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November 2013 immigration changes


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Giltner, clearly you are upset but your (mis)perception of the immigration system and process in the US is based on your not having had to experience--and suffer through--this process in the states.

Good point. Those of us that have applied for permanent resident visas in several countries, immigrating to more than one..... have an understanding that the same frustrating rules/regulations and inconsistencies exist. Get to know some Mexicans who, after having visas to enter the US for decades are suddenly turned down and given no explanation. I know of two Mexican families who were refused entry when they had family members in hospice care in the US. This is after successfully obtaining visas to visit in the past. Canada is not perfect either. There are immigrants in Canada, waiting for years to have their cases reviewed. It is very stressful.

I have a friend, in Germany, who is having to jump through ridiculous hoops to prove that she is actually married to her German husband. Showing her original marriage certificate is not enough. Its a long, long story but she is ready to just go back to her home Country and give up. He has medical coverage, but she can not obtain it.

I just do not think people understand that it is really a big deal to immigrate to another Country. Sometimes people act as if it should be as easy as getting a drivers licence! Governments, all over the world, experience budget cutbacks, trouble with technical upgrades etc, changes in policy. The result is lots of frustration and waiting.... In a dream world, changes are well managed. In real life, it rarely works that well..... anywhere.

So......... if you do not want to face the frustration then it is best just to stay in your own, home country and just visit other Countries as a tourist. Often not a difficult visa to obtain for most Americans/Canadians.

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So, let me sure I understand this correctly, because the US is screwed up, it's ok for MX to be incompetent? - wow, you definitely are living in the right country if that's all you expect.

I'm always amazed at the logic that reduces all entities to the lowest common denominator rather than elevating them to the highest.

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So, let me sure I understand this correctly, because the US is screwed up, it's ok for MX to be incompetent? - wow, you definitely are living in the right country if that's all you expect.

I'm always amazed at the logic that reduces all entities to the lowest common denominator rather than elevating them to the highest.

How can you survive is this world, run by flawed humans, with such high standards? I get that we can set high standards for ourselves and for people whom we have some influence over..... but we have no control over INM, the IRS, DMV or any institution.

The best you can do, is learn what needs to be done, adapt and accept changes and learn to jump over hurdles and get around obstacles. You can write letters of complaint, escalate to a higher level of management (As More Liana and her wife are doing), but just getting frustrated and angry will get you no where. What changes have you made by having these high expectations?

If you tend to be easily frustrated, then it is much better to engage a lawyer or facilitator to avoid as much stress as possible. In the end, we all die. Its best not to waste a sunny day on stewing about things you can not change.

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So, let me sure I understand this correctly, because the US is screwed up, it's ok for MX to be incompetent? - wow, you definitely are living in the right country if that's all you expect.

I'm always amazed at the logic that reduces all entities to the lowest common denominator rather than elevating them to the highest.

No. US is a developed country and Mexico is a developing one. If a developed one can't streamline immigration, why would you think Mexico could, or would? Somewhere I read that the average educational level for a Mexican government worker is in the neighborhood of 6th grade. I would like to think I misread this, but...maybe you can see where this is leading. A little power in the hands of (fill in the blank) can go a long way for how poorly immigration laws are administered in some states or towns, but seem to work smoothly in others. Walking into the Chapala office would I want to end up in front of a big guy with an attitude and a less than pleasant look? No way.

That's only one part of it.

Then there's the (can't say the word) pay-offs to do or not to do, cultural adolescence, presumptions that one size fits all, you name it. Much like the US, perhaps, but less sophisticated.

The bad news is the Mexicans, in this area anyway, need the gringos for survival. And this is the largest single pack of gringos in Mexico. You could tick off the reasons on 10 fingers and probably go back around again. Those government officials sitting in their offices with petty pieces of power don't care. Why would they? That relationship is not on their radar because they are not affected. The law makers have not addressed this need either because (fill in the blank (again).

I, too, am fed up, but I knew going in 4 years ago, that this is Mexico and logic does not predominate, interpretation of just about anything is all over the map, and a fiesta with loud music, hugging and singing, family comidas, cohetes, and even a few gun shots is considered a good thing.

