Backup Copy of Yucalandia’s Main Article on Immigrating to Mexico

November 21, 2014 Update
We have added more details on how to become a Naturalized Citizen. including key weblinks to SRE and INE/IFE sites:
~ Immigration Requirements that Relate to Becoming a Naturalized Citizen

November 9, 2014 Update
We have gotten 3 separate reports this past week from travelers who had allowed their Residente Temporal permits to lapse, and then went through a border crossing. Each of the 3 travelers handed over their old expired Residente Temporal cards, and all 3 were scolded for not submitting their Residedente Temporal card by the expiration date. One of the three did this at the Nuevo Laredo crossing, while the other 2 did this at the Chetumal/Belize crossing.

None of the 3 were automatically granted the Visitante visas they requested.
2 of the 3 were assessed $$ penalties for not surrendering their Residente Temporal visas by their expiration dates – but both were given Visitante visas after paying the penalties. The third person, who had been hospitalized for brain tumor surgery when her RT visa expired, crossing at Nuevo Laredo in October 2014, was hassled by the INM agents – forced to go to the back of a 15 person line to wait for 90 minutes – was then scolded again – and was finally granted a 6 month Visitante visa, with no penalties.

October 17, 2014 Update
There are a number of big changes in Immigration law (specifically for Mexican Consulates – as SRE is the parent department over Consulates), taking effect today, including a new 10 year visitor’s visa (no permission to work) for family members of a Mexican citizen or of current Residente Temporales and Residente Permanentes:

~ “Visa de Visitante (Larga Duración)
Tramite 2 of http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602 .

The income requirements and savings requirements for qualifying for both Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente have been REDUCED for applications at Mexican Consulates, with an 80% reduction coming in the average savings required to qualify for Residente Temporal, and a 20% reduction in the savings required for Residente Permanente. Note that these changes are reported in the Lineamientos for MEXICAN CONSULATES, but we expect the Mex. Gob. to update the INM Lineamientos to make the two sets of Lineamiento requirements match each other. SEE: http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602

The details on these changes can be found in 2 sections of this article below:

~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Temporary Residency / Residente Temporal Applicants

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

 

June 17, 2014 Update
For some adventurous folks, there may be a new way to get a new Residente Temporal permit (when yours expires after 4 years), all without going back home to a Mexican Consulate in your home country. (But don’t try this when you have a TIP car, and check with your local INM office first to get their approval before trying this approach…) ~ What do You do When You Have Completed 4 Years of Temporary Residency?
~

May 2014 Update: Monthly Pension Income requirements and savings requirements are changing at some Mexican Consulates and in some local INM offices (notably Chapala INM and San Antonio’s Mexican Consulate). See (click) this subsection for details: ~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Temporary Residency / Residente Temporal Applicants

April 29, 2014 Updates
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!

February 2014 Updates
We have updated the section on becoming a Naturalized Citizen, based on the new SRE rules and new application forms. Also note that the Merida INM office is also requiring some Residency applicants to show retirement (pension) income to meet the income requirements.

January 2014 Updates
We have updated the Residente Temporal, Residente Permanente, and Visitor Card fees to reflect the new 2014 INM fee schedule. ~ INM Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente Permit Fees

December 2013 Updates
We have added helpful details to our past information for those whose INM Residente Temporal permit expires while they are outside Mexico: The 55 / 5 day rule and how to keep INM from “screwing-up” your FMM and visa when you re-enter … What to do if your INM permit expires while you are outside Mexico

Note that we have made a number of additions to this article, including sections on:
~ Effects of Having a TIP for a Foreign Plated Car When You Apply For Residency at a Consulate: and
~ Issues When Leaving Mexico with a Pending INM Application using a Temporary Exit Permission Letter:

1/27/2013 Note: There are some rule changes for the documents needed by minors traveling to Mexico after Feb. 15, 2013. See below: Entering Mexico with Children

Effective Nov. 9, 2012: The INM started using the 2011 Law (Ley de Imigracion), with the regulations spelled out in the Reglamento, refined by the details in 2 separate Lineamientos. All together, these paper bombs occupy roughly over 400 pages of government-speak legalese in Spanish. To keep readers sane: This article describes and summarizes the new issues visitors and foreign residents are currently working with when visiting or living in Mexico.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

List of Mexican IMMIGRATION ISSUES and KEY TOPICS:
~ Click the Items below to go directly to the Section you Want ~
:
~ How to File for Residency

~ General Summary of the Steps for Getting Residency in Mexico

~ Instructions for the INM Webpage for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico

~ Your First Visit in Mexico to your INM Office

~ Special Rights of Foreigners who are Family Members of Mexican Citizens

~ Entering Mexico with Children

~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Temporary Residency / Residente Temporal Applicants

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

~ INM Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente Permit Fees

~ List of Items Required by Some Mexican Consulates to Apply for Residency

~ Need Help? Call the National Hotline:

~ Issues Related to Foreigners with Foreign Plated Cars in Mexico:

~ INM’s New Types of Permits for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico

~ General INM Qualifications for Working in Mexico by type of INM permit

~ Advantages and Disadvantages of Residente Permanente vs. Residente Temporal

~ What do You do When You Have Completed 4 Years of Temporary Residency?

~ Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Temporal, including OFFERS of EMPLOYMENT

~ Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Permanente

~ Specific Legal References for Significant Changes That Affect Expats

~ Foreign Resident Requirements for Filing Address Changes or Employment Changes with INM

~ Immigration Requirements that Relate to Becoming a Naturalized Citizen

~ New Rules on Expired INM Permits:

~ Specific Issues for Applying at Your Mexican Consulate for Shipping Household Goods into Mexico

~ An Example Letter for applying for renewing a Residente Temporal

~ Example Letter for applying for CHANGING from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente

~ Example Letter for CHANGING ADDRESS, CHANGING EMPLOYER, etc

~ Instructions for the INM Webpage for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico

~ IMPORTANT UPDATES on past FM-3 time counting towards Residente Permanente

~ What to do if your INM permit expires while you are outside Mexico

~ Effects of Having a TIP for a Foreign Plated Car When You Apply For Residency at a Consulate:

~ Issues When Leaving Mexico with a Pending INM Application using a Temporary Exit Permission Letter:

~ Sources and References for the New INM Law and Rules

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Note: INM considers total time spent on our previous INM residency permits (FM2, FM3, and Residente Temporal(RT) ), when we need 4 years of prior residency to apply for Permanent Resident. The previous INM permits have to be continuous, with no break between visas/permits, no expired permits, and no fines on their permits. e.g. This means that if you had 3 years on a FM-3 and completed 1 on a FM-2, together they would meet the requirements for Residente Permanente

* * * * * *
Overview of Mexico’s Immigration System:
The 2011 INM “New” Law basically has 5 new categories of immigration permits for Mexico: Visitante, Visitante Estudiante, Residente Temporal, and Residente Permanente, and Visa*. The titles of each type of permit describes what it is for: Visitor, Student, Temporary Resident, and Permanent Resident.

For now? Let’s just jump into
How to File for Residency for Foreigners with No Mexican Family

General Summary of the Steps for Getting Residency in Mexico
Application Process for Either Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente (for foreigners with no immediate Mexican family):
1. a. Foreigners living outside Mexico (or in Mexico on Tourist/Visitor visas) must go to their Mexican Consulate and start the application process there, for either Residente Temporal (RT)or Residente Permanente (RP). ~ List of Items Required by Some Mexican Consulates to Apply for Residency

1. b. Foreigners with an existing Residente Temporal (RT) who want to either renew their current RT card (or change status to Residente Permanente (RP) , now start the application online at the INM website, and then take the Pieza Number (issued by the website) to INM with their financial documents and passport:
~ Go to the current INM webpage for applications, and enter your personal information into the INM computer database at: INMs Online Site for Applying for an Residente Temporal, Residente Permanente, or extensions of them: (http://inami.gob.mx/index.php/page/Solicitud_de_Estancia). We provide translations of the applicable important fields, and direct you on which options to choose, like “Renew my Temporary Residency” (below). Because these instructions are quite long, the instructions on filling-out the online form are at the very end of this article. Click here to go there: ~ Instructions for the INM Webpage for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico

Basically, on this INM webpage, you enter your personal information, check the boxes to apply for the status or changes you want, and get a Pieza Number at the end: Print the page with the Pieza Number or write down the number. The specific answers to common questions on the INM OnLine application, again, are listed at the end of this article. … At the end of the on-line application process, there is an option where you can push a button that displays the information you entered and lets you save it as a pdf file. If you print this page and bring it with you to your first INM visit, INM can more quickly verify & confirm your personal information.

This link takes you to specific information on: ~ Your First Visit in Mexico to your INM Office

2. If you want a “working” Residente Temporal , you also apply for permission to work at your local INM office (or first-timers go to their Mexican Consulate) by asking them to add “lucrativo” status. This option costs an additional $2600 pesos. Requirements for Working in Mexico
3. After you go to your INM office and get your NUT, INM can also ask for additional documentation, where they have you return to the INM office. On a later step, INM has you pay your INM fees at a bank, and you submit ID fotos.
4. INM approves the application.
5. INM notifies the foreigner that their permit is approved, and asks them to return to the office for fingerprinting.
6. The applicant gets fingerprinted at the office, and they send your fotos, fingerprints, and information to a central office in Mexico City / D.F. for printing and laminating a national standard ID/permit card.
7. The new laminated card is sent back to the regional office, and the regional office notifies the foreigner that their card is ready.
8. The foreigner makes their last trip to the INM office, and gets their card.

Your First Visit in Mexico to your INM Office: Applicants changing from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente
Things to take along with you to your local INM office in Mexico:
1. A letter addressed to your INM office’s delegado requesting the type of INM permit (visitor or residency card) you want (see below). This letter may not be necessary at all INM offices under the new rules…
2. Your passport and copies of the first key pages of your passport,
3. A copy of a comprobante (Telmex, JAPAY, CFE etc bill) to prove your address (or renters can bring a letter from your landlord),
4. New applicants should bring copies of either the most recent 6 or 12 months of bank / financial statements to show income deposits … pension deposits …. or on-going average balances … that prove your fiscal independence ~ see details described in a section below at
~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Temporary Residency / Residente Temporal Applicants and ~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Permanent Residency / Residente Permanente Applicants
5. Your current INM permit or card (keep a copy for your personal use while INM processes your app. You may need official proof of a Resident Temporal card to show to the police or other Mexican authorities while INM is processing your application – so make a copy. If you are applying for your first Residency Card, and went to your home Consular office, they gave you an actual special 30 day visa that you need to bring with you to your INM office in Mexico.

Related Hint: it is good to keep an extra foto-copy of your INM permit throughout the year, because it is much easier to replace a lost permit if you have a copy.

