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    Immigration Procedure Changes

    At the beginning of May 2010, the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) announced changes in the procedure for applying for, renewing and changing an FM3 or FM2 visa in Mexico.

    Instead of going to the INM offices to find out which documents are required for your visa activity, you are now required to go online to the INM website first. The website has an entry page in English, but all subsequent pages are in Spanish.  For many expats, the process is too confusing to do alone. But if you go to the INM offices without having completed this process and without the resulting documents, you will be turned away. One customer found this out the hard way… after waiting in line for over an hour.

    Online Immigration Assistance

    For $250 pesos, YES will assist you in completing the online visa application process, provide you with all the necessary printed forms to take to the INM offices, and assist you in any follow up activities online. Bring your passport, existing FM2 or FM3 visa, and a utility bill from Telmex, CFE or Japay, to the YES offices. We’re conveniently located in Garcia Gineres with ample parking (see a map here), and our bilingual project managers will walk you through the online procedure.

    In less than one hour, you will be walking out the door with the necessary documents to take to the INM office, guaranteeing that the time you wait in line there will not be wasted. You will also have detailed instructions on how to use the NTU tracking number they give you to track the progress of your visa application online. (Of course, if you’d rather we take care of  the entire process from start to finish, we can do that too).

    Lorna Gail Dallin recently renewed her documents with YES. She says, “I Just didn’t feel like the struggle,  so I put myself in the hands of YES to renew my FM 3 electronically! The staff at YES was expert and efficient and offered follow up, should I need it.   Thanks Betty!”

    When it is time to renew your FM3 or FM2 visa in Merida, call 927-2437 or email info@yucatanyes.com to make your appointment.

    Share This Article

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    1. patty litwin
      May 14, 2010

      thanks so much for the information. i was just getting ready to get my documents together to apply, not renew, an FM3 visa here in Los Angeles where i live.

      it is my understanding that i have to initially apply in the city i have resided. your article specifically said you assist with renewals, but i am wondering if you can help me with the initial paperwork. then when i return to los angeles to move my things down, i can apply there, unless the rules have changed so that i can apply in merida..

      i will be in merida definitely for the months of august & septemer and then decide from there what direction to take. rent/buy? etc.

      thanks so much. i am hoping you can help lme.

      patty litwin

    2. Larry Herman
      May 14, 2010

      If I would want you to do a new FM3 what would the cost be and what documents do I need.

      Thanks Larry

    3. May 14, 2010

      Hi Patty! Yes we can help you too with the application process, not only renewals. We can do it when you come to Merida; i encourage to contact us during your first days here so we have plenty of time. Normally the process to obtain it takes about 3 weeks but there are normal delays. I think you already have my e-mail, but if not, here it goes: adriana@yucatanyes.com, write me here. Bye.

    4. May 14, 2010

      Hi Larry, do you have an e-mail address to properly respond to your question? Thanks! Or write me directly: adriana@yucatanyes.com

    5. Fred G
      May 23, 2010


      I would like to know if the time frame for the document delivery (fm 3) have change? Still around 7 days.

      Thank you

    6. May 24, 2010

      Hi Fred, according to the new guide of criteria issued by the Immigration Institute it says should not take longer than 30 days.

    7. jim pence
      June 4, 2010

      Hola , I want to know if an American citizen is married to a Mexican citizen, do they still need visa? what paper work would you need ? thank you !! jim

    8. June 7, 2010

      Hi Jim, if you are married to a mexican citizen you still need a visa but it has different characteristics, it is called “Inmigrante Familiar” and it is specifically for expats that have a familiar relation with mexican citizens. For further information please contact me at: adriana@yucatanyes.com

    9. Ipung Yuwono
      September 16, 2010

      I’m Indonesian citizen holding Mexican tourist visa that good for 30 days. I plan to stay longer than 30 days. Understand that Mexico allow tourist to stay in country for 180 days. Can I extent my visa in country?. Instead of to go to Mexican consulate to get new tourist visa. If so, can you provide who to contact and the requirements.
      Thank you,

    10. September 17, 2010

      Ipung, given that you are an Indonesian citizen you needed a visa to enter Mexico. Such visa can only be extended if you request it to the same entity that provided in the first place (a Mexican consulate). There are other countries that do not require special visas to enter Mexico and to their citizens the Mexican government allows them to stay here for a 180 day period. Indonesia is one of the 135 countries to which Mexico requests special visa.

