Temporary and Permanent Residents Entering Mexico as “Tourists”: Don’t …

August 17, 2013

There is a lot of advice given on the internet, especially on web-chat forums, but in the midst of all the chatter, a few voices are broadly recognized to give advice that stands rises above the crowd.     Rolly Brook is one.      Spencer McMullen is another.

Rolly?    He has just announced his retirement: ~  It’s time to say good-bye ~

Note: If you have other questions on coming to Mexico, see our main article at:  ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

Back to the topic:   Regarding Residente Temporal and Residente Permamente card holders, the talented and well-respected attorney, Spencer McMullen offers the following very good advice:

“The only people that should enter Mexico as tourists are those who want to leave in 180 days.      Using their nationwide computer databases, Immigration is now checking and cross referencing the entrances of foreigners with Residente Permanente and Residente Temporal visas with the information from their FMM – entering into Mexico.    The law states that if a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal enters or exits as a tourist, then they will have their Temporal or Permanente visa canceled.

Why would people who have one of these documents risk losing everything, including all the time and money spent?

Here are some commons reasons:

  • Ignorance about having to show their travel letter (or needing one when traveling while papers in process) as they exit and re-enter Mexico.
  • Being too cheap to pay for a travel letter (the INM exit and re-entry permit needed when we leave Mexico while our Residency application is being processed by INM).
  • Not showing their visa sticker from the consulate in their passport upon arriving in Mexico.
  • Having an ignorant INM agent at the border or airport, who thinks all foreigners are tourists when you enter Mexico, and who (mistakenly) tells you to sort out any problems at your INM office.

NEVER leave the immigration counter if you were given a tourist visa and you are not a tourist, because INM  at the entry points are trying to process (get rid of) you quickly,  but once you leave that entry-point INM counter, then you are stuck and risk losing everything later.   Pay attention:  If your FMM form says  “180 days”,  then they marked you as a tourist.    If you get a special visa from a Mexican consulate to enter Mexico,  then your FMM form they give you will say “30 days”.    Once you leave the INM entry-point area, they will assume that you did wrong, (not them), and they will cancel your document.

People with travel letters need to get both entry and exit stamps on the travel letter, show it at all times, and do not let the INM entry-point agents keep it.

People whose previous year’s INM permit expires while outside Mexico, may enter within 55 days of expiration.   They MUST show their expired document to the INM entry-point agents.   They must NOT get a a tourist card, and then apply for renewal within 5 days.

A new trick used by INM is to call foreigners into the INM office, and then deny them the right to an attorney or translator.   This is then followed by tricking the foreigner into confessing (inappropriately) that they entered wrong information on their FMM, and have the foreigner sign a all-Spanish form.   Instead, demand your right to an attorney or translator and NEVER accept blame for mistakes made by INM personnel.”

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References:   Lic. Spencer McMullen is a Mexican licensed attorney (Cédula #7928026) and official court translator (Perito Traductor). Mx 376-765-7553″
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Here are some other items to consider, (from a Yucalandia perspective), if you like traveling in and out of Mexico with few hassles:
1.    The FMM is not a tourist visa and it is not a visitante visa.  Instead, it is the form used to log foreigner’s EXITs and entries for Mexico.

2.     It is important for Temporary Residents and Permanent Residents to boldly HAND WRITE their INM card-type (~ “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL” ~ or ~ “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE”~ ) across the top of BOTH the top half and the bottom half of their Forma Multiple Migratoria (FMM) .     This eliminates (or greatly reduces) the “visitante” / “tourist” issues that Spencer highlights above.

3.    For Residente Temporal and Residente Permanentes:   You fill out the Forma Multiple Migratoria (FMM) when you leave Mexico.     As you exit, the officials keep half of the FMM form.    When you return to Mexico, you then hand-back (submit) the remaining half.

4.   As a Residente Permanente, my passport has been stamped all 4 times by Mexican INM both as I exited Mexico and entered Mexico, since getting the Residente Permanente card.

5.    There are official INM rules and “standard” procedures for these things, but individual INM offices and individual INM agents still sometimes do whatever strikes them in the moment, so SPENCER IS RIGHT:

Educate yourself. ….Be careful with what you say, …. and careful with what you sign, … because INM offices and INM agents do make significant mistakes.    If we have problems with INM, it does not work easily to try to blame problems on INM mistakes, even when their mistakes caused the problems.

Who would care if the FMM was a tourist form or a (residents) form?”

Based on 100’s of old posts across Mexican expat forums, many many gringos think that an FMMs are a tourist visa or a visitante visa.    The key issue Spencer highlights is to distinguish that we   “Residentes”  NOT enter as Visitante or Tourists…. (whether by intent or by error)

“We need a little more detail on “HAND WRITE” as opposed to what? ”
The FMM form has NO SPOT to formally identify what our visa status is, and there is NO SPOT on the FMM for us to specify that we are NOT VISITANTEs or tourists….

This means, as written above, we have to HANDWRITE your visa status, (RESIDENTE PERMANENTE or RESIDENT TEMPORAL), BOLDLY, across the top of each half of the FMM form.

There is a white space with no printing at the top of each half of the FMM.

e.g.  GOOD INM agents boldly hand-write:   “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL” …. or ….. “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE” … onto each half of the FMM form.

Since some INM agents do not write this, we (expat – foreigners) can mostly short-circuit the false-visitor-visa entry problems Spencer describes, by personally writing the correct INM Visa information on our own FMMs.

Further, Spencer has noted:  There is a place on the FMM form to list our FM2/FM3 or temporary or permanent visa number,  as well as boxes they need to check under the
official use only” section, mentioning you have a temp or permanent document.

Hope this makes for smooooooth travels,

* * * *

Note: If you have other questions on visiting or Immigrating to Mexico, see our main article at:  ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico  .

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

Read on, MacDuff.

387 Responses to Temporary and Permanent Residents Entering Mexico as “Tourists”: Don’t …

  1. Pingback: Temporary and Permanent Residents Entering Mexico as “Tourists”: Don’t … | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Brad Houser says:

    My wife and I are moving to Yucatan. She is a Mexican citizen, and I am a US citizen. What are the rule for me getting Residente Permanente status being married to her?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Brad,
      After your marriage has been officially registered at a Mexican Registro Civil office, then you qualify for Residente Permanente after just 2 years of Temporary Residency (FM2 or FM3). There are lots of details on this at our main article on Immigration and visiting Mexico at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      Enjoy, steve

      • Brad Houser says:

        Thanks Steve,
        I understand that I need to enter with the intention of staying or I will need to come back to the US and apply for the visa for the permanent stay. I asked the consulate, and it turns out being married to a Mexicana doesn’t make it any easier. I still have to have all the same documents, plus the marriage license, and she has to go with me.

        Sounds like the beginning of learning a new definition of bureaucracy.


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Brad,
        RE “new definitions of bureaucracies”: Fortunately, the Mexican requirements are easier and fewer than the US requirements for Residency. The Mexican costs are much less than the US requirements for Residency. The Mexican Government processes Residency applications roughly 5 times faster than the US government, and the paperwork/documentation required by Mexico is roughly 50X less than the US requirements. So, as bureaucracies go, the Mexican process you face is much easier than the similar ones for USA, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand et al.

        It’s good that you are finding out how to do it well,

  3. Bob Stewart says:

    What would be the proper procedure for a first time Residente Temporal applicant ? I will be entering Mexico with a 180 day visa provided by a Mexican Consulate in Canada. I understand I will have to complete the process at the INM office in Playa Del Carmen within 30 days. Do I fill out a FMM when entering ? This brings up another question. The airlines automatically add the cost of an FMM to my ticket, has anyone been able to have that charge removed when traveling with a Temporal or Permanent visa ?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bob,
      I just finished editing the article, so, please recheck for changes.

      Yes, you fill out an FMM when entering. The INM agent may simply accept your special entry visa from the Mexican Consulate, or they may also take the FMM.

      Actually the airlines add the Visitante Visa price to every ticket of every foreigner (about $20 USD). You have to file for a refund with their airlines customer service departments, showing them your old boarding passes and your INM card.

      • ronturney says:

        Steve, my friend who applied and received a Temporary Resident Visa in November 2014 just visited the local INM office in Melaque (November 23, 2015), Jalisco and found that his visa had expired a few days ago. Now they are saying that he must return to the border (he drove here from Canada), pay a fine, get a temporary visitors visa and then go through the entire process of reapplying for a temporary resident. Surely there must be some way that he can avoid going through this process. Do you have any advice on how he should proceed? Thanks…….Ron

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Ron,
        There is a special “regularization fee” that (some) INM offices charge as a late fee for renewing a slightly past-due visa, (although there is nothing I could find in the law about this). I am NOT confident that all offices do this.

        This may be one type of situation where a good immigration attorney with “connections” and “history” with his INM office may be able to get a different result than a foreigner with modest Spanish language skills.

        Otherwise, yes, he’d have to go to a Mexican Consulate.

  4. Joe says:

    “Being too cheap to pay for a travel letter (the INM exit and re-entry permit needed when we leave Mexico while our Residency application is being processed by INM).”
    Spencer McMullen cites this as one of the ways those with resident documents can screw things up, but his comment puzzles me, somewhat.

    A holder of a residence document will not have a document with which he can exit Mexico if he hasn’t gone through the process of obtaining permission to leave the country temporarily, while his tramite is pending- unlike a tourist who will have an FMM with which he can leave the country, unless he’s lost it!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Joe,
      I think there are some cases you have not considered: Some people drive out of Mexico, while their residency applications are being processed – with no exit/re-entry permit letter. When they drive back in, they have NO residency document to submit for re-entry into Mexico, and the goofy folks then try to finesse the INM entry system by using the FMM to get a Visitors visa. That means they are breaking INM rules by having 2 INM permits at the same time.

      This is one of the reasons that INM is now cracking down on many travelers, as a response to the intentional cheaters: They allow the cheating travelers to sign for (get) the Visitors visa, and then stop them just before they leave, to charge them with violations of INM law – like letting a shoplifter attempt to leave the store with the stolen merchandise, to have a strong case to prosecute them, versus stopping them early and asking for the goods…

      This is why I point out to boldly write RESIDENTE PERMANENTE or RESIDENTE TEMPORAL across both halves of your FMM to avoid the traps INM is setting to try to catch cheaters. Writing this, short circuits any misunderstandings about your intent, and short circuits any attempts by INM to trap us by them writing just “180 days” on the re-entry part of the form.

  5. Joe says:

    Steve, you said, “For Residente Temporal and Residente Permanentes: You fill out the Forma Multiple Migratoria (FMM) when you leave Mexico. As you exit, the officials keep half of the FMM form. When you return to Mexico, you then hand-back (submit) the remaining half.” That’s how it’s always been in my experience, too. But above you say that some people drive out without going through that process, which would mean they didn’t go through a passport control/immigration station when they left the country. How is it that they manage to do that?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Joe,
      I have read at least 10 first hand internet reports where expats wrote that they simply drove out of Mexico at border crossings without filling out an FMM. I don’t know how it worked (or didn’t work). It sounds similar to driving out of Mexico without either – turning in the Temporary Import Permit to Aduana – or – getting a (free) multiple exit/re-entry permit letter from Aduana.

      This is particularly true for residents living in border areas, where some cross daily, with minimal checks.

      Some of these requirements exist in the law, but are not enforced? It’s beyond me.

      • Erik says:

        I lived in Tijuana for 8 years, and INM never checks people leaving or entering Mexico by land. In fact, 99% of visa holders in Baja California probably have NO IDEA of all these requirements. I was just notified of all of this here in Quintana Roo after getting chewed out by an INM person when mentioning a past trip. i.e. Agent: “So how did you get there?” Me: “I crossed the border and took a flight out of San Diego.” Agent: “As an FM2 holder you needed to report to us every time you left Mexico….etc etc” My Residente Permanente application was accepted last week with a NUT given to track the process. Not sure if they are going to check my passport with CBP for entries and exits and if a fine will come rolling in, but nothing was typed into the computer about it. It was just a conversation at the counter.

        In Tijuana and other border cities, the economies are dependent on people and products crossing the border. Entering the US already takes 1-3 hours with CBP procedures. The INM delegados are probably encouraged not to set up exit filters by all levels of government. Ask anybody from Tijuana who crosses the border. The described procedures would be chaos.

  6. Jen Preston says:

    Hola and muchas gracias for the great information you provide here. When i was first issued my FM3 (a little over one year ago), I literally was given the card without any explanation from my “lawyer’ at the time who was getting married and moving. She literally had someone drop it off to my home without any explanation of what to do should I have to leave the country. I only had the card about a week and had to fly back to the US for a family emergency and filled out an FMM form without checking in with Immigration and filled it out as a tourist. I came back into the country approximately a month later without knowing the procedure (thinking that my entries and exits are recorded in the system) and came in as a tourist eventually letting the visa expire in 180 days. Fast forward, a year later it was time to renew and get the new Temporary residente card.(replacing my old FM3) and did the paperwork through a trusted and well used lawyer and recieved my RESIDENTE TEMPORAL. I just recently had to leave the country again, and checked in with Immigration when I left filling out the FMM as a Residente Temporal. There were no issues and when I returned (through Cancun) and I handed them the bottom half of my FMM. I am assuming they marked it as Residente Temporal. How can I be sure that everything is now smooth. Should I assume everything is all right now that i have my residente Temporal and am doing the procedure correctly or could my previous mistake somehow come back to bite me? I would be afraid to come back to Immigration and ask for fear of raising a red flag and so far so good. Thank you.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jen,
      You should be fine. If INM had detected that you illegally had 2 visas at the same time (FM3 and Tourist/Visitor), they would have given you problems when you applied for the Residente Temporal. That process was successful, so NO harm done.

      On your last trip with the Residente Temporal card, I would assume that the INM agent filled out your re-entry half of the FMM form just fine.

      Next trip: Both INM and Yucalandia advise writing your visa type ( RESIDENTE TEMPORAL ) boldly across both the top half and the bottom half of the next FMM form, just to prevent any mishaps.

      Happy Trails,

  7. Steve,
    My wife and I were issued a 6 month Temporary Residence Visa in Toronto valid for the period 24 June – 24 December 2013. We entered Mexico by car on July 28 ( a Sunday ). When we crossed over via Laredo, the INM officer insisted we fill out a Tourist Visa, which we handed to customs for our Temporary Import Permit for the car. It was all a blur in 105 degree heat with two dogs and I didn’t notice that the Permit was only valid until the 28th August. There was a delay in Progreso obtaining our one year Temporary Residence Visa, I suspect because of what happened in Laredo. As a result we didn’t hand all copies of our paperwork for the extension to Aduana until after the permit expired. Now they have sent the paperwork to Mexico City. I should have queried the expiry date on the TIP, but assumed that it would expire when my 6 month visa expired on December 24th. Any thoughts?

    Mike Cummings

    • markemmer says:

      Mike, from your description, the border officials in Nuevo Laredo did everything correctly. Your six month visa from the consulate gives you six months to enter Mexico. That doesn’t mean that if you enter after the first month that you have five months left on that visa. It dies on the day you enter. The rule is — up to six months to enter Mexico, then up to 30 days to go to INM to exchange your FMM for a Temporary Residence card. When you crossed, they did exactly the right thing by giving you a 30 day FMM because after 30 days would be illegal in Mexico if you did not apply for the residency card at your local INM office.

      Because you must be given a 30-day FMM (marked “CANJE” [exchange], not Visitante), you can only get a 30-day TIP for the car. They will never give you a TIP whose expiration date is past the expiration date of your FMM, or later, when you have it, past the expiration date of your Residente Temporal card. I’ve entered the country with 45 days remaining on my Residente Temporal, and I was given a 45-day TIP. This is as it should be.

      The problem is that the exchange of FMM (CANJE) for a residency card often causes the TIP to expire and the deposit to be lost. The car is still legal as long as you have the papers showing your application is in progress, but the deposit may have gone bye-bye.

      Steve can comment on various attempts to get Aduana to preserve the deposit by showing the “in-process” papers. If the system doesn’t work well, it’s because Aduana and INM read from different hymnals and their systems have never been harmonized.

      Welcome to Mexico.

      — Mark E.

      • Mark,
        Everything you have explained, is news to us. No one along the way, described the process that clearly to us, or to us at all. Thank you for that. We did indeed start our extension with INM within 10 days of crossing. According to INM there was some sort of problem at the border which had to be sorted out by emails and held up our one year extension until after the TIP expired. Funny that. Aduana on the peer in Progeso did mention that my deposit was probably gone. They forwarded my application for a TIP extension to Mexico City and said that it could take up to two months to hear anything and that if we received a letter, it would be bad news, whatever that means. Thanks for your time.


      • Carolyn says:

        I am in Mexico now on a tourist visa with a TIP, they expire on July 3rd. I am going to the border to start the resident visa process and was wondering, if I can get everything done and get my resident visa in Mexico before my current TIP expires on July 3rd, do I have to take my car and turn in the TIP at the border just to get another one when I cross back. If they only give you 30 days on the FMM and TIP when you cross after starting the resident visa process and I do this and get back while there is still 30 days on my current TIP, wouldn’t that work? I was hoping to avoid that trip and that if I could get everything done before the TIP I have now expires won’t it then be extended for the length of my resident visa??

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Carolyn,
        Unfortunately for you, Aduana registers your TIP in their computer database as being associated/tied to the INM tourist visa that you used to apply for the Aduana TIP. When the FMM tourist visa expires or is cancelled/surrendered, the INM computer can notify Aduana computers of the cancellation – making your Aduana TIP expire the same day when you surrender the tourist FMM.

        So, you return in the future to the border to surrender the old FMM tourist visa and also surrender the old TIP, (get your deposit), and get a a new 30 day temporary INM visa, and then get another Aduana TIP with a 30 day expiration date that matches your 30 day INM visa. If you can get your local INM office to process your residency permit quickly, then you can apply in writing to Aduana to extend your 30 day TIP expiration date to then match your new INM permit date (a year later). If you can get it filed by the 30 day expiration date, Aduana has time to notify Banjercito of the new renewed/extended TIP expiration date, and that stops the Banjercito computer from automatically confiscating your $$ deposit (the confiscation is supposed to happen 15 days after the TIP expires).

        Make sense? (messy…. risk of losing the $$ deposit)

  8. Very good, clear info. I will certainly refer people to your blog. I just want to add info about driving, which is my specialty, since I drive 3-5,000 miles a year making road logs and maps. I cannot speak for EVERY border crossing, but other than Nogales, Sonora, I know of no checks on returning people or vehicles (except during Christmas and Easter holidays).

    I know there are no checks at Reynosa (all 3 bridges), Nuevo Progreso, Matamoros (both non-commercial bridges), Los Indios, Laredo. Nogales is unique in that the immigration and Banjercito offices are just across the highway, so it is easy to do the right thing. At most border crossings (and I use several a year), you get your paperwork right by the bridge or boundary. Many people come to me for help because they did not turn in their temporary vehicle permits or cancel their tourist cards.

    “Mexico” Mike Nelson

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Mike,
      True, true, true. Good reliable expats in Nuevo Laredo and Tijuana report exactly the same things: 1,000’s of easy daily unrecorded transits out of Mexico by Americans and other people making brief day-crossings mixed in with those returning for longer NOB stays.

  9. Arpit says:

    I think I got the most clearly explained information in this post, which was difficult to find otherwise. Thanks!

    One question, I have been issued a Temporary Residency Visa with a Permit Number valid for 6 months. Would I have to wait for the INM to complete the process (some weeks) and give me the Temporary Resident Card (in exchange of the ‘Canje’ marked FMM) to start working??, or Can I immediately start working when I reach Mexico??

    Please help!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Arpit,
      That’s a really good question. Since your Temporary Residency Visa is just a visa to ENTER Mexico, it does NOT give you permission to stay in Mexico for more than 30 days, unless you go apply with INM to continue your process of getting your PERMISO (or Tarjeta) de Residente Temporal.

      If you have applied for a Tarjeta de Residente Temporal con permiso para trabajo (“tarjeta LUCRATIVA”), then when you get the INM residency card (10 days to a month later), you then go to SAT/Hacienda and get an RFC number. The combination of an RFC number and the Residente Temporal con permiso para trabajo, allows you to begin working. The key to starting work is the RFC number from Hacienda, and you cannot get the RFC without residency with permission to work.

      Does your Temporary Residente application include “permission to work”? If not, you need to head back to the Consulate, and get this changed.

      Make sense?

  10. Cindi Carter says:

    Hello Steve,
    I hope you will have some knowledge about my question.
    My husband and I were on our way back to Mexico last January when we got sidetracked and never crossed the border. We had left Mexico with our FM3’s and FMM forms in June 2012. We were going to renew to the Residente Temporal at the expiration of our FM3’s Feb. 14, 2013. Because we never made it to Mexico last winter, and with all the confusion about the new visas, we decided it would be best to just let them expire and when we go back to Mexico this winter we intend to just go with the tourist visa. We have determined that 180 days will be enough for us and do not need the Residente Temporal.
    What do you think will happen, if anything, if we assume our FM3’s are no longer valid and use the tourist visa?
    Thank you for your input. Cindi

  11. Cindi Carter says:

    Husband works online, paid in US. Thank you so much for helping me feel more relieved about this! We cancelled our TIP on the way back to the US last June and have the paperwork to show it. I will bring it with us just in case.

    I LOVE your website, I can find so many answers here! Thank you so much! Cindi

    PS, do you know when the 3520A forms for 2013 should show up on the IRS website? I wonder if since there was the govt. shutdown it’s taking them longer…I know I had them completed last winter before we started our drive to Mexico.

  12. Paul says:

    I think there is one more instance where a Resident Temporal card holder may be inclined to opt for a tourist/visitante visa; in the case where the Resident Temporal card has been lost or stolen. INM forces one to begin the process all over again at the the same fee structure. This has happened to me and I am debating whether to simply be mum about it until I am within 30 days of it’s expiration and then proclaim that I have “just” lost it. Or, I was considering heading back to the border (I live in Sonora) and simply getting tourist visas until my Temporal is set to expire. This doesnt seem like a viable option now.

    One big lesson from this: I WILL CARRY ONLY A COPY OF MY TEMPORAL OR PERMANENTE CARD IN THE FUTURE. It’s just too expensive to replace the original if it’s lost.

  13. Maggy says:

    I live in Mexico 8 months per year..I still had a year to go on my fm3 that will expire in April.
    What kind of visa will I need then.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Penny,
      We are only allowed a total of 4 years – on the combination of our FM3 + Residente Temporal visas. When you have completed 4 total years, you have 2 options…. If you are inside Mexico at the time of expiration,

      Since the INM changed the rules in Nov. 2012, eliminating FM3’s (forever), there is no way you can have an FM3 that expires next April.

      Could you check your card, read what type of visa/permit you have (likely it is a ~ “Residente Temporal” ~ permit), read the expiration date, and read how many renewals have been used (0, 1, 2, or 3) by the expiration date? When we have that information, we can tell you what kind of visa to get and how to get it.

      If you actually still have an FM3 ( ~ No Inmigrante ~ ), then that visa would have expired in April, 2013… which would mean a different set of applications.

      • Maggy says:

        I live in Mexico 8 months per year..I still had a year to go on my fm3 that will expire in April.
        What kind of visa will I need then.

  14. Maggy says:

    Hi Steve, appreciate your reply.
    My card says ” residente temporal”. Will expire April 2014….
    Since I live in Mexico 8 months of the year…do I continue with same?