6. Bring Your Pieza Number (from your INM web application) and possibly your personal info page that you might have printed from the INM website.
7. If you have applied for the Residente Temporal from outside of Mexico, then bring your special Visitante permit you got from INM when entering Mexico, along with the Visa form given to you by your Mexican Consulate back home. (Applicants who lose their Visitante permits generally pay a fine.)

8. During a later visit to INM, they will request that you bring ID fotos: 2 front and 2 right profiles, infantile size color fotos, – as always – with hair pulled back from your face (no bangs) and hair off your ears, and no jewelry – where they use the fotos to make your new laminated Residency Card.
Also See (below) Your First Visit to the INM Office (cont)

One significant change made by the 2011 “new” law is:
Visitors inside Mexico on tourist / Visitante permits CANNOT apply to change immigration status while still inside Mexico (except for family members of a person who already Mexican residency or citizenship => see “Vinculo Familiar por Unidad Familiar). Typical Visitantes must apply at a Consulate returning to their home country ~ or a country where they have a valid residency permit ~ first ~ to make any changes in their immigration status (estancia), or to apply for their first Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente status. The Mexican consulates accept applications, but do not issue Residency permits. Instead they just start the Residency process, and they give you a temporary Visa document to fly into Mexico with. Visitantes make their applications and pay part of the fees at their local Mexican Consulate, generally in their home country, and then the Consulate issues a special temporary Visa for the Visitante to submit with your passport when you next enter Mexico. Visitantes then have 180 days to travel to Mexico to continue the process. After going to Mexico, Visitantes must then visit their local INM office within 30 days of entering Mexico to complete the process of getting their Residente – Tarjeta de Residencia permit.

*******
Notes:
*In the 2011 INM law, “Visa” is not a general term for a permit to stay in a country (as used in English), instead, “Visa” is a special entry permit issued by Mexican Consulates prior to traveling to Mexico. Visas are issued to people wanting Residency in Mexico, or to people from countries with no immigration treaties with Mexico.

**There are special procedures for foreigners who are fleeing persecution, seeking asylum, etc.. These applicants are titled “visitante por razones humanitarias” in the 2011 “New” Law. Since the procedures for asylum seekers and political refugees are very different and lengthy, we do not describe them in this article. Please see either an attorney or the 2011 Law, Reglamento, and Lineamientos for descriptions of the T’s and C’s and how to apply.

Special Rights of Foreigners who are Family Members of Mexican Citizens:
Immediate family members of Mexican Citizens (even grandparents of a Mexican grandchild) qualify immediately for Residente Permanente, or Residente Temporal. Spouses of Mexican citizens qualify with 2 years of Mexican residency. See Vinculo Familiar rules: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Autorizacion_Visas_LM/Visa_unidad_familiar.pdf

Basically, when living abroad, family members and spouses of Mexican citizens enter Mexico on visitors visas – telling the INM person your purpose to get Mexican residency as either a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal. They use their visitor visa to travel to where they plan to apply for residency, and start the process online to register your personal data at the INM website (see above – but choose Cambio de Estancia), and then go into their local INM office to continue the process.

If you are already inside Mexico, you follow the instructions above for starting the process online at the INM websitte (see above – but choose Cambio de Estancia) – by registering your personal data online at the INM website, and then go into your local INM office to continue the process.

Here is an SRE page from the Mexican Embassy is Spain, with descriptions of the rules and requirements: http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/espana/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=407

and

Official INM Vinculo Familiar por Unidad Familiar Rules and Requirements : http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Estancia_LM/Cambio_de_Condicion_de_Estancia/Cambio_de_condicion_de_residente_permanente_por_unidad_familiar.pdf
and
http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_2013/permanecer_mexico/regularizacion/POR_VINCULO_FAMILIAR.pdf

for the actual instructions.

October 17, 2014 Update
There are a number of big changes in INM law taking effect 10/17/2014, including a new 10 year visitor’s visa (no permission to work) for family members of a Mexican citizen or of current Residente Temporales and Residente Permanentes: “Visa de Visitante (Larga Duración)” Tramite 2 of http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602 .

for the actual instructions.

*******

Your First Visit to Your INM Office (cont)
For people applying for RT inside Mexico: Complete the previously described on-line application, bring the correct documents, and INM will typically accept your submissions and print you a NUT number along with a password on your first office visit. KEEP THE NUT and password, as you will need them to check your application status online . Your previous online application is only for entering information, and it does not qualify as applying for a residency card/permit. Your official application date (or renewal date) is the date of when your local INM office issues you the NUT & password. The NUT number signifies that you have actually formally started the application process, which is important if you are trying to beat a deadline for an expiring INM permit (card). If your application is a first time application, INM may ask you to pay a one-time $1,000 peso application fee. You simply take the INM notice with the $1000 peso fee, to any Mexican bank, pay the bank the fee. The Bank will give you a Notice/Receipt that documents the successful payment of the fee. Take that Notice with you to INM on your next visit.

You then go home and wait, daily checking the INM website ( *grin* )

Later, after they approve all your documents, they will have you return for fingerprinting, and they give you another form to take to the bank and pay $3,185 pesos for one year of a Residente Temporal permit. You can pay for up to 4 years to avoid future INM visits. The fee schedule is listed further down in this article.

~ easy peasy ~
* * * * * *


Entering Mexico with Children
The US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) advise bringing a notarized letter from a parent who is not traveling with the children. Mexico changed the rules for Canadians Jan. 24, 2014, eliminating the need for most Canadian children. See below for details.

For American children, the letter should certify that the children have their parent(s) permission to travel with the other parent. https://help.cbp.gov/…w/parental%20consent.

Jetblue airlines has announced updates to Mexico’s policies for admitting foreign minors, effective Feb. 15, 2013:

“**Important Mexico Travel Alert for travel on or after February 15, 2013**
A customer under 18 years of age is considered a minor for travel purposes. Very strict regulations govern international travel by minors into Mexico.Passports and tourist cards are required; please note the following requirements:

  • Minors traveling with an adult other than their legal parents or guardians must have an original notarized letter of permission signed by both parents authorizing travel, and a photo ID is required. In addition, the letter should state the name, address and phone number of the person whom the child is traveling with.
  • Minors traveling with only one parent or the sole custody parent must have a notarized letter of permission from the non-custodial parent or a “Sole Custody” or “Father Unknown” document. However, if the child’s last name is different from the last name of the accompanying parent(s), proof of parentage is required. Parents name changes must be documented (i.e. marriage certificate).
  • Unaccompanied minors must have an original notarized letter of permission signed by both parents authorizing travel, and a photo ID is requred. In addition, the letter should state the name, address and phone number of the adult meeting the minor at the airport upon arrival.

EXCEPTION: Children from Mexico often have a stamp on their passports that reads, “El titular del presente pasaporte viaja de conformidad con El Articulo 421 del Codigo Civil Vigente.” This phrase allows the child to travel with only one parent and without a notarized letter.

Here is an additional Jetblue blurb with even more details on the Feb. 15, 2013 changes:
“A customer under 18 years of age is considered a Minor for travel purposes in Mexico. Very strict regulations govern international travel by Minors to/from Mexico.

Minors traveling with only one parent, or their sole custody parent, must have:

• A valid passport

• A tourist card (if a visitor to Mexico)

• One of the following original notarized documents. The document must be written in English and Spanish and both copies of the letter must be notarized:

o Letter of permission from the non-custodial parent

o A “Sole Custody” document

o A “Father Unknown” document

If the child’s last name is different from the last name of the accompanying parent(s), an original document of proof of parentage is required (photocopied documents are not acceptable). Parents’ name changes must be documented (i.e., original or original notarized copy of marriage certificate).

Minors traveling alone (Unaccompanied Minors) or Minors traveling with an adult of legal age other than their legal parents or guardians must have:

• A valid passport

• A tourist card (if they are a visitor of Mexico)

• Original notarized letters of permission for travel, to/from Mexico (include dates), signed by the Minor’s legal parent(s) or person(s) that have legal custody over them

o The letter must be written in English and Spanish and both copies of the letter must be notarized

o For Unaccompanied Minors, the letter should include the name, address and phone number of the adult meeting the Minor at the airport upon arrival

o For Minors traveling with an adult of legal age, the letter should include the name, address and phone number of the person with whom the child is traveling

o Photo ID is required for adults dropping off and picking up the Minor child

EXCEPTION: Children with Mexican citizenship often have a stamp on their passports that reads: “El titular del presente pasaporte viaja de conformidad con El Articulo 421 del Codigo Civil Vigente.” This allows the child to travel roundtrip with only one parent and without a notarized letter.

If a Minor / Unaccompanied Minor attempts to enter Mexico without the proper paperwork, immigration will not release the Minor / Unaccompanied Minor over to the person and the Minor / Unaccompanied Minor will be placed on a return flight to the point of origin.

We hope that this information is helpful and will assist you as you prepare for your travel to Mexico.

http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll?New,Kb=askBlue,case=obj%28675%29#s16

Final Note Re the Permission Letter for Children traveling to Mexico without both parents: CBP advises:
“… There is not a CBP Form letter, however, the parental consent letter should include: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and contact information for the absent parent(s).
Having the letter notarized is not necessary but highly recommended. For frequent border crossers, the letter should not exceed one year. It is recommended to have the letter in English. …” https://help.cbp.gov/…ntal%20consent/sno/1

 

Mexican Rules on Canadian Minors Coming into Mexico:
As of January 24th, 2014, most Canadian children will not require a consent letter. The official rules as posted on on Mexican Consul General’s website for Toronto reports:

a) Foreign minors (under 18 years of age) travelling to Mexico alone or with a third party of legal age (grandparent, aunt/uncle, etc.) as visitors (tourists or with a short stay for study purposes up to 180 days), DO NOT REQUIRE authorization or a letter of consent from their parents or guardians. Mexican migratory authorities will allow these minors to leave Mexico at the end of their stay upon presentation of a valid passport.

The Canadian government’s requirements for minors departing or entering Canada can be consulted at the following webpage:http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children

b) The following categories however, DO REQUIRE proper authorization or a letter of consent from their parents or legal guardians, if they are a minor (under 18 years of age) and are traveling alone or with a third party of legal age (grandparent, aunt/uncle, etc.):

· Mexican nationals residing in Mexico.

· Mexican nationals residing abroad.

· Mexican nationals with double nationality.

· Foreigners with temporary residence, permanent residence or temporary-student status (more than 180 days) in Mexico.

Requirements:

When departing from Mexico, at the Immigration screening of INAMI (Mexican Migratory Authority), apart from presenting a valid passport of the minor, it must display the authorization form issued by INAMI (a form free of charge), through which both parents or legal guardians give authorization of the departure of the minor from Mexico or you must present an authorization/consent letter granted by a notary public.