    11. Steve Evans
      September 20, 2010

      Hi, I need to renew FM3 for myself, wife and mom. Are bank statements no longer required? Please email me and I will set up an appointment.


    12. September 23, 2010

      Steve, before April 30th 2010 Immigration required that everytime you renewed you needed to present bank statements; with the new simplified regulations this is just required when you are applying for an Fm3 or Fm2 “rentista” for the first time, which is not your case. I will e-mail you to set up appointment.

    13. Ken Casazza
      March 5, 2011

      The new FM3 visa, how much money does it require you have in the bank or monthly? Is it still $1000 @ month or $12000 for the year?

    14. March 7, 2011

      Ken, you need to show Immigration your last 3 bank account statements with at least 1,250 dlls in each. Every year this amount changes because it is based on the current minimum wage in the Federal District. For 2011 is 59.82 pesos and the amount you need to show is 250 times that minimum wage. Considering the current exchange rate it is 1,250 dlls approximately.

    15. gerald broome
      March 16, 2011

      I have been married to a mexican lady for 25 years. most of the time we have lived in the usa. We own a house in Acapulco. We wish to live there full time. I need to know if I can go from a tourist visa to a fm2 without getting a fm3 first. I understand that proof of income is not nessasary. Is that true?

    16. March 17, 2011

      Gerald, yes you can go from a tourist visa to an FM2 without getting an FM3 first. Proof of income is always requested when you will register as “rentista”, which is the person that won´t be working in Mexico, but living out of his/her income from abroad. For the FM2, you need to show your last 3 bank account statements with at least 2,000 dlls approximately in each of them.

    17. gerald broome
      March 20, 2011

      Can you give me more detailed info for immigrante familiar
      or assimilado as is’s also called?I have read that the income
      levels don’t apply. Thanks GB

    18. Anshu Pande
      March 22, 2011

      Hi! My husband is in mexico for over 3 months now on FM3 visa. he has applied for a Visa permission to get me der on a dependant isa. Its been 4 weeks we have applied. How much time does it usually take? Is it normal?

    19. March 22, 2011

      Gerald, the “asimilado” is for those who have established a bond in Mexico: if you are or have been married to a Mexican and have lived in the country legally for 3 years; if you live or have lived (not married) with a Mexican and have lived in the country legally for 5 years; if you have Mexican children or Mexican kids under your custody and have lived in the country legally for 5 years or have lived in Mexico for 5 years with FM3, you can apply for FM2 “asimilado”. You should prove however that you have enough income to live in Mexico, but in comparison to the FM3 or FM2 there is no established amount of how much is the minimum. For further information you can contact me at adriana@yucatanyes.com

    20. March 22, 2011

      Anshu, it normally takes from 3 to 4 weeks. I suggest you call Immigration and give them your NUT number so they tell you if there is any problem with your application. Immigration´s phone number is 925 50 09 and the hours of attention are from 9 AM to 1 PM from Monday to Friday.

    21. Sarah
      March 23, 2011

      Hi – My mother was born in Merida (now lives in the US) and I was born in the US, however am moving to Merida this Spring. Is there a way for me to get Mexican nationality/passport since my mother is a Mexican-born national?

    22. March 29, 2011

      Sarah, yes there is a way for you to get Mexican nationality since your mother is Mexican. I invite you to download our “Immigration Guide” in the “Knowledge Store” section of this web site; starting from the page 30, you will read about the various ways to obtain Mexican Nationality, one of which is by beign descendant of a Mexican by birth.

    23. Olivia
      April 14, 2011

      How long is it currently taking to renew the FM3? Hope to be in Merida soon. Would prefer to have someone walk me thru the process.
      Thank you.

    24. April 15, 2011

      Olivia, it is taking from 3 to 4 weeks approximately. Please contact me at adriana@yucatanyes.com for assistance, I´ll be glad to help.

    25. Mazey
      May 12, 2011

      Our FM3s expired. What is the fine under the new rules? I’ve seen anywhere from 10 pesos a day to $9000mx when searching online. Thank you for your time.

    26. Mazey
      May 12, 2011

      PS. I have also heard that if we renew within 60 days of expiration that there is no fine? True?

    27. May 14, 2011

      Mazey, it´s 1,500-2000 MXP per month. It no longer applies the 60 day grace period. If you need help for your renewal process contact me at adriana@yucatanyes.com

    28. Mazey
      May 14, 2011

      Ouch! Any idea what the difference is between the $1500 and 2000? Or is it up to the immigration officer?
      Muchas gracias por su ayuda.