  15. Maggy says:

    By the way, I have a “3” on the back of the card…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Penny,
      Since you have a “3” on the back of your card, and it expires in April 2014, then you have a choice to make next year.

      When your card expires in 2014, you will have completed 4 years on their current Temporary Residency visa/permit, and you must get a new one (no more renewals allowed after 3 renewals => 4 years total). There are 2 options to continue for Residente Temporal for you next year(s):

      Option 1: Return to your home country, and apply for a new Residente Temporal at a Mexican Consulate. This forces you to also take any foreign-plated TIP car you have out of Mexico.

      Option 2: Allow your current Residente Temporal to expire WHILE YOU ARE STILL INSIDE MEXICO. Go into INM just after your Residente Temporal expires, and pay a small fine/fee for having it expire, and apply for a new Residente Temporal inside Mexico. If you have a TIP car, notify Aduana (in writing) of your new Residente Temporal application, before 2 weeks passes from the expriation date. This approach allows you to get a new Residente Temporal, without having to leave Mexico, and it preserves any Aduana TIP that you have (with no trip to the border).

      Option 2 has you pay a small late penalty that is much cheaper than traveling back to your home country… But you MUST apply for the new Residente Temporal ~ inside Mexico ~ before 55 days pass from the expiration date.

      Happy Trails,

  16. Helen Myers says:


    We are in the process of getting our permanent resident card. We went in for fingerprinting last week, so we are only waiting for the paperwork to come from Mexico City. We followed your advice throughout the process (from getting the initial visa in Vancouver, to the INM process here in Playa del Carmen). The staff at INM have been very helpful and patient throughout the process. We are going home for a month in December – assuming that we have our cards, where do we get an FMM to write our visa status on, as you advise?



    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Helen,
      Congrats on almost finishing the process. That last step of getting the cards made in DF and returned to your local INM office has been taking between 10 and 14 days – so you should have your cards by your planned travel.

      When you fly out (Cancun?), you stop at the INM desk first – across from the ticket counters. INM gives you FMMs to fill out (complete the traveler fields on both top and bottom). There’s a blank spot across the top of each half – so print RESIDENTE PERMANENTE boldly on each half. They keep the bottom half, and give you the top half to hand in when you return to Mexico.
      Happy Trails,

  17. Helen Myers says:

    Thanks for the information. I’d like to reiterate for others, that the process is easy to do yourself, even for non-Spanish speakers such as ourselves. All you need to do is follow the advice.you have provided.

    • Helen says:

      I thought I would give an update. We received out cards today. I went in to the Playa del Carmen INM office earlier this week to see if our names were on the list on the wall. When they weren’t listed, the officer at the door told me I should check it on the internet. When I did, it said the document was ready and we should go to the office. This was dated only 4 days after we were fingerprinted! We went in today (the 14th) and even though our names weren’t on the list on the wall, I showed the printout of the internet document, and that was fine.

      So we walked out about a half hour later, cards in hand.

      Again, thanks for the useful information you provide. It, combined with the positive and helpful approach of the INM staff, made the process easy and straightforward.

  18. Jo Counts says:

    This is great information, but I’m curious about something. If you apply for the residente permanente are you able to travel back to the States? Is there a certain time frame within which you are not able to leave the country? I was a little unclear on that.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jo,
      Mexico has no restrictions for adults after they get their cards. Get the card, and enjoy the benefits.

      It is very different from USA: The USA has significant restrictions on their Permanent Residents, but Mexico only requires that you report changes in address or employment.

  19. Brad Houser says:

    While you are waiting for the card, if you want to leave before it is ready, you will need a special letter called “Permiso por Salida y Entra,” (Permission to Leave and Enter) which took about a week for me. There is a fee and they need pictures.

    • yucalandia says:

      Brad is right.

      I misread Jo’s question – and I answered a different question. While your application is being processed, you must either stay in Mexico, or apply for a special permit letter to travel while your RP application is being processed.

      THANKS Brad.

  20. Alex. says:

    This was fascinating. How do we get your advice on immigrating to Mexico!

  21. Alex. says:

    If someone has a daughter who is married to a Mexican and has Mexican citizenship and has children who were born in Mexican will it be easier for the parents to become Mexican citizens?

  22. Sarah says:

    HI , I am in a bit of a bind. I have a mexican company and run a tiny business. I have paid all my taxes, imss , have two employees etc and I had nine years of fm2 and fm3 and last year in Feb 2013 when it expired they said they would process me as a permanent resident.
    I waited. Months passed and then they did an inspection of my office in a small town which does not have street names or numbers of houses , they said they did not find my office !!!! so they gave me a negative and cancelled my process.
    Surprisingly I was not informed , and on segob webpage it showed that I was all in process , I was even given a 60 day permit to leave in October. However when I went to get my new 60 day permit to leave in Dec, 3 days before the office closed for xmas, they said that I was staying illegally and gave me 20 days to leave the country. At the airport when I left they processed me as a tourist with a tourist card.
    I still have a NUT and on the segob page I am still in process to get the ‘constanca de empleador’ which is the first stage I need to get my temp res. SO I am still in process.
    What do I do when I go back ? Will they let me in as a tourist? Cancun is where I normally go but they are getting pretty stressed out there, so perhaps I will have better luck elsewhere. I her this is happening to quit a few people but haven’t heard yet of anyone coming back in after getting a 20 day to leave notice.
    Any thoughts? any advice?
    Thanks , sarah

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      A few observations: The SEGOB page that shows the status of your account is not the official record. The INM offices are often very slow to go in and update the information listed on each person’s page, and sometimes the pages do not get updated. We note this problem in our main article on visiting and immigrating to Mexico: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/.

      For this reason, we advise people who have waited over 2-3 weeks (for some INM action to be posted on their page), that they should go into their INM office to find out the actual status. Many many times, the application has proceeded part way – but then gotten stuck, as INM waits for you to bring them some additional documents or answer questions. This fairly common problem is what seems to have happened to you. By allowing your application to stagnate, as they were not able to confirm your office/business, you apparently hit some deadline that caused them (as you write above) “to cancel your process“.

      Note that we at Yucalandia ARE NOT EXPERTS IN THESE VERY UNUSUAL CASES, and I believe that you needed to get an attorney back in December – so that attorney could contest the 2013 cancellation before you left Mexico. Only a knowledgeable attorney can tell you what special options you may still have.

      Based on our best understandings, I believe that based on their Dec. cancellation notice (forcing you to leave Mexico), your process has actually been cancelled, regardless of what it says on the SEGOB webpage. Since they cancelled your process, you may either:
      ~ Start a new – fresh – Residente Permanente application at your Mexican Consulate in your home country (where you are now)…
      ~ They may say that because you had a break in your old INM visas – due to the recent cancellation – that you must go back to Residente Temporal for 4 years – applying at a Mexican Consulate in your home country.
      ~ You roll the dice, return to Mexico as a Visitor, possibly pay fines for being late in changing to a Residente Permanente, and push through your old prior Residente Permanente application – trying to get them to approve and use the old prior NUT. Know that foreigners in Mexico on visitors visas are normally not allowed to make any changes in their visa status, unless they are refugees or have Mexican family members.

      The last approach could work, but I suspect that you needed to push that continuing-the-prior-application process before you left Mexico. Since you left Mexico without reporting at the airport that you were a Residente Temporal – without using an INM Exit and Re-Entry Permit letter and without filling out an EXIT (Residente Temporal) FMM as you left – Then you likely do not have either the re-entry permit letter or the 1/2 stub of the EXIT FMM that Residente Temporales use to re-enter Mexico – creating second and third levels of problems for maintaining the prior Residente Temporal/Permanente-in-process claim. ???

      Again, please note that we at Yucalandia ARE NOT experts in these unusual cases: I believe that you needed to get an attorney back in December and that attorney needed to contest the 2013 cancellation back in December before you left Mexico. In our opinion, only a knowledgeable attorney can tell you what special options might be available to you now.
      Wish I had better news,

  23. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much Steve – finally some plain speak.
    Sadly it all happened on the 16th of Dec just as they closed and my passport expired in early Jan so there was no chance to even try the lawyer route.
    Do you think it might be better for me to arrive from the coast and go to an immigration office in Cancun with my lawyer within 30 days in order to tackle this. I have three dogs inside Mexico that no matter what I need to get out of the country. The worst thing for me would be to be turned away at the airport.
    I still don’t know if this means I was deported .
    Can they turn me away at the airport?
    I can’t get a visa in my home country cos they want me to show way to much money in an account for a whole year – don’t have it!
    I have land in Mexico and the company dating back to 2003 . I don’t mind getting in as a tourist and they going thru the temp resident part of things again. I just want to get in.
    Do you know anyone this has happened to before – that they were asked to leave and got back in as a tourist?
    Thanks so much, you have no idea, Fiona

  24. wildbill1466 says:

    Hi Steve,
    It seems I finally found how to make a posting here rather than sending you an Email!
    Hi Steve,
    In the past I have completely NOT understood INM rules and regs which I hope has not got me in trouble. Brief history.
    For a few years I used tourist visas for entering Mexico. Eventually I applied for and received a Fm3. When the FM3 was phased out I applied by on line application for what was the new Non Immigrate card.Before the card expired I exited without any exit paper work. At that point I had not intended to reenter Mexico. I was out of the country for about 6mos. In that time the card expired. I decided to reenter Mexico. When I did so the INM agent took my card and issued me a tourist visa and noted the cancellation on my PP. I exited in less than 180 days but did NOT turn in the tourist visa. On reentering and asking for a tourist visa, the INM agent saw in my hand the now expired tourist visa. Suffice to say he read me the riot act but after much pleading issued me a 180 day tourist visa. He made a comment that this was the last time.
    NOW! I have a valid tourist visa, intend to exit the country and turn in the current visa before expiration. I intend a few days later to reenter the country asking for a 180 day tourist visa. Am I in deep dodo??? I do not have a TIP, own property or work in Mexico. I do not at this time plan on applying for a Residente Temporal.
    As an after thought I note on other postings that there seems to be different income requirements for retired/pensioners. I am well over 65 and collect a SS pension. What are my income requirements for a Temp resident visa?? Because of age I see no need for a permanent visa.

  25. Dana says:

    I am a US citizen but my boyfriend is Mexican and lives and works in Playa del Carmen. I am looking to move there and work there in June and I want to get a temporary visa (the old FM3). I am wondering how much trouble I will have getting the visa, being 21 years old and still in school, but taking some time off. I don’t have a job that I make roughly 2,000 USD a month. I would just like to be able to work down there for the time I am there. If you can help me at all that would be great because I am so lost as to where I even begin!

    Thank you,

  26. William Richardson says:

    We have a condo near Puerto Vallarta and almost always drive to and from our home in the United States. For various reasons I applied in the United States and received a permanent resident permit on our last visit. Since we want to continue to drive to our condo, my wife did not apply for a permanent or temporary resident permit and therefore enters Mexico with a tourist card so that we can get a temporary vehicle permit for the car. We have been doing this drive for many years and we only stop at the border to return our vehicle permit. We have never reported to immigration when leaving Mexico. The next time we drive across the border to visit, my wife will again get a tourist card and a temporary vehicle permit for our car and I will simply show my permanent resident permit. We see no reason to stop at immigration when we drive back to the USA. We will return our temporary vehicle permit for the car, but this is done across the highway from immigration. Here are my questions:

    1. Are we asking for trouble by not reporting to immigration when we leave Mexico by car? So far, there has been no problems. I might add that immigration is on the other side of the four lane highway and is thus not designed for us to have to stop.

    2. Some people have told me that by having a permanent resident card I will now have to declare all my world wide income for Mexican income tax purposes. Has anything changed that would suggest they are correct. My research suggested that the requirements for having to file Mexican income taxes were not connected to the type of permit one has (tourist card or permanent or temporary permits). Hopefully that has not changed, but does anyone know if that is true?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi William,
      There is no evidence that you would need to file Mexican income taxes based solely on Residente Permanente status. There have been rumors of this posted on some expat forums, but after 14 months, the answers have been firmly: “No”.

      Do you work in Mexico?
      Are you a landlord, renting your Mexican property to others?
      Do you buy or sell stocks on the Mexican Bolsa?
      Are you paid in Mexico for anything?
      Do you sell things in Mexico?
      Do you have a Mexican Corporation?
      Are you buying and selling property in Mexico?
      Do you have employees in Mexico, and need to pay taxes or IMSS on them?

      If your answer is “no” to these questions, then (according to our best understandings) you do not owe Mexican income taxes.

      Are you an American citizen, paying taxes in America? If so, then realize that under the US-Mexico tax treaty, income taxes paid in the USA are credited against any income taxes in Mexico.

  27. William Richardson says:

    It was my understanding that given my set of circumstances I would not have to file any Mexican income taxes. However, some people I have talked to told me that simply having a permanent resident card meant that I needed to file Mexican income taxes. I disagreed but thought I would elicit the opinion of others on this site. By the way, the answer to all your questions in your reply is “no” and we are citizens of the United States where we pay our income taxes and spend the majority of our time.

    My other question (and the reason I really left my original comment) was whether one is required to go through Mexican immigration when driving (returning from Mexico) back to the US. We have been driving our car to our condo many times and upon leaving Mexico we have never stopped at immigration, however, we always stop to return our car permit. We have never had a problem with not stopping at immigration (when leaving Mexico) upon returning to Mexico. I now have a Permanent Resident visa (my wife will still get a Tourist card) but I don’t see why that would make any difference. So, my question is whether others think one has to stop at Mexican immigration when returning from Mexico to the USA?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi William,
      Re Mexican Income Taxes and Permanente status: Rumors about immigration issues abound and personal opinions (aka fantasies) about taxes multiply like weeds in the months just before tax time.

      Re Turning in Our Tourist Cards When Exiting Mexico: Surrendering a tourist card as you drive out has historically been a peculiar oddity. Legally, we are supposed to surrender them as we drive out of Mexico – like happens during airport departures – but the Mexican physical systems as you drive out are sometimes just NOT set up to allow exiting expats to easily turn-in their old INM visitor cards. Reality? : Many expats have gone out of their way and tried to surrender the old tourist card in past years, just to have INM agents look at them funny, say “No”, and tell them to “go on”, but things have changed.

      Now: According to the following post from Mike Nelson, the INM is enforcing the rule about surrendering your tourist cards as you drive out.

      Past years internet reports about gringos getting into trouble for not returning the card when exiting Mexico by land were infrequent, with only a few sporadic posts describing re-entry fines for not surrendering them on the previous trip.

      It is now best to check out every time,
      Happy Trails,

      **Post edited to reflect the latest changes in INM policies.

  28. I deal with tourists mainly and I think it would be good to put a caveat in your answer about turning in the FMM’s or tourist cards. For tourists, not turning in your tourist card is a serious offence. While in years past there were no consequences, in the last few years that story has changed. I personally got flagged when trying to get a new tourist card. Thinking it was a fluke, I went to another border crossing and got turned down again. I finally had to pay a negotiated fine and was given a slip of paper with a scribble on it. The next time I went to get a new tourist card, the Migracion agent smiled and said, “I see you paid your fine last time.”

    I have heard similar stories from fellow travelers who contact me for advice. I talk to hundreds of people a year and at least a dozen have had problems for not turning in the immigration (and car) permits. So, while your advice may be absolutely correct for expats (as is all your other advice), I would hate to see some plain old tourist read this and not turn in his immigration papers.

    Regarding the fellow who started this discussion, I have turned in papers at the Nogales crossing. Yes, Migracion is on the other side of the road from Banjercito, but day or night, I have not found traffic to be too heavy. Southbound traffic comes to a stop or at least a crawl there and northbound traffic slows down. So I have never had any trouble crossing over to cancel my immigration papers. At most crossings it in not nearly that easy to return any papers. You are lucky to use Nogales. Elsewhere one has to find the government complex at the border and turn into it, getting out of the line of people crossing the border. I’ve crossed at most Texas and AZ border crossings.

    I got the numbers in the next line from a Migracion web site, and from asking the Migracion officers at Reynosa. They both gave me the same numbers. Fines for failure to surrender your immigration papers (FMM) are about $1149 MXP (Pesos) for the first month (around $100 USD) and it goes up on a graduated scale from there (very roughly $600 MXP a month). Migracíon (Mexican immigration) has a pretty accurate computer. They caught me for not turning the FMT’s in since 1996.

    Keep up your good work.

  29. Sarah says:

    Hi ,

    If you are given 20 days to leave Mexico ;

    The specific clause on the INM document is roughly translated thanks to google is
    is given a maximum period of twenty calendar days, counted from the date you receive this job, so that under the same, adandone mexico without immigration authorities will request any immigration documentation, meeting only the requirements of statistical and identification, warning him that failure to comply with this ordinance will be made to creditor sanctions established by the Immigration Act, the above on the basis of the provisions of articles ….
    or in Spanish
    ‘se le otorga un plazo maximo de VEINTE DIAS naturales, contados a partir de la fecha de que reciba el presente oficio, para que amparo el mismo, adandone mexico, sin que las autoridades migratorias le soliciten documentation migratoria alguna, cumpliendo unicamente con los requisitos de estadistica e identificacion, apercibiendole que de no cumplir con este ordenamiento se hara acreedora a las sanciones que establece la Ley de Migracion, lo anterior con fundamento en lo previsto en los articulos….’

    Does this mean you are deported from MEXICO?

    Has this happened to anybody our there and they have gone back to Mexico as a tourist?
    Many thanks Fiona

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Not deported. It generally means that you have exceeded the time allowed on your visa or visa renewal process. A friend who had problems with his INM office at the end of his visa was also ordered in writing to leave Mexico within the 20 days, so that he could return as a visitor. They said they would deport him (immediately) if he did not leave within the 20 days.

  30. Sarah says:


  31. Sarah says:

    Hi, does anyone know that if you denied entry to mexico at the airport, point of entry immigration , do they put any mark in your passport? Or do they just hand it back to you and make you get a flight out?
    Thanks, Sarah

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I don’t think this will apply to you. You left within the required time, and you are returning in a legal way – either using a visitors visa or starting the Residente Temporal process.
      Happy Trails,

      • Sarah says:

        HI Steve, cheers for this . I don’t think so either but I need to check if they put in a black mark or something just in case the worst happens. I am not an american and need to spend some time in the states where I have a B! visa so I don’t want any problems with my passport. I won’t have a visitors visa – that is what I want them to give me at the airport.
        Cheers, Sarah

  32. Sarah says:

    Hi Steve , has your friend tried to go back to Mexico yet? Or does anyone know this happening to anyone and they got back into Mexico?
    Thanks Sarah

  33. yucalandia says:

    Hi Sarah,
    The friend followed the instructions to leave Mexico (within the 20 days). We drove the 5 hours down to the Belize/Mexico border to the crossing outside Chetumal. He surrendered his visa, and the visas for his kids, and then picked up new ones. We got him a new Temporary Import Permit for his car at the same time. All went very smoothly.

  34. Rene M says:

    Hi Steve,
    Your site has excellent information. And you seem to have very accurate responses to queries in conjunction with the various MX visa processes. Allow me raise one such question with you, hoping that either you or somebody reading these can provide me with an answer.
    I got my Permanent Visa issued in my passport in Tokyo; arrived here 2 weeks ago and went the very next day with all required forms and pictures to the INM office in PVR. They accepted these, gave me my “Pieza” and pertinent passport. Asked me to check online on the INM website with those data, the status/request that I return in around a week for purposes of fingerprinting. Within 4 days, on that site, I was required to input on an online form some addition personal info. But so far I have not seen any message to come by the office for fingerprinting. Any ideas how this step is exactly communicated? The message on the side (after I signon) has the “Estatus Trámite” as “Registre los datos para la expedición de su documento migratorio”. Is that to be interpreted as to come by for fingerprinting, since my take was that it was instead a request for me to fill-in a subsequent form with my personal data (which I did, and have saved online to their database).
    Your/any guidance is deeply appreciated.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rene,
      The have registered your personal data, and are processing the application.

      Across Mexico, the regional INM offices have been notorious about not updating their website with our actual current status.

      We advise that if nothing happens in 10 days, go to your INM office and ask what the status is, if fotos or fingerprints are needed,

  35. Rene M says:

    Thanks Steve! I will keep you, and others interested, posted.
    Cheers, Rene

  36. Hey Steve,

    I could use some help with my situation–I am in Baja California Norte, and trying to get a temporary visa so I can get residency down the line. I have been living on tourist visas for eighteen months. Last year I tried to apply for a visa as a volunteer, since I work at a shelter for abused families. They told me I needed an anuencia from segob. I tried to secure one through a lawyer in ensenada, but she told me that Migracion said that they only process for workers and students now, and that I’d need to get it at the consulate. The consulate gave me the run around again and told me to go back to segob. I tried to switch to a normal rentista application, but they told me that since I am not retired I cannot do that. They said my only options are to get the anuencia, or get a workers visa. Any advice on what I might be able to do? I am at my wits end, and just want to be able to live in mexico permanently.

    Thank you in advance for your time. 🙂 -Steve

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Steve,
      I am in Baja California Norte, and trying to get a temporary visa so I can get residency down the line.
      Fortunately, a temporary visa (Residente Temporal => RT ) is a residency visa – allowing you to own cars here, buy real estate, open businesses, and even get a work permit.

      Under the 2010 INM law, ALL ordinary Residente Temporal (RT) applicants must LEAVE Mexico, and go back to their home country to apply at a Mexican Consulate for Mexican residency. (There are special exceptions for refugees and foreigners who have Mexican family members – who do not have to leave Mexico.)

      If you go to a friendly Mexican Consulate, like the ones at San Antonio, Laredo, Chicago, or Phoenix, they allow non-retired people with sufficient savings to get residency. If you go to nastier Mexican Consulates, like San Francisco, Boston, et al, they are only allowing clearly retired people to use $$ savings to qualify for residency.

      These things have been true for roughly 1 year, so whoever advised you previously did not know how things actually work.

      You can find more details at our master article on immigration: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
      Happy Trails,

    • Rene M says:

      Hi Steve H,
      As Steve as replied… you have unfortunately been poorly accurately advised, earlier.
      The Mexican embassy in Canada has a great overview of all temporary and permanent resident visa prerequisites, forms, etc, on its website, and in English!

  37. afro26 says:

    Hi Steve, I am moving to Merida April 1 for one year to start with the intent to live there permanently.

    I have my 6 month Temporary Resident Visa from my Mexican Consulate, based on my reading your blog and from what I know, my next step is to go to Immigration within 30 days of my arrival in order to get my Temporary Resident Card. Which they will need proof of income, bank statements and other documents, the same paperwork that I submitted to gain the Visa here in the states.

    My question once I receive my Temporary Resident Card, will this card be good for 1-4years? If so, I will then, “if I choose to stay” need to apply for Permanency.

    Am I missing something????


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jason,
      Yep, your plan works fine.

      For first-timers on the Residente Temporal, you only get one year, and then get a 3 year renewal when you go for your second year.

      After 4 years, you likely qualify for Permanente. (if you meet the $$ personal fiscal solvency requirements)

      Most people are not required to show bank statements (etc) when the have Consular approval, but I would bring them to Mexico anyway – because INM does reserve the right to double-check things.

      Uxmal? Lunch?
      Happy Trails !

