Jan. 2018 Update to Mexico’s Naturalized Citizenship Exam Requirements

Jan 29, 2018 Update
Note … New exam questions are listed in the current updated version of this post at:  https://yucalandia.com/2018/04/26/april-2018-update-to-mexicos-naturalized-citizenship-exam-requirements/

As reported by Yucalandia on Jan 12, ( https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/mexican-citizenship-test-with-answers/ ) …  SRE has changed their requirements & policies for getting Naturalized Citizenship, by replacing their previous 5 multiple choice ‘Mexican History & Culture’ exam with a new format.

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

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

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

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

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

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“Example Questions & Answers:  **Version 2**
1. ¿A quien se le conoce como el Centauro del Norte? Francisco Villa
2. Acapulco fue durante los siglos XVII y XVIII un importante puerto porque controlaba la navegación en el _____. Océano Pacífico
3. Nombre del partido político que gobernó durante 7 décadas en el siglo XX: _____. Partido Revolucionario Institucional
4. El teatro de mayor prestigio en la ciudad de México es el: _____. Palacio de Bellas Artes
5. ¿Cuál es el número total de senadores en México? 128
6. ¿En que estado de la republica se encuentra el Cerro de la Silla? – Nuevo Leon
7. ¿Cuál era el nombre de México durante el periodo colonial?  Nueva España
8. ¿Cuál es la fecha en que se celebra el Dia de las Mamas en México? – El 10 de Mayo
9. ¿Cuál es nombre del mexicano que recibió el premio Nobel de Literatura? – Octavio Paz
10. ¿Cuál fue la aportación mas importante del científico mexicano Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cárdenas? Inventó el primer anticonceptivo oral
Since this information appears legitimate, but we have no independent confirmations from other SRE offices (outside of Jalisco),  we welcome readers to provide current & ongoing updates to how their local SRE offices are implementing the new rules & new requirements for Mexican Naturalized Citizenship.

New exam questions are listed in the current updated version of this post at:  https://yucalandia.com/2018/04/26/april-2018-update-to-mexicos-naturalized-citizenship-exam-requirements/

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

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

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© Steven M. Fry

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Mexican Justice System in Transition

January 6, 2018

Mexican Justice System in Transition.
There appear to be some unexpected consequences to Mexico’s recent US-backed attempts to apply US protections of criminals “rights” … to the 19’th century Mexican justice system. Under the US-based system:
… The (GDL police) chief said only 50 arrest warrants have been issued in Guadalajara, the state capital, in the past year and a half — while there are 1,300 crimes per month.
Holding Mexican police to US standards … and lots of new rights for criminals all sounds very good (in theory), but consider the consequences:
… Now judges have far more leeway to release suspects pending trial. The new system provides alternatives such as mediation or plea bargaining to ease the congestion in the court system.

… When the rubber meets the road …

“… The result has been fewer people behind bars. Mexico has about 202,700 prisoners, down from nearly 235,900 when the changes went into effect in June 2016, according to prison authorities. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said last month that there are 11,000 fewer inmates in the capital than in the year before the judicial revisions started
— a decline of nearly 30 percent —
a situation he called “very dangerous.

On the positive side of the ledger, the new law significantly helps people charged with minor crimes.   Someone who steals a soda pop   no longer spends 2 years in jail awaiting trial. 

What’s next ??
Read the details here:

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© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .

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Patches & Fixes for Intel, AMD & ARM Apple & Microsoft Devices

January 5, 2018
Computer security teams have discovered two separate vulnerabilities in Intel, AMD & ARM brand chips that exploit weaknesses in an essential CPU chip process when pretty much all modern computers try to anticipate what functions the user will need next.    The two vulnerabilities have been named “Spectre” and “Meltdown”.  There weaknesses affect basically all Intel , AMD & ARM brand chipsets.   That includes all Google devices, all Google cloud storage, and all  Apple devices,  including even Apple watches. … Sadly,  the current patches all slow down our computers, which particularly affects Apple~Mac devices & tablets, as they already run slower than PC computers.

If we do not download the latest security updates from Microsoft and Apple et al,  then hackers might be able to access our computer’s or tablets etc memory to steal our passwords & user IDs – using hacking methods that cannot be detected via traditional means.

Currently, there are no reports yet of hackers actually figuring out how to exploit the two flaws.

What else to do?

  • Firefox Browser Users: Run ONLY the latest version (above 57) as per their advisory.
  • Internet Explorer & Edge Browser Users:  Install the latest versions.
  • Chrome Browser Users: Go to ”  chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process ” in your browser and ENABLE   “Strict Site Isolation” .  (See example below)

    We’ll continue to follow the problem, and report on updated solutions as the manufacturers work to fix the problems.


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The Christmas Story … revisited.

