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Betsy

Immigration Changes & procedures - updated November 18 2012

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The latest information I've received indicates that we'll be caught in a Catch-22, which will force us to sell after the mandatory change from 'inmigrante' to 'temporal', then waiting another 4 years to become 'Permanente'. That's not what INM told us, when they suggested we change to 'inmigrante' almost two years ago. We'll probably take a loss in selling and be lucky to afford a dump or worse NOB. If this is the case, we're really screwed, when we figured we had the rest of our lives securely arranged here in Chapala.

If you are thinking of moving to Mexico now, don't, unless you are rich. Anybody need a nice home?

Boy, do I hope the information I received, from another part of Mexico, is completely wrong.

RV don't panic. Send me an email to eolichez@yahoo.com as soon as you read this.

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It doesn't take many senior expats on IMSS, Seguro Popular, or DIF to run up enormous costs that far offset our spending. I think it is an abuse for non-working expats to use any of those three social programs. If we can't pay our own insurance and/or bills we need to stay in our home country. I expect to lose some good friends who will have to go home due to the new requirements, and I will be sorry to lose them, but I think that Mexico should not be a dumping ground for poor Americans.

Luisa, uncalled general comment. We are here and we are contributors to the economy. We pay 16% Iva every time we buy (except for food and prescription drugs). We hire Mexicans and pay way over the minimum salary ( 60.77 Pesos for a day of eight hours for Jalisco). Between my gardener and maid; twice a week both, we pay almost 225.00 dollars per month. Every time we a sell property there is a 16% tax for the realtor's commission. Notarios and lawyers are doing good business. The visa facilitators are doing well. We take our cars to local mechanics. We buy in specialty stores, cater to foreigners, Superlake, the taxes we pay to bring all this products to Mexico are steep. We patronized local restaurants. We travel around the country. We pay toll roads. Most of the foreigners here with IMSS have it for emergencies. Why do you think there are so many doctors here on a regular basis, because we are old and they are very convenient for us in the area. Poor Mexicans go to the corner pharmacy, DIF, Clinica Familiar or the doctor next to Farmacia Similares, which by the way it is very cheap or to the local curandero( treatment with herbs, lotions, massages...etc.) We on the other side go and pay between 250P to over 600P for a doctor every time something aches and that is very often. Local lab, x rays and others. Ah, by the way, the new state of the art x ray machine in the local Red Cross was acquired thanks to efforts and hard work of a lot of foreigner who volunteed long hours and others with monetary donations. I use it every time I need x rays. All the charities, bazaars and...let me stop or I will be here the rest of the night. I know I am diverting from the main theme but the above statement hit a nerve. And I don't mean the ones I had removed with a recent root canal which by the way I paid 5,000.00 P to a Mexican dentist. Enough

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The latest information I've received indicates that we'll be caught in a Catch-22, which will force us to sell after the mandatory change from 'inmigrante' to 'temporal', then waiting another 4 years to become 'Permanente'. That's not what INM told us, when they suggested we change to 'inmigrante' almost two years ago. We'll probably take a loss in selling and be lucky to afford a dump or worse NOB. If this is the case, we're really screwed, when we figured we had the rest of our lives securely arranged here in Chapala.

If you are thinking of moving to Mexico now, don't, unless you are rich. Anybody need a nice home?

Boy, do I hope the information I received, from another part of Mexico, is completely wrong.

RV this is the law and it conflicts with the rules. We are only required to prove enough money to sustain ourselves in the territory for a year. It doesn't take $2000-$2500 a month to live in Mexico especially if someone owns a home. The translation isn't great.

Article 61. For the authorization of the condition of stay of visitors without permission to perform remunerated activities, the immigration authority of immigration review filter may request that is check the reason for travel or financial solvency to cover the amount of accommodation costs and maintenance during the stay of the foreign person in the national territory as envisaged in the administrative provisions of a general character issued by the Secretariat and which shall be published in the journal Federation officer.

Those in ill heath, disability or nursing homes will be protected by this Article in the law. I have a 90 year old friend in a nursing home and she won't qualify under the new financial requirements if she is not grandfathered in.

Article 63.The immigration authorities may authorize for humanitarian reasons by Act of admission duly founded and motivated, the entry of foreign nationals who do not comply with any admission requirements and be located on any of the following cases:

I. Be the status of refugee, asylum-seeker or requires initiating a procedure determination of stateless;

II. By public interest, the foreign person whose hospitalization is required to support actions relief or rescue in situations of emergency or disaster in the country;

III. For humanitarian cause, the foreign person who by risk to own health or life, or by its situation of vulnerability can not be returned to their country of origin, or it can not continue with his trip, or

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I agree we all know that the USA is not a dumping ground for poor Mexicans either

We do? What state are you from? Why do you the the US built the fence? Have you seen the latest on tunneling? Whom do you think they are deporting? Not wealthy Mexicans.

