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Move to Guanajuato, Guanajuato

I have never been there, so I need so help.  I will be arriving by air (Leon), no car, and need to find a convenient apartment in the Centro.  I will apply for FM3 in Washington DC the week prior.  How long do it take to get the FM3?  Can I continue on to Guanajuato during the approval period and get it later?  There are numerous warnings about not getting a tourist visa if FM3 has been applied for.

I assume that once I get a FM3 I can buy a car.

Any other information is appreciated

tcstoker :

I have never been there, so I need so help.  I will be arriving by air (Leon), no car, and need to find a convenient apartment in the Centro.  I will apply for FM3 in Washington DC the week prior.  How long do it take to get the FM3?  Can I continue on to Guanajuato during the approval period and get it later?  There are numerous warnings about not getting a tourist visa if FM3 has been applied for.

I assume that once I get a FM3 I can buy a car.

Any other information is appreciated

If you arrange an appointment at the Mexican Embassy you will be approved in hours if your paperwork is in order. [that is what most first time applicants are reporting] Then you will get a pre-approved visa good for 6 months in your passport. After that you will need to fill out the "Canje" section on the FMM form they give you on the airplane and it is good for 30 days, do not fill out the FMM tourist section. Then when you land in Leon INM, Mexican Immigration will stamp your passport "IN". and give you 1/2 of the FMM form to take to your local INM office. You will need to show and have copies of the FMM which they keep and your passport stamped in. You will be told what you need to bring in to complete the process to recieve your actual Resident vías/card. This part should take 2 weeks to a month depending on the specific INM office. [many first timers are reporting this time frame] After that you could purchase a vehicle, sign a rental lease etc. The INM office will ask for proof on your residence in most cases even if it is a hotel. Some landlords might let you sign a lease before getting your actual resident card.

Thanks

Hey alleycat, The other posters have dished out the info regarding the FM3. Mexico is still the easiest country to acquire a visa that I've seen, Although INM has tried to make it more difficult each year. But it's true, once you board your plane to come into Mexico, you'll be issued an FMM or tourist visa. Just tell the INM officer that you're vacationing - not living in Mex. You won't get into trouble...it's normal. They'll give you the FMM which you fill out the details and the official in Mex will stamp it and return it to you. Make a copy.
They have the right to give you a 60, 90 or 180 day visa.
Once you have an FM3, you can do anything except vote. You can buy a car, plate it, nationalize it, get a license. Note: [Getting married to a Mexican DOES NOT guarantee any special immigration status anymore & INM does do home visits just like ICE in the US. If you want to bring a pretty señorita back to the US, marry her in Mex, wait 2 years, then apply for her GC...she will bypass the scrutiny of US officials due to the 2 year delay.] The FM3 visa is good for only 1 year. The next FM3 visa is easier. You don't need to leave the country. After 5 years of legal status, you get an FM2. After 9 years, you can apply for an IFE and get citizenship. Good luck. I've been here 6 years and I wish I'd have come sooner. It's a good country with a twisted, misguided reputation that's just not true. As a foreigner, fear the cops not the citizens.

The rules have changed a lot since I arrived in 2008.
One thing is clear from other posts in other threads regarding immigration.
If he has a visa stamp/sticker in his passport saying he is immigrating, he has to have his FMM issued for Canje.  If he has it issued as a tourist, it voids the visa issued by the embassy/consulate and he would have to go back to an embassy or consulate outside Mexico and start over again which may not be smooth sailing.

tcstoker :

I have never been there, so I need so help.  I will be arriving by air (Leon), no car, and need to find a convenient apartment in the Centro.  I will apply for FM3 in Washington DC the week prior.  How long do it take to get the FM3?  Can I continue on to Guanajuato during the approval period and get it later?  There are numerous warnings about not getting a tourist visa if FM3 has been applied for.

I assume that once I get a FM3 I can buy a car.

Any other information is appreciated

I posted the following as a reply to CanadaPatriot because I'm pretty sure there was a misunderstanding:
"The rules have changed a lot since I arrived in 2008.
One thing is clear from other posts in other threads regarding immigration.
If he has a visa stamp/sticker in his passport saying he is immigrating, he has to have his FMM issued for Canje.  If he has it issued as a tourist, it voids the visa issued by the embassy/consulate and he would have to go back to an embassy or consulate outside Mexico and start over again which may not be smooth sailing."

When you visit the embassy in DC, it would be a good idea to ask for written instructions on what to do once you land in Mexico.

