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pedro malo

FM3 Questions, Renewal, Etc.

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Hello Everyone!

Have questions regarding my new FM3. My understanding is that the FM3 is only for 5 years. What does one do after that period if not yet eligible for FM2 or Mexican Citizenship? Can the FM3 be applied for again or extended beyond 5 years? Can one live indefinitely on the FM3?

Also, my FM3 will be expiring in Feb. 2013. How fast can I get it renewed? How many days before expiration date would I need to reapply/renew to be able to get it back as soon as possible. Only have a limited vacation time Lakeside next year to get this done in. Anyone out there recommend someone that could expedite this for me? Had the FM3 issued by the office in Chapala originally. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

From reading posts here, Spencer seems to be the man that knows. Hopefully this post will fall within his "eye shot".

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their experience and expertise!

pedro malo

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To my understanding the new 2012 rules have made one form out of the previous FM3 and FM2, and the term FM3 will be eliminated, so now you will be able to pay for up to 4 years at once on the "new FM2," but....even though the law is on the books, the rules have not been implemented yet at ground level, so it's still business as ususal, renewing the old style FM3 yearly until Spencer tells us they've started implementing the new rules. I'd check monthly for posts concerning this changeover.

As of now you can renew your FM3/2 starting up to 30 days in advance of its expiration. You can get your pics in advance at Farmacia Guadalajara for $50 pesos. Make sure they're using photo paper as other types will run when laminated and won't be accepted. If Spencer facilitates it for you, he'll tell you how to proceed with him handling your paperwork and when you'll need to personally appear with the facilitator at the office to pick up the card in that period of 4 weeks.

If you do it yourself with just a paperwork facilitator for the application, I use Maria Elena at the Papelería in San Antonio Tlay for $100 pesos, you'll need to plan on being here about 6-10 days to give her the info, pick up the completed form the next day, pay at the bank, turn in your paperwork, and wait for the website notice to go pick up the card and be fingerprinted. I did mine on a Friday and it was ready the following Thursday. If you go to the office first thing in the morning, you'll wait with all the other eager people plus at least one agent will be occupied with taking care of the facilitators with their files of multiple requests. I went closer to closing time around noon and lucked out, walked right in and up to the counter.

Just my experience, others have posted other experiences frought with frustration. Expect the unexpected which in my case was breezing in and out both times.

When renewing the new FM2 after at the fifth year, you'll need to show proof of income again. My understanding is that this new FM2 continues on after the 5th year unless you want to apply for another status, but by then the rules could have changed again.

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My understanding is that you cannot renew your FM2 after 5 years, you either become an inmigrado or you have to revert to FM3. This was the way it has been, did it change?

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You may be right, bmh, I searched for the info but couldn't find the right combination of words to bring up those details that I'm sure Spencer had posted some time back. Although I did think that the term FM3 was being eliminated and the previous restrictions on the FM2 relaxed as to limits of time out of the country, foreign plated car ownership, etc. Do those restrictions make inmigrado status unfavorable for some so they'd want to revert to whatever lesser status is available?

Hopefully Spencer can post the details again and enlighten us.

The only reason I know of why someone would keep up an FM3 while not living here full time would be to sell property or have plans to be here in a few years and not want to start over if they'd done it once and then had to leave for some reason. I do know of one guy from Argentina who comes up yearly for a month vacation just to renew his FM3 and check on his house.

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My understanding is that you cannot renew your FM2 after 5 years, you either become an inmigrado or you have to revert to FM3. This was the way it has been, did it change?

You are right at same time the OP was asking about FM-3 renewal.

To the OP with changes pending anything is possible closer to your arrival.

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By the time your FM3 expires, likely we'll have a whole new set of regulations. Under the current setup, you can chose to remain FM3 after the first 5 years, you just have to apply for the Year 6 renewal like it was a new application.

The speculation was that the new regulations implementing the now nearly a year old law change would emerge after the election.

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Under current rules, you may skip the FM3 No Inmigrante visa and go to the FM2 Inmigrante visa at any time you wish. After five years on the latter, you apply for Inmigrado and will have no further need to deal with INM. Note that working on an Inmigrante visa precludes having a foreibn plated car; as does Inmigrado status.

