New Immigration Law Published for Mexico

See Full Article at: “New Immigration Law Published for Mexico – The Article”
Abstract: The web is abuzz with sketchy information about the new Ley de Migración. President Calderon signed it into law on May 24, 2011, along with several official blurbs published in the Mexican Government’s Diario Official.

The main focus of the new Ley de Migración is clearly directed towards improving protections and documenting protections and rules targeted to migrants from Belize, Guatamala, Honduras, etc as they traverse Mexico.
This post is just a preliminary report on the aspects that affect expats,  because even though the Ley de Migracion was published today, the associated regulations with specific requirements (El Reglamento) for the new Immigration law have not yet been published. This means that INM has no procedures in place yet for how to apply the new law, nor do they have instructions for issuing the new “Tarjeta de Residencia” cards.

The new law has bundles of changes affecting ex-pats that dwarf last May’s changes.

For starters, here’s a partial list of some of the new interesting twists:
No more FM2′s or FM3′s, no more stand-alone Non-Inmigrante & Inmigrante categories, and there’s a tweaked Inmigrado category.   Tourists and other Visitors descriptions have not changed much.    .  .  .  .

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. . . .Read the full article of “New Immigration Law Published for Mexico – The Article” at: (or access under Living in Yucatan (see header) ): “New Immigration Law Published for Mexico – The Article”
*             *            *             *
This post is meant as a public service announcement (not meant as legal advice), so, we here at Yucandia will keep the article updated with further understantdings and clarifications as they develop.

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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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37 Responses to New Immigration Law Published for Mexico

  1. Pingback: Moving to Mexico: FMM, FM2, FM3, or Inmigrado? | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Marty Redmond says:

    We have lived in Jocotepec, Jalisco for the pst 7 years. We both have FM 3s. Under the new law do you know if it will be possible to apply for citizenship without going thru the old FM2 formula?
    Thank you
    Marty Redmond
    José Santana 310
    Jocotepec, Jal.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Marty,
      I would guess that the actual rules and policies that each INM office will follow may take as much as a year to implement. It took INM 1 month to train for the May 2010 minor changes, and another 4 months to work out the new rules for those smaller changes. I could also logically guess that INM would expect ex-pats to complete 4 years of Temporary Residence first. before qualifying for citizenship, and further guess that time accrued under current FM2 & FM3 visas would count toward meeting the 4 year requirement , but those are all logical guesses…
      Mexican Gob. actions do not always follow gringo-logic.

  3. Sandra Spencer says:

    I currently have an FM3 which is due to expire 8/27/11 and therefore need to start the renewal process within 30 days prior. This will be my 3rd renewal. My question is: if I marry a Mexican national then I would qualify for permanent residency after 2 years of marriage?

    Buena suerte a todos!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sandra,
      According to our translation of the new law: As long as the marriage is registered here, and it is a legitimate marriage (not a marriage for the purpose of staying in Mexico), then you would qualify for Permanent Residency after 2 years of marriage.
      Best Wishes!

      • Charles says:

        I think I read somewhere in definitions that a woman who marries a Mexican man becomes a Mexican citizen. That would appear to be automatic and therefore would not require any residency period.

      • John Torres says:

        When you say “after 2 years of marriage,” don’t you mean “after two years of living married in Mexico.” Two years of marriage to a Mexican while living in the United States will not satisfy that requirement, will it? Also, does the 2 years start the day you’re married abroad or the day the marriage is registered in Mexico? Does anyone know?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hey John,
        Our original quick translation was a “2 years of marriage”. The section of the law that fits your situation is Article 55, Item II:
        Artículo 55. Los residentes permanentes tendrán derecho a la preservación de la unidad familiar por lo que podrán ingresar con o solicitar posteriormente el ingreso de las siguientes personas, mismas que podrán residir en territorio nacional bajo la misma condición de estancia y con las prerrogativas señaladas en el artículo anterior:
        . . .
        II. Cónyuge, al cual se le concederá la condición de estancia de residente temporal por dos años, transcurridos los cuales podrá obtener la condición de estancia de residente permanente, siempre y cuando subsista el vínculo matrimonial; . .

