I’m a “Legal Alien”!
I recently obtained my Residence Permanente card under the new immigration rules and it was very simple to do. So, now I am a “Legal Alien”. I have friends who do not have any immigration documents and do not plan to acquire them. They ask me: Why did I bother and what benefit is it? My answer is very simple: having the appropriate immigration document is a requirement of the country. There is a lot of press, discussion and opinions in the U.S. regarding “illegal aliens,” yet you never hear about the Americas living illegally in Mexico. I wish to follow the law.
The process that I followed is available to you, if you have never had an FM2 or FM3 or if those documents have expired.
Start the Process in the U.S.

1. Go to the Mexican Consulate. In Arizona they are in Phoenix or Tucson. Take 6 months proof of income that shows a minimum of $2,600usd and one copy of that information. Note: that is what they required in Phoenix. A friend tells me that when they inquired in Tucson, they were told the minimum monthly income requirement was $2,000. In lieu of that monthly income proof, you can show proof of a sufficient bank balance. I have received different information on the amount required for the bank balance. I have heard numbers between $10,000 and $50,000, so you will need to check that out, if that is the option you choose. Also take your passport and a copy of the information page and one passport-style photo.
2. You will then complete an application in the Consulate Office with the help of one of their consultants. They will take a digital photo of you and electronic finger prints. You will pay $36.00 and then a supervisor will ask you some questions and a Visa will be printed out and placed in your passport.
3. You will be given the url for a website where you will later complete a form to take to the Immigration office in Puerto Peñasco (or whatever town where you live in Mexico).
In Sonoyta (or where ever you cross the border into Mexico)
1. Go to the Immigration office at the border in Mexico and show them the Visa that was placed in your passport. They will complete another Visa form for you at no charge and stamp that form and stamp the Visa in your passport.
In Puerto Peñasco (or your town of residence)
1. Fill out the on-line form and print it. (Note: this must be filled out on-line.) Have the photos made for your card. Foto Excel and Photo Studio Ensenada in Puerto Peñasco will do the appropriate photos for you (front and right profile are required).

Foto Excell on Revolution, west of Benito Juarez Photo Studio Ensenada on Sinaloa, north of Simon Morua

2. Go to the local Immigration Office with your passport, and printed copy of on-line form. The staff there will complete numerous forms for you and give you one to take to the bank.

Immigration Office is in Fremont Plaza on Blvd Fremont, east of Sinaloa

3. Go to the bank and pay the fee of $3,815 (PESOS). Take the receipt back to Immigration. They will tell you when to return to bring your pictures and to have your fingerprints taken. (Note: this is usually about a week.) They will tell you when to return to get your card.
This is usually 4 weeks.
4. Return to the local Immigration Office, sign the register and pick-up your card. AND YOU ARE ARE DONE! This is a permanent card and no renewal is necessary.
Other Procedures
There are other immigration documents and procedures that do not apply to me, so I hesitate to give you any information about them. I do plan to interview folks who have been through the other procedures and give you information on them at a later date. Those procedures would be for obtaining a permit for part-time residence and for renewal, if you have a current FM2. I’ve also asked a friend to see what, if anything, you need to do if you already have a status called “Inmigrado” under the old immigration rules. WARNING: things change!!! The procedure that I have described was the procedure that I completed in August of this year, but perhaps there will be some differences when you go thru the immigration procedures.
Senior Discount Card
I now plan to complete the procedure for a senior discount card (INAPAM) available to those legal residents over 60 years old. This discount card does have some specific monetary benefits. I am now trying to get a comprehensive list of those discounts.
Watch my Finding Paradise articles in future editions of the Rocky Point Times for more on the immigration processes and the senior discount card.

What’s Happening Here?

Who are Barbara Iverson and David Orihuela and what are they doing in this “up and coming” area of Cholla Mall (aka Mexican Rodeo Drive). Watch for a future article about this.