Life after Castro

Dec. 1, 2016:

The world officially became a less interesting place Nov. 25, 2016.


… Obama decided to not send a representative to Castro’s funeral.

The CIA sent their own parting gift.


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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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Mexican Government 2016 Christmas Holiday Shutdown Schedule

Nov. 30, 2016 ~ Update:~

Our local INM office in Merida says that the Yucatan federal offices will be    closed

~ Dec. 16 (Friday) 2016 ~ … through … ~ Jan. 1,  (Sunday) 2016 ~

Next, note that Mexican Government for Mexico City / State of Mexico offices** are scheduled to close from   … ~ December 22, 2016 through January 4, 2017 ~

If you need to get something done at INM,  or SAT, or Hacienda,  or Aduana, or INE …

then be sure to get things started early enough that you can get what you need before the Dec 16, Yucatan federal office govt. holiday vacations shutdown,   or the State of Mexico Dec. 22, 2016 scheduled Government holiday vacation period shutdown,

or plan to go back on Jan 2 (Yucatan) or   Jan. 5’th  (Mexico City), 2017

Happy Holidays !

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© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .


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New Rules for Naturalized Mexican Citizens with US Passport Renewals

Nov. 29, 2016:

The US State Department issued new passport renewal application forms in July 2016,:

Unfortunately, the new~current State Department form includes an “Acts or Conditions” section that   causes problems & traps for American citizens who have become naturalized Mexican citizens.**

The US State Department is always on the lookout, trying to detect US citizens and US nationals who have committed  acts that can cost us our US citizenship & our US nationality.

Fortunately, we’ve sleuthed-out a set of procedures that successfully evade the current ‘ Catch 22’s ‘ – offering solutions that ironically are  NOT explained anywhere in published US rules, law, CFR, or US govt. websites.

… Hint:  These issues are likely to become even more important under Trump’s scrutiny of people with formal connections to Mexico …

First:   Note the OFFICIAL US State Department department policy on US nationals and US citizens who commit acts that are potential grounds for loss of ‘US Nationality’ … official provisions that are triggered when we apply to renew our US passport :

“When, as the result of an individual’s inquiry or an individual’s application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. national has performed an act made potentially expatriating by INA Sections 349(a)(1), 349(a)(2), 349(a)(3) or 349(a)(4) as described above,

the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if he/she intended to relinquish U.S. nationality when performing the act.

If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person’s intent to relinquish U.S. nationality and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. nationality. ”


That clause, by itself, appears innocuous,   right?

… Unfortunately, it does NOT end there….

**Next:  Read the new~current July 2016 version of the application to renew a US passport form

I have not, since acquiring United States citizenship/nationality, been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign state; taken an oath or made an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state; entered or served in the armed forces of a foreign state; accepted or performed the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof; made a formal renunciation of nationality either in the United States, or before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state; or been convicted by a court or court martial of competent jurisdiction of committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against the United States, or conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force, the government of the United States. ”

“Furthermore, I have not been convicted of a federal or state drug offense or convicted of a “sex tourism” crime, and I am not the subject of an outstanding federal, state, or local warrant of arrest for a felony; a criminal court order forbidding my departure from the United States; or a subpoena received from the United States in a matter involving federal prosecution for, or grand jury investigation of, a felony.”

This LOOKS GRIM for naturalized Mexican citizens,  because
~ We have become Naturalized Citizens   (strike one)
~  We have taken oaths/affirmations of allegiance to a foreign state   (strike two)

BUT,   there is an ‘out’

” “(If any of the below-mentioned acts or conditions have been performed by or apply to the applicant, ~ the portion which applies should be lined out,~  and a supplementary explanatory statement under oath (or affirmation) by the applicant should be attached and made a part of this application.)” ”

*** So, WHEN AT THE CONSULATE,  we are supposed to line out the sections about

… been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign state; taken an oath or made an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state; …

However, he should not do this until he is present at the Consulate for the interview and/or submission of the application.

So, NO lining out the problematic statements on the passport renewal application, until you are in front of a Consular agent.

*** Next Requirement…  As Naturalized citizens of Mexico, We are supposed to include  …  “a supplementary explanatory statement under oath (or affirmation) ” … attached to our renewal application.

