Saturday, April 03, 2010

are your papers in order?

Mine are about not to be.

On 17 April my FM3 visa expires.  That is the same day I am supposed to fly to Oregon.

After I injured my ankle, I considered the possibility of letting it expire.  To renew it, I needed to get to a portion of Manzanillo not easily reached without a vehicle.

But that easy solution would result in at least two  problems. 

1) I spent a lot of time getting my initial FM3.  I don't want to go through that full process again. 

2) The tax-free status status on my truck is tied to my current FM3.  I would prefer to avoid any future problems with Customs simply because I took the easy way out.

Lou volunteered to drive me to Manzanillo on Monday.  So, I grabbed my FM3, my passport and copies of each page, a utility bill and my constancia de domicilio to prove my address, a copy of my lease, and the original and copies of my last three bank statements to prove I have adequate income for an FM3.

The process was simple.  The clerk took my copies and filled out the renewal forms.  Lou then went to the bank to pay my renewal fee.  When he returned, we waited about twenty minutes for my temporary visa.

That was it.  The final visa will be ready for pickup on 9 April.

I was about to say that I was surprised at how easily the renewal process went.  Even though I had read up up on what the Manzanillo office was currently requiring for documentation, the clerk surprised me with a new request.  She needed a copy of my land lady's proof of residence.

That will be easy: she is a naturalized Mexican citizen.  She gave me a copy of her voter identification card to drop off when I pick up my final visa in another week.

I once wrote that each border crossing is a performance art.  The same can be said for visa renewals.

But, when I leave in two weeks, I will have a valid visa for my return to Mexico in November.


Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear that your FM3 Visa renewal went so well.


Todd said...

So, do you need to have original bank statements or will internet printouts do?
Do they need to be translated?

I have been chatting with people in different areas and am surprised the the wide range of different requirements in different states.

Or should I say the wide range of interpretations of the same requirements, LOL


Theresa in Mèrida said...

FYI, it is my understanding that you are supposed to start the process a month in advance in case there are any hitches.
I find that the renewals are usually pretty easy. There are fines if you don't renew on time btw, so it's best to just do it.

Calypso said...

renewal is far easier than the first time FM3 application. Good move hombre.

Tancho said...

You were lucky!
We have seen it anywhere from 3 or 4 days 13 -14 years ago, to 40 days 3 years ago. We are told that our Morelia office sends them to DF now, in any case it is a hassle, fill out, go to bank, pay, come back, wait, return 2 to 3 weeks. In the early days we were asked to return with a couple of reams of paper as a incentive to process the papers faster. Those were the times when we got them in 3 or 4 days, years ago.
Supposedly that is changing this year, the whole process, so we will see. As it was you had about one month before to renew, but if you let it expire, there was a substantial fine....

Larry in Mazatlan said...

And so would have gone your initial FM3 application, should you had elected to have it done here rather than up there.

I won't say I told you so. Ooops.


Steve Cotton said...

Mom -- Me, too.

Theresa -- At our office, they told me they would not start the process any earlier than three weeks before the expiration date.

Calypso -- The only thing that caught me unprepared was the request for my land lady's identification. That appears to be a new requirement.

Tancho -- I have heard that a card, rather than a booklet, will be issued soon. We shall see.

Larry -- Great to hear from you again. I am always open to hear plenty of "I told you so" comments.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Steve, as I always say this is Mexico your milage may vary...I think every immigration office has it's peculiarities. I heard that if you have booklet they aren't changing it to the card until the booklet runs out. Now we'll know for sure! We're on our 2nd booklet, they kept the old one.

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- It depends on the clerk you get at our office. The bank statements are supposed to be the original mailed statements. Or, at least, look as if they have been mailed. One of my banks still mails original statements; one does not (but posts PDF statements on line). I took both in. No questions asked. After all, they only keep the "copies" of the original in the FM3 file. This office does not require the statements to be translated. Last year, the clerk suggested that I use a Mexican bank to avoid future problems. Well, "future problems" did not happen this year. But it may account for the horse head in my bed.

Theresa -- Well said.

Croft said...

Steve, if you ever put the more interesting story, or "The Rest Of The Story" into an emailable format, I would love to read it. My email is croftsmexico(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks.

I am waiting with baited breath to hear the cost of the treatment you got!

Steve Cotton said...

Croft -- For the "rest of the story see: angels in the wing. For my hospital and medical costs in Mexico (so far) see: the price is perfecto. I intend to do a followup post once I start paying NOB prices. My sutures come out on Thursday.