  38. afro26 says:

    Also, Steve, my Temporary 6 month “VISA” that I now have allows me to stay for 6 months without working there, meaning, I am NOT allowed to accept Pesos if I work there or open a business. So no matter what, I need to apply for a Temporary Resident “CARD” within 30 days. This “CARD” how long is it good for? 1year? Will this “CARD” allow me to open a business and accept pesos?

    Thanks much

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jason,
      You could have applied for a “Residente Temporal Lucrativa” “con permiso para trabajar” at the Consulate…

      Oh well, you can apply here to get the change to “Lucrativa con permiso para trabajar” at INM . THere is an extra fee – and more approvals required. Do you intend to start your own business? If you plan to have an employer, you need a a very specific offer-letter from the employer on company letterhead.
      All the best,

  39. afro26 says:

    Steve, much thanks for the feed back.

    I told them at the Mexican Consulate that I was planning a 1 year trip with the intent to stay longer, when I received my Passport, it only showed 6 months on the VISA.

    So, just to confirm:
    1. I now need to visit Immigration within 30 days.
    2. Change my VISA to a Lucrativa con permiso para trabajar ( yes I will be seeking Mexican Pesos)
    2. I will need, just as a back up to show Bank statements and other info.
    3. Need to fill out the immigration form online
    4. This will allow me to stay for 1 year, if I stay longer than 1 year, then I need to reapply.

    So, yes, I am in Advertising / Marketing, I plan on working there and seeking out clients, mexican dollars as well as retaining my US clients.

  40. afro26 says:

    Once more thing…

    On the FMM form that I am handed on the plane as I enter Mexico, I am NOT A TOURIST, what should I check on the form?

    And that I should write in big letters on the top of each portion, TEMPORARY RESIDENTA.


    And Uxmal, lunch and cerveza sounds great.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jason,
      There is no status box to check, instead you enter the number of the special visa that the Mexican Consulate put in you passport – as your entry permit – where you are entering as a special visitor. Even after you have your residency card, INM wants us to fill out FMMs for their tracking/statistical purposes. Residente Permanentes & Residente Temporales fill out FMMs, but we fill them out when we are departing Mexico, INM keeps the departing Mexico ½, and we keep the other 1/2 stub for entering Mexico.
      Happy Trails,

  41. Susan says:

    Hi Steve, do you know anyone who has let their residente temporal expire and reapplied for temporary resident again in Mexico when they were scheduled to go to residente permanente? Is it best to go in as soon as it expires (1 or 2 days). Is there a chance, INM would require the individual to go to permanent resident?

    If an individual left Mexico prior to the expiration of their residente temporal, would they turn it in at the airport or just keep it and let it expire and then reapply in their home country for temporary resident? I assume if the process begins again that the individual would only get one year initially and then up to three years on renewal.

    On a side note, how would an individual ever get four years at once? The law does list the amount to pay for four years? Is it possible for anyone to get four years initially? 🙂

    Thank you for your help and website.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Susan,
      I do not know anyone personally who has done this.

      The very-good immigration lawyer (Lic. Spencer McMullin – Chapala Law.com ) has been regularly using this route with his clients in Chapala, Ajijic, and Guadalajara for about 9 months. He has them go in right after their visa expires – paying the “late fee” (regularizacion?) on your old RT visa with a “3” on the back (3 renewals completed at the expiration date => 4 years total completed).

      I would definitely check with your INM office to get their advice, because he has been doing this at the INM-Chapala and INM-Guadalajara offices. Each office does have some discretion/latitude in how they do things – so, make sure your INM office follows this same policy. Your INM office may never have realized they can do this – since they likely have gotten zero (0) people asking for this unusual option. The gringo community in the Chapala area has about 30,000 people, so, their INM office gets more of these requests than any others in Mexico. (?)

      Realize that by allowing your visa to expire, you potentially lose prior years credits towards the 4 years needed to get Residente Permanente (if you change your mind) and possibly it affects your ability to apply for naturalized citizenship for the next 5 years.

      While at your INM office asking, also ask if they will allow you to pay for the 4 year RT option – because the 1 + 3 option arises with applying at a Consulate. Point out to your INM personnel that the reglas include a “precio para 4 años”….

      Could you come back and tell us which INM office you use, and report their replies? We really are all better when working together on these non-routine things.

  42. HG says:

    I have flown back to LA simply to start the permanent resident process so I can legally work in Mexico in real estate.
    Seems to be a big mistake, as my commuications with INM have dropped off – they sent me an email form asking me to fill out a questionnaire – after which, they promptly told me, via an e-ticket system, that they were not taking appoinments – referred me to INM.

    Did I just waste a trip back home? Is there any way I can get an appointment with the Mexican consulate to get a NUT?

    How long does the verification process take before I can return to Mexico?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      The Mexican Consulates are part of SRE (not related to either INM or SEGOB), and since processing applications for INM permits/visas is a very minor part of their responsibilities, individual consulates have poor past reputations of responding to emails. Almost every residente applicant at Mexican Consulates in the USA have reported that the applicant must go in person to the Consulate to get service.

      I am not aware of any requirements that you have a prior appointment scheduled at the Consulate, you just show up and apply.

  43. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    Indeed you cannot rely on email correspondence, and you must visit the Mexican consulate office to start the process. Here at this link, http://embamex.sre.gob.mx/canada_eng/index.php?option=com_content&id=5343%3Atemporary-resident-visa&Itemid=29
    you will find the application form and all requirements. Fill-in the form and bring the requirements to your nearest MX consulate. I did this in Tokyo, received the permanent visa in 1 week; came to Puerto Vallarta, started the change of the INM airport-issued 30-days card in to the Permanent Residency card at the INM office in PVR. And that second procedure was completed in 26 calendar days… I have the PR card. Do note that unless you already have a CURP, you will thereafter need to subsequently apply for your MX CURP (can be done at the INM office. It takes 5 business days. Then, go online and use the CURP to get your tax-ID (RFC) here, online
    https://rfc.siat.sat.gob.mx/PTSC/RFC/menu/ chose Inscripcion->con CURP from the menu-items on the left, top side.
    With this, you are all set to work in Mexico. Good luck.

    • HG says:


      • HG says:


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi HG,
        There are limits to what a visitante con permiso por remuneracion can do. The Residente Temporal or Permanente is a better fit, especially for tax purposes.

        In 8 years of monitoring foreigner’s reports and accounts on the internet, there have been no reports of a DUI causing a problem with INM permissions. Old drug charges can be a problem.

      • HG says:


      • yucalandia says:

        CURP has the combined registration functions for registration in schools, for social security, and other govt. functions.

        RFC is equivalent to either a EIN or TIN in the USA.

  44. HG says:

    Thanks Steve
    So what you’re saying is-
    Despite the fact that online it says you need an appointment-
    Just go?
    What paperwork should I bring?

  45. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    You do not necessarily need a Permanent Resident visa to get/start lucrative employment in Mexico. There are flavors of the Temporary Resident visa that also allow you to work. Regardless, you must start the process for either, by visiting the Mexican consulate (e.g. in Los Angeles) with the application form filled-in, and dependent on the visa that you are applying for, the pertinent required documentation/copies of originals.
    Again, all infos is here:
    Cheers, Rene

  46. HG says:

    Thank you.
    I did not have that link actually.
    So I have to be ready to pay that day? Where are fees listed

    I plan on starting my own company so I do not have a letter of invite.
    Will this pose a problem? I can prove financial solvency and also continuing income ( I will continue to be paid as a director of a corporation)-

  47. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    Yes, if your application and supporting documentation the day you appear at the MX consulate is completes and satisfies the officer, you will have to pay. The PR visa in Japan (was just under US$ 40, and it depends on the month’s average exchange rate, and the type of visa you are applying for.
    You do not need a letter of invitation if you can prove sufficient funds (and continuing income helps, though the analysis is based on the point-in-time and previous 6 months. Good luck.

  48. HG says:



    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      You can work with either Temporal or Permanente tarjetas (visas).

      When you marry a Mexican, if that marriage is officially registered at a Mexican Registro Civil (State Registrar’s office), then you can apply for Residente Temporal from inside Mexico, under Unidad de Familia (Vinculo Familiar) rules, and be almost guaranteed of approval. Please see our main article on immigrating to Mexico, as it answers your questions ~ at ~ https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      After 2 official years of marriage to a Mexican citizen, you can apply for Residente Permanente under Vinculo Familiar rules and again be almost guaranteed of approval.

      Note that recently many INM offices have been asking foreigners (not married to Mexicans) who want Residente Permanente tarjetas to have some PENSION income – not just savings in the bank…. For this reason, Rene’s proposed approach may not be accepted by INM or the Consulate… (e.g. Jalisco, Guadalajara, Chapala, San Francisco Mexican Consulate, Boston Consulate, Miami Consulate and some others are not allowing people with just big savings accounts to qualify for Residente Permanente.)

      At last word, Phoenix’s Mexican Consulate, Laredo’s Consulate, San Antonio’s Consulate, and Chicago’s Consulate were accepting savings acct. $$ as sufficient proof for Residente Pemanente qualification

      HG may be required to complete Residente Temporal for 4 years before qualifying for Residente Permanente (under this new twist).

  49. Rene M says:

    Yes, simply whiteout Ottawa and write Los Angeles.
    Certainly, if you can satisfy the PR visa conditions, then seeking the PR visa is more advantageous over the temporary visa(s).
    If you are (i.e. already) married to a Mexican, that makes a big difference. However, and in your case, at this time you are NOT yet married to the Mexican lady. Hence, such a “plan” has no bearing on your application.

    • HG says:

      Tell me more pls-
      Being already married to a Mexican citizen changes your application?
      Of course Id have to marry her
      Then leave again to start the application process- which could be potentially annoying-

      • HG says:

        I would just start as is
        If it causes her inconvenience or troubles in any way.

      • yucalandia says:

        Read the answers I gave to this in your previous post, (on having a marriage recorded at a Registro Civil)

        Marriage can be a very advantageous way to go.

  50. Rene M says:

    CURP = Mexican unique population ID code (citizen ID code)
    RFC = aka to TIN (tax ID number)

  51. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    I cannot advise you the what the potential consequences are in the instance that you have a DUI record.
    You would be in violation of Mexican law if you undertook financially lucrative activities within Mexico without either being a Permanent Resident or having the appropriate Temporary visa.

  52. HG says:

    Thank you Rene.
    I. Understand the liabilities involved (I am a lawyer after all)- but I much appreciate the thoughts.
    I’ll take my chances-
    After all I am a financially solvent – future taxpayer!:)
    Will update the forum re my results-

  53. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    I saw that in response to your query around how your visa-seeking situation would change after marriage to a Mexican, that you received a response that amongst other points mentioned the following, “When you marry a Mexican, if that marriage is officially registered at a Mexican Registro Civil (State Registrar’s office), then you can apply for Residente Temporal from inside Mexico, under Unidad de Familia (Vinculo Familiar) rules, and be almost guaranteed of approval. Please see our main article on immigrating to Mexico, as it answers your questions ~ at ~ https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/
    After 2 official years of marriage to a Mexican citizen, you can apply for Residente Permanente under Vinculo Familiar rules and again be almost guaranteed of approval.”.

    However, you DO NOT need to opt at all for the Residente Temporal. You can apply for Permanent Resident via “Family Unity” instead. Key point is that the old law also gave the authority “discretionary” powers to grant or deny visas. The new law “obligates” authorities to observe the right of Family Unity and grant the corresponding visas. Check the discourse reflected under “Family Unity” at this lawyer’s web-site article:

  54. HG says:

    Rene and Steve
    I’m very grateful for your feedback. There’s been a whole lot of emails on this chain and even though I went back through and tried to read every response ad follow every link, I still missed the one on marriage. Do you have a link? sry

    I am SO glad I came on this forum and did NOT go to the consulate today! I was working until 11 pm and just couldn’t deal with getting together all te financial statements, etc.

    Also it occurred to me that if marriage presents a different path then Id want to take the most secure path to start with, right? Anything else is confusing the issue. Even worse is if I’m at their mercy- the officials- if I don’t need to be!

    Here’s what I’m concerned about: for example in Canada I’ve heard that they consider DUI a crime of moral turpitude and you can be denied residency or even visiting! Now the Bar doesn’t agree- but the way that those forms are worded- it sounds like I’m at the mercy of the Mexican immigration officials. And if any feel similarly to the Canadians I’m – pardonnez moi – SOL.

    Does that mean that- instead of starting the process here- I should return and marry her and start under family unity there? I like the change that obligates them to bring us together. 😜. Do I still need prove financial solvency? Is there anything I need to start while I’m here?

    She’s anxious for me to return and so am I. But don’t want to rush if it short circuits us long term. But if this option is more guaranteed- and gets me back to her sooner- and doesn’t mean I need a NUT or bang down the door of the LA consulate- yes please!

    What’s this about a permit to marry a Mexican? That’s phased out?

    • yucalandia says:

      Good Morning HG,
      You can choose either route to becoming a resident of Mexico: marriage (via Vinculo Familiar) or applying as a foreigner who meets the requirements for personal fiscal solvency.

      Rene wrote:
      “… you will still have to show financial statements for the latest 6 months, with either a minimum monthly income or minimum average minimum monthly balance. However, for Family Unity applicants the amounts are lowest:

      We here at Yucalandia were the first on the internet to read, interpret, & summarize the INM law (May 2010) and the first to translate & report on the INM Lineamientos details published in Nov. 2012. In the 400+ pages of INM Law, Regulations, and Lineamientos, there are no mentions of what Rene describes. I just double-checked both the law and current SRE webpages on Vinculo Familiar, and Rene’s advice is incorrect – and was likely the result of some local INM clerk deciding they wanted fiscal documents (on a whim?).

      Individual INM offices have broad discretion/latitude in how they apply the rules, so, maybe Rene’s INM office has some peculiar local policy on personal fiscal solvency requirements (called “Requisitos” in the law) for family members of Mexicans, but I can assure you that what Rene describes as some lower standard is not a national policy and is not an official requirement.

      If your (future) wife is willing to sign and submit a formal letter, certifying that she is willing to be fiscally liable/responsible for you, then NO financial documentation is required for you. I can vouch for this from both legal and personal experience.

      Really, you should read our main article on immigration at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/ .

      The subsection on Vinculo Familiar is at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/#Other%20Categories/Qualifications%20that%20Permit%20a%20Foreigner%20to%20Become%20a%20Residente%20Temporal … Read that whole section, plus the next one, down through “Vinculo Familiar” and “Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Permanente:”

      SRE current webpage on this is: http://www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_2013/permanecer_mexico/regularizacion/POR_VINCULO_FAMILIAR.pdf

      Finally, I will repeat my advice from above: A single drunk driving conviction has not been used by INM to disqualify residency applicants. Further, we have heard no recent reports in the past year of any Mexican Consulates or Embassies in USA or Canada asking for proofs of police records. 100’s of Americans and Canadians living in Mexico travel to Laredo and San Antonio to process their Residente Temporal applications – and NONE of them are residents of Texas (meaning Texas has NO criminal records for them because they are not residents) – and in 4 years, there have NO reports of these Consulates asking for a police report. The INM rules include the requirement for police reports, but this requirement is rarely applied or requested.

      Good luck with your applications, and know that people’s individual experiences reported on the web are not representative of how things generally work.

      e.g. Rene describes 4-6 weeks of waiting to get her card. 100’s of other reports show that: Some people are getting their cards in 3-5 days, most in 2 weeks, some in 4 weeks, and a few have been stuck for months (depends on your local INM office).

      Renee’s advice to just sit & watch the INM website for status changes on your application is also spotty based on how things work at almpst all INM offices. Most INM offices do not reliably update your application’s status online. If you have waited for anything at your local INM office for over 2 weeks, it is best to then go into the office and ask. INM often needs more documentation, or your card may be ready – with no notifications on the INM website.

      Happy Trails,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      Covering the last of your questions:
      What’s this about a permit to marry a Mexican? That’s phased out?

      The requirement for INM to approve marriage applications for foreigners desiring to marry Mexicans (marrying in Mexico) was eliminated 4 years ago. Who ever reported this was quoting really old information.
      Happy Trails,

  55. Rene M says:

    Hi HG,
    I am unaware of any such permit… that sounds like a matter of the past. But I am sure the MX consulate will advise you on marriage related documentation needs.
    Under the new immigration rules, when married to a Mexican, the non-Mexican partner can apply for MX Permanent Residency on the basis of “Family Unity”. You will still have to show financial statements for the latest 6 months, with either a minimum monthly income or minimum average minimum monthly balance. However, for Family Unity applicants the amounts are lowest:
    Average monthly balance of MXN 20,187.– Mexican pesos or its equivalent in USD during the past 6 months. Or employment or a pension with a tax-free monthly income greater than MXN 6,729.– or its equivalent in USD during the past six months.
    After you are married, reading the law, I believe you shall still have to apply from outside Mexico – wherever you are resident (e.g. Los Angeles). But once you satisfy the paperwork, you will get the MXPR visa authorization quickly. I received mine (Family Unity) the same day that I applied/was interviewed. The assessing officer may ask for additional documentation!
    Then you have to (re)enter Mexico, where you will get a 30-days visitor card upon showing them the MXPR visa that the consulate pasted in your passport. Within those 30 days, visit the INM office. Again, some forms to fill-in; and another approx. MXN 4,000.– to be paid + photos. Thereafter, you can track progress online on the INM website. After 4 to 6 weeks elapse, you will see the status calling for you to return to the INM office to collect your Resident Card.
    Good luck,

  56. HG says:

    Thanks both of you again.
    Yes, I’ll reread the posts. But based on what you’ve provided, I think the best bet at this point is to start the process now.
    I don’t want her to have to guarantee my financial solvency. (And in case, she probably can’t, being in her last year of studies, and I am in a financially better position!)
    If I have to return to the consulate after married to start the process anyway-
    then it’s another trip away from her 😦

    So I’m going to get the permanent residency process started here at the consulate in LA and keep you all apprised of how it goes. Lo agradezco-

  57. HG says:

    Just got back from the LA Mexico Consulate. Not the best of news.. or at least, it doesn’t feel like it.
    So, was up until 4 in the morning preparing all the paperwork, bank statements, yadda yadda. A total waste of time, for the time being at least.
    Got there around 9:30 a.m. Checked in to visa line around 955 am, wait time around 110 minutes.

    They tried a couple of times to turn me away too – told me that visa officers only see people by appointment. When I insisted that I’d tried to e-mail them multiple times for appointments, and never got a response, they did mention that they were off on April 17 and 18. Then they said, ok, you can wait – there’s 4 people ahead of you. LOL
    This is what I was told:
    There is no way to get a work visa in the US. The only types of visas you can get will not allow for work. There is something called a rentista – for retired people – but that doesn’t allow for work.

    I can’t apply for temporary residency here.
    I can’t apply for permanent residence here.
    I can’t apply for any type of visa that allows me to work, here.

    So either everything I’ve read on this forum is wrong – and the other forums online too – or they got it wrong – or they just don’t want to do any work – or no one wants to do any work.

    I was instructed to return to Mexico and begin the process there.
    So, what if I go back to the INM in Mexico, and they tell me the law has changed, and I have to start at a consulate?

    I’m starting to think there’s gotta be a better way. Like create an American corporation that does business in Mexico, or some other runaround that covers me legally but doesn’t involve months and thousands of $ shuttling back and forth between the US and Mexico, only to get conflicting information. I could broke chasing my own tail here.. not going to do that.

    She did mention marrying a Mexican citizen would be easier. She said it would speed up the process.
    BUT she said that I would need a permit! And that I’d have to inquire.. maybe require a trip to Mexico City.. maybe not?
    No one seems to have any clear answers…
    but what does it matter what the law really is, if the clerk won’t take your application, and won’t sit you down with an immigration officer, anyway?

    At the risk of greatly offending her, I thought about asking her to double-check her facts with a supervisor, but he actually came by and she asked him a few questions to double-check her answers, and he seemed to be verifying everything she was saying.

    what next?
    I would almost say I wasted the cost of a flight home, except I got to see friends and family and had some other business to take care of. Otherwise, that would have been even MORE annoying (than this already is.)

    Does this process indeed begin inside of Mexico? What if they bounce me back to a consulate? I could see this game going on.

    She did say – once I return to Mexico, and start the process – it’s going to require me leaving. Again.

    Or is there another beauracratic runaround? I’m liking that idea, b/c I can see myself leaving every 180 days. AND, it DOES say one of the purposes of a tourist visa is “BUSINESS VISITOR.” Can’t I be visiting Mexico… doing business?

  58. HG says:

    Oh- one other question-

    I plan on visiting some key Mexican cities when I get over there to see where I want to first set up shop.
    Does it matter where I start the INM process?

    I ask b/c I need to apply this month, to be sure of the past 6 months bank statements (I changed employers this month.) However, does this mean that I need to return to that same office to get my card, or continue the process – or can I do wherever, across the country?

    I’m thinking Cancun as the base. But, I also want to check out La Paz and Cabo. So do I fly to Cancun to start the process – then visit the others and come back? Or could I start in La Paz, start it there, and get my card in Cancun, or what have you, anyway? That would be cheaper… but not cheaper if I can’t do it. Thx

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      You start the INM leg of the process in the place where you have a physical address you can give them. Rental addresses are OK (with a combrabante in the owner’s name). Hotels are not OK.

      Everything is done (in a paper file) in ONE INM office, with no changing locales, until you get your card. When you do change locales or change addresses or any other major qualifying life change – you then file the information on that change (e.g. new address) with your INM office.

      Again, this stuff is covered in our main Visiting and Immigrating to Mexico article at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/
      Happy Trails,

      • HG says:

        Ok going to back to La consulate on Friday.
        This time I’m going to try to do it in Spanish so there’s no confusion. #### ####

        Let’s say I come with lineamentos. And their translation.
        And the clerk says oh well.
        Then I ask for the supe and the supe says oh well.
        And so on.
        When I get to the end of the line- if I can’t get an answer- I’m going to get a name.( I already got the name of the first clerk.)

        Who do these ppl answer to?
        If someone messes with you at Best Buy and don’t follow corporate policy they eventually pay right?

        Guess in looking for a name like- “oh ok I’ll just double check this with the minister of so and so-”

        If they won’t follow the law then I want some accountability- nothing to lose at that point!

  59. HG says:

    Thanks Steve.
    Basically I need a residence and a comprombante even if in the landlord’s name.
    Do you have any thoughts on te conflicting information I got at the LA consulate re can’t apply for permanent residency at consulate. Etc.?

    You seem pretty knowledgeable so the total conflict is pretty confusing to me.. Unless these guys didn’t get the memo about 2012 law changes.

    I’m headed to Tijuana today to, among other things, get a second opinion…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      Show the LA consulate folks the appropriate sections of the Nov. 2012 INM Lineamientos, copying the sections on Residente Permanente that show that prior Residente Temporal status is not necessarily required. (The web-link is provided in our main Immigration article – so you can print out an official copy to show them.)

      Consular clerks can sometimes be schlubs, (not wanting to learn a new task – like how to process a Residente Permanente application), and other times they can over-apply their personal influence into areas (abusing their power), where they create their own versions of the polices that do not fit the law or do not exist in the law.

      In either case: gently and politely offer them a copy of the rules, and politely explain that you will go over their head to their supervisor, and then to their manager, if they choose to ignore the INM law. That has worked well in past situations.

      Remember that SRE employees (like Consular clerks) are part of Mexico’s “State Department”, and generally have no formal training and only minimal obligation to follow SAT/INM rules. SAT is like the US IRS and US INS/CIS and border patrol, all rolled into one agency.

