Dealing With Mexican Immigration Authorities – Vol. III

It is time that I renew my FM 3 visa for another year, so I have again had occassion to visit the immigration office here in Xalapa.  An FM 3 visa, as you may remember,  permits me to reside in Mexico  for one year periods and is renewable for four additional years.  So last Friday it was off the immigration office, a ten minute walk from the apartment.
I arrived at the immigration office at about 9:30, and signed in with the security guard who remembers me from my first visit and always greets me warmly.   In the office I found one fellow seated with the one staffperson present and a woman waiting.  Soon six more folks arrived and another staffperson arrived to attend to the crowd.

At any rate within 15 minutes I was seated at the desk with the same very kind woman who had processed my change of address request.  She looked over the paperwork I had submitted, filled out a form, presented me with a copy of the form, and told me return in a week to pick up my renewed visa.

In and out in less than a half hour.

By the way.  Anyone who can demonstrate that they have lived in Mexico legally for a period of five years can apply for citiizenship.  As I understand, there is no test, simply file the application, pay the fee, and attend the annual ceremony in Mexico City where the president confers citizenship.



Filed under Immigration, Travel

10 responses to “Dealing With Mexican Immigration Authorities – Vol. III

  1. Elizabeth

    Hi CHRIS i am mexican and glad to hear that you have renewed your visa (sorry i am trying to learn some english via internet) i am lost, the last time that i read your blog you were living in Yucatán (Mérida) what happen? now are you living in veracruz? just i am confuse now, my english is not good yet , anyway i want to tell you if you need some help just ask me, will be my pleasure to help you. i have been living in many cities of México and can give you some info if you wish.

    regards from Mérida.

  2. Hello Elizabeth,
    How very nice it is of you to check in and to leave your very kind comment. And thanks for you kind offer of help. It seems to me that you are doing very well in your English studies.

    I left Merida last August for the mountains of Veracruz and now live in Xalapa. Merida was simply too hot for me, who spent most of my life in the temperate climate of mountainous coastal Washington state in the USA. I also found it to be too dry there for a good part of the year.

    The climate here in Xalapa is very similar to that of coastal Washington, except warmer. I enjoy the gentle rain here and the lush, green vegetation it encourages. I also find comfort in the mountainous setting.

    I have added your email address to my address book and if I need advice I will write. Thanks again for your kind offer.


  3. Elizabeth

    oh si, here is very hot mostly of time too much for you i think.
    I was living in Veracruz for 5 years and i went to xalapa many times, beautiful city and weather, i studied in the Veracruz university (U.V) then i moved to Mérida 20 years ago , all my family is from here. but i loved to live there. now you will enjoy the next carnival wowow!!! one of the most famous carnivals we have in México, you will see how funny celebration the veracruzanos will make. lol.

    thank you very much for replayed my mge, and thanks for add me to your email account, hopping we can to stay keep in touch soon.

    by the way, my interes is because i want to improve my english with native people who speaks 100% english. thank God i have meeting good friends from internet, they are helping me on the chat messenger, so you are reading to a Mexican who never ever talkend in english in her life, it is the result to type with them after 1 year ago of practicing, still my pronuntiation is horrible, but now i can read and write in your idiom. i will be happy if you can contact me to my email , you know i am shy that the people read my bad english in this section of your blog . lol.

    Take care and enjoy our carnival!!!
    nice to meet you

  4. Betty


    I looked up your blog from the yucatan living interview connection and as Elizabeth, saw you were on to new adventures–We are planning a trip to Merida in March–When do you need to be there to experience the worst of the hot weather??–or does any month in the summer suffice–Before making the commitment to stay longer, we need to decide if we can be content in the climate–coming from a 4 season state like Massachusetts it may be too much!

    Good luck in your travels,

  5. Hi Betty,
    Thanks for checking in and commenting.

    It is hot in Merida all year around. Today it is cloudy in Merida and the high is predicted too be 82. Later this week the high will be in the high 80s, and this is the middle of Winter. During the Summer the “feels like” temperature is often over 100.

    It is also quite dry there for much of the year, with an occasional gully washer that leaves ankle deep water in many streets.

    Another thing about Merida is that it is very popular with foreigners. There is actually an area referred to as “gringo gulch”. One result is that the immigration office is always busy.

    I realize that many gringos who move to Merida prefer to hang out with other gringos. I prefer to not hang out with other gringos.

    Having said all of that, Merida is wonderful city with wonderfully kind folks.

    Good luck.

  6. Betty

    Thanks Chris,

    Sounds like you’ve found a quiet and beautiful spot in Xalapa amidst the orchids and misty mountains! Merida is our first venture into Mexico and it seemed to be far cry from the Cancun tourist mecca so it’s surprising about the gringo concentration there–We’ll have to see if there’s enough balance-(San Miguel seems far too saturated with gringo types)-but other destinations in Mexico will surely follow–from the mountains to the sea……

    The best thing about being out of the US is you can follow the politics without suffering the consequences so directly! It promises to be a long campaign–Also, did you see the photos of John Edwards’ new house in North Carolina–28,000 square feet–yes, there are 2 Americas…..

    Best Wishes,

  7. Jan


    I have previously lived in Veracruz and loved it. I have lately been a little bit concerned about security in Mexico. Seemingly there is increasing drug violence now. What do you think about that? Do you still feel safe in Mexico?

  8. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for checking in. I have no concerns for my security. Both in Merida and here I have oftend walked the streets late at night without feeling the least bit nervous.

    The drug violence, I think, occurs in the states near the USA border and, I think, amongst those in the drug business. I also suspect that the media is probably sensationalizing the matter.

    Without checking the statistics I suspect murder is still more prevalent in the USA than in Mexico. And the USA rate is on the rise.

    Take care.

  9. to build the fence or not to build it? I saw a news report showing how a portion of the US is going to be behind the Mexican side of the wall in Brownsville, TX. Crazy.

  10. You Know Me

    Yeah, I suppose there are too many Latinos in Brownsville for the bigot fence advocates.

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