April 2014 Changes to INM Immigration Policies for Permanent Resident Applicants

April 29, 2014 Updates to INM Rules

Lawyer Spencer McMullen, a talented attorney serving the Chapala expat community, has reported that the Chapala INM office (and Guadalajara INM office) have changed their requirements for applying for Residente Permanente when the applicant has NOT yet completed 4 continuous prior years of Temporary Residence (FM2, FM3, Residente Temporal combined): Permanent Residency applicants who want to qualify for RP status solely using $130,000 of retirement savings are now being told that they must have also at least some ($1) of monthly pension income to qualify. Mexican Consulates in Boston and San Francisco have also used this requirement in the past, because the INM Law & Lineamientos clearly describe the “personal fiscal solvency” Requisitos as being for “Jubilados” (retired people).

We suspect more INM offices will be adopting this new interpretation of INM law, so we ask readers to write in with information on how their local INM office and how their Consulates are qualifying Residente Permanentes, specifying whether the person be formally retired and receiving at least some pension income (or not). Thanks!

Note that RP applicants who have completed 4 years of prior temporary residency in Mexico may or may not have to show financials – depending on their local INM office or local Mexican Consulate rules. We’d love to also hear about how your local office handles this.

As always, Yucalandia authors present material that is only for informational and entertainment purposes only. All important fiscal, financial, tax, immigration, Customs/Aduana matters should be discussed with an appropriate expert.

Readers who want more details on Moving to Mexico & Immigration rules and procedures can find lots o’ details at our main article: 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

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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13 Responses to April 2014 Changes to INM Immigration Policies for Permanent Resident Applicants

  1. Bruce Pumphrey says:

    Oddly, when I applied for a Visa in Washington DC, never having an Residente Temporal Visa previously, they granted me a Residente Permanente Visa based on by permanent pension income of $4,000 US net per month with no proof of bank account assets. But they only granted my wife a Residente Temporal Visa with her piggy backing on my income, even though she make more annual income than myself. She is self employed and the DC Consulate would not use Tax Returns or P&L Statements form her business as proof of income. I’m not sure whether there are advantages or disadvantages to this but it is what it is.

    Any thoughts out there? Any pitfalls you can foresee?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bruce,
      It all sounds good.

      Do you plan to try to bring in a US plated car into Mexico on a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) from Aduana? If so, the car must be permitted under your wife’s name, because Residente Permanentes cannot own foreign plated cars in Mexico. (but you can drive “her” TIP car) Also, since you do not yet have your residency visas – only temporary visas issued by the Consulate that permit you to enter Mexico for just 30 to complete the residency application process at your local INM office in Mexico – you can have trouble temporarily importing a car, because Aduana issues the TIP for the expiration date of your visa. Since your temporary entry visa is only for 30 days, your Aduana TIP for the car is valid for only 30 days too. When your wife gets her actual final Residente Temporal visa, she can petition Aduana to extend her car’s TIP expiration date to match the new expiration date on her new Residente Temporal visa. Aduana does do this, but if the process of getting her RT visa takes more than 30 days, ~ making it difficult to notify Aduana in writing of the updated INM permit expiration date, ~ then Banjercito’s computer automatically confiscates your $300 – $400 deposit 15 days after that “30 day” expiration date….

      Later: If you choose to change her INM status to match your RP status in the future (doing it with her as your legally registered spouse – under Vinculo Familiar rules), then she could not keep a foreign plated car in Mexico either.

      You can read more details on these things at:

      Happy Trails,

  2. Eddie Bee says:

    Hi Steven,
    First off, thanks for all the information you’ve posted. Great help!
    My FM3 was scheduled to expire on April 3, 2014. My FM3 card was on its 3rd year, although I’ve been in Mexico for 15 years. When I went to the office in Nuevo Vallarta, I asked the woman there if I can get my Residente Permanente now. She said yes. I was a bit surprised since I had already filled out my papers online for ‘Extender La Estancia’. And, had not completed 4 years of prior temporary residency.
    She helped me a lot. She wrote down some things that I had to copy online again and take back to her. I did that, and then went to the bank. The price was $1,036 pesos. All that took about an hour.
    She told me to watch my email for the ‘Pieza and Contraseña’. That took only one week. I went back and gave them the papers, and she told me to watch again for another email. That took another week. I went back and received my ‘Residente Permanente’. That took a total of three weeks plus another $3,953 pesos.
    When I went in to apply, I wasn’t sure of what papers they may ask for, so I was ready for just about anything. I already had the 3 photographs that are required. They only wanted 3 copies of my bank statements and I had 12. They also wanted the first 2 pages of my passport and the last page. I had copied the whole thing never knowing for sure what they will ask for.
    That was it. Total time was 3 weeks. Total a pagar, $4,989 pesos.
    I am retired with only $24,400 total income per year.

