Update to Mexico’s Naturalized Citizenship Exam Requirements

Nov 4, 2018 Update
SRE standards have formally settled into foreigners over age 60 not having to take the history, gastronomy, governance, culture exam.   They do however still have to prove Spanish competency, by reading about 4 paragraphs of Spanish text aloud, and then answering 5 test questions on that text. (Note that the Spanish text has multiple, nested, dependent clauses.)
https://sre.gob.mx/naturalizacion-costos-y-tiempos

That part of the Spanish competency exam is followed by looking at 3 pictures, and writing a grammatically correct sentence about each foto.

Finally, at last report,   ONLY   the Merida SRE office is requiring that applicants  be able to recite the Chorus +plus 2 or 3 verses of the National Anthem ~ Hymno (Coro, Estrofas 1 y 2,  y possible #10).  The Merida SRE Delegado also asks applicants to describe the Escudo & Bandera, and tell the significance of each item on them.

August 21, 2018 Update
Back in April, 2018, we reported updated requirements to the Naturalized Citizenship exams, including a requirement that:
In Part One, you read a few paragraphs out loud then answer multiple choice questions about what you just read.

In Part Two, you pick a photo at random out of a book of photos, then write 3 grammatically-correct sentences in Spanish about that photo. Any sentences of any length about anything tangentially related to the photo. “

Since that good April update, there have been more expat first-person reports from Lake Chapala, on what the Guadalajara SRE office is requiring – that mostly confirms our April 2018 update,  but there are some twists about how the Guadalajara SRE office is making that relatively simple exam …  ~difficult~ .  Guadalajara SRE has raised the bar in how they apply the test.  NOW it’s write 5 answers (not 3)  and they’ve gotten really sticky about grammar, spelling, Capitalizations of proper nouns & punctuation.

See the very end of this gradually growing post for the details.


April 26, 2018 Update

As reported by Yucalandia on Jan 12, (Jan. 2018 Update to Mexico’s Naturalized Citizenship Exam Requirements) …  SRE has changed their requirements & policies for getting Naturalized Citizenship, by replacing their previous 5 multiple choice ‘Mexican History & Culture’ exam with a new format.

As of now, we’ve had no local reports from Yucatan about what Merida’s SRE officie is doing,  but Mexico’s oldest & largest expat community offers the following ~unofficial~ reports into their SRE office’s ways of meeting the new 2018 SRE requirements for qualifying for Ciudadana Naturaleza.

The first change (reported from Jalisco) is that foreigner applicants over age 60(59?) from non-Spanish speaking countries, (like Canada, USA, Gr. Britain et al) will have to take both written & oral Spanish language exams to prove competency in Spanish.
… “If you are over 61 & from a Latin American country, you will not have to sit for any written tests. If you are over 61 &  not  of Latin American origin, you will not have to take the history-geography-culture-gastronomy written test. You will, however, have to sit for a written Spanish language exam regardless of your age. …

(SRE’s new) Spanish language exam involves reading comprehension, grammar, spelling, conjugation, etc.    You will read an article in Spanish then answer questions about the article in essay form in written Spanish. You will be judged on all the annoying little details such as accent marks, capitalization, correct verb conjugation, etc.

Further,  for applicants under age 60,  it is reported that applicants have to take a 10 question, multiple-choice-answer, timed (5 minutes) written exam on Mexican culture, history, gastronomy etc..  Successful applicants must answer 8 out of 10 questions correctly.  SRE will offer several different versions of the written exam, rotating the exam questions.   Here are 2  ~unofficial~ ~unconfirmed~ versions the new current SRE’s ‘new’ 2018 written exam for culture-history-gastronomy etc:

“Example Questions & Answers:  **Version 1**
1: Que lugar ocupa la economia de Mexico en el mundo? – 15º lugar
2: Quien fue el astronauta mexicano que viajó al espacio en la misón STS-61-B del Transbordador Espacial Atlantis? – Rodolfo Neri Vela
3: Como se llama (la cultura) que inventó el “0”? – Maya
4: Cual es la comida tipica de Nuevo Leon? – Cabrito
5: Cual es el significado del nombre “Cuauhtemoc” en el idioma náhuatl? – El Aguila que descendio.
6: Como se llama el premio concedido anualmente por la Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematograficas? – Ariel (de plata)
7: El arpa tiene un lugar privilegiado en la musica de que estado mexicano? – Vera Cruz
8: Como se llamaba el dios azteca de la guerra? – Huitzilopochtli
9: A que se refiere (el apelativo) de La Mujer Dormida y (El Cerro Que Humea)? – Iztaccihuatl y Popocatepetl
10: Que faceta de la cultura mexicana fue representada por (Alfonso Reyes,) Juan Rulfo, y (Rosario Castellanos)? – La narrativa mexicana “

