Advantages & Disadvantages of Residente Permanente and Residente Temporal Immigration Permits for Mexico

Advantages and Disadvantages of Residente Permanente vs. Residente Temporal Immigration Permits for Mexico
~   Residente Permanente offers the ease of a single, one-time application/registration.
~   There is only one payment needed for Residente Permanente vs. 4 years of Temporary Resident payments.
~   Residente Temporal
card holders must change to Residente Permanente after four years of Temporary Residency anyway (or change to 6 month Visitor permits).
~   If you have a Residente Permanente card, your Notary may approve you for the Home-owners exemption from paying the 25% gains tax on a future sale of your Mexican home – a potential savings of $10′s – $100′s thousands of dollars.
~   If you are outside Mexico for part of the year, Residente Permanente keeps you from having to return to Mexico to deal with an expiring Residente Temporal card.
~    Residente Permanente allows you to work in Mexico, and to get an RFC from Hacienda.
~    Residente Permanente is a good stepping stone to becoming a Naturalized Citizen. Why?  If you have property under a Fidei Comiso, then getting Citizenship allows you to terminate the Fidei Comiso , saving you $ thousands in annual payments to the bank.

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

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41 Responses to Advantages & Disadvantages of Residente Permanente and Residente Temporal Immigration Permits for Mexico

  1. ph1tx says:

    I thought the LAW only tells how to apply for citizenship with a FM2 and can apply after 2 years , but
    does not address the title Permanente Residente per se . What do your sources say ? I want to apply for citizenship . I have had a FM3 5 yrs and FM2 2 1/2 years . ( comes due NOV 2013) Should I go get the Permanente Residente now. I own a fidicomiso and property in Puerto Vallarta. Any advice appreciated , please . vontage 409 877-4959 Pat

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi ph,
      What “LAW” are you talking about? INM? SRE?

      SRE rules currently specify 5 years completed on a single FM2 or attaining Inmigrado status. SRE’s Inmigrado status policy/track works just fine with the new INM rules, since Residente Permanente and Inmigrado are effectively equivalent. Problems arise with FM2s. INM considers FM2/FM3 as able to do renovaciones (extensions) as Residente Temporal cards. This causes a small train-wreck between the 4 year maximum off the new Residente Temporal vs. the existing SRE 5 year minimum rules – but is resolved if the gringo gets a Residente Permanente, to complete the 5 year SRE requirement. This means that Residente Temporal does not automatically lead to qualifying for citizenship.

      In your case, you would be best to shift to a Residente Permanente, complete 5 years of FM2 + Residente Permanente, and talk with a good attorney who knows SRE law/rules/practices. One of our good local attorneys is advising people to take this path, but they caution that SRE has not ruled on the exact details of how they will proceed with applicants who have blended FM2 & Residente Permanente.

      All will be revealed during this next year,

  2. Barry says:

    What are the rules / procedure for gaining citizenship?

  3. Eric Chaffee says:

    Please translate: “an RFC” ? Thanks. ~eric.

  4. MeridaGOround says:

    Please translate: “an RFC” ? Thanks. ~eric.

  5. What about “Gringo” car? – temporary imported american car?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Meir,
      That issue is currently unresolved for Residente Permanente card holders. Residente Temporal card holders are allowed to keep their TIP cars. We are all hoping for Aduana to publish the details on their new rules on Residente Permanentes and TIP cars in the coming months. steve

  6. MeridaGOround says:

    Please define “TIP cars.” Thanks.

    • yucalandia says:

      “TIP Cars” = Cars in Mexico on Temporary Import Permits (TIPs = Permisos de Importación Temporal de Vehículos from Aduana ). TIP is the common lingo used on expat forums across Mexico for the Aduana permit issued for temporarily-imported foreign-plated cars. steve

  7. Les Wilson says:

    So as it stands, we have to whistle our TIP car out of the country the moment we get our Residente Permanente card. Is that correct?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Les,
      Not at all. There has been nothing published nor announced officially by Aduana officials. Two different Aduana Regional Directors have said that they understand that Aduana will allow foreigners with Residente Permanente permits to keep their TIP cars for at least a year. Some local Aduana offices are telling lawyers that Aduana will work out some arrangement for Residente Permanente card holders to keep their existing TIP cars.