        * * * *
        This roughly translates as:
        Article 55. Permanent residents are entitled to the preservation of the family unit so they can enter with or subsequently request the entry of the following persons may reside in the same country under the same conditions of stay and with the privileges mentioned in the previous article :

        II. Spouse, which will be accorded the status of temporary resident stay for two years, after which it may acquire the status of permanent resident stay as long as the marriage exists; . . .
        * * * *
        This translation confirms your understanding. Thanks for the update.

        Also, please give us a shout about how your application to register your marriage in Mexico City goes, as we have a vibrant LGBT community here in Yucatan that would be interested in how it works out.

  4. Ric Hoffman says:

    Citizenship applications and approvals come under the SRE not INM so the criteria should remain the same.

  5. Ric Hoffman says:

    It will be interesting to see how the regulations and manuals implement the new Immigration Act. Just a few quick glances leave a lot of unanswered questions. The loop hole for the turnaround 180 day visitors may be closing soon. Article 53 prohibits change from a “visitor” to “temporary resident” which is available now, but states flatly “may not change status to stay and will leave the country at the end of the period of stay authorized.” Could the renewal of the “temporary resident” go out the window and a choice be made to switch to “permanent resident” or leave the country after four years?

    One needs to read the transitory for the law to see an abbreviated impact of the changes in relation to current status.

    Steve’s logic is sound and I too believe the previous years of “No Inmigrante” would be combined with current time under “Inmigrante” as long as they were continuous to fulfill the residency requirements for “permanent resident” but what happens if that time is past the four year mark for a “temporary resident” and you don’t choose to apply for “permanent resident”?

    Another question to ask ourselves would be what happens to those vehicles brought into Mexico under “temporary imported vehicle” sticker? Article 106 IV does not apply to “permanent residents”.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Ric,
      Devils and Details, devils and details.

      The devils (what to do with coches y camionetas) associated with existing Fm3’s and FM2’s really are left unaddressed, waiting to be worked out in the upcoming details of the Regulacion for the new law.

      Good insight: one worth adding to the list of items for us to keep an eye on, as INM reports how they will deal with this new law.

  6. 1st Mate says:

    Another good reason to work on my Spanish! Gracias…

  7. norm says:

    A policy that encourages educated and productive people to immigrate, who would have ever thought of that?

  8. Pingback: New Immigration Law | San Felipe News

  9. Pingback: Mexican immigration law changes « yucatango

  10. John Torres says:

    I am wondering how the new law affects a foreign spouse of a Mexican citizen, particularly with respect to a same-sex marriage performed legally in the United States.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi John,
      I think that D.F. / City of Mexico is the only area in Mexico that legally performs same sex marriages. If the City of Mexico accepts foreign-perfomed same sex marriages, then you would register to have your marriage approved at the Municipality’s Registro Civil (search online for address). Mexico only recognizes foreign mar

      We know 3 different man-woman married couples (married between 7 years and 45 years) who have had their applications to register their legal US marriages registered for no apparent good reason, which means that Mexico City’s Registro Civil may reject your application for marriage, same-sex or otherwise. The couples with the rejected American marriages included US Citizen-Mexican Citizen and US-US combinations. Go figure…
      Best of Luck on this,

      • John Torres says:

        Thanks, Steve. On August 10, 2010, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that every Mexican state must accept and recognize same-sex marriages performed in the D.F. and that they are valid for federal purposes also. Lawyers are saying that this applies to foreign marriages also, but that local govt officials in Mexico are known for substituting their own judgment over the official law of the land.

        Three straight couples had their marriages rejected? Maybe they were officiated by clergy. Ours was a civil ceremony before a justice of the peace. We’re told that marriages in Mexico are ALL civil and church weddings are just for show. Maybe they didn’t get the proper apostille on the marriage certificate. Maybe they were suspected of immigration fraud.

        My husband is from Puebla and that’s where we would be living if he were to return to Mexico. Someone told me recently that Puebla is the Alabama of Mexico. (I don’t mean to offend anyone by repeating that unfair statement.) I took that to mean that the state government would be very conservative and not too understanding on this issue.

        Thanks! John

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi John,
        I’ve updated the post to reflect the additional requirement of 2 years of Temporary Residency, along with the 2 years of officially recognized marriage.

