If you are a regular follower of the blog, then you already know that the majority of my article ideas come from emails from our readers. If enough people ask the same question, chances are pretty good that it will be answered in a post. Today’s post is one of those.
I get several emails from people asking about the second phase of getting either their temporary or permanent resident card. They are always – and I do mean always – under the impression that the only thing that they will have to do is swing by the local immigration office and pick it up. Spoiler alert….it isn’t that simple.
I’m going to back up a bit for those readers who have no idea at all what I’m talking about.
If you want either a Permanent or Temporary Resident Visa to live in Mexico, the process starts at the Mexican Consulate in your home country. You are required to submit a list of requested documents and be interviewed. If you are approved for the visa, a Mexican visa – which looks like a large sticker – is placed inside your passport.
Once we got ours, the woman helping us at the Consulate told us that we would pick up the actual resident cards at an immigration office (INM) in Mexico once we arrived. It sounded so simple at the time.
In fact, I thought it would be like getting a driver’s license once you passed all the tests. I would just walk up, show them my approval packet, and walk out a short time later with our card.
Why wouldn’t I think that? After all, I had already submitted all of the required paperwork, been interviewed and even supplied them with a photo. What else could there be left to do? The answer is…more paperwork, more photos and multiple trips to the immigration office.
Part Two of the Process (Mexico)
The list of required documents can vary slightly from each INM office but at a minimum, you will be required to submit the following for each person applying for the visa:
Online application (formato para solicitar trámite migratorio de estancia) LINK
Basic format form (formato básico) LINK
Photocopy of the Mexican Visa in your Passport
Photocopy of the identification section of your passport
Proof of address
Photos (front and side views)
Once you submit that packet, they will give you a tracking number to check the status of your request. This usually takes 2-4 weeks depending on how many applications they are processing.
They don’t accept money at the INM office, so you’ll have to go by a local bank to handle that part. Make sure you get extra copies of the receipt because they won’t make copies of anything at the INM office.
Once the packet is approved, you will receive an email notice to return to the office. At the Playa del Carmen office, the purpose of this visit is to schedule a future visit to be fingerprinted. Yep, you read that correctly – a visit to schedule another visit.
After they take your fingerprints, ask a few more questions and you sign a document, they will tell you to come back in a week or more to actually pick up the card.
Time from Start to Finish
I received my card in about 4 weeks. Unfortunately for Linda, her first application was rejected because there was a typo on the date of birth. That caused a considerable delay in the process and she got her card about 6 weeks after I did.
Let’s Wrap This Up
I know this may sound like a pain, but it’s a very small price to pay to be approved to live in such a wonderful country. Try to keep that in mind the next time you’re waiting in line at an INM office.
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