Common Immigration and Importation Questions … and Answers by a Popular Mexican Lawyer

While reading the expat forums from around Mexico last week, I came across a Yolisto reader’s unanswered set of questions:

Need Immigration Lawyer:  
(Based on all the good references and advice I got from Yolisto readers) I contacted (Lawyer) Rodrigo and here is the responses I got from him.

A permenat visa is a one time process.  Which means that once you get this visa you do not need to do anything else ever again.

The Mexican goverment grants this visa in terms of income.  In order to get this you have to demonstrate at lease 3000 USD monthly deposits in your american bank account for the last 12 months. Or a 130,000 UDA investment assets of funds for 12 months.  Or a mexican home worth at least 130,000 in the offical accounting books value.

If you get a permanent visa you will subjected to import a car only permanently.  You can only import permently cars WITHOUT payiny tarrifs if they ar 8 or 9 years old, they pass a border environmental control and they were manufactured in US or Canada.  You can always permanently import any vehicle PAYING tarrifs.

If you permanently import a car as long as you pay the tarriffs you can import as may cars and motorcycles as you want.

Does this sound like anything we are being told?

Hope he is right.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~

The Yolisto poster seems very sweet, and deserves good quality answers.

Are these answers   (from a lawyer who is very popular with gringos in the Yucatan beach communities),  … accurate?  …based on actual INM or Aduana actions and policies?

A few are….

I answered these questions on Yolisto, but the Yolisto bosses deleted the answers and banned me for ______ … ???   Here’s a replay of the shocking, “excessively long”,  and highly controversial observations that got me banned:

“A permenat visa is a one time process.  Which means that once you get this visa you do not need to do anything else ever again.

Observations:  This is mostly correct.   Residente Permanentes do need to notify INM in writing every time they change their address in Mexico.  Also note that Residente Permanente INM permits for children must be renewed.

*    *    *    *
The Mexican goverment grants this visa in terms of income. 

Observations: This is partly correct,  proof of personal fiscal solvency can be proven by income.   Consider the following facts (as published in the Lineamientos de la Ley de Inmgración for the last 6 months):

~  Applicants who have completed 4 years of a prior INM temporary resident permits do not have to show any financial documentation, according to published law.*   This includes FM2/Inmigrante or FM3/No Inmigrante or Residente Temporal or combinations of them.

~  Many INM offices will even credit old prior FM2 or FM3 years, e.g.  summing 3 years of a prior FM3  with one year completed on a current FM2/Inmigrante, to meet the 4 years total required  (to qualify and show no financial documents).

” In order to get this you have to demonstrate at lease 3000 USD monthly deposits in your american bank account for the last 12 months.

~  Residente Permanente applicants with 4 valid years of prior temporary residency qualify do not need to prove fiscal solvency.   *No $$ documents needed under published law, nor at Merida INM, but a few individual INM & Consular offices add the extra-requirement.

~ The actual $$ amounts and “months” described by “Lawyer Rodrigo” are not correct

It is best to use the Mexican Peso values listed in the Law, and convert them to Canadian or US dollars at the current exchange rate.   The current legal amounts for 2013 are:

  – $32,380 pesos a month of regular income or pension deposits for one Residente Permanente,   =>  $2,650 USD per month for 6 months – at $12.2 MXN:USD rates.

” Or a 130,000 UDA investment assets of funds for 12 months.”

~ The Law actually  specifies 12 months of an Average Monthly Balance of $1,619,000 pesos => $132,770 USD per year at $12.2 MXN:USD.

” Or a mexican home worth at least 130,000 in the offical accounting books value. “

~ The Law has NO real estate qualifier in the Requisitos for Residente Permanente.

~  If, instead,  one is applying for the Residente Temporal, then $2,590,400 pesos => $213,000 USD worth of Mexican property for one Residente Temporal.

~  Note that some INM offices and some Mexican Consulates are using their local discretion to qualify some Residente Permanete applicants using an INFORMAL points system:  approving applicants by combining some monthly income, with some savings,  with some real estate.   There are no official published values for these items.

*    *    *    *
If you get a permanent visa you will subjected to import a car only permanently.  You can only import permently cars WITHOUT payiny tarrifs if they ar 8 or 9 years old, they pass a border environmental control and they were manufactured in US or Canada.

~ This advice from “Lawyer Rodrigo” is partly correct, but with serious caveats:

–  Everyone pays duties or tariffs on permanently imported cars.

~  8-9 yr old NAFTA cars can be imported at sea ports for higher duties.

