Posted 25 February 2010 - 03:39 PM
1 You have to now apply in Mexico for a fm3
2 You need $1500 u.s. income and for every dependent you need an additional $750
3 You are no longer entitled to a 50% decrease for owning property
but if you show you obtained land they can grant you up to a 50#% discount.
4 You need a letter from either a Mexican bank or a foreign bank stating you have an income source that yields enough money to meat the requirements
Carey if you speak to Monica can you ask her to confirm this
Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:16 PM
An fm3 is no longer entitled to a 50% reduction from required income
But an fm2 can be entitled up to 50% reduction at the the The Mexican official discretion
Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:24 AM
The end result of possible changes may just require some more creative solutions to fulfill the requirements. Most problems often have a creative solution to solve. It might not be a bad thing to require rentisa FM3s to be issued in Mexico. Some with borderline acceptable income for qualifying would shop at various consulates until they connected with the right one. I have long maintained, I could probably find a way to have an FM3 issued to a rocking chair. The fun begins when the rocking chair goes to the local office to register upon arrival and then the real fun starts when the rocking chair goes in for the annual renewal.
I find it impossible to read a web link like that....100 pages to scroll down. The bits and pieces I noticed in looking at the Gobernacion link and then looking at the INM site which were less than current, you could see curios differences between the Spanish and English versions. A possible believable income requirement was a monthly income of 250 times minimum wage which I believe went to $54 pesos in Mexico City. Many government fees and fines are based upon xxx number of days of minimum wage. If some of the second hand comments could be correct, the changes may make individual proven income per person more of a challenge for couples when one partner greatly exceeds the requirement and the other might fall below the minimum. This is where creative solutions come into play.
Mexico is desperate to generate tax revenue as many of their mainstays are in decline. The revenue well of Pemex could run dry and accelerate its decline. The second source of foreign revenue is from remittances from the U.S. which given the economy, many Mexicans have chosen to return to their homeland. Foreign tourism has suffered serious blows and since so much of that is foreign investments, profits after taxes flow out of the country not giving more economic stimulation.
Since that document was dated January 29, 2010, who knows how long the debate will be as to its interpretation, intent and enforcement. It may open up more avenues to change to FM2 status from FM3. There have long been loop holes and exceptions and means of going from FM3 directly to immigrado status. The whole process has become more difficult and lengthy in the past couple of decades. The basic common rule of five FM3s and then five FM2s doubled the time when they changed from six month to 12 months between renewal. I know people that completed the process and changed status in five years and testing requirements have been ever changing and not getting easier. Even with honest officials and overall professionalism, the rules could be quite different from office to office and Cozumel would be the most extreme example, where often things seemed to be made up as they went along.
I can't imagine Mexico making changes that would adversely affect people living here that are on solid ground Foreign property owners lost their capital gains tax exemption as Mexico looks for more sources of revenue. Laws and tax structures change. What got my gall is when I was affected by a tax law change and the change was made retroactive....we decided to change the tax rules and all your taxes were paid in full for last year, but we decided to change the rules and rate for last year so you owe additional taxes. A creative solution made that self defeating for Mexico which is not unusual.
I have some questions for Monica myself. A curious thing I saw was with regard to an FM1. What in the hell is an FM1?
Whatever changes are in the works, are probably only beginning to filter down to the island and it will be interesting to see what happens. Workable, creative solutions when found, might best be spread under the radar and not posted on public forums.
Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:58 AM
Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:06 AM
Posted 26 February 2010 - 11:10 AM
Unlike many property owners, I have paid a ton of taxes and mucho into IMSS that when I actually needed medical care, the system failed miserably. I even followed the rules and won a suit against IMSS for their lack of care although somehow the check for $11,000 pesos was lost between Chetumal and Cozumel. The $11,000 was only a portion of my expenses from emergency surgery I needed for a hernia when their physicians advised taking a course of antibiotics to return in two weeks to test it I had a kidney infection. My direct quote and display in front of God, the doctor and the nurse was if you think that bulge way down there is my kidney, than I am really in trouble. I felt I wasn't abusing the system when I decided what the hell, get the flu shots IMSS were giving out at Mega during Carnaval. Seeing how I have had four different IMSS accounts from not understanding my name (both parents which is rare, but in reverse Mexican order) and my masterful accountant who could work miracles gave up after four months of trying to combine all the accounts into one, not that I would likely ever receive any pension benefits. Since lower income Americans living in Mexico that don't even own property, don't need to pay taxes besides IVA, they need the cheap IMSS coverage that in many areas is quite functional. And there are illegal Mexicans that get free medical care in the U.S. This other forum brought out some entitlement issues and attitudes that small wonder, Mexico is no longer promoting retire to lake Chapala and live like a king for $600 dollars a month.