      Since the May 2011 INM law was formally published, Aduana has made ZERO moves to prohibit Residente Permanente card holders from keeping their TIP cars. Based on first person web reports by expats, Aduana has made ZERO moves to revoke the TIPs of foreigners who have taken their new Residente Permanente cards to local Aduana offices to renew their existing TIPs.

      Even though the INM law was published in May 2011 and there have been NO Aduana prohibitions published, in spite of ZERO official rulings, and ZERO public announcements, but there are however some individual Mexican lawyers who are telling their clients that they cannot keep their TIP cars. Ironically (?), every single report we have read about these individual lawyers also shows that these same lawyers are also simultaneously giving faulty non-factual advice to those same clients about the Nov 2012 INM Lineamientos and May 2011 INM law.

      The facts are simple at this point: Aduana officials report that Aduana will release official details on Aduana’s new policies regarding this sometime in the future.

      For more details: Read our master article describing the latest information on how Immigration policies affect expats at:
      New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

      • Les Wilson says:

        This is a lot different from what I read subsequently that was put out by INM and SAT in Nuevo Vallarta yesterday! Has me worried! Does my TIP expire the moment I pick up my new card? Then what do I drive home from Manzanillo in? I like what you say above a lot better.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Les,
        You might note that what the local Nuevo Vallarta INM office put out had a number of factual errors, that did not follow the national INM rules and law. What specific items do you find that are “a lot different from what (you) subsequently read” from the Nuevo Vallarta ppt presentations?

      • Les Wilson says:

        Thanks for your reply, Steve. Sorry for not being more specific. The INM presentation was clear & well done except for a few factual erors.. It was the SHCP / SAT presentation that concerned me, namely, (1) Residentes Temporales will no longer be able bring in a foreign vehicle, and (2) There was no mention of any leniency nor grace period for those of us here currently with foreign vehicles who are applying for permanent residency to get things in order to get our vehicles out of the country. Legal one day and subject to confiscation the next. Or did I miss something? Thanks. Les

      • yucalandia says:

        Right now there are no published details on how any of the proposals would work.

        As proposals there is no way to know whether they will become the rules, nor is there any way to know how they might be implemented. It is all just (educated) speculation right now. On the face of it, the proposals show that Aduana is trying to provide options to foreigners, and hopefully, if they choose these proposals, then they will also choose to offer viable workable options on how we will handle our Temporary cars.

        There have been a number of people (demagogues) around the web predicting that INM and the Mex. Gob. were going to apply the new INM rules so harshly that 10,000’s of foreigners would have to leave. Reality instead showed that there was no intent to torment foreigners, nor intent to try to force them out of Mexico. I personally would assume that the government will broadly continue on reasonable paths that give foreigners with TIP cars here some reasonable options: like the proposals by 2 different Regional Aduana directors that Aduana will gradually issue letters to Residente Permanente permit holders, giving them some time limit to either nationalize the car or take it out of the country.

        Still, I too am speculating with these conclusions. Overall, it has been clear that the Mex. Gob. has tried to make things work for expats here, and they have not broadly pursued punitive actions against expats living here.
        All the best,

      • Les says:

        Many thanks, Steve! I’ll continie to follow your posts.

  8. MeridaGOround says:

    Many thanks for this helpful article and site, Steve. I appreciate your patience with my lack of familiarity with such details. ~eric.

  9. mark james donahue says:

    i have 2 years on a former fm3 and 3 refrendos on a fm2………will they combine the both to qualify for permanent residency or do i need to complete the full 4 years on the fm2?