If presenting the form authorized by INAMI, you must fill the form online at the following website: www.inami.gob.mx

Three copies of this form must be printed and signed and each copy must have attached the following documentation:

  • Copy of the passport or travel document of the minor traveling.
  • Copies of the passports of the parents or legal guardians whom give the permit.
  • Copy of the birth certificate of the minor.
  • Copy of the passport of the third party of legal age that will be travelling with the minor (if applicable).

Minors who are travelling with at least one parent DO NOT require this authorization.

If opting for the authorization/consent letter granted by a notary public in Canada, it must be translated into Spanish, authenticated by the Canadian government and legalized by the Mexican Consulate in your circumscription or the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa.

For information on the procedure and requirements for legalizing a document, please visit the following link … http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/toronto/index.php/en/services-to-foreigners/153

 

Any Canadian consent letters must be translated into Spanish and Notarized an “Legalized” to be accepted by Mexico: “If the document is issued in Canada it must be notarized, legalized by the Mexican Consulate or Embassy in Canada, and translated into Spanish.http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/calgary/index.php/inicio

The SRE Website for Canada describes the Legalization process as:
http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/canada_eng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1255&Itemid=41
Legalization of Foreign Documents (for Canada)

Consular legalization is performed on foreign public documents that must be valid for legal purposes in Mexico.

Legalization may be provided to the signature and/or stamps contained in public documents. It is an act of certification through which the consular official certifies that the signature or seal is from a government office or official, or from a notary located within the consular jurisdiction. This certification does not prejudge the content of the document.

Canada IS NOT a Member State of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents (known as the Apostille convention), and therefore the interested party must go to the corresponding Mexican consular office to obtain the legalization of any Canadian public document that he wishes to be legally valid in Mexico.

Each consular office is empowered to legalize documents issued within its jurisdiction.
Be sure to check the SRE website for Canada listed above to get contact information and details on all the Mexican Consulates in Mexico.

* Note => No pre-approved visa is needed to enter Mexico as a tourist from the following countries: (Just bring your passport and fill out a Formato Basico at any port of entry.)

If you are a citizen of Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, The United States of America, Uruguay or Venezuela ~ then you need no pre-approved visa, and just travel to Mexico and get your “visa” (actually it is an INM permit) when you arrive in Mexico.

Citizens of all other countries must get prior Mexican Gobierno approval to enter Mexico. (Prior approval = getting an actual visa from Mexico to approve their entry into Mexico, before traveling.)

* * * * * * *

What Can I Bring Into Mexico
Take a look at our article on What You Can Bring Into Mexico at: https://yucalandia.wordpress.com/answers-to-common-questions/what-can-i-bring-into-mexico-mexican-customs-rules-the-article/ . The article includes links to official Mex. Gob. websites that describe the process. If you need a government website in English, (but it’s information is a little out of date) check out this joint INM & Aduana webpage pamphlet describing the general rules for entering Mexico – in English: http://www.sectur.gob.mx/work/models/secturing/Resource/14119/ingles.pdf. Basically, you are allowed personal items (clothing, toiletries, etc), plus $300 per person in dutiable goods (with receipts) by plane and $50 per person by car. Importing by seaport, or importing over $3,000 USD in dutiable goods requires using a customs agent. Forbidden Items: Fresh fruits, fresh or cured meats, fresh vegetables, grease, cheeses, guns, bullets, knives that are not utilitarian (obvious kitchen knife = OK, but K-Bar military knife = NOT). Personal prescription medications generally require a written prescription from the doctor, and pills in the original bottles. US Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 drugs can be problematic to import. ~ Are you planning on driving into Mexico with your household goods? ~ Menaje de Casa Rules (English) ~.

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Proof of Fiscal Solvency for Residency Applicants

This section describes the monthly income $$ or savings $$ requirements to get Residente Temporal, followed by the monthly (retirement?) income $$ or savings $$ requirements to qualify for Residente Permanente. It is worth noting that a number of personal reports from SOME Mexican Consulates in the USA that they are accepting ONLY retirement income (like SSI or company pensions), while others are allowing people to qualify using an aggregate of partial qualifications – possibly including monthly income from working. Boston, Tucson, San Francisco, San Diego Consulates (and now San Antonio – May 2014) have been sticklers for ONLY retirement income or savings. Laredo, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Portland OR, and Chicago have been more flexible in allowing just savings, and/or any monthly income. Similarly, for INM offices across Mexico, some individual regional offices are using a combination of financial deposits, small pension income, small SSI income, and property ownership (as in a “Points System”) to prove Personal Fiscal Solvency. May 2014: Chapala and Guadalajara offices just put in draconian local requirements that Permanent Resident applicants (who have less than 4 prior years of residency) must now prove at least some monthly PENSION income – as proof of retirement status(?) Each INM office has the discretion to use an aggregate of the applicant’s income and pensions and property assets, when no single value of these three meet the specific INM requirements, but some stick to the specific savings or income requirements per person.

Hopefully, the INM and Consulates will issue their specific rules for the new “Points System” in January or February, allowing expats to qualify for Residente Permanente or Temporal using an aggregate Points Score of meeting part of the income threshold, part of the savings account balance threshold, and part of the real estate ownership value threshold (even when they do not have enough of any single $$ amount to qualify, but a combination of lower amounts is enough).

Various Types of Proof of Financial Independence for Temporary Residency (Residente Temporal) Applicants

Note: ALL income or property value INM requirements are applied as Mexican Peso amounts based on your application date’s current General Minimum Wage for Mexico City. SALARIOS MÍNIMOS 2014, POR ÁREA GEOGRÁFICA GENERALES Y PROFESIONALES and Salarios Minimos Generales – Historical For our reader’s convenience, we do provide the $$$ requirements using the Jan 1, 2014 Minimum Wage figure ($70.10 pesos per day for 2015 – Geographic Area “A”) and a rough 13.75:1 Peso to USD exchange rate.

**Residente Temporal Income or Deposits or Bank Balance Requirements:
(Manual/Lineamientos Article 41)
~ Documentation of Proof of Financial Independence by Average Annual Bank Balance: Provide 12 months of original bank or investment account statements (plus copies) as proof savings/investments, to show minimum Average Monthly Balance amounts equivalent to 5,000 days of the general minimum wage in the District Federal for the previous twelve months (70.10 pesos for 2015) => $350,500 pesos or $25,500 US…

Average Monthly Balance of at least : about $25,500 USD (exactly $350,500 MXN pesos) at $13.75:1 MXN:USD for Residente Temporal … per the 10/10/2014 Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates.

or
Using Method of Monthly Deposits of Income or Pension Receipts: (Resident Temporal)
~ Have minimum pension or salary deposits/income that is the equivalent of Monthly income of 300 days minimum wage of the current minimum wage in the Federal District (70.10 pesos) $21,030 pesos or about $1,530 US, per the 10/10/2014 Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates (reduced from the previous “four hundred days worth” listed in the previous INM Lineamientos) , reported for each of the previous six months – with original and copies of original bank statement for one Residente Temporal.

Current 2014 DF general minimum wages of $70.10 MXN pesos per day, converted at the current exchange rate of 13.75 pesos to US dollars, for 300 days of wages:
~ About $1,530 USD (exactly $21,030 pesos) per month of regular Deposits ~ to qualify for Residente Temporal … per the 10/10/2014 Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates.

or

Residente Temporal Income or Deposits or Bank Balance Requirements for Family Members of a Mexican Citizen:
Using average minimum required monthly Account balance for 6 months: 300 days x $70.10 MW = $21,030 pesos for Residente Temporal applicants.

Using minimum required monthly pension or income: 100 days x $70.10 MW = $7,010 pesos of monthly pension income (or generic income deposits at some INM offices) for Residente Temporal applicants, documented by 6 months of Bank statements ($510 USDs @ 13.75:1).

or
Using Method of Owning Real Estate Property in Mexico: (Residente Temporal)
~ Own/have real property trustee rights, with a value equivalent to forty thousand days of general minimum wage in the Federal District, with original and copy of written proof from a Notario. At the current $13.75:1 MXN:USD exchange rate, this translates to:
About $204,00 USD (exactly $2,804,000 pesos) worth of property for one Residente Temporal.

Note that by our readings of the Lineamientos, this real estate ownership clause applies to applicants who are here on “humanitarian reasons” (refugees & asylum seekers) or for foreigners whose INM permit expired or who committed “activities not authorized” by their current INM permit.

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Note 1: Some INM offices and some Consulates are reducing the monthly income or pension deposit requirements by 1/2 for applicants who own real estate property in Mexico, even if the property is worth less than the stated minimum.

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 Temporal. Go To: Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Temporal

Immediate family members of Mexican Citizens (even grandparents of a Mexican grandchild) qualify immediately for Residente Permanente, and spouses of Mexican citizens qualify with 2 years of Mexican residency. See Vinculo Familiar rules: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Autorizacion_Visas_LM/Visa_unidad_familiar.pdf

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Re Spouses and Dependents Effects on the Income/Deposit Requirements: (for Residente Temporal)
A good Mexican lawyer has noted in our comments on Surviving Yucatan that dependents or multiple applicants in the same family are factored in by adding: “another 100 SMG ($70.10 x 100 = $7,010 pesos or $518 USD) for (Residente Temporal) based on a bond with another (primary applicant Resident Temporal).“ This approach has not been universally approved by individual INM offices nor by individual Consulates.

Note that this family income formula comes from the Lineamientos, Tramite 5: Visa de Residencia Temporal: Requisito IV: Section d, Item 1, iii.

Vinculo Familiar por Unidad de Familia are done here in Mexico – under visitors visas for family members when the head of the family gets Residente Temporal, and then their family members qualify for RT without financial requirements, as described here: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Estancia_LM/Cambio_de_Condicion_de_Estancia/Cambio_de_condicion_de_residente_permanente_por_unidad_familiar.pdf
and
http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_2013/permanecer_mexico/regularizacion/POR_VINCULO_FAMILIAR.pdf for the actual instructions.

This means that the spouse who gets Residency can have their spouse come with them, and when they get Mexican Residency, then the spouse can apply and qualify (generally without any fiscal/financial proofs).

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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 20,000 days minimum wage (70.10 pesos for 2015) $1,040,200 pesos or $102,000 US – according to the 10/10/2014 Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates – where the previous INM Lineamientos listed twenty five thousand days of the general minimum wage in the District Federal for the previous twelve months…
Average Monthly Balance of about $102,000 USD (exactly $1,040,200 pesos) at $13.75:1 MXN:USD for Residente Permanente … per 10/10/14 DOF Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates.

or
Using Method of Regular Deposits of Income or Pension Receipts: (Residente Permanente)
~ Have minimum monthly (investment account or work?) income deposits or pension deposits that are the equivalent of five hundred days worth of the current minimum wage (70.10 for 2015) in the Federal District, for each of the previous six months – with original and copies of original bank statement. This translates to:
about $2,550 USD (exactly $35,050 pesos) a month of regular deposits for one Residente Permanente.

