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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We live in our RV. We plan on traveling around Mexico for 1+ years (and then heading south through Central and South America). We're currently in Baja with an FMM that we got 3 months ago. We meet the income requirements for an FM3 but do not have an address nor a Mexican bank account.

It seems our options are:

1. Cross the border every 180 days and get a new FMM (will they even allow us to get 2 more FMMs?)

2. Overstay our visa while in Baja and hope if/when we get stopped at the Guerrero ***** checkpoint that they can give us a new visa, with a fine of course. Our story would be that we just crossed the USA border a few days ago and didn't get a visa or a stamp in our passport. What will that fine be?? We probably won't hit the mainland for another 7 months.

3. Apply for an FM3. Since we are traveling around, we don't have an address. If we used the address of a campground, chances are that we would only be staying at the campground for a day or 2. We are usually parked in an arroyo or on a beach where there is no address.

We want to be legal!!! How do full time RVers do it!?
 

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I would suggest that you find a campground that is open all year. The owner will have to give you receipts and some CFE bills to establish your address. Then, go online and make your application to INM, collect the required documentation and present it at the nearest INM office. It may take a week or so, but you will be able to get your 'no inmigrante' visa. Then, you are free to go; with one exception: You must be in Mexico 30 days before the visa expires, in order to renew it. That said, there may soon be an opportunity to pay ahead and get a visa good for several years. We're all waiting for the new rules to be published, which will make the 'no inmigrante' visa a 'tarjeta de residencia temporal'.
 

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... 1. Cross the border every 180 days and get a new FMM (will they even allow us to get 2 more FMMs?)...
Since you will be traveling around anyway, it would seem to be no inconvenience to cross the border once every 180 days and get a new Tourist visa. There is no limit on how many times you do this.
 

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It appears that they want to stay more than 180 days in Baja Sur, making it a long drive back to the border. That said, it would seem that they would have known 'the rules' beforehand and should be prepared to comply with them. Getting a visa does seem to be the only good option. I would not suggest overstaying a tourist permit, thereby putting themselves and their vehicle at the mercy of the next official they meet. Even a traffic stop could mean confiscation of the vehicle as being in Mexico illegally, unless they have the 10 year permit. Other 'inconveniences' could arise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you RVGRINGO and TundraGreen.

RVGRINGO: How do the logistics work in getting a campground owner to provide copies of CFE bills? I assume we would be forthcoming in our motivations to establish their campground as our address on our visa application? Do you know if we will need a Mexican bank account or can we show our investment/interest income using our USA bank?

TundraGreen: Great to know that we can get unlimited FMMs. We are traveling around, but driving to the border in 3 months would mean we drive from southern baja to the USA border unnecessarily. It's inconvenient and costly but not out of the question. We would prefer to stay south-ish for at least 5 months (if the visa situation would allow it).

Thanks again.
 

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No need for a Mexican bank account at all. INM accepts your previous three months of US bank statements, but some offices may want them translated for your first application. Since you own no property, you'll both have to meet the $ requirements, so be sure to have separate accounts unless one spouse is to be 'dependent'; then, one account will do.
The CFE bill is simply to show INM that the address is legitimate. It need not be in your name, but you should have a paid receipt to show that you are in residence. Just ask the campground to loan you the last few bills to make your application. INM will copy them and you can give the originals back to the campground.
When you renew, you can do a change of address at the same time, if you are in another campground, as we're all required to keep INM advised of such changes; but I wouldn't worry while 'traveling'.
 

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... INM will copy them and you can give the originals back to the campground. ...
Just one clarification on RV's comment. In my experience, government offices never make copies. It is always a good idea to bring copies. That applies to utility bills, passport, bank statements. They often will want to see the original and then they will keep a copy. There are usually copy places near all the government offices.
 

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I don't know how many months/years the "+" means in the 1+ time you wish to spend in Mexico. The maximum time for an FMM (tourist permit) is 180 days. An FMM costs 294 pesos while a 1 year visa would be in the range of 2,000 pesos (I don't remember the exact cost of a first time visa - someone fill in the blank) for each of you. If you are going to leave Mexico and head south to Central American anytime soon, the cost of the visa would be like tossing money away.

And you know that you can not drive from Panama to Colombia because there is no road.
 

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I should have said, "INM will take copies of the CFE bills".

Yes, that '1+' does open a question. Also, what type of 'importada' do you have on the RV? That makes a difference, as does a 'toad' or towing vehicle. If it is a motorhome without a 'toad' and has a ten year permit, you could take a bus to the border for a new FMM. Otherwise, the vehicle(s) must cross with you, getting receipts and returning on new permits and the new deposits. By the way, if your vehicle required a deposit coming in to Mexico, it will be forfeited the day after your FMM expires; no refunds, and the vehicle becomes illegal upon expiry of your immigration documents, unless they are upgraded and subsequently renewed, also requiring notification to Aduana within 15 days to protect the deposit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all the responses. The cost is something I never thought of. We only see ourselves in Mexico for 1.5 years before heading further south. For 2 people: ~$400 vs. ~$120 + cost of diesel and our time As a side note, we won't be "driving" across the Darien Gap, but will ship the rig. We do not have an import permit for our vehicle as we had expected to get it in La Paz,BCS before taking the ferry to Mazatlan. Now, we will not be taking the ferry but driving through the mainland. We'll pick up the vehicle permit before we hit the mainland. THANK YOU again!
 

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How do you get the 10 year permit. We're looking at renting a lot and putting our travel trailer on it and leaving it there. We'll be on an FMM, though with an address we could go for inmigrante (or whatever its called now). Old FM3. I tried the search function here but it gave me everything but RV questions
 

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I thought that RV, but I would like to maintain an FMM and not haul the travel trailer out every 6 mo. That's why I thought the 10 year thing would be good for me, then we would go NOB every 6 mo to spend the summer here in UT. But we may not be able to do that on the FMM. My wife may have to retire this year and we don't know yet what her income will be. Just looking at options now.
 

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If you have a 10 year permit for your trailer, I think you can leave it behind when you travel outside of Mexico. You do not 'maintain an FMM', as they expire in 180 days or whenever you leave Mexico. You get a new one when you return to Mexico. It is a multiple purpose form, used as a tourist permit.
A proper visa allows you to come and go without regard for the vehicle's permit, which remains valid if you maintain the visa; no-inmigrante or inmigrante, soon to be combined as a residente temporal.
 
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