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Mexican Immigration Catch 22s when changing from a Temporary to Permanent visa

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Post by Intercasa on Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:49 pm

We have recently seen two situations where people find themselves in jeopardy of having their immigration papers denied through no fault of their own. One situation can be avoided but the other one may not be, leaving people in a tough situation.

This is not a case where Mexico’s National Immigration Institute is to blame but more the legislature as we now have had a full 6 years under the new immigration law passed in 2011 that took effect in November 2012. There are certain situations that were not anticipated. These are gray areas or situations where common sense says one thing but the letter of the law says another and that letter of the law must be followed.

The first situation is where a person applies for a temporary resident visa due to family unity at a Mexican Consulate. The Mexican consulate in Canada, for example, would ask for a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate if a husband wanted to get his wife a temporary visa as she could get one without having to qualify financially by being married to a temporary / permanent visa holder or a Mexican citizen.

Mexican Consulates do not usually ask for documents presented to them to be apostilled or legalized. A person who applies using a certified copy can get their spouse a temporary visa.

Problem comes up when after 2 years on the temporary visa, a person married to a permanent resident or Mexican citizen applies at immigration in Mexico to then change to a permanent resident. The Guidelines or Lineamientos published on November 8, 2012 state that at the presentation of the request to change to permanent resident you must prove the relationship which means presenting the marriage certificate… but then remember that all documents presented within Mexico MUST be apostilled / legalized and translated into Spanish. Here many people logically but erroneously assume that the same document that they used in the Mexican Consulate to get their initial visa would be equally acceptable at the National Immigration Institute in Mexico.

TIP: Any birth / marriage / death certificates or court judgments that you may have the need to use in the future in Mexico should be apostilled / legalized by the State / Province / Country of issue if not Mexico.

Apostilling / Legalizing documents has its own world of odd quirks and requirements. Some states or provinces require certain certifications of the original document by a certain public official or state it cannot be more then 5 or 10 years old or else no apostille /legalization. At times getting an apostille/legalization can be as easy as spending a few hundred dollars or less and waiting 2 days to 2 weeks. Other times it can be a complex round of visits to government offices or paying over $500US / Canadian dollars and waiting weeks or longer to have new documents reissued that meet the guidelines then certification then apostille / legalization.

The second situation also is for requesting to be a permanent resident after being a temporary resident. The Guidelines or Lineamientos published on November 8, 2012 state that at the presentation of the request to change to permanent resident you must provide your passport that you used to obtain the temporary resident visa you now are asking to change to permanent.

This is usually not a problem EXCEPT for people who have had their passports lost/stolen or renewed and they did not get their old passport back or threw it away or lost it.

Yes, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute probably does have a copy of the passport you used plus everything else you submitted somewhere, in a file in a box in another state or wherever they store their old files. There is no requirement for them to send out a search team to locate their copy of your old document.

TIP: Get notarized certified copies (from any Notary Public, or Notario Publico) of your passport face page, consular visa and FMM you used to enter as we have seen cases where people who have had those documents have been able to overcome this obstacle and not be condemned due to unfortunate or criminal events.

Another reason to get certified copies of your passport and immigration card and limit the carrying of originals. You are more likely to lose your originals or have them stolen if carrying them daily.
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Post by Problem Child on Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:46 am

Another solution is to get remarried on Mexico. Any la against that?

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Post by Intercasa on Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:47 pm

To get married in Mexico foreigners need both their original birth certificates with apostilles or legalizations plus divorce decrees, also double acts may not be legal, best and cheapest to prepare. Doesnt make sense to get 2 sets of birth certificates with apostille/ legalizations to get around getting one marriage certificate apostilled/ legalized
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Post by Problem Child on Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:58 pm

Interesting. When I got married two years ago to a woman from Panama, all we had to show were our passports, her Mx. visa, my Permanente, noted we were both divorced, and that was it. Married and legally so, according to the Mx. government. No lies/problems

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Post by benjji on Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:32 pm

Boy is she lucky!

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Post by Problem Child on Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:42 pm

No, I'm the one that got lucky. Much better than I deserve.

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Post by solajijic on Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:08 pm

We have been telling our friends that when they return to the US for a visit they should take care of Apostilling everything they might ever need. Why not?

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Post by Axixic on Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:07 pm

Intercasa wrote:To get married in Mexico foreigners need both their original birth certificates with apostilles or legalizations plus divorce decrees, also double acts may not be legal, best and cheapest to prepare. Doesnt make sense to get 2 sets of birth certificates with apostille/ legalizations to get around getting one marriage certificate apostilled/ legalized


I guess this varies from state to state. My fiancee (Mexican National) and I (Canadian) attended the Civil Registry office here in Playa Del Carmen (Qintana Roo) and were told we only needed our passports and a copy of same, presented 30 - 60 days prior to the date of the wedding.

Bloody easy, actually.
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Post by ferret on Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:11 pm

Congratulations Axixic !!!
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Post by Axixic on Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:40 pm

ferret wrote:Congratulations Axixic !!!

