Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So much to do...

With our home in Virginia now actively on the market, we must turn our eyes toward the necessary steps to get us ready to actually pack the van with a few tropical weight clothes, our two dogs and cat, and head out for Mérida. The immigration laws have changed since we began this journey and although we can't foresee any problems, we must make a few decisions about how we will proceed.

First, we will need to visit the nearest Mexican consulate and apply for the Temporary Resident Visa. Once in Mexico, we then will have 30 days in which to go to Immigration to get the 'permanent' Temporary Visa. If I read the new regulations correctly, it is possible to apply for the Permanent Resident Visa immediately if retired and possessing sufficient income. Under the old regulations you had to have the FM3 for 5 years before getting the FM2. I think the key here is retirement and home ownership in Mexico.

All of the new rules relating to pension income, investment income, and property ownership are still a bit murky at this point. Our property in Mérida is owned jointly and the fideicomiso reflects this.  The question is: How do we sort this all out, divvy it up, and leave the US with both of us carrying the appropriate visa?  Can we call the Mexican Consulate and get an answer or do we have to have it all sorted out before we visit them? And exactly what papers and how many copies do we need to bring with us? I've sent an e-mail (in Spanish) to the Mexican Consulate in Washington, D.C. We'll see what they have to say. I've heard that different consulates require different documentation, one even requiring a letter from the state police certifying that there is no prior arrest record. Neither of us should have any worry there. I also hear that current expats are experiencing long waits and multiple visits to renew their visas. It would be really nice if we could get everything done with just one visit to Washington. It's a 3.5 hour drive or 4 hour train ride from our home. I'm trying to approach this process with patience. The same patience we will certainly need once in Mexico and that we need now for the selling of our home


  1. You are a little further in your new adventure than we are! I hope to learn much from your experience. I wish you a smooth journey.

  2. We will definitely keep everyone informed on how the process proceeds. Interestingly, I received a response from my e-mail to the Consulate wanting my phone number so that they can talk to me about the process. They haven't called yet, but that was just yesterday. I'm impressed with the quick response.

  3. Any nibbles on your house? Hopefully it sells quickly and smoothly!

  4. Thanks Melissa. Just a few nibbles, but it has only been on the MLS site for a few days. We did have one realtor by yesterday previewing, and taking tons of photos for an out of town buyer. Haven't heard back yet.

  5. Patience is a virtue... It is hard to wait when we are so anxious to get on with our lives, but usually hindsight makes us grateful that we had to take things a little slowly. The Immigration issue is a necessary evil. No one knows quite how it will all work out. But... I would advise investing a few days and making a personal visit to your nearest Mexican consulate.

    Take every piece of documentation you own (legal titles, birth certificates, your passports... even academic credentials)Enter the place with your friendliest "I-am- willing-to-go-through-whatever-it-takes" attitude. Try to establish a rapport with the consulate employees. You'll find that having done so will expedite the lengthy process.

    Good luck and we'll soon see you in Merida!

  6. Joanna,

    Thank you for this bit of encouragement. It can seem a bit overwhelming at times, but we are trying to proceed with a great degree of patience. I have made contact with the consulate in Washington and spoke with a very nice lady. She listed the documentation that we will need and it did not seem nearly as complicated as some have reported. I'll hopefully have a post on this soon. We're counting the weeks and days now.