  10. ph1tx says:

    Mark James Donohue….read the financial independence re: savings or income or property that Steve suggested . Best bet is to go to that section ….copy it and then make an email and send it to yourself and print to read out and have as a reference. In Puerto Vallarta they don’t take the property part …they want PROOF of RETIREMENT too , for some reason. So I had to print out my Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance annual report from the Social Security Administration and give it to the Immigration with my 3 CD accounts and my 12 month of my checking account with an average balance that they ( I think ) will make them happy. My income is $10K one month and .09 cents the next, but the average is well above what they require. My social security is only $ 250/ month which is definately NOT enough for their income requirements , but it does prove that I am retired and getting social security….and then it says that they will deduct my $ 335. for Medicare from that each month.
    Thus , I owe them $ 4000 something in total but after they obscond with my social security I only have to send the Soc. Sec. office $ 756.00 by Oct. 31 to keep up my Medicare B ….OH Oh Oh and thank you Obama….I have to send them $ 66.60 for Medicare D ( Drugs ) but I get NO COVERAGE. I just pay that because I make over what Obama thinks is cool for a person that saved and invested and is now retired. So that is another $799.00/ year for NADA. I have a AARP Med D CARD coverage for $45.60/ month that does help a tiny bit . But the Obama care is screwing us. In PV ,tomorrow , at the Marriott Marina Hotel they are having a talk on INSURANCE in MEXICO by Mariner’s Insurance talk by Roberto Castellanos. Pam Thompson Webb in PV at can point you to the right direction for insurance in Mexico and Roberto Castellanos’s email.
    I think every immigracion office is handling things a little bit differently. If someone is only here less than 180 days a year….go the FREE entry tourist card route .

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi ph,
      Good updates.

      I am confused by one thing:
      ” …If someone is only here less than 180 days a year….go the FREE entry tourist card route .”

      I don’t think there is a free tourist card. When you fly in, the fees are added into to your ticket price – which means that if you have an FM3/FM2 or Residency card, you have to make a special filing with the airlines to get the $25 (or so) feel back. When you drive in, you have to pay, but at least there you see the payment described as a separate item, unlike having it hidden in an airline ticket price.

      • ph1tx says:

        I’m ignorant on the drive in rules. My car was purchased in Mexico. I don’t waste my time trying to fight for $25.00 or so by making a special filing with the airlines to get the $25. fee back. I only leave by air once a year and return by air once a year. I am not informed of the filing , nor on the driving in. I just know if you fly in, they give you the free form for the 180 day tourist visa on the plane. Once presented at Immigration prior to customs, no charge.
        Then the 1/2 that they give the ” Tourist” needs to be returned , to the airport and submitted when you check in at the airport counter to depart from Mexico. If you loose it, you are supposed to be able to get another one free, ( but some people have been charged $300 pesos). I don’t know where they get one but I’d suggest getting a new 1/2 prior to departure by about 3 days. P. S. Don’t give your credit cards to immigration at the office nor airport. I have heard of them asking for them for an extended Tourist Visa , probably to prove financial independence. I do not know.

  11. ph1tx says:

    donohue .When you enter at the airport and show your passport you also give them the FREE tourist visa which you get on the plane and have filled out. Immigration in MEXICO stamps the tourist card and you are entitled to 180 days in Mex. It is FREE. I just pay what ever the air ticket is and really don’t buy tickets because I use miles and pay the tax. If the tax is in the ticket, I’m not going to worry about wasting hours getting $25.00 back when I have a FM 2, FM3, now temporal residente or permanente residente card, which cost plenty $$, and when if I was only here 180 days I could just get the free tourist visa entry card good for 180 days at the border. They may charge you $800 or whatever for your car , I do not know, I don’t drive in. I fly. I own a car I purchased at the dealership here in Mexico. I am not knowledgable about driving in. If you drive in in a non Mexican licensed car the game changes . I haven’t played that game. I live here in Mexico and travel in and out with my FM 2 and now my Permanente Residente card . The non Mex vehicle stuff is a whole different topic from human immigration permits.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi ph,
      Your latest posts have a number of errors that can mislead readers. Let’s correct them:
      ~ ” … When you enter at the airport and show your passport you also give them the FREE tourist visa which you get on the plane ~

