Close

Need FM-3?

My husband and kids moved to Cancun in December on a tourist visa, thinking we would try things out here and apply for an FM-3 in a few months. We didn't realize that the FM-3 is necessary for setting up internet, renting a house, etc. Does anyone know whether it is legal to apply for the FM-3 without leaving the country, or do we need to leave and apply from somewhere else?

CouchMama :

My husband and kids moved to Cancun in December on a tourist visa, thinking we would try things out here and apply for an FM-3 in a few months. We didn't realize that the FM-3 is necessary for setting up internet, renting a house, etc. Does anyone know whether it is legal to apply for the FM-3 without leaving the country, or do we need to leave and apply from somewhere else?

Hi couch mama,

They don't actually call them FM3 any more. Its visitor, temporary and permanent. No you cannot get a temporary in the country, you must apply at a consulate . It doesn't have to be the one in your state. Arizona which is close to the border is fairly easy to work with if that helps.

The trick with getting services without an official status is who you rent from. A rental agency could help there. We lived here with internet , a phone card, and a rental contract. all except the phone were under the owners name. I would check out a real estate company there in Cancun. You have to have an address in Mexico and a history. electric bills, rental contract etc.

before u can obtain an fm3 u have to have an fm2 which is temporary resident. if there is a mexican consulate close to you, go there first. I am already here in mex so ill need to visit the u s embassy and they can help me find out more info. a dilemma everybody is having coming to mexico. u are allowed to visit for 180 days without a visa as long as you stay in a free zone. that is within 35 miles of the border. you have to pay $20 for an fmm card which you will need to get back into the states. but like me,  who never got an fmm card, I dont plan to go back to the states. ever, so Ill have to go visit the u s embassy for help on staying here permanently.

Hi,
We received our resident permanente visa in Denver before leaving for Mexico. You can skip the temporal visa if you show the consulate that you have the qualifying financial assists. Just another piece of information.

Thanks everyone. As we've been in Mexico for a month already, I think we'll have to find an in-country option. Too expensive to fly everyone out at this point.

There is no in country option. It is done at a Mexican Consulate in another country. You could try the Mexican Consulate in Belize and see what they say about Americans applying there.

CouchMama :

My husband and kids moved to Cancun in December on a tourist visa, thinking we would try things out here and apply for an FM-3 in a few months. We didn't realize that the FM-3 is necessary for setting up internet, renting a house, etc. Does anyone know whether it is legal to apply for the FM-3 without leaving the country, or do we need to leave and apply from somewhere else?

Hi to all, this situation might be complex.

For the residency card
First, all request for the visa related to any type of residency start outside Mexico
Second, you must justify sufficient income or investments, this with certified copies from your bank/investment broker
Third, children need to be under the unify family but, not sure about the process
Fourth, if you have the intention to work, start a business that is also a different subject

If I may suggest, you should go or call the INM in Merida since you are in the Yucatan state now and learn what you need to do. There's usually a employee that speaks english but it's easier if you speak spanish.

For getting internet, renting a house never heard that someone needed the residency status, we did that during 4 years (6 months stay under the FMM visitor status), you do need the residency status to get IMSS, driver's license, INAPAM.

Adios y buen dia a todos, GyC.

We were told that all members of the family need a separate Visa permanente or temporal. They are not done as a family unit. You cannot do this within Mexico. If you are on a 6month tourist visa you will have to leave the country at the end of 6 months or you will be considered illegal. So you will have to fly to the United States at the end of that period with your entire family. I have not heard of any other way around this, but if you find out differently, please let us know. However, you do not need anything other than a tourist visa to rent a home or get internet. Good Luck.

apicasso :

We were told that all members of the family need a separate Visa permanente or temporal. They are not done as a family unit. You cannot do this within Mexico. If you are on a 6month tourist visa you will have to leave the country at the end of 6 months or you will be considered illegal. So you will have to fly to the United States at the end of that period with your entire family. I have not heard of any other way around this, but if you find out differently, please let us know. However, you do not need anything other than a tourist visa to rent a home or get internet. Good Luck.

The only temporary fix is to go to Belize for a short time, then return and get a new 6 month visa. That is a short fix.  . It allows you 6 months more to figure out what next. For anything long term you must exit the country and apply in the U.S.

grapenut :

a dilemma everybody is having coming to mexico. u are allowed to visit for 180 days without a visa as long as you stay in a free zone. that is within 35 miles of the border. you have to pay $20 for an fmm card which you will need to get back into the states.