– 6 yr old and older NAFTA cars can be imported at the US-Mexico border.         The duties charged at the border in Nogales, Mexicali, and Tijuana are 2X to 3X lower than seaport duties.   Texas border permanent import costs are currently 2X to 3X higher $$ than the Arizona and California crossings.

–  You can use a Mexican car dealer to permanently import your car.   Contact the customs broker Sr. Uc in Chetumal for details:  Gerardo Uc,

For details see: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico and Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents

*    *    *    *
You can always permanently import any vehicle PAYING tarrifs.

~ This one is correct.  The duties on new to 5 yr-old cars are very high though (40% – 50%).

*    *    *    *
” If you permanently import a car as long as you pay the tarriffs you can import as may cars and motorcycles as you want.

~ This is simply not true.  Foreign individuals can import only 1 car per year in Mexico.

“Does this sound like anything we are being told? …  Hope he is right.”

~  Unfortunately, this advice reported for Lawyer Rodrigo generally does not fit either Mexico’s printed Laws, nor the Regulations,  nor even what is done by actual INM and Aduana offices.

*    *    *    *

Really, this Yolisto poster does ask good questions,  and she seems sweet.   It’s too bad that the Yolisto bosses think that factual answers to her very good questions should be deleted.

Oh well,  it just goes to show: … Different strokes for different folks.

I personally saw no way to write shorter answers…  and was banned.   Yolisto is a privately owned site.  Since it’s their site, they can do whatever they want with it, but I wonder if the “new owners” of Yolisto know how their Administrator manages the site?

Cria cuervos que te sacaran tus ojos…

(We create, raise, and nourish the crows, who later return to …)

All the best,


*     *     *     *     *     *     *
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.

Customs brokers information can be found at: Mexconnect:  Recommended customs brokers for nationalizing vehicles

Further details on these issues can be found 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

Read on, MacDuff.


64 Responses to Common Immigration and Importation Questions … and Answers by a Popular Mexican Lawyer

  1. Pingback: Common Mexican Immigration Questions … as Answered by a Popular Mexican Lawyer | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Larry Nielsen says:

    I believe the above poster does not have the income requirements correct. As stated elsewhere in this forum, the monthly income required is $25,000 MXN (~$2,000 US). That is reduced if you own a house. In my case, the US Social Security letter in December established the monthly income without any other bank statements necessary.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Larry,
      Good to hear from you…

      Sorry for editing the article as you and others were reading it “UNDER CONSTRUCTION“.

      The article is now complete, and has the answers:
      ~ $32,380 pesos a month of regular income or pension deposits for one Residente Permanente is sufficient,
      => $2,650 USD per month for 6 months – at current $12.2 MXN:USD rates.

      Excellent point on how your Dec. 2012 SSI letter was sufficient to provide sufficient proof for our very-lenient local INM offices here in Yucatan.

  3. Peter says:

    Two things:
    I formed a Mexican Corporation in 1996 with one partner. For FM renewals neither of us had to show any income, just that the company was paying taxes for the income it generated.
    I received full Inmigrado status in 2006. My FM was stamped and I was issued a single sheet of paper stating my Inmigrado status. I was told then that I did not need to do anything more. Is that true?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Peter,
      Mostly true: As described above, whenever you change your Mexican address, you have to notify INM in writing of the new address.

      Re the corporation: It depends on how much net income the corporation generates and pays you, and on the INM agent’s personal discretion when analyzing your overall level of personal assets and income.

      • Peter says:

        Thanks for reminding me to notify INM if/when I move… especially since I actually do plan to move after being in the same home for the last 17 years.
        Yes, I have found that officials have lots of discretion… I consider that a Good Thing!

  4. Yolisto has threatened me with similar bans as well.

    I think it should be noted that different offices are applying different criteria:

    Here in Playa del Carmen, even if you can show 4 years of a previous visa status, you still have to prove income for the change to Permanent Resident.

    They are also making us turn in EVERYTHING, including the payment, when we submit the paperwork for the renewal or change of status.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Solomon,
      Yolisto has threatened me with similar bans as well.

      Haahahahahhahaaaaaaaaa !

      At least you have good company. Yolisto-Khan (aka Yolisto Khaki) is an old grandma, former school-teacher who still rules her classroom with an iron… will, living in the bayous of Louisiana. Carol says she really cannot move to Mexico because “If I was gone, who would tell my family members what to do”. Kudos to her in one area: For the past 5 years she has done a really good job of reading online things about Mexico as she lives in Louisiana, which allows her to write as if she has the perspectives of someone who lives here full-time. Still, be careful disagreeing with either her or people she likes, or you will likely find yourself banned. Oh well….