    29. May 17, 2011

      No Mazey, it´s not up to the Immigration officer; these penalties are calculated by multiplying the minimum wage in Mexico City (59.82 pesos) by a specific number of days, according to the Immigration Law. That is why I gave you an estimate.

    30. Mazey
      May 17, 2011

      Well, that’s reasonable enough. Thank you for your time and knowledge.

    31. Frank
      May 21, 2011

      I lived in Mexico for two years with an FM3, married a Mexican and have had an FM2 for the past three years. This September will mark the completion of my 5th year in Mexico and start of my 6th year. My goal is to get a permanent residency and even a Mexican passport.

      Is the “Inmigrante Familiar” different than the FM2 and is it more beneficial to have than the FM2. Thank you.

    32. May 25, 2011

      Frank, once you have 5 years with FM2 you can apply for permanent residency or “Inmigrado” (this means you don´t have to renew your visa anymore and you get to keep your American citizenship).
      However, you could request your Mexican citizenship whenever you want since the Law states that if you are married to a Mexican citizen and have had FM2 for 2 years, you can do it.
      The “Inmigrante Familiar” is one of the many options of FM2 and is given to non-Mexicans related to Mexicans.

    33. Chris
      June 14, 2011

      My husband and I are Canadians. We wish to rent near Cancun for 6 months this winter. Do we need an FM3? if so do we need to prove an income each? What other documents and information will we need?
      Thank you for the help, Chris

    34. June 14, 2011

      Chris, you do not need an FM3 is you are going to stay in Mexico for less than 180 days.

    35. gerald broome
      July 17, 2011

      Adriana, The time is coming soon to make the move to Acapulco. I read on another website that I need to apply for my fm2 within the first month of my fmm, is that true or can I apply anytime during the duration of the fmm? Your help is apreciated, thank you

    36. July 28, 2011

      Gerald, you can apply for the FM2 during anytime of the duration of the FMM.

    37. Jenny P.
      August 25, 2011

      Hello. I live in Cozumel and have had a home there for 3 years. I am now permanently moving to Cozumel and have started the paperwork for my Mexican corporation to open my business there. I was told that there have been a few changes and that now i can apply directly for a FM2 and eventually (is it still five years) apply for Mexican citizenship.

      Do I have to apply for an FM3 first? Also, my assets in the bank here (Bancomer) and my house more than cover the monthly amounts required.
      Can you tell me please what is involved with applying for an FM2 instead of FM3? there seems to be a lot of confusion. Thank you!

    38. August 26, 2011

      Jenny, you can apply directly to the FM2 without having applied first for the FM3. After 5 years with FM2 you can apply for Mexican citizenship; however, new changes are coming up regarding Immigration and one of these is that now instead of 5 years it will be only 4 in order to apply for Mexican citizenship (this has not come into effect yet). If you will have a corporation you should apply for a FM2 “Cargo de Confianza” and present copies of its deed of incorporation and tax ID in Mexico; it won´t be necessary that you prove you have a minimum income for this category. There is really no difference in the documents you present for an FM3 or an FM2 when is “Cargo de Confianza”. The difference is that you cannot stay out of Mexico longer than 2 years in the 5 years you will have the FM2 and that you won´t be able to import household goods without paying duties or import a vehicle. If you have further questions, you can write me to adriana@yucatanyes.com.

    39. Frank
      August 26, 2011

      This is not an immigration question but a moving question. Didn’t know where else to post it. Sorry if it shouldn’t be here.

      5 years ago whenI came to Mexico I brought my furniture with me. I contracted legitimate company, paid the duties if needed, etc.

      Now I am buying new furniture and want to send my older furniture back to the USA. Any paperwork involved or do I just hire a professional mover?

      If I rented a truck what paperwork would I need at the border?

      Thank you.

    40. August 29, 2011

      Frank, you need to hire a customs broker to help you with the export procedure. We can provide you with contact information of a broker if you tell us by which border you want to send your furniture back to the USA.

    41. Diane
      October 21, 2011

      Hola, great site, thanks for all the info. Please clear this up for me : to apply for an FM2 do I just need to show a $2000 balance in my bank account (for the past 3 months) or a monthly INCOME of $2000?


    42. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      October 26, 2011

      Hi Diane. You need to show a balance at the end of the month (for the last 3 months) of approximately $ 1,200 USD (each month) or more. This applies only for you. If you have economic dependents who are living with you, they need to show additional income (the same per person).

