An American Working in Mexico [Verified]
Partial, complete at link:
I spent five years working in Mexico.
I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.
During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.
To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of my:
1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.
Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.
We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony.
We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and gratuities to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.
We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.
We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.
We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company's Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. It was about twenty legal size pages annually.
The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.
Leaving the country meant turning in the FM 3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.
It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.
The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant.
They never protest at their White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.
Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on illegal immigrants.
Pretty much every country in the world treats people trying to get in to thier country this way. Only the US makes it easy, this and all the good jobs being sent over seas will be the down fall of this countries economy.
This article is complete utter bullshit. Compared to legally immigrating to the US or Canada, getting a legal permanent residence in Mexico is RIDICULOUSLY easy. I know because I am a Canadian who has a legal temporary residence in Mexico (which automatically turns permanent after 4 years). Follow the rules, pay the fees, wait, get it. That easy.
If it was as easy to legally immigrate to the U.S. as it was to Mexico, surely like 99% of illegal immigration to the U.S. would be gone.
I love this country and I actually like that there is a high military presence. There's a saying in Mexico: "El que no debe no paga"... "The one who owes nothing pays nothing"... same thing applies. Every single government official/police officer / military who I have dealt with has always treated me respectfully.
Just wondering, ILoveTATT2, did you work in Mexico also?
Hecce, that sounds very like our experience of emigrating from the UK to Canada, a very friendly commonwealth country with close ties to the UK.
We didn't have a right to move here even legally, certainly no rights if we snook across the border on a boat.
I can't believe some of you who are saying that legally immigrating to the U.S. is easy. Are you kidding me? True, the U.S. does have a huge illegal immigration problem, but they sure don't make it easy to cross either legally or illegally.
Let's compare U.S. to Mexico and U.S. to Canada borders:
US to Mexico:
US to Canada:
Let's compare getting a Mexican temporary/permanent residence:
You start the process in a Mexican consulate, get a special visa, you buy a ticket to Mexico, you get to Mexico and have that special visa stamped, then you go to the nearest INM office, then you do some more paperwork, pay some fees, and two weeks later you got it. From beginning to end, maybe 2 months tops...
To getting a US green card:
(I've never done the process but there are plenty of reports online that show it's an extremely expensive and slow process that may take up to decades).
Again, while I DO AGREE that the US does have a huge illegal immigration problem, the comparison of immigration to Mexico and the US and making it seem like Mexico's process is hard and the U.S. is "too easy" is the most preposterous and stupid thing I have read in a long time.
The U.S. should make it WAY HARDER for people to overstay their visas. That's what needs to be done.
How to get a Mexican work permit
In order to work in Mexico you need a Mexican work permit from the Institute of Immigration (Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM). With the work permit you can apply for a residence visa.
Since a change in legislation in 2012, you need to have a job offer or work contract from a company registered in Mexico to apply for a work permit. The company has to apply for the work permit with the INM and you can stay in Mexico on a tourist visa until you are cited to collect your visa in the Mexican consulate of your home country. You then have to leave Mexico and pass an interview at the consulate abroad, after which you get your work permit.
For the application, the company has to submit various documents, e.g. a proof of tax payments, a list of employees and their nationalities, the personal identification of a designated representative. Furthermore, a copy of your passport or other ID has to be submitted.
Once the application is accepted, the INM will process the case and make a decision within 20 days. If the application is approved by the INM you will have to go to your Mexican consulate and pass an interview to collect your work permit.
After your arrival in Mexico you and your family members must register at the INM within 30 days. Your spouse and children will normally get dependant visas but they are not automatically granted a work permit. If your spouse wants to work in Mexico he or she will have to apply for their own work permit separately.
Can you convert your visitor status to a work status in Mexico?
Technically, no. Foreigners with a visitor status can have a company they want to work for apply for a Mexican work permit with the National Institute of Migration (Instituto Nacional de Migración). While the application is processed, visitors can stay in Mexico until they are cited by said Institute to collect the permit at the consulate of their home country. They have to leave Mexico and collect the permit. Only after that can you apply for a residence visa.
There are various types of visas and temporary residence status you can get. There is a status where you receive all of your money from foreign sources (I work for a Canadian company but remotely). This is perfect for the Mexican Government because I spend virtually all of my income here and not a single Mexican job is threatened.
However, given that the argument in this thread is about U.S. immigration and U.S. immigrants "taking U.S. jobs", I will say this: It's just slightly but not too much harder to get a temporary residence that allows you to work in Mexico. I know because years ago I had to change my status to that kind and I got work as a photographer.
I insist: it's very easy to legally work as a foreigner in Mexico. It's one of the hardest things in the world to do the same in the U.S.
None of what you posted, Hecce, changes things.
Still millions of times harder to get legal status in the U.S.
Even the thing you posted... 20 DAYS... 30 DAYS... It's a hassle, maybe, to get the paperwork in, but not YEARS or DECADES...
Plenty of reputable sources state that getting a green card takes YEARS.