Visa and Immigration (FM3…)

Traveling to Mexico should be straight forward for most US and Canadian citizens. A passport is required. Standard customs procedures are used on arrival and departure.

Those who have purchased a home in Mexico may want to consider an FM3 passport which allows limited tax-free import of goods.

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Related discussion thread

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by lonikaostark on Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:16 am

I did want to write a follow up to this blog post.

I had written it after a Loreto Bay homeowner event where Nancy and Jane had gone to Loreto’s immigration center only a week prior and had picked up forms and other pieces of information on how to get and keep an FM3. It was both to share information and to get my ducks straight before Clint and I went to Loreto.

We followed all the instructions on the blog post and was able to successfully get our FM3’s renewed.

One thing to keep in mind is that the fees and wait times have varied between ours and other homeowners we spoke to, so make sure to bring plenty of pesos. Fortunate for us, Jane L. was around and could drive Clint and I to the bank to get more pesos.

Do try to get to the office early, ideally when it opens (around 9/10 am) with all your documentation, duplicates and your file folders for each application. I forgot to print out Clint’s bank statements as well, thinking it was okay since we were married. This is not unless it clearly states both your name and your partner’s on the statements. If you do end up in the same predicament as us, there is an internet cafe and copy center about 1/2 mile from the immigration center. To get to it, you leave the immigration center and turn left.

Clint and I even took passport photos with both sides of our head as we weren’t sure when it was stated “side” photos, which side. I found last year, they were a lot more orderly then even in the past. The first year we got our FM3, we didn’t have passport photos and had to get them at the local photo center. I recall it costing 300 pesos for both of us. If you are on tight timelines in Loreto, try to get this part done before you go.

Good luck and if you have any tips or notice any changes to the process, would appreciate a note. Thanks to everyone else who provided information that made Clint and my renewal this time relatively smooth.

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by lonikaostark on Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:02 am

Baja Barry asked: “Loni – I’m a bit confused. The summary above says that the photos are only required for a new issuance, yet your after the fact document implies you supplied photos for your renewals. Pat & I are heading down next month to renew ours. I’m also wondering what they do about your U.S. passports, since they attached a full page visa with a picture – do they replace it?”

Hi Barry,

Thanks for pointing this out. You are right, the information we got was that for renewal we didn’t need new photos. However, the experience last time (when we first got our FM3) was so hectic when we didn’t have the photos that I decided to bring them just in case.

When I submitted the documentation for the renewal, I put the photos in with it and the official there took them, added it to our application file and I just never realized this was different than the information I posted until you pointed it out. So depending on how conservative you want to be, you may want to bring photos as well – Clint and I just created our own photos according to spec.

As for what actually happens when it is approved. In our case, our U.S (really Canadian in our case) passport full page visa with picture was not replaced. They only updated the “PRORROGAS” section of the FM3 green book with date of renewal and date of expiration – signed and stamped. They also took our fingerprints again and that was it.

If anyone had a different experience, would like to hear about it as next renewal is just around the corner.

Loni

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by BajaBarry on Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:07 pm

Thanks for the information on what actually transpired. It does sound like the photos are not updated. Some additional questions.

What did you use for proof of address?

Do you have the letter, in Spanish, requesting renewal?

Were you asked for an FME (the red immigration document)?

When we registered ours in Loreto we paid our fees directly to the immigration officer. Did you too, or did you need to pay at a bank (as noted in your entry http://www.starkinsider.com/2008/09/fm3-renewal-req.html)? Also, we each received a document “Anotacio de Domicilo” which includes a bunch of numbers (file, folio, FM3, etc.) and our address. Might this be what is referred to a “Carta de primer prorroga” (also from that entry)?

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by lonikaostark on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:06 pm


What did you use for proof of address?

A: I brought a couple of documents. One was a letter in spanish basically stating our names and the address of our property that I got personnel from Loreto Bay property management to validate that I had property purchased in Loreto Bay. I also brought a photocopy of my final FIDEICOMISOS and my paid property tax receipt for last year’s property taxes.

Do you have the letter, in Spanish, requesting renewal?

A: Yes. You can find a sample letter as item #2 here: http://www.starkinsider.com/2008/10/fm3-instruction.html

Were you asked for an FME (the red immigration document)?

A: Hmmm…I have to check and get back to you on this one.

you too, or did you need to pay at a bank (as noted in your entry http://www.starkinsider.com/2008/09 … l-req.html)?

A: We paid in pesos directly to the immigration office and they gave a document which looked like a receipt. We think

Also, we each received a document “Anotacio de Domicilo” which includes a bunch of numbers (file, folio, FM3, etc.) and our address. Might this be what is referred to a “Carta de primer prorroga” (also from that entry)?

A: I have no idea. I will take a look tonight at all my documents. For the renewal, I did make photocopies of all the documents from my initial FM3 request just in case they needed them. Yes, I had stacks of paper, inches thick.

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by Guest on Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:04 pm

lonikaostark wrote:

Do you have the letter, in Spanish, requesting renewal?

A: Yes. You can find a sample letter as item #2 here: http://www.starkinsider.com/2008/10/fm3-instruction.html

Were you asked for an FME (the red immigration document)?

A: Hmmm…I have to check and get back to you on this one.

Do you recall how to fill out the letter? I understand the date. What goes in the two blank lines? I assume the third blank line is your LB address and the bottom two are for your signature and written name – correct? BTW, I’ve found several other sample letters, but I’d prefer to use the one that worked for you.

lonikaostark wrote:

As for what actually happens when it is approved. In our case, our U.S (really Canadian in our case) passport full page visa with picture was not replaced. They only updated the “PRORROGAS” section of the FM3 green book with date of renewal and date of expiration – signed and stamped. They also took our fingerprints again and that was it.

Looking at my passport visa page, it has the date of issue, and a Validity of one year! So if they don’t replace it annually, I wonder why they do it at all?

Also, I read somewhere that when you provide your passport, it must be valid for at least a year. I hope this is only for the original issuance. Mine expires 10/2010, so I could be in trouble next year.

Re: How to get and keep an FM3 Visa
by BajaBarry on Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:13 pm

Oops – that guest was me. I now think the bottom two lines are just my name and nationality.

One more thing. The sample letter is addressed to C. Francisco Javier Villavicencio Lopez, but the Anotacion de Domicilio is signed by C. Francisco Javier Gonzalez Meza

BajaBarry