      So, INM de Playa del Carmen has added extra requirements, eh?
      That certainly is within their discretion….

      Does INM de Cancun also add that requirement?

      and… you have to pay up-front? What happens if they turn-down/reject the application?
      Go to Hacienda and file for a refund?

      Always good to hear from you,

      ~ ~ ~ ~
      PS For newer Yucalandia readers, we highly recommend Lic. Lawyer Solomon Freimuth for legal issues and INM issues, and labor law issues in Mexico.

      His advice is very good quality:
      ~ It is clearly explained (unlike Lawyer Rodrigo’s advice above)
      ~ It fits the published Laws and Regulations and Rules (Lineamientos).
      ~ Lic. Freimuth stays current with the ever-changing Mexican Laws and Regulations – which is a big task that most/many Mexican attorneys have not kept up with for the past 3 years.
      ~ Solomon offers very good information on his website: My Mexican Lawyer
      ~ Lic. Freimuth (Solomon) keeps the published information on his website current and accurate.
      ~ plus, he’s a really good man – providing reliable understandable legal advice for years.

      • vikingotj says:

        I can second Lic. Freimuth’s mention of the policy in Playa del Carmen. A week ago I had to turn in both payments, the 1,000 peso application review fee and the 3,800 change of status fee, at the same time with an original employment letter, copy of the IFE of the legal rep for the company I work at, employer’s registry, formato básico, proof of address, application, request letter, and photos. I have 8 years of visa history.

        Here is an interesting thing. If you are renewing/changing visas and notifying of a change in employer, you have to present TWO ORIGINAL job offer letters, one for each trámite despite both having the same piece number.

        Playa del Carmen seems to be less lenient than Tijuana, and the waits in the office are much longer. In the 7 renewals I have done (including 1 change from fm3 to fm2), the wait was never over an hour and a half. Here in Playa del Carmen, count on any trip taking over 2 hours of your time if it isn’t for just information.

        My information visit took 30 minutes. The first visit took 4 hours from 11 to 3, and I was turned away for not having the second original employment letter. The second visit took a little over 2 hours, and everything was accepted.

  5. Myra says:

    Hi I am the woman who posted to Yolisto. My major concern is if we can import in a 2003 truck that is pulling a trailer with two motorcycle and an 4 wheeler. I have been also told the motorycycles could come in but would have to leave after 4 years. Does this mean the truck can be permanent and the motorcycles would be temp. Just hunting the answer to get these item here permanent. Any suggestions.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Myra,
      If you have an FM2 or FM3 or Residente Temporal, or Residente Permanente, then, yes, you can import the truck, trailer, & bikes permanently at the US-Mexico border. Contact a customs broker before you go to the border to find out what it will cost and what details are needed – e.g. they likely need emissions certifications to qualify for importation. Imports at Tijuana, Nogales, and Mexicali have been reporting 2X to 3X lower duties than the Texas crossings. I posted other people’s recommendations on Mexconnect for customs brokers, but we do not personally know any – Customs brokers information can be found at: Mexconnect: Recommended customs brokers for nationalizing vehicles


  6. Jacobo says:

    I received my Permanente in Merida last week using a combination of FM3 and FM2 for
    the last five years and no verification of income. One observation, they do not always contact
    you when your card is ready. Do check in personally after about two weeks from the time the papers have been sent to DF if you do not hear from them.

    I, too, have been banned from Yolisto. Not sure what I did. I have only lived in Mexico 25 years, native speaker of Spanish, taught classes at Tec de Monterrey, U. de Americas and UNAM, PhD, worked previously as official translator for Mexican Judicial Courts, worked at my father’s Customs Broker business on the border for ten years during my youth. Oh, I also speak a little Cajun as I was raised on the Gulf coast among shrimpers (Port of Brownsville). I guess I should have told the Iron Lady about my Canjun exposure. But this is not enough to comment on a blog.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Jacobo,
      Good point on them not contacting applicants whose cards are ready. A related item: Friends of ours were told to only come to the office after 11:00 AM to pick up their cards.

