Updated Mexican Immigration Rules

Our full article on the New Immigration Rules for Mexico is at:
New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
* * * *

If you want summaries of the previous changes (taking effect on Nov. 9, 2012), describing the details that affect tourists and expats in Mexico, please see our previous older Article on the May 2012 New Immigration Law at: New Immigration Law Published for Mexico

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

Read on, MacDuff.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Updated Mexican Immigration Rules

  1. Dave and Cheryl says:

    Dear SY

    My name is Cheryl and I publish http://www.thebajaponyexpress.com over here on the East Cape of Baja Sur. May I reprint your information on Immigration, and of course, I will give you credit.

    Thanks, Cheryl

  2. Pingback: Mexico Immigration Forms and Procedures Published | San Felipe News

  3. Tom Lepisto says:

    Does it make any difference if you have a home that is paid for?

  4. Bonny says:

    I have lived in Merida for four years and according to your article, my income is $200 short of the new requirements. Does the Mexican government know how many people who have resided her for years longer than I do now not qualify and have to leave and have absoluely no idea where they will go. I thought the new laws were to attract more residents rather than run them off.

    • yucalandia says:

      Overall, the 2011 INM law and assc. regulations do make things easier and cheaper to become a Permanent Resident, and it offers significant new protections to the large number of Central Americans who routinely suffer abuse while in Mexico.

      Shifting to the issue of the $$ requirements, are you applying for a Residente Temporal card or a Residente Permanente card?

      Depending on your application type, there are multiple first-hand reports from Merida expats describing that because they already had either FM2s or FM3, that they were not given any income or bank balance requirements. One individual who asked about whether their monthly income was enough, (income and $$ that were below the official guidelines) was gently told: Yes, your bank balance is enough to last for a year here..,

      So, if actions speak louder than words, then, multiple INM offices across Mexico are welcoming the continued residence of valued expats. Reports from San Miguel and other areas with large gringo communities document that expats with FM2s and FM3s are not even being asked to provide bank statements, and those who do provide them, are being told that their past income levels have been fine to qualify for Residente Temporal residency cards.

      New applicants dealing with Consulates may need to meet the new income requirements, but, for now, we have not seen a single report of any current expat residents in Mexico having their new Residency applications rejected due to low income. Fortunately, the actions of the Mex. Gob. have been the opposite of the panic expressed by a few highly-emotional posters predicting doom on expat forums.
      Stay happy,

      • Debra says:

        Do the bank statements have to be translated into Spanish or can they be in English?

      • yucalandia says:

        It depends on your local INM office’s policy. For the past 7 years, most offices have accepted official bank or investment firm statements in English, but they have the right to insist on formal, certified translations. One middle ground solution that we have found very useful is to identify/highlight key items on your untranslated-English bank statement. Circle
        ~ Beginning and Ending Dates on each Statement (Fecha or Periodo de Actividades)
        ~ Beginning and Ending Balances (Saldos)
        ~ Each Individual Deposit (Deposito/Abono) and circle the Column Header Title for Deposits.
        ~ Account Owner (Titular de Cuenta or “Cliente”)
        ~ Account Number (Numero de Cuenta)

        I mention the Spanish terms, because it only takes one INM agent’s hesitation or uncertainty to force you to get a certified translation, so….

        ~ If you neatly circle each key item, and then clearly hand-write the official Spanish term for each key item next to its corresponding banking term in English, then they quickly say: Aha! I understand. and accept your untranslated documents.

        At many offices, there is no single definitive policy on this, so one INM agent may quickly accept your untranslated statements one year, while their office-mate rejects them the next. We have had 100% success with our middle-ground approach of highlighting and translating key terms, and our friends and readers have also had 100% success on this issue across Mexico using the middle-ground approach.
        Best of Luck,

      • John Garvin says:

        Steve agree in that if you have what we call a FM-2/3 and going for a simple “renewal” for a Temporary Resident permit SMA, Chapala, PV etc are not asking for proof of income.

      • Bonny says:

        Thank you so much. I did not realize I actually had a reply to my question. Last night I was out with friends and we were talking about my question I wrote to you and they were also quite worried about the new regulations as to qualifying. They gave me the web page for somone who is considered the guru of the new immigration laws and to ask my question. I had to laugh when I pulled up the page and found I had already asked on this web page and actually had a reply. Thank you again and will relax and pass on your comment to those who are highly emotional predicting doom as you put it. I was actually looking at HUD housing in the US as plan B which is not at all what I want to do. I move on Jan. 1st and have to sign a year lease and was panicking as I was not sure if I was going to be able to stay as my renewal is mid March. It appears there should be no problem and yes, am very happy. Bonny

      • ProGhosts says:

        That actually happened to me. I was under the status of “Rentista”, I reapplied for the paperwork, they took more than 6 months to get back at me and I had “less than the required amount” on my bank statements, this is because they raised the amount by $10,000 pesos. I was missing about $2,000 to meet the requirement at the time.

        Nonetheless, my papers were rejected, they took the $3,300 I had already deposited and there wasn’t a way for me to challenge it since my status was “irregular”. They informed me that I had to reapply for the “RENTISTA” status in an Mexican Consulate in the US since their home offices don’t deal with these kinds of tramites in Mexico anymore.

        Right now I’m planning on making a trip up to the states, reapply there however finding the right kind of information is very difficult.

        I need to know:

        1. What do I need? I’m assuming the same requirements as before. Bank statements, where I live etc.
        2. How long does the process take now that it has to be conducted from outside of Mexico?
        3. Would I have to remain in the states while the paperwork is being processed?

        I’m not American however I do have a b2 business visa, meaning I can stay there for quite some time, however my worry is that they take another 6 months to process the paperwork which would be very inconvenient.

        My other option would be to get a tourist visa and renew every 6 months however it makes life in Mexico difficult in terms of accessing my mexican bank accounts and so forth.

        Massive headache to be honest.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi P-Ghosts,
        Unfortunately, you have chosen one our oldest, and most out-of-date posts (saved only for historical/archival purposes), to respond to.

        If you go to our main article on visas, residency, and visiting Mexico, all the details you’ve asked about are there at ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

    • First Last says:

      I am replying to a blog you wrote 13 Nov 12. If you still have issues and questions regarding your immigration status and obtaining the appropriate visas I STRONGLY suggest contracting Yucatan Expatriate Services, located in Merida. http://www.yucatanexpatriateservices.com…They also have a very comprehensive booklet explaining the various Visa processes, including a study guide of questions to obtain MX citizenship…..”Mexico Immigration Guide 2014″. This is available for pdf download.

      This booklet was sufficient for me to obtain, twice, my Residente Temporal Visa through the Campeche, Campeche INM office.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi First Last,
        Thanks for the information. Please read our main article on Immigration and Visiting Mexico for the latest correct information and instructions at: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

        Have you read much of YES’s past immigration law advice or legal advice on employment law advice?
        We tend to avoid their professional opinions, because they have years of past experience of publishing mistakes and advice that were not in compliance with Mexican law, so exercise caution when following their advice. Note that even when they have given correct advice, they kept out-of-date incorrect advice on their website for months after the new laws and new rules came into place. Myself and other Mexico-blog authors repeatedly notified YES in writing of errors, but they chose to ignore the current legal rules of the time (especially in the case of employee law on household workers).

        Hope that YES does a fine job for their clients !