      As I wrote to you earlier: There is NO free tourist visa. First, it costs about $25 USD. Second, it is NOT a visa, it is a permit to enter Mexico. Visas require getting prior authorization from Mexico, before you travel. USA and Canada have treaties with Mexico that allow our citizens to enter Mexico with just a passport – NO VISA required. Guests from other countries with no treaty with Mexico must apply for a visa before traveling.

      ~ “…Immigration in MEXICO stamps the tourist card and you are entitled to 180 days in Mex. It is FREE. …” ~
      We are NOT entitled to 180 days on a tourist card. Aduana agents have the option to choose to allow up to 180 days. Many agents do not automatically give 180 days. Again, the tourist card is not free.

      ~ “…if I was only here 180 days I could just get the free tourist visa entry card good for 180 days at the border. ” ~
      Readers should note that many Aduana border agents are not automatically issuing 180 day tourist cards. Some expats who go to the border to surrender their old 180 day tourist card and get a new one, are finding that the new tourist card can be issued for as little as 30 days.

      ~ ” … They may charge you $800 or whatever for your car , …” ~
      When you import a car using a Permiso de Importacion Temporal (Temporary Import Permit), Aduana requires a fully refundable deposit of $200 – $400 USD. You get your whole deposit back when you surrender the paper permit, and have them remove the windshield sticker, as a part of taking the car back out of Mexico before the permit expires. Readers who want the facts and more details on this can read:Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

      Happy Trails,

  12. ph1tx says:

    Steve: Heck, it ‘s all a mystery to me. According to my immigracion here in Puerto Vallarta the FMM Forma Migratoria Multiple that you get on the plane , is actually a tourist visa. tarjeta turista , and it is automatically charged for it with your air ticket $ 295 pesos . ( Or so they tell me .) It seems like it is the $25.00 to which you were referring.
    When I lost my FM2 ( it was lost in my purse somewhere since we had been all over Asia and back ) and so I had to enter into Mexico with a “tarjeta turista” tourist card FMM . Immigration said, I had to go file a police report that I lost my FM2. I went and go the police report. Then, I found my FM2. But immigration in Mexico said because I had 2 immigracion Visas, immigracion said I had to pay a fine of $1,090. pesos, because I had 2 Visas even tho I lost FM2 and found it and had entered with the FMM ( tourist visa/permit / card / whatever) . They counted the FMM and the FM2 as 2 visas and it is illegal to hold 2 visas, they said. Maybe it was a money grab. I don’t know. This just happened this Sept. 2013.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi ph,
      As you found out, it is against the rules to hold 2 residency permits. As this is prohibited, it really was no “money grab” as you propose above. Before now, we had not heard the specific fine for getting an extra INM permit.

      For people who do lose their FM2/FM3 or lose their Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal while outside the country, there is a procedure for re-entering w/o your permit. First: Make a good quality copy (or 2), and KEEP THAT COPY in a safe place while traveling (along with a copy of your passport and credit cards). If the permit is stolen, you report the theft to the local police and get a copy of their official report. When you return to Mexico, bring the copy of the police report, along with your passport and the copy of your FM2/FM3 or Residency Card. This combination of documents is accepted by INM, who then instruct you to go to your local INM office to get a replacement card. Each state and INM office can have their own requirements for confirming your identity, and confirming the loss of your card. In Yucatan, you have to go to the State’s Fisicalia Publica building, and get them to confirm your identity, stamp papers, and return to INM with the confirmation. It cost about $800 pesos to get one replaced about a year ago.