      Re Yolisto: It’s pretty clear that your past experiences nearly automatically disqualify you from being a valued Yolisto-ite. 25 years of living in Mexico, knowing Aduana and customs broker’s policies, speaking Spanish as a formal translator, and working in the Mexican court system are definite strikes against you, likely creating great personal biases in you, that put you at odds with the administrators and experts on Yolisto. *grin*

      My personal biases that got me banned? Knowledge and professional training in pharmacology and toxicology. The site Administrator wrote several glowing recommendations for eating ground papaya seeds every day to improve GI health and inhibit parasites. 10 minutes of Google searches, to read published peer-reviewed medical reports on papaya seed pharmacology showed that dried papaya seeds actually do contain modestly potent GI antibiotic and anti-parasitic compounds. I had the temerity to point out that the combination of GI antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs are recommended to only be taken sparingly, using only well-controlled dosages. This combination-therapy of drugs is typically only taken as a single dose, or 2 doses, due to their significant side effects on liver and kidney function.

      I also pointed out that a natural predictable consequence of their pharmacology is that anyone with compromised liver function (Hepatitus patients, alcoholics, et al) should not take combinations of GI antibiotics and GI antiparasitic agents, unless under a doctors care. (When reading medical advice, a bit of background on the author can be helpful. I am a Ph.D. scientist, former professor, trained in Chemistry, Public Health and Environment. I work professionally in Public Health here in Merida, for UADY, in Dengue Virus programs, and serve as a staff Editor for UADY’s Bio-medical Journal)

      Controversial stuff, eh?

      What I didn’t realize was: Ex-school teacher Khaki-Carol had spent the 6 prior years carefully cultivating a reputation as being “The Science Expert” and “Medical Expert” on Yolisto – which fits the role of “wise-grandmother” dispensing home-spun medical advice on papaya-seeds as a daily cure-all. By unintentionally showing that the Emperor/-ess had no clothes, I was put on double-secret probation, and then ultimately banned for later contradicting Yolisto-recommended experts on Aduana and INM rules and practices.

      Still, it is their private site, and we heartily encourage them to exercise their personal will as they think is best.
      May they live long happy lives,

      • Jacobo says:


        Sounds like we are in the same boat, or better put, out of the same boat. Regarding the time allocated for picking up your card in Merida: they start to hand out the cards at noon until around one o’clock. They usually have about ten or so cards to hand out but this can vary. However, they make an order list at the first station as you come into INM on a first come basis. The earlier you arrive to put your name of the list, the earlier you get your card. You can come early and leave and come back at noon. I would not show up later than 11 o’clock to be put on the list just in case there are an inordinate number of people that day. It is not a big deal because the wait is not that long and you are inside the air conditioned section. The actual handover process takes about three minutes, but, in my case, it took about 40 days to get to the finish line and that is without any issues.

        This was a couple of weeks ago. No guarantee that this is still the policy.

      • yucalandia says:

        Good advice, thanks!

  7. Chad says:

    Thank you for a great post, yet again, Steve.

    I wish I could be banned from Yolisto!!!
    I am usually ignored on that site. I have met many expats in Mérida who no longer use it due to the rudeness of some, innaccurate info, and being focused on beach dwelling cliques. However, I amnot here to bash them (well……) , but Dr. Fry should always be the first go-to man. 🙂 I cannot fathom the hours you spend helping us all out. I would love to meet you and buy you a beer.

    Does Solomon ever come to Mérida for clients? Yesterday you mentioned I may want to find a lawyer about my case.

    • Hi Chad,

      I can’t do immigration work in Merida because it involves too many trips to the local office. I have clients that work with YES in Merida and seem to be fairly happy with their services.

      I was on that side of the Peninsula last weekend and I have to say, you Yucatecos are made of tougher mettle than we Caribbean-coasters: I thought I was going to melt.

      Sorry I can’t be of more service.


  8. Cindy Morrissey says:

    I need help finding an immigration attorney who can help me apply for a permanent resident card at the INM office in Campeche. Can you help?

  9. Nancy says:

    Hello, Can someone clarify this for me- it is my understanding that YOU CAN NOT EVER import a NON-NAFTA car – period, whether you pay tarrifs or no? This is confusing, as it seems to say that you CAN, as long as you pay the tarrifs? This is EXTREMELY important to me, as I bought a non-NAFTA car to take to Mexico, it’s 10 years old and beautiful- but currently trying to sell it because of this law- HELP PLEASE? Thanks:)

    You can always permanently import any vehicle PAYING tarrifs. “

    ~ This one is correct. The duties on new to 5 yr-old cars are very high though (40% – 50%).

  10. Nancy says:

    Thanks so much, I will contact him. I am pretty scared to proceed with this, as I will be driving it to a border crossing , and will be in the process of becoming a permanent resident- would hate to drive all the way from Northern Canada to get turned around at the border. EKKKKK!!!

    • yucalandia says:

      You’re welcome.