    43. Deb
      October 26, 2011

      With the new procedures, how long is it taking to receive the FM2 for the first time?

    44. November 4, 2011

      Deb, currently the procedure to obtain an FM2 is taking 4 weeks approximately. New procedures are not in effect yet.

    45. Tray
      November 16, 2011

      My husband and I need to renew our FM2’s. What is your charge to handle everything and how long is the processing time?

    46. November 17, 2011

      Tray, we charge 150 dlls per visa and the process takes regularly 3 to 4 weeks. However, in recent FM2 renewal procedures we have experienced 2-week cases. Please contact me if you want to make an appointment: adriana@yucatanyes.com. Consider that Immigration offices will close the last 2 weeks of December so if your FM2´s expire in December you should start right away.

    47. Mary
      January 20, 2012

      I am planning to move to Merida with a dependent.

      My monthly is more than double the minimum. However, my dependent’s income is about $700/month.

      Is this enough income for my dependent since mine and his together exceeds the minum?



    48. January 23, 2012

      Mary, if you have economic dependents, you should show you have at least 1,800 US dlls approx. monthly if applying for an FM3 (for both of you) and 2,800 US dlls approx. monthly if applying for an FM2 (for both of you).

    49. Connie Matheson
      January 28, 2012

      Hi Adriana- We live in San Diego. My husband and I own a condominium in Puerto Vallarta and we would like to know how to apply for a FM2 or FM3 visa. Can we get the visa here or do we need to to do it in Puerto Vallarta or perhaps Tijuana? Thanks so much,


    50. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      January 30, 2012

      Connie, you and your husband could apply for your FM3 visa at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, but what you will receive is a provisional FM3; once you enter Mexico you will have 30 days to exchange it for the definitive FM3 at the Immigration office nearest to your domicile in Mexico; this process will take about 2 weeks at the maximum. If you have further questions you can contact me through: adriana@yucatanyes.com

    51. February 14, 2012

      Hello, I submitted all required papers to the Cozumel INM and they were accepted. Pieza and password was given to me. I asked about payment and they told me check the site. it has been 8 working days and I see they accepted and so forth but no mention of payment. Dont I need a form to pay at ther bank and where can I get one? Thanks in advance, kevin

    52. February 15, 2012

      Kevin, your application has been accepted but eventually on the website you will see a notification asking you to go to INM and they will tell you that the payment is missing. They should have given you the form to pay at the bank at INM, but since they did not you could also download it and print it from the website. If you need help, please contact me through adriana@yucatanyes.com

    53. Michael
      February 20, 2012

      My wife and I have owned a home in Merida. As we are teachers in the U.S. our visits are over the Christmas break and usually up to a month in the summer. Since we own our home in Merida, do we need an FM3? We usually just check tourista when we are coming into Merida at immigration. What are the advantages to having an FM3 ?

    54. Michael
      February 20, 2012

      I meant to say owned a home in Merida for 4 years in the above comment.

    55. February 20, 2012

      Michael, as long as you don´t spend more than 180 days in Mexico you won´t need the FM3´s, even if you own a house here. Aside from allowing you to stay more than 180 days in the country, the advantages of having an FM3 are that you can bring your personal belongings (menaje de casa) duty free, you can buy a vehicle, you can get medical insurance, you can get the senior card for discounts and work, to name the most important benefits.

    56. Michael
      February 20, 2012

      Thank you SO MUCH Adriana! You have been MOST helpful. May I ask just on more question? If we ever want to sell our place in Santiago do we need an FM3 to do so? Also, what is the difference between the FM3 and an FM2?
      Again, Thank you, and it is my hope that you are enjoying Carnival! Have fun for us!

    57. February 24, 2012

      Michael, you don´t need an FM3 to sell the property, however, it´d be convenient for you to have an FM2 for that purpose to avoid the payment of capital gains tax.

    58. Shareen Pambrun
      March 1, 2012

      We own a condo in Playacar and my son-in-law is Mexican but he lives in Canada. We have a vehicle in my son-in-laws name and would like to change it into our name. Do we need a FM3 to do this? Also how long does it take to get an FM3

    59. March 2, 2012

      Shareen, assuming it is a Mexican plated vehicle, the person that will put the car into his/her name will need an FM3. The process to get it takes approximately 3-4 weeks. If you need assistance please contact me through: adriana@yucatanyes.com

    60. Hillary
      June 5, 2012

      We just received our brand new FM3 visas (Cargo de confianza) and sent copies to our moving company so they would ship our belongings down. The moving company receving the goods in mexico is now asking for a letter from our employer. We don’t really have an employer–we have a corporation that we set up to buy our house–and we will probably use that corporation to buy and invest in other properties. We did not realize our notary had gotten us this type of visa until we received it. I guess he did it this way because we had set up a corporation? anyway, we are not sure what to do about this letter that our moving company is now requesting. Do you know what they are looking for exactly? Do we draft a letter from our own corporation?

