Technically not a Holy Grail, but a work visa. But they were beginning to seem to be of similar substance – something you hear about a lot, but also something you can’t seem get your hands on! But today, after many months (I think the process started in April or May!)I have in my possession the little green passport style document that says I’m legally permitted to live and work in Mexico!
So why all the grief? Oh, the bureaucracy!!! I had to fill out umpteen forms, photocopy them, photocopy the photocopies, several photocopies of the passport, letters from the employer, references from Mexican citizens, photographs, TEFL certificate….the list goes on. And you have to do it all ‘just so’, or face a rejection. I’ve read of people going to and fro from the immigration office half a dozen times or more because a letter isn’t worded just as they want it. Once all that is in place, the application goes in, and a month long wait begins. Once you’ve been approved, the process seems to start again! More form filling and photocopies and signatures, to be completed within 60 days of the approval, before attending immigration to swap the last document for the FM3 itself.
That happened this morning, and needless to say wasn’t entirely straightforward. Arrival at Migración was greeted with a sign declaring that from October 1st, we needed to go to another office hald a dozen blocks away. Then they wouldn’t let my lawyer in the building because he didn’t have the correct form of ID. They let me in, but wanted to keep my passport at reception…great! Kinda need that on Floor 14, actually! So off to get yet another photocopy of it….
Still, I got there in the end, submitted my thumbs for fingerprinting, signed a couple of more forms, and left with my new FM3! I can’t complain really. Much of the aggravation was for Paola’s uncle. He’s the lawyer they wouldn’t let in the building, and had gotten all the forms for me, made several trips to Migración and generally did the donkey work – my visit there today was my first (and last – till next year!) trip there. And he charged me just US$150 – not bad considering some hand over up to ten times that amount to lawyers looking for fresh Gringo meat to bleed dry!