The Mex-pat part of the internet world is ablaze with news, rants, tales, rumours, reports and suggestions about what the new immigration regulations have in store for those choosing to make a home south of the Rio Grande. Rolly Brook seems to be one of the more renowned experts. And Señor Calypso has a number of recently published posts , detailing his experiences. The latter opened his series with a sage piece of advice. Don’t pay too much heed to anyone’s advice. You won’t need to search the internet for long to discover that different INM offices are interpreting the new rules very differently. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that different personnel at the same offices are interpreting the rules differently.
But anyway, the overall consensus is that the new regs are far more onerous that in the past. It’s possible that some foreign residents in Mexico may become persona non grata. Would I be stretching it to say that the Mex-pat world are giving the new regulations a big fat thumbs down? Maybe. Except, except, except. Me. I am not applying for the same sort of visa as everyone else though. I think. I’ve been told I’m applying for the Unidad Familia visa. Which I’m buggered if I can find mention of anywhere of the interweb. It costs MXN$3,000 and allows me to live in Mexico for two years. At the end of which I can apply for the Permanent Residency.
Sounds too easy? It really did sound too easy to me. All I needed, I was told, was my passport, my wife’s passport, our wedding certificate, one passport photo, a completed two page application form and six months of bank statements showing an average balance of £903. Oh, and copies of each. That’s it. The marriage certificate didn’t even need to be apostilled. So today, me and Mrs P headed off to the Mexican Embassy in a plush part of London, not far from Oxford Circus to put this all to the test. Surely it would backfire. Some new scrap of paper would be needed. An obscure document. A new requirement. Something.
Nada. Zilch. Nowt. No new, mysterious, previously undisclosed, hidden or secret requirement was revealed. We were greeted by the same friendly, helpful lady whom I had conversed with on the phone and exchanged a few emails with. She checked my documents and helped me complete the application form. I had my fingerprints taken. Electronically, mind – no mucky ink for me. And another photo was taken. We paid the (ever changing) £22.06 consular fee. She smiled, thanked us for our patience, and told me to return on Tuesday to collect my visa. The visa is good for one entry. Upon arriving in Mexico, I have to go to the INM office in DF, pay a further MXN$3,000 and get the proper visa card.
I won’t be returning on Tuesday. I’m working. But Mrs P will pop by and collect it next Friday. Unless there is a catch. With something so important and eagerly desired, one can’t help but fear the appearance of a ‘catch’. But from all appearances, the system seems to be friendly, efficient and speedy. I hope so. Next week, all being well, I will publish a post entitled The New INM Regs Part 7, which will be the last in my series. All being well. Fingers crossed. Here’s a snap of the rather snazzy, if discreet, Mexican Embassy in London…