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In some places like Guanajuato state at the end of the five years on a FM-3 you have 3 choices:

1. Go to the border and come back in on a FMM, or

2. Get a FM-2, or

3. Let it expire and pay a fine and get a new FM-3

I am only the messenger and this are exactly the options. Some other states in Mexico insist on these steps as stupid as it sounds. This is spelled out in Spanish in Immigration's manual.

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Guest bigd

If you do not live in Mexico full time, why do you need an FM3?

There are many people who live in Mexico 10 months more are less each year have FM3s

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Thank you for giving me your time and for all your good replies.

Reason for FM3 while not living full time Lakeside is that I own a home there and also married my love of 10 years who is a Mexican National. I want to start setting things up like bank accounts and IMSS and this can only be done with FM3 or better. My goal is eventual Mexican Citizenship. Having married a Mexican who already has IMSS, I can apply without physicals and only need passport, marriage certificate and FM3. I will be signing up in Zihuatanejo, being that my wife lives there for now and later we can transfer to Lakeside.

Until I can live full time in Mexico, my understanding is that I'm not eligible for the current FM2, Immigrado or Citizenship status. It will be some time before I can afford to retire (12 years, hopefully less), therefore my question regarding how long I will be able to renew FM3.

I was confused about whether this status could be extended after 5 years or if it just ends and I must move to something else? As before, Maincoons was able to supply me with the answer I needed as well as did phxfunguy, thank you sirs! So my understanding now is that indeed I will be able to extend my FM3 status by reapplying after the first 5 years is over (as per todays rules anyway).

Since I will be short on time in Feb., I don't want to take a chance on delaying thing as a result of mistakes made by a " first time do it yourself novice". Therefore I'm going to want to make sure to have it done professionally. I have an attorney Lakeside who is great and always very busy. I'm waiting for a response as to the speed in which they could do it and if they can't, I'll need to find someone else. That's where I thought of Spencer after reading so many posts here.

Any other suggestions, insights or advise will be greatly appreciated here. Thanks so much!

pedro malo

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If you married a Mexican then get an FM2 and you can be a citizen in 2 years. With many things, you get what you pay for and some facilitator paperwork services just pump out papers but do not see if you qualify nor guide you as to what is best for your specific situation.

I´ve been busy and would have posted sooner had I seen this also just check the local section, call me and we can chat.

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How many days before expiration date would I need to reapply/renew to be able to get it back as soon as possible. Only have a limited vacation time Lakeside next year to get this done in.

There are many people who live in Mexico 10 months more are less each year have FM3s

Right bigd. Did you read the part that the OP only has a limited amount of vacation time to renew an FM3? If the OP lived here 6 months or more in a year, I would think the OP has enough time to have it renewed, don't you? Perhaps the OP doesn't know that if he is here less than 6 months in a year, he does not need an FM3.

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Under current rules, you may skip the FM3 No Inmigrante visa and go to the FM2 Inmigrante visa at any time you wish. After five years on the latter, you apply for Inmigrado and will have no further need to deal with INM. Note that working on an Inmigrante visa precludes having a foreibn plated car; as does Inmigrado status.

I know the foreign plated car exclusion is the current situation on the old style FM2. As I recall from the previous info from Spencer on the new FM2 is that the foreign plated car would be allowed when they start implementing it, right? Then after 5 years you either have to take it to the border or NOB to get rid of it, nationalize it if possible or financially practical, or revert to a lower status for annual renewals (if that's allowed by then again) to keep it and not move on to inmigrado. Can anyone please verify or correct any errors?

I'm not looking forward to driving an 11 year old non-NAFTA car back to AZ in 5 years to sell for peanuts when I'm 5 years older especially when I don't even do it now. Certainly rules could change again by then!

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Foreign plated car on FM2 is only currently allowed for "Rentista" category and under the new law, nobody know for sure yet.

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Ah Spencer! I was hoping you'd spy my post and chime in!