  3. Dave in Ont says:

    Here, at the Progreso INM office, last October we went from fifth year of temporal (4 renewals on the back of the cards) to permanente. Although we were fully covered with bank statements, pension income paperwork, investment income paperwork and 3 copies of everything…All that they were interested in was our passports, a current CFE bill and our residente temporal cards. (with only one copy of each) Absolutely no interest in any financial statements.

    The process was painless and took about a month from start to finish (new permanente cards in hand)

    My only regret???? Why did I haul down a 2″ stack of paperwork and copies, when they weren’t needed???? (BUT, who knew, and it is better to be over prepared than under prepared!!! LOL)

    My biggest happiness??? The procedure was SOOO easy and all I had to do was borrow a friend’s paper shredder and dispose of all the paperwork I didn’t need.

  4. Buzz says:

    Yes, what you describe happened to me on April 5 at Cabo San Lucas INM. I attempted to change from Temporal (held for 11 months) to Permanente using eligibility based solely on monthly investment/bank account totals over the past year. I was told I needed to also have pension income. I replied that I was not a pensionado, but a jubilado. Not working, officially retired and my income is from the investments, the details of which I had given them. No, it could not be approved under those conditions – need to also have a pension. After some back and forth with the team leader, I allowed myself to be persuaded to extend the temporal for another three years. “It’s easy. You’ll just go straight on to permanent after that – you won’t need to show any financial information.”

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Buzz,
      Sad but it’s their choice (but not true). Thanks for the update about Cabo San Lucas.

      Bleah…. The 2010 INM Law and the 2012 INM Lineamientos both clearly say “Pensionados O Jubilados” – where the conditional “OR” clearly legally says you do NOT have to have pension income ~ “OR JUBILADOS” clearly means retired people (in contrast to pensioners).

      Oh well.
      THANKS for the update,

      • Buzz says:

        Yes, I actually pulled from my pocket a printout of Articulo 44, figuring that because I’d already committed the sin of ‘creating a scene’ with the INM Chief in front of members of the public, I didn’t have much to lose by continuing to argue Immigration Law with her! All got quite silly – I underlined the word JUBILADOS, she underlined the word PENSIONADOS, I double underlined the two occasions that O is used…..etc etc. No problems, I’m just grateful that Mexico permits me to remain in their wonderful country. However if any ‘changes in interpretation’ occur that affect my ability to smoothly transition from temporal to permanente in three years time without showing any financials, I think I’ll find it hard to remain so relaxed!

      • yucalandia says:

        Totally excellent!

        Well done, (even though they did not agree), steve

  5. Steve,
    1. any more word whether this is becoming more common to require pension income if you are using net worth? I’m just getting ready to go to Puebla’s office.

    2. also, I’ve read that the office in Miami (I think I got that on your site) is flexible on points and the one in Quito, Ecuador just goes by net worth and doesn’t require pension income. Have you heard about any offices outside of Mexico that are especially easy to do deal with?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi aboomer,
      Miami, Phoenix, Portland OR, Chicago, Laredo, …. had been flexible???

      Not LA, nor SF, nor SD, nor San Antonio, Boston, nor Wash. DC.

  6. Steve, also

    3. any idea if you go to one office and it turns out they are heaping on other requirements (e.g., income in addition to net worth) and you get rejected, whether you can then go to another office and start over? I’m going by the way for the permanent professional one so I can work.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi aboomer,
      You have to file with the INM office that is modestly close to your Mexican home address. Some INM offices are very liberal about this (Chapala vs Guadalajara, or using the other offices in the Vallartas), while others are more strict: Progreso (Yuc) INM’s office does not allow foreigners with Merida addresses to use the quiet Progreso office – we are sent back to the nearby (less than 15 miles) Merida INM office.

      There seems to be no prohibitions about using other Mexican Consulates, especially when you are close to the border (Laredo, etc), that Mexico-residing gringos from many US states use as they come into the USA from Mexico – and also used by gringos headed south from the USA to Mexico. In theory, the Mexican Consulates could insist you use your Mexican Consulate closest to your US address, because they can require that you provide Police certification of your past criminal record (or lack thereof). e.g. The Dallas Consulate or the Phoenix Consulates (known for being very liberal) could say that a San Diego or LA applicant should go to the (less-than-tolerant) Mexican Consulates in California.

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