According to the US Consulate in Merida, this attached document is just a simple letter that describes the following items:

~  Give your official Name as listed on your US passport.
~  List your current US passport number.
~ The approximate date that you naturalized as a Mexican citizen.

~  A statement:
…   ” I swear (affirm) that I did not intend to relinquish U.S. nationality when I became a naturalized Mexican citizen.”  

~  Applicant’s signature & Date

So…   These procedures successfully evade the ‘Catch 22’s – practical solutions that ironically are NOT explained anywhere in published US rules, law, CFR, or US govt. websites.

These procedures also very nicely fit official published US State Department policies … They fit the July 2016  US Passport Renewal Form  requirements … and they fit the US Merida Consuls specific advice on how to make the  US passport renewal process work for US Nationals & US Citizens who have also become naturalized Mexican citizens.

Clear as mud ??

Happy Trails

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .



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Views of Yucatan ~ Part 1.

Nov. 22, 2016:

So much of Yucatan goes unseen.

So much of Yucatan is covered by deceptive … or drab exteriors.

but even the stoniest looks melt into smiles,  with a warm “Bax kawali “ …**

The same goes for Yucatecan homes.

Want a peek behind the facadas ?   … a look behind the locked doors?

Some of the warmest, most beautiful spaces are cloaked in drab exteriors.

The same way a simple greeting in Maya, “Bax kawali“ , provides an key~entré

into Yucatecan’s minds,    clicking on this link,   opens a way into some Yucatecan homes

If you like the video tour & the people,  check out the website of what the US Consulate is calling “Merida’s best NGO” …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

**”Bax kawali “  is informal Maya for:  ” What’s goin’ on ? ”

The standard reply is  “Not much…”   “Mix bah

The point is most Meridadanos do not know Maya,  but they know that “Bax kawali “ is a greeting (mistankenly imagining it means “Como esta”)

…  but “Bax kawali “ + a smile …  opens doors … and opens minds, even when

they don’t know much Maya.

Want to learn a few basic Maya phrases?

Bridging the Gaps (Learning Maya)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution:
YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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Time to Change the Clocks … Fall 2016

Oct. 22, 2016:

Mexico: Sunday, October 30 at 2 a.m. **
USA: Sunday, November 6 at 2 a.m.
Canada: Sometime around Saturday Nov 5’s closing time,
…. but before Sunday’s Early Bird Special & Happy Hour.


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** Note that Cancun an

Remember Cancun, Q. Roo and other select Mexican locales do NOT change their clocks.

~This can be really important if you need to catch a bus or show up on-time for a flight.~

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .


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INM Amnesty Program for 2017

Oct. 15, 2016:
The ever-reliable Mexican lawyer, Lic. Spencer McMullen (of Chapala continues to monitor & translate Mexican law that affects foreigners, benefiting gringos across Mexico.  Here’s his latest update on a new INM Amnesty program for 2017:

“Regularization (Amnesty) Program for people illegally in Mexico for 2017

On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 the amnesty program of 2015 will be brought back for the year 2017 and will apply from January 9, 2017 until December 19, 2017.  The first publication about the program was made in the Daily Federal Register on January 12, 2015 and lasted until December 18, 2015.  We saw how the National Immigration Institute applied the prior amnesty law so we now know their slight nuances as compared to the text of the law published.

This program mentions nothing about paying fines nor having to show income to qualify.

Here is the 2017 publication in plain English

The present program applies to foreigners who entered Mexico before January 9, 2015 and on January 09, 2017 find themselves living in the country with an irregular immigration status.

The aforementioned is when the foreigner does not fall into one of the following situations:

-Have a pending immigration request except those expressly canceled in order to participate in this program.
-Are in the process of an assisted return procedure or deportation
-Given false information or false documents to Immigration or authentic documents obtained fraudulently.
-People deported with reentry restrictions
-People with pending criminal charges or a criminal record
-People who compromise national security due to past criminal records
-People subject to express prohibitions dictated by a competent authority
-Having not complied with a deportation order during the program period

-Having been illegally in the country after January 9, 2017.
-Anything else covered by the Immigration law and its regulations. In the cases of V and VI the authority will weigh the corresponding resolution attending to the principles of social redapatation as well as those relative to family reunification.


