These two words are very similar in Spanish, but mean very different things.
Inmigrante could be translated as ‘immigrant’. This is a foreigner who holds an FM2 or FM3 visa and is legally in the country with the purpose of living and working, and perhaps settling and becoming an inmigrado.
Inmigrado could be translated as ‘immigrated’. This is a foreigner who has acquired the rights of a resident of Mexico.
In our last article about immigration we explained the differences between FM2 and FM3 visas. After holding an FM2 visa for five years, an inmigrante may apply for inmigrado status. We would now like to explain the rights and obligations of the inmigrado.
Rights of an Inmigrado
- They have the individual guarantees that the Constitution grants to Mexicans, with the exception of the political guarantees that are exclusively reserved for Mexican citizens.
- They do not need to renew their inmigrado status. They can work at any legal activity, without having to request permission of the INM. Some professionals need to file their degree at the Dirección General de Profesiones. In this case you will have to check with INM if you are working under a professional designation like Engineer, Architect, etc.
- They can travel freely in and out of the country, as any Mexican citizen.
- They can acquire property, with the exception of the properties located within 50KM of the border and the beach (see our Fideicomiso article)
- Inmigrado visa holders do not need a visa in their passports.
- Inmigrados cannot vote in Mexico.
And of course inmigrado status allows them to purchase a car, allows them to receive social security (from Mexico), to open bank accounts in Mexico and also work for a Mexican company.
Obligations of an Inmigrado
- They have to uphold the responsibilities of citizens as spelled out in the Constitution.
- They have to carry their FM2 with them at all times, and have a copy of it at home.
- When leaving and entering the country they have to fill out and return to the immigration authority the FME (Forma Migratoria Estadistica).
- They must inform the INM of any change of employment, marital status and nationality.
Yucatan Expatriate Services (YES) is available to assist you in any and all aspects related to this subject. If you are interested in getting more detailed information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We also recommend purchasing the YES Inmigration Guide with comprehensive information about visas, terms, costs and required documentation.