Saturday, February 27, 2010

Staying Legal in Mexico

It is that time of year again....time to renew my FM3. Changes are happening in Migracion and they are for the better. Some of them do not take place until May but already procedures are getting streamlined.

We do our renewals ourselves although there are a lot of the ex-pats here in San Miguel who hire someone to do it for them. Sometimes we are amazed at what they pay to have someone go do it when really the procedure is simple.

How simple is it? First you go to the escritorio across the street from the Migracion office. Take your passport, FM3, and three months of bank statements. The excritorio makes the copies and types up the forms and the "invoice" for the cost of the FM3 to take to the bank to pay your FM3 fee. Some of the forms are on the computer but there is still one form that has to be typed on an old-fashioned typewriter with carbon paper. We took the papers and drove to a bank on the edge of town and paid the fee. Then we drove back to the Migracion office and turned in the papers. There was no one ahead of me so we didn't have to wait. I did have to run across the street for two more copies of the invoice stamped "paid" by the bank.  I came back to the Migracion office, signed some papers, the Migracion officer finished stamping all the papers and handed me a letter to use as my FM3 until I have the renewed one back. But here is the amazing news. I can pick up the FM3 on Tuesday, just 5 days after I turned in my paperwork. Last year it was 10 days, this year 5 days. Big improvement in efficiency.

How long did all this take? One hour. And that included our travel time to and from the bank which was through a construction zone with detours and only two lanes of traffic.

In just a few more days, I'll be legally in Mexico for another year.

UPDATE: If you want to know more about the changes in immigration take a look at the February 25 entry in Carol's Blog


Calypso said...

Amiga - we got Anita's FM3 renewal in about 20 minutes and a return visit to pick the book up. However it should be noted first time application is quite a bit more difficult than a renewal.


Steve Cotton said...

Good news. Mine is due in mid-April. I am interested if the Manzanillo process will be as simple as yours.

Suzanne said...

In December, we renewed ours and the escritorio, for 65 pesos, took our money to the bank while they were typing up the papers. We were done with everything including walking it over to immigration in about 1.5 hours.

Alfredo said...


What is the difference between an expatriate and an immigrant? Could it be the social status in society? In other words, immigrant is poor and expatriate rich? It is just interesting how that works. Good for you guys to be able to get legal... millions in the U.S. can't even dream of that.

Best regards,


Heather said...

Congratulations! It's the same thing with requesting a reduction in your property assessment to lower your property taxes around here. There are lots of lawyers that charge to do it, but to do it yourself it's free and doesn't take very long. We did it a few years ago, but we're going to do it again this year. The real estate prices around here have really dropped.