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  1. My Husband just crossed the border at Nogales. It was early Tuesday morning, and he said that exiting the car at aduana, it took 45 minutes to get to the front of the line. He says he’s never seen so many US vehicles exiting; trailers pulling cars, boats, cars and boats on the same trailer , US plate after US plate. He went to the global exit lane and said it took an hour just to get to that lane. Seems to be a mass exit. Are people afraid to keep their cars in Mexico because of a border closing?
  2. I discovered to my horror that I was 4 days late for renewing my temporary resident Visa. I rushed to immigration in Chapala and was told that all I could do was either return to the US A and start all over again or go through a very lengthy paper process in Mexico. The woman at immigration suggested I go back to the States as it would be easier. I really cannot go back to the States for a number of personal reasons, including that someone I care about very much really needs my help right now. I have read through all of the information on this topic and cannot locate an answer to the following questions: Has anyone been through this situation recently and, if so, how did you resolve it? Is working with a lawyer to get one's Visa back on track expensive? If so how expensive? If one goes for the return to the United States option, how long would it take at a local consulate to file for a resolution of this problem? What is the punishment if a person is caught with an expired Visa? Does this lead to deportation, incarceration, a fine, and or the inability to leave Mexico and then return at some point in the future? Before I see a lawyer for help, I want to be as informed as possible Thanks for any information you can provide.
  3. Regularization (Amnesty) Program for people illegally in Mexico for 2017 On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 the amnesty program of 2015 will be brought back for the year 2017 and will apply from January 9, 2017 until December 19, 2017. The first publication about the program was made in the Daily Federal Register on January 12, 2015 and lasted until December 18, 2015. We saw how the National Immigration Institute applied the prior amnesty law so we now know their slight nuances as compared to the text of the law published. This program mentions nothing about paying fines nor having to show income to qualify. Here is the 2017 publication in plain English ASSUMPTIONS (Art. 2) The present program applies to foreigners who entered Mexico before January 9, 2015 and on January 09, 2017 find themselves living in the country with an irregular immigration status. The aforementioned is when the foreigner does not fall into one of the following situations: -Have a pending immigration request except those expressly canceled in order to participate in this program. -Are in the process of an assisted return procedure or deportation -Given false information or false documents to Immigration or authentic documents obtained fraudulently. -People deported with reentry restrictions -People with pending criminal charges or a criminal record -People who compromise national security due to past criminal records -People subject to express prohibitions dictated by a competent authority -Having not complied with a deportation order during the program period -Having been illegally in the country after January 9, 2017. -Anything else covered by the Immigration law and its regulations. In the cases of V and VI the authority will weigh the corresponding resolution attending to the principles of social redapatation as well as those relative to family reunification. REQUIREMENTS (Art. 3) Foreigners requesting their regularization per this program need to present the following in original and copy: Immigration request form Request letter stating desire to participate in program and explaining how they became illegally in the country. Passport Immigration document (in the event the person had one) One of the following documents that proves their residence in the country prior to January 9, 2015: -Airline tickets -Passport with entry stamp -Immigration document (in case the person was regular in Mexico) -Utility bills (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility) -Medical file, school records or rental contracts -Any other document issued by a public agency that shows the requestor has resided in Mexico or -Declaration signed by two people who know the person and state they have lived in the country -for the time required. The documents can be in the name of the person or their children, partner or spousal figure. Documents that prove their current residence (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility). Payment of regularization fees (fees can be waived in certain situations) Copies of ID of people authorized to present papers. PROCEDURE (Art. 4) The procedure for the person requesting the regularization of their immigration status is the following: Present documents at Immigration as mentioned prior where they will have a hearing on the spot or set the date for a future hearing. The future date shall not be more than 10 business days after the papers are turned in. They will make a written record of the hearing and go over all the paperwork presented. Immigration then has 30 days to give a response. If the response is positive then they shall issue a temporary resident document good for four years. Once the person has the document they may request work permission as well as documents for family members. For the issuance of the document the person will need the original positive resolution and a copy, 2 copies of the format basico, 3 photos, payment of fees. Immigration may not arrest anybody who applies for the program due to their irregular status.