  5. Gary says:

    I called the 1-800 number in DF this morning (November 14th) and asked what renewal I would get next year with my No-Inmigrante visa with 1 prorroga. The gentleman with INM told me that upon renewal next year I would be issued a Residente Temporal with an option of two, three or four years. He suggested that I only renew for two years, at the end of which I could request changing to Permanente. I asked him, to make certain, if I understood: “You mean that the two years I currently have on my No-Inmigrante-soon-to-be-called-Temporal will count toward the four year requirement to become Permanent,” and his response was: “Yes that is correct.”

    • yucalandia says:


      Is anyone out there making current applications with regional INM offices hearing the same advice from their local INM office?

      • Gary says:

        I called the Hotline in DF four separate times today to see if I would get a different answer when speaking to another agent than the first one this morning, and, the answer from the four was the same;

        1) When renewing, you can renew from one to four years, depending on how long you want to stay. If you have two years on your current visa and only want to renew for two years, that’s fine. At the end of the four years total (does not matter whether the first year or two or three were FM2 or FM3), you may then request a change to Residente Permanente based on four years residence; however, if you are here as a rentista no-lucrative you will be asked to provide six bank statements to prove that you have the monthly minimum required for Permanente ($2500 US ??)
        2) You do not have to change to Permanente, just as you are not required to do now. At the expiration of you Temp Visa, you may renew for 1-4 years at your discretion and stay in the country indefinitely. However each four years (if you renew for four years) you will have to once again show bank statements for six months showing the minimum monthly is being met. You do not have to leave the country and reapply in the US or Canada. You renew as you currently do forever……….

      • yucalandia says:

        Wow, your repeated questions got some pretty tight answers, detailing the precise conditions of possible paths to change from a current FM2 or FM3 permit to a Residente Permanente permit.

        Are any readers out visiting the regional offices finding confirmation of the requirements/rules they described to Gary?

        One local Merida report, from an expat residency applicant, says that the local INM offices are NO LONGER doing final approvals or laminating Tarjetas de Residencia any more. Each application is now sent to a central office in DF, where they cross-check the applicant’s information, issue a final approval, and print and laminate the Tarjeta de Residencia (Residency Card).

        These extra steps involving some central INM office in DF are reported to extend the whole application and approval process out to a total of 30 days (or more?).

        Anybody else reading similar first-person reports?

      • Gary says:

        Let’s hope that is not the case. This whole business was meant to streamline the process and make it easier for immigrants not harder.

      • Debbie says:

        Our FM3 is at the 5 year expiration date. I went in today in Chapala to apply for a Residente Temporal. I was told that I must wait until the FM3 actually expired, leave the country and apply in the USA. If I didn’t want to go that route then I could apply now before the FM3 expired for a Residente Permanente. I would need to show proof with 12 months of statements of income of over $100,000.00! Has anyone else been told they must leave the country if their FM3 is expiring?


    • John Garvin says:

      This is what we are now being told in San Miguel. Also, when one applies here they are given a date exactly 2 weeks later to return.

      • yucalandia says:

        Good Update !

        Are other readers finding the same policy at their local INM offices?

      • Keith says:

        My attorney in PV is getting the same info here also. She is advising me to let it expire and she will go the next day and apply for Resident Temporal and pay the fine. If I want a Resident Permanente no problem except I am not allowed to drive a US plated car.

  6. Chad says:

    Anybody out there who has attempted to start the process from scratch (from outside Mexico, no FM-2 or 3)? We are moving in January and the new requirement of starting at a consulate outside of Mexico seems like madness at this point. I contacted my closest Mexican consulate office and they acted as if I had lost my mind. They had no clue what I was referring to.

    • Rob. says:

      I started the process today. I went to the local INM office in Tijuana and they were not cooperative. They seem confused. They asked me to get a visa from the Consulate in San Diego. I will go there tomorrow and report the entire process here. I am a US Citizen already living in Tijuana, Mexico. I am curious how it all pans out.

      • Chad says:

        Rob, how was the trip to the consulate in San Diego? Were they able to issue you a residency permit? Was it a smooth process?

    • John Garvin says:

      I read a report where a person applied at the Miami Mexican consulate. Their web site shows the application form. And, the person reported they only asked to prove $1400 of monthly income for temporary resident permit. i also read a report like yours Chad when people contacted the consulate in Toronto and basically they had no clue of the changes.

      • Chad says:

        It appears as if it may take a while for all Mexican consulate offices to ‘catch up’. I am going to call the next nearest consulate tomorrow to see if it would be worth the trip there.

    • Laurie Price says:


      Take a look at Steve’s rely to me — I’m in the same situation — moving to Mexico from outside the US — well, I don’t know where you’re writing from, but I assumed you were outside Mexico and the US. If you’re in the US, go to your local Mexican Consulate and follow the rest of Steve’s instructions, and if you’re not, it appears that you can initiate the process later, after going to Mexico and after making a trip to the US, from* the US.

      All best and good luck!

  7. Kent says:

    I’m trying to get resolve on my situation as a “visitante”, planning on flying to Puerto Vallarata from the US on Nov 20 with plans to stay for 4 months. I know there’s a distinction after a 30 dayt visit. Do I need a form from the Mexican Consulate before I leave? Proof of income?

    • yucalandia says:

      To get a Visitante permit, you simply enter Mexico the same way as always. Fly in with a valid US passport. Flight attendants will pass out INM forms and Aduana Forms. Fill out the Immigration form (Formato Basico) and the Customs (Aduana) declaration honestly. Get off the flight and walk to immigration, give your passport, completed Formato Basico, and Customs declaration to the Immigration officer at his/her station. They will stamp your Formato Basico and tear your it down the perforated center, which then becomes your 180 day Visitane permit – to turn in to Immigration at the airport when you leave Mexico.
      Happy Trails,

  8. Laurie Price says:

    Dear Yucalandia and others,

    Thanks so much for this discussion and all of the information here — much clearer than on all the other sites I’ve looked at, so far.
    My situation is different, and I’m wondering if anyone here has any input/light to shed on it:
    I’m planning to move *back* to Mexico in January 2013 (with my cat, who has her passport already). I lived there during the 19902 and was legally in tramite when I left. (I worked in DF, the newspaper where I worked started the tramite, but never finished it.) I’m a US citizen and currently a permanent resident of Spain. But I will undoubtedly enter Mexico with a tourist visa. Then in February, I have to go to NY, and I was planning on starting the FM3 process while there.
    What I don’t know is if there’s a disadvantage/advantage to having permanent residency in Spain in this situation — in other words, if I should enter Mexico using my ID card or saying that I’,m a permanent resident (here) or simply use my American passport — & if I should say nothing about any of it unless asked .. and then, how much information might be too much?

    Any suggestions or advice that anyone has to offer would be VERY welcome, since I’m unable to find any information that pertains to my situation, so far — and I definitely don’t want any problems!

    Thanks a million in advance,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Laurie,
      The Mexican INM agents ask for a passport, not residency permits, which means you would show them your US passport.

      Even though you are living in Spain, the new INM rules say that you apply for a Mexican Residency Card (Tarjeta de Residencia) at a Mexican Consulate in your home country, the USA. This is yet more reason to plan on entering Mexico on your US passport.

