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I just crossed Laredo International Bridge II this morning, Wednesday April 26th. I needed to cancel my temporary car permit, cancel my Tourist Card, Date-Stamp my Passport and I needed to do some business in downtown Laredo Tx.  Normally one comes down Luis Donaldo Colosio Blvd in N. Laredo and before the bridge veers right onto a lateral to go to the INM building.... between/under Bridge II and Bridge I.  You all know the place.

Well, as I approached the lateral before getting to the Bridge, the lateral was BLOCKED... both places. There was a 10-foot deep ditch bisecting the lateral. There was NO SIGNAGE suggesting where one should go/what one should do to get to the INM building. In fact the signs saying "turn here" were still there as they normally are. 

So what to do???  None of the toll-booth agents knew what to do/where to go/how to cancel a Permit etc. I back tracked, drove the wrong way on a one-way, asked people... they all said "oh, it's right down there". Well I knew that but HOW does one get "down there". Beats them!  They all appeared to be oblivious that the only way into INM was blocked (about 100 yards from where they were sitting!).

Finally after 40 minutes a young interprising Mexican, who knew this was a problem, flagged me down and asked if I was trying to cancel my permit. YES!  "Follow me in my car", he says. Then I commenced to follow him through the bowels of N. Laredo (not normally something I like to do!) and finally came out next to the river and the back way into the INM building... but coming from the other direction! He was real disappointed that I only handed him 100 pesos but.....

So got things done there OK. Then asked the personnel about crossing at Bridge I which I am now close to. "No, it is closed (which I knew but asked anyway)". So how do I get out I asked. "Oh, back the normal way on the Lateran and do a U-turn onto Colosio", they said. Only problem is that I knew it had a ditch across it, but he said "Oh, you can get out". WRONG. I went up there and there was no escaping the normal way!

So, I turned around, went back by the INM building and tried to find my way back through the bowels of N. Laredo to Blvd. Colosio. Finally did and then proceeded across the Bridge to US Customs. This whole ordeal took an hour or more trying to figure out HTF I was going to get my TIP and FMM canceled and then back to the Bridge II. Again, there was NO signage ANYWHERE as to what to do since the normal route was blocked. 

Also.... the time to get through US Customs, at around 11:30 A.M. was an hour or more. All lanes were very slow and traffic was blacked up about 1/3 the way back out onto the Bridge over the Rio Grande.

I don't have a clue how long this blockage will continue. It didn't look that new and there were no workers or equipment around. So unless you know how to meander through N. Laredo like the driver took us, I recommend that one cross out at the Colombia crossing.... which is generally how many people go anyway. But as I said I had business downtown and didn't want to backtrack from way out at the Colombia crossing today.

 

 

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So I saw the post by Peterth on the other thread "Exiting Mexico by Land" where he said he attended the Chapala Immigration workshop and then crossed at Columbia and was told by INM there that temporal and permanente holders don't need to fill out the FMM.  Did you actually fill out the FMM as would normally occur flying in and out of Guad?  I'm curious because we have entered and departed Mexico by vehicle twice and never bothered with filling out FMMs, coming or going.  On the first entry, we just showed our temporales to the officer at the 17km checkpoint outside of Nuevo Laredo and he waved us through.  On the second trip, no one was manning the post! 

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I have never filled out the FMM when driving out..if you stopp at the INM office at Columbia they tell you not required when departing by land..

 

 

 

 

 

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If you'll look back at my (too long!) Post you'll see that I was turning in a Tourist card and cancelling a TIP... so no FMM for me. However, folks with me are Permanente, they had their FMM filled out (just like the meeting said to do) and..... just like Telsz4 said at the Colombia crossing the INM Agent at Bridge II said "you are leaving Mexico... you only need an FMM for coming into Mexico."

So who knows what one really needs since the border folks seem to march to their own drums.

 

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You should check out if checking in or else one day you may be asked to explain why you entered twice and only left once.

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When we go to the border for a few days we never bother with the FMM.  We also cross at Pharr and never have encountered the hassles reported here about Laredo.  There's a much better selection of hotels around McAllen/Pharr/Edinburg, there's a Costco just a few minutes north of the border for a great deal on gas and road food the tolls are significantly less, the crossing is very fast if you don't arrive late Sunday afternoon.

Going north we hit the next Costco for lunch and gas.  It is perfectly placed on the north side of San Antonio.

I really think that because almost all of the gringos crossing in this part of the world use Laredo the Aduanas are more vigilant.  We are hardly ever even checked at Pharr and have been repeatedly waved through with car loads.  I suspect the Jalisco plates don't hurt either.

