What Happens Once the Mexican Consulate Approves Your Resident Visa? (Video)

We get a lot of questions from our readers about the procedures/paperwork involved in the second part of the residency process. That’s the part that begins once you arrive in Mexico after having received either your temporary or permanent resident visa at a Mexican Consulate.

Instead of writing an article on the subject, I decided to mix it up a little and I created a short animated video to walk you through the process.

Links to Forms and Information Explained in the Video

Formato para solicitar trámite migratorio de estancia: https://www.inm.gob.mx/tramites/publico/estancia.html

Formato básico: https://www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/426925/Formato_Basico.pdf

Formato para el pago de derechos: https://www.inm.gob.mx/gobmx/derechos/

Check on the status of your application at INM: https://www.inm.gob.mx/tramites/publico/seguimiento-tramite.html

Let’s Wrap This Up

As I stated in the video, my recommendation is to hire a professional to handle the second part of the immigration process. It just makes life much easier.

If you’re looking for a professional in the area of Playa del Carmen, we highly recommend Adriana Vela. She does an outstanding job, speaks fluent English and is very reliable. Here’s her contact information:

Adriana Vela, Immigration Specialist
Business site: immigrationtomexico.mx

Well, that’s it for today. Linda and I are headed out on a mini-vacation this morning and I still need pack! Hasta luego. 

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

20 Comments on "What Happens Once the Mexican Consulate Approves Your Resident Visa? (Video)"

  1. Catherine Quinn | October 15, 2019 at 8:35 am |

    Very well done!! Great content and clarity as always.

  2. Great post, glad to see you recommending to get help for the second leg, we are in merida and tell people all the time about YES gals worth every penny.

    Hope to see ya in Merida some day


  3. Janet Parrish | October 15, 2019 at 9:12 am |

    We did hire help and so glad we did! Not only simplified the process (& reduced stress), but when another woman with my name appeared in the books our assistant helped navigate around a potential disaster and possible delays. Whew! Didn’t see that one coming!

    We will definitely hire assistance again for renewal, especially since now I know the same hoops have to be jumped again. Ugh. But so worth it.

    Paul, as usual you have unsnarled the steps so we know the process and the paperwork required, which is helpful even if we hire an assistant. Thanks so much!

  4. I did it myself and didn’t seem too difficult but I speak Spanish fluently. I went to the office in San Diego to start the process and finished in Guadalajara. The entire process was very quick and only took a month.

    I haven’t worked with Adriana in Mexico but I worked with her in Argentina on several occasions and she is a really hard working ethical person. I can’t say enough good things about her. I knew she moved to Mexico but didn’t know she was doing this until I read your blog.

    • Glad it went well, Mike. I did our initial temporary residency and the renewal but then I hired Adriana went I went to permanent because I came to the conclusion that my beach time was just to precious to waste…lol. I’m amazed that you know Adriana from Argentina. I would love to hear the backstory some day.

  5. Retired in Mexico | October 15, 2019 at 10:59 am |

    Very Good, Paul.

    And YES you better get help. I am now using a lawyer. As, I go for my citizenship (it will be the third country I am a citizen of!) the process gets especially harder.

    When I applied for my 1st temp residency card in SMA, the officer named Juan Manuel was very rude, unhelpful, and even prohibitive in his manner.

    I got all the way past the point that I had submitted all paperwork and paid my money, and was ready to leave the INAMI office, then he tells me, “You cannot leave the country until you have the card in your hand.”

    I said, “That would have been a good thing to say at the start of this. I have business in the USA next week. I have to be there.”

    He stated, “You can’t go. You will forfeit your payment and have to start the process all over again if you do. And there will be a lengthy WAITING period before you can start over again as a punishment for breaking the process.”

    My reply to him set off a chain of events that ended badly for everyone.

    I said, “Mr Rayas, you should have made that clear at the beginning of the process to help me better make the decision as to when to safely start the process. Your failure just cost me a lot of money.”

    He said, “I’m not here to help you. That’s your problem. You need to find that information out on your own.”

    I got up to walk away and go to my vehicle, as we were completed with the process for that day.

    I saw him keep my wife at the desk to say something to her, and she looked both worried and angry at the same time.

    He threatened both her and me. He said, “I’m not just anybody. I am a federal officer and your husband can’t talk to me that way. When you or he come into this office, you speak to us with respect or you will both go to jail.”

    Big mistake.

    When we got halfway home, my wife finally told me what Rayas had told her.

    Good thing she waited until we were halfway home or I would have gone back to talk to the head of that INAMI office. Which, may or MAY NOT do anything good.

    His failure to explain the process caused a lot of things. Rayas, by not explaining the process and maintaining that he doesn’t care to and doesn’t have to explain any part of the process to me, even saying he is not there to help, cost me over $14,000 in the USA because I could not leave for 60 days.

    He and a female coworker, out of spite, colluded to delay me more than another week by saying my card was not at their local INAMI office, when we called them over the last two weeks for status updates. Their false information was not synonymous with the information the office in Mexico City was giving us based on our daily phone calls to both places and the emails we were receiving from INAMI saying my card was ready and waiting at the SMA INAMI office. When we would call Mexico, they would assure us that not only did the card arrive in San Miguel, it had been signed for as received, and was there, complete, not needing any changes, ready and waiting. So we did what we had to do to end their vindictiveness, we showed up in the SMA office to speak with the top man. He told us my card was there, to get a number, wait in line, and pick up our card.