        The straight couples all had legitimate marriages, all had apostilled documents, and no suspicions of immigration fraud. One couple (my wife and I) were told that because our original official apostilled copy of our Wedding License was too plain (a simple plain white, heavy, thick, legal-sized paper document) did not have flowery or embossed borders (no pheasants, no deer, no interwoven designs) that it must not be legitimate… Yucatecan birth certificates and wedding licences have enough illuminations in the margins to put a 13’th century Archbishops bible to shame.

        Living in rural states like Yucatan can be like waking up in a Monty Python episode:
        if she weighs the same as a duck, then she’s made of wood. ” * *

        Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

        Best of Luck!


        **A small caution if you move here: you might not want to say that “Church weddings are ‘just for show’ ” in the company of other Mexicans, or you might find yourself hearing:
        “We shall use my larger scales!”
        ” Right, remove the supports!”
        “A witch! A witch!”
        “Burn her! Burn!”
        . . .

        Our families and friends consider the Civil Wedding to be the one that is just a formality: Young couples who get married in a Civil Wedding are not allowed to live together; they are not allowed to consumate the marriage; and they are not even allowed to spend their civil wedding night in a hotel together. No Nooky until after the Church Wedding.

  11. Pingback: May 2011 Immigration Law Changes | Living in Cancun & Riviera Maya Forum

    • yucalandia says:

      “Frank” commented that the new law appears to have lots of positive changes.

      Hi Frank,
      “Positive changes” for future generations of ex-pats & illegal immigrants transiting Mexico are not necessarily the same thing as 4-6 months of Dante’s 6’th Circle for ex-pats who’s Residency applications get caught in the machinery as INM implements the changes.

  12. Ric Hoffman says:

    John, before you submit your application as a married couple make sure you have a copy duly issued by the Secretary of State which performed the ceremony. See: for more information:

  13. Tammy Curry says:

    I have a FM3, I have lived here for 10 years and have a FM3 I believe for 8 years, I would like to have permanent residency, under FM2 one was required to have and drive only a Mexican plated vehicle and be fluent in Spanish which kept me from applying for the FM2 status. If the rules are not as strict do you know if they will consider back years and what are the requirements satisfying the permanent residency requirements? If there is a read I would love to have access to it.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Ric Hoffman says:

      The prohibition of owning or operating foreign plated vehicles only applies to those who have declared “Inmigrado” will be the “permanent resident”. It has never been a requirement to speak Spanish unless one was applying for citizenship.

    • yucalandia says:

      We understand that you can still apply under the current Inmigrante (FM2) “Rentista” category with a foreign plated vehicle. Inmigrante Familiar and other Inmigrante categories are not allowed to keep foreign plated vehicles here. There is no hint as to how this will work under the new Permanent Resident and Temporary Resident categories. I would GUESS that the new Temporary Resident (4 year period) category would fit your situation. This is one of those issues that will not be resolved until the Regulaciones come out, and INM figures out how they want to apply them.
      Best of luck,

  14. jim wehrle says:

    I posted this article on another site and the following was the response. I have no dog in this fight and haven’t read the law it self yet but what would you respond? TIA
    “That article isn’t fully accurate. FM2s and FM3s have been gone since last year when they started issuing the ID cards. Now we have FM-Is (former FM2s) and FM-NIs (former FM3s). Doing away with FM2s and FM3s isn’t part of the new law.
    And as I understand it the new Residente Temporal is going to cover people who are No-Inmigrante (former FM3 holders). People with Inmigrante statuse (former FM2 holders) will be covered by Residente Permanente.

    That article is going to confuse more than help, it’s just wrong.”

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Jim,
      Thanks for the info. Everybody is entitled to an opinion.

      The Diario Oficial website includes some special sub-descriptions that describe items applicable to many ex-pats. These items live after Article 162 in Title 8, “Transitorios” Section

      On the issue of “Permanente Residente” / old “Inmigrado”, the new law reads:
      Transitorios, Sexto: VI. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de inmigrado, se equipararán al Residente permanente. ”

      This translates to:
      ” VI. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “inmigrado”, are deemed equivalent to Permanent Resident status. ”

      Continuing on the issue of “Permanente Residente” / and some “No Inmigrantes” (some of the old FM3s), the new law reads:
      Transitorios, Sexto: IV. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de No inmigrante, dentro las características de asilado político y refugiado, se equipararán al Residente permanente;

      This translates to:
      “IV. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “No inmigrante” (old FM3), who meet the characteristics of political asylum and refugees, are deemed equivalent to Permanent Resident status.”