      Imagine trying to get a US State department clerk to know the details of IRS regs or Homeland Security regs on unusual circumstances. Like many of us, they often just try to get through each work-day without ….
      Happy Trails,

  60. HG says:

    I was afraid you would say that.
    I will get a second opinion in Tijuana-
    Then go back for a 3rd in LA.

    Now just for the sake of argument.
    Let’s say I went back to MX and tried
    To find an official that is running things according to the way the first clerk said- I.e pre 2012 rules.

    What are the chances of that?
    I mean if no one knows what they’re doing-
    It could happen right?

    • HG says:

      Ok,what I’m really asking is-
      if a lot of people are misinformed-
      Would it be possible to just start the permanent residency process WITHIN Mexico?

  61. HG says:

    Hi Steve-
    Ok you’re right – it’s a lot of law. I’ll try not to be combative when I go in there.

    You state in your 2:22 pm response:

    Show the LA consulate folks the appropriate sections of the Nov. 2012 INM Lineamientos, copying the sections on Residente Permanente that show that prior Residente Temporal status is not necessarily required. (The web-link is provided in our main Immigration article – so you can print out an official copy to show them.)

    Pardon, but where is this link? I’ve looked over the 31-page printout and I can’t find it.

    Closest I can find is this, in Spanish:

    Click to access Lineamientos_tramites_procedimientos_migratorios.pdf

    Ok, IAAL and all.. but this is just ridiculous. No wonder the clerks don’t know what’s up.
    Is there a word-for-word translation somewhere on the web? Even Google Translate gets overwhelmed with this much text..

    Ideally, I can pick out all the sections that establish, point for point:

    1) PR is applied for within the country.
    2) I can establish it with $2,500/month in earnings, past 6 months.
    3) Give me my visa to get back!

    This looks like it’s going to be an advanced Spanish lesson… when I complete it, if successful, I’ll share here online.

    So if you could point me to where the link is you’re talking about… muchas gracias-

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      We have to think like a lawyer to get the information you want: Think … serpentine.
      1. Show that INM allows foreigners to get Residente Permanente (RP) WITH JUST financial sufficiency to retire. Show “Proof of Personal Fiscal Responsibility” to qualify with NO prior Residente Temporal requirement.
      Show them all of Article 44 of the INM Lineamientos that proves the INM does NOT require prior Residente Temporal…

      2. Next: Show that INM does NOT allow visitors to come into Mexico and get Residente Permanente (RP) – Article 53 of the main INM Law.

      Because we can qualify for RP with just financial retirement savings or pension income, and because we CANNOT apply for a change of status INSIDE Mexico as visitors, then we MUST use Consulates…. ~ easy peazy ~

      e.g. To find the references to print out for these (incompetentes), in our main article, see:
      ~ Specific Legal References for Significant Changes That Affect Expats

      Which includes this subsection:
      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.
      Reference: Ley de Migración

      Go to the INM Law, and print out Article 53, in Spanish, to show your Consulate.

      Then, our main article also includes this section from the INM Lineamientos:
      ~ Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Permanent Residency / Residente Permanente Applicants

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

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

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

      To find this Article 44 and print it from the Lineamientos – using the reference from our main article:
      The new INM Lineamientos can be read online at:

      There’s also a whole section in the main article to the SRE Consulate rules and requirements for applying for residency in the main article:
      ~ List of Items Required by Some Mexican Consulates to Apply for Residency

      If you read this section, note that the application requirements are for “Residency”, not excluding permanent residency … ??

      That should nail it down for you,

      It’s all there – but “some assembly is required” , to build the case that the Consulates are the only route available for foreigners who do not have RT, but qualify for RP….

      • HG says:

        Hi Steve-
        Quite simply?
        You rock.
        Lo agradezco muchicismo.

        I spent a few hours online here in Tijuana, and before the internet cut out last night, I got all excited because Article 25 mentions, near the end, that residency is applied for at a consulate. But.. this is much more thorough.

        I will assemble the kit. Once I’m done, I’ll have the shorthand version of what to present to a consulate clerk should they be ignorant of the law. Would it be helpful for me to post that here? Glad to give back, but won’t do so if it’s redundant…

        So, another question. I WAS going to stop by the San Diego consulate on my way back and give them a try, just in case Los Angeles stymies me. But, two things hold me back:

        1) I read – on this forum I think – that San Diego is a stickler for retirement income, not regular work income? I have the latter, not the former.

        2) There is going to be some back and forth here, is there not? Like I will have to stop in in a few days and see whether they have everything or the card is ready?

        In which case, success will be its own burden, b/c to have to travel back and forth from LA to SD to follow up on my application would be, to say the least, annoying.

        How much back and forth is truly necessary though? Rene stated she did it in a week in Tokyo. The lady clerk at LA said visas are issued the same day. She may not know a lot about the PR process but I would assume she would know about that…. that would be golden to walk the same day with the visa. But apparently you’ve written here that there’s a range of time that it could take…? I want to keep the pressure on without being annoying. Want to get back ASAP with the papers to start work and pursue the SO, obviamente…

        The clerk at LA did not seem to have.. shall we say – the mens rea. She seemed genuinely sorry that – in her belief – I couldn’t apply there in LA, and felt strongly that marriage in Mexico was the way to go. Hopefully that will all change, when I show up with a mini-lesson in the Ley de Inmigracion, and just a wee bit of charm….

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi HG,
        Both SD and SF Mexican Consulates have raised the bar higher than other cities’ consulates.

        Yes, please write something on the section you found on applying at consulates.

        Re Card: You do not get a Tarjeta de Residencia until you complete the Mexico INM “leg” of the journey. The Consulates simply issue you a temporary 1-time entry-to-Mexico visa (must enter Mexico from within 180 days of issuance), and this temporary visa expires within 30 days of entering Mexico (making a few problems for residency-applicants who bring in a TIP car). The temporary visa is often issued the same day as you apply (but some Consulates were taking 2-3 days to process applications).

        Marriage in Mexico is the route that makes the least amount of work for Consular & INM employees, and it guarantees residency approval – but you still do not qualify for RP until after 2 years of marriage (registered with a Mexican Registro Civil office).

        I think I covered everything,

    • john hutson says:

      this is just good info on translating English to Spanish or Spanish to English there is a free app you can download called “word lens” it has a camera and you just point it at the text and will instantly translate on your smartphone screen it is really cool also has an old fashion one in writing you can point it at signs menus etc. while traveling Mexico and it is not tied to the web

  62. HG says:

    Hi Steve-
    Article 44 is entitled, “Ficha del trámite para cambio de condición de estancia en la modalidad, de residente temporal a residente permanente” or,

    Record of the proceedings for change of status to stay in the form of temporary resident to permanent resident:

    Does this not seem to imply that one must, indeed, get temporary resident status first, before applying for permanent residency?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      Yes, the implication is there.

      Reality is: For over 18 months, the official INM policy is that foreigners who apply-for Residente Permanente and meet the savings or pension income requirements are given Residente Permanente cards. Neither the INM Law or the Lineamientos say that RP applicants must first be R. Temporales. It all comes down to whether the applicant can meet the personal solvency requirements.
      Happy Trails,

  63. HG says:

    1 week later, the update-
    article 25, in the last paragraph, under “important information for the usario” says:
    that permanent residency is applied for at a Mexican consulate.

    third time’s not a charm, unfortunately.

    I tried going to San diego office. i was told, first, that applications are taken from 7 am – 11 am, and I’d missed the window (arrived at noon.) Further, upon learning that I lived in Los Angeles, they told me I was locked in and had to go there (didn’t someone here say that you can try more lenient consulates – i.e. Texas, Chicago, etc.?)

    3rd time I went back to Los Angeles, armed with all the law that I’d been up all night researching – with originals in Spanish, translation printouts, etc.

    didn’t get very far.

    The clerk didn’t seem too happy to see me. “How are you?” through gritted teeth. She knew I’d come back to appeal her decision. I started in Spanish, thought we’d overcome the barrier there – it’s not perfect, but better than their English, at least here anyway-
    I said I’d read the law, the interpretations and all-
    she cut me off and said she knew the law too, and like she told me, I can’t apply for residency there – only rentista which I can’t work on, etc.
    She asked me, do you want to apply for a visa, for which you can’t work, which is what you want?
    and I said yes, just to get face to face with a funcionario.

    10 minutes later, I was ushered into the office of the head consul-
    who promptly informed me that what I wanted was impossible.
    We did this in Spanish as he said it would be much better for him-

    but he told me that they did not have authorization to issue residency permits there. That the only way to do it, was to start in Mexico-
    and further that I needed a Mexican employer, that it was impossible to work for myself, I needed a NUT, or I needed to apply for an investor visa, which requires $100,000 in the bank, and starting a business that employs 5 Mexicans, at least.
    I asked a few questions to test the bulletproofness of his denial, but it was solid. Then I was promptly and courteously shown the door.

    I hope this helps – or doesn’t help – other applicants, to understand the capricious nature with which the consulates will – or won’t- apply the law.

    So, Steve, a couple follow-on questions, if you don’t mind:

    -Is it really true that you can’t work for yourself, and need a Mexican employer? This is far less desirable to me…. is there a specific article which states that the $2500 a month for past 6 months is sufficient to establish a case for legal residency? I’ve also read somewhere on another thread on this forum that paystubs are required.. can I get by with bank statements or do I need to go and print out all those months of paystubs, too?

    -I’m thinking – based on what I’ve read here, and elsewhere – that my best bet is to go forum shopping, as we’d say in the law.. if it’s really applied this randomly, then I’ll just visit different INM offices in MExico – in Guanajuato, Cancun, Merida, wherever – and find a forum that applies the law as I see fit and to my advantage. Recommended? Maybe this would be a bit complicated by the fact that you need a lease, etc…. but I’ll work through it…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi HG,
      I’m disappointed that they continued to be so stubborn.

      We’ve have local Aduana offices (at our Progreso port) similarly ignore the law, and stubbornly insist on doing things their own way on car import permits – but in that case, I could personally contact their superiors in Mexico City – and have the superiors issue firm policy decisions that the Aduana folks had to knuckle-under and follow (2 weeks later).

      You wrote:
      -Is it really true that you can’t work for yourself, and need a Mexican employer? This is far less desirable to me…. is there a specific article which states that the $2500 a month for past 6 months is sufficient to establish a case for legal residency? I’ve also read somewhere on another thread on this forum that paystubs are required.. can I get by with bank statements or do I need to go and print out all those months of paystubs, too?

      This is a tough one. In theory they should accept tax returns and bank statements as proof of income, but some Consulates (like Washington DC) simply do NOT accept any documentation from self-employed people – insisting that they will only approve people with registered employers.

      Some people have reported that the Phoenix, AZ and Laredo, TX Mexican Consulates are much more liberal and understanding, but I really cannot promise what they will say to you…

  64. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Steve,
    So when, if ever, do you get that deposit back??

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      We have had no recent reports, but credit card charge deposit refunds were being posted within 3 business days about 6 months ago, and cash deposit refunds were made on the spot (because Banjercito is a bank).

      We track these things on about 6 different forums, and we have seen no reports of deposit refund delay problems for almost a year. People who enter on the temporary 30 day special visas to get Residente cards have sometimes had problems meeting the 30 day deadline.
      Happy Trails,

  65. Carolyn says:

    Hi Steve,
    I have not had any problems getting my deposit back when I cross the border and turn in my TIP. The deposit I am wondering about is the one you pay?? when you come back with the 30 day visa to exchange for the resident visa. Don’t you have to pay another deposit when you get the 30 day TIP to go with that 30 day visa? If you then come down and get a resident visa and your TIP is extended for the life of your visa(1 to 4 years)when do you get that deposit back? If you only get the deposit back when you cross the border and turn in the TIP then what happens if you stay in Mexico and don’t go back over the border for years??

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      I think you understand things well.

      The deposit you give to Banjercito is to encourage you to take the car back out of Mexico before the permit expires. For that deposit, REMEMBER, you get to drive in Mexico – potentially for years – FOR FREE. You will not have to pay annual registration fees, or pay for license plates, and you will not have to pay any ownership taxes (all things that most Mexican drivers have to pay). You will save a bunch of money by using the Mexican roads for FREE, while the rest of us pay annual fees and taxes.

      When you are done using your Temporary Import Permit, you turn it in when you take the car out of Mexico (as you agree to do – in writing – by signing the Banjercito TIP document).
      Sounds like a fair deal?

  66. Carolyn says:

    Hi Steve,
    Yup, sounds like a fair deal to me! I have just not ever been able to find any info on how or when you might get that deposit back. Thank you for being so clear on things!!!! It is so hard to get information here, it seems like lots of people know about lots of things but a lot of the info is contradictory and confusing! Or, you get a, that’s just the way it is deal with it answer. I don’t have a problem dealing with it(it would be hard to live here if you couldn’t)but I just like to know why and make sure I have the correct information so that I am doing things right and something doesn’t come back to bite me sometime down the road!
    Thanks again,

    • yucalandia says:


      I wish everybody had your great attitude, (and persistence in finding good quality answers),

      ps We’ll have to get back to you later on that “doing things right (so that) something doesn’t come back to bite us sometime down the road!” concept. When dealing with the US govt., the Mexican gob., IRS, INM, Aduana, Hacienda/SAT (Mexican taxes), local cops et al, I’m not sure we can ever completely escape being bitten on the back-side. *grin*

  67. Joeann says:

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the internet.
    I’m going to recommend this website!

  68. trindudaisy says:

    Hi there
    We currently hold temporary residence visas until the beginning of next month, although currently we are in a bordering country of Mexico. We will re-enter Mexico 2 weeks before our mexican residency visas expire, however our flight home to Europe from Mexico is 2 weeks after the visa expires. However, we do not want to renew our residency visas. What should we do? Can we re-enter Mexico at the border as a Tourist, or do we have to show them our residency cards – would we get in trouble for having 2 visas at the same time? Or can we hand in our residency cards at the border? Or will we have to exit the country before the visa expires for a couple of days and then re-enter with a tourist visa?
    Look forward to your advice!
    Many thanks!! 🙂

    • yucalandia says:

      Excellent thinking: You realized the route. When you re-enter Mexico, formally surrender your RT permits and get fresh Visitante FMM permits. The cost of a new Visitante permit is about $20 ea, which is cheaper than the $5 a day(?) for exceeding the allowed time on your RT (and saves you the time spent at the airport sorting out any expired RT problems at the INM desk before you can get your boarding passes).
      Happy trails,

  69. We are relocating to Mexico. My husband will be working for a Mexican company, but we wanted to know if we went to Mexico on a tourist visa and stayed less than 180 days to scope out housing, etc… And then we come back to the US to file for our Temporary Resident Visa (for lucrative purposes for him) and non lucrative for me (until I get a job offer), can we travel back to Mexico while we wait for the Temporary Resident Visa (not work of course). Or do we have to wait in the states until this is done?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Natalie,
      Read our main article on visiting Mexico and immigrating to Mexico for details at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      It’s an excellent plan to come to Mexico on a 6 month Visitante visa (there are no “tourist” visas) first to check things out. Get the employer to provide a letter on company letterhead (with the needed specific information – as described in our main article) certifying the employment (offer). Your husband would use the letter to get a lucrativo Residente Temporal (RT) permiso, while you (the spouse) can come to Mexico for your long-term stay, using another Visitante visa. When he finishes his RT process at INM here, you then apply for your RT visa under the Vinculo Familiar (por unidad de familias) program – without having to meet any of the personal fiscal solvency (income or deposits or savings) requirements. Once he has his RT, with a valid marriage certificate, you qualify for the same INM RT permit, under Vinculo Familiar rules.

      The Vinculo Familiar route to your RT (done here in Mexico) is easier and less work and is cheaper than applying at a Consulate.
      Happy Trails,

  70. Nataloe says:

    Thank you for your information. But when my husband applys for his RT lucrativo in the states (because from what I understand you have to apply in the USA correct?) Can he travel back to Mexico while he waits for the RT? Or does he have to wait in the states until approved.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Nataloe,
      Please read our main article – it has your answers + other useful info: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      Many Consulates finish their part of the Residente Temporal application process in a few hours. A few Consulates request 1 – 2 days for their pre-approval process – make the application and then come back in 2 days to get your husband’s temporary 30 day visa (to be used within 6 months of issuing). Once your hubby has his temporary-entry visa, you guys go to Mexico, and finish the RT process at your local INM office within 30 days of entering Mexico.

      If he needs to return to the USA while INM is processing his RT visa, he then gets a special exit-re-entry permission letter from INM to travel while they are processing his RT permit. Typical INM processing times are taking 3 weeks to 6 weeks, depending on the office. Some even get things done in 1-2 weeks – while other slowwwer offices take 6 weeks (like the slow Guadalajara and Chapala offices).
      Makes sense now?

  71. natjack says:

    Also when you state “When he finishes his RT process at INM here” I am assuming you are speaking once he is approved in the USA for the RT, within 180 days he must travel to Mexico and then from the date of his arrival to Mexico – he has 30 days from point of entry into Mexico to finish the RT process at INM in Mexico. After all of this is when I can apply for RT under the Vinculo Familiar program correct?

    • yucalandia says:

      Correct. He will finish the RT process in Mexico, after which you surrender your Visitante permit at the same INM office, and are approved for your RT from INM under the Vinculo Familiar program.

  72. Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and
    let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  73. I have my interview in Boston this morning and I wish I found your site sooner.

    I am looking to get a temp resident card and let me see if I understand everything that I have read here (excellent site btw, thanks)

    1.. I should expect Boston to be difficult, lol

    2. If they are happy with my docs I will be given permission to enter for 30 days.

    3. I go to the INM (Merida, how are they?)

    4. If I need to leave Mexico before I get the Card, I need to pay for a letter to travel while they process (how much?)

    My doubts are, I plan to open some sort of small business but not until the 1st qtr of next year. Should I ask for the type of temporary residency that allows me to earn money (even if it’s my own business not working for someone?) or should I wait until I am sure, things sometimes take longer than we think…. and then get the temp residency changed in Merida when I am ready to do the business later?

    Is this all simple enough to do on my own or would an immigration lawyer make it go smoother and what should I expect to spend….. and if a lawyer you say… would you recommend anyone in Yucatan?

    Oh, last question…. I will be arriving in Cozumel on a ship, I just follow your instructions on the FMM and write across the top Residente Temporal or is this the Canje instance?

    I appreciate your input/assistance


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Robert,
      Your understandings are all good. On to your good questions:
      3. I have found Merida’s INM people very good to work with. Stay cheerful, don’t get frustrated, and they’ll treat you great.

      4. The travel letter fee cost around $250 – $300 pesos (I forget the exact amount).

      Re Small business: Since there are lots of details about the business that you likely do not currently know, I would wait and change status when you get here. Normal RT applications go smoothly and do not need the aid of an immigration attorney. The change of status could go more smoothly with an immigration attorney, depending on how good your Spanish is.

      On your entry into Cozumel, you’ll come in as Canje.
      Happy Trails,

  74. To let you know, the people in Boston could not have been nicer. I emailed them last week, they gave me the appt for today, I brought everything that I was supposed to, a short interview to see if I wanted a permanante o temporal. Since I would’ve needed a few more things for the permanante i opted for the temporary one. They told me that once I get approved and get the resident card, I can open my own business on that and that the renumeration one is if I want to go to work for someone else.

    They had the visa ready for me within 30 minutes, I waited.

    I hope everything goes as quickly and smoothly in Merida

    I’ll keep an eye on this board to stay updated on procedures.

    Maybe it was so easy because of all the info I got here and was well informed when I was there and impressed them??

  75. What are some of the Rights Obtained with a mexican Temporary Resident Visa…. I guess I should be asking more about benefits. I should be able to open a local bank account (any suggestions?), local credit cards? cel phone contract instead or prepaid? open utilities in my name?

    Seems like silly questions but I guess there are even discounts too I heard, no?

    Thanks once again 🙂

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Robert,
      You are correct on all those things. You can also buy a car in Mexico and register it in your state. It also opens the door to applying for IMSS health coverage (you can get major medical coverage for about $3,500 pesos a year – $$ depending on your age). I think that’s about it.

      • john hutson says:

        Moving to San Miguel I live in San Antonio,Tx. Would like to go ahead and apply for permanent status rather than go temp etc. What are the new rules. I know I need to show income for me Social security 1350.00 per month and investment income and or own a house (is this a house in Mexico? and/or  you could show cash assets equivalent of how much to balance it all out? I would rather do it now before they change the rules and will I still need to the same when it comes time to get the full permanent status? Thanks   

      • john hutson says:

        I read San Antonio was a good place to do this or has it changed?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi John,
        Check with them on their monthly income requirements (if you intend to use monthly income to qualify). One person had reported that San Antonio had shifted to requiring that the monthly income be ONLY from retirement sources/pensions. The Mexican Consulate in Laredo (just down the road from SA) had been more liberal on this in the past.

  76. Mason says:

    My girlfriend found a job in monterrey and her employer is paying the lawyers to take care of the process but its been a struggle, they are really incompetent and we have so many doubts they cant answer. To start with, we lost the $400 dollars we paid at the border of laredo to bring her car because they didnt know how it works, her boss said he would pay for it. Its been a 7 month process for her to get the stamped visa and she just got her CURP (no RFC yet, which i recall, is the thing you need to have for the taxes, am i correct?)
    Can someone tell me if this sounds right? i dont think it should take this long. Also, her employer wrote the cover letter stating she would get paid 13,500 mexican pesos before taxes and that her paycheck would be of 10,000 for the first month and then she would get a raise. No raise yet. if she doesnt have a RFC yet, how is it that shes getting taxes taken from her paycheck?.Is this the minimum required for the permit? They didnt offer her healt care which i think its free for everyone. The company is legit but we think they are trying to fool us to save some bucks or maybe they are not aware of all the regulations.
    Im really worried and im thinking we should hire our own lawyer, at this point i just want her to come back and avoid this, shes got a degree and experience and shes getting paid less than the minimum we were expecting (considering the minimum wage in mexico and her career, we were expecting around 25,000)
    Ive read that the minimum required is 2000 usd but im not sure if its only for retired citizens. Im sorry if this message is all over the place, ive been reading a lot and its all so confusing. Thank you for your help

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Mason,
      Health care is NOT free in Mexico. Professionals (Engineers, Lawyers, Doctors, etc) and contractors (plumbers, electricians, masons) do not have IMSS paid by their customers/clients. Students on stipends or scholarships => no IMSS, etc. Temporary workers: no IMSS. Still, yes, if she is a full time employee, then they should be paying for IMSS benefits (a combination of worker’s comp insurance, social security/retirement, and health insurance). Note that IMSS does have limitations. There are only minor conditions/minor treatments allowed the first year on IMSS, and IMSS only covers major items after the person has been in the system for over 2 years. (and no pre-existing conditions)

      Next: Yes, she would have an RFC to have taxes withheld. Check with her bank (where they make the payroll deposit?) – as they would have her new RFC on file – commonly printed on the monthly bank statements.

      What should she be paid in Mexico?
      There is no published minimum monthly Mexican salary for Residente Temporal con permiso de trabajar.
      Reality: We know productive Ph.D. scientists with 25 years of experience (and seniority of all the years at one employer), who make a base salary of $18,000 pesos a month – along with Veterinarians and Engineers with 10 – 15 years at the same employer who make $20,000 pesos a month – plus physicians who actually make less…

      So… I’m not sure what you think a fair “minimum wage” should be in Mexico.