So, I'm just sitting here, listening and swaying (maybe a little dancing) to Juan Gabriel, Rocio Durcal, Joan Sebastian, Lucero, Antonio Marco Solis, and Camilo Sesto and a couple others on the radio (and doing a little painting) while waiting for the next batch of changes. If they don't fit my budget, there are other places I can go.

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The one thing that cracks me up is that all the folks who jumped on the Permanente bandwagon believing "they'll never ever have to deal with INM again"? - yeah right, the rules change weekly as you can see, good luck on that one.

What changes do you think have been made for people who already have permanent residency?

The previous INM version of permanent resident, Inmigrado, has been around for roughly 20 years, and there have been no changes during that time for people with permanent residency. INM did lower the requirements for getting permanent residency, making it easier to get, but even with all the changes in the 2011 INM law, all the previous 20 years of rights for Inmigrado permanent residents were maintained for the current Residente Permanente.

How is keeping the same rights and rules in place for 20 years for permanent residents somehow now "yeah right, the rules change weekly as you can see" ? I can't see anything on how permanent residency has changed.

By keeping the rules the same for 20 years once you have permanent residency, it sure seems like we really will "never ever have to deal with INM again", except for the 20 previous years of requirements to report changes in address or changes in workplace.

This thread is about "2013 changes to INM", and I have permanent residency, which makes me ask:

What am I missing? Just how has permanent residency changed after you have it?

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I am also a Residente Permanente and am happy with the changes to the INM laws and rules, which have made it a kinder and gentler situation for many classes of migrants. We expat retirees may have been inconvenienced by the J-car problem, as we were, but the overall situation is improved. Yes, for newbies, it is different and a bit more expensive, but so is a loaf of bread that was unadulterated and only 15 cents when I was a kid. Things do change. If this causes frustration and anger, as this case seems to illustrate, then those affected in that way should depart immediately, or seek help in understanding the situation and the local language & customs. Some never do, and just continue to complain in their isolation. That sure is no fun at all.

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The "inconvenienced" simply aren't coming and spending money here and employing Mexicans and supporting Mexican businesses.

I would say that the Mexicans are being more "inconvenienced" by this badly thought out legislation than the gringos. The latter have many options that don't have to include Mexico.

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Tourists are not inconvenienced at all, and that is where the money is. Expat retirees are not worth nearly so much in the eyes of central government. Even locally, expats seem to overestimate their value to the area. The weekend Tapatios are probably worth more to local merchants than are the resident expats. In any case, it is not the INM requirement for residency that is causing a drop in new arrivals; it is the economy in the USA, and elsewhere, as well as the misperceptions created by sensationalist news articles and their amplification by the timid or the pot-stirrers. Sure, I really dislike the loss of the use of a perfectly good vehicle and the related inconvenience and expense; but not enough to give up permanent residency and move to a less congenial place.

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Tourists don't spend $20K per year here (or a lot more as many of our friends do), year after year. Tapatios don't spend much money locally as you will learn if you know and talk to some of the local business people. And they don't hire the local workers either. Yes, there are more Tapatios here now but the business people will tell you they have a lot less business because there are fewer expats.

Mexico used to have a policy to encourage U.S. and Canadian retirees to come here because the government did seem understand that the retirees spend money here all year long. Apparently, at least some of the Mexican government no longer sees the benefits of retirees and the stability and employment they can bring with them. INM in particular seems determined to implement this law in the most difficult way possible.

I realize you are not able to get out much and hence do not have the opportunity to interact with the people who are being hurt by this rather stupid legislation. Running someone out of the country over a cheap old car and losing their much greater economic contribution just wasn't very smart. Even less smart was forcing everyone to go out of the country to apply for these visas. We just went through that process and the consulate people we worked with were quite candid in their dislike for this legislation.

Just another example of government creating problems where none existed before.

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It looks like there are two basic attitudes afloat here:

(1) That Mexico should change it's rules to suit immigrants or

(2) That it is what it is, and the more we contribute to "Global Whining", the higher our blood pressure will go and the more dissatisfied we will be.

