Mexican bureaucracy is such that most people do their utmost to avoid it. But in recent years the government has been opening out and listening to the people. That’s not to say they’ll do anything about the various issues that are raised. But at least they’re listening. Two of the recent ‘public consultations’ were to ask the population what the government should do regards the environment, and what were the most frustrating examples of bureaucracy.
Some things have changed. For example, the FM3 visa process for foreigners wanting to live and work in the country. Kinda bizarre. How many Mexicans complained about that?It’s always actually been easy to get an FM3 visa. In that you’ll get it in the end. You just needed to practise the Three Ps. Patience, Persistence and Pesos. Otherwise known as frustration, time-wasting and a little bribery here and there.
It wasn’t uncommon to have to pay half a dozen trips, or more if you’re unlucky, to the Immigration Department. I knew of one chap who renewed his visa each year, and would take along all the documents needed last time, only to find they wanted one more this time. There was a list of required documents, but there was also the small print. Which effectively said ‘…and anything else we think up on the spur of the moment, just to give you a hard time.’
Now much of the process has been moved online, and the visa can be had with just three trips to the offices in a time frame of as little as a month. The final visit being to pick up the new card style visa, which replaced the old passport like booklet. And the price isn’t too step. I don’t know off the top of my head the cost for a new visa, but a renewal is just a little over 2,000 pesos.
Some schools will help teachers get their tourist visas changed into work visas. Others will not. Just make sure you get any educational certificates apostilled before you come to the country. Alternatively, take a TEFL course in Mexico and get a certificate here. That’s usually the easiest route into working in Mexico as an English teacher.