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Surprise Visit from Migraçion

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A web-illiterate friend had a surprise visit from Migraçion (Immigration) this week. They checked his FM3 papers and book, requested copies of same and electric bill, queried him about work, family members, number and type of rooms in the house, and said they also needed two people to testify that he was really he, right now.

They told him it was a routine, random check. After 45 minutes of questions and paperwork, they gave him an official notice in Spanish explaining the visit, wished him well, and drove off.

I've heard stories about this, and about Hacienda (taxation) popping up unexpectedly. Anyone been through this?

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Guest Gringal

This morning someone arrived at our gate, and on intercom, when I asked who it was, they said they were looking for "Spanish people". I said none here and they said adios. Wierd, si?

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Usually the process is initiated through a complaint that someone is living or working illegally. I had such a visit a few months ago and they kept looking for me as someone said I was without proper papers. Now one would think that they could check their files as they have my papers but no, I dropped by their office in Guad and showed them my papers even though they could have walked across the hall to verify that I'm legal.

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Any chance it could have been census people and not immigration?

While every government office does things differently here, it doesn't sound like census people to me. Several years ago during the last census in Cuernavaca a woman census taker came to our gate with a clipboard. She talked to my wife only. My wife told her that her husband was an American, and that her mother lives with us.

The lady asked for no ID or proofs of anything, and put a sticker on our outer wall to show that everyone in our house had been counted.

Rex

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A couple of years ago, I was visited by Immigration and there were 2 men with ID's, badges, etc. They came in the house and stayed about an hour. They asked all kinds of questions and wanted further proof that I lived here and was only here with my husband. They wanted proof that we owned our home, that we paid our taxes, utilities and other bills. They also asked for my passport and FM-2. They produced some kind of document that required my signature. It was written in Spanish but between my husband and myself, we were able to understand it in general.

I thought it was strange and after they left, we called our attorney in GDL and she said it is an occasional "verification" process that the Immigration Department conducts.

While it was a little scary and intimidating, I never heard more about it.

Valerie

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thevalerieleigh That's encouraging; I'll pass it along. It definitely was not census takers; apart from the fact that the census is done on a schedule, and not randomly, these men had the same photo ID tags mentioned, and other specific Immigration documentation, and arrived in an Immigration van, clearly marked. They produced a list of other names they were checking, and at the end, asked if he had "problems with any neighbors", apparently sniffing out potential illegals. They also left a stamped, dated, signed letter from Immigration, indicating the bylaws that allow this kind of checking.

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mexican nationals can make anonymous complaints about you to immigration. we had this happen to us--and 2 others who were doctors--by a crazy mexican wife of a friend of ours. we happened to know who it was,but the others were frightened and brought lawyers.we all had to go to guadalajara to the immigration office 2 weeks after the home visit. they were very polite and realized that this woman was lying about everything. we never heard anything more about it, and no visa renewal problems either. do you have any problems with neighbors?

thevalerieleigh That's encouraging; I'll pass it along. It definitely was not census takers; apart from the fact that the census is done on a schedule, and not randomly, these men had the same photo ID tags mentioned, and other specific Immigration documentation, and arrived in an Immigration van, clearly marked. They produced a list of other names they were checking, and at the end, asked if he had "problems with any neighbors", apparently sniffing out potential illegals. They also left a stamped, dated, signed letter from Immigration, indicating the bylaws that allow this kind of checking.

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I too have heard that these visits are most times done because of complaints that a person or persons have been working and do not have working papers. I was told that Atlas CC was heavily fined a couple of years ago for employing Gringo marshalls. All are Mexican Nationals now. I wonder how Chapala and Chula Vista Country Clubs handle this?

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I too have heard that these visits are most times done because of complaints that a person or persons have been working and do not have working papers. I was told that Atlas CC was heavily fined a couple of years ago for employing Gringo marshalls. All are Mexican Nationals now. I wonder how Chapala and Chula Vista Country Clubs handle this?