= = = = = = = = = = =

“Example Questions & Answers:  **Version 2**
1. ¿A quien se le conoce como el Centauro del Norte? Francisco Villa
2. Acapulco fue durante los siglos XVII y XVIII un importante puerto porque controlaba la navegación en el _____. Océano Pacífico
3. Nombre del partido político que gobernó durante 7 décadas en el siglo XX: _____. Partido Revolucionario Institucional
4. El teatro de mayor prestigio en la ciudad de México es el: _____. Palacio de Bellas Artes
5. ¿Cuál es el número total de senadores en México? 128
6. ¿En que estado de la republica se encuentra el Cerro de la Silla? – Nuevo Leon
7. ¿Cuál era el nombre de México durante el periodo colonial?  Nueva España
8. ¿Cuál es la fecha en que se celebra el Dia de las Mamas en México? – El 10 de Mayo
9. ¿Cuál es nombre del mexicano que recibió el premio Nobel de Literatura? – Octavio Paz
10. ¿Cuál fue la aportación mas importante del científico mexicano Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cárdenas? Inventó el primer anticonceptivo oral

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Version 3 … from a Jalisco expat web forum

1.       ¿Cómo está constituido el poder judicial? Por la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, el Tribunal Electoral, el Consejo de la Judicatura Federal, Juzgados de Distrito y los Tribunales Colegiados y Unitarios de Circuito.

2.       ¿Qué tipo de Árbol es el de la Noche Triste? Ahuehuete

3.       ¿Quién escribió La noche de Tlatelolco. Testimonios de historia oralElena Poniatowska (Fortunately I knew this one, but the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

4.       ¿Qué es la conspiración de Valladolid? Organizaron un movimiento clandestino que tenía como fin organizar una Junta Nacional Gubernativa que tomara el poder a nombre de Fernando VII luego de que éste entregara el poder a Napoleón

5.       ¿Quién es el único arquitecto mexicano ganador del Pritzker? Luis Barragán (Fortunately I knew this one, but the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

6.       ¿Cuándo se inauguró el Ángel de la Independencia? 16 de septiembre de 1910

7.       ¿Canción que se canta cuando alguien cumple años? La mañanitas (Everyone know this one, but obviously the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

8.       ¿Cuál es el nombre del ritual que consta de cuatro jóvenes  que trepan por un mástil de 18 a 40 metros de alto y un quinto hombre,  Sentado en la plataforma que remata el mástil, tocando una flauta y un tambor? Los Voladores de Papantla (Everyone know this one, but obviously the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

9.       ¿Qué ecosistema neutral se encuentra en el Golfo de México? El Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano (the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

10.   Internet Poster doesn’t remember the question.

= = = = = = = = = = =

Version 4   – from a Jalisco expat web forum

1.       ¿A quién representa la Cámara de Senadores? A las entidades federativas (los estados)

2.       ¿Qué mexicano ganó el Premio Nobel de la Química? Mario Molina (Fortunately I knew this one, but the answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

3.       ¿Qué significa el Nombre Cuauhtémoc? El águila que descendió

4.       ¿Cuándo se inauguró el metro de la Ciudad de México? 4 de septiembre de 1969 (No average Mexican knows this, and knowing this doesn’t qualify you as a Mexican. This fact has to do only with people from Mexico City. My father knows this answer because when he was a young boy and visited Mexico City with my grandfather the Metro had just opened for the first time. The answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given))

5.       ¿Cuál fue la primera constitución del México Independiente? La Constitución de Apatzingán de 1814 (Funny thing about this tricky question, is that The first constitution Mexico had as an actual country was the one of 1824, which was written about three years after Mexico became fully independent in 1821. That is why I picked this option, which was marked wrong by the examiner. The reason given was that apparently the historians considered the 1814 one as the first official one for an independent Mexico… this question is not well drafted because Mexico started its fight for independence from Spain in 1810, a process that lasted 11 years. This means that when the Apatzingan Constitution was written when Mexico was not actually independent yet. Many sources on the internet actually consider the 1824 the actual first constitution, and 1814 one is just seen as a precursor but not the first official constitution.)

6.       ¿Qué callejón localizado en Guanajuato es popular entre los mitos y leyendas de México? El Callejón del Beso.

7.       ¿Autor mexicano que escribió Temporada de zopilotes: una historia narrativa sobre la Decena Trágica, sobre los generales porfirista que juraban fidelidad al presidente Madero conspiraban por las noches para dar un golpe de Estado? Paco Ignacio Taibo (Another question that no average citizen knows… I was between him and another author, but picked the other one instead, so I got it wrong) (The answer is not in any of the bibliographical references given)

8.       ¿En qué año entro en vigor el Tratado de Libre Comercio? 1994 (I rembered this one because I moved to Mexico when I was a kid just before this happened. The average citizen doesn’t even know this… I know it because I have asked around)

9.       ¿Cuál es el nombre del Primer Virrey de la Nueva España?  Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco (Probably at some point of my elementary school life I learned this fact, but I obviously forgot about it because I never got to use this fact in real life, and I never came across it again until this exam. I have asked around and the average citizen doesn’t even know or remember it)

10.   Internet Poster doesn’t remember the question.

= = = = = = = = = = =

Since this information appears legitimate, but we have no independent confirmations from other SRE offices (outside of Jalisco),  we welcome readers to provide current & ongoing updates to how their local SRE offices are implementing the new rules & new requirements for Mexican Naturalized Citizenship.

