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FAQs
 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do I need to apply for a U.S. passport?
You may review the passport application requirements within the Consulate General’s website at http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/ and also the Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.

2. How do I obtain U.S. citizenship?
Look at the list of requirements for applicants less and older than 18 years of age contained within this website: http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/

3. Does the U.S. allow you to be a dual national?
Yes, as long as you comply with certain requirements. For more information about services for dual nationals please visit the Department's website at  http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html

4. Can I file an immigrant petition with this Consulate?
The Consulate General in Matamoros does not accept Immigrant Visa petitions. For Immigrant Visa petition information you may dial the following number:  1-800-375-5283 if dialing from the U.S. and 001-880-375-5283 dialing from Mexico.  For further information regarding the Immigrant Visa process you may visit the Department’s website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1339.html.

5. Can I register to vote at the Consulate?
Yes, you may register to vote at this Consulate. For more information on registering to vote please visit the Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/legal-matters/benefits/voting.html

6. If I am a U.S. citizen traveling or living in Mexico, do I need to register with the Consulate?
We encourage any U.S. citizen traveling or living in Mexico to register through the department’s website at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_4789.html.

7. What do I do if I have been robbed in Mexico?
File a report to the proper authority, such as Local Police, State Police or Federal Police. 

8. What do I do if my car is stolen in Mexico?
File a report to the Federal Police (PGR), in the place where the incident occurred.

9. Do I need to declare my goods with Mexican Customs?
Yes, according to the Customs Law any person entering to Mexico is required to declare their goods and pay taxes if they exceed the exemption. For more information visit the Mexican Customs webpage: http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/tramites/140_13829.html.

10. What do I do if I am arrested in Mexico?
The Consulate General encourages U.S. citizens arrested abroad to inform the authorities that they are U.S. Citizens and ask them to inform the Consulate/Embassy.

11. Can the Consulate help me return to the United States?
The Consulate General assists in the repatriation of U.S. citizens by providing a variety of services. For further information you may visit the Department’s Mexico Country Specific Information Sheet at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html 

12. What are the requirements for a U.S. citizen to marry in Mexico?
Both countries have requirements for international marriages. Please contact a local Mexican consulate for more in-depth information about Mexican marriage laws. For US law, please follow the link below.
Mexican Requirements
U.S. Requirements

13. How can I adopt a child from Mexico?
There are many resources available to those who would like to pursue the adoption of a child from Mexico, but there are many safeguards in place to ensure that no one becomes a victim, including the adopters. Please click here to learn more about intercountry adoption with Mexico and the proper steps to follow.

14. How can a U.S. birth, death or marriage certificate be amended?
Each U.S. state has its own laws regarding the amendment of birth, death or marriage certificates.  Please contact your state’s Office of Vital Statistics to find out what steps you need to take.  

15. What are the steps to apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for my spouse or family member?
The Consulate General in Matamoros does not process immigrant visas. All Department of State immigrant visas are processed at the Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Contact information:
Paseo de la Victoria #3650
Fracc. Partido Senecú
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico C.P. 32543
Telephone: (656) 227-3000
Website: http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/immigrant_visas.html

16. How do I schedule an appointment for an American citizen service in Matamoros?
To schedule an appointment for a U.S. passport, a claim to U.S. citizenship for applicants under 18 years of age (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), or a claim to U.S. citizenship for applicants 18 years or older, please click here.

17. What is the contact information/hours of the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros, Mexico?
Click here for our contact information.

18. How can I obtain a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate?
Contact the Vital Statistics office in the state where you were born.

19. How can I get a document notarized?
Our Consulate General does offer notarial services.  Click here for a list of requirements.

20. When should I call the Consulate’s American Citizens Emergency Line?
The American Citizens Emergency Line is only for use after regular business hours. Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. please call the Consulate General’s main line (011.52.868.812.4402). Additionally, the Emergency Line cannot answer any questions regarding visas. It is generally to be used in cases in which American citizens are arrested, robbed, kidnapped or fall ill in our consular district.

21. Do you have a list of attorneys?
We maintain a list of attorneys licensed to practice law in Mexico. This, however, should not be construed as an endorsement for any of the attorneys listed. Click here to see the list. 

22. Do you have a list of doctors?
We maintain a list of doctors that are available in Matamoros if you should need one. This, however, should not be construed as an endorsement for any of the doctors listed. Click here to see the list.

23. Is it safe to travel to Tamaulipas?
Please click here for the latest Department of State travel warning regarding travel to Mexico. In the latest warning, American citizens are urged to defer all non-essential travel to Tamaulipas. While many Americans travel to Matamoros without incident, we still receive a substantial amount of crime reports from American victims here at the Consulate General.

24. How can I adopt a child from Mexico?
There are many resources available to those who would like to pursue the adoption of a child from Mexico, but there are many safeguards in place to ensure that no one becomes a victim, including the adopters. Please click here to learn more about intercountry adoption with Mexico and the proper steps to follow.

25. I lost my son’s Social Security Card and cannot cross the border to obtain a new one. How can I get a replacement card and report this one as lost?
To apply for a SSN a face to face interview is mandatory. A child is able to obtain a new card after age 12, when parents no longer have sign the application. If born in the USA, they have to apply in the USA. Stolen cards should be reported at: www.SSA.gov.

26. I work in Texas but want a Social Security number for tax purposes for my Mexican child who lives in Mexico. How do I get this number?
Please contact the IRS to get a Tax ID number.

27. Can I receive my Social Security Benefits in a Mexican bank?
Yes, the benefits could be deposited at any Bank in Mexico. To register in International Direct Deposit, they should call our toll free number: 01.800.772.6394. 

28. My husband/wife took my son’s Social Security Card so that he/she could use it for taxes. My husband/wife doesn’t pay child support and doesn’t visit – how can I get my son’s Social Security Card back and report tax abuse?
For problems related to child support, get in contact with the Mexican Consulate or the Oficina de Atencion al Migrante. Tax abuse should be reported to IRS in the USA.

29. What areas of Mexico are covered by the Consulate General in Matamoros?
Our consular district is comprised of the state of Tamaulipas, with the exception of the small portion of the state northwest of the Rio Salado (which is in the consular district of the Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo) and the municipalities of Tampico, Ciudad Madero and Altamira (which are in the consular district of the American Embassy in Mexico City).