  4. A client just informed me that he was turned away at the Laredo, Texas Mexican consulate because he didnt have an appointment and that they said the visa process now takes 3 days. This seems to be a drastic change from before. Has anybody else experienced this?
  5. Last month, June 2015, immigration circulated an internal update to their offices with changes to how they would treat renewals for people who have work permits. There was no change in the current immigration law or its regulations. This change was made at the whim of higher-ups in immigration. This change will apply to people who did not originally enter Mexico with an offer of employment work visa and will only apply to those who entered with a regular temporary visa and who later changed to a visa with permission to work. People renewing work visas obtained which were changed from temporary visas will be required to submit bank statements to prove that they either have income from outside Mexico or savings that meet the published Residente Temporal guidelines (400 times minimum wage or 28.040 pesos for income or 20,000 minimum wage or 1,402,000 pesos in assets. This makes no sense as one who is working in Mexico will not have income from another job outside Mexico. Also, the income limits are different for applications within and outside Mexico as outside the limits are less. Which income / asset standard will they apply? What is one qualified at the consulate for a lesser amount and now within the country they need to show a higher amount? To be clear, the law and procedure manual published on November 8, 2012 still states in Article 34 that for renewals one only needs to present a letter showing the person still has the same job and how long the job lasts. No other type of renewal visa asks for income documentation to be submitted. The only time a person needs to submit income documentation is if they renew late (regularizacion) or they change the condition of stay (cambio de condicion de estancia) to one where income / assets need to be proven. I am confident that we can win this on appeal or federal lawsuit but that is extra time and money and while we are on appeal they will not allow you to travel unless we file an amparo so you need to plan to be stuck in Mexico for a while. The first administrative appeal can take 4 to 6 months from the time you are denied until we receive a resolution and if we need to file a federal suit in the administrative tribunal (TFJFA) it can be another year extra until you get things back to normal. Those of you out there who are in this situation would be advised to save your money and plan accordingly so you will not have problems when it is time to renew. Lic. Spencer Richard Mc Mullen is an attorney and official court translator who has offices in Chapala and Guadalajara and specializes in immigration and administrative law and has litigated in all courts and wins his cases. Lic. Spencer may be reached at 376-765-7553 Chapala / Guadalajara (33)1592-3801 www.chapalalaw.com
  6. 2015 Immigration Government fees (Attorney / Facilitator Fees Extra): Temporal 1 year $3,519 pesos 2 years $5,272 pesos 3 years $6,678 pesos 4 years $7,914 pesos Regularization Fee (Plus fines) $1,124 pesos Change fee to change up from tourist to temporary or tourist / temporary to permanent $1,124 pesos ​Permanent Fee (2nd Fee) $4,289 pesos Work permission fee (change for temporary) $2,642 pesos Lost / Stolen / Damaged Document Replace​ment Fee $1,083 pesos Permission to leave while document in process (Travel Letter) $360 pesos As of Dec. 30, 2014 published today in the DOF http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5377721&fecha=30/12/2014
  7. I have a friend who is interested in moving to Mexico. She has $1100 from social security and $1,000 from a house she rents. Does anyone know whether this is enough and what she has to show to prove the income? Thank you.