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The latest information I've received indicates that we'll be caught in a Catch-22, which will force us to sell after the mandatory change from 'inmigrante' to 'temporal', then waiting another 4 years to become 'Permanente'. That's not what INM told us, when they suggested we change to 'inmigrante' almost two years ago. We'll probably take a loss in selling and be lucky to afford a dump or worse NOB. If this is the case, we're really screwed, when we figured we had the rest of our lives securely arranged here in Chapala.

If you are thinking of moving to Mexico now, don't, unless you are rich. Anybody need a nice home?

Boy, do I hope the information I received, from another part of Mexico, is completely wrong.

I'm confused. Are you saying you were told you cannot own a home with a temporal?

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RV ... what I read in that SMA info post was that with existing FM2/3 you can renew without financials and at the end of four years on either you can move to Permanente with only proof that you still have retirement income. That is not what is happening around the country but if it's "the official" then maybe others will get around to it. Problem is SMA has a bad rep for following their own rules

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It doesn't take many senior expats on IMSS, Seguro Popular, or DIF to run up enormous costs that far offset our spending. I think it is an abuse for non-working expats to use any of those three social programs. If we can't pay our own insurance and/or bills we need to stay in our home country. I expect to lose some good friends who will have to go home due to the new requirements, and I will be sorry to lose them, but I think that Mexico should not be a dumping ground for poor Americans.

Luisa, be careful if you insist on waving the flag of "political correctness", by using the word "abuse".

- I take it that you do not rent out property at a higher than an average Mexican price, so that you do not drive up the prices for (most) Mexicans in their own land.

and I also assume that you do not use any discount cards (for 65 +), if you travel by busses,..... and I could go on and on.

It is very easy to judge other people and telling others what is right or wrong....

And more importantly, it is up to the government to stop this kind of abuse, as you call it, by putting in place, who can and who can not enroll in a particular health care system. .....

They agreed to it and let foreigners use their system, so it would be unfair to hit back afterwards. It would be like saying,... come on in, you are all welcome to come and eat at my table, and afterwards you beat them up for doing it.

Sometimes, it gets a little bit old, to have to listen to these theories, where people want to be holier than the pope. I had to listen to this kind of politcal correctness just a little bit too often now, where, when I look more closely at these "preachers", I always find that some have not so "pure hands" themselves (they just do not realize) and/or are bathing in very comfortable positions of certain wealth.

And I fully agree with Carib,.... the benefits of having foreign residents here, even with a lower income, by far, outweigh the disadvantages of a small minority "abusing" the system. Furthermore, this discussion is absurd anyway, because, they ARE slowly pushing us out of the health care systems.

Finally,.... your expression "Mexico as dumping ground for poor Americans", really is very simplistic and actually a little rude to Americans with lower income, who did a lot for Mexico. I got to know a lot of these "poorer Americans" who often are desperately looking for ways to spend their time usefully by doing something for the local community. I believe that a lot of us, one way or another, have adopted a Mexican family, through our cleaning lady or otherwise, and that is great.

Furthermore, using a personal financial situation as the one and only tool to measure if someone is fit to live here yes or no, is being rather narrow minded.

Rony, a poor Belgian...., maybe dumb, but not dumped

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Why didn't you go Permanente when you had the chance? If you plan to die in Mexico it only made sense, now you will pay the price.

Hindsight is 20/20. No need to rub it in.

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I fly back and forth n/s every six months with a cat--easy to imagine the ways she would manage to get her tail in a knot over bus travel... It's the car I'm up in the air about. It stays here at my under $195 K little casa when I'm NOB for six months. I cannot see myself in a situation where I am forced to drive the car back and forth in order to keep it here. I know, it's a USA thing--I gotta have the car, and at 73, with a cranky spine and a gimp knee, and having been independent for over 40 years, I don't think that attitude is gonna change until either I'm unfit to drive or kick the bucket.

I really don't care about having anything more than a 180 day tourist whatever they will call it as long as the car can stay. I suspect I'm not the only one in this situation. We shall see what happens.