      If you do not have a copy of your Mexican residency card (INM permit), then things can get messier. If you have a local Mexican Consulate, you can go there and notify them and ask their guidance. When a friend lost his Mexican INM permit in Florida last fall, and had no back-up copy of his permit, INM threatened to not allow him back into Mexico. It took 15 minutes of pleading with INM at the airport to get him into Mexico… (They wanted to put him directly onto a plane back to the States.)

      Sound harsh? The Mexican Gob. approach gives much kinder treatment than either the US offers or that Canada offers.

  13. ph1tx says:

    STEVE, You have been godsend for everyone. We had to let 2 lawyers that usually do our Fm2 and FM3 go ( fire them ) after reading your articles. We finally went another man that said your stuff was correct and we both are getting our Permanente Residente and have submitted the financial documents showing $ 125,000 investments 12 monthly statements for one Visa , and 12 months average $11,000 checking balance and 3 Cert. of Deposit that add up to over $125,000 for the other Visa ; so we both qualify . I had to prove ( NOW ) that I am retired so I had to submit in Puerto Vallarta a statement from Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance from the USA government to PROVE I was retired , for some odd reason. this statement came in January to show my benefits and costs etc for 2013 . ( I only get $250. soc. sec. so I end up oweing the government Medicare the balance that I pay to them for my medical .) You have been a tremendous help to everyone. Gracias. No response needed .

  14. Painter says:

    I received my Residente Permanente Tarjeta, and noticed I have no CURP imprinted on mine. Will this be a problem, or should it be corrected?

    • yucalandia says:

      Do you have a CURP issued to you from an earlier period?
      If you have had previous INM residency permit, then you were likely issued a CURP – and you keep the same CURP.

  15. Barb Bremner says:

    Hi Steve
    I drove into Mexico on an FMM in october 2012 and then got my temporal residence card for the purpose of keeping my car in Mexico for four years. Banjercito told me on February 5, 2013 ” PLEASE GO TO THE ADUANAS LOCAL LAW DEPARTMENT, WITH A FREE LETTER ASKING FOR THE RENEWAL OF YOU CAR PERMIT AND DEPOSIT; WHICH WILL BE VALID UNTIL THE FOUR YEAR PERIOD, BUT WITH THE ADUANAS APPROVAL BEING SEND TO BANJERCITO DURING THIS MONTH.”. At Nuevo Vallarta on February 13 they said “at this moment only visitors with tourist visas can temporarily import vehicles for a maximum of 6 months or 180 days….the only option for temporary or permanent residents at this moment is permanent importation”. “Renewals, extensions and re-applications are no longer accepted for temporary or permanent residents”. Seriously? No one bring a car in for more than six months?

    Unfortunately there isn’t really a customs office in Puerto Vallarta so I had to take my application for extension form (why have a form if it can’t be done?) to the airport customs and they sent it on to banjercito and where ever else. Obviously the things I have seen or received are totally contradictory. I don’t know if my car is going to be illegal next month or if I will get an extension to match my temporal residence. I also don’t know if or when I will get a response on my submission to banjercito and Aduana . It really is a nightmare experience. Can you help explain this? Many many thanks for your invaluable knowledge.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Barb,
      Good Report !
      1’st: The information presented by a few local Aduana personnel at Nuevo Vallarta meeting was NOT OFFICIAL nor does it apply nationwide. If you read the 2 powerpoint presentations carefully, you will find a number of factual errors, as they are NOT official documents – just informal non-legal presentations to try to help the local gringos understand things. The Nuevo Vallarta powerpoint Aduana presentation was JUST A PROPOSAL, because there have been NO NEW OFFICIAL written policies or rules promulgated out of Aduana in D.F.

      Local offices of Aduana are given broad discretion and wide latitude in how they apply policies. In the ABSENCE of any new national policy: the Nuevo Vallarta local Aduana personnel are fully allowed to apply overly stringent local policies, while Puerto Vallarta is fully allowed to grant very liberal local policies.