    61. June 6, 2012

      Hillary, it is correct, your notary got you this type of visa because you own a corporation. What you should do is explain to your moving company that you own a corporation, you don´t have an employer. If they keep on insisting, you can draft a letter from you own coporation signed by the legal representative stating the position you occupy in it and the activities you will develop.

    62. ann menke
      June 24, 2012

      I got my FM3 Rentista visa myself last year 2011 in Chetumal but it cost me $200 to have my bank statements translated into spanish. Do I need to do that again for 2012? I read above you don’t need to show bank statements the 2nd year as proof of income – is that true?

    63. June 26, 2012

      Ann, you don´t need to show bank statements when you renew FM3, until you renew for the 5th time.

    64. Viktoria
      January 29, 2013

      Hi, my questions refer to change of address.
      1. Is there a fee when you inform INM of your change of address?
      2. If you have not informed INM of your change of address within the 90-day period and because you did not have a fixed address but lived with friends, is there a fine and how is this fine computed?Thank you.

    65. February 1, 2013

      Viktoria, the notification to INM about your change of address does not have a fee. If you don´t notify within the next 90 days of the change, you´ll be fined with the amount equivalent to 20-100 days of minimum wage in Mexico city: 1,295.2 to 6,476 pesos (minimum wage is 64.76 pesos).

    66. February 6, 2013

      I have an invitation from a development property in Cabo to show my sculptures at their private club. The sculptures will be for sale. Given the expense of shipping, I am considering traveling to Cabo again and creating my sculptures there using local materials. My visit will be short, less than one month. Do I need an FM2 visa for artists? Are you able to help me if it is in Cabo?

    67. February 15, 2013

      Shelly, with the new Immigration rules, there are no longer FM2´s, nor any other type of visa for artists. If you will be in Mexico for less than one month you can just enter with a visitor visa valid for 180 days (given to you at the airport). This visa does not give you permission to engage in lucrative activities in Mexico; if you will be earning money out of the activities you will do, then you´ll need a visitor visa with permission to engage in lucrative activitites. Unfortunately we cannot help you in Cabo, since our services are for the State of Yucatan.

    68. Michelle
      January 20, 2014

      I am married to a Mexican Citizen here in the Yucatan. He has his own business here and I am under his sole support. I am a house wife. I am from the United States. I have an FM2 visa that is expired. I’ve been waiting for help to get it renewed and to understand the new rules when it comes to a family requirement for the FM2 ( or I believe it is called something different ). What will be required for me to get my immigration status correct please. Thank you for your help.

    69. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      January 20, 2014

      Michelle, you can apply for a temporary resident card (former FM3 and FM2) by family unit. You will have to pay a penalty because you let your visa expire and the regular fees of a temporary resident card. You will need to go to the INM office with your marriage license (and its apostille and its translation to Spanish if you were not married in Mexico), among other documents (passport, expired visa, online form and letter requesting your regularization). If you need our assistance, please contact us at info@yucatanyes.com, we´ll be happy to help you.

    70. Jason
      February 23, 2014

      Hello Adriana,

      I am planning on buying property in Tulum and I want to move their permanently from Arizona. I understand you cannot register a car in your name until you have a FM3 which takes 5 years to acquire if I am correct. What options do I have for transportation other than taxi’s during this time and am I legally allowed to operate a 50cc or less scooter with my US license? I would hate to rent a scooter I would much rather like to own. What restrictions do I have until I can apply for FM3?

      Thank you so much !

    71. Yucatan Expatriate Services
      February 24, 2014

      Jason, Immigration laws changed in November 2012 and the FM3 no longer exist. Now it is called “Residente Temporal”. In order to get a Temporary Resident Card, it takes approximately 2 months (you can read about the process here: https://www.yucatanexpatriateservices.com/resident-services/how-to-apply-for-a-mexican-resident-card-for-the-first-time.html. When you get this card, you will be able to register a Mexican plated vehicle in your name.

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