  8. HUGE Changes today (10 Oct 2014) to Mexican immigration law These changes apply to visas issued at Mexican consulates outside Mexico. I am assuming that there will be a publication soon applicable to people renewing within Mexico to harmonize the new lower financial requirements. Reduced income requirements for temporary residence, new income / asset requirements: Balances in bank 5,000 days minimum wage (67.29 pesos) $336,450 pesos or $25,164US, down from old minimum of 20,000 days minimum wage or $1,345,800 pesos or $100,658US at todays exchange rate. Monthly income 300 days minimum wage (67.29 pesos) $20,187 pesos or $1,510US down from old minimum of 400 days or $26,916 pesos or $2,013US 1. Original y copia de comprobante de inversiones o cuentas bancarias con saldo promedio mensual equivalente a cinco mil días de salario mínimo general vigente en el Distrito Federal, durante los últimos doce meses; o 2. Original y copia de los documentos que demuestren que cuenta con empleo o pensión con ingresos mensuales libres de gravámenes mayores al equivalente de trescientos días de salario mínimo general vigente en el Distrito Federal, durante los últimos seis meses. Permanent residents have same income requirements but lower asset requirements: Balances in bank 20,000 days minimum wage (67.29 pesos) $1,345,800 pesos or $100,658US down from old requirement of 25,000 days minimum wage or $1,682,250 pesos or $125,822US using todays exchange rate. Presentar los documentos que acrediten alguno de los siguientes supuestos: a. Jubilados o pensionados: 1. Original y copia de comprobante de inversiones o cuentas bancarias con saldo promedio mensual equivalente a veinte mil días de salario mínimo general vigente en el Distrito Federal, durante los últimos doce meses, o 2. Original y copia de los documentos que demuestren que cuenta con pensión con ingresos mensuales libres de gravámenes mayores al equivalente de quinientos días de salario mínimo general vigente en el Distrito Federal, durante los últimos seis meses. These changes should allow more foreigners to enter as temporary residents and start a small business as one needs their immigration document to be able to get CURP and RFC numbers to be able to set up a business. The changes also talk about requiring apostilles and translations for documents used at consulates but then also mentions the point system for permanentes so hopefully they publish it soon. Another publication should be forthcoming to integrate the changes published for the consulates for the practices with Mexico by immigration so that those within Mexico can take advantage of the new lower limits. The changes were published in the Diario Oficial today, Friday October 10, 2014 and take effect 5 business days after publication, Friday October 17, 2014 http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_to_doc.php?codnota=5363602
  9. If you lose your Mexican immigration card outside Mexico you need a special visa to enter Mexico, if you enter as a tourist then they will cancel your old temporary or permanent. You need a police report, photo, passport and payment of a small fee. I have been fighting with many Mexican consulates as they do not know what to do, I have made a sheet from their own manual telling them how to help foreigners in this situation, if you need it, print this file and bring it with you to avoid suffering consequences in Mexico for their bad advice. File is here http://www.chapalalaw.com/RoboExtravioVisa.pdf
  10. So we learned of a new policy today with regard to people who have lived in Mexico for years and who are at present with a residente temporal document. Before the local office was not honoring prior years on FM2 and FM3 to count towards the 4 years to be permanent unless the renewal number was reflected on the current immigration card. Then recently the new format of the cards does not have the renewal number on them. Today we attempted to do a 2 year temporal renewal of someone who had a 1 on the back or their card and they did not accept the renewal saying that they are now doing a search of all prior years and people who have been here 4 years will be required to go permanent. People will need to review their prior years and history with immigration prior to applying for renewals or you may find they will not accept your temporary renewal and then you will have a fine time getting your money back from the bank. Kind of funny as today we were notified that we won an immigration appeal for someone who has lived here many years and they failed to count prior years for him to jump to permanent without financials even though we included copies of the prior documents. Go figure! This is good news for some but for others is little time to prepare for disposing of their cars in short order.