      Your instincts about not telling extended stories to INM when you apply and later when you enter are very good. Just keep your stories simple. Request a visa to enter Mexico as a Residency Applicant, from a Mexican Consulate in the USA. Bring appropriate proof to the Consulate to support your request for the Residente Temporal Tarjeta de Residencia – bank statements, as described in our latest article on coming to Mexico:
      New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico – Nov. 11, 2012

      Your plans are good, and everything should go fine (assuming you can meet the requirements described for Residente Temporal).
      Happy Trails,

      • Laurie Price says:

        Hi Steve,

        Thanks for your quick answer. I’m wondering why you suggested that I should ask for the Residente Temporal visa?
        I’m flying directly from Spain to Mexico first, then will go to NY from Mexico a month later — so I won’t be able to request that or any other visa in person, as per their website — until I’m in NY, and I’m not being invited by any organization, work or otherwise —

        I guess what I’m confounded a bit by is entering Mexico, receiving a tourist visa via showing my US passport, and then attempting to enter Mexico with my cat!
        I simply cannot afford to fly to NY, back to Spain and then to Mexico … I wonder if you or anyone else out there knows anything about what I might expect upon entering the country with my cat … and no formal declaration of my intent to live there as a permanent resident.

        Thanks again!

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Laurie,
        You can enter Mexico with your cat with any type of valid INM permit, as long as you have the proper veterinary certificate for the cat. The cat is not an issue, so I did not factor it in. I mentioned a Residente Temporal, because I thought you wanted to stay in Mexico more than 6 months.

        If you enter Mexico coming from Spain, as a US citizen you can only use a visitor’s permit, unless you already have a current and valid INM residency permit, (having an existing valid FM2 or FM3, or Residente Temporal or Residente Permanent card).

        As described in all of our articles on INM’s new law, visitors to Mexico cannot change their INM permit status while in Mexico. All applicants entering Mexico for residency purposes MUST first go to a Mexican Consulate in their home country and start the residency application process there.
        Happy Trails,

      • Laurie Price says:

        Thanks again Steve,

        So just to reiterate what you said, for my own total clarity (in the midst of packing, working and many etceteras):
        I can enter Mexico, no problem, with my US passport and a tourist visa that I’ll have filled out on the plane. In theory, no one will hassle me or my cat, and we can go about the business of settling ourselves in. Then about a month later, when I go to NY, I’ll start the FM3 process, and again, in theory, no one will hassle me.
        Sorry if I come across as dull or something — but with everything going on — and all of the various requirements … I’m getting nervous that something unexpected could happen. My cat has her passport and once she receives her 2nd rabies shot, she’ll get her health certificate, so that’s not a problem.
        I remember well how easy it was to live under the radar 20 years ago, but I know that everything’s changed a lot since then, or at least somewhat, and that with the new gov’t, more changes may be afoot.

        Again, thanks so much — and to the other folks writing about moving to Mexico from a non-US country — good luck to you too — the variations in “information” are infuriating.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Laurie,
        The immigration parts are all clear, and your plans are good.

        Talk with your airline to see if they have any other rules regarding transporting pets, with special focus on whether the airport where you arrive in Mexico has any special requirements.
        Otherwise, all good,

  9. Chad says:

    A million thanks for keeping up with this blog and all of us confused expats.

    I have been mulling over all of this info for a while and I think my brain is fried. Let me understand to make sure I have this down:

    1) We are applying from scratch and will need the residency card issued by a Mexican consulate in the U.S.

    2) The Mexican consulate in the U.S. will not ask what sort of residency status we are requesting. The card is a generic first step to discuss the situation with INM in Mexico.

    3) Since we are “newbies” we must have ‘residente temporal’ for four years before we can even apply for ‘residente permanante’ EVEN THOUGH we could possibly qualify for that status. (I find it hard to believe and I believe you posted the same somewhere, that first timers without previous FM2/FM3 paperwork could easily just waltz into Mexico and adquire ‘residente permanente’).

    My other concern is I see the word “pension” mentioned frequently in posts. I am not retired as I plan on to receive an income from the U.S. as I am fortunate enough to be able to do my work electronically from afar. Do officials get concerned if the money is going to be there if it is not something as reliable as a pension?

    Thanks in advance for any clarification to what I am processing with all this fun stuff!

    • yucalandia says:

      You will likely need to pick a category of Residency Card/Permit to apply for, especially considering the Mexican Consulate in Orlando USA .

      As long as you can show 6 months of bank statements with regular deposits (income) that exceed INM’s current monthly income for Residente Temporal ($1,900 USD a month at 13:1 exchange rate), plus $500 USD per additional dependent, then it is all good.

      There has been no news/updates on qualifying for Residente Permanente with no prior time living in Mexico. I too simply cannot believe that INM will execute that clause in the law, without adding a prior residency requirement.

      Instructions for People Applying for Mexican Residency at their local Mexican Consulate
      The Mexican Consulate in Orlando currently offers the following instructions to apply for a visa to come to Mexico and get a Residency Card:

      Starting November 9 2012, the following visas can be requested at the Mexican consulate:
      I. Visitor with no authorization for remunerate payment.
      II. Visitor for adoption process.
      III. Temporary Resident
      IV. Student Temporary Resident.
      V. Permanent Resident.


      1. Appear before a Consular officer and deliver the following documents:

      a) Visa application

      b) Valid Passport or valid travel document.

      c) Provide the officer with the required information during the consular interview.

      d) Comply with original or certified documents required according to the type of visa requested.

      2. One passport size picture in color, showing face without glasses.
      3. Biometrics (digital picture and finger prints), will be taken the day of the interview.

      Note: The consular officer will analyze the information and documents provided by the applicant and if they proceed, along with the fee payment, the visa will be issued within the next ten days counting from the day of the interview.

      The following visas can be processed at the Mexican consulate only with a previous application and approval at the National Immigration Institute, INM, in Mexico.
      I. Visitor with no authorization for remunerate payment, by humanitarian cause.
      II. Visitor with authorization for remunerate payment with an employment offer.
      III. Temporary Resident with employment offer or family reunification.
      IV. Permanent Resident with employment offer (points system), family reunification or refugee status.

      If you have any questions, please contact the Visas Department at:

      visas@conorlando.net or at 407- 422-0515 ext. 303

  10. Maggie says:

    Hi again Steve / Chad,
    Steve, you kindly responded to a question of mine a few days ago re our renewal of FM2’s which we have held for one year.
    I now have a question which relates to the information you posted above in your response to Chad. It lists the visas which can be processed at the Mexican consulate. I understand this is the Orlando consulate but we are assuming here that this would be the same in all Mexican consulates.
    To re-cap on our situation…my husband & I are both FM2 holders due to expire (next week). I tomorrow go to renew / apply for my Temporal Residente. My husband however has unexpectedly had to return to our home country due to his parents ill-health. He WILL NOT now be in Mexico at the expiry date of his FM2 & we are unsure of his return date.
    I have a few questions please:
    1) Can he apply for AND collect his new visa in our home consulate? (on basis he has an existing valid FM2) or will he have to return to Mexico to complete the process? We don’t want him to be without a visa at any point if at all possible.
    2) Will his application have to be before the expiry of his existing FM2? i.e if he is not in a position to travel to the consulate before expiry date, will this jeoprodise his application?
    3) In relation to the application process itself…be it here in Mexico or at our home Consulate, am I correct in saying that the given income levels can be from an income outside of Mexico? (this was the case when we applied for & successfully secured our FM2 last year)

    Thanks again for your help.

    • yucalandia says:

      I will do my best to answer your questions, but because INM is just now starting a whole new set of rules, and they have not worked out all the details, I don’t know if the answers exist yet. Is it possible that there are options you have not considered?

      Is there some reason that your husband cannot start the application now, at the same INM office that you are using?
      He can start the process before his current FM2 permit expires. He can effectively identify someone as his representative with the Mexican version of a Power of Attorney. He could get fotos now. His representative with the POA can do everything else for him, except for the fingerprints.