========================
FINALLY:
An applicant in Jalisco found Jalisco SRE’s   Spanish language competency test   is extremely easy.
In Part One, you read a few paragraphs out loud then answer multiple choice questions about what you just read.
In Part Two, you pick a photo at random out of a book of photos, then write 3 grammatically-correct sentences in Spanish about that photo. Any sentences of any length about anything tangentially related to the photo. “

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

August 21, 2018 Update on the SRE Guadalajara Testing TWISTS:
I took the Spanish test for Citizenship last month in Guadalajara. The young man that reviewed my paperwork and checked that I had everything in order gave me the test. When we went into the room for the test his whole attitude changed.

There were  two parts to the test. First was reading and comprehension  And the second was Look at a picture and write five sentences about the picture.

I was given a piece of paper with a two paragraph story on it {Probably 500 words} and was told I had 5 minutes to read it and answer 5 questions and the time starts now. So I began reading it, about a minute in he says No, read it aloud to me. So I start reading it to him. the story is about a magical kingdom of Mayans and everyone’s name were likeK’ak’ Tiliw Chan Yopaat. He would stop me and say you pronounced that wrong read it again. He did that over and over so by the time I finished it I had 45 seconds left to answer the five questions.

Each answer was long and had 4 options to choose from I managed to get three out of 5 right so we moved to the other test.

I was handed a picture with a man and woman in a lab looking in Microscopes and told to write 5 sentences about the things I noticed and that I had 3 minutes.

I wrote the 5 things and when he started he grading it he said: First is wrong you didn’t put a period at the end of your answer.

Two and three are wrong because you misspelled a word in each and 4 also you didn’t capitalize so you have failed this test

He then gave me a big FU smile and left the room. When  I went back outside he said to feel free to come back to take the test again if I so choose.”

 

We’re looking forward to reports from Yucatan about how Merida’s SRE is handling it.

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

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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19 Responses to Update to Mexico’s Naturalized Citizenship Exam Requirements

  1. dennischp says:

    Send from Huawei Mobile

  2. davisod says:

    You were expected to pay him off.

    • goatwrangler says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. Considering using a facilitator runs $1,000 USD I wonder if half of that or less in pesos would take care of this?

      • yucalandia says:

        These changes to make it more challenging to become a citizen come from years of SRE Delegado’s complaints that ignorant Americans were just memorizing the multiple choice answers to the old test, and that there were too many gringos getting citizenship without actually being able to speak Spanish or write even simple sentences in Spanish.

        Note that the current new test requires the applicants to write just 3 simple sentences, describing an ordinary object in a foto.

        If you can’t write 3 simple declarative sentences, in the present tense …. you really shouldn’t be given a citizenship that allows you to vote.

        We’ve all seen what happens when people who can’t write or say even simple intelligible sentences in English, get votes….
        …. You know the windmills, boom, boom, boom, bing. That’s the end of that one …

        If you can’t answer even simple questions in Spanish, you shouldn’t be voting in Mexican elections … regardless of how much $$-hush-money you want to pay to bribe someone.

        steve

  3. goatwrangler says:

    Has there been any reporting from other states or the Baja?

    • yucalandia says:

      Per a June 2018 local report, Merida’s SRE has been following the same procedures as Guadalajara’s SRE office (described above) … except Merida has stuck with requiring the applicants to write just 3 simple declarative present-tense sentences about an object in a foto.

      steve

  4. Basure says:

    Appreciated this article, thanks

  5. mexicobonita says:

    hello…a little off topic but on your site it states that with the travel permission letter it expires in 60 days from issue but that its good for 180 days of travel…im being told that its only good for 60 days of travel…can you please confirm ….thank you

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bonita,
      We haven’t seen the latest versions of the letters.

      Check the language, please, to determine the specific wordings of …. when the travel must be initiated, and when you must return. … You may need to leave Mexico within 60 days from issue, and return no later than 180 days from departing Mexico.
      steve

  6. Denise says:

    Hi Steve,
    I just took the test in Cancun a week ago. I’d like to share the details of my experience so you can add it to your article. Is there an e-mail where I can contact you directly?
    Thank you,
    Denise

    • Hassan says:

      Dear Denise,
      I am going to do the rest next week.
      Would you please share your test details?
      The reading and photo.
      Thanks

  7. Is it true that I can’t take the test unless I can show that I have been in Mexico for 16 months out of 24?

  8. Chris says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Got a question, could someone please help me here
    1. In the above article August-2018 updates, there is not mention of History test. Does that mean history test is part of paragraph reading? Or Is there another history test?
    2. Also SRE website listed an info that if we do not pass the exam in two attempts then we need to wait upto an year to take the exam again, any idea?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Chris,
      Did you read the lists of … questions currently asked by SRE” … offered above?

      Notice that those lists include history questions … cultural questions … govt. structure … and gastronomical questions.

      There is no single “History Exam”… History is included in the mix of other questions that prove knowledge of Mexico.

      = = = = = = = = =
      Re the number of attempts at the exam, citizenship applicants from Jalisco have reported the same: 2 attempts per year.

      Can you give a web-address citation to the SRE site you found with that requirement?

      Happy Trails,
      steve

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