January 2013 Updates to Immigration Requirements for Getting Residency in Mexico or Immigrating to Mexico

Jan 9, 2013 Updates

It appears the log-jam of printing and laminating Residency Cards in DF has been broken with the re-opening of INM offices after the holiday break:
Many people from different INM offices across Mexico are now reporting that they are now receiving their Permanent Residency cards. One consistent and dominant theme is that NONE of them had to submit financial documents when applying. Some of these successful individuals had No Inmigrante Rentista permits (retired FM3 person), others were transferring from “working FM3s”, and others had Inmigrante (FM2s). One individual simply had to sign a letter saying that he continued to have the same financial situation and same income as in the past.   Even INM offices like Mazatlan’s that initially required proofs of solvency, have now dropped the requirementsSweeeeet.

Hopefully this allays the fears of many people who do not meet the letter of the law regarding the individual financial requirements aka Personal Fiscal Solvency requirements to get Residency. ( see Proof of Financial Independence for Residency Applicants ) We have also read a substantial number of consistent personal reports from across Mexico that say that the individual regional offices are using a combination of financial deposits, small pension income, small SSI income, and property ownership to prove Personal Fiscal Solvency. The INM offices have the discretion to use an aggregate of the applicant’s income and pensions and property assets, when no single value of these three meet the specific INM requirements.

~ We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. ~

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Please note that Yucalandia’s master article describing the latest information on how to Visit Mexico, Immigrate to Mexico, and how to apply for residency in Mexico is at:
New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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18 Responses to January 2013 Updates to Immigration Requirements for Getting Residency in Mexico or Immigrating to Mexico

  1. Joe says:

    Looks like the practices are beginning to fall in line with the letter of the law, which did not appear to require financial proof for renewals, and renewal related processes, but did for first time applications.

    • Larry Seminutin says:

      Having just completed the “process” here in Manzanillo, I can assure viewers I was required to prove one year of financial records along with a cancelled check. What small chicken-towns was your census accrude from?

      • yucalandia says:

        Mazatlan, San Luis Potosi, Chapala, SMA, Merida, and GDL (Guadalajara).

        The law clearly permits individual agents both discretion (how and when and whether) and latitude (adjusting requirements) in how stringently they apply the law or even waive requirements. For perspective, consider how US IRS agents have broad latitude in how they apply US laws (studies show that 5 IRS agents come up with 5 different answers when asked nonroutine questions and they calculate 5 different amounts owed on pretty much all but the most simple returns).

        A single INM agent can waive the requirements for 5 applicants in a row, and then enforce them “in spades” on applicant #6. A local INM supervisor explained that some applications look suspicious, also, if the applicant acts suspiciously then they raise the bar and require what the law specifies.

        (**Love the small chicken-town metaphor! but at least 3 of these offices serve over areas with 1 million people each.)

        Congrats on getting your card !

  2. opatije says:

    FWIW: Outside of Mexico for all new registrants/applicants the new law has been followed strictly (I can speak to cases in Canada and Europe). I would strongly advice to have everything ready before submitting the application.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi opatije,
      This may be your experience, but there are first person reports out of Florida, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago and Arizona that contradict your generalization about “Outside of Mexico”. We have Consulates swinging in both directions – with some adding extra extra-legal requirements ~ while others reduce or ignore the requirements. We have read at least 4 different first person reports from Canadians describing at least 3 different policy variations between the Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver Consulate’s handling of Residency applications.

      Please give us a shout back with specifics:
      Can you please list the specific Consulates, where, and when, and under what circumstances each of the Mexican consulates in Canada and European are handling things? Specific examples are really helpful for our readers living in those specific areas, dealing with their local consulate.

      As before, we strongly suggest that readers learn the official INM rules for themselves first, then go-to/contact their local Consulate to find out how they are CURRENTLY handling things. We expect that it will take at least 6 months for the Consulates (a part of SRE, the foreign service… not answering to SEGOB/INM **) to get their ducks in a row. In the meantime, things will likely be changing at each and every Mexican Consulate in their own quirky ways.

      Broad generalizations are comforting in uncertain times, but they do not seem to ultimately help people who are actually going through the process.

      **INM does not control what the Mexican Consulates do, and just like the US State Dept., they (State Dept and their Mexican Consulate brethren) formulate their own policies on Immigrants coming into the US that differ sometimes radically from Homeland Security and the US CIS and from US Border control offices/officers, so this a typical problem that occurs in many countries bureaucracies.