      INM offices can and do print letters authorizing travel for people who must travel during the application process. Simply go in, start the process, explain how his parents are sick, and they should provide solutions to solve the problem.

      If you choose this route: When your husband gets the letter, he simply uses the INM exit and re-entry letter to give to INM as he leaves Mexico, and also when he returns. I had to do this, and it worked fine. When he returns to Mexico, he could finish by getting fingerprinted and getting his laminated ID.

      If this is somehow not possible, I suggest that you call the INM Hotline number:

      Immigration Hotline
      24 hours / day and 7 days a week.
      They answer quickly and a few speak English.

      Under the old rules, you could let his FM2 expire, and then reapply later, paying a fine, but with the new system, I think he is best off starting the process now, here in Mexico. It may be possible to try to start the process at a Mexican Consulate back home, but there are so many reports of Mexican Consulates in the USA having no clue how to register Tarjeta de Residencia applicants needing visas, that trying it back in the States may not work if his Consulate is not up to speed. If you want to apply for Permanent Residency in the near future, he might not want to lose the credit for his current FM2 years by allowing it to expire. Many INM offices are crediting past FM2 years towards qualifying for the 4 years of Residente Temporal required before applying for Residente Permanente.

      Still, if he chooses to let his FM2 to expire, and he goes back to the States, he could simply apply at his Consulate as a visitor who wants a visa to enter Mexico and get a Residente Temporal when he returns to Mexico.

      The country of your income is not important, just bank statements, with the appropriate terms highlighted, are generally sufficient.

      Hope this helps.

  11. Dibyavalan Unni says:

    I am an Indian and enterened Mexico in July on US Visa for business purpose…Later i applied for a change of BV to WP which my Employer applied for. My FMM card expires in 10 days and now i come to know that my extension is also not applied….it means as of now no application is made to the INM office for my BV to WP conversion. Is there any clause for these kind of cases in the new law? i am clueless…

    • yucalandia says:

      If you had applied to change your INM permit status before Nov. 9, 2012, then you could have made the changes here. Since the new rules are in effect, I can see 3 options.

      1. Go to the border, and re-enter with a new Visitante permit that allows you to work.
      2. If you want residency, because it is after Nov. 9, then you have to return to India, and apply at a Mexican consulate in India for residency in Mexico.
      3. If you still have a valid visa to another country like the USA, then return to the USA and apply at a Mexican consulate there.

      If you want residency, realize that these instructions follow the letter of the law that fit “99%” of the cases. A good immigration attorney may know of some work-around for your situation. Or plan a nice trip to the border or to the USA (to use your US visa?).

  12. Brenda says:

    We were just at the Mexican Consulate in Vancouver BC yesterday we must have proof that my husbands income in $2020 Canadian and I must prove $500 Cdn.per month. They will not allow us to combine our incomes. In Canada we are allowed to split our income so when you look at our statements my husband misses the $2020 by 200 and I am over by $400 can you tell me why they don’t let you combine your income. We also have investments that could bring us a monthly income if we wanted to touch them ….but they would not show up on 6 months of banks statements they want…..Any suggestions

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Brenda,
      Since each office has the right to make individual variations on INM policies, I don’t know why your Vancouver office is being difficult.

      If you simply want Residente Temporal permits, then can you take the average monthly balance route? If you have $95,000 USD in average monthly balances in an investment/retirement account for the past year, then bring in 12 months of those statements?

      Do you own property in Mexico? a home? Most INM offices are now cutting the income requirements in half for homeowners who already have FM2s or FM3s.

  13. Brenda says:

    Thanks for your help Steve I will take those statements with me and see if it makes a difference.

  14. Warren says:

    I reached Inmigrado Status after going through 5 years of FM3 and 5 years of FM2, a couple of years ago. I received my FM2 book back with the Inmigrado page in the back of the book filled in. All I was told to do is check in with the San Felipe IMM Office every year. Last year when I checked in, I had to pay another $250 total for my wife and I to received the plastic Inmigrado cards. I was told again I was done paying and didn’t have to sign in every year.

    Now the law has changed again and I can’t find any information whether I have to once again get another card, and of course pay again, or leave well enough alone.

    • AlanJH says:

      I too am trying to find out if we do get our Permanent Residence card (we have 10yrs on FM3) what is required in subsequent years – any need to go to INM? If so, is it likely the same 3,815MN each year?!!

      • yucalandia says:

        You only go through the INM application process once for Residente Permanente. Your Permanent Residency card is valid for the rest of your life…
        No renewals needed. No future costs.

  15. Merlenna Higby says:

    My husband and I are in Mexico now on a tourist visa good until March. With the new law, we understand we need to leave Mexico to apply for a Temporary Visa. Do you know the exact monthly income we need to have to qualify? Do we need to have 6 months or 12 months of bank statements when applying?
    Also we have a vehicle with US plates that we drove over to Mexico. What do we need to do with it to get it registered? Does it automatically get renewed connected with our VISA? Or do we need to drive it to the border and get another temporary vechicle permit? Or do we have the option of nationalizing our car with Mexican license plates?
    We need some answers right away so we can go about either purchasing airline tickets, or plan to drive out of Mexico. Please help!


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Merlenna,
      Please read our main article on Immigrating to and Visiting Mexico at New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico – Nov. 11, 2012

      Here’s a short version of the income or savings or Mexican property ownership requirements for applying for residency in Mexico:
      Minimum Required Temporary Resident Monthly Deposits are about $1,918 USD ($24,932 pesos)
      Minimum Required Permanent Resident Monthly Deposits are about $2,397 USD ($31,165 pesos)

      Minimum Required Temporary Resident Average Annual Balance is about $95,892 USD ($1,246,600 pesos)
      Minimum Required Permanent Resident Average Annual Balance is about $119,865 USD ($1,558,250 pesos).

      You can also meet the requirement for Residente Temporal by owning about $191,784 USD ($2,493,200 pesos) worth of Mexican real estate.

      The peso amounts are the precise values, so, you have to convert them using whatever the current Exchange Rate is at that time… which is $12.96 pesos per USD right now.

      Re the vehicle and permit.
      Read our article on Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico at https://yucalandia.wordpress.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      It describes how when you leave Mexico on a Visitors visa, you must take the vehicle out of the country, and turn in your vehicle permit and sticker. You will have to apply for Residency at a Mexican Consulate outside of Mexico, then when you drive back to Mexico, you apply for a new Aduana temporary import permit for the vehicle, that is linked to your new INM residency permit.

      You cannot nationalize the car, unless you have an INM residency permit.

      Please, read both the Immigration article and the Car import article, to save yourself other hassles and headaches.

      All the best !
      Happy Trails.

  16. Roger Isla says:

    We submitted our request for Residente Permanente on Nov 9 and are awaiting our computer notice.

    Another friend hopes to get a Residente Permanente, and was wondering if his wife who has never had a resident visa can piggy back on his without going out of the country on her tourist visa. Or will she have to make the request at the USA Mexican Consulate?

    Thanks for your thoughts on this situation.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Roger,
      Since we do not know your friend’s circumstances nor his wife’s circumstances, we cannot say if either he or she can qualify. Please read our main article on Immigration and Visiting Mexico to read the requirements for Residente Permanente. See https://yucalandia.wordpress.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/ for the details to answer your question.

      e.g. If they have more than $4800 in pension income a month, then both likely qualify. If they have more than $250,000 in average annual retirement/investment account balances, then they both likely qualify. Some INM offices are simply adding small increases for the dependents requirements, other INM offices are requiring a straight 2X doubling of the individual requirements for a husband and wife.