Gracias.
Mexican Immigration Catch 22s when changing from a Temporary to Permanent visa 45858210
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Post by suegarn on Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:42 pm

Axixic wrote:
ferret wrote:Congratulations Axixic !!!

Gracias.
Mexican Immigration Catch 22s when changing from a Temporary to Permanent visa 45858210

Looking good, Bill! How's life treating you in PDC?

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Post by Axixic on Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am

suegarn wrote:
Looking good, Bill!  How's life treating you in PDC?

Not gonna lie, there have been some topes. But things between Colet and me are so good that I really don't mind.

Not at all happy with the apartment we found but signed a six month lease so stuck here until March. Telmex won't transfer my Chapala account to PDC so getting by on a pretty weak wifi signal and no phone. Learning the bus routes is a nightmare.

But the people are great, the food is great, the weather is spectacular and, once you know what beaches to go to, a bit of heaven.

And my Spanish is improving!
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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:47 am

I often contemplate moving to the beach. I look forward to a report after being there from April to October next year.

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Post by Axixic on Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:56 am

CanuckBob wrote:I often contemplate moving to the beach. I look forward to a report after being there from April to October next year.

Yup, gonna be brutal no doubt.

But I am gradually adjusting my schedule to a sensible Mexican timetable (big meal mid-day, small meal in the evening, three to four hour siesta during the hottest time of day). Living with someone who has lived this way for most of her life makes it easy.

But the other evening it was low 70s when we went out for a taco loco and cerveza. Colet was chilled even though she was wearing a wrap. I thought the temperature was perfect. I guess "room temperature" is a matter of what you're used to.
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Post by Trailrunner on Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:06 pm

Yes, me too.

Nevertheless, congratulations to you and Colet, Axixic, wish you so much happiness! Hope you'll check in here from time to time.

After my first 3 years here, I fled to the beach (Sayulita) and loved it - but I only lasted a year. The heat drove me out and I returned here to the highlands. The only other thing I felt was that the beach life lacked Mexican/traditional culture. The culture was 100% beach culture. Other than that, it was fun!

Buena suerte, Axixic!

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Post by Axixic on Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:00 pm

Thanks Trailrunner.

PDC is odd. It hasn't really been here for all that long and the population is definitely on the young side. That said, if you live away from the 5th Ave tourist area (which I can't afford anyway) the neighbourhoods are decidedly Mexican. It seems a good mix.
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Post by Trailrunner on Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:14 pm

That sounds perfect, Axixic!

Are there many full-time permanente foreign residents there? Do they stay year 'round?
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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:17 pm

If I was to move to the beach one day I would plan on being back in Canada for the two hottest months of the year. Take a bit of the edge off......

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Post by ferret on Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:14 pm

July, August, September and half of October. Three and a half months.
The temp change between day and night is about 4 degrees... but it's always 100% humidity and that's the killer.
It was a nightly ritual for me... peering through the curtains and telling the sun "to get the f@%k down". Made my hubby laugh like hell.
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Post by Playaboy on Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:57 pm

Axixic wrote:Thanks Trailrunner.

PDC is odd. It hasn't really been here for all that long and the population is definitely on the young side. That said, if you live away from the 5th Ave tourist area (which I can't afford anyway) the neighbourhoods are decidedly Mexican. It seems a good mix.

Get yourself a local drivers license and most 5th ave restaurants will give you the locals discount. You have to ask for it.

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Post by Playaboy on Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:03 pm

Trailrunner wrote:That sounds perfect, Axixic!

Are there many full-time permanente foreign residents there? Do they stay year 'round?

The PDC IMN office handles just over 19,000 resident visas. #1 are people from the EU, followed by Argentinians. USA and Canadians are down the list. A very large percentage of those are young, working and raising their families.

There is a very big illegal population living here. IMN carries out many enforcement actions throughout the area.

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Post by Trailrunner on Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:39 pm

Do those people stay through the heat and humidity or do they go somewhere else?

In Sayulita they all left. It was a ghost town during the heat and any Mexicans who could get the pesos together left as well. That was a while ago and it's hotter now and getting hotter.
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Post by Playaboy on Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:44 am

Trailrunner wrote:Do those people stay through the heat and humidity or do they go somewhere else?

In Sayulita they all left. It was a ghost town during  the heat and any Mexicans who could get the pesos together left as well. That was a while ago and it's hotter now and getting hotter.

Not many run away from the heat. There are 200,000+ people living in PDC, so we never turn into a ghost town. There is explosive growth and constant building. (things are booming, right Spencer Very Happy ) June -Aug is High Season (part 2) with millions of domestic, south American, and European tourist visiting PDC. Younger visa holders are working and raising families, they have no time to get away.

Most retiree's with homes NOB do the 6 month in Mexico and 6 month north. But those retiree's make up a small part of the visa holders and instead use tourist cards. There are many others like myself that love it in the summertime.


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