A Few Comments About Yesterday’s Article

Caleta Tankah (Source: Q-Roo Paul)

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might have noticed that I generally keep my articles short — around 600 words or less. I personally hate to read long-winded articles, so I certainly don’t want to be responsible for writing them myself.

Whenever I’m writing about a more complex topic, like immigration law, it can be quite challenging to keep the article that short. I often surpass the 600 word mark and then go back and do some creative editing.

That is what happened while I was writing yesterday’s article, If You Do This, the Mexican Government Will Cancel Your Temporary or Permanent Resident Card. 

The original draft was around 850 words, so I omitted a section that contained some useful tips from an immigration specialist that I consulted while researching the topic. Even though the tips didn’t make the main article, I thought that they were worth sharing in a supplemental post.

Tips from a Professional

1. If you get to the airport and you realize that you’ve forgotten your resident card at home, cancel or reschedule the flight and go get it. Of course this only applies to international flights, not domestic.

2. If you lose your resident card while abroad, go to a Mexican Consulate for assistance.

3. If you arrive in Mexico and you cannot find your card, tell the INM agent what happened and request a “regularización de situación migratoria”. Do not enter as a tourist!

If you enter as a tourist and INM cancels your resident card, you only have two choices:

1. Return to your country of origin and start the process over at a Mexican Consulate.

2. Stay in Mexico and apply for a new visa as a financial dependent of a family member who has a resident card (e.g. spouse).

Let’s Wrap This Up

Within hours of publishing yesterday’s article, my virtual mailbox was full of questions from readers asking a wide variety of questions related to Mexican immigration law. The majority of these questions would best be answered by a professional.

I have found that many future expats are hesitant to seek professional legal assistance because they think it will be too expensive.

If we were in the U.S. where immigration attorneys make hundreds of dollars an hour, that would be true, but here in Mexico, that is not the case. Legal assistance is actually quite affordable here.

When Linda and I got our resident cards, we did everything ourselves because I was under the mistaken impression that hiring a lawyer in Mexico would be too expensive. Everything went well but if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely hire someone else to do it. It would have freed me up to do more important things — like go to the beach.

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Note- The immigration specialist mentioned in the article works out of Playa del Carmen and speaks fluent English. Several of our friends and neighbors are her former clients and they all highly recommend her.

If you would like her contact information, you can obtain it by sending us a request via our contact form. 

About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He moved to Mexico with his wife six days later to enjoy a laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle on a tight budget. In 2016, Paul started a blog to share information with other people who may be thinking of making the move to Mexico. The blog, Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us), has been viewed over a million times.

40 Comments on "A Few Comments About Yesterday’s Article"

  1. Thanks for the update. I am curious about what “expensive” means in regard to attorneys. Last year we paid $800 USD each for the 1st year temporary visa process to an attorney in Cancun. I’m thinking that was way too expensive.

  2. The going rate for an attorney to assist with residency process in the Puerto Vallarta area is 3000 pesos, or about $160 US. Well worth it. I only had to go to immigration one time out of the minimum 3 visits, for signature and fingerprints. Compare that to a friend who had to make three visits just to get the first of the 3 steps completed because he filled out the form incorrectly – twice (It’s entirely in Spanish).

    We live on a sailboat and are car-less so travel can be time-consuming – and there is always a wait at the office. As Paul says, there are better things to do!

    And while the office on the Nayarit side of the border features agents with excellent English and good organizational skills, that’s not always the case. An even more compelling reason to hire the attorney!

    • I should add for clarity that in addition to the attorney’s fee of 3000 pesos, I paid 3715 pesos to submit my one-year temporary residency application. Permanent and longer temporary applications (2, 3 or 4 year) will be more.

      And $36 In the US for the Visa to get started.

      All these costs are per person, so double it for a couple.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Elinore.

  3. I quite enjoy your articles and check the blog whenever I have a question. A subject that still appears to be full of controversy is that of “Residente Permanente” status people and foreign plated automobiles. A definitive article on this would be most useful to consolidate the variety of opinions out there.
    David Edgar

    • Mexican law prohibits you from continuing to “temporarily import” a car once you get a permanent resident visa (Ley Aduanera, Art.106). In order to permanently import it, you have to “nationalize” it and get Mexican plates. That is why you can’t drive a foreign plated vehicle with a permanent resident visa.

      I’ll add this one to the list of future topics.

  4. It is your blog, write it the way you want. I personally would prefer more words to read with complete information than brevity. Of course, I’m old fart that has read technical manuals all his life.

    • Hahaha, you are the exception to the rule. Most readers comment that one of the things that they like about the blog is that the posts are short.

  5. Do you have any recommendations of a good lawyer or any helpful suggestions on how to locate a good lawyer to assist with getting the residency card. I arrive on Feb 12

    • I have a good recommendation for one out of Playa del Carmen. Just send me a request via the contact form. There’s a button at the top of the blog on the main menu.

  6. I love your blog! I am devasted though! my husband and I have been going to isla mujeres for the last 2 1/2 years at least twice a year and it is absolutely my favorite place on earth! And just recently there’s been an influx of police stopping the tourist in golf carts and taking them to jail can you commemt on this? My husband is now wanting to avoid Mexico and I am heartbroken.

    • I haven’t heard anything about that, Karen. Golf carts are the primary way to get around the island. I’ll look into it.