Another member here and I have compared notes regarding distances, tolls and times and concluded the tolls were less, the times were the same or less and the distance less than 20 miles difference.  There are no cities to go through now on this route and just one poor ring road around Lagos de Moreno.

I figure the newly complete libremiento and the new west side bypass of San Luis Potosi will shave more time off our 10.5 hour run time to the border.  We may be going up soon and if so I'll report updated route conditions on this board as I always do after a trip north.

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You fill out the top larger portion of a FMM card and hand it into the INM when arriving at the Mexican airport. This portion is for entering Mexico. The smaller bottom half portion is given to tourists when entering Mexico by Mexican Immigration officials and handed into airlines or INM officals when leaving Mexico by all tourists, leaving by air or land. The INM officials at the meeting in Chapala made it very clear - do not fill out that tourist bottom portion and hand it into anyone entering or leaving Mexico - It is only for tourists, not for Residente Permanentes or Residente Temporales. Watch the video of the INM meeting [minutes 22 to 25] posted in the Ajijic/Chapala/Guadalajara section on the thread  titled Entering/Leaving Mexico.      

      .

 

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Alan, did you really mean to say, later in the Post, "do not fill out that tourist top portion and hand it into anyone...". Don't you mean the bottom?

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18 hours ago, Intercasa said:

You should check out if checking in or else one day you may be asked to explain why you entered twice and only left once.

Spencer it is hard to give them something when they refuse to take it, and give you the 'you don't turn in an FMM on exiting' comment. A friend told me last year that when she pleaded for them to take it, they did and turned around and threw it in the waste basket!

 

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17 minutes ago, RickS said:

Alan, did you really mean to say, later in the Post, "do not fill out that tourist top portion and hand it into anyone...". Don't you mean the bottom?

Yes I did mean bottom and I corrected it in my post.

 

I appears airlines have to accept a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal card when boarding international flights and not ask for anything from Mexican Immigration on top of your INM RP or RT card from now on. Your card is your proof of being a legal resident living in Mexico, not a validated FMM tourist card being a tourist legally in Mexico. Both are valid INM documents and only the FMM tourist card has a validation expiration date and needs to returned to INM. The RP and RT cards do not. Of course RT cards have an expiration date also but not the subject here.

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Spencer it is hard to give them something when they refuse to take it, and give you the 'you don't turn in an FMM on exiting' comment. A friend told me last year that when she pleaded for them to take it, they did and turned around and threw it in the waste basket!

 

Now I have a sneaking suspicion all the times I gave an INM offical a filled out smaller bottom portion of a FMM card when leaving Mexico by foot they stamped it and threw them in the trash basket. They mght have no use for them from legal residents and never did since the new INM law of 2011 [no limit to time out of the country]. They were just being nice possibly.

http://www.banderasnews.com/1704/vl-expats-risk-losing-residency-status.htm

"In contrast, as an RT or RP visa holder, any time you fly out of Mexico you will have to fill out an FMM and give it to the airline carrier to be attached to your boarding pass. The shorter lower segment of the form will be collected at the INM desk prior to entering the boarding area."

This was not stated in the Chapala INM meeting video but actually the contrary was stated.

Articles like this don´t help cear up the confusión many Expats have either.

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Unfortunately you need to fight with them to take the form.  It is the same in the US, I was close to arrest for insisting that CBP let us pass to turn in an I-94 form for a  Mexican so that way there was a registry they left the country and was told it was not necessary and then was arguing and then said would they want liability for visa cancellation as the US government registered an air entry but no exit by land and then the two agents thought about it and said ok. 

If you dont know then face the consequences but if you do you need to insist or else you may have more future hassles and you will wish you made more of a stink

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Well, as a residente pemanente, I have always handed the bottom portion to the airline when flying out from PV, after having the INM agent stamp it (and they have never said it wasn't necessary), and filled out a new top portion when entering. I'll see what Westjet does this summer when I just try to hand them my resident card.

It sounds like the information session just confused matters, since it seems different airports and border crossings all play by different rules. The main thing, I think, is that you fill out the form correctly.

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I am curious- if the INM agents at the Lakeside meeting told residents that they were no longer to hand in the small part of the FMM form when flying out, how would one prove their entries and exits if applying for citizenship? I don't know if this question was addressed at the meeting and as I am on metered cell-connected internet, don't have the capability to watch the video.

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23 hours ago, AlanMexicali said:

Yes I did mean bottom and I corrected it in my post.

 

I appears airlines have to accept a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal card when boarding international flights and not ask for anything from Mexican Immigration on top of your INM RP or RT card from now on. Your card is your proof of being a legal resident living in Mexico, not a validated FMM tourist card being a tourist legally in Mexico. Both are valid INM documents and only the FMM tourist card has a validation expiration date and needs to returned to INM. The RP and RT cards do not. Of course RT cards have an expiration date also but not the subject here.

