Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Permission Granted

I've been granted permission to live in Mexico as a rentista for another year. This is my third renewal on my FM-3 visa. The original FM-3 was easy. I had a list of what was needed and I took the papers to the Mexican Consulate in Houston one day, paid my fees and came back the next day to pick up my FM-3. It would seem that renewing an existing FM-3 in Mexico would be easy too..............

Well, it isn't hard but you sure can't do it in one or two trips to the Immigration Office. So it has become a business for some of the bi-lingual Mexican people in San Miguel to do the renewals and take care of other visa issues with the Immigration Office here for lots of us gringos who don't appreciate the Mexican adventure of it all.

First of all, you can not apply for a renewal until 30 days before your FM-3 expires. Then you must have copies of EVERY page in your passport and your FM-3. Next it is off to the clerical offices around the Immigration office to have your paperwork typed up. Notice I said typed a typewriter where you can insert multiply sheets of paper with carbon paper in between. After all that paper work is done, you take it to a bank to wait in line and pay the required fees for the FM-3.

The next thing that you need is a Letter of Solvency notarized by the US Consulate. Until recently we had a full time Consul in San Miguel. You could take in your last three bank statements proving that you have sufficient income on one day and the next day you could go back and pick up the letter. But our Consul has retired and now someone from the Embassy in Mexico City comes over once a week. You need to make an appointment two weeks in advance to see her. In the past the Secretary at the Consulate would type the letter that was to be notarized but now they give you a copy and you type your own letter.....but you still pay the same fee. So you have been to the Consul to get the copy of the letter that has to be typed and to make an appointment and now you go back to see the Consul from Mexico City and swear that your bank statements are correct and you have the required funds. She notarizes the letter. Now it gets easier. You take all of that to the Immigration Office, take a number and wait to see an Officer. Some days there are a lot of people waiting. He takes your paperwork and your FM-3 and tells you to return in 10 days. All of this is accompanied with much rubber stamping on just about every page of the paper work. Ten-days later you return and take a number and wait to see the Officer to pick up your renewed FM-3.

It is always an adventure but I'm a legal rentista for another 12 months.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being legal for another year ;-) That little book is a good feeling for sure ;-) We are getting ready to do all this again for Anita and the first for me - oh boy!


Brenda said...

I am looking into getting my FM3 here in Canada before returning to Mexico. The fellow here told me that I cannot apply for it until 60 days prior to my return to Mexico, otherwise they will not accept it at the border. As we are not sure of our return date yet, that is on hold for awhile.