The "free zone" applied only to northern Baja and Puerto Penasco.  There hasn't been a "free zone" since September 2015.  Mexican tourist permits, or FMMs (Forma Migratoria Multiple), are required for all non-Mexican citizens entering Mexico to include the former "free zone". As of September 2015, the “free zone” for FMMs (trips within the 20 kilometer border zone for less than 72 hours) is no longer valid and everyone entering Mexico will need to obtain an FMM. A passport or passport card is required to obtain an FMM.

If you are driving into Mexico and will be there for seven days or less, you may obtain this document for free at the Immigration office at the border. For visits of eight days or more, paid FMM tourist permits (from Discover Baja or the border) are required. Children ages two and older must have an FMM.  The FMM is good for 180 days and doesn't need to be returned upon leaving Mexico. 

The easiest way to obtain an FMM tourist permit is to get one through Discover Baja. The Mexican immigration office has designated them as the only source in the U.S. to obtain your FMM tourist permit before entering Mexico. You will need your passport or passport card, the completed application and the $37 tourist permit fee. Please allow at least two weeks for processing. You must be a member of Discover Baja to enjoy the benefit of obtaining a prepaid FMM. You can stop by the Discover Baja office, in San Diego, to have the FMM tourist permits processed or you can scan and email all of the information to them at ask[at]discoverbaja.com. Discover Baja is now able to issue FMMs electronically, which will be emailed to you. Once your permit is issued, you will just need to stop by the immigration office to have your FMM stamped at the border on your way into Mexico.

If you do not get your FMM tourist permit from Discover Baja ahead of time, you can stop at the immigration office as soon as your enter the country. There are Mexican immigration offices at every border crossing. At the immigration office you will present your passport or passport card and fill out a form. You will then need to walk to a nearby bank to pay the $533 peso fee for the permit. Then you will return to the immigration office to get your FMM tourist permit stamped.

In November 2012, new immigration laws took effect that changed the names and processes for Mexican resident visas. The terms FM2 and FM3 have been replaced with Residente Temporal (temporary resident) and Residente Permanente (permanent resident). For new visas, the process must be started in the U.S. at the Mexican consulate. Renewals may be processed at Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM).

To obtain a new Temporary or Permanent Resident Visas (formerly FM2s or FM3s), you will need to take the following to the Mexican consulate in the U.S. (Please verify with the authorities beforehand):

Passport and one copy of passport
Passport photo
Proof of income – bank and income statements
Required fees
At the consulate’s office, they will determine which of the cards you may apply for. You will fill out the application there.

Once you have the necessary paperwork from the consulate, you will stop at the INM office customs at the border on your way into Mexico. They will stamp and validate your entrance into Mexico. You must then go to the customs office closest to your place of residence where they will give you your temporary or permanent visa.

More Resources:
For information and application forms from the Mexican consulate:

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/washington/ … rticle/182

For information from the Mexican consulate in San Diego, and the application for a visa, see:

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sandiego/index.php/visas

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sandiego/im … cation.pdf

Very well explained! I'm glad you included the stop at the IMN office in Nuevo Laredo to get your visas stamped! We neglected to do this and had to make the trip back to Laredo😫! This is  exactly what needs to be done. A side note, we originally applied for a visa temporal because we wanted to bring out car into Mexico, the Consulate gave us a visa permanente anyway. So if you want to bring a car and just want a visa temporal be very clear before your process is completed! You cannot bring an American car into Mexico with a permanent Visa.
Good luck in your travels😊

Another thing, we downloaded our application in English from our Consulate's website along with all the requirements needed. Depending on which Consulate you are using, this option may be available, makes things easier. We used the Denver Consulate' s website😊

I can't claim credit for the information.  I follow the Discover Baja Travel Club www site and they stay very current on this stuff, along with lots of other tips for travel to Mexico.  It's mostly Baja specific, but some applies country wide.

That's how we did it to move to San Miguel, once here, we hired someone to help us with the process of obtaining or Permanent Resident Card. You have 30 days in which to do that, once you arrive in Mexico. I'm not sure what the one poster was talking about when he said you can obtain this in Mexico at the US Embassy. I have not heard of anyone being able to do that.  It's easy to make mistakes, as we found out the hard way:( .

Thanks everyone - great information! We may go with the Belize option as it isn't really an option for us to travel all the way back to Canada to apply.

New topic