I also suspect that a few folks had a rosy picture of Mexico when they first moved here, and now have the same rosy memories of the U.S. once the affair with Mexico has gone a bit sour. They will find the same kind of stubborn bureaucrats doing the same PITA stuff when they return "home". My memories include the CA Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the misnamed State Board of "Equalization" and of course, the perennial favorite, the I.R.S. Just the same old, same old topes in the road of life. Slow down, go over them gently and save your underthings.

Things like the name changes which inconvenience women who have ever had one due to marriage are simply the result of differing customs which have been in place in Mexico for a very long time. I don't see it as a deliberate attempt to inconvenience women in general; only expecting foreign women to jump through some hoops to get aligned with Mexican customs. Interestingly enough, the name on our birth certificates is our FATHER'S "maiden name" . Mom's got lost in the process in the U.S.(unless we're illegitimate) so which country actually is the least considerate of womens' identity? LOL.

I've personally had a fine old time (not) convincing the Mexican authorities that my name really is the same as my husband's after over 30 years. Maybe those liberated U.S. women who refused to take their husband's name actually had a useful idea, there. :unsure:

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I can't believe the gall of the Mexican government to inconvenience foreign residents! BTW, our Tapatio vecinos spend lots of Pesos here. I guess the "Rockman" in Harry Nilsson's "The Point" was right when he said, "You see what you want to see, you hear what you want to hear." I was "inconvenienced" and had to sell my US car and buy an MX car. Big woof.

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Tourists don't spend $20K per year here (or a lot more as many of our friends do), year after year. Tapatios don't spend much money locally as you will learn if you know and talk to some of the local business people. And they don't hire the local workers either. Yes, there are more Tapatios here now but the business people will tell you they have a lot less business because there are fewer expats.

Mexico used to have a policy to encourage U.S. and Canadian retirees to come here because the government did seem understand that the retirees spend money here all year long. Apparently, at least some of the Mexican government no longer sees the benefits of retirees and the stability and employment they can bring with them. INM in particular seems determined to implement this law in the most difficult way possible.

I realize you are not able to get out much and hence do not have the opportunity to interact with the people who are being hurt by this rather stupid legislation. Running someone out of the country over a cheap old car and losing their much greater economic contribution just wasn't very smart. Even less smart was forcing everyone to go out of the country to apply for these visas. We just went through that process and the consulate people we worked with were quite candid in their dislike for this legislation.

Just another example of government creating problems where none existed before.

Absolutely 100% correct.

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Running someone out of the country over a cheap old car and losing their much greater economic contribution just wasn't very smart.

Who got run out of the country because of their cheap old car?
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Poor choice of words on my part. They didn't get run out, they just said the hell with it. End result was the same.

What exactly was gained by this legislation?

As for Tapatios spending money here, I get this observation from the horse's mouth and stand by it. Ask any realtor how many homes they are buying here.

They don't spend near as much as a permanent resident expat, why should they? They have their own places to go in GDL.

I have three Mexican business people on my block. All of them confirm what I posted here and they are not the only ones.

Believe what you like. I believe what Mexicans who are in a position to know are telling me.

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Poor choice of words on my part. They didn't get run out, they just said the hell with it. End result was the same.

What exactly was gained by this legislation?

... Believe what you like. I believe what Mexicans who are in a position to know are telling me.

The legislation was primarily written to create many new protections for 10,000's of immigrants who had previously been badly abused by police across Mexico. Immigrants crossing Mexico faced beatings and deaths, with little support from the previous law.

Typical immigrants to Mexico do not drive SUVs or pull trailerloads of houshold goods. tren-immigrantes1.jpg?w=150&h=112tren-immigrantes2.jpg?w=150&h=99

The legislation was mainly passed for humanitarian reasons. Gains? The legislation is a big help in keeping immigrant families together. The legislation codifies and lists key human rights and legal protections for immigrants who faced horrible treatment in the past.

The "new" legislation also guarantees broader protections for political refugees than the USA.

It is tempting for Americans and Canadians to think that Mexican immigration policy revolves around them, but Americans and Canadians are the minorities of immigrants to Mexico. At most only about 20% of the INM law was written for Americans and Canadians.

Other gains? Much easier to qualify for Permanent Resident.