Note 1: Some (a few) 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

Re Spouses and Dependents Effects on the Income/Deposit Requirements: (for Residente Permanente)
A good Mexican lawyer has noted in our comments on Surviving Yucatan that dependents or multiple applicants in the same family are factored in by adding: “another 100 SMG ($70.10 x 100 = $7,010 pesos or $518 USD) for (Residente Permanente) based on a bond with another (primary applicant Resident Permanente).” Here at Yucalandia, we could not find a reference/citation in the Lineamientos to support using this Spouse/Dependent clause in the Residente Permanente sections of the rules. I think we need to hear from Lawyer Freimuth about where he found this information, or maybe we misunderstand how Spouses and Dependents of Residente Permanentes are handled? Put that one on the To-Do list….

Alternately, when one family member gets their Residente Permanente first, then their immediate family members qualify without showing additional income/savings – using the Vinculo Familiar program. For details, check out:

http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Autorizacion_Visas_LM/Visa_unidad_familiar.pdf

and ~ Mexconnect: http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=194107;search_string=vinculo%20familiar;t=search_engine#194107

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List of Items Required by Some Mexican Consulates to Apply for Residency
If you cannot contact your local Mexican Consulate, applicants could take the items listed by the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, for retired applicants:
• Valid Passport (original and one copy).
• Letter addressed to the Consulate General of Mexico, stating that you are rentista or retired, and that you are willing to reside in Mexico. The letter must be typed in or translated into Spanish, and should include:
• Your request to have a retiring or rentista resident card.
• Date of travel and port of entry.
• Address in Mexico.
• Proof of economic solvency through a letter from a bank institution (last three bank statements), stating that your retirement pension or earnings, is in the uninterrupted amount of $2,000.00 dollars or more a month. Add 25% more for each additional dependent family member.
• Passport size pictures: 2 front and 1 right profile
• Payment of consular fee:
• Consular visa $36.00 Dollars (or more) applicable to some nationalities.
• Applicant must be present in order to submit paperwork.
• If you are planning on taking your household goods, see the Menaje de Casa program at ~ Are you planning on driving into Mexico with your household goods? ~ Menaje de Casa Rules (English) ~
• Payment of consular stamp: $127.00 Dollars

Applications are accepted Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 10:00 am.

The payments are: cash, credit or debit card or money order. ”

Applicants should note that you should bring the documents to prove financial solvency (at the levels described in the section of this article above), to qualify for the type of Residency you want. e.g. Temporary Resident has different/lower requirements and different documents than Permanent Resident.

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Need Help? Call the National Hotline
The INM now answers questions over the fone, with some English Speaking Personnel:
Immigration Hotline
01-800-004-6264
24 hours / day and 7 days a week.
They answer quickly and a few speak English.

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Issues Related to Foreigners with Foreign Plated Cars in Mexico
Since auto import permit issues are controlled by Aduana, Aduana / Banjercito decided to change their import permit policies to fit the new Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente categories created by INM in 2012. Residente Permanentes CANNOT keep their Temporarily Imported (TIP) Cars, while non-working Residente Temporal carholders can keep their TIP car, by applying to renew the TIP with Aduana. See: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico and Temporary Import Permits for Residente Temporal and Visitante (visitor/tourist) INM Permit Holders where you file a letter with Aduana requesting that they extend your current TIP expiration date to match your new INM Residente Temporal card’s expiration date.

The option to pay for up to 4 years of Residente Temporal will sure make the current annual Aduana permit renewal a whole lot easier. Pay once now for a 4 year INM permit, and get 4 years registered (padded onto) your Aduana vehicle permit’s expiration date. Unfortunately, many Mexican Consulates and many Aduana offices are only allowing first time Temporary Residents applicants to apply for a 1 year permit. Subsequent applications can be made to cover the remaining years, (not to exceed 4 total without going to Permanent Residency – or leaving Mexico and starting a new Residente Temporal 4 year cycle with your Mexican Consulate in your home country).

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INM Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente Permit Fees

INM Permit (Tarjeta de Residencia) Fees from Article 80, Ley Federal de Derechos (D.O.F. Sept. 4, 2012):

Artículo 8o. Por la expedición del documento migratorio que acredita la condición de estancia se
pagarán derechos conforme a las siguientes cuotas:
I. Visitante sin permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas …………………… $306.00
II. Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas ……………… $2,350.00
III. Visitante Regional ……………………………………………………………………………… $306.00
IV. Visitante Trabajador Fronterizo ………………………………………………………… $306.00
V. Visitante con fines de adopción ………………………………………………………… $2,280.00

VI. Residente Temporal:

a). Hasta un año ………………………………………………………………………………. $3,243.00
b). Dos años …………………………………………………………………………………… $4,859.00
c). Tres años ………………………………………………………………………………… $6,154.00
d). Cuatro años ……………………………………………………………………………… $7,294.00
~ e). Lucrativo (Addicional)…………………………………………………………… $2,600.00 ~

Penalty for exceeding the time on your Residente Temporal card: … $1,600

Regularization fees: …………………………………………………………………………. $1,036

VII. Residente Permanente …………………………………………………………… $3,953.00

When changing from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente, in 2014, INM charges an additional $1,036 pesos to process the change, on top of the base $3,953 pesos fee.

If you are late applying for your Residente Temporal: $1,036 pesos in a special fee (regularizacion) . This can be used as a part of avoiding traveling back to your home country when you have completed 4 years on a Residente Temporal permit. ~ What do You do When You Have Completed 4 Years of Temporary Residency?

2014 Tourist Card Fee: $306.00 pesos

2014 Travel Permission Letter Fee: $332.00 pesos (to exit Mexico while your Residency application is being processed by INM).

INM/SEGOB Official Fees Page: http://www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/Derechos_Migratorios

Requisitos for Payments: Comprobante que acredite el pago de derechos, de acuerdo con la Ley Federal de Derechos y demás disposiciones aplicables

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Bored with too many details? The Mexican Embassy in Denmark has provided even more significant details, including the specific requirements for how to import household goods into Mexico.
Read about this at the end of this article.
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Interested in Working In Mexico? General INM Qualifications for Working in Mexico by type of INM permit

Check out the Lineamientos:
Artículo 60. Las condiciones de estancia que cuentan con permiso de trabajo son las siguientes:
I. Residente temporal cuando se adquiera por oferta de empleo;
II. Residente permanente;
III. Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas;
IV. Visitante trabajador fronterizo, y
V. Visitante por razones humanitarias

Article 60 roughly translates as:
Article 60. Conditions/Applicants allowed to have a work permit are:
I. Temporary resident with valid documentation of a job offer from a Mexican employer; **
II. Permanent residents are approved to work.
III. Visitante permit holders with permission to engage in paid work activities;
IV. Formally approved guest workers in the Border region, and
V. Visitante permit holders in Mexico on humanitarian grounds

If you are outside Mexico applying for Residente Temporal card at a Mexican Consulate, the Consulate issues you a special visa in your passport to enter Mexico within 6 months. You must apply at your local INM office within 30 days of entering Mexico. Residente Permanente cardholders are free to work. Residente Temporal applicants must ask for a “lucrativo” option at your local INM office to get work permission. The “lucrativo” option costs an additional $2600 pesos, in addition to the regular Residente Temporal card fees. INM generally requires a formal letter from a Mexican employer documenting the work. If you are outside Mexico, contact your local Mexican Consulate and ask about their requirements for applying for a residency permit to work, in addition to the requisitos listed in Lineamientos for the Article associated with the permit you want. If you are inside Mexico on an existing residency permit, check with your local INM office for their requirements to change to a working INM permit.

*

IF YOU HAVE A JOB OFFER from a Mexican Company: Get them to send you a letter on company letterhead that is an official offer of employment, with all the key data needed: Carte de oferta de trabajo, con la nombre de la person responsible para hiring you, y descriptions of the typo de trabajo y typos de actividades, lugar de trabajo, periodo de trabajo, cuanto tiempo por cada semana, nombre y titulo de la representante de esta negocio or escuela. …

If you DO NOT already have Residency in Mexico, then submit this letter with your application to a Mexican Consulate in your home country, requesting una Visa de Residencia Temporal, de Residencia Permanente, o y de Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas, por oferta de empleo. After you receive your visa from the Consulate, you now have 180 days to go to Mexico, and use that visa to enter Mexico – with another 30 days to go to your INM office and complete the immigration card process.

If you already have residency in Mexico, but need permission to work, then go to INM with your Employment Offer Letter, and use the INM weblink to read the rest of the requirements.

Here is the weblink to the INM site that has the current Requirements for Applying for a RESIDENTE TEMPORAL Lucrativa with PERMISSION TO WORK – or Residente Permanente, or VISITANTE with Permission to work, using an offer of employment letter: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Autorizacion_Visas_LM/Visa_oferta_de_empleo.pdf

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Residente Permanente vs. Residente Temporal
~ Residente Permanente offers the ease of a single, one-time application/registration.
~ Only one payment for Residente Permanente vs. 4 years of Temporary Resident card payments.
~ Residente Temporal
card holders must change to Residente Permanente after four years of Temporary Residency/FM2/FM3 (combined) anyway, or change to 6 month Visitor permits, or go back to their home country to apply for a new Temporary Residency permit at their Mexican Consulate.**
~ 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 Temporal cardholders must make special applications and pay additional fees to be allowed to work. NOTE THAT WORKING RESIDENTE TEMPORAL CARD HOLDERS CANNOT KEEP THEIR TIP CARS IN MEXICO (since the TIP expires when you get your working RT card).
~ Residente Permanente is a good stepping stone to becoming a Naturalized Citizen. Why? You may have property under a Fidei Comiso , and getting Citizenship allows you to terminate the Fidei Comiso , saving you $ thousands in annual payments to the bank.

~ Residente Permanente does offer almost all benefits/right available to Mexican citizens, except no voting rights, no right to the capital gains tax homeowners exemption on property sales, and they report to INM any changes in:

  • workplace
  • home address
  • nationality
  • civil status (from single to married, married to divorced, etc)
  • name

 


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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 foreigner is completing 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 for a new RT permit at a Mexican Consulate in their home country… 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 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 all done at your INM office, without going to a Mexican Consulate. Lic. Spencer McMullen’s law firm does this in Chapala without ever going to a Mexican consulate, but 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.

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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Overview: (Why a “New” Law)
The main focus of the new 2011 Ley de Migración was clearly directed towards improving protections and documenting protections and rules targeted to migrants from Belize, Guatamala, Honduras, etc as they traverse Mexico (on their way north?).

The new law has bundles of changes affecting ex-pats that dwarf the May 2010 INM rule changes, and some of them affect expats living in Mexico and visitors to Mexico. If you enjoy reading pages of legalese in Spanish, enjoy translating:
LEY DE MIGRACION PARA MEXICO

For starters, here’s a partial list of some of the new interesting twists:
No more FM2′s or FM3′s, no more stand-alone Non-Inmigrante & Inmigrante categories, and there’s a tweaked Inmigrado category (now called Residente Permanente). Tourists and other typical Visitors descriptions have not changed much, but the rules for applications have changed.