Your problem with the car is easy to solve, next time take the car back and return by air. If you need a car buy a local second hand car. The licence is dirt cheap compared to the US or Canada and having a local licence plate does not identify you as a foreigner which is a plus. I have used a mexican plated car since 1997, buying and registering is easy now compared to years ago and so is yearly renewal. If you don't have a mexican drivers licence get one, if you need help to pass the test there is help available.

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The latest information I've received indicates that we'll be caught in a Catch-22, which will force us to sell after the mandatory change from 'inmigrante' to 'temporal', then waiting another 4 years to become 'Permanente'. That's not what INM told us, when they suggested we change to 'inmigrante' almost two years ago. We'll probably take a loss in selling and be lucky to afford a dump or worse NOB. If this is the case, we're really screwed, when we figured we had the rest of our lives securely arranged here in Chapala.

If you are thinking of moving to Mexico now, don't, unless you are rich. Anybody need a nice home?

Boy, do I hope the information I received, from another part of Mexico, is completely wrong.

I don't believe that a tourist would not be allowed to buy a holiday home and or an automobile. This is done almost anywhere in the world. I have done this over 10 years in Brazil on a 3month tourist visa that could be extended without leaving for another 3 months. After the 6 months I went on a trip to Punta del Este in Uruguay and returned to Brazil starting a new 6 months tourist stay.

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INM is allowing people to move from FM2/3 to a permanente without the new financials and to a temporal with only proof of income using the previous financial requirements.

http://www.mexconnec...y;so=ASC;mh=25;

Silvia Cadena is a for-hire immigration facilitator in SMA who also provides a huge amount of information for free on the SMA_Civil list. She has been soliciting questions on the list and submitting them five at a time to her contacts within INM for clarification of the new law. She posts the answers as "Drops of info."

On Nov 16, in response to a question about an expiring FM3 (no more renewals available), she wrote:

...it is important to read in the back of your card where it says PRORROGA and then a number.

If that number says 3, then next year you are ready to move into Permanent Resident.

It does not matter if you have the old card that says FM3, you are now a Temporary Resident.

If it says 2, then you have 2 more years to go.

If it does says 3, next year, you can move automatically to Permanent Residency, only will have to show some bank statements to prove that you still receive money from abroad, but YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SHOW CERTAIN AMOUNT TO BECOME A PERMANENT RESIDENT.

I wrote this in response:

Silvia, this is an extraordinary post from you, because you seem to be saying that existing FM2/3 holders can eventually make it all the way to Permanent Resident under the old income requirements.

This was her response:

Yes Mark, it seems to be so.

When you move from 4 years of FM2 or 3 ...NOT combined....you just show them some bank statements that prove that you still have income from abroad...some say 6, some 3.

You only have to prove income with a certain amount when applying first time at the consulate or moving before the 4 years as a retired or pensioned person.

It is easy, isn't it.

Only thing important and so far, what I been told HERE, at the migracion office, is that you can not add years of FM3 and FM2...it only counts what the last document says..your actual card!

It does seem unfair to someone who's been here something like seven years, five on an FM3 and then two on an FM2 or FM3. The reasoning seems to be that the first FM3 is dead, gone, expired, and forgotten. All that matters is the current visa.

But the good news in this, particularly if applied nationwide, is that existing visa holders are grandfathered in under the old financial requirements. You just can't get to Permanent Resident until you have four years on your current visa OR meet the new, higher financial requirements that would let you do it earlier.

Hopefully there will be more examples posted as folks go through the process. My neighbor renewed her third-year FM3 on Nov 12 under the new system and was told she will receive a Temporary Resident card. She had to show three months of bank statements and a letter saying her old sources of income were still coming in. She did not have to prove up to the new $1900 requirement.

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Luisa, uncalled general comment. We are here and we are contributors to the economy. We pay 16% Iva every time we buy (except for food and prescription drugs). We hire Mexicans and pay way over the minimum salary ( 60.77 Pesos for a day of eight hours for Jalisco). Between my gardener and maid; twice a week both, we pay almost 225.00 dollars per month. Every time we a sell property there is a 16% tax for the realtor's commission. Notarios and lawyers are doing good business. The visa facilitators are doing well. We take our cars to local mechanics. We buy in specialty stores, cater to foreigners, Superlake, the taxes we pay to bring all this products to Mexico are steep. We patronized local restaurants. We travel around the country. We pay toll roads. Most of the foreigners here with IMSS have it for emergencies. Why do you think there are so many doctors here on a regular basis, because we are old and they are very convenient for us in the area. Poor Mexicans go to the corner pharmacy, DIF, Clinica Familiar or the doctor next to Farmacia Similares, which by the way it is very cheap or to the local curandero( treatment with herbs, lotions, massages...etc.) We on the other side go and pay between 250P to over 600P for a doctor every time something aches and that is very often. Local lab, x rays and others. Ah, by the way, the new state of the art x ray machine in the local Red Cross was acquired thanks to efforts and hard work of a lot of foreigner who volunteed long hours and others with monetary donations. I use it every time I need x rays. All the charities, bazaars and...let me stop or I will be here the rest of the night. I know I am diverting from the main theme but the above statement hit a nerve. And I don't mean the ones I had removed with a recent root canal which by the way I paid 5,000.00 P to a Mexican dentist. Enough

