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Birth certificate with apostille (or legalization for Canadians) and translations

State police clearance letter

Federal police clearance letter from Mexico City (yes you must go there)

Form filled out

Payment

Copy of passport

An immigration document with at least 6 months left on it

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You also need a CURP and must prove that you have not been out of the country (Mexico) more than 180 days in the last 24 months. You must go to INM with your documentation and a letter describing your recent travels. After about 2 weeks they provide a letter back to you that is submitted to SRE in your packet of stuff.

You also have to prove permanent residence which in my case was a copy of my final FM2 showing Refrendo 4 on the back. SRE has not yet published new qualification rules folding in the permanente status. One of the girls at SRE said they hoped to have clarification by December. In any case you must prove 5 years of permanent residence in Mexico. If you don't have 5 years on FM2 or inmigrado then this requirement could be problematic.

We acquired a federal clearance letter without having to get it in person. It wasn't that cheap but less expensive in pesos and time than if we had done it ourselves.

You may need a name affidavit. The spelling of your name must match on birth certificate, passport and immigration documents. If there is any discrepancy between the 3 it must be resolved. I was born Jr. so my birth certificate carried that suffix. I had to get an affidavit notarized by the US consulate saying I never used the suffix as part of my legal name. Spouses must also get an affidavit notarized saying that they are the same person on all 3 documents. The affidavits must be translated into Spanish.

Set up an appointment at SRE and bring passport photos. If they accept your documents you are fingerprinted and given a user name/password to track your status on the Internet. In 6-8 months you hopefully get your carta de naturalización. If you make an appointment early, you can take the card and get a Mexican passport on the same day. You can apply for a voter registration card but that takes another trip back to Guadalajara.

A lawyer who knows what they're doing can streamline the process and increase your odds of being accepted on the first try.

The application fee is $3,965 pesos at this time plus $50 pesos for the Jalisco police report, the cost of the federal report and cost of the translator. Lawyer fees are on top of that. If you're over 60 a 10 year passport is another $1,005 pesos (discounted 50%).

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Thank you all. I am a permanent resident since 1999.My apostilled birth certificate that I just received shows an incorrect

name so I have to see if I can get it corrected. If they dig in their heels in the registry office in the country of my birth

I can forget about Mexican citizenship. I was part of a minority in my country .

All the other documents plus Spanish are no problem. For the federal police letter don`t you need to have a fingerprint?

Thank you again.

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What if you where married and changed your name? I am assuming that is OK. As long as you have the marriage certificate. No? So common for older women who were married.

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ValGal, several people in different states are currently reporting that SRE is not allowing women whose last name is not the same as the name on their birth certificates even to apply for citizenship. A rule has changed and there appears--at least at this point--to be no way around it at the moment. I have asked Spencer to see if he can clarify this, but in the meantime a friend who is a highly placed lawyer within the SRE has investigated, talked to the national director, and says there is no way out. Judy is stuck in this mess; her impeccably prepared and documented application was rejected several weeks ago because she changed her name to her former husband's name in 1968 and kept that name, for the sake of their children, after their divorce.

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Is the name problem limited to women who have been divorced or widowed? My wife's papers were accepted by SRE about 3 weeks ago in Guadalajara with a translated affidavit stating that the name on her immigration documents and passport (which matched exactly) was the same as the name on her birth certificate carrying her maiden name.

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John , regarding the federal police letter, how does it work? You said you did not need to go to Mexico City.

My lawyer arranged for someone else in his office that travels between Guadalajara and DF to pick it up. We signed a power of attorney and gave the lawyer copies of all our documents. I don't know what all this person used in DF but we ended up with the federal police letter.

There was a sizable charge for this service but far less than the cost of 2 airplane tickets, cab rides and airport parking to make the one day trip.

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There are ways to work the name issue such as affidavits sign by the notary at the US consulate, have seen that work as well for name issues.

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Nopalesflower, you do indeed need to speak Spanish. If you are over 60, no Mexican history test is required.

HANSI, best of luck. I feel for you.

I read somewhere else that for people over 60 the Spanish needed is miniscule. Are you saying a minimal amount of Spanish will be accepted or fluent Spanish is required?

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The general rule of thumb is this: if you YOURSELF can conduct the in-person

There are ways to work the name issue such as affidavits sign by the notary at the US consulate, have seen that work as well for name issues.

Spencer, recent experience at SRE in Hermosillo, Cozumel, and here in Mexico City has shown that this is no longer the case. Did you see the PM I sent you?

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I read somewhere else that for people over 60 the Spanish needed is miniscule. Are you saying a minimal amount of Spanish will be accepted or fluent Spanish is required?

The whole process took 1 hour at SRE. They had 3 people in the office and 2 of them processed our papers concurrently. We had little conversations during that hour, a question here and a remark there. There was nothing formal about the Spanish speaking requirement. We are not fluent by any means but having lived here for 10 years and taken countless classes as well as only hiring Spanish speaking help our language skills were apparently enough to satisfy the SRE folks.

