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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, we’re getting closer to our goal of making our retiree escape to Mexico!! However, there are several topics where we could use your sage advice. I’ll make separate threads for each function in order to make each an individual discussion.

With school finally out for the summer, we plan to make a trip over to the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock to start our preparations for moving to Mexico. In the past, dealing with the consulate has been an exercise in frustration; they were rude, pushy & short-tempered – especially with their own citizens. Even with us, their behavior was not much better. On our way out, while an employee was trying to help us with answers & information, imagine our surprise when his supervisor proceeded to scold him, in front of us - for helping us out!!

Anyway, I’ve called & emailed several times over the past 5 or 6 weeks without any answers, help or reciprocation from them. The receptionist always takes my name, address, phone number & the reason for my call; then dutifully promises that I will be contacted promptly. Hasn’t happened yet, and I no longer have any expectation of it. So here we are, planning a trip to go deal with them in person with the hope, at least, of being able to accomplish our purposes in only two trips. One trip, to get information & forms; the second, to return the forms & continue the processes.

I could really use your help to know what more to expect in the way of requirements, forms, supporting documents & documentation we will need to take with us as part of the following process:

Moving to Mexico
• Are there any other permits or petitions required besides the issues of permanent residence / citizenship & vehicles in order to move to Mexico?
• What can or should be processed at the Consulate before starting the permanent move of household goods & possessions to Mexico?
• Are there any limits or prohibitions of goods or possessions that can be moved from the US to Mexico on a permanent basis?
• How much can be done (paperwork) beforehand in the consulate instead of at the actual border crossing?

Thanks for your help, links & information!!
 

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If you are going to apply for Residente Permanente, and get it, you will not be able to take your vehicles to Mexico, so plan to replace them there.
Once in Mexico, you will have 30 days to complete the visa process with INM and will not have a visa to leave and re-enter Mexico until your card is issued, which will be too late to get a US vehicle out on time. That will cause added expense, lack of transportation, and other problems.
What do you mean by “recovering her citizenship“? With birth cirtificates, your wife and daughter can get Mexican passports, if they don‘t have them, at the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy.
Most Consulates are not likely to respond to e-mails or phone calls. Some are not at all cooperative. You might try Laredo, which is said to be friendly and helpful, as is San Antonio, TX, I hear.
All of your paperwork must be completed at a consulate and a ‘canje‘ approval will be placed in your passport. Then you have 180 days to enter Mexico and another 30 to establish residence and report to INM to start the completion of the visa process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you are going to apply for Residente Permanente, and get it, you will not be able to take your vehicles to Mexico, so plan to replace them there.
There? In Mexico... or "there" as in 'there in the US'?

Once in Mexico, you will have 30 days to complete the visa process with INM and will not have a visa to leave and re-enter Mexico until your card is issued, which will be too late to get a US vehicle out on time. That will cause added expense, lack of transportation, and other problems.
Double-checking: Once you apply for Permanent Residence - from Mexico - you will not be allowed to have your US-made/plate vehicle(s) with you?

What do you mean by “recovering her citizenship“? With birth cirtificates, your wife and daughter can get Mexican passports, if they don‘t have them, at the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy.
Sorry, I explained in another thread that my wife had to renounce her citizenship to naturalize in the US because of my military career. Because of that, she only has a US passport, but has wished to reclaim her Mexican citizenship since it has been legally allowed. It's also important to her as a part of reclaiming her right to property that she put into her mother's name upon "losing" her Mexican citizenship.

Most Consulates are not likely to respond to e-mails or phone calls. Some are not at all cooperative. You might try Laredo, which is said to be friendly and helpful, as is San Antonio, TX, I hear.
Again, sorry to hear your near-complete agreement & characterization of Mexican consulates here in the US. However, I'm curious - I thought that we HAD to do our process in the Little Rock Consulate as the corresponding office to where we live here in/near Tulsa, OK. I'd much rather drive to Kansas City, Dallas or futher south for a more agreeable experience!

All of your paperwork must be completed at a consulate and a ‘canje‘ approval will be placed in your passport. Then you have 180 days to enter Mexico and another 30 to establish residence and report to INM to start the completion of the visa process.
Great information! Are there any further requirements about living in Mexico beyond the 30 days required to establish & process the visa? From the sounds of it, we can start the process in Little Rock (or elsewhere); go to Mexico for the summer (more than 30 days) - and while there report to INM to complete the vise process.... correct?

Again, thanks - especially to you RVGRINGO for your input. You are one of the especially "sage" voice I had hoped to hear from!!
 

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Really try to leave almost everything behind, and start over in Mexico. Bring only the absolute essentials, things you will not or can not find in Mexico. Use this as a time to 'cull the heard' of things the family has collected over the lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Really try to leave almost everything behind, and start over in Mexico. Bring only the absolute essentials, things you will not or can not find in Mexico. Use this as a time to 'cull the heard' of things the family has collected over the lifetime.
Really, makes sense in the face of dealing with all the bureaucracy to get stuff past the border. However, should we choose to leave behind the vehicles, furniture & "nonessentials"... what is permitted or recommended to take with us to Mexico? I'm thinking, beyond those things, of clothes, personal jewelry & keepsakes, pictures, computers, books & music, etc.

After 26 yrs. of military service & moving around; plus another 10 of teaching, we've both accumulated a lot of 'memories' along the way. A lot we could part with, and some I can see keeping here in the US maybe in a separate smaller part-time residence - or even in storage. Is there a previous thread or list of what most of you (expats) have suggested to bring from the US to Mexico?
 

