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NEVER ENTER MEXICO AS A TOURIST


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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.

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We are currently in the position of working with SRE with the goal of receiving citizenship for my wife, based on our marriage. The small glitch that has come up is the stamped exit and entry dates in her passport. Despite what her boarding passes show, the INM agents who stamped her out of and into the country on two occasions used the wrong date stamp. We don't think it is going to be a problem, but then you never know till it's over.

Word to the wise, though. Make sure the dates agree.

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Whoa, your topic headline scared me ... but really what you're saying here only applies to people who already have a residente visa, yes? There is no problem with the tourist visa for new folks?

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Hi,

Thanks for the post. Can you be a bit more specific on how/when this can happen? Thing is, I travel quite a bit (mostly US and Brasil), so far I had a rentist FM3 and the procedure was the same always:

* Upon leaving Mexico, in the airport where the intl leaves off, I search for the nearest INM booth. I fill out a form (I never remember the name of this form). I present them my FM3 and my passport + this form. They cut it in half and give me the other half which I'm supposed to fill and show when coming back.

* Upon coming back, I usually have the other half filled already (so I don't need the copies from the plane). I get into the "extranjeros" line, show them my FM3, passport and this form. They stamp my passport and I get in.

I always put that I'm a resident in the form (I am), but then there's the nature of the trip. I remember that I once put 'tourism' by accident (instead of "other"), could that affect it?

Last time I did that was around 3 months ago when I went to the US and came back.

I'm about to apply for my permanente this month, so I don't want any problems. I'm so scared of this stuff, it's so fuzzy.

Thank you very much.

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Spencer...my husband leaves for the U.S. this coming Tuesday. We are in process (with your office) for our Permanente. He has a travel letter. He know to get a stamp leaving GDL from the immigration booth and then a stamp returning into GDL at immigration before going to customs.

I am assuming he also needs the same 2 part immigration form we have always used with our FM3s (as well as the letter) getting it stamped along with his letter at the little immigration booth and then giving the 2nd part to immigration upon arrival at GDL immigration. The airlines require the 1st part of the form when they give you a boarding pass. Can you please comment on this?

Thanks

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It's confusing to a lot of folks now as the RT and RP people fill out the same form as the tourists do for their FMM, however in reverse order. Some people misconstrue the fact that filling out that form is only for getting a tourist visa...not true.

When leaving you fill out the little stub at INM and get it stamped to give to the airlines and you put your outgoing flight info on it. You keep the larger piece blank and then fill it out when coming back with your arriving flight info and number from your FM2 or 3, RT, or RP whichever you have at the time. You also follow this procedure when leaving with a travel letter when you have no card to show. The official will keep the larger part and will not put 180 days on the back nor will he return it to you. Watch carefully to make sure that's what he does. Handing him a form with the stub missing and your card or letter should do the trick. If you lose your blank piece, fill out a new one from the airline but tear off the stub.

I have done this three times since the new forms came out late last year, twice with my current FM3 and once with the travel letter. I also made one trip driving out at Nogales and walking back in at Tijuana without a travel letter or card, just carrrying the documentation that my RP was in process and my FM3 was still valid (even though I didn't have the card) as they don't check documents leaving or returning by those methods.

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Just went through this routine last week, complete with expired FM-2 and travel letter. In Guadalajara, I showed them the letter and they retained my check in luggage while I went to the Immigration office with forms to be filled out. The problem there was that you can't have a forbidden pen with you and there's no solid surface to write on, plus you need a magnifying glass to read the fine print.

However, after borrowing pen and using my spouse's back as a table, guessing at the print (then vice versa), we filled them out, checked "other" and went back to the luggage check in. That seemed to be okay and off we went to the states for a week. On return, we lined up with a new Immigration form they gave us on the plane and went back through the exit line for Mexican residents. Returned the stamped things to Spencer's office two days later.

Hopefully, all is well. I hope. :(

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Ah, each day we gather here to do the Mexican Hokey Pokey, you keep the little stub out, you put the long form in etc. If you had a million pesos you couldn't buy an official document actually specifying what needs to be done - because no document like that apparently exists! - and even if it did, the last people to read it would be the INM agents we're trying desperately to cater to. Wow, what a joke. It's a darn good thing the weather is good, otherwise this place would be deserted, it simply wouldn't be worth the hassle.

