April 6th, 2010, a new INM office was opened in Chapala on Avenida Hidalgo # 271 in Chapala. This new 3 story office is two blocks east of the Monte Carlo Hotel on the mountain side. Business hours are 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday to Friday.
INM (National Migration Institute) will be able to process all your FM2 an FM3 needs without going in to Guadalajara.
English is spoken (about 60%) but the paperwork is in Spanish so you might need someone to help you with that. Many of the forms are available online to speed up the process. Their website is: www.inm.gob.mx We are attempting to get the ID cards for our inmigrado status. The good news is that we thought we had to go to Mexico City to get said ID cards but now with the new immigration office here in Chapala we can get them there.
“Simple” you say. Not quite. You have to get all the forms send them electronically and get a reference number then take all your paperwork and pictures (the size required is infintil black and white or color three front and three side no glasses, earrings or hair on your face). I commented, to my friend that is helping me, that my picture looked like a mug shot. This process will usually take three or four visits as you will not have everything that is required the first time.
After my friend, had downloaded and submitted all forms and visited the office several times without me and once with me we found out that these ID cards are going to have to be redone in January and if we got them now we would have to get them again in the new year. Now to me this would have been a good piece of information to have at the outset.
We have wisely decided to wait until January 2012 to begin the process yet again but at least we now have all the necessary paperwork in hand so it should be a pedazo de pastel (piece of cake). I might get new pictures done however.
Don’t get me wrong I am delighted we have this new office here in Chapala now and it will save many trips to the city. Just don’t expect it to be an easy process depending upon what you are trying to achieve you are probably looking at 10 days to 2 weeks if all goes well and you submit everything you need on the required forms and submit everything according to their requirements. These requirements could change from person to person so patience is required.
I always remember, however, how lucky we are that the Mexicans allow us to live in their magnificent country.