    • Well there have been some folks pulled over. Two rules: 1. Do Not drink and drive. 2. No open containers on your golf cart. These are pretty much the same rules as home. So come on down, drive responsibly and have a great time!

  7. Jeannie Wildeman | February 2, 2018 at 10:19 am | Reply

    Thanks for letting me join, I plan to getting a temp. Or perm. in fall.

  8. If you have a Residente Temporal visa, pay attention to the expiration date. I stupidly let mine expire and had to start the whole process over again. I decided to eliminate that problem again so decided to apply for my Residente Permanente which has no expiration. We used an attorney the first time and there are certainly advantages but when I reapplied for the permanent card we decided to do it ourselves. If you speak Spanish or have someone in your life who does it is doable to do it yourself. All of the forms you need are online but to the earlier points they must be filled out very precisely and you must be sure of having all the “supporting documentation” or you will not make it by the “guy with the orange highlighter” when you go to immigration. Enjoy your blog immensely, Paul. Keep up the great work.

  9. Agree that using a facilitator or an attorney to complete the visa process is a good idea. We’re currently waiting for the fingerprint date to be set, be aware that there is now a several week backlog here in Playa. Plan to spend more like 10 – 12 weeks here to complete the process, or plan to apply for the 60-day leave option and return.
    Thanks for the blog Paul!

  10. Roberta Strand | February 2, 2018 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Hire an attorney. My husband screwed his re-entry in 3 times and cost us much more $$ than an attorney ever would. An when they say “don’t leave Mexico during the process of getting your card”, they mean it. If you do, you will have to go back to the US and completely start over.

  11. Matt Williamson | February 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    Hey Paul, long time listener first time caller. I have heard from friends that claim QR is in the free or frontier zone and that allows them to turn in their TIP. When I have visited the SAT site regarding importing vehicles, I only see special circumstances for Sonora. Thanks for the great blog,
    Matt

    • Hahaha, great intro, Matt. I have heard that too and I often refer to it as an urban myth because no one with any real authority can confirm that. I do know that they generally don’t enforce the dates on the TIP but there are exceptions. A friend of ours was stopped by the Federal Police in Playa del Carmen and they specifically checked the TIP.

  12. I noticed that you mentioned an Immigration lawyer in Playa del Carmen. If, in fact,she is the one we had, we very much recommend her! She is terrific! We could not have done it without her!
    Was a piece of cake dealing with the Consulate in Orlando! Little did we know what would be facing us in Mexico! Thanks for our lawyer!
    Thank you Q-Roo Paul for all the information on Immigration. Best for being lengthy than being brief– need to know all we can, even though we have been through with most of it. There is always something more to learn.
    Evelyn

  13. Gerald Bourhis | February 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Reply

    Hey Paul thanks again for such an informative and concise blog. Because I’m interested in getting to Mexico at some point, I am following a number of different blogs and groups. I find yours is the best for straight up to the point accurate information. I find a lot of the others may have good and correct information but it sometimes gets very confusing with all the other comments given.
    Also like the way you throw in your light hearted and funny ways to let us all know what we are missing in Mexico….like the beach and happy hour!

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for continuing to read our posts. It gives me something to do while I’m laying on the beach waiting for happy hour to start…lol

  14. A lawyer. Have a good relationship with one. Ours handled our Temporal. Well worth it! She’s helped with other things as well. My husband’s applying for his Permanente soon. So back to our lawyer. With pleasure.

  15. How do I go d an immigration lawyer in Morelia? I must be asking the wrong question when I Google my request.

  16. -> Stay in Mexico and apply for a new visa as a financial dependent of a family member who has a resident card (e.g. spouse).

    In all our research, here and elsewhere, this is one that I hadn’t heard of. While the comment was as an alternative if one’s resident visa is cancelled, I’m curious if this is a viable strategy for a leading spouse / trailing spouse scenario? Would the costs and financial requirements be the same as the conventional process?

    As for the keeping the length of postings short, you can always break things up in a Part 1 / Part 2 format for the 140 character crowd! 🙂

  17. It’s not normally a problem if you stay near the border area or you don’t plan to leave by a different method (e.g. air or sea). We know a few residents who drive and some don’t worry about it much, while others take the time to stop and submit the FMM.

  18. Keep doing what you are doing. Long or short, I am certainly grateful for all the useful tips and indepth information you provide… So, thank you! Enjoy the beach

  19. Peter harrison | February 3, 2018 at 7:48 am | Reply

    Just obtained my “Temporal” visa in Chetumal; hired a local agent to do it. Slow but successful, cost $5000. Pesos plus the $3750. At the bank.
    Can one apply for Permanente after the one year Temporal runs out, or is the 3 year renewal mandatory?

    • No, you’ll have to wait the full four years. Once you choose a track, that’s the one you’re stuck in.

      The only way around it would be to let you temporary expire and then go back to your country of origin and apply for a permanent at the Mexican Consulate — thus beginning the process over.

  20. Regarding Roberta’s statement “don’t leave Mexico during the process of getting your card” that is not entirely accurate, there is just a process you must follow. Immigration holds your FMM card until you are issued your permanent card, and you must request a special pass to leave Mexico and you must return within 60 days.

  21. Found out the hard way, if you leave MX on an exit visa during the process, make sure you return within in 60 days. You Will loose everything and have to start over. Don Chan Chemuyil, MX

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