INM’s New Types of Permits for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico
Instead of the old “Inmigrante” & “No Inmigrante” (FM’2 & FM3′s), there are 4 new categories:
***”Visitante“: 6 Types: Non-Working Visitors (tourist), Working Visitors, and Visitors for Adoptions, Humanitarian, etc. 180 day limit. See Chapter 2, Article 52, Items I – VI of the Law for descriptions of all 6 types. At any point while the Visitante permit is valid, the foreigner can go to an INM border office, surrender their “old” Visitante permit, and get a “new” Visitante permit, to give them another 180 days of time permitted in Mexico.

October 17, 2014 Update
The new Lineamientos for Consulates to follow describe a new 10 year visitor’s visa (no permission to work) for family members of a Mexican citizen or of current Residente Temporales and Residente Permanentes: “Visa de Visitante (Larga Duración)” Tramite 2 of http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602 .

***”Residente Temporal“: Covers the old “No Inmigrante” (old FM3) , 4 year limit per Residente Temporal permit, Work Permit possible, Leave and Re-enter as many times as desired. This category transfers directly from the old “Inmigrante Rentista” FM2s and the old “No Inmigrante Rentista” FM3s*** The FM2 and FM3 Rentistas are so much the same as Residente Temporal, that when you apply for a Residente Temporal permit, you simply apply for and extension of your current status… See out application letters below.
See Chapter 2, Article 52, Item VII

***”Residente Temporal Estudiante“: Covers Student Studies, Research, Training, including working on university degrees.
See Chapter 2, Article 52, Item VIII

***”Residente Permanente“: Several types: Covers the old “Inmigrado” and a few special “No Inmigrantes” (the old FM3s for asylum seekers & refugees ), and it appears to cover working “Inmigrantes”**. It allows indefinite stays, no need to renew, and includes the right to work, with no approvals or work permits needed.
See Chapter 2, Article 52, Item IX
and Transitorios, Sexto, I – VI (see more below)**

Reference: Ley de Migración**

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Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Temporal
~ Having a familiar bond with another Temporary or Permanent Resident or a marital (or equivalent) bond with a Mexican (parent. child, or spouse of a Mexican citizen). The INM website where you apply even has a special category for: “Cambio de condicion de estancia a residente permanente por vinculo familiar “.

Note: Here is an SRE page with the Mexican Embassy in Spain’s description of rules and requirements for Vinculo Familiar por Unidad Familiar : http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/espana/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=407

~ Owning (or Fideicomiso) at least $2,493,200 MXN pesos of real estate property in Mexico (about $195,000.00 USD),
~ Participating/Owning at least a $100,000.00 USD share in a Mexican company,
~ Owning over $100,000.00 USD of heavy equipment or machinery in Mexico, … or …
~ Operating a business in Mexico and that legally creates at least 5 jobs for Mexicans.

Meeting any of these qualifications is enough to apply for a Residente Temporal card.

Readers desiring more details and specifics can read either Mark Topliss’s copy of the applicable section of the Transitorios in the Lineamientos in the comments below this article, or they can go to the original text at Tramite 5: Visa de Residencia Temporal: Requisito IV: Section d, Items 1 – 3 : at http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5276967&fecha=08/11/2012

Google Translate does a passable job of translating this text if you want to drag and drop.

IF YOU HAVE A JOB OFFER from a Mexican Company: Get them to send you a letter on company letterhead that is an official offer of employment, with all the key data needed: Carte de oferta de trabajo, con la nombre de la person responsible para hiring you, y descriptions of the typo de trabajo y typos de actividades, lugar de trabajo, periodo de trabajo, cuanto tiempo por cada semana, nombre y titulo de la representante de esta negocio or escuela. …

If you DO NOT already have Residency in Mexico, then submit this letter with your application to a Mexican Consulate in your home country, requesting una Visa de Residencia Temporal, de Residencia Permanente, o y de Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas, por oferta de empleo. After you receive your visa from the Consulate, you now have 180 days to go to Mexico, and use that visa to enter Mexico – with another 30 days to go to your INM office and complete the immigration card process.

If you already have residency in Mexico, but need permission to work, then go to INM with your Employment Offer Letter, and use the INM weblink to read the rest of the requirements.

Here is the weblink to the INM site that has the current Requirements for Applying for a RESIDENTE TEMPORAL Lucrativa with PERMISSION TO WORK – or Residente Permanente, or VISITANTE with Permission to work, using an offer of employment letter: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Autorizacion_Visas_LM/Visa_oferta_de_empleo.pdf

Vinculo Familiar

Vinculo Familiar por Unidad Familiar applications for Residente Temporal are done here in Mexico – under visitors visas for family members when the head of the family gets Residente Temporal, and then their family members qualify for RT without financial requirements, as described here: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Estancia_LM/Cambio_de_Condicion_de_Estancia/Cambio_de_condicion_de_residente_permanente_por_unidad_familiar.pdf

Here is an SRE page from the Mexican embassy in Spain that describes rules and requirements: http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/espana/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=407

and
Regularización Por Vínculo Familiar for INM’s current instructions and rules.

October 17, 2014 Update
There are a number of big changes in INM law taking effect 10/17/2014. They include a new 10 year visitor’s visa (no permission to work) for family members of a Mexican citizen or of current Residente Temporales and Residente Permanentes: “Visa de Visitante (Larga Duración)” Tramite 2 of http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602 .

This new section of the Lineamientos also describes other ways/updates to how family members and spouses of Mexican citizens, Residente Temporales, or Residente Permanentes can qualify for Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente under the Vinculo Familiar and Unidad de Familia qualifications. Enjoy having your family come here !

* * * *

Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Permanente:
~ Having a familiar bond with another Temporary or Permanent Resident or a marital (or equivalent) bond with a Mexican (parent, child, or spouse of a Mexican citizen),
~ Having a parent-child bond with another Permanent Resident, … or …
~ Having enough points awarded for exercising some special skill that benefits Mexico, though the points system has not been officially defined yet.

Meeting any of these qualifications is enough to apply for a Residente Permanente card, along with accompanying requirements, like spouses of Mexicans must prove that they have been married for at least 2 years and also have completed 2 years of Residente Temporal while legally married.

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October 17, 2014 Update
There are a number of big changes in INM law taking effect 10/17/2014, including a new 10 year visitor’s visa (no permission to work) for family members of a Mexican citizen or of current Residente Temporales and Residente Permanentes: “Visa de Visitante (Larga Duración)” Tramite 2 of http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602 .

Family members and spouses of Residente Permanentes should check out the changes described in the link.
**************
Again, special thanks to Solomon Freimuth** for his fine efforts in identifying these additional qualifying factors towards getting Residency. As an informational and educational website, Surviving Yucatan is not a legal source of material, while Attorney Freimuth’s advice carries the burden of being legally accurate, so, we believe a visit to either use Solomon’s services or to use his website** are good things – but different from our mission here at Surviving Yucatan.
* * * * * * *

**To read a sharp Mexican Attorney’s carefully studied and INM verified expert views on the Reglamento, the 2011 Law, and the Lineamientos, see: ~ My Mexican Lawyer: New Mexican Immigration Law comes into effect in November ~ http://dof.gob.mx/nota_to_imagen_fs.php?cod_diario=248552&pagina=1&seccion=1 and My Mexican Lawyer: Getting a visa to live in Mexico and My Mexican Lawyer: Changing or renewing FM3/FM2 to Temporary or Permanent Resident Card … by Attorney and Surviving Yucatan contributor Solomon Freimuth.
*******


Specific Legal References for Significant Changes That Affect Expats
Expats outside of Mexico who have no FM2 or FM3, now begin the Residency Application process by applying online before they travel or apply at their Mexican Consulates, and then continue their applications within 30 days of entering Mexico.

Permanent residency can be granted after just 4 years of Temporary Residency vs. the previous 5 year FM2 requirement.

Permanent residency can also be granted after 2 years of marriage or common law relationship with Mexican citizen, (with such marriage also recognized by the Mexican Government by successfully registering a foreign marriage with your Registro Civil). Such Permanent Residency also depends on the applicant successfully completing 2 years of Temporary Residency (concurrent with the marriage). See Article 141 of the Reglamento for more details. Current reports from INM say that prior FM2 years count towards the temporary residency requirements to apply for Residente Permanente.

Article 53. Visitors, except those for humanitarian reasons and those who have links with Mexican or regular resident alien in Mexico, can not change status of residence and will have to leave the country on or before the end of the period of their authorized stay.

Article 55, Item II
Permanent residency can also be granted to concubinos/concubinas after 2 years of Mexican bliss (as a part of the 2 years of Temporary Residency). Concubines are the Mexican legal version that is similar to partners in US Common Law marriages – but without any social stigma.

Article 55, Item III
Permanent residency can be awarded with less than 4 years of residency, if the applicant qualifies under the new Points System** (based on what special qualifications/abilities you can offer to Mexico).

Article 57
There are new ID cards, called “Tarjeta de Residencia” (as “Temporal” or “Permanente”).
Article 28, Item XXVIII

**Mexico has introduced a new Points System for permanent resident applicants who would like to be granted residency before the standard 4 year temporary residency requirements. The Points can be awarded based on level of education, work experience, skills in areas related to the development of science and technology, international surveys, and the skills to develop activities that are required by Mexico. Article 57, Item II.
* * * * * * *

All current Inmigrado and No Inmigrado permits (FM2′s &FM3′s) will remain valid until their expiration dates (see your “Vencimiento” on page 7 of FM2′s = Fecha de Caucidad), and people holding current FM2′s and FM3′s will only have to comply with the new rules when they apply for renewals when the new system is finally implemented.

* * * *
Additional information on how the new categories line up with parts of the old categories:
The Diario Oficial website includes a Transitorios section (listed after Article 162 in the 2011 Law) that governed the period between May 26 and whenever INM issues and implements the new regulations.

On the issue of “Permanente Residente” / old “Inmigrado”, the new law’s Transitorio section reads:
After Article 162: “Transitorios, Sexto: VI. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de inmigrado, se equipararán al Residente permanente. “

This translates to:
” VI. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “inmigrado”, are deemed equivalent to Permanent Resident status. “

Continuing on the issue of “Permanente Residente” / and some “No Inmigrantes” (some of the old FM3s), the new law reads:
After Article 162: “Transitorios, Sexto: IV. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de No inmigrante, dentro las características de asilado político y refugiado, se equipararán al Residente permanente;

This translates to:
“IV. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “No inmigrante” (old FM3), who meet the characteristics of political asylum and refugees, are deemed equivalent to Permanent Resident status.”