Tis the Season …

For people who enjoy scratching the surface of traditional stories,
there are some interesting (yet traditional) translations & understandings of the Jesus-Mary-Joseph birth narrative that don’t necessarily fit our nostalgic memories of “The Christmas Story” … of Inns … and Inn-keepers yelling “Go Away!”  …. “No room at the Inn” … and desperate conditions of dirty common stables.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:1-7 RSV)

Consider that Luke 2:7 in the earliest Christian text says there was no room in the καταλυμα “kataluma”.  “Kataluma” can mean inn,  but more frequently translates as the guest room in a family~personal home … because there were not Holiday Inns nor Hampton Inns in the tiny hamlet of “Bethlehem Ephrata”.

Next: Where is “Bethlehem”? …. Is it the “Bethlehem”, near Nazareth? … Consider that “The City of David” (as is written in the earliest Christian texts),  Joseph’s ancestral family home, was not the City of Bethlehem, but instead:   “Bethlehem Eprata”.

Joseph Mary & Jesus

Early Christian texts clearly describe Jesus birthplace as the “City of David” or sometimes “Bethlehem Ephrata” … is not the (modern … or ancient) City of Bethlehem.   From both modern archaeology and the earliest Greek & Aramaic/Syriac sources: “Bethlehem Ephrata” is different than the “City of Bethlehem”.  The City of Bethlehem was a walled city where the wealthy people lived.

In contrast, the first century village of Bethlehem Ephrata was a very rural (but special) farm community that grew food, raised sheep & goats for the City of Bethlehem and … sacrificial lambs for the Temple. … As such, the people of the village of Bethlehem Ephrata were primarily shepherds, and the main structure in the village of Bethlehem Ephrata was known as … the  “Tower of the Flock”. which identifies Bethlehem Ephrata as the “Migdal Edar” (“Tower of the Flock”)  described in Micah 4:8. for watching over the specially born,   pens of protected unblemished lambs destined for the Temple … Bethlehem Ephrata. which is also a reference to the birthplace of the (unblemished) messiah …

Tower of the Flock

Migdal Edar – Watchtower over the sheep pens of Bethlehem Ephrata

Then note: David’s father and brothers lived in the City of Bethlehem … but David was born and grew up in the village of Bethlehem Ephrata … hence,  “The City of David”

Does it now make sense that the crowds of David’s ancestors coming to be counted in the ancestral yet tiny “City of David” … went to a small hamlet … with no “inns” nor inn-keepers  … and that the καταλυμα (kataluma)   upstairs  family-home guest room was already full of other visiting family members, when Mary & Joseph arrived?

Why upstairs vs downstairs?
The καταλυμα (kataluma) guest-room was typically upstairs (see Luke 22:11).

Doubt this? Jesus used this same Greek word καταλυμα (kataluma) in Luke 22:11’s Last Supper story to refer to an upstairs guest room. That room (from Luke 22) is now known as the Upper Room … for the Last Supper meal that Jesus ate with His disciples before His Crucifixion. … Do we really think that Jesus & the Disciples had the Last Supper in a public inn (pandocheion, πανδοχειον), paying some “innkeeper” (pandochei, πανδοχει)? or … Did they use a καταλυμα (kataluma) private home Upper Room ?

Next? … Yes, as some readers have already guessed, the room at the lowest level of a Judean hill country home at that time has been crudely translated in English as: “stable” creating images of a dirty barn … vs. the better translation as a special “stall” set aside for birthing sacrificial ~unblemished~ lambs – separate from the stable.  The manger Yatnh phat-ne  in the Septuagint, (see Proverbs 14:4) translates as either manger or …  a crib.

Fun Stuff?
If we choose science, facts & good-quality translations of early Christian texts … It was NOT a stable in American terms. … Archaeologists excavating contemporary first century Judean hill country homes discover that while the upper level served as a guest chamber,  the middle level served as the living and dining rooms, and the lowest level served as special night-time rooms … specifically stalls for our highly valued animals.

Modern archaeologists have found that these lowest rooms were often the earliest occupied part of a typical Judean hill country home = > a cave.   This lowest room was also often where the more vulnerable animals would be brought in at night to protect them from the cold, harm & theft. This lowest room was not the dirty manure filled stable we think of today – and these lowest rooms often had a special stall set aside for birthing of sacrificial lambs, to protect & keep them unblemished.

Farmhouse-Stable Sanstedt-Ehe Germany

Modern Context: While Americans & Canadians wouldn’t even think of bringing cattle into the house at night, notice instead that  clean  Germans & Austrians still have night-time animal quarters as rooms of their home.

Is the Christmas story starting to make sense now ?

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For doubters, who still want to insist that the rural hamlet of Bethlehem Ephrata, must have had an “inn”, consider that first century Palestine inns were more commonly called pandocheion, πανδοχειον… as is used in Luke 10:34’s story of the Good Samaritan who took the beaten man to the “inn” (pandocheion, πανδοχειον) and paid the “innkeeper” (pandochei, πανδοχει, v. 35) to care for the man.