  11. Anyone selling who is worried about capital gains and where the notary is requiring them to be a Residente Permanente may want to share the following information with the notary, this was published today and should work for temporales to avoid capital gains as the law mentions a presumption that foreigners that sell their homes in Mexico are residents for tax purposes when they comply with the following: I. Declare under penalty of perjury a) That they are residents in Mexico for tax purposes (Here article 9 of the tax code says you are a resident if you have no home in another country but if you do then you would need Mexico to be the center of your interests and would need 50% of our income to come from here). So reading this I can see why if someone has 2 homes the notary would want them to be permanent or have working papers if temporary but not if they only have one home. Their tax home, or if you don't have one an address to receive notifications. The address can never be the property being sold. II. Additionally prove their condition as a resident of Mexico. This requirement is met with a certificate of tax residence (which we can get for you from the SAT office) or RFC sheet you get online with your CURP. Here is the text from the publication today in the DOF http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5336743&fecha=13/03/2014 Condición para acreditar que las personas físicas de nacionalidad extranjera que enajenan su casa habitación son residentes en México para efectos fiscales I.3.10.13. Para los efectos de los artículos 93, fracción XIX, inciso a) de la Ley del ISR y 9, fracción I, inciso a) del CFF, se presumirá, salvo prueba en contrario, que las personas físicas de nacionalidad extranjera que enajenan su casa habitación son residentes en México para efectos fiscales, cuando se cumplan los siguientes requisitos: I. Declaren, bajo protesta de decir verdad, lo siguiente: a) Que tienen la condición de residentes en México para efectos fiscales, en los términos del artículo 9, fracción I del CFF y, en su caso, de los tratados para evitar la doble tributación que México tiene en vigor. Su domicilio fiscal o, en su defecto, un domicilio para oír y recibir notificaciones. En ningún caso el domicilio señalado podrá ser o encontrarse en la casa habitación que enajenan. ............................................................................................................................................................................................. II. Adicionalmente a lo anterior, acrediten su condición de residente en México. Para tales efectos, se considerará que se acredita dicha condición con la constancia de residencia para efectos fiscales a que se refiere la regla II.2.1.4., o en su defecto, con la cédula de identificación fiscal referida en la regla I.2.4.2. I.2.4.2. Para los efectos del artículo 27, décimo segundo párrafo del CFF la cédula de identificación fiscal, así como la constancia de registro en el RFC, son las contenidas en el Anexo 1, rubro B, numerales 1, 1.1. y 2. ............................................................................................................................................................................................. Cuando la persona física que enajena su casa habitación no sea residente para efectos fiscales en México o no sea residente para efectos fiscales en el extranjero con establecimiento permanente en el país, no será aplicable la exención establecida en el artículo 93, fracción XIX, inciso a) de la Ley del ISR. En este supuesto, los fedatarios públicos, que por disposición legal tengan funciones notariales, estarán a lo dispuesto por el artículo 26, fracción I del CFF, respecto de la enajenación de que se trate, debiendo calcular y enterar el impuesto en los términos de lo previsto en el artículo 160 de la Ley del ISR. CFF 9, 26, LISR 93, 155, RCFF 5, RLISR 130, RMF 2014 I.2.4.2., I.3.10.6., II.2.1.4.
  12. So there is good news and bad news. Immigration fees are rising a bit for 2014, that is the bad news, the good news is that for those of you who have the misfortune of losing your temporal or permanente document, the replacement fee is only $1,040 pesos instead of the full fee for the time you requested originally. New 2014 fees: Temporal 1 year $3,243 pesos 2 years $4,559 pesos 3 years $6,154 pesos 4 years $7,294 pesos Regularization $1,036 pesos Permanent Study fee $1,036 pesos Fee $3,953 pesos Also the laws published today refer to new guidelines for payment forms so be sure to check before using an old payment form.
