FM3 - Visa to live and work in Mexico
Applying and Renewing an FM3 is essentially the same laborious and overwhelming process, and due to the quantity of documentation required, coupled with the ever changing Local Mexican Immigration requirements, experienced guidance is highly recommended.
The FM3 visa is permit that gives non-immigrant temporary residency status to the holder. This means that it gives a person the right to live in Mexico (under the terms set out in the visa) but it does not lead to, and cannot be converted to, a visa leading to permanent residency.
There are various categories under which FM3 visas are granted, and these relate to the activities you intend to perform while in Mexico. Under the terms of the FM3, you are authorized to only undertake certain, specific activities which may be lucrative or non-lucrative, depending on the visa's classification.
Types FM3 Visas
An FM3 is required to work and open a checking account in Mexico.
Your FM3 Visa must list in detail where you'll be working and what type job you'll be performing. If you change your job you must change your FM3.
If you are planning on living but not working in Mexico, one of the criteria that the Mexican Immigrations require for the issuance of a FM3 is that the applicant prove that they have 'sufficient funds to sustain themselves while in Mexico' and/or a proven steady income. There is no official minimum or maximum amount -- every application is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Proof of fund and/or income is usually requested by means of bank account statements, proof of investment income, credit cards, or a combination of these.
Once applied for and granted, the FM3 may be renewed for an additional four years (for a total of five years). After this period, a new FM3 may be applied for and, if granted, will serve for another (max) five year period, renewable annually.
After your FM3 application has been presented to immigrations, if you need to leave Mexico, you'll first need to get a special exit visa. This exit visa must be stamped when exiting, stamped when returning, and then added to your FM3 application. While your application remains in immigrations, you will need to repeat this process each time you leave and return to Mexico.