      We neither endorse not disapprove of Sr. Uc. We are taking a wait-and-see approach to how he handles the first group of Meridadanos who have sent him their papers & $$. I will keep you apprised of how their processes go.

  11. Applying as retirees couples to enter to Mexico from Australia (Australian Citizens) are we allow to enter personal belongings, furniture and domestic items free of TAX??? Please confirm what
    I red it in Mexican government web site.
    Rene Perez

  12. Nancy says:

    Just to add to this question, is there a limit on how much you can bring? I plan to haul a cargo trailer (16 feet/ 4.8 meters) with a washer machine, tools, furniture etc- I would estimate around $8,000 used price) . Gracias

  13. Bettye says:

    New Development with permanent visa applications: According to the folks at Y.E.S. Mexico City is rejecting applications if they do not include a letter from social security or your former employer indicating that you are in fact retired…In other words, no matter how much money is in your bank account, you need to prove that you have “retirement” income. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts…as apparently they just started rejecting applications a couple of weeks ago…so yet another change in the new process????

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bettye,
      Good update.

      This fits with a prior notice from 2 weeks ago of the same information that we posted: INM offices and the Consulates were being instructed by INM-DF to only consider retirement income deposits, as certified by letter or financial documents on the US govt or Retirement Plan official letterhead.

      When we hear one report on a new policy, it is interesting and helpful. When other people send in later updates confirming that first report, we all can get a sense if that policy is actually being enforced as we were first told.


      PS For non-Yucatecans: YES is a local facilitator in Merida that helps shepherd gringo INM applications.

  14. Chad says:

    Thanks Steve and Bettye for pointing this out. I was also told at YES that I could not be given ‘residente permanente’ until after FOUR years of temporary since I am earning a working income (an amount that would qualify me for permanent, nonetheless) in the United States and NOT a retirement income.

    However, I contacted the INM office hotline and was told that I can indeed apply for ‘permanente’ status even if it is earned income. Of course, I could call again and receive a contradictory response. I chose to do a one year temporary visa to see what happens then.

  15. Pingback: Immigration to Mexico (living, working, passport, doctor) - City-Data Forum

  16. sherri siegel says:

    I am so confused with all the immigration changes. Here’s my situation: I am not in Mexico for more than 6 months at a time so could keep my tourist visa but I want a car to keep there. Instead of dealing with immigration and leaving a US plated car I am thinking of buying a car in Mexico. Can I do this with a tourist visa? Will I need a Mexican drivers liscence? Can I get one with a tourist visa?
    What kinds of complications might I encounter in doing this?
    Thanks for any answers,

  17. sherri siegel says:

    I thought that if you owned a Mexican plated vehicle you do not need to get a Residente Temporal or Permanente if you would not be in the country longer than 6 months even to register or renew the vehicle. Is this true?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sherri,
      Other states may have their own rules, but in the Mexican states we know about, you must have residency (not Visitor/tourist) status to register a Mexican car.

      You can buy the car. You can park the car. You can store the car. You can own the car. Visitors and Tourists cannot register it to get legal plates – is our best understanding – unless you become a resident.

  18. Nancy says:

    Hello again, just read the above – WOW all those being ‘banned’, is that not extremely juvenile? I am so shocked that a former teacher would act react so inappropriately. Anyway, onto my question. Steve, could you please clarify 2 points- firstly PER YEAR in the below sentence?? It says 12 months, and then ‘per year’… do I have to show several prior years of investments with at least a 132,770 balance? ( We, my husband and I, are seeking permanente residente status-not a lot of chat on permanent status:()

    ~ The Law actually specifies 12 months of an Average Monthly Balance of $1,619,000 pesos => $132,770 USD per year at $12.2 MXN:USD.

    Also, whe you rebutted above, you did not comment of importing NON-NAFTA vehicles, does the same apply, “ANY VEHICLE can be imported IF tariffs are paid”? And I know this is a stretch, but not only is my car not NAFTA but it also has a “rebuilt” status—ekkkk. Does anyone know about this? (Honda Civic SIR 2004, built in England for export to Canada- left hand drive)


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Nancy,
      “… WOW all those being ‘banned’, is that not extremely juvenile? I am so shocked that a former teacher would act react so inappropriately. …”

      Yes, the mistress who runs Yolisto has her favorites, and banned me for these responses/observations. Be careful, because if you dare point out the mistakes of one of her favorites, you wind up in her personal dog house. Be especially careful if you dare point out how she has personally written very bad (risky) medical advice. As a high school chemistry teacher, she has written that she has taken the all the same courses as Ph.D. Chemistry professors and internationally recognized public health experts. Yolisto’s grand dam also claims she has had all the same courses and equivalent training as staff editors on medical research journals. In reality, she spent 10-20 years tutoring people on how to pass entry level chemistry classes, which also means she took some college chemistry classes and got a High School teaching certificate.