  13. So I have been reviewing the new tax reforms and in it is a specific mention of who can drive foreign plated cars, this coincides with what we have been told verbally although should clarify where aduana has rejected car extensions for temporales with working papers, the new Article 106 mentions temporales being able to have their cars and extend their permits as well as tourists but doesn't mention residente permanentes. Here is the text Artículo 106. ……………………………………………………………………………… IV. Por el plazo que dure su condición de estancia, incluyendo sus renovaciones, en los términos y condiciones que establezca el Servicio de Administración Tributaria mediante reglas, en los siguientes casos: a) Las de vehículos propiedad de extranjeros que se internen al país, con la condición de estancia de visitante y residente temporal, siempre que se trate de un solo vehículo. Article 61 specifically mentions menaje de casa and residente permanentes and specifically excludes their cars from being here without importing them and paying taxes Artículo 61. ……………………………………………………………………………… VII. Los menajes de casa pertenecientes a residentes permanentes y a nacionales repatriados o deportados, que los mismos hayan usado durante su residencia en el extranjero, así como los instrumentos científicos y las herramientas cuando sean de profesionales y las herramientas de obreros y artesanos, siempre que se cumpla con los plazos y las formalidades que señale el Reglamento. No quedan comprendidos en la presente exención las mercancías que los interesados hayan tenido en el extranjero para actividades comerciales o industriales, ni los vehículos. Here further along they talk about canceling permisions for vehicle importations to anybody not tourist or temporal Artículo 175-A. El Servicio de Administración Tributaria podrá cancelar las autorizaciones otorgadas... ... Artículo 182. ……………………………………………………………………………… III. Importen temporalmente vehículos sin tener alguna de las condiciones de estancia señaladas en el inciso a) de la fracción IV del artículo 106 de esta Ley;
  14. I was at a hearing in immigration today and they told me that they will be manufacturing cards now in Guadalajara and foreigners will receive them within 2 to 3 days after doing their fingerprints.
  15. Mexico Changes Regulations to its Nationality Law By Lic. Spencer Richard McMullen, attorney and official Jalisco State Court translator Today (November 25, 2013) Mexico published in the Official Federal Gazette (D.O.F) changes to correspond with the changes in the new immigration law. The new immigration law was published May 25, 2011, but did not take effect until after the regulations to the law were published on September 28, 2012 (both to take effect November 9, 2012, per the regulations). The changes affected other laws such as the Nationality Law, and repealed certain portions of the Population Law, such as requiring foreigners to pay for permission to marry or divorce. The changes in the new immigration law eliminated the immigration statuses of No Inmigrante, Inmigrante, and Inmigrado, and replaced them with Visitante, Residente Temporal, and Residente Permanente conditions of stay. For people who seek to become citizens of Mexico, these changes are important as they clarify uncertainty in the relationship between the two laws, although it will be interesting to see how it is implemented. The changes state that the Secretary of Exterior Relations will start to count the time on the new documents from the date the new immigration law took effect. So, most people with existing immigration documents will already have one year under their belt to count toward citizenship. Under the prior regulations to the Nationality Law and the current law, in order for time to count toward citizenship requirements, one must have resided in Mexico for a period of two to five years, as well as held a specific type of immigration document during that time period. The time period is 5 years for those who wish to acquire citizenship by virtue of residence in Mexico, and as little as two years for those with a Mexican spouse (same sex couples included) or those who were born in a Latin American country. The key here is the specific type of immigration document needed in order to count the two or five year period. Up to and until today, the document was Inmigrante (FM2) or Inmigrado. Many years ago this was not an issue, and people could count time on an FM2 or FM3 as well as inmigrado to be able to meet the requirement. The confusion began with the implementation of the new immigration law where the FM2 (Inmigrante) and FM3 (No Inmigrante) were made equivalent to the new Residente Temporal, and the old Inmigrado was made equivalent to the new Residente Permanente. More doubt existed when the rules to become a citizen referred to documents that no longer existed: and if the FM2 and FM3 were equivalent to Residente Temporal, and time on FM2 counted but FM3 did not, how would they handle that? The changes now clarify the position of the SRE (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores), and, in my opinion, makes it easier for certain people to become citizens, as some people may only qualify to be Temporary Residents due to income or by choice (in order to be able to drive their foreign plated cars). Now (well, starting November 2012), their time as Residente Temporal will count toward the two or five years necessary to become citizens. Lic. Spencer Richard McMullen, Cédula Federal # 7928026, Perito Traductor Folio 641 Original publication in the DOF http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5323146&fecha=25/11/2013
  16. We have been informed of some changes to immigration procedures: Chapala will now want to see original passports with all immigration applications They want ALL pages of bank statements translated, it doesn't matter if all the goodies show on page 1, they are now asking for all pages. And this is on top of making people go to Guadalajara to pick up their new cards, they said they might send batches over or allow people with special circumstances have someone else pick them up, shall we document this by having granny flip them the bird while seated in her wheelchair?