Here are a couple of websites that summarize the Mexico immigration process.
http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/reinounido/ … p/visas/75
http://www.mexperience.com/living/immig … mexico.php

CanadaPatriot :

Hey alleycat, The other posters have dished out the info regarding the FM3. The FM3 visa is good for only 1 year. The next FM3 visa is easier. You don't need to leave the country. After 5 years of legal status, you get an FM2. After 9 years, you can apply for an IFE and get citizenship.

The OLD FM3 and FM2 are now the Residencia Temporal. You don't go from an FM3 to an FM2. You go from a Residencia Temporal to a Residencia Permanente, which was the OLD Inmigrado. It's been over two years since INM changed the rules on this.

CanadaPatriot :

Hey alleycat, The other posters have dished out the info regarding the FM3. Mexico is still the easiest country to acquire a visa that I've seen, Although INM has tried to make it more difficult each year. But it's true, once you board your plane to come into Mexico, you'll be issued an FMM or tourist visa. Just tell the INM officer that you're vacationing - not living in Mex. You won't get into trouble...it's normal. They'll give you the FMM which you fill out the details and the official in Mex will stamp it and return it to you. Make a copy.
They have the right to give you a 60, 90 or 180 day visa.
Once you have an FM3, you can do anything except vote. You can buy a car, plate it, nationalize it, get a license. Note: [Getting married to a Mexican DOES NOT guarantee any special immigration status anymore & INM does do home visits just like ICE in the US. If you want to bring a pretty señorita back to the US, marry her in Mex, wait 2 years, then apply for her GC...she will bypass the scrutiny of US officials due to the 2 year delay.] The FM3 visa is good for only 1 year. The next FM3 visa is easier. You don't need to leave the country. After 5 years of legal status, you get an FM2. After 9 years, you can apply for an IFE and get citizenship. Good luck. I've been here 6 years and I wish I'd have come sooner. It's a good country with a twisted, misguided reputation that's just not true. As a foreigner, fear the cops not the citizens.

That way is outdated as of Nov. 9th. 2012 since the new immigration law came into effect. What I posted is the correct way to proceed.

If you write me I will send you an email contact info for an expat in Guanajuato City. They have been there almost 2 years and have a restaurant and know many expats. SONIANGEL32 at hotmail.com or soniadiaz.mx

As to visa, there is no INM in Guanajuato City so they come to me i San Miguel or to Leon.

Here is more info re: visas as I am at INM several times a week.

Obtaining a Mexican Resident Visa by Sonia Diaz

Please note a tourist can not start the visa application process from within Mexico. This can only be done at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico.

1. Temporary Resident                             

Balances in bank ~$25,000 US with 12 months of individual bank statements,

-or-

Monthly income $1,500 US with 6 months of individual bank statements

Note: Foreign pated car is allowed but be sure to renew car permit when renewing visa. You can not earn income including as a landlord as a TR. If a TR wishing to earn income once you a re a TR, we can obtain a permission to work which means earning income eve as a landlord. 

2. Permanent Resident:

Balances in bank of  ~$100,000 US with 12 months of individual bank statements

-or-

Monthly income of $2500 US with 6 months of individual bank statements

Note: no foreign plated car is allowed as a Permanent Resident but you are allowed to earn income.

Proving home ownership in Mexico is a plus for either visa.

Consulate application form to start visa process needs to be printed, completed and taken with you. This form says Laredo but applies at any Mexican consulate.  It is in Spanish.

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/laredo/imag … sa_esp.pdf

Plus passport sized photos.

And, here is a list of all Mexican consulates in US and Canada.

http://www.mexonline.com/consulate.htm

If going to Laredo here is the contact information:

  Laredo
1612 Farragut St - Laredo, TX 78040
Tel: (956) 723-0990
At Laredo allow approximately 2 hours. They open at 8 and close at 1:00 pm.

Once completed and your pre-approved visa is stamped in your passport you enter Mexico. If driving, go to the immigration office as you enter Mexico or if flying when you land, immigration in Mexico will process your documents. Present your passport with your pre-approved visa. Please have your passport stamped and obtain a FMM. Check the box "CANJE" on the FMM. Do not check the box that says "TOURIST". You have 30 days to make your application at your local INM and I will assist with this process.

Note: consulates vary and are independent from INM (Immigration). Some will welcome you with open arms such as Laredo and others will take days, more than one visit and thoroughly review your financials.

At your local INM office, there are several steps including on-line application, photos, copies, bank payment. Once all is submitted in approximately 2 weeks an email is sent saying time for fingerprints. Another form is required to be completed on-line at this time. Once done, in 3 to 4 business days, you return to INM for fingerprints.  In another 2 weeks your visa is ready.