People that don't deserve FM3s? Why shouldn't rocking chairs or better, recliner rockers be allowed FM3s? If they were made in the U.S. they might have been made by Mexican workers, green card holders or wet backs that then sent much of their meager salaries back to Mexico.
One of the "bad" jefes knew he hit the jack pot when he started cracking down on all the people that had formed bogus corporations that never functioned to shield their homes from fideicomiso rules and had corporate FM3s. Give us a break, we're Americans. We might have been misinformed or not read the fine print in the rules and laws and why can't the government print all their documents in English. There might be Cubans who have lived in Miami for decades that don't speak English, why can't Mexico treat us the same?
The big question, which truly is the $64,000 dollar question, what are people to do when La Hacienda actually starts cracking down on all the illegal condo and villa rentals that don't pay the taxes nor the commercial rates for utilities. Had they known what the tax rates were and all the complicated accounting measures required, they might have never purchased them in the first place. Think of all the jobs and income that would have been lost in Cozumel from the workers from all over Mexico that came here for construction work. Sure maybe it drove down the wages of locals. But it did provide the motivation of many people whose families had lived here for generations to move to other parts of Mexico or even go to the U.S. to live and work. Of my original Mexican friends here, the people that contributed to my decision to live here, more are living in the U.S. than remain on the island and many of my first circle of friends do still live somewhere in Mexico.
The rental villa situation has been addressed and enforced for years on the Pacific coast and every year notices are sent to Puerto Vallarta residents. Although the threat has surfaced many times previously, the Ironman event brought it in the lime light again. During Ironman which brought many people besides the participating athletes, there were regular tourists here. It seems the hospitality taxes paid during that period (up from 2% to 3% now) reflected less tax revenue collected than what the actual participants should have represented. If people had to pay taxes on their illegal, unlicensed rentals (I read recently a flat 25% of gross, no deductions allowed, plus 11% IVA and the 3%) owners would have to charge more and they would have fewer rentals. And there were Mexican owned rentals and small hotels that didn't pay taxes too!
Oh the problems we have to endure. It is just not right or fair, we're Americans, we're special and some Canadians dove tail into our entitlements by fact that we are both North Americans.
In contrast when I looked into Panama, they did actually offer many tax breaks and advantages to simplify foreigners to transition to living there and it was America that broke Panama to independence from Colombia and we built the canal. Does Mexico take into consideration all the costs involved to build walls to keep our citizens inside and stop them from fleeing south of the border. And Americans have huge appetites for illicit drugs, has Mexico considered the billion$$$ of dollars that flow south from cocaine and meth sales? You would think Mexico would show more appreciation toward the U.S. for our contribution of WalMart alone. How many Mexicans can proudly own goods made in China just like they see in the movies and on TV.
I'll bet Monica will get some well earned income out of all this. I have a friend traveling to Mexico on Monday to finally get their passport and formal Mexican citizenship, it still works for some people. You've got to love it all. Like I say, Alice in Wonderland with a bit of Planet of the Apes.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:31 PM
have fm3s, YOU MEAN WE CANNOT RENEW OUR FM3 IN USA AT THE MEXICAN COUSELATE, like i use since i have t
have to work now here for health insurance. last year tom did his fm3 in cozumel like we always did
did for the past 6 years.
so hes having a knee replaced in two weeks, you MEAN we cannot renew our fm3 here at the
mexican couselate, like i did last year..... it was done in 30 minutes, everything ! of course
we paid alot more last year....................pictures, papers, everything 30 minutes.
