Meeting on New Immigration Policies

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Meeting on New Immigration Policies


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Old 26th August 2012, 12:15 AM
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Default Meeting on New Immigration Policies

The US consular official in San Miguel called a meeting for all expats to discuss the new/evolving regulations. This meeting included a number of Mexican officials.
We could not attend but received the following summary that is being circulate in San Miguel.
There certainly seems to be a lot of confusion and about as many questions as answers.


Three types of visas were discussed in some detail at the meeting, pending
the promulgation of the new regulations in November. The relationship
between each visa and temporary card permits was also discussed.

1. Visitante. (the old FMM or FMT).

When foreigners first enter Mexico, they will obtain a Visitor
("Visitante") visa. This visa is good for up to 180 days. Visitantes may also obtain
a temporary permit to bring a foreign-plated car into Mexico for the same
period of time.

Pending the new regulations, it may not be possible for a Visitante to
move to a Residente Temporal (the old FM3) without leaving the country. IIt
may be necessary for someone with a Visitante visa to leave Mexico before it
expires and apply at a Mexican Consulate for a "pre-FM3"/Temporary
Resident visa. With this "pre-visa," they could re-enter Mexico and exchange it
in SMA or elsewhere for a Temporary Resident visa/card.

2. Residente Temporal (the old FM3). A foreigner may obtain a Temporary
Resident visa. They may renew this visa four times. They may obtain
temporary permit to have a foreign-plated car in Mexico.

As reported earlier on the CL, under the new procedures being implemented
now, it is no longer possible to move seamlessly from one FM3 to a new
Residente Temporal (FM3) five-year cycle. Your current FM3 must expire before
you may apply for a Residente Temporal, a new five-year cycle.


Thus, at the end of the fourth renewal year, a Temporary Resident will
have two or three options:

(a) obtain a Permanent Resident visa. (See #3 below.)
(b) leave Mexico and return on a Visitante visa, and then apply for
another Temporary Resident visa. (See note below.)
(c) stay in Mexico, let their FM3 expire, and within 60 days apply for a
Temporary Resident visa, and pay a fine of 1,300 to 6500 pesos. This
process is called "regularization."

Here, too, we have to wait until the new regulations are available, as
(option "b") may not be possible without leaving the country and visiting a
Mexican Consulate for pre-approval.

********
Car Permits. What if the foreigner who -- (1) holds a FM3 that is about
to expire and (2) wants to apply for a Temporary Resident visa -- has a
U.S. plated car with a car permit? Will the car permit be rendered invalid
when her FM3 expires?

Opinion on this issue is divided. The Aduanas law seems to say that,
because the "continuity" of visa status has been broken when a visa expires,
the visa holder must leave Mexico, cancel the car's permit, and then re-enter
Mexico on a new visa with a new car permit.

On the other hand, the official from the government of Guanajuato,
representing Aduanas, said that, if a holder of a FM3 that is expiring wants to
stay in Mexico and does not want to take the trip to the border (option "c"
above), she may let her FM3 expire, apply for a Temporary Resident visa, and
pay the fine of 1300-6500 pesos.

However, during the period from the date the FM3 is expired to the date
the Temporary Resident visa is issued, the official said the vehicle should
not be driven, because it is not "legal."

This official also pointed out that a Federale or other public official has
no way of telling if the continuity of the visa had been broken. In other
words, as long as a U.S./Canadian/other foreign plated car with a
temporary import permit is driven by someone with a valid visa, it should be OK,
that is, not subject to confiscation. (Note the "should" here.)

If a person lets their FM3 expire and does not apply for a Temporary
Resident or Permanent Resident visa within 60 days, they cannot apply for any
visa and must leave Mexico -- with their vehicle. No exceptions.

When a FM3/FM2 holder whose visa is about to expire leaves Mexico, they
should surrender their FM3 card at the border and cancel their temporary
import permit on their vehicle.

3. Permanent Resident Visa (the old FM2).

If a foreigner is a Permanent Resident-Rentista she may have a
foreign-plated car. A Rentista is someone in Mexico living off a pension or
investments from another country.

Permanent Residents who are not rentistas may not own or operate a vehicle
with a temporary import permit.
.
The income qualification for a Permanent Resident is twice as much for
Temporary Resident.

Permanent Residents may be out of Mexico a total of 18 months in a five
year period.

**********

Income requirements for Temporary and Permanent Residents:

Temporary Resident 1300 USD approx.
Permanent Resident 2200 USD approx.
50% reduction on both if you own a home in Mexico
Amount is indexed to minimum wage in Mexico City, so it will increase
somewhat

Income levels must be substantiated by a letter from a financial
institution, U.S., Canadian, Mexican. The letter from the bank should indicate
regular or periodic deposits from sources like SSA or pensions.

*********

The government official representing Aduanas also opined that if a person
holding a tourist visa and a temporary import permit for their vehicle had
to leave the county by airplane for a short time and then return, the permit
would not be valid while she is out of the country, but when she entered
the country again on a new visa, the vehicle permit would then be valid. In
other words, there would be no reason to return the car to the border to
cancel the old permit and get a new one.

Note: that this is contrary to the prevailing advice given before on the
CL. Again, it is an issue of the "continuity" of the person's visa. Other
government officials may have a different opinion on this matter.

As in the case of a FM3 holder who allows their visa to expire before
applying for a Temporary Resident visa, the vehicle permit is invalid during the
expiration period but might be re-instated when the new visa is issued.

********

Regarding the annual trip to Aduanas for temporary import permit holders:

1. If you did not actually pay a deposit when you obtained your temporary
import permit for your U.S./Canadian plated vehicle there is little need
to go to the local Aduanas office annual and fill out the form attesting to
your visa status.