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Ah, each day we gather here to do the Mexican Hokey Pokey, you keep the little stub out, you put the long form in etc. If you had a million pesos you couldn't buy an official document actually specifying what needs to be done - because no document like that apparently exists! - and even if it did, the last people to read it would be the INM agents we're trying desperately to cater to. Wow, what a joke. It's a darn good thing the weather is good, otherwise this place would be deserted, it simply wouldn't be worth the hassle.

I immigrated to the US and when my mom died I did not get to see her because it took a week for an exit permit. I guess we all need to accept what we are dealt graciously.
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Well, Giltner, we are loving our new lives in Florida. Glad to have all that behind us now. Just wish the house would sell.

I sent you a PM but I am not sure if it went through. Got a message that said I didn't have permission.........please check your PM's. Thanks.

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Best practice to write on the form at top of both RESIDENTE PERMANENTE OR RESIDENTE TEMPORAL OR PERMISO DE SALIDA as appropriate. Also in activity box check other and not tourism and if you have a travel letter for immigration document number put your NUT number.

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Best practice to write on the form at top of both RESIDENTE PERMANENTE OR RESIDENTE TEMPORAL OR PERMISO DE SALIDA as appropriate. Also in activity box check other and not tourism and if you have a travel letter for immigration document number put your NUT number.

Excellent idea. I noticed the official did just that both when I entered on my FM3 for the last time using the new form and when I repeated the process with my travel letter six months later. But since not every official may be as thorough, you can do it yourself...in large capital letters. I've always put "tourism" as the purpose of my trip as I was assuming I had "toured" to the US on vacation since I have residency status in Mexico and had started out from here, but if that could be misconstrued as being a tourist from the US coming to Mexico for a short stay, I'll no longer check that box!

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Ah, each day we gather here to do the Mexican Hokey Pokey, you keep the little stub out, you put the long form in etc. If you had a million pesos you couldn't buy an official document actually specifying what needs to be done - because no document like that apparently exists! - and even if it did, the last people to read it would be the INM agents we're trying desperately to cater to. Wow, what a joke. It's a darn good thing the weather is good, otherwise this place would be deserted, it simply wouldn't be worth the hassle.

Actually, the weather is better in La Jolla, Ca. But, the "village life" here , as it has been tabbed, is better than there, and you can feel more powerful here than there because of those who worship your money here. :)

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giltner 68, maybe Mexico is not for you. We have been here for 13 years and have had no problems with immigration or any of the laws, you have to learn how to go with the flow, it is a different attitude and it is a country where bitching will not take you anywhere so get over it. I am here good weather or not, actually I live in a place where the weahter is not great and I could get better weather in a lot of other places. I like the life here and that is why I am here and I did not like it I would leave weather or not.

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there are still so many people here that hate everything about living here. They hate INM, complain about everything especially how people do not talk English to them. Yeah they like the weather.

I think it is time for a reality check and time for them to leave. Everyone would be happier

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there are still so many people here that hate everything about living here. They hate INM, complain about everything especially how people do not talk English to them. Yeah they like the weather.

I think it is time for a reality check and time for them to leave. Everyone would be happier

Potential newbies read this Board and they need to know the good, the bad and the ugly of day to day life here before they make a decision.

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In our experience over more than a decade, we have found that those who complain the most are the ones with the least language ability. Some of them even state that they can do without Spanish, yet they depend heavily on those who do have enough Spanish to help them, or keep them out of trouble. They just do not get it! Ironically, many of them are the same types who insist that Mexicans in the USA speak English; even those in the part of the USA which used to be Mexico; a fact many of them ignore, or are simply unaware of, having failed History 101. Ugh!

On the other hand, expat residents who have even a smattering of Spanish, and are not afraid to use it, tend to be very happy here and to enjoy travel. They are the ones who gladly go to Guadalajara or other cities, vacation at beach villages and actually enjoy their interactions with others; be they neighbors, INM officials, clerks, etc.

If you cannot communicate, you are probably unhappy. So, take some lessons, sign up for Duolingo online and spend some time away from your English comfort zone. It is warm out there, and the weather is nice too.

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In our experience over more than a decade, we have found that those who complain the most are the ones with the least language ability. Some of them even state that they can do without Spanish, yet they depend heavily on those who do have enough Spanish to help them, or keep them out of trouble. They just do not get it! Ironically, many of them are the same types who insist that Mexicans in the USA speak English; even those in the part of the USA which used to be Mexico; a fact many of them ignore, or are simply unaware of, having failed History 101. Ugh!