Those who can’t remain in Mexico for all 4 to 5 weeks have an option to obtain a travel permit through INM. In San Miguel this takes one to two business days, requires an application, photos and banking. From the day this travel letter is issued, you must be back in Mexico within 60 days. One can only apply for a travel permit when you provide finger prints ie 2 to 3 weeks after submitting your initial documents at your local INM in Mexico. The person has to return to Mexico and have the travel letter with both stamps... when they left and when they entered. Then I, if I was the one to submit their documents, can pick up their visa with the letter they authorized me to do so at beginning of process.

Sonia

You can buy a car with any visa status, registering it can also be donebut careful with used cars in Mexico. Happy to give some guidance.

Guanajuato was recently rate
d one of the lowest cost of living in Mx!

Amén about avoiding the cops,and be careful about where you go at night.Don't EVER flash any money,much less big bills.Don't be a big tipper.Avoid disagreementsbTOTALLY!Don't EVER get away from the herd! This is great advice in ANY country.

frankg69 :

Amén about avoiding the cops,and be careful about where you go at night.Don't EVER flash any money,much less big bills.Don't be a big tipper.Avoid disagreementsbTOTALLY!Don't EVER get away from the herd! This is great advice in ANY country.

I haven't found avoid all cops in every country the best plan except perhaps in the u.S. now. Here If you are obviously going out of your way to avoid cops , your behavior might become a thing of interest to the police. I have had help from the police on more than one occasion. I have found that if you behave like you have nothing to fear and nothing to hide you are okay. Yes there are the occasional jerks who are looking for a bribe. But in 5 years traveling in a car all over Mexico I have encountered only 3 of these. That was when I was driving a u.s. plated car since having a Mexican plated car , no one bothers me at all.

Who is this herd ? Large crowds of tourists? That would be like painting the word sucker on your forehead in my opinion. Large herds  of tourists are like corralled cattle. If you mean don't be on a dark street alone or in the dark in a bad neighborhood, yes that is good advice everywhere. Most places I walk in a purposeful manner, if spoken to I respond in Spanish.
They quickly find out I am not a future target or customer.

You're right about not wandering around at night, it's often very dark, and that is the time people wander in the street, often drinking a lot. No one should flash money any where. many of us learned that in grade school. I keep my tips to about 20% just like in The U.S.

Add to the don't flash money category, don't flash expensive jewelry, or electronics anywhere either. Like money, It just targets you. When I was in Peru I wore a reporters jacket and instead of a purse I put all valuables in the inside pockets of that jacket. Be observant , but friendly and polite. Many of the countries you might visit are poor, that I-pad you left on the table when you went to the bathroom is very tempting. Electronics are in high demand always, and quickly sold. So don't be careless.
To that I can add the people in restaurants and the hotels have been very honest. I have to date lost nothing in either place, I twice sat my sunglasses or my kindle down and had  someone rush after me to return them. My kindle fell out of my car in a mall parking lot and a day later when I checked with the mall information desk, it was there. People have a way of rising or sinking to expectations. So be observant and careful but don't assume the worst.

Ditto on just being normal.The police are very nice and helpful to us here in Veracruz too,but I feel most Mexicans here steer clear of dark places at night,and most are home by 10:30 pm.It's also NOT a good idea to be on a lonely stretch of beach or any similar place even during the day,much less at night.Cops get almost no salary and thieves watch for unprotected people worldwide.It's safer here than the U.S.too.Mexicans here have also given me my things I forgot.Thanks for your great comments!

Same advice I would give ANYWHERE. So perhaps the question should be.......have you ever traveled anywhere? CHICAGO, LA, HOUSTON........BE AWARE AND BUMP IT UP A NOTCH FOR GOOD MEASURE

auntierie1 :

Same advice I would give ANYWHERE. So perhaps the question should be.......have you ever traveled anywhere? CHICAGO, LA, HOUSTON........BE AWARE AND BUMP IT UP A NOTCH FOR GOOD MEASURE

Okay, apparently these points are very important to you (  heavy cap use).  Yet it is not clear what you are stressing. Are you saying if you go to L.A., Huston etc, you should "BE AWARE AND BUMP IT UP A NOTCH" in those places or be even more aware in ?? Mexico ?

Mexico regulates guns, and tries to regulate cartels. I'm not afraid of being shot and killed in Mexico. And I stay away from cartel areas. So I would ramp it up a great deal anywhere in the U.S.

I'm considering living in Guanajuato,and have traveled a lot, including in Mex,and have lived in Mex.8 years.,but have never been to Guanajuato.I'll wait for a friendlier person to comment about Gto.I'm particularly interested in finding out if many expats have allergic rhinitis problems there.

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