      Going to the issue of “Temporal Residente” / some “Inmigrantes” (some old FM2s including RENTISTA (?) ), the new law reads:
      Transitorios, Sexto: V. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de Inmigrante, dentro las características de rentista, inversionista, profesional, cargo de confianza, científico, técnico, familiar, artista y deportista o asimilados, se equipararán al Residente temporal,

      This translates to:
      “V. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “Inmigrante” (old FM2), who meet the characteristics “Rentista” ( financier), investor, professional position of trust,(unpaid) scientific, technical, family, artist, sports or similar, be equated to Temporary Resident status.

      These refined sub-categories and definitions make some sense, and offer some continuity with past categories, and these citations and translations seem to contradict some of the other site’s perspectives and opinions. When in doubt, we prefer to follow the text of the law, rather than preliminary opinions.

      THANKS so much for prodding us to go back to the Diario Oficial to see what’s there, particularly since they took down access yesterday.

      – This reply was edited on 5/30/2011 to more clearly identify where these specific definitions are located in the new law.

  15. Pingback: New Immigration Law May 24, 2011 - Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya Forum by In The Roo

  16. Ric Hoffman says:

    This is what the Transitory Clause says:

    SIXTH. For the purposes of the Migration Act, it should take into account the following:
    I. The foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of non immigrant within the characteristics of tourist, transmigrante, visitor in all its forms except foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of non immigrant within the feature of Local visitors, awarded to nationals of neighbouring countries for their visit to the border of the Mexican United States populationsMinister of worship, distinguished visitor, temporary visitor and correspondent, is deemed the visitor without permission to carry out remunerated activities;
    II. The foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of non immigrant within the feature of Local visitors, awarded to nationals of neighbouring countries for their visit to the border of the Mexican United States people, deemed the regional visitor;
    III. The foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of non immigrant, inside the typical student, was deemed temporary resident students;
    IV. the foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of non immigrant, inside the characteristics of isolated political and refugee, deemed the permanent resident;
    V. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of immigrant within the characteristics of rentier, investor, professional, responsible for trust, scientist, technician, familiar, artist and sportsman or similar, is deemed the temporary resident, and
    VI. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of immigrated, is deemed to permanent resident.

  17. jim wehrle says:

    Thanks, Steve for the great and thorough response. Let´s hope INM officials respond to questions as well and with such “apego a la ley”. LOL We all know how things get interpreted by each individual agent. All in all, the new law does look to be an improvement and at the very least an evolution of the past codes.

  18. Pingback: Immigration changes beginning April 30, 2010 - Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya Forum by In The Roo

  19. Pingback: Yucatan Living - Yucatan News: The Heat Goes On

  20. Sam Martin says:

    The information provided on immigration law was very useful.It is always good to know that their are blogs so dedicated to providing information that is seriously concerned with the reader’s needs.Thanks for sharing your insights with us through your blog.

  21. Pingback: Requirements for FM3 (income, to live, cost) - City-Data Forum

  22. Pingback: FM3 Renewal Process Questions - Page 4 - Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya Forum by In The Roo

  23. Anthony says:

    Hi all, wanted to reply to MexicoMysticBob, ref getting non criminal clean bill of health, to get citizenship, Would like to know what Bob means by local expiry 15 days and federal 30 days? Would appreciate Bob did you go to “local” first (ie your Admin Capital for the state in which you live) and where – ie which police or Gob Dept? What paperworks required there and Mex City? Would also like to know from anyone: what paperwork required from (current) FM2, ORDER of who to see first! Is the (now) oral Spanish test B4 or after above non crim check? I don’t mind, I just want to get all in order so my head can stop spinning? Anybody done this application RECENTLY? All info – did you use abogado or notario or whoever, inc their cost, would be greatly appreciated. Muchisimos gracias!

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