      Finally, all gringos whose INM permits have not expired, must really WAIT until there are formal policies/rules or a law written and approved by Aduana D.F. The current Ley Aduanero uses legal terminology ( “No Inmigrante” or “FM3” and “Inmigrante” or “FM2” and “Inmigrado“) that no longer fits the new INM legal permits and INM’s legal terminology. This leave Aduana current local officess with NO clear detailed legal guidelines on vehicle Temporary Import Permits (TIP)- so they are just TEMPORARILY making things up as they go.

      If you can get a 4 year TIP now under a liberal local Aduana office policy: grab it and run…

      Hope this helps clear things up,

  16. Barb Bremner says:

    Thanks for your info. I will gladly take it if I can get it. I am just concerned that 1) I will not hear anything back and not know or 2) get denied.

  17. Kitty Bewick says:

    I would just like to say thank you to Yucalandia… After reading all your info I did a successful application for a permanent resident visa… Your information was correct and very helpful. It made the whole process very painless.

  18. lorenzo says:

    If it turns out that those with residente permanente are no longer allowed to keep their foreign plated car in Mexico, they may, if their circumstances warrant, consider walking away from their residente permante status, re-entering Mexico as a visitante with their car. Question is, can one, or how does one cancel one´s residente permanente status? Lorenzo

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi lorenzo,
      Actually, some Aduana offices are supposedly approving extensions of the TIP expiration dates for Residente Permanente immigrants, like the Queretaro Aduana office.

      You do have to apply for a prorroga with Aduana BEFORE your TIP expires: (from Mexconnect)
      This is as explained regarding Aduana in Queretaro.

      My wife (a professional INM & Aduana facilitator) called Aduana 01-442-227-0100 ext 60113 (today: March 1, 2013) and spoke with Isabel Chavez. For those with Permanent Resident visa, … you will have lost your deposit unless you have taken your car out of Mexico prior to the expiration date of your car permit.

      For those who are Temporary Residents you need to go to Aduana in Queretaro well before your visa expires.

      Start your INM process 30 days before it expires. Take a copy of your INM Temporary Resident visa application along with your passport, car title, the letter you submitted to INM (states your address, citizenship, passport number, how long you are applying for a visa), page with NUT number and name and also car permit you obtained when you entered Mexico. You ask for a prorroga to protect your deposit. It will be protected for the duration of your Temporary Resident visa be it 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. This information is then sent to Aduana in Mexico City.;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=last;#last

      There are also some Regional Aduana directors saying that there will likely be a general one-time amnesty sometime in the future, allowing foreign-plated cars to be permanently imported for a fee (or taken out of Mexico).

      It really is a mess right now – with some other Aduana offices refusing to approve even Resident Temporal from keeping their TIPs and kicking out even their TIP cars…. so we advise writing both your Ambassador and your Consul, asking them to contact Aduana DF and support an effort to get the head of Aduana to issue a written statement for the interim period to clean up the huge differences between how each Aduana office decides what rules to make up.

      A good interim policy could be:

      ” Until further notification, all Aduana Permisos de Importación Temporal de vehículos remain valid, as long as the permit holder maintains a valid INM permit, including Residente Temporal y Residente Permanente Tarjetas de Residencia. ”

      To cancel your Permanent Resident status, you type up a letter to your local INM describing your status, your passport number, your INM NUE, and state your desire to surrender or abandon your Residente Permanente Tarjeta de Residencia… They may ask you to leave the country immediately. or they may tell you to do this at the border, or they may accept your letter and your card, and give you a letter allowing you to stay in the border for 10 or 14 days, to give you time to go to the border and re-enter as a Visitante. It is all up to your local INM office.
      Happy Trails,

  19. Jake Sang says:

    Just try to get a job if your first time to Mexico… Who has tried that at their local embassy = nightmare

  20. hobgoblin238 says:

    Hey I just found this…Please help me out. I am a residente permeanente right now. BUT I have my American car in Mexico for the past 4 years. Do I have to import the car or what? We would like to make a trip the Texas but am a little nervous about them taking my car.

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