    I left with my card an hour later.

    I made a “denuncia” (complaint) against Rayas (and his coworker) with the INAMI office in Mexico City. We were told that the SMA office was particularly prohibitive in their functions, causing many problems for many foreigners who lived there.

    The México City office told me the next time I went through the process, if I had any problem with Rayas or his female coworker, to immediately call them and they would act on my denuncia, even a year or years later.

    They also said I could personally sue Rayas for my $14,000 loss (about $270,000 pesos) so that the government could not protect him from the suit. It was an option and I obtained a very good lawyer for that purpose. INAMI agreed with me that he is and has been highly unprofessional and his rude actions were not the standard that INAMI represents. Any further problem from him or his coworker will be dealt with, they said, by possible firing, and jail time.

    Don’t go through what I did.

    Hire a lawyer!

    Avoid problems!

    • Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I’m sure several readers will find it particularly useful.

  6. Great job! My husband got his 2 yrs ago. Of course a friend said…. “I can help” Which only lasted for a short time before my husband ended up hiring someone. I am starting mine in MN at end of month and have help lined up for me in Puerto Morelos for my Cancun journeys. Thanks again. Hope you got your bags packed and had a fantastic outing.

  7. Paul, I took your advice & hired assistance. Excellent decision. Confusing enough making multiple trips to INM Office. Hiring assistance definitely took the stress out of the process. Great video & overview. Thanks, I appreciate all your tips & advice. Great Blog.

  8. We did not use an agent in the second part of the Permanent Residency Visa process, but if I were doing this again I certainly would do so not to have to make the four trips to INM. Our attorney in Oaxaca recommended we could complete the process on our own, so we jumped into the deep end of the pool. Oh boy!

    First; Every communication is in Spanish as you mentioned, written and in person. So we had a long time Oaxacan friend helping us when we went to INM. Our rudimentary Spanish just wasn’t good enough to navigate the process.

    Second; We filled out the forms online, printed backups, got our photos and returned to INM. We also had to recreate a letter explaining why we were requesting Mexican residency. They give you the form but do not just fill in the blanks or you’ll need to make an addition trip. You have to either hand write the letter or type it verbatim and then submit it to the INM office. On a return trip they gave us the payment forms, INM printed them for us so the correct amounts were already filled in. Then we took it to the bank, paid the fee and received the receipt. The INM in Oaxaca requires three copies plus the original bank receipt. Your advice to take extra copies is well noted. Otherwise you get to make another trip to INM.

    Third; After we first contacted INM we received an email with our case numbers that automatically linked us to the INM online system so we could check on the status of our applications and to be advised of any additional information INM required from us. One very important last part of the process is to quickly follow up online when instructed to do so and complete one last form with personal information such as height, weight, race, religion etc. Once you complete this form you will very quickly receive a request to return to INM to be fingerprinted and sign some more forms. Be sure to sign exactly as your passport signature. Close does not count here as you will need to sign another copy of the form if the signature does not match exactly.

    Last; Success! Our PR Visa identification cards were given to us five days latter. We signed several more forms and then out to our favorite mescal bar to celebrate with our friends.

    The process in Oaxaca took about four weeks. The ladies at INM apologized saying they were very busy due to the influx of Central Americans requesting residency visas.

    The most frustrating part of the whole PR Visa process was at the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque. This part took two months. They claim to have a small staff but I believe they are very disorganized. We received a lot of conflicting information and we were forced to make multiple trips to the Consulate to sort it all out. Expats in Oaxaca recommend starting in Laredo for the fastest processing.

    I apologize for the long description but I thought others might find it useful.


  9. Carlotta Quarre OHara | October 15, 2019 at 6:04 pm |

    I agree that Adriana Vela is terrific with Immigration questions, procedures, paperwork. She makes it understandable and possible. Don’t go it alone.

  10. Roo Paul, I notice that your time lapse counter for your permanent resident permit is still running. You guys still don’t have it yet?

    I’m happy to report that my 3 year renewal was approved in 2 Months and 1 week in CDMX.. Way longer than the initial one. I was worried and stressed out. Hope your permanent one is approved very soon.

    • We’re still waiting. They finally approved it and we go back on November 6th for fingerprints. After that, we anticipate another month or more.

      Two months isn’t too bad. You got lucky. 🙂

  11. Valerie Link | October 17, 2019 at 9:27 am |

    The video was very informative. One question please, if you get a one year to start and then you say for the second year you have to start over. Does that mean step one at a Mexican consulate in the US? Or if you are living in Mexico can you begin the process There? Thanks. Valerie

  12. retired in Mexico | October 17, 2019 at 12:44 pm |

    Refer to my prior comment…

  13. Retired in Mexico | October 17, 2019 at 1:09 pm |

    Oh, your advice about having extra copies of EVERYTHING is as valuable as gold. My wife and I already did this but you telling everyone is fantastic advice. We make 5 or more copies of everything.

Comments are closed.