what if he cant make it to cozumel, before it expires................
can you let me know, if you hear something concrete! email@example.com
Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:50 AM
"Yes, there are changes coming to immigration nationwide, however, I was informed by the local immigration assistant director that these changes will be effective as of May 1st. (specifically those in link you attached) and apparently the purpose is to ease the process for foreign nationals. One thing, though that struck me as odd was the husband and wife required to provide independent proof of income…mmmmhhh…I assume the information is incorrect. There have been cases, however, when a couple files for renewal they have different bank accounts or only the name of one appears in the bank account, thus the requirement of the other spouse needing to show income. Oftentimes the income is not enough for both. Actually, last week I was talking to the staff and overall the accounts (for both spouses, both names appearing in the statements) should show something around or over $ 1200USD. Usually the best way to handle a “one name bank statement” in the case of couples, is to specify in the application letter, for example, something like “Herein attached are the bank statements which I, Mr. XXX, share with my spouse, Mrs. XXX with FM3/FM2 number XXXX…”, and the same would apply for the wife’s letter. As for Consulates issuing FM3s apparently there will be changes on that too; but then again, I will have to read the link because this document was disclosed just a few days ago".
My comments continue:
I trust Monica to come up with the most reliable interpretation and as always, she seems to know the local office requirements which can be quite different than in other locations. I have long heard that Mexico wanted to more standardize the process and make basic rules and steps which would be uniformly followed all over the country. Mexican Consulates in the United States have long had extreme differences and requirements. Many people have gone Consulate shopping and if they were denied one place or had difficulty supplying required documents, they'd try two more Consulates. Generally the Consulates are way more lax and I have long said I could probably get an FM3 for a rocking chair. FM3s have been issued that in no way conformed to the regulations nor intent. It has never been high on the list of duty responsibilities for Consulate workers and it seems that some regard it as simply a far more expensive visa. It is like someone walks in the door and wants to pay a lot extra for a visa, sure if it makes you happy, we'll take your money.
When you obtain your FM3 in the States, the fun can begin when you first are required to register it with the local office. I have never heard of anyone being able to renew an FM3 in the States, not legally or a valid one. If you are not in Mexico most of the time, why do you have an FM3 and not a tourist visa, they're a lot cheaper and less complicated. FM3s were designed for people that lived here although I know of no restrictions on the times nor number of days you are out of Mexico. A couple of immigration heads ago weeded out all the people that had tried to have dummy, shell corporations to avoid paying and dealing with the fideicomiso trust issue. That was a bad idea and was never legal and a number of people were surprised by that. It amazes me the number of people that try to move here and make assumptions about what the law should be. Every country has their own set of immigration laws and too many North Americans have operated out of a sense of entitlement of which they have no right.
I have wondered why many people were obsessed with having an FM3 when they made frequent trips back and forth to the States. The one big advantage was in allowing the one time importation of household goods if you had purchased a home. Besides the household goods exemption, there are a number of negatives, for one, ignorance is never a defense in law, but with an FM3 it is automatically assumed that if you live here, you should know better. When you are returning from a trip outside the country, at customs, the red light, green light is purely, completely random in their selection. It is complete coincidence that 90% of the time FM3 holders happen to get the red light if you are carrying any significant amount of baggage. Your bags are always subject to closer inspection.
My guess these changes should have little impact on people that have always been in accordance with the law. Most likely most of the people that might have negative impact, were either not in the spirit of or completely outside the regulations. The only question may be of independent incomes for couples and we'll have to wait for Monica's interpretation on that one. The other forum had a vigorous discussion over some couples whose combined income far exceeded, but one spouse was significantly greater than the other. There were other people that were agitated that their incomes were very close to the limit and if raised they might not qualify. I saw one statement that they had retired here because they had such a limited income and they moved to Mexico for cheap rent, low cost of living and the heavily government subsidized IMSS health insurance. Hey, if you can't afford to live in your home country and your own country's health care system is totally non-functional (obviously not Canadian or most of the civilized world) you should not expect to be able to live in Mexico and share the benefits that have been paid for by tax payers.
Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:40 AM
As to the perennial debate about why not just stay here on a tourist visa if you travel back and forth between countries several times per year, used to be you needed to show five years worth of FM-3 visa if you wanted to sell your house here and realize savings on the capital gains tax. It was a major piece of proof that you lived in the home and didn't use it as a business or a temp vacation place for yourself.
Now the gob'ment has apparently taken away the cap gains tax savings for foreigners -- and Mexicans too?? So that's no longer a reason to get the FM3 or higher visa status.
What is pertinent:
#1. If you want to keep a car here, it's tied to your visa -- in other words, only legal if your visa is legal and up-to-date.
#2. There are rumblings that they may decide to limit the amount of time one can stay in the country on a tourist visa to 180 days per year TOTAL. Makes it pretty hard to use and look after your property or your things that are in a yearly rental if you're blocked from the country for half the year.
If you plan to spend more than 6 months per year here, under the current system, money-wise, you're also better off getting an FM-3. You pay a one time fee once per year of around $100 US whoop de doo. (Approximately double this to include Monica's fee to do the work for you which I highly recommend.)
With a tourist visa, you'll have to leave the country and come back in before the 6 month deadline. And that is most certainly going to cost more than $100-$250 US not to mention the hassle. And that's even if you just drive to Belize and stay a couple of days, probably the cheapest but, according to my info, certainly not the safest or most pleasant way to do things.
Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:58 PM
It used to be that you did not need a fm3 once upon a time.
Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:46 AM
With the changes that did occur in the CG tax, a lot of people will be hit hard as not expecting taxes due in accordance with the law, they made thousand$$$ of dollars in remodeling and additions which without registered receipts, facturas, they are unlikely to be able to take many of the deductions that they realistically expected. Those from the old days that probably deserve it least, may be the ones most adversely affected.
You used to be able to buy a car on a tourist visa without any problem too. Mexico is desperate for tax revenue. Some things are enforced that were long ignored, but they are looking for any potential source of tax revenue. I got hit in business when they changed the law and made it retroactive. I owed all the taxes due from inventory purchases as if the money had been taken in salary.
Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:40 AM
Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:05 PM
I don't so I'm sticking with the FM-3.
Advantages of the FM-3 -- one chance to bring in as many household goods and electronics as you want duty free. And you can keep a car here as long as your visa remains current.
You pay around $100 US/year for the visa processing and I pay double that to have a very good immigration specialist do the legwork for us. (Monica Sauza).
You can enter and leave the country as often as you wish on an FM-3.
Your other choice is a tourist visa which gives you max 6 months in the country at a time and then you have to leave and come back with a new visa.
Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:43 AM
You are not eligible for an FM-2 yet. First you have to have the FM-3 for a certain amount of time. Used to be 5 years. Then you can apply for the FM-2 if you want it.
The last word on the FM-2 is 5 yrs on an FM-3 'til you can go to the FM-2. Then another 5 yrs on the FM-2 to naturalize. On the FM-2 you have limited time you can be out of the country in the 5 yr period, otherwise your naturalization is in jeopardy.
FM-3 advantages are what Carey mentioned about bringing your household goods duty free. You have 6 months from the time you get the FM-3 to do this. You are also eligible for discounts on the passenger ferry and some establishments accept the ferry card for local discounts. It's not the best decision for everyone.
Another consideration for a couple is income. If you each have enough income independently, you would apply separately. If not, then one person would need to be an economic dependent and the primary would substantiate sufficient income for the couple.
Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:01 AM
If you want the rights and priviledges of Mexicans, you have the responsibilities as well.
Many people chose to remain on FM3s. I met a man once that was in his 18th year, his fourth book. His business was fiscally based in the U.S., but it required multiple trips to Europe, Asia and Latin America monthly. He was outside the country almost as much as inside and it was complicated as he might have averaged five trips or more a month. He was married to a Mexicana, owned a house and considered Mexico his home, but he never felt compelled to complete the process. When I completed five years on an FM3, I had made one trip for seven days total, but still decided that it fit my expected future plans to remain with an FM3.