      Remember the costs of living are so much lower here – as long as you live like a middle class Mexican, and forgo a US (Sams Club/Costco) lifestyle.

      Also remember that there are often 10’s – 100’s of qualified Mexicans competing for that same job – meaning that many places in Mexico are flush with talented people who are working jobs far below their training & experience – which keeps salaries low here.

      Hope these answers clear up some of the confusion,

    • pachamama says:

      Minimum wage is about $65 pesos daily on the books. I have never heard of a minimum wage per career here and i imagine it is different in each state if it actually exists. 7 months to get the visa ? Health care is not free, although i was recently told that there is a type of insurance that everyone can have. I forget what it is called, but it is basically the type were you wait on long line to be taken care of – and you may or may not be seen.

  77. Well put and informative response. It is educational and gives a valuable insight into the culture that is so often lacking in expatriate forums. Thank you for posting it.

  78. pachamama says:

    I have lived in Mexico 13 years and messed up the papers in the beginning and had to begin anew year four. Then 10 more years went by and it was FM3, FM2 all over again. I actually left the country for 2.5 years in 2012- until now when all the laws changed, once again. Got the visa de Risidente Temporal at the SF Mexican embassy and i am here to change my papers to the plastic card. The immigration guy that does my papers says i have to do the canje first and it will not be lucrativa , the work papers. So im paying off the canje, paying the ‘guy’ and now i cant work ? I own a home here in my name and also have been excepted to work at a hotel. What is the real process because this makes no sense that if you own a home here you cannot work, or that i have to wait until one more year to work! Does anyone know the process ???????????????

    • yucalandia says:

      Read our main article on immigration and visiting Mexico, it has the answers you are asking for. Above, there are 2 link to our main article on coming to Mexico, located at the top and bottom of this article. Click a link, and read the “list of key topics” at the top of that main article to find the info section you are looking for.

      You can easily switch to Lucrativo status when you are here – just bring in your RFC #, the job-offer letter from the employer, ID/passport, and a letter requesting the change in status.

      Happy Trails,

  79. It’s in reality a nice and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  80. Robert The-Traveler says:

    I arrived in Mexico (via Cruiseship) they understood the procedure and checked off Canje and told me I have 30 days to stay and report to the local Immigration office.

    My question is, do I need an appointment or do I just go there with my supporting documents and what’s the next steps…. will be done in Merida btw

  81. ronturney says:


    My friend and I are both retired and recently applied for resident visas at the Mexican Consulate in Ottawa. We received in our our passports 180 day entry visas. I applied for Permanent Residency and my friend for Temporary. We will apply for the respective resident visas shortly after entering Mexico. Once we have our residency visas we would like to work as musicians. However, we will not have a single employer and would likely perform at various bars, parties and restaurants. Someone suggested that we should try and obtain self-employed professional status with INM. Could you please give us your views on how we should proceed and the steps we need to take to go about this? Will these be different for Permanent and Temporary residents?

    We are also thinking about hiring Mexican musicians to form a band. Will this have any impact on us receiving permission to work?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ron,
      I have no idea on whether telling INM that you hope to hire Mexican band members would help or not – but it can’t hurt to offer.

      As with other INM matters, when you want to change employment/ability-to-work status, you submit a letter describing whom you, INM visa/application number, passport number, and request permission/authorization for what you want: permiso para trabajar en Mexico como músicos … as musicians. Include the universal statement that you certify that everything you have stated is the truth. Sign the letter.

      Your local INM office will tell you what you need to do from there.
      Sometimes there is a little Catch-22 that happens between the Mexican tax department (SAT/Hacienda) and INM. Sometimes INM will say you must be registered with SAT/Hacienda first – and Hacienda gives you an RFC (a tax ID number), that you then report to get INM’s approval to have a visa that allows you to work. Other times Hacienda will say that you must have an INM visa, before you can get the RFC from Hacienda.

      In your case, I understand you would get your INM approval and then go to SAT/Hacienda and get your RFC, and then you report that RFC back to INM.

  82. ronturney says:


    Thanks for your timely reply. I presume that the process you mention would be the same for both Permanent and Temporary Residents. I guess we’ll have to see what the Melaque INM suggests regarding our variety of employers which could change several times a week. Hopefully we would not have to send them a letter advising them of changes from one day to the next. As for reporting income, I am wondering if they would allow some form of honour system as I doubt that we would be able to get any form of pay slip from many of our employers.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ron,
      The request for permission to work is basically the same, but INM handles them differently for Permanente vs. Temporal. The right to work is guaranteed to Permanentes, so INM is basically just officially recording what work the Permanente is doing, while the right to work is not guaranteed for Temporal permit holders, and INM can charge for the change in type of Temporal status, but you should not have problems qualifying to work as musicians,

      Talk with your local INM office to find out the particulars of what they will require from each of you,

  83. Robert The-Traveler says:

    Hi Steve,

    I love your blog btw, is so informative.

    I went to the INM in Merida, they were very nice but vague as far as processing times at the moment. Kinda reminds me of the taxi service here, they always say 10-20 mins and sometimes the cab shows up in 3 minutes and sometimes never show up.

    I asked how long to get to the next step of being told to bring my photos in and get fingerprinted, she said 20 days, could be longer. Then I asked after that how long, she said 3 days to get the card after that.

    I am heading back home for the holidays and know about the permission to travel and have 60 days to come back (do they charge for this letter and how do I get it if needed?

    And have you any knowledge of what the current processing times are in Merida, what should I expect, is there any way of speeding it up?

    I was very nice and polite with her, as I’ve heard you suggest on previous comments, my Spanish is pretty good and I joked around a little and made her laugh (they’re just paper pushers at that point, I know)

    Thanks again for your help…. so far from reading this site has made me feel more secure going through the process by myself!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Robert,
      We have no recent reports of processing times, In the past, the whole process would typically take 4 weeks to 6 weeks.

      Regarding the travel letter, you give them a letter requesting that you need to travel, explaining why, and the travel dates. They have you pay a fee, and they issue their exit and re-entry letter.
      Well Done,

  84. Robert The-Traveler says:

    I thought about 1 more question overnight….

    I will be changing where I live, is it easier to do the change before, during or after I go in for the fingerprints?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Robert,
      There is a grace period for reporting changes where you live.

      I would go for fingerprints and wait until I received the card, before notifying them of the new address.

      In other words, I would avoid disrupting their process with unusual details – let them finish, and then notify them.

      e.g. There was a period when one step included sending your paperwork to Distrito Federal for checking and approval. If you gave them a new address now, they might have to notify DF (a delay), have the DF find your papers (a delay), and them put your process on hold as mail the new address – or worse yet, DF may have to mail your file back to Merida – to have them change the papers to show the new address – and then refile the whole thing with DF – causing horrible delays – and weird special handling. The possibility of messing with already slow processes makes me say: finish first, then file the change of address.

  85. Robert The-Traveler says:

    Thought I’d let you know where I stand……

    I went yesterday to check the status since it had been 3 weeks. They told me that when I entered the country, the FMM form was all done properly, marked Canje etc…. BUT, that they had entered me as a tourist in the computer and the only one that could correct it was the person who did the entry and no one was fessing up and answering their emails. They said they knew I entered in QR but didn’t know where. I guess a phone call or email to me would’ve been too easy?

    So I told them I came in at port of Cozumel and they said that narrowed it down and they should be able to get it sorted out in a few weeks. But since I am traveling back to USA for holidays I needed to pay for the travel letter, was only 332 pesos, but still…. I guess it’s the stuff like this that everyone says is the test to see if you have what it takes to really want to live here, lol

  86. Abby says:


    Need some help. I was issued Resident Temporal visa from Los Angeles Mexican consulate. I applied for Business visa to attend business meetings at our Mexico office. The consulate instead gave me Resident Temporal visa and i had no idea of how it works. After entering Mexico i gave my paper work to my company’s attorney where she told me it will take 3-4 weeks to get this card. I told her i am here for just 5 days and in future also i will only travel to Mexico for a week. She asked me not to apply for this card then as this is not the correct visa for me. I am leaving Mexico this week and planning to take Tourist visa from Los Angeles consulate for my next trip to Mexico after 2 weeks.

    Will there be any issue while returning to Mexico as i entered previously with Residence Temporal visa but never applied for the card with LOCAL Immigration office as i don’t intend to take this card. Based on my situation this is not the correct status for me. Appreciate your response.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Abby,
      The good news: You have a little confusion over the terminology – which when explained, can point you in the right direction.

      1. You never got a Residente Temporal visa – because Consulates can NOT issue Residente Temporal visas. Consulates only start the process, giving you a pre-approval short term entry-visa, that gives you permission to enter Mexico to actually go through the Residente Temporal visa process at your local Mexican INM office.

      2. Since you did not complete the process with INM (because the process takes typically 30 days, and sometimes up to 60 days), you never had a Residente Temporal visa.

      3. Since you entered Mexico on that 1-time usage-only travel visa from the Consulate – you would have to start the whole Residente Temporal application process at a Mexican Consulate again.

      4. A WORKING (Lucrativo) Residente Temporal visa is different than a normal Residente Temporal – and has different requirements – including supplying a letter from your Mexican employer – documenting their business, documenting what job they are offering you, documenting who would be your boss, and describing the terms of your employment (all on company letterhead).

      5. There are short term (180 day) special kinds of Visitante visas – with permission to work – that may suit your needs.
      Go back and start the process again at a Consulate for a WORKING Residente Temporal permit.

      Good Luck,

    • ronturney says:

      An interesting question about coming in as Residence Temporal and going out as a tourista and then subsequent short visits to Mexico. I hope your question gets answered.

      I have another question. My friend just received his Residence Temporal Card after going through the consulate process in Ottawa Canada and the subsequent followup here in Mexico. He wants to obtain a work permit and the local IMN offie says he will have to visit the Hacienda in Manzanillo to apply for this. Can you please tell me the address of the Hacienda in Manzanillo and what information he will need to bring along for the application?

      Thanks in anticipation of your response………….R

  87. Don says:

    Hi Steve …. sorry for asking for a rehash and/or some direction to where this info is …. but …

    I have a Residente Temporal status: issued 25/01/2013 with an expiry of 25/01/16 and the number 1 beside the Renovation/Renovation field.

    So, if I understand – my goal is to end up with a Residente Permanente status, BUT, I need to apply for and be granted one more year on the RT. Correct? This can be done ‘in country’ at an INM office? and lastly, what do I need to bring with me when I attend and when can I find the needed forms etc. Thanks again for the recap


  88. Mike Cummings says:

    Out RT expires in 2017 after 4 years. Wondering what the qualifications are for the switch to RT or rumblings about future changes. I have read that the government is re-thinking it’s RT and possibly RP target for finances. We deal with the Progreso office.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Mike,
      Since INM actually recently lowered the fiscal requirements for residency, it’s difficult for us to predict the future changes that INM may implement.

      Check back when it’s closer to your 2017 expiration date. Some INM offices allow RT’s finishing 4 years to simply allow their RT to expire, and then go into the INM office the first business day after the expiration, pay a small “regularizacion” fine, and apply for a fresh RT with 4 more years.

      Will all INM offices be following this policy, by 2017?
      Who knows,

      **Current requirements to qualify for Residente Permanente are in our main immigration article at https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/
      subsection: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/#Proof%20of%20Financial%20Independence%20for%20Permanent%20Residency%20Applicants

      • Erik says:

        Consulates often do have discretion with how they handle visa criteria, BUT it appears as if the personnel there isn’t aware of some aspects the new laws. You DO NOT need a permit to marry a Mexican citizen anymore. What you need to get married in Mexico is to have your birth certificate apostilled by its state of issue and have it translated in Mexico by a perito traductor (certified legal translator). With this, your passport, and any LOCAL requirements you can simply get married at the “registro civil” while in Mexico and then start the “unidad familiar” visa process without leaving the country. You can also get married to a Mexican in the US and have the certificate apostilled in the state of issue and then translated in Mexico by a perito traductor to start the process in Mexico.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Erik,
        Good points.

        The last point is missing one key added instruction. You wrote:
        You can also get married to a Mexican in the US and have the certificate apostilled in the state of issue and then translated in Mexico by a perito traductor to start the process in Mexico.

        Readers should note that: If we get married outside of Mexico, Mexico does NOT automatically accept foreign marriages. We have to go to the State Registro Civil office, and apply to have the State Gobierno to approve the foreign marriage. This process can take 6 months to 3 years, and sometimes the State offices deny (reject) our foreign weddings.

        We tried this route to get our USA marriage approved, plus formal legal appeals, and were ultimately turned down. We then had to get (re)married in Mexico – 10 years after our US marriage ceremony – because the State Registro Civil office would not accept the US marriage.
        Happy Trails,

  89. vikingotj says:

    Thank you for adding that. So I guess the best bet is to marry in Mexico.

  90. RiskTaker says:

    I know its been said but great Blog!

    I have a good one for you…
    *Canadian Citizen
    *On a 5 year E2 Visa in USA
    *Expires 07/2017
    *Nevada LLC doing business in California
    *Renewal requires my company has 3-5 employees and is considered a substantial business
    *Business’s current rev. $200k and growing/no employees.
    Renewal of E2 may not happen short of a miracle and going back to Canada will implode the business so Mexico is the only realistic option to continue.
    Prior to my E2 Expiry I want to apply for Residente Temporal (2-4 years if possible) or Residente Permanente.
    I have read about many types of Mexican Visa’s and they all have story. I think it best to hire a lawyer but want some info on the following:

    1. What type of visa is best in your opinion?
    2. Should I keep my Nevada LLC and run all USA business through it, paying IRS or should I shut it down and open and corp. in Mexico? if so what are the hurdles. Currently all my clients are in the US but moving to Mexico may add local clients as well, I have a feeling this may effect your answer.

    My business sells a specialty print product that requires me to bring my 2 printers to operate. I don’t need that much space so I was hoping to rent a house in a rural area of San Miguel de Allende? and work out of my house. Is this a problem or would I need to rent a commercial unit like in the US?


  91. wildbill1466 says:

    I cant seem to find a place to inquire about the following so am trying here!
    I want to buy and have here in Mexico a mobility scooter. (hi tech walker) I can buy in U.S. and have shipped at pretty high cost. I think? it would be less expensive to buy in Mexico and have shipped to me in Veracruz. Problem is that after much googling I can only find one source for sales and Im sure there must be more. Does any one have some experience in this area? Gracias

  92. Brad Houser says:

    Mercadolibre.com.mx is the Mexican equivalent of eBay, and there are several mobility scooters there. If you must have a new one, i would contact a medical supply store.

  93. Algis says:

    Quick question, do the current INM rules still require FM2/Fm3 prior to RT status application ? THX

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Algis,
      The INM rules have never required FM2/FM3 prior to an RT application.

      Foreigners are free to apply for either RT or RP status at any time.

      Sidelight: In theory, if you have a current valid residency visa for Mexico (only RT’s exist since Oct. 2013), and you have are completing 4 years on that RT, then your INM office can approve you for an RP visa without any financial documents nor meeting the RP personal fiscal solvency requirements. Unfortunately, in reality, many INM offices still ask new RP applicants for financial documents, even for applicants with 4 prior years of a continuous residency visa.

      More details + all of this information is in our main immigration/visiting Mexico article: Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/

      Happy Trails,

  94. Michelle says:

    Hi Steve What wonderful advice on this page. I’m looking for an updated response. My husband and I have applied for Mexican temporary residence as we’re atempting to be all set-up for when we retire. We have visited the Mexican consulate in Canada and have the temporay visa sticker put in our passports. We’re heading back to Melaque in June but will only be there for ten days. After reading all your responses I don’t think that is going to be long enough to get our temporary residence cards. Can you please advise what application forms we can fill out prior to Arriving in Mexico to hurry up the process. I know know we will probably have to apply to INM to get a letter to leave the country and then fly back to Mexico to finalize the process. Due to work commitments we have to return to Canada. Can you please advise whats the best steps for us to follow. Thanking you in advance for you assistance.

  95. Michelle says:

    Thanks heaps for the information Steve. One more question can we fill the INM On Line Application whilst we are still in Canada then present our Pieza numbers at the INM office when we arrive in Mexico. Would that help speed up the process? Thanks again for the valuable information on the website.

    • john hutson says:

      I am totaly confused at how much trouble and problems all of these people are having. I spent most of last year trying how to decifer all of the internet comments on how to. i wasted so many hours reasearching everything on the internet is old news!
      i came to mexico a couple of times last year 2014. Moved here oct.2014 With 180 day tourist visa. Couple of trips back to San Antonio,tx. online w mexican consulate. 36.00 us. For visa. Permenant resident applied for no problem. Came back to San Miguel ypu have six months to go to local in mexico immigration To sfinish prosess wait one week go back in about one week and do finger print. And go back in another week and get your permanent resident card 360.00us. You are totally unrestricted from travel you go through mexican customs because you are permenant resident. I can go on and on. skip all the temporay res
      Stuff get permanent now before they change the rules again.
      I now have my perminant res. took lest than one month and the really crazy thing if i leave mexico i will always have my permanant status.
      I now have my federal senior discount card which is 50 percent disount for bus travel. i also have my mexican health insurance card which i still need to understand better. But if i have a heart attack i know i am covered. Medicare forget it you are on your own. Best wishes much safer here than Waco,tx

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Steve We have submitted our initial paperwork for temp residency at Melaque today. We have to fly back to Canada next week and enquired about getting a Travel Letter. We were told that the Principal person in Melaque is on vacation and they cannot give us a Travel Letter as he is the only person who can log onto their system. They made a phone call and advised us that we have to go to the aPuerto Vallarta airport 4 hours before we leave and go and see the immigration office and they will supply us with a travel letter. We’re a bit concerned as we haven’t seen this information anywhere. Do you know if this is correct as we don’t want to jeopardize our application process but we have to return to Canada next week. Thanks for any advice you have for us.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Michelle,
        Your local INM office has complete discretion in this arena – and if they approve the Puerto Vallara Aeropuerto INM office to issue your travel/exit/reentry carta de permiso, then it should be fine.

        Can they provide at least a handwritten note (on INM letterhead) describing your status and their approval – for you to give to the PV airport INM folks?

      • Michelle says:

        Thanks heaps Steve – what a great idea. That’s why this site is so informative! Thanks again.

  96. Theresa says:

    Ok I applied for my temporal in Los Angeles. Very simple. Got the visa in my passport (make sure you have a FULLY empty page to attach it in your passport or you need to get a new passport. And make sure it’s not expiring soon)
    while in QR I had to leave (had lawyer get exit letter) and I must return within 60 days to complete the process
    All very clear.
    But, (there is always a but).
    Before applying for the temp I had a piece of art commissioned in Baja at the Tijuana crossing where they NEVER offer a tourist visa (or any visa) no matter how you enter, unless you are importing a car). So entering the country to pick up the art is not an issue.

    What I am worried about is leaving mexico on this short one day journey
    I have a passport which I won’t use at risk of getting a stamp but I do also have a brand new passport card with a chip.
    My question is – will, when re entering the U.S, will the U.S. tell mexico I have been there? That would be a huge glitch in an otherwise perfect process so far. ANY help is appreciated. Thanks for the amazing blog. I have used forever but never needed a question answered because they are all right here !! Mil gracias

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Theresa,
      We have seen no evidence of US immigration (CIS) sharing information on routine entries back into America by ordinary citizens.

      There is evidence of the Aduana/SAT sharing information with US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on cars we permanently import into Mexico. (as an example of Mex. Gob. sharing information w/US govt on our movements)


  97. Theresa says:

    Thanks Steve, you have no idea how helpful that is. If anyone has conflicting info I am all ears.Let me add again Steve, because I have not said thank you for all the years of reading, great site. Great.

  98. rubygeorgina says:

    I have a client who is applying for Permanente status outside of Mexico and plans to drive into Mexico with a foreign plated vehicle. He is unclear as to whether under the new Importation rules whether he qualifies as not since he will not actually have his Permanente card until he registers in the Chapala office. I read that he will receive a ‘special visa’ allowing him entry into Mexico and has 30 days within which to register to receive his card. Can you clear up this confusion for me please?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rubygeorgina,
      While all TIP approvals are dependent on Aduana/Banjercito approval, the client could (in theory) get a 30 day TIP – and then TAKE THE CAR OUT OF MEXICO IMMEDIATELY when he receives his Residente Permanente.

      The special visa is a one-time 30 day Canje visa.

      If he does not take the vehicle out of Mexico immediately when receiving his card, his vehicle can be confiscated by the police at any time. Most Mexican car insurance policies have fine print clauses (unknown to the insurance guys who are just salespeople) requiring that the vehicle be legal, which means his vehicle becomes illegal when he gets the RP card and your client would lose insurance coverage and be liable for any and all damages from an accident, which includes $3 million pesos (cash) personal liability for every accidental death that occurs in an accident, etc.

      Once he receives the card, no one can drive the vehicle legally, except if he gets a 5 business day Retorno Seguro permit to drive the car to the border. …

      Maybe that’s not a good plan?

  99. Eva says:

    Two moths ago received a Residente Temporal card which expires in March, 2016.
    A couple of weeks after receiving my card I had to go back to Canada for a few weeks. Now It looks like my stay in Canada may become longer. My question is what are the rules of staying outside of Mexico without loosing my Residente Temporal status. Thanks so much.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Eva,
      Unlike Canada and the USA: There are NO limits on how many days you can be outside of Mexico when you have a Residente Temporal. (Same for Residente Permanente).

      You do have to return to Mexico and start the renewal process at INM before the expiration date in March, 2016.
      Happy Trails,

  100. carla says:

    hi, if my husband has a temporary visa with work permit (m3), would I be allowed to join him (and be allowed to work as well) under his visa? I’ve been trying to find any information on this and failed

  101. Cobbi says:


    We’re applying for a permanent residence visa coming from China. I want to know if after I get the visa, and I leave to live in China, after how long is it necessary to come back to keep the visa from being canceled?

  102. Cobbi says:

    I also want to know how long do we have to stay in Mexico each time and if there are other regulations about the visas.

    Please reply soon, it’s urgent.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Cobbi,
      Nope, Mexico has no requirements on how long you must stay in Mexico.

      As our main aritcle on immigration explains, Visitors visas are limited to no more than 6 months,

  103. Cobbi says:

    But after how long will I have to return to Mexico again each time after I get the permanent residence visas to keep them?
    For example, like to keep it, and I go back to China, do I have to return after 3 years, go back, and return again after 3 years and so on? Or is the required time longer or shorter? Please be specific to the required time.

    That’s the most important question and wasn’t answered.


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  105. Asha says:

    I am asha from india holding a resident temporal visa valid from 3rd September 2015 to 3rd March 2015. My husband is doing his post doctoral fellowship in UNAM UNIVERSITY. He is holding fm3 student visa. As I am planning to go by September 20 whether the airport immigration allow me enter on the flight without return ticket? How can I enter the flight without taking the ticket?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Asha,
      Americans (with Residente Temporal visas) are allowed to enter Mexico by air, with no return flight booked.

      Are Indian nationals granted the same courtesy?
      I don’t know. Talk with a knowledgeable employee of your airline about their policies and about Mexican INM policies for Indians.

  106. Susan Boyce says:

    I have a residente temporal and my partner is permanente. We left Mexico April 2015 and the IMN did not give us the bottom half of our FMM – said we didn’t need it. We are returning November, 2015 – will we have a problem?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Susan,
      They were wrong… The FMM has 2 halves.