Sure … People are welcome to cling to their nostalgic stories of “Inns” … and Inn Keepers saying “Go AWAY” … “No room at the Inn” … but that ignores the earliest Christian Greek & Syriac~Aramaic texts … and ignores modern archaeological results.   

Instead, we can choose archaeological results & good translations of those earliest Gospel texts … as they do make sense.

Merry Christmas !

What Santa really wants

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Dec. 19 Merida-INM’s Last Open Day for 2017 … Plan Ahead

December 5, 2017

It’s that time of year again !
Our INM visa-issuing offices close every year for the weeks spanning Christmas & New Years:
A supervisor at our Merida INM office confirmed that December 19, 2017 is INM’s last day in 2017 for accepting visa applications, processing applications, or even issuing letters allowing one to leave Mexico while your visa application is pending.

Be sure to complete everything you need by the morning of Dec. 19 – especially if you have a visa in the approval process.  Note that INM often requests at least 3 business days to prepare the document needed for people who are waiting for their visas, but need the INM document giving permission to exit Mexico, and return, while your visa application is being processed.

The supervisor continued to say the Merida INM office re-opens to the public on Jan 8, 2018.

As in the past: The annual INM office closing is just for their regional & local INM offices who process visa applications etc.   Border crossings, ports of entry (seaports & airports) continue to work normally throughout the holiday seasons.

Full details on Immigration issues at our main article:
~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

Happy Holidays,

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© Steven M. Fry

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Merida’s Next Mosquito Control “Junk Day”

November 22, 2017

Descacharrización !

Bring out your junk !
For newbies, this means you can put out your junk, crockery, plastic trash on your Merida street corner for FREE disposal … Put out your trash for pickup before Saturday Nov. 25 ~for locations south of C59 or south of Av. Jacinto Canek~
Put out your trash for pickup before Sunday Nov. 26 ~for locations NORTH of C59 or North of Av. Jacinto Canek~

Do not include organic-vegetable~vegetation yard waste.

The City of Merida offers this periodically to encourage people to clean-up ~ eliminate likely mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes … especially our yards.

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

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Mexico City Minimum Wages ~ Salario Minimo ~ Going Up Dec. 1, 2017

November 22, 2017
Despite last month’s early higher ‘predictions’ (aka rumors), the Mexican minimum wage for Mexico is increasing to only $88.36 pesos diarios.

Effective Dec. 1, 2017,  the daily salario minimo for Mexico increases just 3.9%, while inflation has been officially pegged at 6% for the previous year => Mexican workers pay is losing ground.


Next:  Note that this Mexico rate is the official value used for calculating INM Resident visa income requirements etc.

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

Average Monthly Balance of about $94,000 USD (exactly $1,767,200 pesos) at $19:1 MXN:USD for Residente Permanente … per 10/10/14 DOF Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates.

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 ($88.36 for 2018) in the Federal District, for each of the previous six months – with original and copies of original bank statement. This translates to:
about $2,100 USD (exactly $44,180 pesos  for 2018) a month of regular deposits for one Residente Permanente.

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Using Method of Monthly  Deposits of Income or Pension Receipts: (Resident Temporal)
~ Have minimum pension or salary deposits/income that is the equivalent of  Monthly income of 300 days minimum wage of the current minimum wage in the Federal District ($88.36 pesos per day for 2018) …  $26,508 pesos or about $1,400 US a month in deposits,  reported for each of the previous six months – with original and copies of original bank statement for one Residente Temporal.

Current 2018 DF general minimum wages of $88.36 MXN pesos per day, converted at the current exchange rate of 19:1 pesos to US dollars, for 300 days of wages:
~ About $1,400 USD (exactly $26,508 pesos) per month ~ in 2018 of regular Deposits ~ to qualify for Residente Temporal … per the 10/10/2014 Lineamientos for Mexican Consulates.


Residente Temporal Income or Deposits or Bank Balance Requirements for Family Members of a Mexican Citizen:
Using average minimum required monthly Account balance for 6 months: 300 days x $88.36 MW = $26,508 pesos for Residente Temporal applicants.

Using minimum required monthly pension or income: 100 days x $88.36 MW = $8,836 pesos of 2018 monthly pension income (or generic income deposits at some INM offices) for Residente Temporal applicants, documented by 6 months of Bank statements (about $470 USD @ 19:1).

Using Method of Owning Real Estate Property in Mexico: (Residente Temporal)
~ Own/have real property trustee rights, with a value equivalent to forty thousand days of general minimum wage in the Federal District, with original and copy of written proof from a Notario.   At the current $19:1 MXN:USD exchange rate, this translates to:
About $187,000 USD (exactly $3,534,400 pesos) worth of property for one Residente Temporal.

Full Details can be found at:

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© Steven M. Fry

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