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May 19, 2004    More on the FM2 vs FM3 visa - from
- Solutions Abroad

Staying for More than 6 Months?       What are you planning on doing here?

When you have decided you want to stay for extended periods of time or are thinking of immigrating to Mexico you may request from the authorities the corresponding immigration permits, which are the FM2 and the FM3.

As a holder of an FM3 you are allowed to stay in the country as a NON IMMIGRANT for a period of one year. This permit may be renewed annually. After the fifth year you may be interested in acquiring the next immigration status (IMMIGRANT) or simply continue as an FM3 holder. 

This document applies to the IMMIGRANTS. As an immigrant you're not a permanent resident but you are eligible to apply to become an INMIGRADO (permanent resident). 

Advantages and Disadvantages of the FM2/FM3: Things you should consider.

1. FM3: As a NON IMMIGRANT you don't acquire residency rights.
2. FM3: You are entitled to leave and enter the country freely.
3. FM2: You must note that as an immigrant you have a restricted number of exits from the country. In the case that you leave the country for more than 18 months in a period of 5 years, you will not be able to apply for the INMIGRADO (permanent resident) status. In case you stay outside the country for more than 2 years you will lose the immigration status of an immigrant.
4. In both cases (as a IMMIGRANT and a NON-IMMIGRANT) the law considers almost the same immigration qualities (Características Migratorias), being able to perform almost the same lawful activities.
5. Both have to be renewed annually. We recommend that you take all the necessary precautions for the term not to expire. You should request the renewal 30 days before the expiration date. 

March 5, 2004         What are the pros and cons of the FM2 vs FM3 visa?        by Michael Wein

As I now understand (**) it, the following facts (**) regarding pros/cons seem to apply to an FM2:

  1. a negative - there is a limitation on the days you are allowed to be outside of Mexico during each year.   I am not sure of that time limit, but my best guess is that  it is probably 90 days.
  2.  a negative - costs about 20% (plus/minus??) more to get an FM-2 than it does to get an FM-3.     And you must disclose and prove you have  more income to obtain the FM2 (as of now, the minimums are us$1,200 monthly for a single person, us$1,600 for a couple, to obtain the FM3 - the minimums are higher to obtain an FM2).
  3. very positive - after four renewals (that's five years), the FM-2 becomes permanent and there are no more renewals to contend with, and no more fees to pay.   You would then have "inmigrado" status.  Of course, you must have had an FM3 for 5 years before applying for an FM2.    And, new news, I have heard (but have not confirmed) that the FM-3 is necessary for only 3 years (2 renewals) before one can apply for the 5 years of FM-2s. 
(**)  a comment regarding "facts":
Because of the differences in language (especially regarding legal terminology) and the differences in culture (not necessarily a bad thing, except in "understanding these differences"),  FACTS are hard to come by.

Objectives of this page: this section will contain all "tips regarding fm2 and fm3 visas" that meet the criteria described in Instructions .   All tips will be published in the date order of receipt, with the latest letters on top (the oldest nearer the bottom).



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