I'm confused. Even though I married a Mexican and DO NOT live in Mexico full time (only a month to 6 weeks per year), I can still apply for the FM2? Please confirm. I was told by my Lakeside attorney I'd have to reside in Mexico full time or at least the majority time to be eligible for FM2. Could I then apply for Mexican citizenship after 2 years on the FM2, even though I still won't be able to live full time in Mexico for another 8 years? I do speak Spanish fairly fluently, was born in Chile and a US citizen. This is very exciting good news if true.

Where are you located? I'll be coming into Lakeside briefly for 3 days in October. Would like to make an appointment for a consult at that time. Have so many unanswered questions. Will be returning again before expiration of my FM3 on Feb. 2, 2013 as well. Would like to find out what path best to follow before my renewal date.

Thanks so much Spencer and to everyone else!

pedro malo

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Foreign plated car on FM2 is only currently allowed for "Rentista" category and under the new law, nobody know for sure yet.

That's what I thought. Can you renew under an FM2 rentista category for only a specific number of years before you have to go for inmigrante and then aren't allowed the foreign car anymore or can you maintain that rentista status to keep your car? And does it appear that this question could be answered two ways assessing the current rules and then new ones coming up?

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FM2 term is 5 years BUT for those married to Mexicans it is shorter (2 years). We would need to chat and see what your needs are as well as what you would be willing to do to see which solution is right for you.

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I'm confused. Even though I married a Mexican and DO NOT live in Mexico full time (only a month to 6 weeks per year), I can still apply for the FM2?

Why do you have an FM3 if you are here less than 6 months a year? An FM3 is for people who are here more than 6 months a year, not for vacationers. If you will be retiring in 8 years and move here permanently then, why not worry about an FM3-2 when you are here full time.

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I would go the FM-3 route for if the laws are implemented as passed in the spring 2011 you can at least have permanent status after 4 years. This plus the fact you are married to a Mexican opens a lot of doors immigration wise.

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The OP may not have an FM2 Inmigrante visa because he is out of Mexico for much of the year. Under the current rules, there are travel restrictions. However, as Intercasa mentioned, new rules may change that situation but we just don't know yet.

No inmigrante rentista (old FM3) may have a foreign car and may travel without restrictions.

Inmigrante rentista (old FM2) may have a foreign car but there are travel restrictions.

Inmigrante lucrativa (working FM2) may not have a foreign car.

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Great to get all your inputs, thanks so much.

"Griffin", answer to your question is on post #11. Having a wife, home and property there, I want to get established ahead of time as soon as possible in case laws change significantly, etc. Can't have bank accounts nor IMSS without at least an FM3. Have construction projects looming in near future, etc. I'd especially like to get the IMSS safety net in place even if I never use it for years. My goodness, a whole year of coverage is less than half of the premium I pay State side for 1 month. Plus you never know what can happen while traveling. About 8 years ago, I came down with Dengue Fever while there. Had it been hemorrhagic requiring hospitalization, IMSS would have come in handy I assume as opposed to the cost of being emergency airlifted home.

"Ajijic", the FM-2/3 route is a very exiting potential move forward for me if I truly qualify. I just found the rules for FM2 on Spencer's website and they would suggest that I'm not if in fact I can only be away from Mexico no more than 18 months in 5 years. I still need to work a few more years but if I could get Mexican Citizenship in the interim, that might change the game plan allowing me to work in Mexico. I could even have some of my work NOB sent down to me in Mexico. Need to investigate this further with Spencer.

Just want to mention what a valuable resource this web board is. Everyone's willingness to share their knowledge and experience is such a help in navigating a foreign culture and system. It's wonderful to be a part of such a giving and close knit community. It is a blessing for me. Thanks immensely to you all!

pedro malo

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I have a friend who is married to a Mexican and has lived in Mexico for many years. What are the new rules to become permanent if married to a Mexican? I have searched the board, but haven't found the answer yet. My friend owns a home and last year started the first year of another FM3. Thanks for your help.

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hi its quite easy. as long as they have been officialy together for min. two years. all info is on inm website. cambia de condicion residente permanante por viculo familiar.

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They have been married for over 30 and homeowners here over 15 years. An officially translated marriage certificate was provided and the application indicated was completed and turned in to immigration. Immigration advised my friend he was declined and had to do 2 more renewals first. Doesn't make sense to me at all as he provided everything he was asked to do by Chapala's immigration office and then declined.

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