Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mexican Immigration Takes Big Step Forward

We have been doing the FM2/FM3 thing for eight or nine years. Thanks to Ned, we have been doing them on our own. Sometimes it has taken more than one trip to get all the right paper work turned in. And I do mean paperwork....copies of every page of the passport and old FM2 or FM3, copies of bank statements or something to prove that you had a sufficient income level, a utility bill to verify where you live and so on. Most of the time it has been smooth even if three to five weeks slow. Last year everything speeded up. We were down to being able to get the FM2 and FM3 back in a week to 10 days. But the immigration procedure changed big-time this year and Ned just renewed his FM2. WOW! Let me walk you through Ned's FM2 renewal.

The old booklet has been replaced with a laminated card so he had to get a picture made for it. Since he was going to be at the escritorio for the picture, he just let the excritorio fill out the form for him but he could have done that on-line. By the way, Immigration is very particular about your photograph. No smile, no hair on the face, no earrings....just the unglamourized, unretouched YOU.

He got the voucher to make the bank payment and went to the bank and paid the fee.

Came back to Immigration and turned in the pictures, the form and paid voucher. If he had done the form on the computer all he would have had to do was take the pictures and paid voucher. He also took his passport. The agent looked at it but handed it back to him.

The agent gave him a piece of paper that had a tracking number on it so he could go on line and see the progress of his application. And he told him the FM2 would be ready on Wednesday. It wasn't ready on Wednesday but it was on Thursday.

Ned showed his passport, and gave them a fingerprint when he went to pick up his FM2 on Thursday. Now he is good for another year and then he will be eligible for inmigrado status or apply for Mexican citizenship.

How easy is that? Turn it in on Monday, check on the progress on-line and pick it up on Thursday. Just one little problem with the card....it is slightly larger than a credit card so it doesn't fit in a wallet.

Now there is one thing I wonder about. On the old FM2 booklet it was stamped everytime you left and returned to Mexico because, you are not suppose to be out of the country more than 18 months during the five years you hold an FM2. I don't know how they would ever be able to match up all the dates because some were very faint, some were stamped over others. I think it would have taken me all morning to go through Ned's FM2 booklet and figure out how long he had been out of the country in the last four years. So did they do that and is that information stored on the card or in a computer somewhere? For the last two or three years they have been scanning the FM2 and FM3s when we come and go so maybe they were already storing that information. I don't know but this I do know, Mexican Immigration is becoming very computerized.


Jonna said...

I too was really impressed with the new system. Worked flawlessly, except I go the wrong size pics the first time.

Oh, I took some scissors to mine and now it fits in my wallet. shhhhh.....

Dan in NC said...

Billie, sounds that now it is sooooooo simple to renew the FM3/2's that a few "fixers" are going to be looking for additional sources of income! I intend to apply for an FM3 on my next visit, and between reading comments on the process from Merida, Chapala, Patz, and Rollie's resources,and your latest explanation, it should be a snap! Thanks for the info! BTW - if the new card has a "bar code" on it - you can bet bucks to bippies that every swipe will be recorded somewhere!
Dan in NC

jennifer rose said...

I think that a that a person with Ned's status would have to apply for inmigrado status first, and while that's pending, he would apply for Mexican citizenship. While the citizenship process is in the work, the foreigner would have to have to maintain his immigration status (which would be inmigrado), and then, once the carta de naturalizacion is issued, he would relinquish his inmigrado status. If he doesn't apply for inmigrado status, he's a man without status -- and not exactly legally in the country. Yes, that does mean forking over the money for the inmigrado application. NMI and SRE are two different agencies, the former under Gobernacion and the latter under Relaciones Exteriores. In any event, this opinion is only worth what you've paid for it.

NMI will scan the new cards, but I'd still recommend holding on to boarding passes and other indicia of your exits and entries into the country.

AnaVar said...

There must be some database. I believe those stamps are just for your own control.

Gloria said...

Hi Billie. Just popped in to say hi and see how you and yours are doing. Hope everything is okay. A bloggie friend Stephanie of http://rodrigvitzstyle.typepad.com is headed out to San Miguel de Allende for the Dia de los Muertos events. She is totally looking forward to it. How exciting that must be. I know you post about it every year. I look forward to reading your post if you do post about it this year. Take care and hope all is well.