If you aren't buying a home and importing your household goods, desire to have a foreign plated vehicle here and you are still making extended trips to the States on a regular basis, what is the point of having an FM3? A discount card for the ferry? I went three years without leaving the island once. We went to Playa with the idea of getting off the island for the day. After walking around for a little while, we changed our minds, an hour had been enough and we returned on the next ferry. Many people think they want to have FM3s for a sense of "belonging and being local". To me that makes little sense nor cents. Excepting the household furnishings importation and a vehicle, often an FMT tourist visa suits the purpose better. I did feel more secure having an FM3 when I traveled frequently to Chiapas during the Zapatista conflict. Going through numerous military check points in a war zone and government paranoia with regard to foreign press and human rights observers, it at least gave the appearance of being legitimately living in Mexico (not that anyone who checked had seen one, much less knew what they were).
In some areas of Mexico people on very limited pension incomes, could buy a home ($20,000 dollars or less), formerly gained the discount on required income and then purchase IMSS health insurance. In that manner a North American might have a far higher standard of living and quality of life than living in their home country on a fixed income of $600 dollars monthly. In some places IMSS works very well (not Cozumel) and people could benefit from the government subsidized health care for less than $25 dollars a month. Mexico was never intended as a retirement place because you couldn't afford retirement in the States. The changes coming I would think unlikely to affect ex-pats living in this area, but could well affect those living very close to the edge financially. For what an average person spends in Cozumel, you could find lower cost of living locales in the States.
Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:22 PM
Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:30 PM
New Short-Term Visa Introduced: Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM)
The Manual combines the current FM-T (Tourist), FM-TTV (business, investor, or transfer of personnel), FM-3 (Business), and FM-3 (Technical) visas into one category, the Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM). The FMM will allow for a maximum period of stay of 180 days in Mexico. The visa holder’s immigration status under the FMM will be further classified as follows: (a) Tourist; ( Business; © Visitor with Lucrative Activities; or (d) Visitor with Non-Lucrative Activities. The visa holder may perform productive work under the FMM© (Visitor with Lucrative Activities) and FMM(d) (Visitor with Non-Lucrative Activities) for a maximum period of 180 days. The distinction between the FMM©, Visitor with Non-Lucrative Activities, and FMM(d), Visitor with Lucrative Activities, turns on the source of the visa holder’s salary. If the foreign national receives a salary or other economic compensation from within Mexico, he or she will fall within FMM©, Visitor with Lucrative Activities. If the foreign national receives compensation from their home country, i.e., outside of Mexico, he or she will be classified as an FMM(d), Visitor with Non-Lucrative Activities.
FMM applications will be processed differently, depending on the foreign national’s nationality and corresponding group type. There are three group types in Mexico. Group 1 consists of restricted nationalities. For this group, visa applications require prior authorization from NMI before an entry visa may be issued at a Mexican consulate and prior to the applicant entering Mexico. Group 2 consists of regulated nationalities. Foreign nationals falling within Group 2 must apply for an entry visa at a Mexican consulate prior to entering Mexico. Group 3 consists of liberated nationalities or countries, each of which falls under Mexico’s visa waiver provisions. Foreign nationals within Group 3 may obtain an FMM visa upon arrival at a Mexican port of entry without prior clearance from a Mexican consulate or NMI.
Business Visitor: Criteria Defined
Mexico’s NMI defines the criteria for a business visitor, FMM(, and limits permissible business visitor activities to the following:
Conducting meetings or holding general discussions;
Participating in seminars, conferences, or trade fairs;
Engaging in commercial exchange of goods or services;
Establishing, developing, or managing foreign investments; and
Providing special services previously agreed to or established in transference of technology contracts, patents, trademarks and intellectual property, equipment dealings, and staff training.
To qualify for the FMM(, the foreign national’s primary residence must be outside of Mexico, and he or she may not be placed on the payroll of a Mexican company. In addition, the individual may not receive remuneration for any services provided to a Mexican entity, except for reimbursement for travel expenses such as meals, airline tickets, or accommodations.