      Again, there is no way to answer the question with so little information,

      • Roger Isla says:

        He has four years as a No Inmigrante and is hoping to be grandfathered in as a Residente Permanente in January 2013. The question is whether they will allow his wife who has just arrived on a tourist visa November 26, 2012 to claim family bond with an apostilled marriage certificate and also get a Residente Permanente. Or be issued a Residente Temporal until she had four years? Would either of these possibilities require financial statements? Or would she have to leave the country to start the process?
        Thanks for your thoughts on this special circumstance.

      • yucalandia says:

        First, regardless of apostilled marriage certificates, INM can require that his local Registro Civil office MUST approve the marriage first , or the process stops dead.

        Our local Registro Civil rarely approves foreign marriage documents, and rejects pretty much all applicants. In our little circle of friends and acquaintances here in Merida, the score is Registro Civil 9 : Foreigners 0

        Second, since she entered on a Visitante visa, the INM law clearly says that she must leave Mexico, go to a Mexican Consulate in a country where she has valid residency, and apply for Mexican Residency in a Mexican Consulate and get a Visa approving this activity, before
        coming to Mexico.

        Continuing, once she leaves Mexico, and applies from her Consulate, and then returns to Mexico with the correct Visa, Then: Their local INM office does have the discretionary power to reduce the individual requirements for dependents and spouses, but based on what you tell us, the couple currently likely may not even qualify to apply for his wife as a dependent, unless their local INM office has accepted their claim of marriage with Registro Civil approval. Our INM office gave us a bad time about this for 3 years, as our Registro Civil and then Juridical reviews took 3 years to decide that they thought our current, apostilled, original, bonded and embossed, County wedding certificate, WITH the Bar Code sticker, was … fake… It was on heavy bond legal paper, but had no deer, no pheasants, and no other illuminations in the header or on the margins = > It must be fake. We will be getting married here in Mexico nexyt – with all the blessings of the Mexican Gob., and there is no bigamy or duplicate marriages, because our US marriage from Colorado 9 years ago was clearly a fake.

        e.g. Your friends may find it a multi-year process to just get their “Marriage” rejected by the Mex. Gob. … which means she may be forced to consider qualifying for Residency on her own. After 7 years of annual INM approvals as a Familiar, our local INM office has accepted that I am a Concubino


        It all comes down to how lenient or sticky the specific INM agent handling her application chooses to act. Again, we do not have enough information to give a definitive answer.

  17. lauriepriceediting says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m back with more questions (boy oh boy, how did I miss this: As described in all of our articles on INM’s new law, visitors to Mexico cannot change their INM permit status while in Mexico. **All applicants entering Mexico for residency purposes MUST *first* go to a Mexican Consulate in their home country and start the residency application process there.**) Well, somehow I did. Or I misunderstood it, or maybe it’s not a big deal …

    I’m getting quotes from int’l moving/removal companies, am almost ready to book with one company and then today they wrote saying this:
    Mexico – Consignee must provide passport (with the immigration stamp) / visa, airline ticket or boarding pass (not older than 6 months). * Menaje de casao(HOUSEHOLD materials) – the consignee must provide FM3 form as well as a list of the incoming items in a letter (stamped by the consulate/embassy), airline ticket or boarding pass and passport with the entrance stamp in Mexico.

    To recap my proposed schedule: leave Spain for Mexico in the 1st week of January 2013, collect my boxes & deal with the aduana and then close to mid February, fly to NYC where I’ll go and apply for a FM2 or 3. Again, I’m traveling with my cat, so going other then where I intend to live isn’t an option.
    Does this still sound OK or … is my sudden moment of panic … an apt response?

    Thanks so much in advance — this site is great.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Laura,
      Your moving company is about a month behind the rules. THERE ARE NO MORE FM2s NOR FM3s.

      Please read our article on Immigrating to Mexico or Visiting Mexico at: https://yucalandia.wordpress.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/ to learn the current rules.

      In addition to NO FM2 or FM3, since you are applying for Residency, you must go to your local Mexican Consulate and get a visa to allow you to come here and apply for Residency. Without the visa, you can only enter as a Visitor, and there are stiff limits for importing household goods ($300 maximum w/o paying duties). and without the special Visa from your Mexican Consulate, you would then have to leave Mexico and go back to Spain or wherever you have legal residency, and then when back in Spain, you would have to apply for Residency at your Mexican Consulate.

      It is clear that your moving company does not know the current INM laws at all. You really need to read the section of our article where the Mexican Consulate in Copenhagen Denmark told some Danes, exactly what lists and what requirements were needed to Move to Mexico under the nearly month old rules. Feel free to pass along links to our articles to your moving company, so they can learn the current rules.

  18. lauriepriceediting says:

    Hi Steve,
    Again, thanks for your quick reply. I actually *have* read through the rules a few times and maybe it’s me, but I find them confusing, regarding my specific situation. It just doesn’t seem like there’s a clear answer that regards my situation.
    As for the moving company, I’ll inform them of what you said today. I’m not too surprised — I doubt that they do frequent moves to Mexico! (It’s a UK company.)
    Also, the INM website doesn’t seem to provide a box to tick for applying for residency … and that’s why I thought that when I go to NY, that’s the 1st thing I’d need to do.
    I *did* note that they talked about a value of $300.- or less — and all that I’m bringing are personal effects: I’m an artist & I work with found objects, so in reality, most of what’ll be in my boxes, aside from used (not new) clothing and some pots & pans, is just that: stuff I’ve collected and/or recycled from the street: iron nails, tons of tiny bits of this ‘n’ that — with no dollar value — that to anyone else, would appear to be … garbage.
    In addition, I’m bringing some things that belong to a friend who has lived in Mexico for years — long story short: she asked me to help her get her things from this side of the world to her side of the world — again, personal effects, nothing new. (She lived in Morocco, we hauled her things from Morocco up to where I live in Spain a few years ago.) She will meet me at the airport when I arrive and come with me to the aduana when the boxes come through customs.
    It’s a bit unconventional, I know, and for that reason, I’m stumped —
    Do you think this will present a problem? I just don’t have the resources to fly to the US, then back to Spain, then to Mexico.
    Any help you can provide me with will be MUCH appreciated — and if you want to contact me offlist, that’s fine.
    Again, thanks so much for all that you’re doing — for everyone!

    • yucalandia says:

      Since you have a valid visa to live in Spain, you can apply in Spain at your Mexican Consulate to get the Residency process started now, and they should issue you a special Visa to come to Mexico. The Consulate issues a special temporary Visa for the Visitante (you) to submit with your passport when you next enter Mexico. These special Visitantes then have 180 days to travel to Mexico to continue the process. After going to Mexico, Visitantes must then visit their local INM office within 30 days of entering Mexico to complete the process of getting their Residente – Tarjeta de Residencia permit. (as described in our main article on Immigrating-to and Visiting Mexico https://yucalandia.wordpress.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/).

      We understand that you wait to fill out the INM online form, until after the Consulate issues you your special Visitante visa, and then you use the online forms to apply for a Residency Card, choosing:
      1. Canjear or reponer documento migratorio
      2. Canje de FMM por Tarjeta de Visitante o de Residente

      Pots and pans, plus the tings you are bringing for the friend from Morocco are likely not personal items (clothes and personal toiletries). Since the MAJOR Mexican airports are NO LONGER using the Red-Light / Green-light system for international passengers, you will likely get pulled out of line for additional secondary screening – based on how strange your luggage contents will look on X-Ray. You may have to pay 15% duty on everything that is not clothes/personal toiletries/personal medications. The devil-in-these-details is that if you have NO PRINTED DOCUMENTATION of the values/prices, then the Aduana officer can guess-timate ANY value they feel like.