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Menaje de Casa

If you search "menaje de casa" on this forum you will find lots of information about importing your household belongings to Mexico. Both new immigrants and Mexican citizens who are repatriating have a right to import their household belongings, but you have to prepare a detailed list and have it certified at the Mexican Consulate.

Here are some external links about this as well (all in Spanish except for Rolly Brooks' site, which is the last link below).

Aduana México

Menaje de casa

Menaje de casa

Menaje
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, ojos!! These were the kind of links I was looking for, whether than rehashing a lot of information already available. I'll make good use of them!

Longford's advice makes a lot of sense, too - but I was wondering what most of the expats would recommend taking (or wish they had taken with them) that was better, less expensive or more available than trying to replace once they resettled in Mexico...? I'm open to your suggestions & ideas!
 

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You can bring your used household goods and personal items, except for narcotics, arms or amunition, weapons of any kind, without much of any expectation of hassle or duty.
We also had lots of “memories“, even though we had already downsized into a motor home after retirement. So, we rented a UHaul and took a load to Laredo, where we placed the items in a commercial self-storage unit. After getting settled in Mexico, we drove up to Laredo with an empty vehicle + cartop carrier and brought everything south. We had no menaje de casa, and just stated, “We are moving to Chapala and these are our household items.“ We were waved onward.
NOTE: It will take more than 30 days to process your visa at INM in Mexico, but you must report to INM within 30 days of crossing the border into Mexico with your ‘canje‘. The processing of your visa will require a few additional visits to INM and the entire process may take a couple of months.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can bring your used household goods and personal items, except for narcotics, arms or amunition, weapons of any kind, without much of any expectation of hassle or duty.
We also had lots of “memories“, even though we had already downsized into a motor home after retirement. So, we rented a UHaul and took a load to Laredo, where we placed the items in a commercial self-storage unit. After getting settled in Mexico, we drove up to Laredo with an empty vehicle + cartop carrier and brought everything south. We had no menaje de casa, and just stated, “We are moving to Chapala and these are our household items.“ We were waved onward.
I like your simplified approach! We were "do-it-yourselfers" (DIY) as much as possible while in the military... until we had all the kids & their things to haul along, too. I'm even open to the idea of doing it over several trips giving us time to accommodate each load of goods, rather than bringing in everything at once. The one thing I can't stand the idea of is my wife staging a series of garage sales once we've pre-sorted our stuff. They're messy & seem to take forever... I'd just as soon donate or give the stuff away once we've decided to part with it!

NOTE: It will take more than 30 days to process your visa at INM in Mexico, but you must report to INM within 30 days of crossing the border into Mexico with your ‘canje‘. The processing of your visa will require a few additional visits to INM and the entire process may take a couple of months.
When you mention "INM"... does the office I would deal with correspond specifically to the state we would reside in? Or can that be any office you choose or that is close to you?
 

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When you mention "INM"... does the office I would deal with correspond specifically to the state we would reside in? Or can that be any office you choose or that is close to you?
As I understand it, once you arrive in Mexico, you deal with Mexican immigration (or INM= Instituto Mexicano de Migración) at the INM office closest to where you'll be living in Mexico.
 

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As I understand it, once you arrive in Mexico, you deal with Mexican immigration (or INM= Instituto Mexicano de Migración) at the INM office closest to where you'll be living in Mexico.
Not trying to be nitpicky, but INM stands for "Instituto Nacional de Migración" - that's where the "N" comes from.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As I understand it, once you arrive in Mexico, you deal with Mexican immigration (or INM= Instituto Mexicano de Migración) at the INM office closest to where you'll be living in Mexico.
Good. My wife owns property in Veracruz, which we could use as a permanent address... although we want to be living in Taxco as renters until we decide what to buy or build there. The state office of INM for Guerrero is listed in Acapulco (about 4+ hours south); while the closest INM office is listed in Cuernavaca... barely 40 minutes from Taxco.
 

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I think using an address other than your actual residence might be unwise and could jeopardize your visa status. You will need proofs, and are required to notify INM whenever you move.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think using an address other than your actual residence might be unwise and could jeopardize your visa status. You will need proofs, and are required to notify INM whenever you move.
I'm glad you told me that! I wasn't sure if having a permanent address was any more important than a rental address - but the issue of looking suspicious or dishonest is not worth the hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think using an address other than your actual residence might be unwise and could jeopardize your visa status. You will need proofs, and are required to notify INM whenever you move.
Good information. It also sounds more inconvenient than just grabbing a copy of your latest utility bill to submit as documentation.
 

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You will need the last three copies at most INM offices; CFE or Telmex receipts will do for proof and if you are a tenant, it is OK if they are in the name of the landlord.
 

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You will need the last three copies at most INM offices; CFE or Telmex receipts will do for proof and if you are a tenant, it is OK if they are in the name of the landlord.
I haven't been to the INM office in Mexico City for a couple of years since receiving my RP card, but I don't recall needing more than one month of proof of residence in the form of a utility bill. Maybe that's not true at INM offices in other parts of the country.
 

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That could be; especially for pre-approved Residente Permanente visas, as they could have no more than an initial contract for a newly acquired home, or a copy of the lease for a rental.
It is also possible to get a comprobante de residencia at the local palacio municipal if you have the proper referendes or witnesses.
 
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