Going to the issue of “Temporal Residente” / some “Inmigrantes” (some old FM2s, including “Rentista”(?) ), the new law reads:
***After Article 162: “Transitorios, Sexto: V. Los extranjeros que hayan obtenido la calidad migratoria de Inmigrante, dentro las características de rentista, inversionista, profesional, cargo de confianza, científico, técnico, familiar, artista y deportista o asimilados, se equipararán al Residente temporal,

This translates to:
“V. Foreigners who have obtained the immigration status of “Inmigrante” (old FM2), who meet the characteristics “Rentista” (financier), investor, professional position of trust, scientific, technical, family, artist, sports athelete or similar, be equated to Temporary Resident status. Note that Inmigrante Rentista, Inmigrante Cientifico, etc have special legal meanings as, typically people who are not working, or are working as unpaid professionals.

These refined sub-categories and definitions make some sense, and offer some continuity with past categories and more definitions within the new law.

===================================================
Foreign Resident Requirements for Filing Address Changes or Employment Changes with INM
If you have Permanent Resident or Temporary Resident status in Mexico, we are required to report any changes in marital status, name, nationality, home address, or work / employer / employment.

Note: We are required to report these changes within 90 days.

Here is our English translation of the current INM requirements for reporting changes, followed by the Spanish version:

======================================================
SEGOB (Secretaría de Gobernación) Ministry of the Interior SEGOB

Steps for Residents to Communicate Status Changes to INM

Format for Your Presentation to INM:
The form for requesting changes to a foreigner’s INM records may be filled out electronically via the website ( http://www.inm.gob.mx ) with signature of the petitioner.

Requirements
1. Submit a letter signed by the foreigner, in which, under oath, the applicant describes the change in marital status, name, nationality, new home or workplace, specifically noting the previous and the new state and related information as appropriate. In case of dual nationality, the applicant must indicate their status, to be considered for registration and be allowed to stay in the country.

2. Original and copy of the Residente Permanente green card.

3. In the case of changing marriage status, the applicant must submit a marriage certificate (from your Registro Civil), any applicable divorce decree including the date the divorce was final, and as applicable any death certificate of a prior spouse.

4. In the case of changing of nationality, the applicant must submit their new nationality’s passport, certificate of citizenship or naturalization papers.

5. In the event of a change of name, the applicant must present a passport or identity card and travel with the new name and, if applicable, a document issued by the governing oversight authority in your country stating the name change.

Accreditation of Legal Representatives
In the event that the applicant performed the procedure through a legal representative, the representative shall certify that capacity describing the powers or rights granted or affirmed before a notary public, or proxy signed before two witnesses , or authorization in their own writing, and present a legible copy of valid ID ( with photo and signature ) of the grantor, the legal representative and the two witnesses. You can also grant the power or rights using the forms provided by INM. If this power or representation is given after the presentation of the application to INM, the power should be granted or affirmed before a notary public .

Important
In case a foreigner changing their name, the immigration authorities may issue an immigration document with the new name , as long as the foreign person revokes/surrenders their prior document/card.

In any case , the data of the foreign person will be integrated into INM’s records of the applicants history and immigration records .

The foreign person must notify the Institute within the ninety calendar days any changes in marital status , nationality, domicile or workplace.

Failure to fulfill this obligation will earn to the penalties provided in Article 158 of the Migration Act .

Only the General Manager and File Migration Regulation, Federal Deputies, the Federal Subdelegates, Local Delegates, Directors and Deputy Directors of the National Migration Institute, or interested parties may request additional documentation from that stated in this card. In any case there must be an agreement in which the basis and justification for the requirement of such information.

Here is an example letter for reporting changes in Address, Employer, Marital Status, etc:
*********
YOUR CITY and State and Date: e.g. Mérida, Yucatán a (ENTER DATE HERE)
Asunto: Cambio de […]
Delegado de Merida INM ( or enter NAME & ADDRESS OF YOUR INM OFFICIAL)
Instituto Nacional de Migración Delegación (… Regional en Yucatán for Merida)
Address of your INM officeDistinguido Delegado,

“Por medio de la presente, yo, NAME OF APPLICANT AS SHOWN ON PASSPORT , con E.E U.U. pasaporte numero: INSERT PASSPORT ID NUMBER, solicito el cambio …. la dirección para mi INM Permiso de Residente Permanente, Numero: INSERT INM CARD ID NUMBER FROM BACK OF CARD. Adjunto copias de mis comprabantes solicitados para este trámite.

Domicilio anterior: YOUR PREVIOUS ADDRESS

Domicilio nuevo: YOUR NEW ADDRESS

Fecha de me cambié domicilios: THE DATE YOU MOVED.

Bajo protesta de decir verdad.”

============================
And then add the signature line, with your full address, and phone number(s)
and
copies of your supporting documents.

~ Take the letter and the pieza number from your on-line application and your comprabante(s) and copies, (requirements described in Foreign Resident Requirements for Filing Changes with INM ) the and go to INM.

~ Changes in workplace/employment may require 2 or 3 visits, and also require a letter describing your new job, its responsibilities, and new employer’s data.

~ On job changes, after INM approves your change of employer, they will give you an approval letter on your last visit to the INM office.

There is a 90 day time limit (expiration date) for filing changes in address or changes in employer.

It really can be easy when you know what to do and what to expect. http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_LM/Estancia_LM/Notificacion_LM/Notificacion_de_cambio_de_lugar_de_trabajo_por_parte_de_residentes_temporales_y_permanentes.pdf

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Immigration Requirements that Relate to Becoming a Naturalized Citizen
Once you become a Residente Temporal, then following the 4 qualification period, you may change to full Permanent Residency (Residente Permanente) status or possibly apply to become a Naturalized Citizen. SRE currently requires completing 5 years on a prior Residente Permanente, Resident Temporal or FM2 to begin qualifying for Naturalized Citizenship, or Resident Temporal – with an aggregate of 5 continuous years between types of INM residency.* The SRE published new rules and new requirements in Feb. 2014. These new rules are listed at: http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5331363&fecha=31/01/2014. Pay attention to the General Requirements section. (“REQUISITOS GENERALES”) .

When your Naturalized Citizenship status has been approved, you are entitled to full rights (e.g. access to IMSS illness benefits) and responsibilities (e.g. pay income taxes) as any other Mexican citizen, and you can work freely etc. Naturalized citizens are also allowed to vote in Mexican elections. Naturalized citizens can also own property within the 50 km border and coastal zones, with no Fideicomisos.

*Current versions of SRE’s official rules and regs for becoming a naturalized citizen can be found at: http://www.sre.gob.mx and SRE’s Webpage on Citizenship Requirements (http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/carta-de-naturalizacion-por-residencia) Persons over age 60 do not have to take the Mexican history test. Others can check out the current 100 questions on the history test: http://www.sre.gob.mx/images/stories/docnatnacio/guia_estudio09.pdf Note that under the old rules, citizenship applications were made before the expiration of the Inmigrante (FM2) – REQUIRING at least 6 months left on their current INM permit. This translates to having an Inmigrado permit under the old pre-November 2012 INM system, or having a Residente Permanente permit or Residente Temporal, after completing at least 5 continuous years as a Resident (5 years of unbroken combined FM2/Resident status).

Other Notes on the Mexican citizenship process: You must prove that you were not out of Mexico for more than 180 days out of the last 2 years. When they grant you citizenship, you will receive a Carta de Naturalización. This document is as important as your birth certificate, marriage license, etc. Keep it safe. Mexican passport costs: http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/pago-de-derechos-de-pasaporte, If you’re over age 60, passports cost 50% less than if you are under 60.

Issues about becoming a Naturalized Mexican Citizen for US Citizens: Since the early 1990′s, official written US Govt. policy is that as long as you do not formally renounce your US citizenship by going to a US Consulate and submitting a written renunciation, then you do not need to surrender your national passport, (under either Mexican or US law), whether you remain a resident-alien or apply for citizenship. You can continue to use your US/Canadian passport when you return to your home country for visits, which allows you to also return to your home country to live there again. Use your new Mexican passport to enter Mexico, and use your existing Canadian/US passport to enter your home country. While it may sound tempting, do not try to use your Mexican passport to enter various European countries, because Mexico does not necessarily have visa agreements with all European countries. Check each country’s visa requirements before traveling.

Becoming a Mexican citizen, while maintaining US citizenship, means that such US citizens are not required to have foreign real estate trusts (Fideicomiso) to own property in border or coastal areas. This is significant in that Fideicomisos are costly ($500 – $600 USD per year) and they must also be reported to the US IRS =&gt. Becoming a naturalized citizen can hence mean potential savings from having no Fideicomiso fees, and to avoid unnecessary for future rather complex US tax reporting, plus, if you sell your Mexican property for a profit you may avoid significant tax liabilities. For more information on (avoiding/reducing) Mexican Capital Gains taxes, see: Capital Gains Taxes on Mexican Properties

To apply for Mexican Citizenship, you work with SRE to get your Carta de Naturalizacíon: http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/carta-de-naturalizacion-por-residencia ; ~ taking tests; Background checks; ~ checks of successful completion/participation in INM visa programs (4 years for Residente Permanente for typical foreigners, 2 years RP for people married to Mexicans – and special rules for family members); ~ conversation-language proficiency for all, and a history/culture test for people under 60) ; ~ plus fees. After getting your Carta de Naturalizacíon You ultimately get your Mexican passport from SRE: http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/pago-de-derechos-de-pasaporte .

You then apply for your INE card, (used to be called an “IFE” card), which is your voter’s card and simultaneously your national ID card: http://www.ife.org.mx/es/web/portal/inicio?

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New Rules on Expired INM Permits:

What to do when your FM2, FM3, or Residency INM Permit expires when you are outside Mexico:
Article 160 of the Lineamientos describes that: A foreigner who is outside the country when their INM permit expires, may enter Mexico using their expired permit, as long as they re-enter Mexico not more than fifty-five calendar days after the expiration date. In this case, no penalty will be applied and the application for renewal shall be submitted within five business days after admission ~ with no INM penalities (Aduana and Banjercito will have confiscated any $$ deposit you made if your have a Temporarily Imported TIP car).

Foreigners will not be allowed entry into Mexico after more than fifty-five calendar days of expiration, and if they desire Residency, they must go to their Mexican Consulate office, and start over by applying for Residency as a new permit.

For details, read Article 24 and Article 34 of the Lineamientos, and Article 160 of the Reglamento.

Note from Chapala.com’s snowyco, Yucalandia, Ric Hoffman, and at7mbe (Mexconnect): “When you come back to Mexico, INM also wants you to show your prior travel documents, boarding passes and/or passport stamps showing that you were indeed out of Mexico when your residency cards expired. The official DOF web for Article 24 is at http://www.dof.gob.m…echa=08/11/2012 if you enter at a small or unsophisticated border crossing where they might not know the rules.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not let INM agents them mark “Visitante” on your FMM card.

