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Author: Subject: Requirements when traveling back/forth often
loretojohn
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[*] posted on 8-16-2019 at 01:30 PM
Requirements when traveling back/forth often


We own a property in Loreto. We plan to drive there from the US in mid-October 2019 and drive back in April 2020. We plan to travel back to the states about every two months by air. How should we handle the Mexico tourist card, etc? Also, we need to take items with us for the extended stay. We are looking at the best way to handle our situation. The vehicle with stay in Loreto for the 6-month time frame. By the way, both my wife and I have our global entry card.

Should we apply for temporary residency? What are the pitfalls and benefits? Your insights will be helpful.

John
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[*] posted on 8-16-2019 at 01:45 PM


You need to have temporary residency to have any legal standing.



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[*] posted on 8-16-2019 at 01:46 PM


benefit not having to stop and get a tourist visa and eventually a percent residence card.
non benefit the cost (which is low) and if you're schedule doesn't permit you to be there when its time to renew you have to start everything all over towards your permanent card. took me 12 years because at the time my work schedule.
Get the card way easier.
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[*] posted on 8-16-2019 at 02:10 PM


Actually, not true. As long as you are in the country legally (FMM), you have legal standing

Quote: Originally posted by MMc  
You need to have temporary residency to have any legal standing.
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[*] posted on 8-17-2019 at 08:59 AM


If you actually own property then you can get your permanent residency card. I don't know of any pitfalls.



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[*] posted on 8-17-2019 at 09:38 AM


A property owner, and thus now a part-time resident, is no longer a "tourist" (someone traveling on a vacation).

As I understand the new rules, it is like bajaguy said, with the tourist card, you do have rights and can even purchase a property.

However, it is now time to begin the process of getting the correct visa, as the others mention. Don't be living in Mexico on a tourist card, a temporary resident visa is the next step, yes? Maybe now you can go right to the permanent resident card? Thanks LarryC.




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[*] posted on 8-17-2019 at 10:15 AM


If you are newey purchasing land maybe, if you are 3 plus years on a lease or feda. not so much.

"If you go to court over any property issue you will lose with a FMM.A tourist doesn't lease or own property", as per my mexican lawyer.

My point is, make sure you as legally covered if something hit the fan.


Quote: Originally posted by bajaguy  
Actually, not true. As long as you are in the country legally (FMM), you have legal standing

Quote: Originally posted by MMc  
You need to have temporary residency to have any legal standing.




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Loretana
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[*] posted on 8-17-2019 at 11:21 AM


The INM office in Loreto is user friendly and easy to deal with.
You may want to start the process now, as summer is the slow season and your documents will be expedited quicker.

You will, however, need to start your application for temporary or permanent resident status at the Mexican Consulate nearest to your residence in the US.

You will find this link most informative
www.mexperience.com Look under "Mexican Visas and Immigration"

[Edited on 8-17-2019 by Loretana]




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[*] posted on 8-18-2019 at 04:54 PM


According to the Consulate web-site you can apply for a permanent resident Visa if you plan on living in Mexico longer than 4 years. You do not need a temporary one first. Make an appointment, submit 6 months copies of bank statements indicating adequate non-Mexican income and/or 12 months of statements indicating adequate investment. Have your original passport and a copy of it and all stamped pages. Give $36 along with your application and you are good to go. I am in bay area and will do this when the time comes.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2019 at 12:07 AM


Well, I must say it is very refreshing to be able to discuss this topic without the usual vitriol that was always injected into this discussion by a certain ex-Nomad.

36.00 is for the application. The cost of the Permanent Resident Visa is a little over 5,000 pesos or about 270.00 US. This is what people use if they want to use the verified income method of qualifying for a Perm Res Visa. I believe you have to show an income outside of Mexico of around 2,700 or over 100,000 US in the bank. If you have a spouse or other dependent, add another 500.00US or so to the monthly qualifier.

If you go the route of four consecutive years of Temporary Resident Visa to then get a Permanent Visa, that's an additional 9300 pesos or about 490.00US.

So, about 770.00 US, over the course of four years for both visas.

You can also pay for each individual year of Temp Res Visa, instead of the four-year rate. That's a bit over 4,000 pesos per year. There are also two and three year rates.