  17. As of today the head of immigration in Guadalajara is no longer allowing facilitators or attorneys to pick up their client´s immigration cards and is requiring clients to go personally and pick them up.
  18. We have been in the process of getting refunds for people whose car permits were erroneously canceled as well as those where aduana messed up. Today we called aduana in Mexico City and they mentioned that they have just revised their rules and we imagine they will publish them soon to clarify the new immigration laws in relation to the aduana vehicle laws. They told us that temporary residents will be able to have cars, let's wait for the publication but it should be soon.
  19. The only people that should enter Mexico as tourists are those who want to leave in 180 days. Immigration is checking and cross referencing and the law states that if you enter or exit as a tourist then you will have your temporal or permanente canceled. Why would people who have one of these documents risk losing everything including all the time and money spent? Some commons reasons: Ignorance about having to show their travel letter (or needing one when traveling while papers in process). Being too cheap to pay for a travel letter Not showing their visa sticker from the consulate in their passport upon arriving in Mexico. Having an ignorant immigration agent who thinks all foreigners are tourists and who tells you to sort out any problems at immigration NEVER leave the immigration counter if you were given a tourist visa and you are not a tourist, they will try to get rid of you but once you leave then you are stuck and risk losing everything. If your FMM form says 180 days then they marked you as a tourist. If you get a visa from a consulate and enter Mexico your FMM form will give you 30 days. Once you leave they will assume that you did wrong, not them and they will cancel your document. People with travel letters need to get both entry and exit stamps on the travel letter, show it at all times and do not let them take it. People whose document expired while outside Mexico may enter within 55 days of expiration and MUST show their expired document and not get a tourist card then apply for renewal within 5 days. A new trick is to call people into immigration and deny them the right to an attorney or translator and then trick them into confessing that they entered wrong and have them sign a form all in Spanish, demand your right to an attorney or translator and NEVER accept blame for mistakes done by immigration.
  20. So to let you all know, today we were informed that immigration has changed their policy and will now only allow people who get the preauthorization at the consulate for resident temporal to swap that for a card good for one year. Previously you could choose from one to four years. I couldn't believe it and checked the written instructions we had and compared them with INM web site and yes they changed their policy / stance and if you have a temporal from the Mexican consulate then you can only get a temporal card here for one year.
  21. I checked with a notary today after being informed by someone that the notaries will accept the residente temporal immigration document to avoid the payment of capital gains on the sale of your primary home and not require the residente permanente document as they were requiring before. I was told that many local notarios are on board and personally confirmed this with Macias, notary #5.
  22. Nothing has been officially published but lots of speculation and rumor. The only official letters come out of aduana in Mexico City so I had my law student employee call the department at aduana in Mexico City that deals with foreign plated cars. No new rules published yet but they told her that temporal can keep foreign plated cars and permanente must return their foreign plated cars to the border. So it looks like they are treating temporal like FM2 and FM3 and permanente like inmigrado which is how immigration was making them equivalent to. Here is what she wrote me: Spencer, Ya hable a aduana y me dicen que ellos no han recibido nada relacionado con el mismo pero me dicen que están aplicándolo de la siguiente manera> Los únicos que aplican son los turistas y los residentes temporales, y se maneja de la misma manera (dando avisos de la renovación y así...). Y que los Residentes Permanentes deben regresar el vehículo al extranjero, haciendo el trámite de cancelación para el regreso de la garantía y me dio este link http://www.aduanas.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2012/descargas/vehiculos/Manual_importacion_temporal_vehiculos.pdf y eso fue todo. Me dijo que desafortunadamente Secretaría de Gobernación no ha proporcionado información y por lo mismo no se han hecho las modificaciones.
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