Alternate Way of Getting a New Residente Temporal Permit after 4 Years

June 17, 2014
What do You do When You Have Completed 4 Years of Temporary Residency?

If one wants to continue with another 4 years on a fresh Residente Temporal, then when that expat is completing an aggregate of 4 years on a single FM2/FM3 or Residente Temporal permit, the formal rules say they must leave Mexico and return to their home country to file at a Mexican Consulate for a new Residente Temporal permit… or switch to 6 month Visitante permits and go to the border every 6 months to renew.

ALTERNATELY:   SOME local INM offices do now process applications for new Residente Temporal permits for previous RT’s who have just completed 4 years of temporary residency (aggregate RT, FM2/FM3, No Inmigrante/Inmigrante years)  – issuing a NEW Residente Temporal permit without leaving Mexico.   For the INM offices that allow this (like Chapala and Guadalajara and  … ?),  the foreigner intentionally allows the final year’s RT to expire, and then they go into their INM office immediately after expiration.  They pay a modest $1,600 peso “late penalty” fine – and the $1,036 “Regularization” fee,  submit bank statements and translations, and pay the normal RT fees.  This is done at your INM office,  without going to a Mexican Consulate.    Lic. Spencer McMullen’s law firm does this without ever going to a Mexican consulate.

Downsides:  Realize that INM will will not give us a travel letters during this special process,  so, plan to stay in Mexico until your new RT is approved.     Also note that if the RT applicant has a temporarily imported TIP car,  when their old RT expires,  the TIP expires simultaneously – and you would need a Retorno Seguro permit to legally drive the car (to a border),  unless you live in the Free Zones:  Baja California,  Baja California Sur, and Q. Roo – where foreigners are allowed to drive their foreign plated cars without any TIPs – as long as they have insurance and also keep their US or Canadian license plates and registration current.

We look forward to hearing from readers around Mexico about whether their INM offices accept this approach.

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For more information, please see our main article on Visiting and Staying in Mexico at:  ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only. Government policies vary between States and offices, and Mexican Government officials have broad discretion in how they individually enforce policies, so, your personal experiences may vary. See a professional for advice on important issues.

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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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15 Responses to Alternate Way of Getting a New Residente Temporal Permit after 4 Years

  1. Michelle says:

    This is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if you might have an answer to the following question. My husband and I have permanent resident status in Mexico and usually spend 6 months a year there. Would we lose our status if we spent an extended period of time outside of Mexico due to health reasons. Just curious if you knew the rules around this. Thanks!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Michelle,
      You and hubby would be fine by being out of Mexico. Mexico has no restrictions for her Residente Permanentes on being out of the country. (You may hear stories of this, as a mis-directed intent from the US’s very strict restrictions on foreigners who get USA Permanent Residency.)

      The only restrictions Mexico puts on Residente Permanente’s maintaining their status is that the RP notify INM in writing if you have changes in: Employment/employer, marital status, or Mexican address.

      Happy Trails,

  2. slilley says:

    It was my understanding when my 2 year Residente Temporal was renewed and extended for another 2 years that it would automatically become a Residente Permanente status. Is this not true?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi slilley,
      That concept is not correct at all. This stuff is covered in our main article on Visiting and Staying in Mexico at:

      When you are completing your 4 years of RT, you have the right to apply for Residente Permanente (RP) at your local INM office. Most INM offices ask you to start your RP application up to 30 days before your final year of RT expires. A few INM offices still follow the old custom of having the RT allow their visa to expire, and having you apply for RP on the first business day after RT expiration, but that concept/practice is being replaced at almost all INM offices by the standard 30-days-prior to RT expiration policy. (Check with your INM office at least 30 days before your RT expires.)

      Re Permanent Residency Qualifications and Requirements:
      In legal theory, the INM offices are supposed to NOT check financials etc when the RT has successfully completed 4 continuous years (with no breaks, no penalties, and no problems) of RT permits. Unfortunately, local INM offices do have discretion and latitude in what they require: meaning that a few INM offices still require former RT’s to prove that they have the $$ personal finances/property to meet the Residente Permanente requirements. THIS IS NOT IN THE LAW NOR THE REGULATIONS… Check in advance what policy your local INM office uses. *sigh*

      You will file for RP, starting online at the INM website, then submit a letter to your INM office requesting the change in status from RT to RP, and supplying the documents they require. As described in our main article on immigration: – … You pay the $1,036 Regularization fee for changing status, then INM checks all your papers and documents (which may be minimal), and they tell you to come back in to get the document to take to the bank and pay, and to drop off ID fotos for your RP permit… same as your old RT processes…

      Hope this helps,

  3. Dave in Ont says:

    Steve…You mention “4 years” of temporary residency (FM2/3, no-inmigrante, residente temporal).
    Don’t you mean 5 years, with 4 renewals?
    We had held all three of the temporary permits and after 5 years we got permanent. (4 “renewals” was the magic number)

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dave,
      Nope. Since Nov. 8, 2012, the INM rules have been no more than 4 total years on any temporary residency visa (FM2/FM3, No Inmigrante/Inmigrante, or Residente Temporal).

      4 renewals was the old pre-Nov. 2012 system.

      GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU!! How are you and Shirl?

      • Dave in Ont says:

        Hi Steve,
        Shirl and I are doing fine. Back in Canada for another 3 months taking care of all the medical appointments that go along with getting older.
        Thanks for the clarification on the change in the rules. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the changes that are taking place. I’m just glad that we got our permanent cards last fall. Won’t have to make the annual trek to INM any more!.


      • yucalandia says:

        Good to hear you are well.

        You and Shirl fit into a special category, in that transition year between Nov 2012 – Oct 2013, where prior FM2s were grandfathered in to qualify for Residente Permanente (RP). If you were completing 5 total years on the FM2, most INM offices let them move over to RP, while a few INM offices behaved like a pain in the ****, telling those 5 year folks that they had exceeded the New Law’s 4 year requirement, and forced them to start over.

        It took the INM Distrito Federal office to box their ears, and get them to change policies: to credit any prior combination of continuous residency visa(s) that added to at least 4, to transition to RP.

  4. Lori Soto says:

    Is it possible to obtain Lic. Spencer McMullen’s email address and communicate with him directly?

    *Lori Soto* Hablo Español *972-800-6162* *Ebby Alumni Group, Inc.* *Exclusive Referral Associates*

  5. Richard says:

    I am a U.S. disabled vet and have a U.S. modified vehicle that permits me to drive it with my hands. I also get a discount from the VA for the modifications when I buy a new vehicle. I am not eligible for a permanent visa and my car is 2012. Who can I contact to ask for an exemption for a persona with a disability to drive a U.S. vehicle in Mexico? Thanks.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Richard,
      That is an excellent question.

      There’s a fellow on Mexconnect who had this same issue – with a van/wheelchair and special steering apparatus. His name is robt65 and he is very reliable.

      May I give him your email, and you can correspond with him directly?

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