It happens in many parts of Mexico. In schools,hospitals ect. It is because of complaints or

to see if you have your working papers. I have seen it done many times and a lot of times there are people that do not have working papers.

ADRIANA

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I have read that the "next" planed census has been canceled?

No, the next planed census has not been canceled, however, the monies alloted for the census have been cut back, and the number of questions that will be asked have been reduced.

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No, the next planed census has not been canceled, however, the monies alloted for the census have been cut back, and the number of questions that will be asked have been reduced.

Can not see a major cost savings advantages of that idea..biggest cost are the people??

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Fewer questions will mean less time at each door, requiring fewer people to take the census and fewer people to process the shorter forms.

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Many of the census takers are not paid but doing their servicio social to complete their university degrees. I've had friends who have done it.

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Here in Maztlan, visits by immigration are very common, as are visits by Hacienda. I have not been visited yet, but some friends are visited every year. Here, it is not normally due to complaints, only verification. The Hacienda visits seem to be a more recent thing, brought about my the increasing numbers of foreigners renting property illegally.

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I just found this post today (1/23) and wondered how can you rent a property illegally?

Hi Peny,

The problem isn't for the renter, it is for the person who owns the property and is getting income from renting out the property.

Charlie

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Hi Peny,

The problem isn't for the renter, it is for the person who owns the property and is getting income from renting out the property.

Charlie

.....and not reporting that income to Hacienda.

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So, when the owner doesn't declare his income from the property he's in trouble. Seems like if the tenant tried to apply for his FM whatever, the govn't could trace the owner of the property? Very confusing.

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So, when the owner doesn't declare his income from the property he's in trouble. Seems like if the tenant tried to apply for his FM whatever, the govn't could trace the owner of the property? Very confusing.

They do attempt to do that sometimes, a year ago that was happening, but maybe just like NOB, two different agencies don't talk to each other.

Last year when this was going around I specifically asked the rental agency if they were taking care of that for my owners as they are out of country, at that time some people getting FM's were being asked to get owner ID's and that would be very difficult in my case.

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Usually the process is initiated through a complaint that someone is living or working illegally. I had such a visit a few months ago and they kept looking for me as someone said I was without proper papers. Now one would think that they could check their files as they have my papers but no, I dropped by their office in Guad and showed them my papers even though they could have walked across the hall to verify that I'm legal.

So how can one have an FM3 for a student and also actividades lucrativas?

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Thanks Saxet. That makes sense. NOB has designations or zoning such as single family or multiple family residences.

You almost have to go door to door to prove anything illegal. "Nosy neighbors" are also very helpful.

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So, when the owner doesn't declare his income from the property he's in trouble. Seems like if the tenant tried to apply for his FM whatever, the govn't could trace the owner of the property? Very confusing.

In 2008, when we renewed our FM3s, we didn't have any of the utilities in our name. We paid them, but they were all in the owner's name. Immigration required a letter from the owner stating that we lived in the house with dates and other facts. It seemed to me that Immigration may have been working with Hacienda to i.d. scofflaw landlords who were renting and not paying taxes on their earnings. We ultimately got one of the utility bills in our name and the problem went away, for this year anyway. It does seem to me that if you are going to own property in Mexico and rent it out, you should certainly pay the taxes on it. A good deal of the problem of poor services relates to how often people dodge paying taxes. So the cops and other officials end up poorly paid and supplement their incomes with bribes or other forms of graft. And on and on.

Of course, I'm sure that all of us on this board pay all the taxes we owe in Mexico.

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Guest shelley

Hi Peny,

The problem isn't for the renter, it is for the person who owns the property and is getting income from renting out the property.

Charlie

I don't think that is 100% true - I read somewhere a few months ago, but don't remember where, that if the owner is not a resident, the tenant is to withhold tax from the rent payment. Or something to that effect. Sorry I don't remember where I read it.

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