I'm a US Citizen with Mexican residency. I will be out of Mexico until June 1, then I have plans to leave the country again around July 1.

My Temporary Residency visa (often referred to by the old name, FM3) expires July 7, so this gives me just about exactly a month during which time I will be in the country to renew my visa.

Is there any way I can expedite the process, or help ensure that the process will be completed before July 1? Can the process be started while I am still out of the country, by hiring an agent to start the process?

1 Answer 1


Unless your local area is unusual, you're unlikely to get a renewal in the timescale you want. In this area, the renewal of a temporary visa (or change to permanent) has to be applied for during the 30 days before expiry (not before). Some areas it's even nearer to the expiry date. So during early June you could get the application in. How soon it starts being processed will vary (can be weeks, and usually after the expiry date).

At some point later you'll need to be present for the fingerprinting, and another signature. This is very likely to be after your current expiry date (and after you leave the country). These are things an agent can't do for you.

Then the card needs to be processed, received, you notified of it, and you pick it up in person (I've heard this needs to be within 60 days of issue).

In this area, a good timescale for a change from Temporary to Permanent (after 4 years on Temporary and previous FM2/3) is around 10-12 weeks. Some are nearer 6 months. A renewal of a temporary is often faster. The temporary residence visa available for 1-4 years, in most areas, so it's best to get the maximum time and avoid annual renewals, where possible.

It's hard to see any way to speed it up, you probably can't apply earlier and realistically it probably won't start to be processed until around or after the expiry date (you can apply for a letter to be able to leave the country and return while the application is in process, there is a fee).

It could be well worth changing your travel plans (or at least making them flexible), as if you're grandfathered in on the existing rules you have big advantages over somebody starting from scratch from outside the country. Don't let the existing visa lapse, make sure you get the renewal/upgrade in, and be prepared to return at short notice to keep things moving along.

A good agent in your area might help (if they keep on top of things) but there are still going to be things you need to be personally present for, within fixed time limits.

  • The FM2 residence visa for Mexico hasn't existed for a couple of years now (nor the FM3 visa) -- I realize this, but everyone, including government officials, still refer to the RT as an FM2 and the RP as an FM3. But in any case, the question is updated now.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 8, 2014 at 15:26
  • although as they're now available for 1-4 years -- is this new? Last I checked, they were renewable for up to 4 years, 1 year at a time.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 8, 2014 at 15:30
  • @flimzy - the FM3 was a step below the FM2 (when they existed). The forerunner of Residente Permanente was "Inmigrado". The Residente Temporal has been available for 1-4 years since the new regulations were introduced in late 2012 (there are higher fees for more years), but, like everything in Mexico, it's possible your local area decided to interpret what's available differently. In this area they are routinely issued, which has really cut down on the number of people needing annual renewals.
    – Rob Hoare
    Apr 8, 2014 at 16:26
  • Ah, I had my terminology backwards. Anyway, thanks for the answer. It's not really an option to change or delay my travel plans, so it sounds like I'll just be coming back for a quick visit.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 8, 2014 at 16:32
  • I've updated my answer, now that the question is using the current terminology. Not really much difference: if the visa is useful to you, change plans to make a renewal work (to keep any grandfathered benefits or accumulated time towards permanent residence), or be prepared to start from scratch.
    – Rob Hoare
    Apr 9, 2014 at 7:30

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