      Anyway, getting back to your question, you wrote:
      “…Anyway, …could you please clarify 2 points- firstly PER YEAR in the below sentence?? It says 12 months, and then ‘per year’… do I have to show several prior years of investments with at least a 132,770 balance? ( We, my husband and I, are seeking permanente residente status-not a lot of chat on permanent status:()

      ~ The Law actually specifies 12 months of an Average Monthly Balance of $1,619,000 pesos => $132,770 USD per year at $12.2 MXN:USD.

      My presentation above might not be the most clear, as I tried to quote the mis-information by the famoso and gringo-popular “Lawyer Rodrigo” – and then I offer the correct answers…

      If you read our main article on Immigration at: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico> , and see the section on Permanent Residency:

      Financial Independence (Savings or Income or Property) Requirements for Permanent Residency / Residente Permanente Applicants

      Residente Permanente Income or Deposits or Bank Balance Requirements:
      (Manual/Lineamientos Article 44)
      ~ Documentation of Proof of Financial Independence by Average Bank Balance: Provide the 12 months of original bank statements (plus copies) as proof of income or savings/investments, to show equivalent to twenty five thousand days of the general minimum wage in the District Federal for the previous twelve months…
      … Average Monthly Balance of about $125,000 USD (exactly $1,619,000 pesos) at $13:1 MXN:USD for Residente Permanente.

      Using Method of Regular Deposits of Income or Pension Receipts: (Residente Permanente)
      ~ Have minimum monthly income deposits or pension deposits that are the equivalent of five hundred days worth of the current minimum wage in the Federal District, for each of the previous six months – with original and copies of original bank statement. This translates to:
      … about $2,500 USD (exactly $32,380 pesos) a month of regular deposits for one Residente Permanente.

      Note 1: Many INM offices are reducing the monthly income or pension deposit requirements by 1/2 for applicants who own property in Mexico.

      Note 2: Many INM offices are requiring applicant spouses to have bank statements and/or property listed in the spouse’s name. One work-around for this: Have the primary applicant (the person whose name is on the accounts and real estate) get approved first, then have the spouse/dependent file a subsequent application as a family member of the primary Residente Permanente. Go To: Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Permanente.

      Is this presentation sufficiently clear?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sherri,
      Replies: Part 2
      You wrote:
      “… you did not comment of importing NON-NAFTA vehicles, does the same apply, “ANY VEHICLE can be imported IF tariffs are paid”? And I know this is a stretch, but not only is my car not NAFTA but it also has a “rebuilt” status—ekkkk. Does anyone know about this? (Honda Civic SIR 2004, built in England for export to Canada- left hand drive). …

      Basically, Mexico’s Aduana checks their VIN database, to see if your car has an ACCEPTABLE VIN. Since you English manufactured VIN doer not qualify, then as a normal resident, you CANNOT personally import the vehicle. You might note that official licensed Mexican Car Dealers can permanently import them… Which is why you see non-NAFTA cars driving around with legal Mexican plates. If you really want to import an English-made Honda, then you need to contact someone who uses an official licensed car dealer to handle the importation for you. Sr. Gerardo Uc of Chetumal (a licensed Customs Broker) offers this service – performed by his business partner/car dealer in Tamaulipas. For about $2,000 USD they do permanent imports, using your paperwork…. Their approach is fully legal, but takes 30 to 45 days… and you get Tamaulipas plates and an Aduana pedimento.

      Several Merida people have successfully used this process, and they report good results.

      Have you read our article on Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico ? Read the section on Sr. Uc’s services: ~ Sr. Gerardo Uc – Chetumal, MX


  19. Cindy says:

    I just moved to Campeche in May. I got a permanent resident visa in the states, based on my income. Applying at the Campeche office for my resident card couldn’t have been easier. I went in alone but prepared with all my financials and copies, speaking no Spanish but armed with a google translator on my cell phone. They didn’t ask for or want any of my financials. Just a lease and electric bill, which was in my landlords name, accompanied by a letter from him explaining the bill would remain in his name but that I would pay it. They gave me a form to fill out and asked for two infantile size pictures, a receipt from the bank showing I paid the $35.00 fee and that was it! I had to return two weeks later to sign another form and wait another two weeks for the card to come in from Mexico City and that was it. They couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. A great INM office to use!

