Sunday, February 8, 2009

Got my FM3

Once I arrived in Mexico I found that there was more to do to get my FM-3 visa....even though I had it in hand and got it stamped at the airport I was told to do the third step at immigration within 30 days--it looked like it just would be some sort of stamp or signature. Because it seemed like it was a simple one stop thing and I was going to be there for two weeks I thought I would do it a day or two before leaving.

Fortunately I had a premonition and decided to get up early a few days after I arrived and took myself down to the immigration office prepared to get my booklet stamped and be done with it. Ha! Once I got there they wanted me to fill out most of what I had done in LA plus they needed a electricity bill and a photocopy of my builders ID card. When I was in LA the nice ladies helped me fill out the one questionaire that was in spanish--I hadn't a clue what some of the form said.
Now I had to fill it out again and I didn't have those nice LA ladies to help.

Luck was with me again and a nice mexican lady now took me under her wing and took me to her office next door where I was able to call my builders secretary who had to get in touch with my builder, Octavio, (who was out of cell phone reach but eventually did get within reach). She was awsome and faxed over Octavio's info plus a electricity bill for the whole building (which I guess is ok for immigration). Fortunately I still had a copy of Octavio's letter (in Spanish) that I'd used for my LA FM3 --it was saved in my email so I printed that out. I had also brought more of my front and side view photos. This saint-of-a-woman put together my whole packet and only charged me for the faxes and computer time ($8USD)--she even had her secretary write the letter I needed to give them in Spanish stating that I wanted to live in Mexico, my address, etc. Back I went to Immigration with my folder in hand and was told to show up on the 6th (I was leaving the 7th) to get my FM3 visa booklet back. Whoa! They were keeping my FM3 visa! I'd entered Mexico using it and needed to show upon departure! That was a surprise...good thing I went when I did.

After hearing tales from everyone that when I was to go back I would encounter more things needed to complete the paperwork and watching the people in line ahead of me being turned back as they needed something more I started getting discouraged and was prepariang my speech about how I had a flight the next day and would now need to get a special letter from them to leave the country....but.... once my number was called they just fingerprinted me and handed over my wonderful visa!!!! (nice thing was that doing it myself was pretty easy even though it might not sound like it from the above... and cost about $140 USD and people are paying anywhere from $275 - $500 USD to have someone else do it)

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