      Bring some printed documents for prices on all of your non-personal clothes/toiletries/medicines. If you must go onto E-bay to find pages of similar items with pictures and prices listed, we recommend doing that. If you have to print up creative invoices on your computer with actual prices of your friend’s items, then do that… It does not matter what is yours and what is hers. Don’t even try to explain that one to Aduana personnel.

      If it is in your bag, you owe any Import Duties. With appropriate receipts/invoices/computer print-outs. Carry enough cash to cover 15% of the total value (minus $300 USD personal exemption) of the dutiable items. You will be fine…

      With a little luck, they may just wave you through with most of the ordinary travelers who get no inspections and pay no duties.

      (By my experiences from carrying odd-ball hardware items, my bags get secondary inspections 100% of the time coming into Mexico – which is why I think your art supplies will trigger the secondary inspection for you).
      Happy Trails,

  19. Creagh Day says:

    My husband and I have FM2s due to expire in May. We had two years of FM3 prior. We are both retired and meet the income level required to become residente permanente. I was told, but have not confirmed, that we can switch to residente permanente as retirees (pensionados) this coming May even though we have not done our 4 years with FM3 and FM2. Can you confirm this and tell me or point me to the section which describes what we must do to make the switch? I went to the San Lucas FMM office but they couldn’t tell me at the time. We are now in the States and I want to make sure I have all the correct documents. I will be back in early February and want to know if I can make application then or do I have to wait until mid-April? Thanks Steve. I am the Secretary of our Home Owner’s Association and my next newsletter is dedicated to this issue. I am using your information and of course, crediting you for all your wisdom.

    • yucalandia says:

      In theory, yes you qualify for Residente Permanente, but there is no guarantee that every INM office will approve your application. As you get closer to the May expiration date of your FM2’s, check with your local INM office (San Lucas?) and find out what policy your local INM Delegado / Jefe has chosen on this issue. Local offices are granted wide latitude and discretion in deciding how to implement the official national rules.

      • Creagh Day says:

        Thank you Steve. I will let you know what happens in April when we apply. I sure hope it takes less than a month to get the cards back. That could be a problem for us as we need to leave MX in May and then come back in June.

        On another note, do you know how many years one must be Residente Permanente before applying for Citizenship? Do you know of a website to go to for information about citizenship? We both have our tajetas de ancianos so are hoping we won’t have to do the ‘scarey’ exam. Thanks so much for this website. It is really a wonderful resource.

      • yucalandia says:

        The SRE current standard using INM’s old types of permits described completing 5 years of an Inmigrante FM2 (NOT Inmigrado NOT Permanent Resident). SRE also requires that applicants file their naturalized citizenship applications with at least 6 months of INM permit remaining – so, having a Residente Permanente from INM meets that criteria. Our article on the New Law and New Rules for Immigrating-to or Visiting Mexico has a section titled: Immigration Requirements that Relate to Becoming a Naturalized Citizen: .

        This section can be found in our main Immigration article: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico – Nov. 11, 2012 . As listed in the article, current versions of SRE’s official rules and regs for becoming a naturalized citizen can be found at: http://www.sre.gob.mx and SRE’s Webpage on Citizenship Requirements (http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/carta-de-naturalizacion-por-residencia).

        It may be worth noting that the unwritten rules may be more important than SRE’s written rules:
        In addition to the items listed in our articles: e.g. 6 months of valid INM visa remaining, Spanish competency, no excessive stays outside of Mexico, detailed knowledge of Mexican History for under 60 year olds, special exemptions for foreign family members and foreign spouses of Mexicans, etc., note that each office may also have
        their own unwritten eccentricities.

        e.g. Time out of the country has always generally mattered to SRE, which is why they check passport pages for legible stamps. e.g. Some SRE offices have rejected some past applications, because some of applicant’s passport stamps were illegible. Continuing: If in their opinion you have been outside of Mexico too much, in the years before applying for citizenship, then you likely really are not serious about residing full time in Mexico, and they question your motivations for applying for citizenship(?). So, the previous requirement of less than 18 months over 5 years of an FM2 was an INM requirement, not SRE, but the SRE does reject citizenship applications if they think you have been outside Mexico too frequently or for too long.

        The hidden rules and local pecadillos are why some people find citizenship almost impossible to get at some SRE offices. e.g. At our office, there is a history of any applicant who comes with a helper/friend/lawyer/family member to start the initial application, and if that helper does even light interpretation, then the SRE agent quietly checks a box that says: Applicant not able to speak and understand commonly spoken Spanish…. and their application is eventually rejected – due to the applicant not managing the spoken Spanish parts of the first visit. I am not trying to scare you, but to get you to see a good local attorney who KNOWS how your SRE office works – and try not to rely on things “I heard from someone” and not rely on advice from the internet or from forums. *grin*

  20. Creagh Day says:

    Does anyone know the rules about Residente Permanente and driving a US Licensed car? We drive back and forth from Tucson to Baja California Sur, cross over the Sea of Cortez on the ferry. With our FM2s we have to get a permit to travel through Sinoloa and then to get on the ferry. I have been told that once we have Residente Permanente, we no longer have to get the permit. I read in this blog though that if you have your RP you cannot drive a US plated car. Is that correct?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Creagh,
      Our regular and reliable contributor John Garvin reports that his Mexican wife who is a professional facilitator, helping gringos get their IDs, permits, etc, has spoken with a manager at Aduana. The Aduana manager described that the current discussion within Aduana is saying that Permanente Residente permit holders who had FM2 Rentista permits with TiP cars, would temporarily be allowed to keep the cars in Mexico. He further said that Aduana will call in some TIP permit holders with Residente Permanente permits, to have their situations evaluated. He expected that many/most expats will be able to keep their cars, but he emphasized that this is NOT A FINAL policy. He said that this PROPOSED policy may be changed in the future.
      That’s the latest update from around the web on TIPs and Residente Permanente permits…

      • Creagh Day says:

        Thank you Steve. If you hear any more I would appreciate your putting it on your site as I check there often. Creagh

  21. rubygeorgina says:

    As with most expats here in Mexico there is so much confusion! I have been following this blog but still have questiions. I currently am in my 2 Proroga of FM2 with working papers. I’ve been told that I can move directly to Permanente and would not have to provide proof of income. Is this true? Also.. I have a foreign plated vehicle and have not been able to determine if it must be removed from Mexico. Would I even be able to insure it with Jalisco insurance? My partner has an FM3 (3 progroga) and does not meet the necessary financial requirements. We were told at a seminar in Ajijic the other day that he could renew for Temporal and then next year move directly to Permanente without having to provide proof in income. Also true?

    Thanks for your guidance.

    • yucalandia says:

      I’ve been told that I can move directly to Permanente and would not have to provide proof of income. Is this true?
      It is possible, but only the agent who processes your claim can say for sure. Is that the current policy of your local INM office?

      I have a foreign plated vehicle and have not been able to determine if it must be removed from Mexico. Would I even be able to insure it with Jalisco insurance?
      You should be able to insure it. There is no final word from Aduana on if or when you would have to remove the vehicle from Mexico. Some regional Aduana directors are giving preliminary indications that you might have a year or 2 years before Aduana asked you to remove it, but the final decision from Aduana is reported to be released later this month. ???