  20. cindy says:

    Houston Texas

  21. Nancy says:

    Hey Steve, GRACIAS GRACIAS, such great information. I am selling the car, and will make sure I have the correct financial documents when I hit the consulate in Calgary:) I think this will just be easier- still hoping to drive a truck and cargo trailer, but that idea may also go the way of the dodo bird- again too much hassle. Hey, did I ever mention that powdered yak horn mixed with cocoa, consumed during a full moon in Nepal, will cure amebic dysentery– see, I am a “doctor” too… giggle.

  22. sherri siegel says:

    My new plan is to apply for a 4 yr. temporary resident visa in my home country (USA) and get a TIP at the border when I drive down. It is my understanding that I can then apply to extend the TIP before it expires to match my 4 yr. visa (so I could extend the TIP for 4 yrs. then need to drive it out of Mexico). Is this correct? Because my vehicle would be on a TIP can I bring in any vehicle (non-NAFTA?
    Can I simply request a 4 yr. temp. visa and pay the fee to get it or are there other differences between obtaining a 1 yr. v.s 4 yr. temp. visa?
    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sherri,
      Your understanding of the Mexican Consulate’s instructions is close to being complete. To use a your car in Mexico, you would either have to pay duties to permanently import it now, or you would apply for Temporary Residency at a Mexican Consulate in the USA, and go to Mexico (getting a 30 day TIP to import the car at the border) on your way to complete the Temporary Residency process at your local INM office.

      There are 2 hitches to that plan though: The Mexican Consulate gives you a special visa to enter Mexico that is only good for 30 days inside Mexico… That means that Aduana issues you a car TIP for just… 30 days… and … The Mexican Consulate also almost universally only approves Temporary Residents for just a 1 year card…

      This 30 day Aduana TIP means that when you get your comprabante from INM in Mexico (the comprabante that proves INM has approved your application and that you have paid your Temp. Res. fee), you then you quickly send a letter (with a copy of the INM/bank comprabante) to Aduana asking them to extend your TIP expiration date by 1 year, to match the anticipated expiration date of your new Temp. Resident card… This application before 30 days stops Banjercito from confiscating your TIP deposit at the 30 day expiration date…. and ….. Yes, you are eligible for 4 TOTAL years of Temp. Res., but the goofy Mexican Consulates are only approving applicants for just 1 year, and then you apply for 3 more years during the following year’s renewal application at INM….

      Did I explain this all OK? You apply at the Mexican Consulate, come to Mexico, start your INM part of the process to get a 1 year Residente Temporal card, use the INM document to file with Aduana for a 1 year extension of your TIP on the Traverse…. and then to start your second year of Residente Temporal, you file again with INM for a 3 year renewal of the RT card, and use that proof of payment to INM to file with Aduana again, but this time for a 3 year extension of your TIP expiration date.

      Clear as mud?

  23. sherri siegel says:

    Thank you, thank you-way clearer as mud. This is the best most thorough info./timeline I have ever seen regarding a very confusing process. I really appreciate the effort you put into this.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sherri,
      You’re welcome.

      Note that Canadian, US, and Mexican bureaucrats all reserve the right to make arbitrary and capricious decisions – meaning that the plan I describe has a highly-likelihood of success, but there are cases when the Aduana folks in DF get cranky about approving the extension of the TIP from 30 days out to 1 year.

      All other steps are executed by the bureaucrats fairly consistently, but that last step of where Aduana DF decides whether to accept your request to extend from 30 days to 1 year is where a few expats have reported problems. Since I do not know if the expats made errors in their TIP expiration date extension requests, since I do not know if they sent a well worded letter, since I do not know if they sent a the right INM documentation (comprabante) to Aduana, since I do not know if they sent their good quality and complete request to Aduana for a TIP extension well BEFORE the 30 day expiration date, I really don’t know why some gringos TIP extension applications have been denied by Aduana…

  24. catherine says:

    Hello, somewhere on this site was instructions on how to renew your temporary visa permit? (Form, letters needed, etc). I now can’t find it. Any help appreciated!! Thanks!!

  25. Catherine says:

    Thanks so much Steve. My temp permit expires on the 26th of Jan and I need to make a trip to the US (coming back the week before), and then right after my permit expires leave again. I’m wondering if I should go this week (before I leave the first time) and try and get my NUT? Or will they take my current visa and then I’ll have to get a letter from immigration to leave? (I leave Monday so concerned that I couldn’t do this in time..)