2. If you did really pay the $200-$400 deposit when your got your
temporary import permit AND you want to have it refunded at some point in the
future when you leave the country, you are advised to make the annual trip to
the local Aduanas office. To enhance your chances of obtaining a refund,
you should go down to the Aduanas office ideally 10-15 days before your FM2/3
is scheduled to expire, but after you renew it.

Of course, with the new procedures for moving from a FM3 to a new
Temporary Resident, it would be impossible in that instance to attest to
"continuity" in your visa status.

********
Nationalization of vehicles. Vehicles made in the U.S. and Canada --
whose VINs (serial numbers) do not start with a letter -- may be
imported/nationalized in Mexico. Currently, this can only be done at the border by a
Mexican citizen, using the services of a custom broker (agente de Aduanas).
The vehicle must be a 1999-2004 model, a pick-up, van, or SUV. The import
duty is based on the Blue Book value of the vehicle. (Counting the brokers
fees and other charges, the reported cost ranges from $1900-2400 USD
depending on the year of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is in the interior of
Mexico, it may be registered. Vehicles older than 1999 may not be imported.)
It is assumed that each model year the dates will move forward, e.g.,
2000-2005 models.


*********

It was made clear that U.S. citizens, residents of Mexico, may hold dual
Mexican citizenship and it does not affect the U.S. citizenship.

********

The government official from Migracion extolled the benefits of the
immigration status called Inmigrado. In this status there are no yearly
renewals, no fees, and other substantial advantages. Of course, you may not have
or drive a car with foreign plates.

It would appear that one of the longer-term objective of the Mexican
Government is to move foreign residents to Inmigrado status, as well as to
screen potential temporary foreign residents of their country before they show
up with a van full of personal possessions.

Clearly, one of the intended or unintended consequences of these changes in
these immigration laws is to encourage the purchase of cars made in
Mexico. I will address that topic in another post.


__._,_.___
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Old 26th August 2012, 03:23 AM
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Thanks Conklin.

The writeup mentions "inmigrado" status, but doesn't give any information about the process. If you hear any more on that it would be interesting, e.g. Is the process still 5 years inmigrante/permanent resident/FM2 first or are there changes in the number of years required or a new process.

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Old 26th August 2012, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TundraGreen View Post
Thanks Conklin.

The writeup mentions "inmigrado" status, but doesn't give any information about the process. If you hear any more on that it would be interesting, e.g. Is the process still 5 years inmigrante/permanent resident/FM2 first or are there changes in the number of years required or a new process.
I asked about that very topic last month, while at INM in Morelia. The official/agent there told me that there were no changes yet.

We then applied for and were granted a change from No Inmigrante Rentista (was FM3) to Inmigrante Rentista (Was FM2). Until the new rules are implemented, we expect to have 5 years in the category before becoming Inmigrados.

You may hear or read differently elsewhere, but IMO, it is purely speculative at this time.
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Old 26th August 2012, 08:47 PM
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I should have added that since I wasn't there, I have no idea of the validity of any of this. I do know that Ed Clancey the consular official is pretty good and that he had Aduana, local INM & state person there so probably best info for at least the state of Guanajuato to date.

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Old 26th August 2012, 09:19 PM
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Sounds like the Consulate is doing a lot of guessing. Very different from the proposed changes many others have heard. Like FM3/2 being incorporated and multi year Visas available. Sounds like more work for everybody rather than simplifying
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Old 26th August 2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks View Post
Sounds like the Consulate is doing a lot of guessing. Very different from the proposed changes many others have heard. Like FM3/2 being incorporated and multi year Visas available. Sounds like more work for everybody rather than simplifying
Actually he was smart enough to bring in the people in Guanajuato that are responsible for implementing. If info not correct or the Guanajuato interpretation at least from the applicable officials. He's more than smart enough not to guess about policies for which he has no role.

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Old 26th August 2012, 10:32 PM
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For #3, FM2/Permanent Resident, I don't see anything different from the current regulations (unless they're really going to require a "letter" from financial institutions rather than three months' bank statements showing the deposits). What am I missing?

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Old 26th August 2012, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaloco View Post
For #3, FM2/Permanent Resident, I don't see anything different from the current regulations (unless they're really going to require a "letter" from financial institutions rather than three months' bank statements showing the deposits). What am I missing?
This "letter" requirement is going to mess up many visas, because no bank will issue such a letter. What bank will verify that a person will receive future payments? Or even if such deposits are legitimate?

Copy the letterhead from a statement and be creative?

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Old 26th August 2012, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Income levels must be substantiated by a letter from a financial
institution, U.S., Canadian, Mexican. The letter from the bank should indicate
regular or periodic deposits from sources like SSA or pensions.
People were suggesting a bank letter 6-7 years ago when I first got my visa and all they would say is that I'm a customer. The bank statements tell where deposits are from and how much. They also accepted a VOIDed check as proof. The silliest thing I've heard is translated bank statements .... they are just numbers with dates and your name ??
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Old 27th August 2012, 12:52 AM
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Actually when we did sort of pre-Visas at the consulate in Raleigh two years ago they wanted such a letter. My credit union was willing to issue letter that the last three bank statement postings of my SSA & pension were valid postings. This was accepted. I didn't have to do as part of the final visa completion in San Miguel or this year's renewal.
The thing that concerns me with the base info is the migration from my present visa to the new options. Sounds as if I can complete the remaing renewals without an issue but the transition not well thought out as sounds like I need leave Mexico and start new process at a consulate or do in Mexico and pay a fine while my US plated car wouldn't be legal during transition.
Hopefully this not well stated or gets resolved before I need migrate visas.

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