According to at7mbe: If the INM agent does that, ‘it will screw up and jeopardize your visa status. They must mark CANJE (exchange) to say that this FMM document will be EXCHANGED for your regular residency card. ‘ ”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What to do for Renewals, when your FM2, FM3, or Residency INM Permit expires when you are INSIDE Mexico:
If you allow your FM2/FM3/Residente Temporal INM permit to expire when you are inside Mexico, many INM offices do allow you to apply for an extension of your current permit, with penalties.
From the Lineamientos:

Artículo 52. Ficha del trámite para la regularización de situación migratoria en la modalidad regularización por tener documento vencido o realizar actividades no autorizadas.

Caso en el que se presenta: Aplicable a la persona extranjera en situación migratoria irregular que tenga documento migratorio vencido o que realice actividades distintas a las autorizadas y con ello deje de satisfacer los requisitos por los cuales se le otorgó determinada condición de estancia.

This basically says that foreigners who have allowed the INM permits to expire, or who have done some other disallowed practice, must take some special actions. This means applying online, writing letter describing that you have passed the expiration date, explain why, and apply for a renewal. Also take a letter describing your problem on your first renewal visit to INM. When renewing an expired permit from within Mexico, you follow the same requirements as for making a NEW / initial Residente Temporal card application. By allowing your card to expire, you must prove that you meet the requirements listed above. You will likely owe fines/penalties as described in Articulo 146, plus other additional other processing fees. Also, consider:
Artículo 17. La renovación de los documentos migratorios para ampliar su vigencia, se regirá por lo siguiente:
. . .
VI. La renovación de un documento migratorio deberá solicitarse dentro de los treinta días naturales previos al vencimiento del mismo. El titular de un documento migratorio cuya fecha de vencimiento ocurra en un día inhábil, podrá solicitar la renovación del mismo al siguiente día hábil sin que ello implique que se ubica en el supuesto de regularización.

Article 17 describes the possibility of renewing current INM permits within 30 calendar days of expiration. You are allowed to apply on the next business day, if the expiration date falls on a holiday or weekend day. Readers may note that allowing your INM permit to expire can be considered “a break” in maintaining a continuous INM permit for qualifying for Residente Permanente in the future. Some INM offices have explicitly required Residente Permanente applicants to have no breaks and no expirations and no fines nor penalties on their current INM permit, to be allowed to qualify Residente Permanente.

Expiration Date Issues for Changing from FM2/FM3 to Residente Permanente:
If you are applying to change from an existing FM2 or FM3, to go to the new Residente Permanente, and you apply after your current INM permit expires, then you are likely out of luck. Some people who apply even 1 day after their expiration date are being told that they must start the whole process over from scratch, losing all credit for previous years of Residency because they now have ” a break” in their years of continuous residency. Some INM offices (i.e. Lerdo INM) are adding a further requirement that Permanent Residency applicants inside Mexico must go to their INM office only on the last valid business day on their current FM2 or FM3 permit to apply for Residente Permanente, while other INM regional offices are allowing expats to file their Permanent Residency applications up to 30 days before the FM2/FM3 expiration date. Check with your local INM office to determine their site-specific policies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mexican Embassy Replies to Questions from some very helpful Danes:

Specific Issues for Applying at Your Mexican Consulate for Shipping Household Goods into Mexico

~ Do we need a license/permit or similar form from the Mexican embassy in Copenhagen before we ship the goods? If yes: How do we go about this?

~ Official Embassy Reply:
Concerning (importing) your household goods, indeed you require a permit from the Embassy so that your goods can be (imported) tax free from customs into Mexico. The requirements to obtain such permit are:
– Packing list (three copies), containing a detailed description of all items, the address in Mexico where they will be delivered and your former address in Norway, and duly signed in original.

If the importation is (permanent):
– Copy of your valid passport and immigration card; (hence, you should obtain the visa before the permit)
– Place where you will live in Mexico (including address);
– Proof of payment of the fee.

If the importation is temporary:
– Copy of valid passport and visa or temporary resident card;
– Place where you will live in Mexico (including address);
– A letter (signed) where you (promise) to the return of the goods abroad and that, in case of changing your address in Mexico, you will notify the custom authorities;
– Proof of payment of the fee.

Second Question:
~ Is there a time limit where I have to enter Mexico after you have issued the permit? Is there a time limit where the goods have to arrive in Mexico after you have issued that permit, and we have arrived in Mexico?

Mexican Embassy Answer:
The residence permit expires on the date specified in the permit. There is no time limit for you to enter Mexico during that period, but you have to obtain a resident card in Mexico within the first 30 days of your stay.

There is no expiration date on the certificate of household goods.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Important updates on past FM-3 time counting towards Residente Permanente
On Dec. 7, 2012: John Garver, a highly reliable and regular Yucalandia contributor writes:
…my wife’s client in San Miguel has the word “PERMANENCIA” on the Immigration computer system when checking her client’s history. This word showed up when client reached 5 years and started over on a FM-3. Thanks to the word “PERMANENCIA” they counted total time on current and past FM-3′s after they met with Mireya the Subdirector. She was immediately pre-approved for Permanent Resident and no financials required. Thank goodness and the client’s income is $1100 / month.

With another facilitator her client was unable to count past time on previous FM-3′s as she had the word “REGULARIZATION” when she was at the end of her five years on a FM-3 and started over. ”

Note that John’s wife is a Mexicana, professional facilitator, who has been working with the San Miguel Allende INM office for years to help foreigners get their INM permits. She has been providing some of the most detailed and best defined information from across Mexico on ” ~ How to get your NEW INM permit ~ “.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Example Letter For FM2 & FM3 Rentistas to Submit to Your Local INM Office to Request Residente Temporal

Letter #1: Here is an example letter for applying for continuing an ~ FM2-Rentista ~ OR ~ FM3-Rentista (with less than 4 years completed) ~ as a Residente Temporal – in a version that Merida’s INM office agreed to this morning.

This is an example letter recently approved by our Merida INM office for how they do things. Your local INM may ask you to make handwritten changes to this, based on your personal details. You must have less than 5 years completed on your FM2 or FM3 Rentista to use this letter.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mérida, Yucatán a (ENTER DATE HERE)
Asunto: Expedición de Documento Migratorio

Delegado de Merida INM ( or enter NAME & ADDRESS OF YOUR INM OFFICIAL)
Instituto Nacional de Migración Delegación Regional en Yucatán
Av. Colón Núm 507 por Calle 8
Mérida, Yucatán, México C.P. 97070

Distinguido Delegado,
Por medio de la presente, yo, NAME OF APPLICANT as SHOWN on PASSPORT, solicito para renovar de mi documento migratorio Residente Temporal. Subsisten las mismas condiciónes que cuando me fue otorgado mi documento migratorio. Adjunto copias de los documentos solicitados para este trámite. Le agradezco por anticipado la atención prestada a la presente solicitud, esperando contar con el otorgamiento del cambio calidad migratoria lo ántes posible.

Bajo protesta de decir verdad.

Atentamente,

APPLICANT SIGNATURE – sign here

Type/enter APPLICANT NAME

APPLICANT’S ADDRESS

Calle (ENTER ADDRESS) Col. (ENTER NEIGHBORHOOD)

Mérida, Yucatán, México C.P. 97000
Tel. domicilio (ENTER HOME PHONE)
Cel. (ENTER CELL PHONE)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Example Letter #2: Application letter for CHANGING from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente
This is an example letter recently approved by our Merida INM office for how they do things. Your local INM may ask you to make handwritten changes to this, based on your personal details – so we recommend using double-spacing in the body of the letter, to give them space to hand-write any changes they want.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mérida, Yucatán a (ENTER DATE HERE)
Asunto: Solicitud de Cambio de Condición de Estancia a Residente Permanente

Delegado de Merida INM (or enter NAME & ADDRESS OF YOUR INM OFFICIAL)
Instituto Nacional de Migración Delegación Regional en Yucatán
Av. Colón Núm 507 por Calle 8
Mérida, Yucatán, México C.P. 97070

Distinguido Delegado,
Por medio de la presente, yo, NAME OF APPLICANT AS SHOWN ON PASSPORT, solicito el cambio condición de mi calidad migratoria de Residente Temporal a Residente Permanente. Adjunto copias de los documentos solicitados para este trámite. Le agradezco por anticipado la atención prestada a la presente solicitud, esperando contar con el otorgamiento del cambio de condición de estancia.

Bajo protesta de decir verdad.

Atentamente,

APPLICANT SIGNATURE – sign here

Type/enter APPLICANT NAME

APPLICANT’S ADDRESS

Calle (ENTER ADDRESS) Col. (ENTER NEIGHBORHOOD)

Mérida, Yucatán, México C.P. 97000
Tel. domicilio (ENTER HOME PHONE)
Cel. (ENTER CELL PHONE)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is an example letter for changes in address, work status, etc
– where you can change the “change of address” request to “change in work status” or “change in employment” etc:

YOUR CITY, YOUR STATE a (ENTER DATE HERE)
Asunto: Solicitud de Cambio de Mi Dirección de Mi Residencia

Delegado de ____ INM (or enter NAME & ADDRESS OF YOUR INM OFFICIAL)
Instituto Nacional de Migración Delegación Regional for your state
ADDRESS OF YOUR INM OFFICE

Distinguido Delegado,
Por medio de la presente, yo, NAME OF APPLICANT AS SHOWN ON PASSPORT, con E.E U.U. pasaporte numero: INSERT PASSPORT ID NUMBER, solicito a registrar un cambio oficial de la dirección de mi residencia. El numero de mi Residente Permanente es _____________ (ENTER YOUR number from the back of your INM CARD. Adjunto copias de los documentos solicitados para este trámite.

Domicilio anterior: YOUR PREVIOUS ADDRESS

Domicilio nuevo: YOUR NEW ADDRESS

Fecha de me cambié domicilios: THE DATE YOU MOVED.

Le agradezco por anticipado la atención prestada a la presente solicitud, esperando contar con el otorgamiento del cambio de la dirección de mi residencia.

Bajo protesta de decir verdad.

Atentamente,

APPLICANT SIGNATURE – sign here

Type/enter APPLICANT NAME

APPLICANT’S ADDRESS

Calle (ENTER ADDRESS) Col. (ENTER NEIGHBORHOOD)
CITY, STATE POSTAL CODE

Tel. domicilio (ENTER HOME PHONE)
Cel. (ENTER CELL PHONE)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Instructions for the INM Webpage for Visiting Mexico or Moving to Mexico

Specific Answers to Common Questions on the INM On Line Application:

Go to the INM Website page to log in your personal data and your desired actions/changes at Immigrants Form for Filing Applications for Changes in Immigration Status

General Notes:
When entering Personal Information, enter your name exactly as it is on your passport. Items with a ” * ” are mandatory. Also note: in your name, dates, addresses, phone numbers etc: DO NOT ENTER periods ” . ” or dashes ” – ” or parentheses “(999)” in the fields or the form rejects them.

e.g. If your name is John J. Smith, enter a “J”, because entering “J.” causes a rejection by the automatic format checker.

