Application Procedure for FM3 and FM2

This page is left here for Historical purposes only. Information which better reflects the current situation as of February 2013 can be found starting here: Mexico Visas – Temporary Resident (MTRV was FM3) Permanent Resident (MPRV was FM2) Tourist Card (FMM / FMT)

The application procedure starts here with an on line form. Below are detailed screen shots of the main options of interest to retirees. The end result is a printed form.  Before you start you will need to turn off your pop-up blocker and make sure you have a current version of Adobe reader on your system. The explanation of how to do that is in Pop-up Blocker how to turn it off and in Other Problems.  To start filling out your on line application click here.

After you fill out the form and print it you must take it to the INM office along with your other documents.

Last updated January 7, 2012: Changes are anticipated but still not in effect, details here: Immigration Changes – FMM, FM2, FM3 – Summary

The on line application procedure:

There are various options. Pick the one that suits your needs. Before you start you must turn off your pop-up blocker. The explanation of how to do that is in Pop-up Blocker how to turn it off .

Renewing your FM3, an annual event

No photos needed for this unless your FM3 is the old booklet type.

Extending your stay beyond 180 days

Bring your passport and your FMM.

Getting your first FM3 or FM2. i.e. Exchange your FMM for an FM2 or FM3.

Notice that the change from FMM to FM3 and FM2 are the same form so to be specific enter in the comment box at the bottom either (Quiero cambiar mi FMM a FM2) or (Quiero cambiar mi FMM a FM3).
Bring all of the above mentioned documents.

Renew your FM2, an annual event for up to 4 years

(January 2012 – renewals for the cards are still done annually with new photos being needed but that may soon change with the possibility of multiple year renewals.)

Changing your FM3 to an FM2, i.e. Starting the citizenship process.

The card is different so you will need photos.

Converting your FM2 to a citizenship application.

We have no experience with this one so ask at INM what they want.  We are told that the process cannot be initiated before the FM2 expires which leaves us wondering what status one has while the application is being processed.  Check with INM.  We will update here as soon as some one reports they have done it.

Enter your personal data. Only the stared items are required. If you have not already done so turn off your pop-up blocker. To do that cick here: Pop-up Blocker how to turn it off .

personal data continued NOTE: For American citizens: Estados Unidos de America not America or United States.

Personal data last shot:

Click Guardar (Save).  If you miss one of the required field you will get this message. Click OK and enter data in the offending field(s).

Check all the other data and click on Si. To signify yes my data is correct.

And you get that all important registration number.  It will appear on the document you are about to print.

Next you should see a PDF image of the document you need to print. That is a bit further down because my browser blocked it with this message:

giving me these options:

selecting the first option “Allow pop-ups…” should have solved the problem but the PDF never showed. So it is very important you allow the pop-ups before you enter your data or you could wind up entering it again. BUT that is a technical problem so the explanation of how to do that is in Pop-up Blocker how to turn it off .

If you do not see a report it is probably because you did not successfully turn off your pop-up blocker. If you have already done that and still do not see the report then check out Other Problems. What you should see is this report which you need to print:

To print it use the printer icon in the top left corner or RIGHT click on the document to get these options:

Choose print. If you do not have a printer you can save it for later printing by checking the box marked “Print to file” in the bottom left corner.

AND you should be ready to go the INM office. Add your comments below and we will try to fix anything that is incorrect or unclear.  We particularly need to be advised if the INM web site changes.

Once you have entered your data on their computer into the Formato Basico they will print it and send you to the bank with a form. You need to bring back the receipt which the bank gives you and two copies of it. When you are at the bank check VERY CAREFULLY that they entered your name correctly i.e. exactly as it is on your passport. Then check it again. If it is wrong it will not be acceptable to the INM office.

Once you have delivered your paperwork to the INM office you can track the progress of your application with your registration number and a password which they will give you at the INM office when they receive your application. Check it ten days after making your application.

There is also a procedure for getting a permission of entry and exit while your paper work is being processed. It would be a good idea to avoid the necessity of doing that by planning to be in Mexico long enough for the process to be completed.

Other resources:

There is an excellent explanation of the process by the undisputed king of knowledge about living in Mexico, Rolly Brook.


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We own a condo in Mazatlan and have had our FM3 for 5 years. We do not expect to live in Mexico for more than 6 months in any one year and do not expect capital gains when we sell our condo. What are the advantages of having an MPRV as opposed to a 6 month tourist visa? Can we apply for an MPRV at the Mexican consulate in Oregon, or do we have to go to Mazatlan or another Mexican city? Can we keep a car (whether Oregon plated or Mexican plated) permanently in Mexico with only a 6 month tourist visa? Thanks so much for your reply.

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The on line form doesn’t seem to be the same as the one you show. It has no selection for Obtenar recidencia definitiva en mexico.. etc.. I am changing from a fm3 to an fm2….