You start to realize why some are just fine with simply getting the occasional tourist visa at around 550 pesos for six months. Especially if it is ONLY six months per year they are there. Especially if they are over, say, 65 and not sure how much longer they want to live in Mexico. To invest 770.00 per person might not be the wisest way to go.

Then there's the cost of paying someone to shepherd you through these processes if you aren't willing to do it yourself at the INM offices. That cost varies widely. Getting a tourist visa can be done by anyone.

Theoretically, having the Temp or the Perm will avoid having to pay for the tourist visa that is almost always included in the cost of an airline ticket when flying into Mexico. But there are many stories about not being able to avoid this charge and/or the difficulties of getting a refund for it. Maybe that's easier now?

BTW, even with a Temp or a Perm, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO CHECK IN AND OUT OF AN INM OFFICE WHENEVER YOU CROSS THE BORDER BY LAND, SEA OR AIR. That's generally unavoidable by sea and air and relatively painless, if anything related to an airport or cruise dock can be called painless.

Many don't, however, when leaving or arriving by land, just like with the tourist visas. See, that can mean waiting in the same line as the tourist visa people, at times. Sometimes they will move you to the head of the line, sometimes they dont. The lines can be really bad in the three weeks before Xmas, as lots of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the US, come down to visit and deliver gifts to relatives.

I also seem to recall that IF you end up getting a Perm Res card, there is a legal limit to the number of days you can be OUT of Mexico. Dont recall what it is and never heard of anyone being "busted" on this. Maybe they did away with this; others might know.

One other thing. If you are holders of Perm Res card, you will not be issued a permit to take your US plated car outside of Baja or northern Sonora. So, no ferry trips to Mazatlan or Topolobampo or driving down through the mainland. Temps and tourist visa holders can get those.



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[*] posted on 8-19-2019 at 07:03 AM


Hook, that is fantastic information. Thank you! Seems like the FMM is the best way to go, as we will have a house but will only spend 1-3 months in the spring and fall.
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[*] posted on 8-19-2019 at 07:13 AM


Thank you Hook. Great!



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[*] posted on 8-19-2019 at 07:43 AM


HOOK has it exactly right and the information is current.

Ditto on not being able to obtain a vehicle TIP to visit the mainland. Permanent residents are just that - permanent residents of Mexico. As such, permanent residents are supposed to drive vehicles registered in their Mexican State of Residence not registered in the US. Not applicable to Baja (still classified as "frontier states").

You will be denied a TIP at the La Paz ferry terminal if you are a PR with US plates on your vehicle. IE - you can not visit the mainland with your vehicle or pass through the mainland on your way to the eastern US or Canada.

[Edited on 8-19-2019 by RnR]
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[*] posted on 8-19-2019 at 10:19 AM



X2 what Hook said with one exception. When we picked-up our R/P in June 2013 I asked the INM agent..."how long can we be out of Mexico each year?" The INM agent's answer was "With a R/P there are no restrictions on the days you are out of Mexico, that was a FM2's restriction."

We know several Canadians that have their R/P and they are out of Mexico for at least six-months a year. According to one of our Canadian friends, he has never had an INM agent (at the SJD airport) say anything to him about being out of the country for six months when he is entering Mexico every year.

https://www.mexperience.com/time-limits-on-mexico-visitor-an...

We will return to CSL around mid-October. Since the SJD airport allows R/P & T/P's to go through the Mexican citizen line I will ask/confirm with the airport INM agent "what is the maximum days per year a R/P can be out of the country?"

Now that I am thinking about it, INM agents (at the SJD airport) have never ask us how long we have been out of the country nor does it ask that question on the INM form. However when we fill out the customs form, it does ask if you are a tourist how long will you be in Mexico or if you are a "residents" how long were you out of the country. When going through the airport everyone is required to go through INM then through custom...two different areas, two different forms.

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[*] posted on 8-20-2019 at 09:01 PM


One other thing that should be mentioned that I noticed on the Mexperience site.

If you are planning on applying for Mexican citizenship after having a Res Perm Visa, you must have had that Visa for at least five years AND you cannot have been out of Mexico for more than 180 days in the last two years before applying for citizenship status.