Let’s get this party started ! Go to the INM webpage and you will see:

Question 1: “¿Qué desea hacer?” … ~ What would you like to do? ~

Especifique” … ~ Choose specific options ~

Change from Visitante to Residente Temporal:
~ Choose “Canjear o reponer documento migratorio
… ~Exchange or replace your immigration document status. ~

then
Question 2: ~ Choose “Canje de FMM por Tarjeta de Visitante o de Residente
… ~ Exchange an FMM for a Visitor’s Card or for a Residency Card ~

Then fill in your personal information into the rest of the form. Note that if you have no CURP, then INM will assign you one later. Current FM2 and FM3 holders have their CURP listed on their current INM card.

Note: If you lose your CURP, or want to check if your personal data in your CURP records is correct, see:

*****
Extend/Renew an Existing Residente Temporal:
Question 1: ~ Choose “Extender la estancia” … ~ Extend the stay ~

Question 2: ~ Choose “Expedición de Tarjeta de Residente por Renovación
… ~ Process Renovating / Renewing My Residency Card ~

Before filling out the rest of the boxes of personal information, you are offered a tasty box “Conozco mi NUE” to click…
… ~ I know my NUE ~ the official number listed on your current FM3 card.

If any of your personal data has changed, do not choose this option.

Clicking on this box opens a pop-up form to enter:
– Your NUE number from your current INM card;
– Your Birth Date and
– A warbled CAPTCHA code (to prove you are a human),

After entering your NUE etc, then select “Buscar” … ~ Search ~

Choosing this route pulls up all your previous personal data, and automatically fills it into your renewal application.
*****

Change from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente:

Question 1: ~ Choose “Cambia condición de estancia” … ~ Change my status ~

Question 2: ~ Choose “Cambio de condición de residente temporal a residente permanente
… ~ Change my residency status from temporary resident to permanent resident ~

Before filling out the rest of the boxes of personal information, you are offered a tasty box “Conozco mi NUE” to click…
… ~ I know my NUE ~ the official number listed on your current FM3 card.

If any of your personal data has changed, do not choose this option.

Clicking on this box opens a pop-up form to enter:
– Your NUE number from your current INM card;
– Your Birth Date and
– A warbled CAPTCHA code (to prove you are a human),

After entering your NUE etc, then select “Buscar” … ~ Search ~

Choosing this route pulls up all your previous personal data, and automatically fills it into your renewal application.
*******

Change of Address
Question 1: Choose “Notificar Cambios (residentes temporales y permenentes)
… ~ Notify INM of Address Changes for Temporary or Permanent Residents.

Question 2: Choose “Notification de cambio de domicilio
… ~ Notify INM of Changes in Home Address

Before filling out the rest of the boxes of personal information, you are offered a tasty box “Conozco mi NUE” to click…
… ~ I know my NUE ~ the official number listed on your current FM3 card.

If any of your personal data has changed, do not choose this option.

Clicking on this box opens a pop-up form to enter:
– Your NUE number from your current INM card;
– Your Birth Date and
– A warbled CAPTCHA code (to prove you are a human),

After entering your NUE etc, then select “Buscar” … ~ Search ~

Choosing this route pulls up all your previous personal data, and automatically fills it into your renewal application.
*******

Personal Information:

~ Apellido: Your last name exactly as listed on your passport.

~ Nombre(s): Your given name(s) exactly as listed on your passport.

~ Fecha de Nacimiento: Birth date.

~ Sexo: Mujer = Woman, Hombre = Man

~ Estado Civil Actual: Casado = Married, Soltero = Single, Viuda = Widow etc.

~ Lugar de Nacimiento: Place of Birth. Pais = Country, Estado = State or Province, etc

~ Nacionalidad actual: Country of a your current passport.

~ Passport or other documents: mostly obvious

~ Pais de expedición: Country you left from.

Domocilio del Extranjero en Mexico: Foreigner’s Home Address in Mexico

~ Calle = Street
~ Número exterior = House number
~ Número interior = Unit no., letter, or apartment no. , if any
~ Colonia = Neighborhood name
~ Estado = Choose your state
~ Delegación o municipio = Choose your city or municipality
~ Código Postal = Postal code

Click “Guardar” after checking that all your entries are correct and all “*” fields are entered. Next: A PDF file of your completed data form will be offered for you to save, print, and take a copy with you to to the INM office.

Applicants who want a lawyer, family member or other person to handle their application, receive notifications, etc then can fill out the big box at the bottom of the form.

Si usted quiere agregar personas autorizadas es necesario que lo efectúe con el botón ‘Agregar persona’” ~ If you want to add authorized people, then it is necessary to click the Add People button. Be sure to click the “Guardar” button after entering any authorized people to act on your behalf, to save those names.

If you have dependents, enter them in this comments box to notify INM of your status as their parent/guardian for their applications. There is a button to click to open a section that describes the information requirements for minor children and dependents.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Effects of Having a TIP for a Foreign Plated Car When You Apply For Residency at a Consulate:
People who have foreign plated vehicles with old TIPs (Temporary Import Permits) should realize that if they apply with Mexican Consulates to either get Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal, the Consulates have the ability to check your Mexican Government computerized records. If the Consulate finds you have an old moldy TIP on your record (which turns up when they search your name and passport number), they can reject your Residency application and force you to go back to Mexico and first cancel-out/surrender the old TIP. If you have lost the original paper copy of the TIP or if you have a trailer on the TIP, then the process of cancelling the TIP gets even messier: Unexpected Effects of Having a Trailer with Your Car’s Temporary Import Permit (TIP) and Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars .

These issues point to the potential importance of:
~ Not losing the original paper copy of the TIP.

~ Surrendering your TIP on a foreign-plated vehicle before going to a Consulate to apply for Residency.

~ Bringing along any trailer that is “attached” to the original TIP, when cancelling a TIP. and

~ Stop at INM every time you drive out, and have INM register your exit.***

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Issues When Leaving Mexico with a Pending INM Application using an INM Temporary Exit -Exit/Re-entry Permission Letter:
***Note that when you get a Letter from INM permitting you to leave Mexico for up to 180 days, that letter expires in 60 days, so you must officially leave Mexico within 60 days of the letter’s issuance date. If you drive out of Mexico without registering your exit with INM, then the 60 day clock is still ticking – and you must then return to your INM office within 60 days – and you effectively lose the 180 day grace period. This means you should make the effort to find an open INM office when you drive out, and have them record your exit from Mexico, to qualify for the 180 day permission.

It is important to do these things properly, otherwise, you may have to start the whole Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal process all-over-again – re-paying full fees (no credits).

Also note that : If you have already successfully turning in your ID fotos, been fingerprinted, and paid for your Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal, you can give a Carta de Poder letter to a trusted friend or family member, granting them permission to pick up your new Tarjeta de Residencia when it is ready. They then send you your new Residency by DHL or UPS, while you are still in Canada or the USA – and you then turn in your INM letter when you renter Mexico using your new Residency Card.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sources and References for the New INM Law and Rules
LEY DE MIGRACION PARA MEXICO

In addition to the official Gob. de Mexico link supplied above, there is also a copy of the same new law at this website:
New LEY DE MIGRACION PARA MEXICO in Spanish

The Reglamento was issued for the May 2012 “New” Law in Sept. 2012. Here is a link to an official version of the Reglamento:
http://dof.gob.mx/copias.php?acc=ajaxPaginas&paginas=todas&seccion=PRIMERA&edicion=248552&ed=MATUTINO&fecha=28/09/2012 .

The new INM Lineamientos can be read online at:
http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5276967&fecha=08/11/2012

The new INM Permit Application Rules are reported here:
http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5276966&fecha=08/11/2012

If you want summaries of the sequence of previous changes (finally taking effect on Nov. 9, 2012), describing the details that affect tourists and expats in Mexico, please see our previous Article on the May 2012 New Immigration Law at:
New Immigration Law Published for Mexico
* * * * * ** *

This article is meant as a public service announcement, not as legal advice, and this article will be updated as understandings and interpretations of the new law develop.

* * * * * * *

Please Continue to Make Comments and Replies to Help Keep This Information Current!

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.

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

Read on, MacDuff.

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2 Responses to Backup Copy of Yucalandia’s Main Article on Immigrating to Mexico

  1. Rick Echeverria says:

    Hola Steve,
    I am hoping you can help me out with a small problem I am having getting a C.U.R.P. number from INM so I can get an RFC number from SAT so if I decide to sell my home in Nayarit everything is in order.
    A little background: I purchased a house in a beach town in the state of Nayarit,just north of Puerto Vallarta in 2007. As an American I had to go the fidecominso route but was able to use at the time my FMT now known as a FMM, I have been coming down in October and returning to the USA each March for eight years now..
    Today after visiting SAT offices in Puerto Vallarta I was sent to INM in
    Puerto Vallarta who told me that office was for C.U.R.P. numbers for nationals and I should go to another INM office for foreigners. I went, explained my situation and was told I had to obtain a Temporary Resident
    Visa in able to get the C.U.R.P. number so I can get a RFC number. With only 3 weeks before I return to the USA for the summer I do not have time to go to my local consulate in San Francisco to start the ball rolling for a TRV, and then turn around and come to Mexico to get an TRV. Any Ideas?

    I was under he impression you could get the tax number easier if you bought property on an FMT / FMM and want to sell it on an FMM…

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rick,
      CURP’s for foreigners have only been issued by INM for the past 4 years.

      To sell a property, you have to pay taxes. To pay the taxes, you have to have an account with SAT/Hacienda. That account is created under an ID number for you: the RFC. To get the RFC, you have to have a CURP.

      Since the CURP is mainly for tracking of work/employment (for health benefits and old age pension benefits), plus it’s our registration ID for school, it makes sense that CURP’s for foreigners have only been issued by INM (for the past 5 years).

      By your choosing to only use visitors visas for years, you have saved some time in the past … but have consequently boxed yourself in (a little bit) on selling your home.

      Really, since Nov 2012, your only option to get a residency visa (to be able to set up a tax account) is to go to a Mexican Consulate, start the application process for a Residente Temporal or Residente permanente visa there, and then return to Mexico to go to your local INM office to finish the Residente Temporal visa process. Some Consulate offices do it in a day. Other Consulates do it in 3-4 business days. Almost all require you make an appointment in advance.
      Once you get your Residente Temporal visa (which may take 3 weeks to 6 weeks while in Mexico), INM also simultaneously issues you your CURP, which then allows you to go to SAT/Hacienda to apply for your RFC (to be able to sell the house). … or once you have your CURP, you can apply for the RFC online, using your new shiney CURP.

      The detailed information on how to do these things is at our main article on visiting and living in Mexico:
      https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      Happy Trails,
      steve

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