BRAVO Carib!!!!!! :)

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Let's try to stay on topic, the new immigration law, not whether we pull our own weight down here.

It seems that things are looking a lot less apocalyptic than at first. There's a lesson there somewhere.

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Another thing to consider is that if they just have to renew a FMM they can turn the old one in at the Mexican Immigration office at the border, cross to the US if they want, then return and take a taxi back to the TJ airport, $150.00 pesos and 20 minutes away, and ask for another FMM there at the INM desk just inside the security check inside the departure salon. I have gotten FMMs there several times. They only want you to go back outside to the payment booth in the airport to get the form and reciept. When I go there the guy does not even ask to see my airline ticket, just fill out the form and pay and show your passport. I show my passport card so they do not stamp my passport. Then you can go to the front of the line at the departure salon, wave to the INM officer and he will wave you in again, very easy.
If I understand you correctly, then someone who doesn't want to actually cross into the US and endure the long lines could take a taxi to the border INM office to turn in the expiring FMM, pick up a new form and either exit the area for a while then return and get into a different line there to purchase the new FMM, or more easily, take the taxi right back to the airport and do the payment procedure there like you've done. So depending on the cost of the flight ($107-159) and sharing a van like I did to the border plus a private taxi back to the airport, the renewal could be accomplished for about $122-174 for one person or $115-167 per person for a couple. That's certainly a value considering a bus trip to Laredo to do the same procedure would take hours longer and cost more as you might have to stay overnight to catch the bus back if the schedule didn't jibe with yours.

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Lots of interesting info on MexConnect

http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=183078;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

Including this toward the bottom .....

10. Bring the standard stuff on your first visit to the INM office: Letter, copies of key passport pages, passport, current INM card, but NO bank statements. They will ask for these later if they decide they want them.

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It looks like the rules are easing more everyday. From Mexconnect a conversation with INM in Merida. RV take a deep breath and relax it seems to be rolling our way and the discount in income for home ownership is being restored:

http://www.mexconnec...page=last;#last

The following 10 items pretty much covers the general stuff for many typical expats, who currently have an FM2 or FM3...

I talked with an INM supervisor and an experienced agent for an hour yesterday at our Merida office, and confirmed the following things for how Merida INM is handling residency applications.

1. They confirmed that all current FM2 and FM3 permit holders get full credit for time they have completed on their current permit. 2. If you want a Residente Permanente card, FM2 and FM3 years count towards the 4 years of Residente Temporal requirement.

3. FM2 and FM3 holders are asked to submit a cover letter describing that you want a “renovacion” of your current permit, changing to either Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente.

4. FM2 holders with Familiar/spouse status are eligible to apply for Residente Permanente after completing 2 years on their FM2.

5. The income requirements for proving fiscal independence are cut in half (1/2) for both home-owning Residente Permanente and Residente Temporal applicants who already have valid Inmigrante Rentista or No Inmigrante Rentista permits. This same condition is being reported from Yucalandia readers across Mexico.

6. They are generally not requiring bank statements from people who already have their FM2 Rentista or FM3 Rentista. They do however, reserve the right to ask for proof of sufficient income.

7. New applicants for Residente Permanente or Temporal (who have no current FM2 or FM3) are required to show proof of sufficient income.

8. If you have a “Lucrativo” category of prior INM permit, then you likely have to show bank statements. e.g. Permisos para realizar actividades remuneradas , have different requirements than Rentistas or Jubilados.

9. When you enter your information into the INM website, prior to going to your local office: One block of information is actually a Formato Basico, so most people do not have to fill out a Formato Basico at the INM office.

10. Bring the standard stuff on your first visit to the INM office: Letter, copies of key passport pages, passport, current INM card, but NO bank statements. They will ask for these later if they decide they want them.