      You should surrender the half of the FMM for departing Mexico when you exit as a Permanente – and you keep the half that is for entering Mexico (to use on your return).

      Fill out the half of an FMM for entering Mexico with your current data.

      As it says above, do NOT mistakenly enter Mexico as a tourist… BE SURE TO WRITE “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE” in big bold print across the half FMM form for entering Mexico. Be sure to enter the RP visa number (on the back of the RP card).

      Do your best to not make this mistake in the future, because if they check your computerized INM records and see that the FMM numbers don’t match for the exit and entrance, it can cause problems – though that is very unlikely.

      Further, if he ever wants to become a naturalized citizen, trips out of Mexico that don’t have the exit and entrance dates logged into the INM database (and clearly stamped by Mexico for both exit and entrance pairs in your passport) it can cause their records to show artificially long absences from Mexico.

      Don’t worry, It should all work out fine,

      • Susan Boyce says:

        Thank you for your quick response. We knew that not getting the bottom half was not right but the gentleman in the office would not give it to us.


  107. Ron says:

    Is it ok to use an FMM visitante and have a land lease in Baja and leave vehicles there while no in the country. Vehicle importing is not currently done in Baja so even people on a Permanent Resident paperwork do not import their vehicles and continue to use USA plates on their vehicles.
    We currently go to Baja Norte for about two months in the fall, mid Oct to mid Dec. and 2 and one half months in the spring. When they changed the law we had an FM3 which was in last renewal and told we would need to become permanent or turn in FM3 before we left in December. We surrendered our FM3 and when we returned in Feb. we got and FMM visitante. We have continued with this process getting a separate FMM for each major period.
    We have a lease for a property in Baja Norte and leave a vehicle there when gone. Some Immigration people have said fine since you are not in Baja over 180 days at a time or even per year. Others have said you should have a Residente status of some type since you have a longer term interest in a property.
    What are the actual requirement? People buying condo’s do not appear to have resident papers. This is especially true for those that have a time share.

    • yucalandia says:

      Yes. Aduana’s only requirement is that you keep your US/Canadian plates & registration current & valid.

      • Ron says:

        Thanks for response concerning a vehicle.
        How about having a land lease (term is approximately 10 years)? is there any requirement for more than an FMM?

  108. Fritz Biermeier says:


    Just got our Passport sticker indicating we obtained Permanent Residency at the consulate in Phoenix. Have been driving to PV each year with our Temporal Residency and getting a permit at the border. To complete our Permanent Residency we have to get the passport stamped at the border and then have 30 days to go to Immigration and turn in our Temporal card for a permanent card. Exactly where are we with regard to our automobile and getting a temporary import permit, as we would like to continue to drive to PV with our US car.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Fritz,
      Residente Permanentes are not allowed to have Temporary Import Permit (TIP) vehicles.

      When you enter Mexico on your Canje visa (from the Consulate) that visa will be issued for 30 days. The TIP you would get would have the same 30 day expiration date. … You would have to take the TIP vehicle out of Mexico before the 30 days expired.


  109. William Richardson says:

    We almost got caught by the restriction on bringing our car into Mexico if you have a Residente Permanente. I went ahead with mine but my wife did not so we can still drive our car into Mexico with a TIP.

  110. Don Saigle says:

    A little different twist perhaps – entered MX Nov 2015 with my residente temporal and issued a FMM with the ‘tarjeta residente temporal o FMNI o FMI’ box checked in the Unicamente Para Efectos Estadisticos area of the FMM. In Jan 2016, my applied for and obtained by residente permanente status and plan to leave MX in March. What is my exit process? Thanks!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Don,
      Just like any other foreigner with a Mexican residency visa, you check out at INM as you leave Mexico.

      • Don Saigle says:

        Appreciate it! Thanks!

      • Don Saigle says:

        Hey Steve …. this was my original ‘ask’

        A little different twist perhaps – entered MX Nov 2015 with my residente temporal and issued a FMM with the ‘tarjeta residente temporal o FMNI o FMI’ box checked in the Unicamente Para Efectos Estadisticos area of the FMM. In Jan 2016, my applied for and obtained by residente permanente status and plan to leave MX in March. What is my exit process? Thanks!

        Your reply was … Hi Don,
        Just like any other foreigner with a Mexican residency visa, you check out at INM as you leave Mexico.

        Follow up …. so, I turn in the FMM I got when I came into Mexico and then at the same time, ask for another one so I can exit?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Don,
        No. But it is still simple.

        You take your passport, flight information, and Residente Permanente card to the INM office at the airport.

        Get an FMM card from them, and fill it out for your departure and your return (both halves), and give it back to INM.

        INM will check your info, and stamp your exiting-Mexico half … to hand to the airline check-in person.

        You KEEP the Entering-Mexico half of that new FMM card for when you fly back into Mexico.

        The goofy airline personnel on the flight will try to get you to fill out another card when you return to Mexico, but as an Residente Permanente, you use the Entering Mexico ½ of FMM you filled out when you left Mexico.

        The same thing goes for when driving out of Mexico.
        Happy Trails,

  111. Paul Carlton says:

    Thanks for all the great info!!

    For a RP application, Is it possible to bring in ones goods with a Menaje de Casa having just the temporary visa from the consulate? Or do you have to wait till the actual card issues, then go back and get everything?


  112. Paul Carlton says:

    I forgot to mention, we’ll be flying in just bringing a couple boxes and like 6 suitcases.

  113. Alfonso says:

    I had a temporary MF3 CARD BACK IN 2005. What is the address in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico
    so I can receive a new one. Is this located near a park in Tijuana,B.C.
    I am awaiting your reply. Oh! by the way is this office open on Saturday’s?

  114. Don Saigle says:

    OK … thanks for clarifying that part. What do I do with my portion of the FMM that was issued to me when I entered MX in November ( by land )? Appreciate this!

  115. Mark Lambert says:

    Can my wife & I drive our car from Cancun to the Brownsville TX border on an expired Temporary Tourist & Tip Visa without being stopped or fined anywhere along the way. I understand I will lose the 200.00 Tip deposit, and am worried about the Visa’s being expired.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Mark,
      … ‘can‘ => it’s possible.

      OK to do? … Nope, totally illegal.

      Should you do it?
      Depends on your tolerance for risks:
      ~ If you get in an accident, and someone is killed, and your insurance company .. or your insurance adjustor … or the police .. or the other party’s insurance company or adjustor notices your illegal vehicle and your illegal INM visa status … Then:

      You can be liable for up to $4 million pesos (IN CASH) for every accidental death – as insurance companies and police can decide your fiscal protections and your insurance protections are null & void…

      Also, even if you get in a minor fender-bender, etc: If any of the parties recognize your illegal status and your vehicle’s illegal status … then, the police have the right to put you in jail (detention) … without food or water (just what your friends or family bring in specially for you) … and you stay in jail until you prove you can personally pay for ANY damages that the other parties or police can imagine. …

      This last item actually happened to a friend – who was fully legal – but the police kept him in jail for 4 nights, until the $$ disputes were resolved and until his insurance company came up with proof of $$ to cover those potential liabilities. …

      Why mention all this? Insurance agents (who are salesmen … not lawyers) sometimes tell gringos that ‘they are covered’, while buried deep in the fine fine print standard Mexican policies can say that your coverage is null/void in case of being illegal.

      Finally, police and military guys at any point along the trip have the right to detain your vehicle, and formally permanently confiscate it through Aduana processes … leaving you stranded(?)


      It’s up to you.

      Do you feel any hard feelings when foreigners (Muslims, Mexicans, Hondurans) who are in America illegally … intentionally break US laws ?


      I would not take those chances.
      I would make the simple 4 hr trip down to the Belize-Chetumal border: get both your visa and your car permit legal for another 180 days … and then drive across the bottom of the Yucatan peninsula – directly over to Villahermosa … and up to Brownsville.

      Because of the easy direct drive east from Chetumal to Villahermosa … it may not take that much more driving time to make your return drive all safe, legal, and hassle-free.

      Between Chetumal & Villahermosa: Stop and see Calakmul … a world heritage site … with fabulous ruins, jaguars, troops of howler monkeys, and beautiful birds.

      Enjoy a SAFE trip back!

      • mexicomikenelson says:


        I appreciate your usual accurate comments and agree with the bulk of what you say. However, I have been associated with the Mexico tourist insurance business since the 1980’s and have never heard of the situation you refer to when you wrote:

        This last item actually happened to a friend – who was fully legal – but the police kept him in jail for 4 nights, until the $$ disputes were resolved and until his insurance company came up with proof of $$ to cover those potential liabilities. …

        There must be more to the story. If your friend was legally in the country, his car was legal, the driver was legal and he had legit insurance written by a reputable carrier for the proper legal amounts, I can’t understand how he would have endured the hardships you mention. I have seen thousands of claims and been in two accidents myself, once with insurance and once without. So, I think that you are mixing two situations. If someone is ILLEGAL, they are not covered, But if they are legal, they are.

        Why mention all this? Insurance agents sometimes tell gringos that they are covered, while buried deep in the fine fine print it says that your coverage is null/void in case of being illegal.

        That was not the case with your friend. Every insurance agent I know who specializes in Mexico tourist insurance will gladly tell clients they are not covered if illegal. They’d rather not incur the wrath of an ex-client who is likely to badmouth them.

      • yucalandia says:


        Clearly, Mexican businesses and Mexican salespeople would never do anything that would cause their foreign-gringo clients to bad-mouth them.

        e.g. The 1000’s of gringos cheated by Mexican professional ‘brokers’ must have been mistaken about the ‘professionals’ getting them false pedimentos or illegal Estado de Mexico plates/registration, because Mexican sales people do not want to ever be bad-mouthed.

        Re the insurance problems: The problems that 4 prior posters (all foreigners) have described with their insurance salesmen selling them policies that are void if the driver lets their visa expire, or if the vehicle is illegal were due to insurance agent ignorance.

        The insurance salespeople simply claimed that they did not know about their company’s fine print clauses.

        Happy Trails,

      • yucalandia says:

        Also note that 3 people we know personally were all carrying ‘full coverage’ and all 3 were in Mexico legally.

        One was a Mexican-born middle-aged woman – a physician – from Merida, who spent the night in jail … with only the food and water her husband brought her – because her insurance adjustor claimed that her ‘protection’ did not include paying for the damage to the contents of a vendor’s sidewalk-shack juice/fruit bar.

        – where the insurance company used the excuse that they would not pay for the damage to a little fridge in the roadside juice-bar – so this Mexican friend sat in jail until the police resolved things.

        The other friend – a gringo foreigner – was fully legal (not at all what the insurance salesman says above) – but sat in jail 4 nights – no food no water – until the insurance company finally resolved things with the police.

        So, we’re very glad that your insurance customers have had no problems,

      • mexicomikenelson says:

        Interesting cases, Steve. I don’t mean to beat this thread into the ground, just add some points that could help others avoid similar situations. To be fair, I could tell you of cases where US insurance companies found ways to avoid paying claims in the States, too. Keep up the good work you do.

        I suppose it comes down to knowing what insurance company you are insuring with, as the agents themselves have little control over the company policies. You can check the rate of policy payments and loss ratio with AMIS, the Mexican insurance institute before buying. Some companies are, shall we say, not as attentive to their policyholders as they are to their stockholders and should be avoided, even if their rates are much less. You get what you pay for. And if you have any complaints with the way you were treated, you can file a complaint with AMIS.

        Still, any insurance agent worth his salt should know about the reasons a policy may be disallowed. It pays to stick with agents who specialize in tourist auto and not just your “local” agent who might have an agreement with another agent to sell policies. Those guys know nothing at all about Mexico. I speak from experience there, as I have gotten clients who came to me with questions.

        At one point, I actually designed websites for a few US representatives of Mexican insurance companies and saw the disclaimers and the policies. The caveat about a policyholder needing to be legal was printed in the same size type as the rest of the terms and conditions. As always, a consumer would do well to read the conditions before buying something.

        I have always vetted the agents I work with and the companies they represent which could be why my clients have experienced no problems. But, as a point of prudence, I recommend that if someone’s insurance policy does not already include legal aid (the terminology may change, but it provides a lawyer on retainer to represent you), then they should buy it separately. I have used the legal aid services myself when I needed them and have found them to be well worth the few extra dollars.

  116. Allen says:

    Hi Steve,

    I will be leaving Mexico as a passenger in a car at the Laredo border crossing. I have my permanent residency card. I will be flying back into Mexico. It is my understanding that I will need to fill out an FMM when leaving Mexico. Will there be any problem getting this form at the Laredo border crossing? Also me and my partner, Nancy, flew to Florida and got legally married last September for my American Social Security purposes. We both have permanent residency cards. She did not change her name. Should this marriage be reported to INM? Thanks for all the great info and help.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Allen,
      Yes, the Laredo INM officials know to do this.

      INM does ask us to report employment changes, address changes, but I’m unaware of requirements for when /if we marry a foreigner.

  117. Allen says:

    Thanks Steve for your imput on this and for all the wonderful information that you have made available.

  118. Steve, we have Residente Temporal visas that expire 21 May 2016.
    We do not want to renew them.
    We want to return to the US on 27 May 2016.
    When we return to Mexico later in the year we will do so on a tourist FMM and hopefully receive 180 days.
    We have an outdated TIP that was issued in 2010 on our FM3 which doesn’t matter for QR as long as we don’t drive it out of QR.
    We are located near Playa del Carmen.
    What is the best way for us to cancel our RT, receive an FMM that will allow us to stay until our desired departure date of 27 May and get our car legal to drive in places other than QR.
    Thank you.

    • yucalandia says:


      Since you live in Quintana Roo, you have totally-excellent fully-legal options ~ easily available ~ that most of us do not have => YAY!

      One simple trip to the Chetumal/Free Zone of Corazol (Belize) border Aduana + INM office solves all the problems.

      Go to the Subteniente Lopez (Santa Elena)/Free Zone of Corazol border crossing and:

      ~ surrender your old TIP – cancelling it with the original TIP paper – clearing your future slate with both INM, the Mexican Consulates, and Aduana from future problems of having a moldy expired TIP.

      ~ surrender your current residency visas, and get fresh FMMs.

      A simple day-trip to the border solves a future-decade of potential problems, and makes your car FULLY LEGAL to drive around Q. Roo (except the federal property zone of the Cancun airport).

      All other options have likely significant problems.

      You do need to keep valid US licenses and registrations on your foreign plated vehicle, otherwise both the police & insurance companies can declare that your vehicle is illegal (triggering problems, like having insurance accident claims denied due to well-buried fine print loopholes)

      Happy Trails … and enjoy some truly Duty Free shopping in the Free Zone of Corazol …

      (as I always enjoy picking up some fine fine Nicaraguan rum there – at super-low prices)

  119. Thank you –
    Pertaining to the RT – do you know if they will give us any paperwork saying that we surrendered our current RT or do we just trust that note will be made in the computer and we won’t get hassled at the Cancun airport upon arrival in the fall when we come back in on an new tourist FMM.
    Pertaining to the car – when we surrender the current TIP and obtain another TIP with the new tourist FMM information, then the car will be legal for us to drive anywhere in Mexico as long as our tourist FMM is legal. It will expire when our newly issued tourist FMM expires, correct.
    Also, when we fly back in through Cancun in the fall, we will need to make a trip to Chetumal to get a new TIP with the new tourist FMM expiration date, is this correct?
    We do keep it licensed in the US and have Mexican insurance coverage.
    Thanks for your advice.

    • yucalandia says:

      I don’t remember what documentation (if any) you get when you surrender your RT visa.

      Yes, it all gets logged into the national database.
      Yes, you could use your new FMM visitante visa to get a 6 month TIP to drive around Mexico… but note that the TIP expires automatically when the visitante visa expires … or when you fly out of Mexico.

      HAppy Trails, steve

  120. Andrea says:

    Well, Steve, it worked. We drove to Chetumal/Belize border, told the guy at the kiosk that we wanted to cancel our Residente Temporal and he told where to park and to come inside. Of course, he kept my RT while we parked.
    We went in, he gave us the visa form that we need to depart the country, told us to fill it out, which we did. After we signed it, he turned it over on the back and hand wrote something to the effect that we voluntarily submitted our RT and had us sign it. I watched as he input the information into the computer, asked him if he was cancelling it in the computer right now and he told me he was. I asked him if we received anything that said we turned it in and he told me no.
    We left there and went to the Banjercito and cancelled the TIP on the car that was attached to the Residente Temporal. We left, drove over the bridge that crossed the Hondo River and went to the St. Elena Free Zone. Spent a couple hours there.
    Drove back across the bridge and stopped at the border for our new visa form. The guy who handed it to us asked some questions about where we were coming from so we needed to be a little cagey about that. I said something like “we just came over the bridge from Belize”.
    We went inside the building, filled out our visa form, came in as tourist, again went to the Banjercito and got the new TIP on the vehicle that is attached to our tourist visa. Now the vehicle is legal in all of Mexico;
    It took a total of about 4 hours (including our time in the free zone), it was a little unnerving (they really want you to have come from Belize so it would be better if you did a few days there), but it worked.
    Thanks for the advice. We just have found in the years that we have been here not to lie, but not to offer more than we absolutely have to answer.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Andrea,

      That is all just how it is supposed to work.

      WELL DONE !

      and thank you so much for the detailed report … that helps everyone who reads this site.


  121. Chance says:

    I want to be sure I am doing the right thing here. I routinely enter and leave Mexico for work and I have a residente temporal card. Immigration and the INM in Guadalajara advised me to check in with immigration at the airport before I leave Mexico. They hand me the same sheet for a tourist visa and I fill it out as if I was entering Mexico. There is a spot to list resident and I have to show my card. They fill it out with some information and write a code on it and I hand it to the airline just like a normal tourist visa. When I return to Mexico I show them my card with the completed tourist visa form however they retain the form as one for me is not required. It-s a simple and painless process but I just want to be sure.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Chance,
      What you have done is fine.
      A few notes that might explain things more clearly.

      The card you fill out is NOT a ‘tourist visa’… The card that all foreigners fill out is called an FMM (Forma Migratoria Mutiple).

      From the title, you can tell that it is an immigration form for ‘multiple’ uses.

      One more note:
      You can avoid some possible future hassles by writing your residency visa type IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS …

      BOLDLY across the top of each half of the form.

      That way, the INM agents clearly know that you have either a

      visa… which keeps them from accidentally giving you a visitor’s visa, because when they’ve made that mistake for some RTs, INM has charged the RTs with visa fraud… for having 2 visas simultaneously (even though it was due to INM clerk errors)…

      Happy Trails,

  122. Kaye says:

    Hi Steve…I have a most perplexing problem. Here are the details:

    1) I have an 3 yr RT that expires Oct 11, 2016 (Card, of course, says 11/10/2016) It has a “4” on it, which means I am due to change to RP upon expiration.
    2) I have been out of Mexico since Aug 27, 2014.
    3) At least a month ago, I booked a flight to Merida arriving Sept 10, 2016 but staying only two weeks. I did not realize that I was so close to the expiration date when planning my trip or I would have come later.
    4) As fate would have it, I have since discovered that I somehow misplaced my RT…I have looked everywhere and keep hoping I will find it…clueless as to how it could have happened. UGH
    5) All I have is a color copy of it now. Glad I at least made one. Whether that will help, I don’t know.
    6) I also have the return portion of my FMM marked “Temporal” by the agent when I left.

    Here are my questions?
    a) What do I do when entering Mexico without my RT?
    b) Even though it is about to expire, will they make me pay to replace it and then make me pay again for the RP? (I KNOW how they like to collect fees.)
    c) How early before my RT expires can I apply for my RP? I am hoping they would just go a head and let me obtain my RP early and then either I would have to extend my trip or get the letter to leave the country and return at a later date. It’s obvious that the old RT would be of no use since it expires in less than a month from when I would leave Mexico with the new RP.
    d) If I should need to return at a later date for it, how long can they hold it for me to come in for fingerprinting and signing? I can’t remember how long the whole process takes. I use the Progreso office.

    Here’s the icing on the cake…my US passport expired and I am waiting for it to arrive now. Will having a whole new blank passport add another snafu? I don’t know if they issue a new number or not. I will have the old one with me to show them. I think the biggest hurdle is actually getting into the country with it lost. Please help. Thanks for all you do…been following you for years and referred many to your informative site. 🙂

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Kaye,
      It should all work.

      Bring multiple copies of your RT card when you enter Mexico.

      Bring the FMM ½-document for return entry into Mexico (that says “Residente Temporal”) when you enter Mexico.

      Bring both your new passport and the old when when you enter Mexico.

      Explain that you lost your RT card when traveling outside Mexico, and did not have an opportunity to go to a Mexican Consulate.
      (unless you want to follow the formal route, to assure no problems entering, by going to a Mexican Consulate now to straighten things out)

      We have had 3 friends that this happened to. and all 3 were allowed to reenter – though with explanations and small delays. e.g. One had his wallet stolen, and the INM people wanted a copy of a US police report in that case.

      Re RP:
      You could apply at your local INM office for the RP card – but that can be difficult to accomplish in just 2 weeks.

      I believe the local delegado (boss/chief) at the local INM office has the authority to waive the requirement for you to go get a replacement RT card … but they do not have to offer this courtesy. … In your case, based on your current plans, you have chosen to not stay inside Mexico long enough to complete the RP process, which means you must get a replacement RT card. (which takes a few days)

      If you have to get a replacement RT card, that used to mean a trip to the INM office,

      then an additional trip to the Yucatan Fiscal Publica office on the periferico highway on the west side of Merida. You would drive past the periferico exit to Sisal … and continue about a mile (south) until you see their big low 2 story office building on your right (exit onto the frontage road)… INM used to require us to go to that building for a Yucatan State govt. office (small … on the second floor) to officially confirm your identity … (???) … and then take that Yucatan State document back to the INM office for them to issue you the new card.

      … That was the procedure 2 years ago, and … YMMV… procedures may have changed.

      Good luck,

  123. Kaye says:

    Another option to my above lengthy dilemma…should I postpone my trip, waiting about a week after it actually expires, start my application online and then go in on a tourist visa and then straight to immigration to apply for my RP…telling them at that time that it was lost. Would getting a tourist visa make me unable to do it. I figure not…since you have up to 55 days late. Thinking I might be able to show immigration when I enter that I have applied online to change it. What do you think?

    • Kaye says:

      Hi Steve…would you mind giving input on the above question? I don’t know if when I went in under this scenario (waiting till my RT expires), if I should just tell them it’s lost upon entering but expired and I am here to renew it but late. Getting the tourist visa upon re-entering might not be the right thing to do. That way, would I still be required to have my temporal re-issued if I have to leave before the RP is completed??

      • yucalandia says:

        Good point about NOT changing to a tourist visa.

        If you tell them you have RT status, returning before 55 days have elapsed since the expiration date, they will ask for the card,

  124. Kaye says:

    OOPS…not here to renew it but here to change to RP. My mistake.

  125. Mr Hinojosa says:

    I recently moved to Laredo TX, into my grandparents home, that needs much work to be done to the home, but Iam not able to continue construction to the home, because there is a family member who is not allowing work to continue, this woman has become extremely difficult to convince that work must be done, and this person in question, I believe is breaking immigration laws, she lives in Nuevo Laredo Mexico, and has been a resident of Mexico for years, but cross over into Laredo Texas, USA and has used my grandparents home address, to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and is pretending to be a resident of USA, question is this legal ? and if not who can I contact. thank you.