This probably doesnt apply to the original poster (wherever he/she went), but it is good information.

People consider applying for citizenship as a way of taking possession of their land without a fideicomiso/bank trust. This was more popular in the recent past when the citizenship test was easier and there were test exemptions for persons over a certain age. But I believe those have been toughened up in the last couple years.

Also, many banks charge a LOT of money to dissolve a trust. For us, it simply wasnt worth considering. It was like 12-15 years worth of trust fees to end the trust, as I recall. In addition, a trust does provide inheritance rights on the land, without the need for a Mexican will.
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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 11:28 AM


I am the person who asked the original question. The replies have been most helpful.

One additional question relates to our personal situation. We plan to drive to Loreto in mid-October. Then in November we need to fly back to Oregon until December 5 and then return to Loreto by air. In Feb. 2020 we need to fly back and forth again. In late April, we will drive the vehicle back to Oregon.

If we use an FMM what a happens when we fly back and forth? We plan on making the FFM valid from October for 180 days so that does not get us enough time. It appears the best solution is a temporary resident visa. We are not going there to work, just live and enjoy.

One last question regards auto insurance. The vehicle is registered in Oregon. It seems like I will need to purchase an annual policy. Any recommendations as to who to use?

Thank you to everyone who has responded.

John

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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 12:20 PM


You may be overthinking the issue. Just go with the flow. You may have to turn in your FMM when you board the plane to leave Mex. You'll get another on the flight back, talk to the airline rep for details. Buy car insurance here. It's all online.

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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 04:20 PM


It's true, loretojohn,
You will just cycle thru FMM visas as you enter and leave Mexico.

I had the same drive/fly scenario while we were building our Loreto home. It won't be problematic.

I also recommend Bajabound, I drive an Oregon plated Jeep in and out of Mexico. Expect to pay around $450.00 per year for a Chubb Platinum Policy. I also tow a small LoadRunner trailer, which is included in my policy.

And by the way, welcome to Baja Nomad and Loreto!!




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[*] posted on 8-23-2019 at 04:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Loretana  

I also recommend Bajabound, I drive an Oregon plated Jeep in and out of Mexico. Expect to pay around $450.00 per year for a Chubb Platinum Policy. I also tow a small LoadRunner trailer, which is included in my policy.

And by the way, welcome to Baja Nomad and Loreto!!


For comparison purposes, you can get a liability-only policy for around $150 a year from Bajabound.




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[*] posted on 8-25-2019 at 12:34 PM


Property doesn't necessitate getting RT/RP status.

Neither it changes your tourist status, though technically you have done certain steps that tourists don't normally do - left a property and belongings there while leaving. Tourists are not supposed to do this. On a practical level, INM and customs don't care whether a tourist is keeping home and belongings, and US car, in Baja (or anything else, except for, TAD, boats and RV).

Hook is right, you still must get FMM every time even with RT/RP status, free of charge, for statistical purposes. It might also come handy if you leave by air.

"Some" consulates allow property to be included when calculating 100-something grand of minimum assets for RP, some don't. The process of applying is rather straightforward and has been well documented and explained in gringo web, most forms are available online at INM site, but it can still be daunting and time-consuming. To start the process, just go to closest Mex consulate, no facilitator is needed. Later, with local INM, some choose to hire a facilitator for leg work. With Mex inland govt offices a little patience will go long way, it is not as smooth as it should be, though doable on your own as well.
But you don't really "need" RT/RP, in your scenario.

One useful thing about RT/RP is eligibility for Mex national health coverage Seguro Popular, though it is more useful for those living all-year round (the OP is not), and for nationals of countries other than US (too far from home country and too expensive to be treated in the US) - and the OP is not one of them either.

"Taking items for extended stay" can be tricky. You are only given one chance to bring a lot of stuff tax-free, when moving in with Rt/RP status, and you must have a proper customs form, I think the form itself costs a little. After that, even with RT/RP, you are treated by customs the same as any tourist, $300 tax free per person (or whatever is their current limit), there is a lot of discretion on their part in what you can bring additionally tax-free and what not. So you will pay some tax from time to time. Just relax and let it be.

[Edited on 8-25-2019 by Alm]
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