  3. opatije says:

    Very well…

    My observations are based on two separate cases (one in Calgary, AB and one in Warsaw, Poland). In both cases very specific documentation supporting application process had to be submitted. In Calgary they actually followed a list of conditions crafted in the New Immigration Law. A property which was purchased for less than the required amount was rejected immediately. Financial requirements were strictly enforced. In Warsaw the applicant had to submit a long list of financial assets (since he does not have any pension income).

    Apologize for “generalization” however, these are the new standards outlined in the new law. I would think one should try to be prepared to meet all required conditions. Good luck to all…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi opatije,
      Thank you so much for the specifics on how Calgary’s and Warsaw’s Mexican Consulates are operating.

      You say that the Calgary Consulate is following “conditions crafted in the New Immigration Law“. For readers who would look for those conditions, they are not in the New Immigration Law (La Ley Aduenero published May 2011), nor are they in the Sept. 2012 Reglamento, but they can be found in Nov. 2012’s 2 different Lineamientos published in the DOF.

      Since the Consular offices are not given similar levels of discretion nor latitude in following the new rules that INM offices and INM agents have, it means that opatije is correct in advising new applicants filing at the Mexican Consulates to plan to meet all the required conditions. INM offices may waive some conditions, but newbies must go through the their Consulate’s hurdles first.

  4. Kathy says:

    I applied for permanent residency today in the cancun office… I have 2 previous fm3’s from that office based on solvency and was required to provide financial documents

  5. Nick maciver says:

    My family is moving to GTO. To start the qualifying process for residente permanentes visas, do we first apply for visitor visas for 4 years then apply for the permanente visa? Or would it suffice to conseguir the tourist permit at the border every 6 months? Would both routes accrue residency time to fulfill the permanente requirement? Thank you for such great info

    • yucalandia says:

      Where are you moving from? If you have no FM3 or FM2, and you are living outside Mexico, go to your local Mexican Consulate and ask how they are handling residency applications. The normal process is that you apply for Permanent Residency or Temporary Residency (read the requirements listed in our main immigration article: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico ) and your Consulate places a one time Visitor Visa stamp in your passport, which you use to come into Mexico within 55 days, then you have 30 days from arriving in Mexico to file a Residency application with your local INM office.

      The 6 month trip to the border sounds cool, but many INM border offices are issuing only 30 day Visitante permits for re-entry, so, people considering using Visitor’s permits to avoid applying for Residency should check how their border INM office is handling these. Guatemala border INM offices are requiring people to stay out of Mexico for a few days, and then only granting 30 day Visitor permits. Some reports from the Belize border are reporting only 30 day permits also…???

  6. mpeb205 says:

    We have had rentista FM3s for the past 8 years and will have no problem meeting the requirements for either the residente temporal or resident permanente. Could someone comment on the pros and cons of each for example the ability to keep our US plated vehicles. We reside in Quintana Roo where sometimes issues are interpreted differently. We are also questioning whether anyone has tried to nationalize a 10 year olf US plated vehicle at the Belize/Mexico border lately and done it successfully?

    • yucalandia says:

      Have you read our main article on Immigration issues in Mexico?: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico This article has a section on: Advantages and Disadvantages of Residente Permanente vs. Residente Temporal

      This article also describes how no one yet knows how Aduana will handle foreign plated cars for Residente Permanente card holders. There are at least 2 regional Aduana Directors who are saying that Residente Permanente expats will be allowed to keep their cars at least a year. Aduana is supposed to issue specific details on their new upcoming policy in the next 2 months???

      We have had no recent reports about nationalizing a NAFTA car at the Belize border outside Chetumal. Why not call Aduana there and ask them? Check out: The following official map of Aduana offices, along with their contact information, hours of operation, and addresses: Map of Aduanas del Pais to get their official contact information and hours of service. We have found them to be very helpful during all our visits there to resolve problems with various friend’s car and permit issues.

  7. Lois Post says:

    In your Jan. 23 reply to “Nick,” you wrote that the one-time visa from the consulate for entering the country is good for 55 days, and then one must apply at INM within 30 days of entering. My visa from the Orlando consulate is good for 180 days. Perhaps the times vary from one consulate to another?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lois,
      Good Update.

      You may be right, that your 180 day expiration date on the visa is Orlando’s consul’s choice. ???
      I think we will have to hear from other people using the Orlando Mexican Consulate – or maybe SRE has issued a new policy to their other Consulates?

      • Lois Post says:

        This will be interesting to see how much things vary from one consulate to another. There was a another couple there just ahead of me who said they would see me in Merida in April when they move down – so I think we can safely assume, since that was in December, that they were given 180 days, too.

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