Much more simplified visas, reducing the number of visa types from 37 down to 9 (?).

Programs that open up immigration to people with skills that benefit Mexico.

Programs that open up immigration to foreigners who create jobs or invest in Mexico.

Vinculo Familiar that guarantees resident foreigner's family members residency.

Talking with people in the INM lines confirms that the big majority of people in line appreciate the changes.

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It was much easier financially to qualify before for a permanent type "visa." One only needed to prove half the lower income level if he was a property owner. It was easier for married couples to qualify. It was easier to qualify for any new resident card. Temporary residents could keep a foreign plated vehicles without worrying that they would be forced to go permanent or leave the country and re-qualify. The proof of income or asset amount is way to high to live in Mexico. It jumped almost $800 USD a month for a temporary. People who have $100,000 USD to buy a home but only $1200 SS income who easily moved here before can't now, leaving those who want to sell homes in the $100,000 USD range without buyers.

The law is great for illegals and not a problem for legals in that they needed to prove enough income to support themselves for a year. The income amount INM came up with is ridiculous and way beyond what one needs to support himself in Mexico for a year.

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It was much easier financially to qualify before for a permanent type "visa." ... It was easier for married couples to qualify. It was easier to qualify for any new resident card. ... The proof of income or asset amount is way to high to live in Mexico. ...

The law is great for illegals and not a problem for legals in that they needed to prove enough income to support themselves for a year. The income amount INM came up with is ridiculous and way beyond what one needs to support himself in Mexico for a year.

Yes, some requirements increased, but the significant reductions in other areas seem realistic. Joco presents only half of the facts. The current proof of savings for living in Mexico permanently seems reasonable to me, at just $125,000 USD.

Using US Census data for Baby Boomers, 40% of Boomers qualify now for Permanent Residency in Mexico. Since INM lowered the years living in Mexico to qualify to zero, 40% of Boomers can get a Permanent Residency in just a month and move here permanently, now. Is that unreasonable?

When American retirees reach age 67, they expect to live another 18 years. The Mexican Govt;s choice of just $125,000 in savings to live out an expected 18 years, translates to just $7,000 USD a year. Do we really think that an average $7,000 USD a year from retiree savings to qualify for Residente Pemanente "is way to high to live in Mexico"?

"It was easier for married couples to qualify." The Vinculo Familiar current rules for keeping families together actually allows the spouses of residents to qualify with zero $$ - which seems reasonable, but the applying spouse has to wait until the main income earner has qualified first.

Some requirements increased, some requirements fell dramatically. Rollybrook.com, Yucalandia.com and others present all the facts, giving a balanced picture. Negative unbalanced approaches give a view that the glass is only "half-empty", which fits these people looking for reasons to justify their personal beliefs. Consider both the positive and negative, and choose what fits you.

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I can't believe the gall of the Mexican government to inconvenience foreign residents! BTW, our Tapatio vecinos spend lots of Pesos here. I guess the "Rockman" in Harry Nilsson's "The Point" was right when he said, "You see what you want to see, you hear what you want to hear." I was "inconvenienced" and had to sell my US car and buy an MX car. Big woof.

Those Lyrics resonate with me. I am getting where I am having to tell friends, "lets just agree to disagree and talk about something else."

I do not want to spend another moment wasting time talking about stuff where our conversations yield no solution.

I sincerely feel sorry for people who get stuck in anger and frustration when faced with something that they see as illogical or unjust. I respect how they feel, but stewing about it and raging about it gets you no where. Sure, vent once in a while.... but then move on.

The OP gave us a heads up on some changes that could effect us. If you have to go to the Guadalajara INM office, and you are physically unable, you can hire someone to help you. They are not cruel and unfeeling in the INM office and will not make your aged spouse push your wheel chair up the stairs! There are always work-arounds.

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"There are always work-arounds." Amen, Gringal!

That was Val Gal's post, but no matter. I agree that people should look for the work arounds instead of futile complaining.

BTW, wars start all over the globe when people can't get past anger, get stuck in beliefs and can't manage to move on.

So, if you're ready, willing and able to start a war, it's wise to pick one you can win.