It does have cambiar condition de estancia first line
then cambiar condition de res… temp… to res… perm…. second line

could that be correct?

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Thanks for reminding me that we need to update these pages. Most of the options are correct but it does need updating. If you have an FM3 then yes you need to apply to “cambiar (change) condition de estancia (stay)”.

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My wife’s dependent visa is in progress. But she need to travel out of Mexico when the process is still in progress… FMM is submitted at INM office & we have the NUT letter with us.

So what are the options here ? Can some one exit by depositing fine at airport for the new FMM ?

*Note: She is exiting mexico permanently & will not be coming back. I have a valid FM3 with me. So not a problem for me… Once to know the scenarios for my wife…

Appreciate a quick reply !


user image Jeff

The drop-down options in the on-line form have changed since November 9 and do not match what you have above so I am not sure which is the correct one to choose as they do not seem as obvious now. Does anyone know which one is correct if I am applying for my first FM3? I have a current 180 day tourist Visa and own a home in Mexico. Thanks.

user image Johan

Yes Fiona you need to follow the FM3 process and then supply a bit more like a description of what you want to do. In our local office they helped me write the letter needed.

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Wow, this is very helpful. The screen captures really help a lot. Even though I have lived here in Mexico for six years and took three years of Spanish before moving here, the terminology they use on these forms is complete greek to me.

I am wondering if you know the answer to a question I have when changing from an FM3 to FM2: does one have to simply do the “obtener residencia definitiva en México,” or does this simply allow one to change the status, then one subsequently goes through some other process to obtain the FM2? That is, when changing from an FM3 to FM2, do you need two different transactions, or does completing this single one shown above get you the FM2 in your hands?


user image Linda Miller

I bought a house on the beach just west of Progreso. It is presently being remodeled and will be ready in another 6 weeks or so.
I have discovered that Linea Peninsular will not ship certain items that I have no intention of selling, as artwork (paintings), for example.
We are diving down in 2 cars, one of which will pull a trailer with this art. I am told that I need an FM2 or FM3 to cross the border with household goods (also need it to claim items at the port of Progreso upon arrival).
OK, so I make another trip to Mexico to get a visa first, but to get a visa, I need to show a bank acct., but to get a bank acct. (according to my Mexican attorney), I need a visa.
I do have a corporation acct. established for the house purchase/remodel, but not a personal acct. since I don’t have a visa. Can anyone tell me what to do next??
Also, I have no intention of ever returning to the U.S.. Should I get and FM2?

user image Johan

I have never heard of needing a bank account in Mexico to get a visa. You do need an address and some proof that you have a residence to get an FM3 or FM2 but it sounds like that should not be a problem for you. And you need bank statements that show you have the required income to qualify for your fm2 but that account can be in any country.

Definitely go for an FM2 that starts you on the path to get Mexican citizenship in 5 years. The FM3 does not.

I have also copied your post to the forum in case there is other advise. Check here:

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Great info, I will be applying for a working FM3 in the next few days. Does anybody know what the fee is?

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me again. Found the online form but guess what I was really wanting to know, is it online in English?
The info you have should get me thru the Spanish enough to fill out the form. Thanks so much for taking the time to put this online.

user image Joyce

O.K. Online form has printed.
To go with that form, I also need to print and take in a file folder to IMM:
-the renew request cover sheet in Spanish stating what it is I want to do, signed
-2 copies of front page of passport and my passport
-FM3 card
-3 months bank statements
-Recent copy of phone or electrical bill

Anything else?

user image Lee

im man i have mexican wife,i have already fm2 visa + work permit,but bad luck i stay abroad with my wife…we got marriage 1year ago..but i come here ever year to renewal my fm2 visa,i plan next year to aply citizen ship,it will be easy?coz i have marriage certficate and my fmw2 visa will be expire next year,but i stay in mexico for 2months every bad ?

user image Immigration Changes – FMM, FM2, FM3 – Summary » Jaltemba Jalapeño

[…] 2) the first step for the procedures is still on line and it is not anticipated that that will change. Explanation of that starts here: Application Procedure for FM3 and FM2 […]

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BOS – my understanding is you cannot edit the data you have entered. You will have to enter it again and just forget about the old number. Anyone know better???

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What a pleasant experience I had this morning at the INM office in the Port in part thanks to your step by step procedure.

After 11 years here, I still struggle with Spanish but the INM staff are very courteous and efficient.

Arriving at 9:10am I was second in line. Out by 10:15 after a walk to the army bank to pay my fees.

Filled out the forms online, printed same and had all my copies ready. They did ask for a copy of my Trust payment for this year, which I emailed to them. I am changing from FM3 to FM2.

All in all, a stress free morning. Thank you.