      Based on reports from across Mexico, the general procedure for renewing an FM3 as a Residente Temporal is that your partner likely will not be required to show financial proof of personal fiscal solvency, but again, this is up to the final discretion of the INM agent reviewing her/his data. The exact aspects/properties/characteristics/requirements of changing for a Residente Permanente a year from now are likely unknowable. There should be a new points system in place at that time that augments the current requirements system, where the upcoming new points system considers an aggregate of various factors, rather than basing the decision on meeting or failing a single requirement.


    • Gary says:

      Does anyone know for certain what the Merida office is doing with renewals of Temporary visas: i.e.: are people required to move to Permanente status after four years temp, or can someone remain temporary for an indefinite period of time?

  22. Creagh Day says:

    I just read this and I need to know if I become a residente permanente, are you telling me that I can no longer drive my US truck from AZ to Baja Sur? Do I have to buy a MX car? Thanks, Creagh

    “My attorney in PV is getting the same info here also. She is advising me to let it expire and she will go the next day and apply for Resident Temporal and pay the fine. If I want a Resident Permanente no problem except I am not allowed to drive a US plated car.”

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Creagh,
      …unnngh…. this part has not been fully resolved.

      Have you read our full article on these things? New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico ?? Some lawyers are saying that Aduana managers have told them that Aduana will definitely create some loophole for Americans with Residente Permanente cards to use their US-plated cars in Mexico. Aduana has not YET made any formal statements allowing or disallowing foreign plated cars with Residente Permanente cards – we expect a ruling in the coming month. ???

      Re allowing your current card to expire: I would definitely check in with your local INM office first. One INM office in Mazatlan and one in Toreon are telling people to NOT let them expire, but to come in ONLY on the last day before they expire. Other offices are telling people to come in any time up to 30 days before expiration. Will your lawyer give you an iron-clad guarantee that you will not be penalized? One person in San Miguel Allende who followed your lawyer’s advice lost all their residency credits, had to pay fines, and start all over…

      Clearly, your lawyer is currently wrong about the “… I am not allowed to drive a US plated car.
      Two Aduana Regional Directors have said that foreigners will continue to be allowed to drive their US plated cars for at least a year. I tend to think that Regional Directors might know more than local lawyers. Since your lawyer does not know current Aduana policy, and none of us know what Aduana will finally decide, I personally would also not trust her advice on allowing your current INM permit to expire, without first checking with your local INM office for their current procedures.

      These things will likely be changing and evolving over the coming 3 months for both Aduana and INM local offices, until they settle into final policies…

      • Creagh Day says:

        I think I will visit my local Aduana and Inmigrcion offices. I will let you know what they say. Thanks for your help. I love Surviving Yucatan. I knew Yucatan in the early and mid-1970s. There were few Americans there at the time. I cannot imagine how it is today. Someday I hope to go back for a long visit.

        On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Surviving Yucatan wrote:

        > ** > yucalandia commented: “Hi Creagh, …unnngh…. this part has not been > fully resolved. Some lawyers are saying that Aduana will definitely create > some loophole for Americans with Residente Permanente cards to use their > US-plated cars in Mexico. The Aduana has not make an” >

  23. Howard Mathews says:

    I have a different problem. I live in California and have a condo in PV and we are here every winter for 4 to 5 months. I drove a car down down (used car, 2006) from Nogales with Arizona plates and arrived in PV on Oct 26. I do not have an FM3 and attempted to obtain the new residency permit and I am told by everyone that I must go back to the US and start my application there and I can not do anything from here and that does not sound practical to me.

    Does anyone have more information on what I should do.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Mat,
      You have good advisers.

      They are right, the May 2011 law clearly says visitors/tourists who want Residency have to leave Mexico … and go to a country where you have legal residency to apply at a Mexican Consulate (for Mexican Residency – as Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente ).

      Go home to a place where you have legal residency, and apply for Mexican Residency at your local Consulate. We recommend going home, because the Consulate can require you to provide proof of a clean police record from your home-town police dept.

      For details: As described in the post you just read, you can read our full article on the Immigration Rules for Mexico at:
      New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

      • Howard Mathews says:

        Thank you, I am going home for a week in March and will contact the San Francisco consulate office. Do you know how long it will take to get my residency permit from them or do I start it up there and finish it down here in PV?

      • yucalandia says:

        We have no reports about how long the Mex. Consulate in SF is taking to process applications. Some other Consulates are approving the applications that same day. Others request 1-3 days to process the application. Once you get to Mexico, there are reports from several areas of Mexico that INM offices are currently taking 4 – 6 weeks to process applications and issue Residency cards.

      • Howard Mathews says:

        Thanks for the reply. my friend and I have called 4 different MX consulates in CA and they each stated that they do not start the immigration process and they did not know what we were talking about and said we need to start everything in MX. I am going home May 1 and assuming this gets straightened out by next Nov when I return then I will apply for MX immigration at one of the MX consulates near home. But what about my car? I had planned on getting my FM3 when I arrived last Nov and was not aware of the new laws. The car will be in an underground parking lot and will not be driven until next Nov, but how do I get it licensed then or can I do it here even though I do not hav ean FM2 or 3 or what ever the designation is now?


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Howard,
        I am not quite following the details of your story. Reading between the lines, here are my best guesses: I assume that your car is inside Mexico on a valid TIP (Temporary Import Permit)? I assume that “home” is the USA/CA and that you are in Mexico now ? I am assuming that you are in Mexico now on a Tourist permit?

        The moment you leave Mexico on May 1, your US-plated car becomes completely illegal if it is still inside Mexico.

        It is OK to drive the TIP car until its Aduana permit expires. When you signed your agreement with Aduana on the car, you agreed in writing to take the car out of Mexico before your INM permit expires or is cancelled. Note that if you leave Mexico (automatically cancelling your Visitor permit), without taking the car out of Mexico, then you automatically surrender your $$$ deposit.

        When you return to Mexico, to drive out legally: Apply for a “Safe Returns” (Retorno Seguro) permit when it is time to drive it out. What to Do If Your Car Becomes “Illegal”: .

        You will have to drive the car out of Mexico at some point, surrender your old TIP, (losing the $$$ deposit), and then re-apply for a new permit. … or… Drive the car out of Mexico before your TIP expires (per your agreement with Aduana) and save the $$$ deposit.
        Happy Trails,

      • Howard Mathews says:

        Thanks, you are correct on all of your assumptions. I do not mind paying taxes or a fee of any kind if I can avoid taking the car to the border (5 day round trip besides the cost) so when I come back in NOv with the new immigration application and become a resident, is there any where you know that I can pay a fine or penalty and keep the car here without having to drive it back?

        Thanks for your help

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Howard,
        Nope, sorry. You will have to take the car out of Mexico at some point. When you have your new INM permit, you might have a much shorter drive by using the Belize or Guatemala border to surrender the old TIP and to get a new one. The last report we read said that he had to stay at least one night in Guatemala before getting a new TIP. At the Belize border, there is no requirement to stay overnight.
        Happy Trails,

  24. andrew says:

    Hi everyone , hope someone can help me out here?….. I am andrew from australia, married to a mexican for 5 years and we are settling in cancun now. I applied for temporary resident card in Jan 06 2013, and now it is 2nd march and still have’nt got my card. Te INM officials have said that my application has been approved but the card will come from mexico city, so it is out of their hands. but this is taking too long and was wondering if there could be a way to fasten the process or if there coud be any problem in the process which i could identify. all my papers were apostilled and were accepted without problem …
    any sort of help regarding this is will be appreciated….

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Cancun INM office is notorious for being very very slow.