  26. pa2qroo says:

    Thanks for all the info. I am having some immigration issues right now. I have two questions I don’t think I saw here… 1) Is there a limit to the amount of time you are allowed out of Mexico with a TR; whether it be per year or in the 4 years leading up to the PR. 2) What happens to someone that is on a PR and they divorce their Mexican Spouce and have no children? (this is for a friend)
    Thank you again for your countless hours in helping us expats

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi pa2qroo,
      No limit on time you can be out of Mexico on a TR, other than the requirement that you return to renew the TR before it expires. Unlike the USA where a “Permanent Residency” card does not even come close to allowing permanent residency, Mexico allows you to keep your permanent residency even if you are out of the country. So, my readings of the regs/laws show no restrictions, (other than reporting address changes, workplace changes, etc). Ironically, foreigners who become Naturalized Mexican Citizens seem to have more restrictions: Naturalized citizens can be stripped of their Mexican citizenship if they live abroad continuously for more than five years, under Article 37, Item II of the Constitution. Naturalized Citizens also cannot render voluntary services to a foreign government, unless approved by the Federal Congress o de su commison permanente, nor can they accept or use foreign government titles of nobility (no fealty). So, to our best understandings, there are limits for Naturalized Citizens, but not on RPs.

      Closing note on restrictions on foreigners: Article 32 of the Constitution bans immigrants, foreigners, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico from serving as Mexican-flagged airline crews or ship crews, military officers, or chiefs of seaports and airports. ??? I mention these things, because it is difficult for me to see how the restrictions on naturalized citizens will not someday flow down to RPs.

  27. says:

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    and post is genuinely fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these types of content.

  28. Bob caskey says:

    Your information is invaluable to expats who have the patience and desire to understand these issues. I am a permanent resident just attaining 2 years with visa in Mexico. My wife is ready for her permanent visa. Other than the marriage certificate and apostille translated with certification, passport, and proof of address, what other documentation is required? And once permanent visa is approved for her is it still necessary to obtain lucrativo as an artist or simply register with Hacienda? Many thanks!

  29. Barbara says:

    Hi Steve,

    Don’t know that I’ve seen this answered. I’ll be moving to Mexico in approximately 12 months, and while I’d like a Residente Permanente visa from the get-go I understand I will need to start with the Residente Temporal and follow the steps to get the Permanente. However. I am married and my husband will not be moving/immigrating. Does this prevent me from getting either visa? I financially qualify on my own for both Permanente and Temporal. My husband will visit on tourist visas from time to time but has no desire to reside there or have a visa other than tourist as needed.

    I appreciate you and all you do! Any insight on this is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much.

  30. Kyle Jack says:

    Great suggestions – For my two cents , if your business is requiring a a form , my wife discovered a blank document here

  31. Dexter Gomez says:

    It’s awesome to go to see this website and reading the views of all mates concerning this article, while I am also zealous of
    getting experience. Thanks!

  32. PLEASE note that Permanent Residents cannot drive foreign plated vehicles.

    Cars must be 10 years or older in order to obtain the PEDIMENTO at the border which will then offer the owner the right to get Mexican Plates.

    Permanent Residents who wish to apply for their MEXICAN Naturalization cannot have been out of the country for more than 180 days during the two years prior to their desired filing date.

    Those who still have the old INMIGRADO cards should exchange them for the new Permanent Resident Card.

    Just thought this bit of info might come in handy!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hola Teresa,
      Aduana Law & SAT Law order that Residente Permanentes CAN drive foreign-plated cars,

      Read Articulo 106, Sección~Parte 4 de la Ley Aduanero .**

      They use the same conditions that Mexican citizens can drive cars.

      Residente Permanentes can drive the foreign-plated cars of ANY family member.

      Residente Permanentes can also drive ANY foreign-plated car inside
      ~ Baja California
      ~ Quintana Roo
      ~ Baja California Sur
      ~ in the Border Zone
      ~ in parts of Sonora

      Residente Permanetes can drive ANY and ALL foreign cars when the person who has the TIP (Permiso de Importación Temporal de vehiculos) is IN the car … just like for Mexican citizens.

      Thanks for the other good repetitions on old Inmigrado cards & Naturalization information.

      Note that all these things are covered in our 2 main articles on “Immigration” and on “Driving in Mexico”
      ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
      **~ Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico


  33. Pam McNish says:

    What if you hold a permanent residente Visa but have not submitted an address change to INM because of not being aware that you had to, how would one go about it without any issues?

    • yucalandia says:

      There are no guarantees of “no issues” when we don’t follow govt. rules. Fortunately, they likely accept an address change submitted in writing with no problems.
      Happy Trails,

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