Now I'm really confused.  My wife is flying out in June.  Does she no longer go to the immigration window and get the FMM?  In the past, the airlines have required it.

However, if she doesn't, upon returning will the immigration officer have a problem just accepting her valid TR card and US Passport?

 

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All foreigners must register their entries and exits using the FMM form, the catch is to write residente temporal or permanente on the top of each form and show your card to lessen the likelihood of the immigration agent making a mistake and checking the person in / out as a tourist.  This means going to the immigration window / kiosk when leaving or looking for immigration at land border crossings.  Failure to do so may result in future problems.  We can appeal and file suits but the cheapest and easiest way to avoid problems is to check in and out and completely fill out the forms and show your visa. 

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Spencer- yet apparently the INM agents at the Chapala presentation told everyone that if they were residents they should not fill out the small portion and hand it in on their exits. Are you saying that they gave false information?

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8 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Now I'm really confused.  My wife is flying out in June.  Does she no longer go to the immigration window and get the FMM?  In the past, the airlines have required it.

However, if she doesn't, upon returning will the immigration officer have a problem just accepting her valid TR card and US Passport?

 

Re-entering Mexico the Chapala INM officials stated in the video: RP and RT residents  fill out the larger top portion of the FMM card and mark the box "other" not the box "tourism" under the heading "Purpose of your trip" [trip to Mexico not trip to any other foreign country]. Give the INM officials this FMM form, throw away the smaller bottom portion, as this is only for tourists to  fill out and give to INM officials when entering Mexico,  your INM RP or RT card and your passport. They stamp the FMM form and keep it you get nothing. No mention of needing your passport stamped in.

Leaving by air the Chapala INM officials in the video stated : Don´t fill out  the smaller portion when leaving as the smaller portion is only for tourists. They clearly indicated during the whole conversation the larger top portion of the FMM form needs to be filled out and stamped and kept by INM officials when entering Mexico, not when leaving Mexico.

If all the airlines on international flights  request the smaller bottom portion then INM officals at the Guadalajara airport are still stampig them when RP or RTs are leaving, I suspect.

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwZ-Ca0X5duLU1pQdGY2SHdFbWc/view?pref=2&pli=1

Chapter VII, Article 66 to Article 71, page 54 of the Rules - SEGOB - INM 2012 published rules state that foreigners with Immigration documents/resident visa card holders [RP or RT visa cards]  have to fill out a FMM card for statistical purposes when leaving Mexico by air or land.

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Well, as I stated, good luck getting the INM agent at Bridge II Laredo (and Colombia too I understand) to take an FMM already filled out!  Tried that  a few days ago (as I stated above) and was rebuffed. He was initially cordial but when pressed he got a bit riled up.... "you only need an FMM to get INTO Mexico, not to LEAVE!!!"  He would not take the form.

So I personally am NOT going to get in a confrontational situation with an INM agent when I am trying to exit Mexico!  YMMV

 

 

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We are Permanente. On May 4 2017 we filled out the FMM forms at Bridge II Laredo. Agent checked them and then gave us back the top half.

Three days later I walked across Bridge I, took a taxi to the Nuevo Laredo Airport and gave the top half to the INM agent before boarding the plane.

No problems either way.

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43 minutes ago, lumieretoo said:

We are Permanente. On May 4 2017 we filled out the FMM forms at Bridge II Laredo. Agent checked them and then gave us back the top half.

Three days later I walked across Bridge I, took a taxi to the Nuevo Laredo Airport and gave the top half to the INM agent before boarding the plane.

No problems either way.

Which just goes to prove that, in Mexico, one can never tell what a government Agent is going to do or say. As I mentioned in a Post above, when I was at Bridge II immigrations on April 26th the agent there WOULD NOT take an FMM for the Permanente folks with me, telling us emphatically that an FMM was for Entering Mexico, not leaving it!!!  

Viva Mexico!!!!

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47 minutes ago, lumieretoo said:

We are Permanente. On May 4 2017 we filled out the FMM forms at Bridge II Laredo. 

BTW, were you able to get to the Bridge II offices OK?  Two weeks before I would not get to it because the road/lateral leading into it was torn up/blocked with no signs as to how to get to the building.

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3 hours ago, RickS said:

BTW, were you able to get to the Bridge II offices OK?  Two weeks before I would not get to it because the road/lateral leading into it was torn up/blocked with no signs as to how to get to the building.

Road was still blocked so we drove in from the other side under Bridge I. Just follow signs to Bridge I, Turn left and watch for CIITEV signs and drive under Bridge !

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