Friday, April 11, 2008

Moving to Mexico

This question comes up often. To be here, is relatively easy. There are different types of immigration status that you can request. I came here on a tourist visa and then began looking for a job. Once I found an employer, it was their job to do the immigration paperwork. It took about thirty days and I received an FM3 which is a work permit. With the FM3, I was able to register with Hacienda (IRS) also known as Lolita, pay taxes and receive all the benefits of a Mexican worker. What are those benefits; social security and IMSS (social medicine), vacation, christmas bonus and profit sharing. These are the minimum guarantees by law.

However, as time went on, I discovered that I wanted to work for myself and applied again to immigration Instituto Nacional de Migracion. My status was granted and that's when my life really started to change. Being in business in Mexico is easy as long as you follow the rules. I began working as a consultant for a publisher and also continued to form our language institute.

After that, I decided I wanted to buy property but needed to apply again to immigration for an FM2, residency status. That took three months with many visits to the immigration office. It was during that time that I met the person in charge who requested I teach him English. This was a great opportunity to learn the system and how it works. The FM2 is good for five years and at that time you can apply again for permanent residency. Under both, I was able to buy property and believe me, the Mexican real estate has been booming. As a permanent resident, I can do everything but vote and buying property with out a Mexican trust is limited to the interior, in other words, 150kms from the borders and the coast.

Obviously, there are many other FMs that exist for those who would like to retire, study, or work as a consultant but remain living in their country of residence.

You can see my house in the pictures. In the driveway are the two of the most important parts of my life, "The Finders". Meet Pathfinder and Funfinder. FunFinder is an 18 ft Shadow Cruiser travel trailer that is pulled by our old 1998 Pathfinder, still running strong after 300,000kms. The Funfinder is the right size for boondocking. Great for easy access, turning around, etc. and yet comfortable enough for two people. A slideout model the same size is on the future boondocking list. You can never be "too comfortable".

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