Again, a lawyer that knows what he's doing can assess your language skills and tell you if you need more work or you know enough to get by.

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The problem with the name can come from different causes, it is not only for widowed or divorced women, I could not used my married name but the SRE can resolve the problems with you, you both agree on which name you will take, get the consulate to issue an affidavit and it is the end of it.

You ca also chose to take your father and mother´s last name as long as you have all the paperwork to back up what you want to do.

In my case, I had a choice of my father´s name, my father and mother´s name, my father and husbands´ name but I was not able to take my husband´s name only as it is only an AKA in my country....it all depends on the way your papers read and on your country of origin.

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OMG, I am SO glad I got my naturalization a few years ago. My friend and I went to SRE on our own and began the process. They did want us to speak Spanish and we had to write a few sentences en espanol about why we wanted to become citizens. They checked our passports and FMs to verify entradas y salidas. Names had to match, but no apostles or maiden vs married last names were required. At that time we did have to take the test which was on cultural as well as historical facts although both of us were well over 60. The SRE staff could not have been nicer or more helpful.

I guess now they want to be sure you are really motivated to go through all that.

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Past is past but the staff right now is wonderful and you do not need any facilitator or lawyer if you speak Spanish fluently. They are extremely patient and helpful.

You do not need to be extremely motivated actually it is way easier to get the citizenship than the Permanente or Temporary residency.

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The problem with the name can come from different causes, it is not only for widowed or divorced women, I could not used my married name but the SRE can resolve the problems with you, you both agree on which name you will take, get the consulate to issue an affidavit and it is the end of it.

You ca also chose to take your father and mother´s last name as long as you have all the paperwork to back up what you want to do.

In my case, I had a choice of my father´s name, my father and mother´s name, my father and husbands´ name but I was not able to take my husband´s name only as it is only an AKA in my country....it all depends on the way your papers read and on your country of origin.

This is no longer true, I'm sorry to say--the part about 'which name you will take'. They are being extremely difficult, demanding that you apply in ONLY the name on the birth certificate. My wife has given them an aclaración de nombre, stating that she is known by both names, the US Embassy has issued her a new passport stating that she is known by both names, and both she and her sister have provided notarized affidavits that her birth name is so-and-so but her legal last name is different. So the advice to get the affidavit and that's all you need is erroneous, sorry.

We have seen one report from Hermosillo, Sonora and another from Cozumel, Quintana Roo that say the same things. Maiden name only.

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Moreliana, I just got my papers last week so what I said is correct in my case. It all depends on your nationality and on the name on the birth certificate and passport.

The SRE gave me a choice of names I could take after they reviewed my papers. That was done in July this year.

Sounds like Judy is caught in one of these catch 22. Can she return to her maiden name in the States? If she could she then could reapply under her maiden name , get a new passport and go for the citizenship again.

In France our name does not change but a mention of your marriage is affixed on all papers including your birth certificate. When I applied for citizenship I had to get an affidavit from the French consulate saying that married name was an AKA..

I have one name in the States, one name in France and the same name in Mexico but I cannot mention my husband´s name... Now I am in the process of checking the names on the bank accounts, deeds etc.. as the bank account have my married name and not my maiden name..the deeds , wills etc....

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Val Gal, I bet you Judy could not return to a maiden name on the application unless she changed her name and return to her maiden name in the States, then she would have to get a new passport ..but what about her FM2 or whatever paper she has?? I I guess that would have to be changed as well.

They are really demanding that all papers agree..it is one thing to have the name of your current husband and have an affidavit saying that you are the same person but I bet you it is a whole lot more difficult to argue that you kept your ex husband´s name for the children´s sake.

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Val Gal, I bet you Judy could not return to a maiden name on the application unless she changed her name and return to her maiden name in the States, then she would have to get a new passport ..but what about her FM2 or whatever paper she has?? I I guess that would have to be changed as well.

They are really demanding that all papers agree..it is one thing to have the name of your current husband and have an affidavit saying that you are the same person but I bet you it is a whole lot more difficult to argue that you kept your ex husband´s name for the children´s sake.

Can Judy apply and successfully obtain her citizenship if she agrees to return to her maiden name? I am confused about that.

BMH, this rule was changed after you applied for citizenship, so it didn't affect you.

The better option for Judy would be to have her name changed on her birth certificate, by a court in New York, to reflect her legal name. If this can't be straightened out with SRE, that might--MIGHT--be an option. It would depend on the court in New York. Generally, they don't do it,.

And she could try to apply using the name currently on her birth certificate, but she has no supporting documents that identify her by that name. SRE has already said that it will not accept her passport, despite the US Embassy having issued her a new passport verifying that she has been known by both names.

Judy has her Residente Permanente, but she has looked forward for years to becoming a Mexican citizen.

This is an incredible Catch-22. Paging Nurse Ratched...

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