhere else for that matter. It sounds like they don't respect you or Mexican laws. Reckless people have a way of entangling other innocent people in their trouble. Personally I would look for an alternative group to travel with or have an alternative plan to adios this group if their behavior warrants it.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2023 at 03:38 PM


rccali I don't disagree with you at all. I don't like group travel in the least and have never ever done it. This is for my husband's comfort level (I travel down solo frequently) as he is unsure if it is safe to camp in remote areas. As with all travel, be aware and savvy. Two decades ago two of my sisters friends were murdered and their brand new red truck was stolen (somewhere around El Rosario??). They were looking for pot and camped on a beach not in a campsite (not safe in that area) after meeting a guy named El Diablo. Truck ended up in the possession of an officer. Go figure.
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