  126. Suzanne says:

    Same as Maggie who wrote n Oct/2013, my husband and I have the Residente Temporal cards with a 3 printed on the back meaning that we are on our 4th and final year. These cards expire Oct.29/2016 and we plan to re-enter Mexico (coming from Canada) on Oct.18th. We drive a Canadian SUV pulling a Canadian motorcycle on a trailer. Last year the SUV+trailer was under my name and the motorcycle was under my husband’s name. We also own a house under a Fideicomiso that is currently for sale. If we become Residente Permanente we will no longer be able to re-enter with foreign plated vehicles on the other hand we will not have to pay Capital Gains Tax on the sale of our house. Can I let my imm. Card expire then later pay a penalty and get it renewed again as Residente Temporal or will I be obligated to go Residente Permanente. If my husband renews prior to expiry date to Residente Permanente and if our house sells is it sufficiente that one of the owners is Res. Perm. to bypass paying the Capital Gains Taxes? Does the motorcycle have to stay in Canada or can it come in while my husband is still Res. temp., stay in Mexico for 6 months then get the Retorno Seguro permit to take it out of the country. Would I have to transfer my ownership of the Fideicomiso to my husband?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Suzanne,
      Excellent questions… that venture into deeper legal waters than a un-paid non-responsible website advice column can handle. … You really need a good Notario & tax accountant to answer your questions.

      Consider a few facts:
      ~ The ever-reliable Lic. Spencer McMullin of Lake Chapala area has pointed out that Federal ISR (tax) laws consider Residente Temporales to be RESIDENTS – qualifying for the homeowner’s exemption on capital gains taxes.

      ~ However, not all Notarios are up to speed on this, and the Notario who handles your home sale is the one who decides yea, or Nay on how to handle the Gains taxes.

      ~ You must have used the Mexican property as your PRIMARY residence for years.

      ~ The Mexican home must also have been your principal place of fiscal activities..

      ~ Based on your comments… Your frequent traveling back & forth to Canada indicates that you do NOT qualify for the gains exemption, regardless of your type of visa, because your Mexican Fideicomiso-held home:
      …is not your primary residence,
      … is not your principal place of fiscal activities.

      So, based on your desire to get TIPs on the motorhome, cycle, & trailer, it sure seems like you both are better off staying with Residente Temporal visas.

      In that case, you are best off either:
      ~ Apply for new Residente Temporal visas in Canada, at your local Mexican Consulate. … which saves a ton of hassles with having TIP vehicles inside Mexico.
      ~ Roll the dice, and hope your local INM office will allow you to apply for a whole new RT visa inside Mexico…. by allowing the old RT visa to expire, then paying a fine, and applying for new RT visas from your INM office … though NOT all INM offices allow this…
      ~ Note that allowing your RT visa to expire while in Mexico … automatically makes your TIPs INVALID…

      So, our totally unprofessional advice, with no guarantees, says it sure seems best to do things the normal routine ways described in all 4 sets of laws (Ley Aduanera, Ley de Migracion, ISR, Requisitos de Consulados):
      ~ Apply for new RT visas at a Mexican Consulate in Canada.
      ~ Hire a good tax lawyer+Notario pair to determine what exemptions/allowances/deductions you qualify for, to reduce your tax burden when selling the house.
      ~ Bring in your TIP vehicles as you have in the past, and work closely with Aduana, notifying them in writing of every approval step of your INM office – to preserve your $$ deposits with Banjercito while your new RT visas are being processed.

      Happy Trails,

  127. sagar says:

    Hello Steve, thanks for the information and all your patience to reply the comments.
    My question is simple, I have Mexican RT for the year 2016 (dec 2015 to dec 2016) , but during the year , i had a business visa and stayed in Colombia for 177 days from march to September end (but was paid for in Mexico and paid taxes, all months in mexico)

    Now recently due to a emergency i have to leave to India for 2 months. Will this total of 177+60 = 237 days in the year cause any issue during my renewal for 2017 in December. Or does it not matter ?
    Please advice,
    thanks in advance.

  128. sagarlakshmi says:

    I meant to say 237 days living outside of Mexico in a year cause any problems in renewal process?

  129. sagarlakshmi says:

    Thanks Steve for the prompt reply.

  130. Kalcco says:

    I have a Canadian and US passport and I have to travel tomorrow. I have residente temporal in process under the US passport, and I applied for a permiso de salida y entrada a Mexico about a week or so ago, but the immigration people are saying that they are waiting for my application to change status so they can give me the letter. Can I use my Canadian passport to exit and re-enter Mexico as a tourist while the application is still in process under the US passport? I would then exit the country again with the Canadian passport within 6 months thus cancelling my tourist visa.

    • yucalandia says:

      Push INM to give you exit-reentry permit letter.

      Do NOT use your Canadian passport to re-enter as a tourist, because INM can charge you with visa fraud (trying to hold 2 different visas at the same time) – and INM can then either”
      ~ seize your tourist visa
      ~ charge you with fraud
      ~ possibly arrest you
      ~ possibly deport you
      ~ possibly assess you with fines
      ~ possibly cancel your current RT visa application
      ~ possibly force you to start all over at a Mexican Consulate.

      All of those (bad) fully legal options are up to the INM to decide on which and how many to apply if you try to have a tourist visa and an RT visa at the same time.

      Hope your travels go well,

      • Kalcco says:

        Thank you for your prompt reply, I am actually applying for a permanent resident, I mistyped earlier. So in case I don’t get the letter from INM and I travel to the US, when I come back do I need to tell them that I have a permanent resident visa in process? I read somewhere that if I don’t have a permiso de salida y entrada a Mexico my application would get canceled and I would have to pay a fee and restart my application? Is that all? Do you have any idea what that fee might be?

      • yucalandia says:

        Correct, anytime a foreigner gets a visitors visa while they have an RP or RT visa, it gives INM the option to force the foreigner to start all over & pay full price for another residency visa.

        The prices for visas are in our main article at:
        https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/#INM Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente Permit Fees

        $4,383 pesos for RP.

  131. Kaye says:

    Okay…here goes, Steve…this is my situation:

    My 3 yr temporal visa had an expiration date of Oct 12, 2016, at which time I would have moved to Permanente status as I had two years previous to purchasing one for 3 yrs. I have lost it…no idea how or when. I read that I have 55 days in which to get it back with paying a penalty. I know I should not re-enter as a tourist.

    But, I do want to return to Mexico within that 55 days (Dec 4 deadline)and re-activate my visa, except I should be moving to Permanente since my time is up as temporal.

    I do have my exit paper where the official wrote “temporal” on it to re-enter Mexico. It has been just over two years since I left. During that time, my US passport expired and I was issued a new one with a new number.

    1) How do I re-enter Mexico now, since I lost my “expired” visa? I have my expired US passport, the new one I was issued, a photo copy of my “expired” temporal visa, and the exit paper stamped temporal. What do I tell them when entering? Will they let me enter if I show them the computer printout showing that I have reapplied online and will show them I am in process?.

    2) Am I disqualified from moving to permanente since I am late applying to change my status of my visa?

    3) Should I go ahead and start the process for change of status online? I assume they will either say yes and accept my online application for change of status and give me a NUT or tell me that since I was late (but not over the 55 days) that I would have to reapply and only be given a temporal status?

    4) I don’t see what reason they would want me to pay to replace my old temporal first (since I have lost it and it has alreadt expired (but still within 55 days of add’l renewal time) but would they make me do that first?

    As a side note, I was a widow and remarried in May 2015 but was not in the country at that time to report it and have not since returned. Will I be in trouble for not reporting my change of marital status?

    Any advice for me?? Sorry it was so lengthy but a difficult one to explain. Thanks.

    • Kaye says:

      I had written to you previously about this but thought I should re-state the situation since I did not make the trip at that time before it expired…my two main concerns are Question 2 and 3 as well as the side note about my marriage.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Kaye,
      One route:
      1. Go to your local Mex. Consulate, and follow their procedures for filing for a lost Residente Temporal card.
      Because your situation is not really addressed by the law, they would likely tell you that because you are going after the card’s expiration date, and because you have used all 3 renewals (as a total of 4 years completed on the RT visa), they can’t do anything.

      Option 2.
      a. Go to your local Mex. Consulate and apply for a Residente Permanente.

      i. If you had kept your RT visa in good standing, with no expirations, they would have to automatically approve you with NO personal fiscal solvency $$ income/deposits requirements

      ii. Since your RT visa expired, without you applying for Residente Permanente, now you have to meet the personal fiscal solvency requirements (as listed in our main article on immigration), start all over, get the Consulates pre-approval and the 30 day visa sticker that they put in your US passport, completing this process well before your planned upcoming travel.

      In that situation, you could only travel to your Mexican home, and go to your local INM office to complete the RP visa approval process. Most INM offices are processing the RP visa applications in about 3-4 weeks … but some are requiring 4-6 weeks before issuing the RP visa cards.

      Sidelight: In either case, you could not have a Temporarily imported Vehicle in Mexico as an RP visa holder.

      Good Luck,

  132. Pingback: How To Dispose Of Expired Canadian Passports | Information

  133. Laurie says:

    If my mother gets sick during her 2 week vacation in Cozumel, can I as an American from CA visit her without a passport?

  134. subhadeep says:

    I am having an valid FM3 work permit. I am going to My home country and will come back 20 days before my FM3 expires, can you let me know if they will allow me to enter

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi subha,
      1. FM3’s have not existed for the past 4 years.

      2. Do you have a Residente Temporal visa or Visitante visa ?

      3. If you have a Residente Temporal visa , you can enter & leave Mexico any time ~ at will ~ before the fecha de caducidad (expiration date).

      Happy Trails,

  135. Liao chin-chu says:

    I retired 10 years ago, I want sometime live aboard for my retire life, is it fit for me to apply residency immigration in Mexico? if I could, what kind of residency?

  136. Liao chin-chu says:

    How many maney does residente temporal require? and how many maney does residente permanente require? because you said it should depend on my monthly retirement income and/or my savings, may real property include?

  137. Cody says:

    We just received our Residente Temporal card
    And will be returning to the US. Entered as
    An FMM Visitor, should we write Residente
    Temporal on our FMM half as leaving?

  138. Denis Zukic says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am (or was) residente temporal for 3 years, had a tarjeta vigente to complete 4 years this november. Unfortunately, during christmas vacation inGuatemala my tarjeta de RT was stolen. I had gone to Mexican consulate in Guatemala, where they couldnt find me in the system though I had my RT tarjeta number, I couldnt get a meeting with an officaln and was told by the security who talked with the offical to enter Mexico and resolve the issue there. Once at the border I was marked as a tourist on FMM givning me 180 days( they also couldnt find me in their system though I have 3 years of legal residence here, how is that possible and what database those computers have is beyond be). Anyways once I got to CDMX I applied for tramite de reposicion, and was told by the ventanilla officer they would most likely change my condition to a tourist( which also couple of other sources within INM confirmed). The process is still going and I have no offical resolution just yet. I wanted to ask you what might their resolution be if they degrade me to a tourist. Will I have to leave the country and start the process anew from aboad, is programa temporal de regulizacion migratoria an option, or maybe should I file an amparo. Any advice?
    Thank you very much

    • yucalandia says:

      Your’s is the first case where we have heard of someone not being able to be found in the computer database system, who had a Residente Temporal visa~tarjeta.

      That your record cannot be found may point to the problem: It is possible that your information was entered wrong, and that you are in the system(?), just under a misspelling or some such error. INM could potentially retrieve your record, if you had your NUT or NUE number.

      Do you have a copy of your RT visa card?

      Do you have a copy of the NUT tramite document you got when you applied for the RT visa card?

      Do you have a copy showing your NUE number from the prior RT visa?

      For these reasons, it is good to keep ALL official documents relating to our visas, and to keep & carry a copy of your RT visa card.

      Without a good copy of at least one of these things, you may be stuck & have to start over – by leaving Mexico to go to a Consulate abroad. By our reading of the Ley de Migración, I believe you must leave Mexico, but a good immigration attorney may know of some work around that is not listed in the law ~ especially as local INM office delegados do have discretion in how they apply the law.

      Wish I had better news,

      • ronturney says:


        Another question for you: My friend who is in the second year of his temporary residence visa was told that if he changed his status to permanent resident that he would no longer be able to legally drive his Canadian plated vehicle in Mexico which currently has a jointly owned registration with his Canadian wife whom enters Mexico as a tourist each season. This doesn’t seem to make sense. Can you elaborate on this situation? They typically spend less than 6 months in Mexico each season. He is concerned about driving when his wife is not in the car with him.


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Ron,
        You’ve simply been told another too-often-repeated-myth of the gringo blue-hairs.

        Instead, Read Article 106 … part IV of the Ley Aduanera …

        It clearly allows all immediate family members of the Temporary Import Permit holder to drive the car.

        So, If his Canadian wife gets the TIPs (just 6 months on her visitors visas) for the vehicle, then he is TOTALLY free to drive it.

        If your friend is paranoid, Have him keep both English language & Spanish language versions of Articulo 106 in the car with him.

        See our main article on cars & driving in Mexico for the details (see the articles Table of Contents for Article 106):

        Happy Trails,

  139. realkimi says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am (or was) residente temporal for 3 years, had a tarjeta vigente to complete 4 years this november. Unfortunately, during christmas vacation inGuatemala my tarjeta de RT was stolen. I had gone to Mexican consulate in Guatemala, where they couldnt find me in the system though I had my RT tarjeta number, I couldnt get a meeting with an officaln and was told by the security who talked with the offical to enter Mexico and resolve the issue there. Once at the border I was marked as a tourist on FMM givning me 180 days( they also couldnt find me in their system though I have 3 years of legal residence here, how is that possible and what database those computers have is beyond be). Anyways once I got to CDMX I applied for tramite de reposicion, and was told by the ventanilla officer they would most likely change my condition to a tourist( which also couple of other sources within INM confirmed). The process is still going and I have no offical resolution just yet. I wanted to ask you what might their resolution be if they degrade me to a tourist. Will I have to leave the country and start the process anew from aboad, is programa temporal de regulizacion migratoria an option, or maybe should I file an amparo. Any advice?
    Thank you very much

    • yucalandia says:

      Your’s is the first case where we have heard of someone not being able to be found in the computer database system, who had a Residente Temporal visa~tarjeta.

      That your record cannot be found may point to the problem: It is possible that your information was entered wrong, and that you are in the system(?), just under a misspelling or some such error. INM could potentially retrieve your record, if you had your NUT or NUE number.

      Do you have a copy of your RT visa card?

      Do you have a copy of the NUT tramite document you got when you applied for the RT visa card?

      Do you have a copy showing your NUE number from the prior RT visa?

      For these reasons, it is good to keep ALL official documents relating to our visas, and to keep & carry a copy of your RT visa card.

      Without a good copy of at least one of these things, you may be stuck & have to start over – by leaving Mexico to go to a Consulate abroad. By our reading of the Ley de Migración, I believe you must leave Mexico, but a good immigration attorney may know of some work around that is not listed in the law ~ especially as local INM office delegados do have discretion in how they apply the law.

      Wish I had better news,

  140. I am going to Cancun thus Fri Feb 24 2017 and have to leave Feb 28 2017 as I am a nurse and have to return to my home and jib in San Antonio. My only day for INM is Monday Feb 27/ can I get this temporary president card in one day. I have the one in my passport issued by government. I want to know if they will give me reentry letter or permiso poor saluda y entra that same day too so I can leave when my card is in process. I don’t mind paying. should I just go as a tourist on this trip since my time is short or should I go ahead and start the process. My passport issued sticker us good through April. Can I do this some other time or should I start now. How much money and what documents do I need to get before I go to Cancun. Thanks. Can you email me a response.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Karen,
      Just as US Federal offices do not issue passports to new applicants in a day, it generally takes up to 2 to 4 weeks to get a Residente Temporal visa card processed and issued.

      Some INM offices ask 3 to 5 business days to investigate & prepare a Exit & Re-Entry permit for travel outside Mexico while INM processes your Residente Temporal application. A few INM offices produce the letter in a day, in case of emergencies.

      Once you enter Mexico on the special 30 day VISA sticker from the Consulate, we understand that INM cancels that special 30d VISA when you apply your local INM office for the Residente Temporal visa => which means you MUST have the Exit-Re-entry permit letter from INM.

      There is no cost for the exit & re-entry permit. The fees for the Residente Temporal card are as usual … posted in our main article on Immigration at:

      Happy Trails,

  141. I have another question. I entered Piedra’s negras to get temporal residence card and mand gave me free fmm but told me I had to come back cause window was closed due to Mexican holiday Dias De los muertos. He was very nice and my canje said 30 days. He did not stamp my passport and Mexican consul says my stamp is still good to April. Going to Cancun. Will they see its not my fault it was Mexican holiday and no one told me when I called and drove 150 miles to get this done. He also told me if I want to live in Cancun I should go to Cancun to get temporary resident there. Mexican consul said same thing
    Is my visit to Piedra’s negras in a database. Is my stamp still good. The Mexican consular office thinks it is still good. Or is it invalid. Will Cancun inm see in computer the Piedra’s negras visit. Everyone I’ve talked to says don’t worry about it cause it was special Mexican hiday and not your fault you went on that day. Your stamp is still good. I don’t want to get to Cancun and get hard time. I can just mark myself tourist and start process over I guess. Will they tell me.

    • yucalandia says:

      The law has no clear answer for this.

      Clearly, INM offices are closed on the holidays.

      He also told me if I want to live in Cancun I should go to Cancun to get temporary resident there. Mexican consul said same thing.

      These are also true, that you ONLY apply for residency at your local INM office where you have an address in Mexico.

      If your 30day special entry visa is not expired, INM in Cancun should accept it.

      INM-Cancun may see your entry at Piedras Negras, but no one knows what database record searches they will do when you enter at Cancun.

      Travel safe,

  142. Steve says:

    Ugh. I have Residente Permanente and flew out of MEX for BOG last July and filled out the FMM upon departure. Now I’m getting ready to go NOB and I see my FMM is marked 180 days. My immigration gal says my only hope is to drive out, present my passport and Residente Permanente and see if immigration acts as if everything is OK since the FMM is expired, then re-enter and present the FMM stub they gave me when I left. Any confidence this might allow me to not have to apply for residency all over again? If I have to, well, sucks for me.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi sj
      This is why we write RESIDENTE PERMANENTE BOLDLY across the top of the FMM forms.

      Your immigration gal might be right, but other people have found that you MUST NOT try to use the 180 day portion, because it constitutes fraud for having 2 visas.

      Other people have very successfully just taken a new FMM form when arriving at a Mexican airport … Tear off the half of the form for exiting Mexico (salida) and fill out ONLY the entering Mexico half.

      If INM asks, just say that you understand that the INM office messed up your previous FMM when you were exiting Mexico. Don t explain much. Just let them handle it, if they decide to check the old computer records.

      Happy Trails,

  143. Brian Conway says:

    Flying privately, some INM agents issue fmm cards in arrival instead of departure for permanent residents. If you don’t get a card on arrival, you will need one on departure and have to go to the airport INM office in the terminal if you are departing via airline. This can be cumbersome and time consuming as you may have to exit and enter through security if you are making only a transit stop for plane change at your point of departure. Getting your card on the way in makes way more sense I think. It has changed several times.

  144. Jasmine says:


    I have found little information about this on the web. My husband and I are both U.S. citizens. I am moving to Mexico on a work permit as a temporary resident. We are wondering what kind of visa he should apply for because a tourist visa would be too insufficient and since he would be moving with me, I”m not sure if they will grant the temporary residency solely based on his financial stability in Mexico. Please help!!

  145. Carolyn Sawyer says:

    Hi Steve,
    The reply you sent seems like it was meant for someone else(Jasmine)and does not address my question. I tried to find somewhere to post this question without tagging it on to someone else’s post but could not find any way to do that. Can you help me with my question or tell me if there is some other place I need to post this?
    Thank you,
    Carolyn Sawyer

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      We’re in the midst of 2 months of travel, including one 36 hr Rome-Madrid-Mexico City-Merida loop, with a computer stolen (Rome?) … so we’ve had limited time to address questions.

      I don’t think her plan is possible.

      The only way we know it to be possible: If her brother applied for the TIP online, and then he signed for the TIP at the border, and got a temporary visa at the border, and then left her with the truck to use in Mexico, then she would fit inside Mexican law.

      Good Luck,

  146. Carolyn Sawyer says:

    I know she should not enter as a tourist if she has permanent status. I’m only asking about the car! As a permanent resident can she go to the states, get her brother’s car, drive her brothers car into Mexico to get her things and then drive it back to the states. If so, what paperwork does she need in order to do this. Her brother’s car papers, a letter of permission from her brother and/or???

  147. Lisa says:

    I have Residente Permanente status in Mexico. What should I do when leaving Mexico via the Tijuana/San Diego border by foot. While exiting, there is nowhere to have my immigration paper stamped. If I use the cross border express, there is only a way to have my documents stamped upon my re-entry. So I will be leaving Mexico without filling any forms and I will fill a form upon my return.

  148. Keshar kunwar says:

    I am from nepal but i have czech republic temporary card can i apply tourist visa for mexico

    • yucalandia says:

      Hello Keshar,
      Do you have a ‘Legal Permanent Residency’ visa for the Czech republic?

      Legal Permanent Residents of USA, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom … & Schengen States …. do not require preapproved visa to enter Mexico with tourist, transit & business purposes.

      Do you have any current US visas?
      If you hold any valid USA visa (e.g. H, L, F, J, B1/B2 etc.), a Visa not required to enter Mexico for tourist, transit & business purposes.

      Otherwise, you would need to go to a Mexican Consulate or Embassy and apply for a visa to enter Mexico.


  149. Lucy Dean says:

    Hello! I entered Mexico through the port of Chetumal as a temporary resident and I will be leaving Mexico to go back to the UK through Cancun airport. When I go through security in Cancun do I need to find the immigration kiosk to get that form signed? Do I need to do anything before or have any forms? When I left Mexico last time to fly to Costa Rica I had to go to the Kiosk and sign that small form then when boarding the plane i handed in the bottom half of that form. Thank you for your expertise.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lucy,
      Yes, you go to the INM office to check-out. You fill out an FMM, where they ultimately keep the “Exiting Mexico” half, and you keep the “Entering Mexico” half for when you re-enter Mexico next time.

      Be sure to boldly print RESIDENTE TEMPORAL across the top of each half of the FMM form.

      Happy Trails, steve

      • Lucy Dean says:

        Thanks steve. I have no documents from when i last entered mexico but i don’t need anything before i go to the INM office, right? I just go after checking in with my temporary resident card and i sign the form that they give me and before boarding the plane at the gate i hand in the half of that form that has been signed by the office. Thank you so much!

  150. Whitney says:

    I believe driving any Carr into Mexico the rules are the same. The registration must be in the drivers name. If her brother drive with her, no problem. But if she tried to driver her brothers car that would not work. The very first time we drove (as tourists) I was not with my husband at the border. I was meeting him later. The car was under my name. He could not take the car in. I had to overnight him the pink slip- endorsed to him so he could pass. I’m not ever sure if they still accept that. I’m not sure that you can drive anyone else car over. It has to be in your name unless the rules have changed.

