My Immigration Experience To Date

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.

San Felipe Sunrise

San Felipe Sunrise (Photo credit: Russ May)so no more renewals. In the meantime I am studying Spanish in hopes of becoming more functional in the language of my new home country. I now have much more empathy for those that immigrate to any county, it is not an easy task and getting assimilated is an enormous task.

Categories: FM3, moving to Mexico, Retiring to Mexico | 5 Comments

Finding the Mexican Consulate in Dallas

Yesterday we decided that we would visit the Mexican Consulate and get the straight story on what was needed for the FM3 visa for retirees in Mexico. The first task was getting the proper
address. We searched the web and found an address and phone number both turned out to be wrong. We called the Consulate in Houston who also gave us a wrong number. Just by chance Samantha found another address and number, we called that number no answer. Just betting on a hunch today we took off for Dallas early and tried to find the elusive Consulate.

At first I was doubting the GPS as it was following a familiar route to Love Field. I feared we were heading there by mistake caused by the GPS going to sleep on us several times and then coming back to life with directions. But, the GPS was correct we found the building and a parking space and just like Mexico it had its guides trying to induce you to their businesses that help with all sorts of things like copying, photos, auto insurance and other services one might need in dealing with the inner workings of the Mexican Consulate. We succumbed to getting some copies and some photos that we may never use and then found the entrance to the Consulate. After a quick search of our purses and bag we were directed to the visa office for foreigners. There we met with a nice young lady that informed us about the procedure for obtaining an FM3 and clearly stated it would be easier to get one in Mexico than at this office.
So all the searching and digging and we should get it the visa in Mexico. Sigh.

We also had a mission to get the title for our car as we had just bought it two weeks ago and we are uncertain as to if the title will show up before our trip to Mexico. One needs proof of ownership to get permission to take a car into Mexico and that usually is the title. Well, we didn’t get the title. We got a letter from the DMV saying we applied for the title and we are supposed to present that at the border in place of the title unless it does appear before our trip.
I don’t get a warm fuzzy about this, I sure hope the title shows up pronto. Sigh.

Categories: FM3, titles, visas | Leave a comment

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