Travel Restrictions Removed for FM-TTV Visa Holders
The FM-TTV is presently a 30-day, multiple entry visa that may be applied for at a Mexican port of entry. When a FM-TTV visa holder applies for a change of status to FM-3 employment, or applies to report a change in conditions, such as changes to job duties, domicile or marital status, the visa holder is required to file an exit and re-entry permit, or risk cancellation of his or her application to change status or conditions. With implementation of the Manual, the FM-TTV will change to the FMM, the validity period will increase to 180 days, and the travel restrictions associated with filing an application to change status or conditions will be removed, allowing these foreign nationals to travel during the pendency of change of status or condition applications.
New Immigration Cards
In the coming weeks, NMI will publish criteria for new migration cards. The proposed migration cards will replace the FM-2 (Immigrant) and FM-3 (Business and Technical) passport-like booklets which are currently issued at Mexican consular posts. Mexican consular posts will no longer issue these booklets. Instead, once an immigration petition is approved by NMI, the Mexican consular post will endorse an entry visa in the foreign national’s passport. These entry visas will allow the foreign national to enter Mexico within one year of issuance. Upon entry into Mexico, the foreign national will be required to obtain the new migration card within 30 days.
As set forth above, implementation of the Manual will streamline the process for obtaining nonimmigrant business and employment visas in Mexico. The most significant change relates to the creation of two short-term employment visa categories, the FMM© and the FMM(d), which may be used for short-term assignments of less than 180 days. The Manual also removed travel restrictions for foreign nationals with pending applications to change nonimmigrant status.
Gibney will continue to monitor the implementation of these new rules in Mexico, and will provide updates once the NMI publishes additional information. If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact your designated Gibney representative, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click here to receive client alerts by email.
This immigration article is provided as general information for clients and friends of Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP. It does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. The contents of this article may be considered attorney advertising in some states.
Return to all news
Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:39 PM
Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM) has announced a range of amendments to its immigration and internment procedures to be implemented starting May 1, 2010. Although the amendments do not significantly alter the core rules and regulations which underpin current immigration law, the changes will make the paperwork and procedures less complicated for foreigners wishing to enter Mexico; particularly for those coming to Mexico to do business and those who wish to live, work and retire here.
The current entry form completed by all foreigners entering Mexico and traveling beyond the 20km ‘frontier’ zone, known as FMT-Forma Migratoria Turista-will be replaced by a FMM, or Forma Migratoria Multiple.
The new FMM will cover visits of up to 180 days for tourists, business visitors and technical visitors, with sections on the form for each category type. Business and technical visitor categories are clearly defined and the entry extension to 180 days is a significant change to current regulations which allow business visitors only a 30-day window to remain in the country.
The new FMM forms are scheduled to be introduced on May 1 and the new FMM-based procedures will be available to visitors who are passport holders of countries eligible for entry to Mexico under the current FMT. People entering Mexico as well as those who have applications for FM3 and FM2 visas in process to April 30, will be treated and processed under the current procedures.
For people who are staying in Mexico longer than 180 days using FM3 or FM2 visas, the current paper booklets will be replaced with plastic cards, and holders will no longer need to have their change of address, change of business activity, marital status, et al, annotated on the document proper. Resident foreigners will still be required to file notification of changes in personal and professional circumstances, but the procedures which required the surrender of the document to the institute for a period of up to several weeks while changes were annotated will no longer be required.
Mexican consulates based overseas will no longer issue FM visa booklets. They will, instead, issue a sticker that is placed into the applicant’s passport once the INM has approved an overseas application. The applicant will then need to enter Mexico within 365 days and obtain the new FM visa card within 30 days of internment, by visiting a local office of the INM.
Tourists: If you enter Mexico as a tourist, your entry will remain virtually unaffected by the new procedures. You will simply need to complete the ‘Tourist’ section of the new FMM visitor’s card (which replaces the FMT) at the port of entry, and when you enter the country you will be granted leave to remain in Mexico for no longer than 180 calendar days.
Business Visitors: If you visit (or plan to visit) Mexico to undertake business activities or to undertake work in Mexico for periods of 180 days or less, you will enjoy greater flexibility by way of these new arrangements.
Long Term Visitors and Residents: If you remain in Mexico for longer than six months, there are some welcome simplifications being introduced to the FM3 and FM2 visa procedures, especially in relation to doing-away with the process of surrender and re-issue of paper booklets.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users