On the other hand, expat residents who have even a smattering of Spanish, and are not afraid to use it, tend to be very happy here and to enjoy travel. They are the ones who gladly go to Guadalajara or other cities, vacation at beach villages and actually enjoy their interactions with others; be they neighbors, INM officials, clerks, etc.

If you cannot communicate, you are probably unhappy. So, take some lessons, sign up for Duolingo online and spend some time away from your English comfort zone. It is warm out there, and the weather is nice too.

That appears to be the case and I for one do not complain about things I understand very well. I do complain about possible 2% or 3% of the Mexican drivers, as I don´t understand how some people can be so thoughtless and rude behind the wheel of a vehicle.

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I also age and being retired have a lot to do with it. I live in the lake Chapala area where there are lots of retirees and in San Cristobal de las Casas where the expats are younger and work.

The difference in the general attitude of the expats is night and day. Down here people do really crazy and nutsy things and get in all kinds of jams for being uninformed or not bothering to find out what they can or cannot do and life goes on..I rarely hear anybody complain, life goes on.

Up there it is a chain of complaints for the smallest things by some people. Many people are fine but the complainers grind you down. Some people do not like living down here and move on and I respect that but people who always have a bad thing to say and are still here after several years are real downers.. There is more to life than all these complaints about trivial stuff. There are lots of nice things about Mexico besides the weather..I was in Tuxtla Gutierres yesterday hoofing it in the heat and humidity and the weather is not the reason I was there for sure but the street food is delicious and cheap so had a great time anyways.

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Well Alan, my nephew is about to lose his best freind in a road rage accident in Paris so Mexico is not the only place where people are nutsy behind the wheel. The kid is 28 has some choice words for someone who cut him off. He was followed by a man with his wife and 4 year old and when the kid got out of the car in front of his house the man who was following attacked him and the kid is now a vegetable, the other man took off but turned himself in so now two families are going through hell. Mexico is just one of the countries where people are rude behind the wheel. It is really annoying to have rude drivers but it is important to remember to keep cool and ignore them.

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Well Alan, my nephew is about to lose his best freind in a road rage accident in Paris so Mexico is not the only place where people are nutsy behind the wheel. The kid is 28 has some choice words for someone who cut him off. He was followed by a man with his wife and 4 year old and when the kid got out of the car in front of his house the man who was following attacked him and the kid is now a vegetable, the other man took off but turned himself in so now two families are going through hell. Mexico is just one of the countries where people are rude behind the wheel. It is really annoying to have rude drivers but it is important to remember to keep cool and ignore them.

That is a sad story. Sorry it had to happen to him. In San Diego and even LA there are very few bad drivers I have ever seen do thoughtless things.

Here in SLP every time I leave the house, and even when walking around it happens.

Several times here while crossing a wide blvd. I have had vehicles turning right on a red light not slowing down and coming within a foot of my behind at about 20 miles per hour.

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BMH ... agreed. IN SMA there are two distinct groups of expats... truly retired... financially, mentally, physically. Then there are those who are running a business; many have children; younger chronically or at least in attitude; often exploring new places even if with modest means. They know life is a journey and want to keep the journey exciting, smiling, focusing on the positive. The latter roll with punches, have other priorities and focus. They shrug their shoulders and know in Mexico there is always another option to resolve whatever and that patience and honey work best. There attitude and approach is similar to that of most Mexicans.

Back to the OP and Spencer's comments which are appreciated.... write on the form what is your visa and move on.

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That appears to be the case and I for one do not complain about things I understand very well. I do complain about possible 2% or 3% of the Mexican drivers, as I don´t understand how some people can be so thoughtless and rude behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Even I will say that that is the case in so many countries - selfishness, one-upmanship, stupidity on the road, machismo or just $%&/()s putting on makeup - whatever it is, I've encountered it in many other countries.

Someone very wise once told me (before he returned to Europe) that Mexico requires a lot of energy for day to day living. I think that is what people are trying to say when they complain about the energies they feel are wasted on stupid bureaucratic tricks, rules that aren't rules, somebody always after something (hounding) etc. And they have that right. It's a country of topes, metaphorically and otherwise. Others have no right to censor their thinking or their comments, but perhaps they are trying to create a mini expat police state here.

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