      If they have approved your application, then GREAT. All you have to do is wait.

  25. David says:

    Seems that the Immigration Law has changed again recently? are they not processing any application?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi David,
      What do you think changed?

      There are no official reports of changes, and they are processing applications.

      • Creagh Day says:

        Hello all, I went to San Lucas immigration last week and was told that they are no longer counting your FM3 years with your FM2 years in order for you to become Residente Permanente. They said it changed the Thursday prior. So instead of being in year 4, I am now in year 2. Very disappointed. Creagh

      • yucalandia says:

        Good update.

        A few of the individual INM offices exercise the prerogative to consider years on different INM permits, while most others choose to only count the years completed on your current permit.

        The good news? The Mexican system is still far faster, far cheaper, and far more accepting when approving Permanent Residency status than either Canada or the USA.
        Happy Trails,

      • David says:

        Hi Steve-
        For your and everyone’s reference. see the link below

        Click to access reformamigratoria_1.pdf

  26. Rick Hilton says:

    At the end of the 180 days can I leave the country for the weekend and reenter and start on a new 180 days if I do not want to apply for residency. This works in some countries. Rick

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rick,
      In theory, yes. Some INM agents at some border crossings have been (re-)issuing Visitante permits for just 30 or 60 days, so there is no guarantee of another 180 days. Some people report that Aduana may require you to stay out of Mexico for a day or 3, before renewing your temporary auto import permit. Check with how things work at the specific border crossing before you go. The Guatemala border crossings have applied some of the most restrictions (requiring at least one night out of Mexico – requiring an overnight stay in Guatemala), while at other crossings you do not even officially leave Mexico: just surrendering your old INM permit and old Aduana TIP car permit, and receiving new ones on the same afternoon.
      Happy Trails,

  27. Carl says:

    Hi, I will be leaving Mexico after almost 2 years of living and working here on an FM3. I’m a teacher, so the school year ends in late June, but my actual contract finishes in August and my FM3 expires in October. My employers are saying we have to exit the country before the 7th of July. They are not providing a reason, other than ‘the new government have created a rule that states you must leave’. Are they correct? What are my rights? I would like to stay and travel a little bit

  28. Bernhart James says:

    Hi Yukalandia,

    Nice info on your site. However I have a quick question and was wondering what you think. I am currently on my 1st year FM2 living in Playa del Carmen. The renewl is due middle of May. My immigration laywer told me that there won’t be any problems renewing, but I am a bit paranoied and was hoping you could give me your opinion. I have 2 Mexican bank accounts with more or less 25000 pesos monthly deposits each one, total of 50000 pesos monthly. You think I will have any problems renewing my FM? The lawyer says it’s just a formality in my case. Would be great if you could give me a short opinion.
    Thanks so much


    • yucalandia says:

      Good Morning Bernhart,
      Your lawyer is spot-on in his advice. An FM2 renewal means applying for Residente Temporal, and your qualifications basically guarantee you an easy renewal.

      Your income actually also qualifies you for Residente Permanente if you wanted to. You will be forced to go to Residente Permanente in 3 years anyway (no more than 4 total as FM2/Temporary). Going permanent may cause issues with Aduana if you have a foreign-plated car, but it would save you about $500 USD in future INM fees.
      Happy Trails,

  29. Bernhart James says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the quick reply, really appreaciate it. My lawyer says to make my renewl for 3 years, so after those 3 years I would have a total of 4 years and then the permanent thing. Does that sound right?
    Regarding the car, I have a car, but it has Mexican plates so no worries for that.
    So you wouldn’t worry in my case that something doesn’t work out with my renewl, correct?
    Really don’t want to live anywhere else than here in Mexico.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bernie,
      No worries. Your renewal should be routine.

      Note that some Aduana offices are processing applications in 4 – 6 weeks, while other are taking 8 weeks. If you need to travel outside of Mexico while your application is in process, you can get an INM letter allowing you to travel outside of Mexico for up to 60 days, returning to get your Residency Card.

      • Bernhart James says:

        Hi there again Steve,
        Thanks so much. Routine sounds good to me!
        Not planning on travelling anytime soon, so no need for the letter. Thanks anyway for the info.

        Have a great day


      • Bernhart James says:

        Hi Steve,
        It’s Bernie again. Sorry to bother you again, but I made a mistake before, I am holding a FM3 not FM2.
        Could you please let me know if that makes a difference in your answer from my question before?
        Would be great if you could let me know.

        Thanks so much


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Bernie,
        No difference. Your process should go smoothly.

      • Bernhart James says:

        Cheers Steve,

        Appreaciate it. Smoothly is good. I don’t mind slowly.

        Have a good one


  30. Tiffany says:

    Hi Steve, I’m sure this question has been answered, so I am sorry if I am making you repeat information. I was offered a job teaching at a university in Oaxaca. The university seems confused about the immigration process, saying HR said I need to be in Mexico before they can formally offer me the job (but assuring me the job is mine). I tried calling my nearest consulate, who said they don’t deal with immigration. I called immigration in Oaxaca, and they told me to call my nearest consulate, so I have been getting nowhere.
    I want to apply for a temporary resident visa, and I meet the minimum requirement pay-wise, so if I say I am going there to teach, will they require the written job offer, or will my bank statements be enough to start the process….any information would be appreciated, thank you!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tiffany,
      It is easiest if your university gives you an offer letter, (including descriptions of the period of employment and the amount you will be paid). You then give the offer letter along with your passport, etc to the Mexican Consulate with your application for a Tarjeta de Residente Temporal Lucrativa.

  31. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  32. Karen Dodge says:

    Hi This is a very informative blog for people who are not natural residents. Thank You I also have one question. I am married to a Mexican citizen for 13 years. We live in USA, bought property in Mexico and i have 2 years with my FM2.We are traveling around in Mexico and my FM2 renewal is up in Nov. Do I need to go where I started the process or can I go to another city. My Mexico address is in Pto Escondido OAX and it will be difficult to get there by Nov but i am close to Guadalajara where I know they have an office. Will it be accepted if I go there to renew? Karen

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Karen,
      You are applying for a Residency visa, meaning you need to be a resident with some sort of local address in the place you are applying. INM can ask you for a comprabante. Are you renting? Your landlord can give you a CFE bill as a comprabante, and can write a letter certifying your address.

      • Karen Dodge says:

        Hi Steve,We own the property on the beach in Pto Escondido, Oax. In my original application they accepted this as my address because my name is on the title. Right now we are traveling around Mexico before we settle there.That is why I am closer to Guadalajara and will be when I expire unless I need to be in Pto.Then I will travel to Pto. Thank you for being so prompt. Karen Is it better if I am closer to my address to renew?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Karen,
        You are applying for a Residency visa, meaning you need to be a resident with some sort of local address in the place you are applying. INM can ask you for a comprabante. What comprabante would you have for the local address (closer to your titled land)?

        Sidelight: If you can qualify for residency in the area you are currently in, note that you would have needed to file a Change of Address with INM for changing addresses (unless you claim that you just changed within less than 90 days), and you will need to file another Change of Address to go back to your actual residency.

      • Karen Dodge says:

        Hi Steve, It sounds like it would be easier to go back to Pto to renew. I think after this renewal I can qualify to get my citizenship. Then I think I nees to go out of Pto to apply for that? A little confusing but i have come this far I don’t want to make any mistakes. Thank You Karen

  33. Odelia Demery says:

    Thought-provoking article ! I learned a lot from the info ! Does someone know if my assistant could possibly get a sample 2013 CA BOF 4546 form to type on ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.