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I was at the Manzanillo INM office at 9 AM this morning to renew my plastic card FM3..
All they wanted was: 1copy Formato Basico, 2 copies Formato Migratorio, 1 copy of
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The girl told me to come back in a month. I showed her my Alaska Airlines Itinerary that
showed me departing on June 9. She said ok, come back on June 8 to pick it up.

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great information here !!! I just renewed my FM3 , with the help of this site , it was VERY painless !! I live in Cabo San Lucas and the people at the INM were very helpfull as well. I think I only spent maybe 3 or 4 hours at the INM office alltogether. I am now helping a friend get a new FM3 as hers was allready renewed 4 times. I hope this goes as easily as mine did !! Thanks for all the info !!!!!!

user image LisaM

This is so clear and helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this and help all of us out.

user image David Leal

This has been very helpful, but I still have a long way to go in the process. Please change the link to the one provided by Bill Pietri. That was a life saver for me. Also, I suggest that you add the need to enter a comment before clicking Guarda (for those converting from FMM to FM2 or 3 for example). I read the instruction at the top, but forgot about it by the time I succeeded in getting to the bottom. I hope that my omission does not delay the process. Thanks once again.

user image Johan

Richard was writing about his experience in Cancun and he tells me they did also give him a sheet of paper with a website reference.

I was a bit confused about the pictures. I guess they just want to see that you have the right size. Richard kept his to take back when he gets fingerprinted.

Thanks for the GREAT detail Richard.

user image RICHARD LOWE

Well yesterday I made my run to IMM arriving about 10:45AM with all my copias and documents in hand after researching this for ann afternoon on the web and finding what I thought was the holly grail web site of instructions in English. FM2 and copias, Passport and copia, Online application form Formato Migratorio Para Tramites De Estancia, Electric Utility bill copia, copias of my last 3 months bank statements translated by Google translate, and the filled out Formato Basico.

Upon entering there is an information desk with a very nice English speaking woman who looked over my documents and said I needed two copies of filled out form Formato Migratorio Para Tramites De Estancia and that I could go across the street to get and additional copia. There on a house fence was a sign for “copias” and a woman sitting on her front porch with a copy machine. She immediately made me the 2 extra copias I requested for a fee of 3 pesos, about $.25, and back I went to the same information desk. She now smiled with approval and said my pictures were the wrong size and referred me to the woman next to her, who also spoke English, and she gave me a correct size smaller photo as a sample. So having been this route before with my attorney I knew exactly where to go across from the ADO bus station. In the meantime I am uttering expletives about the foto fellow on Isla who said he had given me the correct size and charged me $220 pesos 2 front and 2 side. I go into the foto shop and have to wait my turn as there are 3 in front of me and he tells me he gives 6 color fotos of each view for $120 pesos, so now I know I was ripped off on Isla. We’ll see if I get my money back!

After a 15 minutel wait I go back to the information desk as IMM and she motions me to her right to get a number. I could see the digital number display on the wall, but could not see the device to obtain the number, finally she said I had to see the man behind the counter. I go over and he gives me 69 and the number displayed is 64 – all a good sign I believe! So I sit down and wait, watching the myriad of people in this small room coming and going like bees. One older heavy set older woman caught my eye with custom air brushed designer high heeled shoes, a gold ankle bracelet of porpoises, 6″ worth of gold bracelets on both arms, 3 strands of different gold necklaces, and 3 gold earrings in each ear. It is now 12:00PM and the numbers a changing ever so slowly, finally at 1:00PM 69 displays and I go to the same counter where I received the number and he retrieves it to use again and proceeds to look over my papers and documents. He also speaks English and writes REFRENDO on the second line of the computer form I filled out and says I need to go the the computer on the desk in the corner and redo my online application.

So first I have a blank screen with only IMM on it and cannot figure out how to get to the form, then another American shows up who is a long time resident on Mexico from Puerto Morelos and speaks Spanish, offers to assist me so he can use the machine to. We still cannot get the form to come up, so I go to the information desk for help. She insists it is there, and I know it is as I saw others struggling with it previously, so I go back and David is filling out his form. So I help him finish his off and he prints out 3 copias on the printer next to the number fellow. Then I proceed to fill out my new form, I first thought I could look up my original, but there was no place to put in the record number. Then David comes back after being rejected with a Mexican woman who proceeds to help both of us. Mine then goes through, and when I go to the fellow I am given a number 79 and 74 is now displayed. Another good sign I believe. Then David arrives with his new number and we sit and learn about each other. The numbers seem to be moving faster now, or it may be because I have someone to talk to. So in 15 minutes 79 displays, again I go up with all my documents. He takes my number, my FM2, the copia of my passport, copias of my bank statement translations, gives me back the rest and says I will be notified by email in 3 weeks.

So now I wait for the next time when finger printing will be done and the pictures will be needed 2 each of front and side with no jewelry or glasses small size and I am finished for today at 2:00PM!

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