Warning: I am not a lawyer or immigration facilitator and I have not confirmed the information in my post with officials of the Mexican Immigration so I could be full of what makes the grass grow green and we’re not talking about water :-O
Last year when I arrived here in San Felipe I came prepared to make Mexico my home. Soon after arriving I applied for an FM-3 visa which, at the time, was the first step in the process to become a permanent resident of Mexico. FM-3 is for retires and certain others who work in Mexico. As in all countries that allow immigration the rules, laws, and regulations are complex and the interpretations of these laws and procedures vary from office to office.
Since I obtained my FM-3 the Mexican government has made some big changes in their immigration laws. This has caused some confusion and consternation in the ex-pat community in Mexico. For one thing the amount of income needed to qualify for what is now called a Residante Temporano (which was FM3/FM2) has increased and local offices have increased it even more. The income is based on the daily minimum wage in Mexico City 64 pesos times 400 days. This is a significant increase and there will be some foreigners who will not be able to meet this new requirement. After four years with the Temporary Resident Visa one applies for the Permanent Resident card similar to the U.S. Green card. The level of income for this card is also higher; 500 days times the minimum wage in Mexico City. The advantages of the Permanent Resident Card is that one doesn’t have to apply or renew every year- after a year one can apply for Mexican Citizenship if you desire or remain here as a permanent resident.
Confused yet? Got questions? So do a lot of people who live here that are not Mexican Citizens. The rumors are flying and the answers are not coming fast so more rumors are flying. Some people who need to know about the changes are going to be blindsided when they show up to renew or apply for their visa. Nothing is the same as before, some will be pleasantly surprised others will be upset and disappointed. The warning I got from my facilitator was; ‘there is going to be a new administration this coming year in Mexico City and things could change some more”. I don’t think it would be a big change, but perhaps some the income requirements will change or some administrative processes will change.
Based on what my facilitator told me I now will have to be a Temporary Resident for 3 more years then I can apply for permanent resident. The nice thing is I have applied for all three years, this time, so no more renewals.
For more information about the rules and regulations of the new policy in Mexico I suggest going to Rolly Brook’s site and reading up on it as this issue is more complicated than I have described. http://rollybrook.com