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FM3 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by Larry F. on November 13, 2012, 9:02 pm

We renewed our FM3 (in our case now called a temporary resident visa)today. Here's our experience:

The Good: You can re-new for 1-4 years. The good part is that if you re-new for 4 years, for example, you don't need to go back to INM for 4 years. The number of years you can re-new for depends on how many years left in your 5-year re-newal period. We were re-newing for the first time in our seconnd 5-year cycle (i.e., our 7th year) so were able to get a maximun 3-year renewal. I think this means that, for example, you were renewing for the third time ever, you could get a Visa term of one or two years, your choice.

The Bad: The cost of a Visa is almost triple from the old system. A single year re-newal is 3130 pesos, up from around 1300 pesos. There is a cost savings to go longer term. A 3-year re-newal is 5940 pesos, a significant savings.

The Ugly: It took us 3 hours to get processed. This was not volume, nor was it that they did not know what they were doing. Maybe there were too many questions to answer. And nobody walked out with a card .... you will have to return to pick it up. Our advice? Go early or go late ... they open at 9:30 and close at 1:00.

What do you need to re-new? The usual photos, the usual 3-month income verification, your old card, and current passport. Don't worry about downloading and filling in the form. They do this right on the computer.

We were told that after our 3-visa (our 8th year) we could apply for a Permanent Visa. Not sure how this might compare to Citizenship, or exactly what the rules are - this is a different governmenr department.

The real lesson for us was this. I need my Temporary Visa because we keep a foreign-plated car here. There is no other reason. My spouse will noonger abtain an expensive visa. What for? She will get her free 6-month Tourist Visa.

Hope this helps.

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