Foreigners requesting their regularization per this program need to present the following in original and copy:

Immigration request form
Request letter stating desire to participate in program and explaining how they became illegally in the country.
Immigration document (in the event the person had one)
One of the following documents that proves their residence in the country prior to January 9, 2015:

-Airline tickets
-Passport with entry stamp
-Immigration document (in case the person was regular in Mexico)
-Utility bills (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility)
-Medical file, school records or rental contracts
-Any other document issued by a public agency that shows the requestor has resided in Mexico or
-Declaration signed by two people who know the person and state they have lived in the country -for the time required.

The documents can be in the name of the person or their children, partner or spousal figure.

Documents that prove their current residence (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility).
Payment of regularization fees (fees can be waived in certain situations)
Copies of ID of people authorized to present papers.

The procedure for the person requesting the regularization of their immigration status is the following:

Present documents at Immigration as mentioned prior where they will have a hearing on the spot or set the date for a future hearing. The future date shall not be more than 10 business days after the papers are turned in.
They will make a written record of the hearing and go over all the paperwork presented.

Immigration then has 30 days to give a response. If the response is positive then they shall issue a temporary resident document good for four years.

Once the person has the document they may request work permission as well as documents for family members.

For the issuance of the document the person will need the original positive resolution and a copy, 2 copies of the format basico, 3 photos, payment of fees.

Immigration may not arrest anybody who applies for the program due to their irregular status.”

Happy Trails

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .


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Update on What to do if you lose your INM card

Sept. 15, 2016:
We wrote about the formal (past) procedures for what to do if you lose your INM card, especially when outside of Mexico.   The old details are at:  ”

Lost or Stolen Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal Card “

That previous post describes how to do it at a Mexican Consulate.
.Here’s a Fun New Alternative:
INM is NOW implementing a new system,  where the foreigner temporarily enters Mexico on a ‘tourist’ visitante visa,  and then goes immediately to their local INM office to get a replacement card.

Here’s the narrative of a person who recently successfully used the ‘new’ INM procedure:

The American lost both his CURP and Residente Permanente cards while in the USA.

Following the typical guidance from the SRE website, he went to a Mexican Consulate in Texas … but was not allowed into the Consulate  without an appointment.  He was told to go on line and request an appointment … but his flight was the next day, so he  just entered Mexico by air, explaining to the airport INM personnel that he had lost his RP card.

The INM people were quite nice, however, they said they could not let him into Mexico using his Permanente status without his card.  The INM agents at the airport explained  that he must enter Mexico (temporarily) using a VISITORs VISA…   They insisted that he would NOT lose his  Residente Permanente status if

~ He I went to his local INM office soon after arriving home in Mexico…  and

~ The INM border agents told him to request replacement card from his local INM office.

~  Then,  then INM agents at his local office should then call the airport (or border) INM office,   and

~ The airport INM would correct his visa entry status in the airport INM records.

Finally,  the fellow who lost his visa card explained how to go online and start the process of getting a replacement RP card,  before going to the local INM office:

  1.  Go online to  TramitesSelect:  Migracion visa y Pasaporte

    Select:   Condiciones y estancia en Mexico

    Select:   Reposicion de documento migratorio

    Reposicion de Documento Migratorio por Perdida, robo o Deterioro.

  2. Print out the form online & take it in to your local INM office.
  3. INM accepts your request for a replacement RP card form and starts the process by giving you a payment document to take to a bank to pay $1108 pesos for replacing the lost card.
  4. Go pay the fee at a bank, and take the payment confirmation firm from the bank, back to your INM office., along with the original form for requesting a replacement card, copy of your passport and the original, and the ‘visitors visa’ card from the airport (or border).He was given an appointment for an interview for the next day.

At the next day’s appointment,  the INM agent accepted the forms, along with the Visa that was given to him when entering at the airport showing he entered as a tourist.  The local INM agent explained that they were instituting new procedures so people don’t have to start the Permanente process all over again.

INM is now  treating the lost card as being lost in Mexico.  He is supposed to return in about a week to be finger printed and should have his new Permanente card in about two more weeks.

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .


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