  151. Denise Bee says:

    My apologies if this question has been asked and answered already. I am an American with my residente permanente. I traditionally cross the border into Mexico by car. I will be flying to Cabo in the next few months. Do I enter as a residente and stand in a separate line and never show my US passport or do stand in the same lines with my american family and present my residente card instead of my passport ?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Denise,
      We’ve had it happen both ways. Sometimes you can enter through the Mexican line … while others, they’ve asked me to go to the foreigner’s line.

      You have to present both your US passport & Residente Permanente Visa card regardless of which line you use.

  152. Carl Daniel says:


    Thanks for all of the info! I have a question. I currently have a work visa in process to work here in Mexico (I am a US citizen). I know you need a travel letter if you are a applying for a Resident VISA. Not sure if the same applies for a work VISA. Do you know the answer to this? Basically, I need to travel to the states for a few days and return, but my work visa is in progress here in Mexico and I don’t want it to be canceled. May I leave and return without problem, or do I need a travel letter?



  153. Michael says:

    I have a residente temporal visa. I want to do the 30 day check in close to my final destination (Puerto Escondido). Is there a list of office locations available online? Empty searches so far….

  154. LM Sanchez says:

    Hi Michael-

    Unfortunately I had a friend that went through that situation. He has a mexican temporary resident card and tried applying a couple of weeks ago for his permanent residence. However the petition was denied since he was told that in 2015 he applied for a visitor visa upon his entry to Mexico. My friend only recalls all the changes going on at that time at the border and went ahead and complied with the officer- he never thought he was signing or applying for another type of visa. He was now given 15 days to appeal the decision. His temporary residence is being cancelled and he was given 30 days to abandon the country. What is your experience with an appeal process under his circumstances? thank you.

    • yucalandia says:

      For problems like this:
      Our experience is that it is best to hire an immigration attorney who has good relationships with the top key people at his local INM office.

  155. Pingback: Tourist visa vs. resident visa – MOVE TO MEXICO!

  156. Urmal Thurman says:

    Q1: If one is separated and applying for Mexico for the permit alone, is it possible to apply for temporary or permanent residence?
    Q2: I currently have a motorhome here on a 10 year permit and I am on a 180 day tourist card (my first one with the motorhome here). Can I list this motorhome as my permanent address while applying for temporary or permanent residence at a US consulate?
    Q3: Or do I have to take my motorhome back the US in order to apply at the consulate in the US for the temp or perm?

    Thank you in advance.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Urmal,
      Q1. Yes you can apply for either form of a residency visa.
      Q2. Not a good plan … Do you have recent comprabantes for your motor home? e.g. INM can ask for a printed CFE bill for the address & I’ve seen INM ask questions about the number of bedrooms & other details of the home (checking the answers based on INEGI census data).
      Q3. No. Your Aduana permits are valid until their expiration date.
      Happy Trails,

  157. Veronica says:

    Im a US citizen married to a guatemalteco who lives in guatemala.. We are trying to get him a mexican visa. He has a permit but it doesn’t go far. My family mexican. My dad is from durango but lives in Juárez and my mom is from Nayarit. I havnt been to either sides.. and i wanna meet family and see my dad after 5 years but i wanna travel with my husband sice he hasnt met my dad yet. What do i have to do? And how long does it take?

  158. Kathy says:

    I am filling out my online form for my permanent residency. Do I need to fill out one per family member or do I add my husband under agregar u otro tramite?

  159. Sun says:

    When I was applied for parmanet residence card in Mexico, I met a lawyer asked her to help me , she made me permission latter to leave a Mexico , the latter would have 60 days expiration’s! She texted me saying my parmanet card is ready to pick , if I let it expire this , can I go to Mexico with Canadian passport as a Canadian or do I have to cancel my Mexico card and cancel it ! What the benefit to have Mecixen parmanet card to Canadian? Does any one know ?

  160. ALI haroual says:

    my family got our temp residency in playa del carmen last year it took about 9 weeks to process we have to reapply to extend for 3 years my question is can we file in chetumel will it be quicker to process ? due to the less amount of applicants .
    Thank you.

    • yucalandia says:

      Good question.
      We don’t know how INM “districts” Q.Roo.

      For the last 5 years, foreigners living in and around Merida are NOT allowed to use the quiet & efficient Progreso INM office, they are forced to use the Merida INM office.

      It’s possible that the INM Chetumal office might accept your application, or they might turn you back to PDC. They also have the local discretion to award you 3 years of RT visa status, or they may limit you to just 2 year. ???
      Good Luck,

  161. I am a Permanent Mexcian Resident and I am returning to Mexico soon and I lost my FMM document given to me when leaving Mexico. I still have my Permanent Resident Card. I have been told by the Mexican Consulate in Chicago by email that I need to apply for a replacement Resident Card (even though I still have one). I have been told by someone who knows about these things 😉 that I can just reenter Mexico with my Perm Resident card. That makes sense to me but I am a little concerned that the consulate told me that. What has been your experience with this — Entering (returning to) Mexico with other a Perm Resident card and no FMM from when you exited Mexico.

    • yucalandia says:

      In legal theory, the Consulate in Chicago is correct … but this minor aspect of the rule is rarely ever (if ever) enforced.

      We know of at least 20 people who have had this problem, who have simply filled out another FMM when they re-enter Mexico, who have had no problems. INM people never even blinked when processing their FMM upon re-entering Mexico.

      Happy Trails,

  162. James says:

    HI Thank you for so much information. I am clearly a little confused over the need to write RESIDENTE PERMANENTE on any form when leaving Mexico. As I am a Permanent Resident it is my understanding I can leave and return at will, just as a Mexican National. I will soon travel to Canada and am wondering if I will be asked for the form on which we are to wirte Permanent Resident. When I went to Paris two years ago they almost did not let me board the plane saying that even though I was a Permanent Resident and had my card with me, that I needed to fill out the form, well they wanted the bottom half back I think. I got very frustrated and loud and Air France personnel finally said just board the plane. So, form or not? and both parts or just one. thx

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi James,
      It has been an INM rule for over 5 years for you to write “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE” across the top of both halves of the FMM form, when you exit Mexico.

      It has also been an INM rule for over 5 years for you to submit the “Salida” (Exiting) Mexico half of the FMM, when you leave Mexico, and keep the “Entrada (Entering) Mexico half of the FMM form to use when you re-enter Mexico.

      Why complain .. Why “get loud” … Why “get frustrated” about submitting the “Salida” (Exiting) Mexico portion of the form when you exit Mexico?

      Hopefully, it’s just a simple misunderstanding?
      Do you have problems reading basic Spanish?

      If so, consider getting a basic Spanish to English translation app for your phone.
      Happy Trails,

  163. Susan Boyce says:

    I have a residente temporal card which expires February, 2019. I will not be renewing this card or getting a residente permanente card. I will be going to Mexico in November of this year. Do I enter Mexico on a tourist visa? Thanks

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Susan,
      When do you return?

      Because INM has a 55 day grace period for RT visa holders who are outside Mexico when their visa expires, you would need to clearly surrender your RT visa, before applying for a Visitante visa (“tourist” visa).

      Example of why it can be helpful~important to surrender your old RT visa. … Friends who recently applied for a RT visa had their application put on hold for 3 weeks, because they had not properly surrendered the old earlier RT visas,

      Happy trails,

  164. cellomensch says:

    Hello! And thank you for such a great site! I am a temporary resident by marriage to my Mexican husband. We live in Mexico City and in the US. I lost my RT card and am in the process of getting a replacement. I’ve submitted everything I need to submit and had an interview with 2 witnesses (my in-laws) about the loss and replacement. Officials say that is all they need, and that I must simply wait. This whole process has indeed already taken time, and I need to return soon to the States for a medical appointments and work. For now we will be in NY mostly for the next year. If I can’t get a “permiso de salida y regreso”/permit to leave and reenter in 60 days, I am wondering if it is better to leave on a FMM as a tourist (if that is even allowed) because I need to take care of things on the other side, lose the RT, and reapply when my husband and I return to live in Mexico for good after a year. Will leaving without my RT create more problems that just starting over again as a spouse of a Mexican? I appreciate any feedback. Thank you

    • yucalandia says:

      Without an RT visa card or exit&re-entry permit letter from INM, you can’t get onto an air flight back to the USA.

      You really must either
      ~ get the RT visa replacement card, or
      ~ get an exit & re-entry permit letter from INM, or
      ~ drive out of Mexico … cancel your RT visa & either… 1. Apply for a new RT visa from a Consulate in the USA … or 2. Return to Mexico on a Visitante Visa (180 days) and use the Vinculo Familiar program at INM (with your husband as your sponsor) – and get a RT visa while back in Mexico (in the future).

      Happy Trails, Steve

      • cellomensch says:

        Super helpful Steve, thank you! I am paying a multa for a cambio de domicilio which was late, and otherwise there are a few people at the INM in Mexico City who are helping as they can. For anybody who finds themselves needing to get a letter to leave and return while waiting for their visa to be processed, I was just told that once I resolve the change of address and pay the fine for being late, that in 72 hours I can get the exit/entry letter faster at immigration in the airport with the same requirements: online document, letter as to why and how long I wish to go (within 60 days), frontal face photo to document specs, passport, payment receipts with copies of everything… The key to getting anywhere with the people in the INM is to be relaxed, respectful, ready with questions, and showing that you are there again because you really care about your petition, your residency here and that you respect the system, no matter how frustrating. I speak Spanish so I am able to do this with minimal confusion for the language. If you don’t speak Spanish very well, then get someone to join you who does. Look for all notifications that come to you online. Sometimes they are on the site before you get an email. When in doubt go early and ask. This does not annoy them, but rather in my experience, gets then to look and push things ahead quicker. I can only speak for Mexico City (Polanco). I’ll post more on my progress, in case it might help others. Thank you Steve and all who participate in this forum.

  165. ray says:

    Hi Steve, I am writing for a friend. He is in the US, undocumented and will soon need a kidney transplant. He has a valid IMSS card, for 6 months now, from a Mex company where he’s listed as an employee, but he’s still in the US. He can’t return utnil we know he can get the med. help he’ll need.(We have a donor in Mexico.)
    We are afraid since we know kidney failure is an exclusion to getting IMSS initially, and we also heard IMSS might reject someone after they get an IMSS card, within the first year – since they might say it was pre-existing.( He has not been to a Mexican dr for many years, so there are no past med. records.)
    If he stays in the US too long, he will need dialysis, then return and they will know he had dialysis, if he leaves now, doesn’t need either yet but goes to a dr and they see he has a bad kidney, we are afraid IMSS will exclude him from treatment for kidney, although he has had a valid IMSS card for a bit more than 6 mtnths. If they do, he can’t come back to the US for treatment, so a dilemna.
    Do we wait till Jan when he will have had the IMSS card for more than one year, but risk he cannot make it that long, need dialysis in the US, return and they see he had this problem in 2019, his first year at least of IMSS card, or go now? He is a mexican resident, born there. thanks

    • yucalandia says:

      You’re in Merida … Go over to the IMSS office, and ask.

      There are enough missing details in your story, that I can’t answer.

      Example … You haven’t said what nationality he is… You claim he is “undocumented” in the USA … which implies he’s a Mexican citizen.

      You say he “has an IMSS card” … but then you mention “wait till Jan when he will have had the IMSS card for more than one year” which implies he is a foreigner to Mexico, and subject to the prohibitions that PRE-EXISTING conditions for foreigners are not covered by IMSS, until after a year.

      UMAA IMSS Mérida
      Address: Av. Alfredo Barrera Vazquez 455, Residencial Pensiones III, 97217 Mérida, Yuc.


      Best of luck,
      Talk with IMSS.

  166. ray says:

    Yes, he is a Mexican citizen. And,he has an IMSS card and because I was reading online about the pre-existing conditions exclusions and one year waiting period, I thought it appled to all ppl signed up with IMSS. But, my info is from online english language sites and from what you wrote, it now seems that this (pre-existing/one year…) applies to only expats/foreigners, not him anyway! Thanks

  167. ray says:

    ps – I am in the US which is why I have been doing this all online.

    • yucalandia says:

      … If you are in the USA, why does your IP address show up as a specific Merida neighborhood & Mexican internet company ?? That seems odd.

      There’s been a bunch of trolls, stalking expat web sites & expat web forums … so mis-identifying & hiding IP addresses leads site administrators to suspect “troll” …

  168. ray says:

    I really have no idea. my service provider is comcast, huge in US where i am – SF, California actually. I agree it’s wierd but I am not a troll. Just been trying to help a friend before he moves back.

  169. richard says:

    I sent notice from facebook w/ my full name etc, richard, not ray. thanks

  170. Jay N says:

    Hello there, guys. How I wish I had found your blog before.
    I recently applied for a RT visa at the Calexico consulate and was approved. I had the help of a Tijuana immigration lawyer.
    Next step I crossed on the Tijuana peatonal border and successfully obtained the FMM marked as “Canje” to initiate my INM proceedings.
    Then my lawyer with that form and the rest of the documents required initiated my petition for a RT card. I paid the fees and was given a NUT.
    I had a previous trip scheduled to the USA (my godson went through a complicated surgery) and my lawyer didn’t advise me about the need of obtaining a “Permiso de Salida”. Basically his idea was that because I was going to cross back to the USA vía terrestre, that shouldn’t be an issue. If I only knew how simple the process is and how much of a headache it could become without that permiso, I would have done it in a heartbeat.
    When it was time to return to Mexico, I crossed on the Otay peatonal and the agent was particularly rude (not my experience at all in Tijuana) and basically processed me as a tourist even though I showed him my Resident Visa and pointed to it saying “errado, guey, errado”.
    From everything I’ve read online so far, I’m fairly confident that sadly my RT process will be canceled and I will have to start over from scratch, meaning going to the consulate and applying for a RT visa, is that correct?
    My lawyer had mentioned that because Tijuana is a border town and many people do the cruce daily, and since I didn’t take an international flight, that my situation was different, but I’m not sure I can trust his “knowledge” anymore.
    On your experience, does crossing by foot in Tijuana means I will have different luck than someone taking an international flight?
    In case they indeed cancel my visa, the process for obtaining a new visa is the same having to presente the same solvency documents (my interview was roughly a month ago)?
    Or should I expect an easier process (or harder since now I might be considered with trying to defraud my visa – I swear it was totally not my intention, I was just badly advised)
    Any light you can shed on this is highly appreciated !!!

  171. Allison says:

    In all honesty if i were you I might wait and see if your card is actually processed, you should know fairly soon. Really we don’t know if every single piece of paper filed at Otay is sent along to Mexico City. Your lawyer should be able to access the files in Tijuana. Hang in there at see what happens. JUST FYI in TJ i was processed in once, by foot, following the rules, but i failed to exit through the mexico immigration, and as I understand the US agents don’t always forward that paperwork to mexico city. thus when I drove in the next time, I stopped at immigration and they urged me NOT to check in because when they checked my file, unofficially, they said i had NO EXIT it “looked” like i had been in Mexico for 7 months. Just hang tight for now and see where it goes.

  172. One Of Us says:

    I will be leaving Mexico on foot (walking across a border crossing) in August. I have a temporary residence visa, and the last time I crossed on foot I asked them to stamp my green migratory form the way they do at the airport (they write RT on it and stamp/sign it so I can hand the other part of the form back in at customs). The INM agents at the border crossing said no, because I was crossing on foot. This was not a problem as I also crossed back on foot and the only thing I needed was my visa and passport.

    My predicament this time is that I will be flying back into Mexico City when I return as opposed to entering on foot.

    How can I make sure I get the migratory form stamped and signed appropriately so I don’t run into problems passing through customs in Mexico City? Should I stop by my local INM office to have them do it before I leave?

    • yucalandia says:

      As an RT, you only need the part (½) of the FMM form for “Entering Mexico” … You don’t need the whole FMM form … as you can explain that when walking out (exiting Mexico), INM refused to approve your FMM …

      Your local INM office cannot approve an FMM.
      Travel safe,

  173. Terry E says:

    My husband and I are permanent residents of Mexico and US citizens. Do we need to turn in our INM card if we are just going into Texas for a week or two by car?

    • yucalandia says:

      What do you mean by “INM card” ?

      Do you have a Residente Temporal visa card? … or did you enter Mexico by filling out a FMM form, that acts as proof of your 180 day visitors visa?

      If you entered Mexico on a Visitante visa (aka “tourist visa”) where INM handed you back the “Salida” exiting Mexico half of an FMM form? … If so, then yes, stop at INM as you leave and surrender the “Salida” half of your FMM … and get a new Visitante visa when you return (filling out a new FMM).

      Happy Trails.

      • Terry says:

        My husband and I have been permanent residents for two years. We always check other on our purpose and never have received a tourist visa.We entered Mexico by air yesterday and turned in the second top half of INM Card. Normally when we leave BY AIR WE fill out another one and get the bottom part stamped AT departure. I’m wondering if we need to do anything (turn in one part on exit and other on return) for short trips by auto into the US. Also have a US passport.

      • yucalandia says:

        As Residente Permanentes there is no legal requirement to register an exit when driving or walking out.

        If you think you ~might~ want to become citizens some day, then it’s best to register your exits with INM when driving out. Applicants for citizenship have to prove they have not been outside Mexico too many months, and that requirement becomes difficult to meet, when applicants re-enter Mexico with no record of leaving. Since the citizenship applicant cannot prove how long they were outside Mexico (when they exit without recording the exit) INM has to assume that the person left Mexico earlier – and was outside Mexico longer.

        So, you can drive out freely … as long as you don’t plan to become a Mexican citizen in the future.
        Happy Trails,

      • Terry Gmail says:

        Thanks very much. I had been registering every exit and entry but realized many of my PR friends weren’t bothering to do the same on road trips of short duration to Texas. It’s just a double hassle to do it if unnecessary and I have no plans to become a citizen.

        Terry Lea Elizondo Attorney 713 301-1995


    • Stephen says:

      If indeed you are a Permanent Resident, then you do not give INM your card. That’s the green card with your picture and CURP. What you do as a PR is go to immigration before you leave Mexico and complete the FMM, of course making sure you follow the instructions in the rest of this thread. You keep your portion of the FMM while in the US. Then, upon returning to Mexico, you give INM the FMM.

  174. shybackpack says:

    I’ve got a visa sticker from a consulate and my FMM with the 30 days to get to the immigration office, but I’ve got a problem. I have to leave the country in less than a week for a family thing. When I get back, I’ll still have enough time to get to the immigration office in under 30 days, but I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to leave and return with just my visa sticker and my 30 day FMM or if I’m going to have problems. Any suggestions or experience with this?

    • yucalandia says:

      If you leave Mexico without a “Permission to Exit Mexico & Re-Enter” letter from INM, then INM cancels your Residente visa application, and you have to start all over again … going back to a Mexican Consulate and re-applying again for a Residente visa.

      You really should apply immediately at INM to leave Mexico while your visa is being processed. It takes INM 3 – 5 business days to process & issue the special travel-abroad permit.

      With the special travel-abroad permit, you can leave Mexico & re-enter, using that permit for both one-time exit and re-entry.

      Happy Trails,

  175. Don Lillie says:

    I am Canadian and have a Permanente. My wife applied for a Permante a few years ago in Canada. She has sufficient funds to qualify herself and was declined as she said she probably would be staying less than 180 days in Mexico. I was not allowed to join her meeting.
    She is going to reapply as an independent again as she will be staying more than 180 days. Does she have a right to have me as her attorney ( I am not a lawyer) in the meeting? I want to protect her from trick questions.

  176. Paul says:

    I dont know if this is still being read, but here goes.
    My wife & I got residnete temproal last Jan 6yj. They need ot be renewed by Mar 1 (using 55 day rule). Due to covid we may not be able to go back to do it. So 2 questions

    1) If we let them expire and re apply will we be asigned the same CURP? I have a Mexican DL with the current one on it.
    2) My wife has enough income to get permanente, I do not. If she gets permanente and I redo temporal. Can I go permanent under her before the 4 years are up? It would be nice to pick the time rather than risk something like covid happening again.

  177. Mexico Guys says:

    I guess one other question, is can I convert residente temporal to permanente in Mexico before the 4 years are up by proving financials and it so, how much? I am trying to avoid some circumstance that may prevent me from being in mexico at the 4 year anniversary. After covid, who knows?

  178. Prerna says:

    Hi Experts,

    I have question, regarding CAR TIP, FMM and FM3

    I entered Mexcio via land on FMM card (valid for 180 days – Still valid) and Car TIP (valid for 180 days- still Valid).
    Now after 60days i got my FM3 Visa approved. I have to go out of Mexico to get my FM3 visa stamped.

    1) Do i need to take my car and cross board while returning my FMM card?
    2) I can leave car in Mexico for 2-3days as i will be back to Mexico with my FM3 Visa, what will be my CAR TIP status?
    3) Can i leave CAR in Mexico and travel USA to get my FM3 visa stamped and then do paperwork to tie new FM3 with existing CAR TIP within 15days?

    • yucalandia says:

      There is no such thing as an FM3, for the last 8 yrs. Let’s assume you are getting a Residente Temporal visa.

      Notice that since 2012, we start the RT Visa application process at a Mexican Consulate outside of Mexico … and then once a Consulate has appoved their step of the process, THEN you return to Mexico to go to your local INM office to complete the RT visa process.

      You can leave the TIP car in Mexico, while you travel to a Consulate, but at some point you will have to take the car to the border, before the TIP expires, to use your new RT visa to get a TIP that has an expiration date that matches your RT visa expiration date.


      Happy Trails

  179. Yahaira says:

    We want to bring my grandma urgently to a chiropractor , she has no doctors note though but she does feel heavy pain . Instead of crossing through Tijuana can we come through Los Angeles she has a Visa & im a US Citizen

  180. Jan Hamilton says:

    I’m moving to Mexico and
    I’m looking at the top half of my FMM form. Number 7 says Country of residents. (In case of Mexico, Federal Entity)
    What does that mean? Do I just put Mexico?

  181. Jason H says:

    Hi there, my 2nd (1+3 year) temporary residency card expired 14 days ago on august the 5th, 2021. Unfortunately, because of covid, I was not able to go back to Mexico to apply for my permanent status. Even tho the temporary residency card is expired, I can still fly in with it and apply for permanent residency within 55 days of expiration (so the due date would be September 28th). I asked a friend of mine to go to the local INM office to get more information, and this is what he came back with;
    “Por favor informar al Sr. XXX que al llegar a México, debe mostrar su documento vencido en el aeropuerto, informando que por razones de salvaguardar su salud, no le había sido posible regresar, le darán una acta de Internación y con este documento podremos realizar su trámite.”
    I just want to know if this is the correct information, and if so, what is the name of the mentioned document in this paragraph? Would it be enough to show my expired temporary residency card and FMM card along with my passport to assume the officer at the counter would know what they would do? OR I should get someone to write down something in Spanish, since I do not speak of it, explaining my situation.
    Do I also need to bring anything from my country other than my expired INM card and passport? Current bank statements for the last 12 months and such. Thank you in advance. Jason

    • yucalandia says:

      The instructions are complete in themselves. No bank statements needed.

      You could choose to write ” TRAMITAR ” across the top of your FMM form, to emphasize that you do not need a Visitante Visa.
      You should be fine, Steve

  182. Mari S says:

    As a TEMP resident of MX, do you need a MX driver’s license to operate a Moto/Scooter?
    Or is your US driver’s license enough?
    Can you purchase & Register a moto/scooter as a TEMP Resident of MX?

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