11. When asked how long the approval process takes, the gritted their teeth:

~ As little as 3 days for the most routine renovaciones.

~ As much as a month for other applications.

~ Long undetermined times for some very difficult or complex applications.

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What appears to be happening is exactly what has happened in the past: a Federal law is passed, very little or no training is given to the personnel who will administer the law, and each INM office develops a personal 'take' on how the individual office or person in the office will see the new law. In other words, what starts out as a Federal law becomes the law as seen and administered by individual INM offices throughout the country. What appears to be a temporary, untrained reading of the new law becomes graven in stone in the individual offices. San Miguel de Allende interprets the new rules one way, the Yucatán office mentioned above interprets the rules another way, Chapala yet another way, Guadalajara another way, Mexico City yet another way, and so forth. The so-called Federal law becomes neither uniform nor consistent. I expect nothing less from the various interpretations around the country re this law.

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The law isn't the problem. The rules are the problem and the rules don't allow for a discount in income for property ownership and the income requirements are clear. I think there has been such an uproar over the new rules that the offices are being told to relax the rules until new rules are written. I bet the consulates don't like qualifying all the new people and that will change also. With the new administration I think the income requirements will go back to close to what they were before. It is not in Mexico's interest to have retirees leave or the flow of retirees to Mexico to stop.

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RV, I went yesterday for FM2 renovation thru one of the local facilitators. The office handling our paperwork called INM in front of us and the information Griffin is posting above and what they told us is the same. We applied for Residente Temporal yesterday. Home ownership will cut the retirement money you need to show for approval. The same as before. Actually since we had FM2 last year we don't need to show income statements. RV, we can relax now and you don't have to move from your house or sell all your stuff . We all know how much you love Mexico. Get well soon. We need you unbiased comments and experience to make our journey here easier. I sent you our e-mail address yesterday. We wanted to tell you the good news. We got a very heavy monkey off our backs.

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What appears to be happening is exactly what has happened in the past: a Federal law is passed, very little or no training is given to the personnel who will administer the law, and each INM office develops a personal 'take' on how the individual office or person in the office will see the new law. In other words, what starts out as a Federal law becomes the law as seen and administered by individual INM offices throughout the country. What appears to be a temporary, untrained reading of the new law becomes graven in stone in the individual offices. San Miguel de Allende interprets the new rules one way, the Yucatán office mentioned above interprets the rules another way, Chapala yet another way, Guadalajara another way, Mexico City yet another way, and so forth. The so-called Federal law becomes neither uniform nor consistent. I expect nothing less from the various interpretations around the country re this law.

I guess that generalization about little or no training might be regional and depending on the gov´t. administrators in charge but here in then city of San Luis Potosi, an industrialized city of 1.5 million, that is definately not the norm in any gov´t. offices related to the federal gov´t. [some state offices get funded by the federal gov´t.] I have heard of. Actually ,in fact, all/most the ones here seem to have extensive on going training of their management and stafff to the point of being time consuming and expensive to these offices during these updates which can be multiple and on going procedures and policies. This is a huge bureaucracy, not "mom and pop" mentality still running the show here, as some seem to think is the case. IMO Alan

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Griffin .... according to your last posts on MexConnect you don't understand the terms being discussed at all. All this speculation and wishing things be otherwise makes no sense ... except that you are frantic. As Yucalandia said, "slow down and go with the flow". It does seem to be improving from the initial ideas of what would be implemented

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This thread is starting to wander and I see more whining about "unfair." Stay on topic or this one will get locked too. That was good advice you got from John and Sparks, Griffin, please take it.

The topic here is keeping abreast of changes and updates on the implementation of the new law. That can include experience from any INM office or any official pronouncements. It does not include debates on the value of expat contributions to Mexico.

Thanks.

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I've just heard something that may make the new rules more 'fair', if true:

A source reports that INM is now considering time on FM3 + time on FM2/Inmigrante, if unbroken, current and without fines, for applications for 'Residente Permanente'; without new income proofs.

Perhaps Spencer will be the first to know if the Chapala INM office is aware of this; as some other offices seem to be. If so, it would sure be good news.

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Good news people, from SMA:

We just came from immigration in SMA. They will now consider total time on visas in applying for Permanent Resident. You can not have a break between visas and no fines nor going beyond an expiration date. Merida and other places confirming this.

Mexico City will review the request.

So, if say 3 years on a FM-3 and then 1 on a FM-2 meeting the conditions I noted with no penalties etc, you can apply for Permanent Resident and no need to prove income.

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