"It's not fair, mom" doesn't cut it, even when you're a kid. :010:

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Tourists don't spend $20K per year here

It looks like there are two basic attitudes afloat here: (1) That Mexico should change it's rules to suit immigrants or -

I only chose these two because they are so obvious, many others offer "targets of opportunity". Let's reconfirm MC's "$20K - make that $30K+ in my case (and many others) and I'm not a biggie spender. But then again, maybe MX doesn't want our "legitimate" money - - - you speculate from there.

And again, to correct a misconception, at least I personally, was not beating the drum for ANY changes in the (now) past law. I got my FM3 in '08, so problema, each year after I paid a reasonable amount, got a new one with no sweat, even eliminating going to Guad the last couple of years, but then the dreaded "5" year point. Well, before, I would have simply gone back in, re-submitted my financials (not that I've not obviously been paying my way - and a couple others - in MX) and all was well. But nooooo, we have to be thrown to the wolves with the vehicle thing (while Chocolates run free) and pay extra - or in my case when I need one more year, go to a US consulate, IN THE US,and start over at an increased price and inconvenience.

Now, to more properly define "inconvenience" I might add that in addition to the increased cost, I submitted paperwork through my facilitator on Sept 24th, was finger printed on Oct 9th - and, as I read the calendar this is NOVEMBER 12th and still no further instructions as to when - OR WHERE - my Temporal might be available for me to prove my legal temporal residence in this wonderfully efficient country. Oh, which BTW probably eats my $300 IMPORT deposit by the 15 day rule at Aduana when I leave next year.

No my friends, I expect nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary other than common courtesy for a guy who is paying his way (assuming that "common courtesy" is a concept understood in MX?). Funny, somehow my childhood upbringing reminds me of the "Golden Rule" - but then, I'm showing my age huh?

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Wars are started when people are not angry. Hitler wasn't angry when he invaded his first country. I don't know why it is assumed that people are angry if they discuss an issue.

In the U.S. we complain when we think something isn't fair. That has created a country that in most cases works to correct unfairnesses and has made the U.S. superior to Mexico in business and government.

In countries where the populace doesn't complain, the government does not run as well and certainly businesses are not competitive.

Complaining is healthy and productive. Accepting a fate one does not like is not healthy. Going along to get along is stupid.

I rent. I do not own but I do feel sorry for those who own homes that are worth less than $150,000 USD because those are bought by foreigners who have $150,000 USD or less to buy a home and 99% of them do not receive $2000 US a month in pension income. Those middle class home owners keep the economy here going. They cause the most MX employment and keep businesses going. Without them the economy here shrinks and when that happens the people who do qualify with over $2000 in income will quit moving here also.

I'm sure that already there is a huge drop in retirees moving here and it is not because of the U.S. economy. House sales have increased in the U.S., house prices are going up, people are retiring and getting SS. They are not moving to Mexico because most do not qualify.

It is an unusual bird who when he retires he leaves his home country and the richer a person is, the more choices he has.

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So much anger and so many mis-perceptions. Anyway, it is all coming from a very tiny, inconsequential place, in the whole scheme of things. I am sure that the government did not focus on Ajijc when it considered the options in writing the new law and rules. No, I do not like some of the consequences; like my J-car, but otherwise accept the benefits of becoming Residente Permanente. That status was also easily available to the major complainers on this thread, but they chose to do things the hard way. It should also be noted that the head of a family can become residente permanente and his wife, or even concubine, will also qualify, along with as many children that they have. Sure, that does not apply to the typical expat retiree, but we are a miniscule minority in the total population of the country.

As for tourism; yes, they do spend more than we retired residents because there are millions of them. Obviously, individual residents will spend less, per day, than the typical tourist.

I also understand why Mexico is trying to reduce the number of old vehicles and to encourage the purchase of cars from local dealers. Little, by little, they will succeed in eliminating the chocolates as well.

For those who still wish to argue the point, I suggest that Mexico is, by far, more generous in its immigration policies than the USA. It is very hard to go to the USA even as a tourist. Here, it is a piece of cake for most with the funds to travel. Again, that is where the money is; not in the expat resident population.

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