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ZSThomp

Jun 6, 2009, 4:36 PM

Post #1 of 11 (10674 views)

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Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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Hello!

I used to visit this site frequently 12 years ago when I went to Mexico with my school. Wow how time flies. Anyway, I now, in 2009, have new questions.
At the end of August, my partner and I are moving to Rosarito, BC (he's a Mexican citizen). I will be working in San Diego. (I know it's going to be a drive).
My question is, when I first go with an FMT to Mexico... does the FMT inherently imply that a person can enter, exit, and reenter Mexico for up to 180 days if stamped that many days?
Also, I would like to get FM3 status as soon as possible after moving there. I've read that you have to be 55 or so years of age or older but I'm no where near that. Am I SOL?
Lastly, I would like to eventually teach people English legally on my own. My main income will be from my job in the US but on the side, I would like to teach private English classes. Obviously, no one would be arranging me a work permit so I'm wondering how that would happen...if I would just get a business license and then go from there.
I assure you I have spent a good while looking at the mexconnect forums trying to find exact answers to these questions, but I figured asking specifically regarding my case would be more beneficial. Thank you.

Zach



La Isla


Jun 6, 2009, 8:36 PM

Post #2 of 11 (10651 views)

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Re: [ZSThomp] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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I live in Mexico City and have an FM3 that allows me to teach English independently. Although I have 3 degrees and many years of experience teaching English as a Second and Foreign Language, when I went to apply for the visa, the lawyer I hired to do all the paperwork for me told me that since none of my degrees were specifically in teaching English, I needed an official certificate (you know, the kind with a gold ribbon and embossed lettering!) stating that I had taken a course to qualify me in this field. Apparently a month-long intensive course will satisfy the authorities, and there are several places in Mexico where you can get this training. I did it through a program that a friend of mine runs here in the capital. It's possible that Migración offices in other parts of the country have more (or less) stringent requirements for qualifying for this sort of work/residence visa.


ZSThomp

Jun 7, 2009, 12:01 AM

Post #3 of 11 (10638 views)

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Even more confused

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Hello again,

Now I'm even more confused! I just read that you since all of Baja is the Free Trade Zone, I don't need a car permit. (That's good). But I can still get insurance for it without the permit right? Also, I would be physically only going in the Border zone so I guess I could do without an FMT...but there will times where I will be physically in Mexico for more than 72 hours.
Also, I saw that an FM3 must be visa stamped every time you enter and exit the boarder. Well, how would that work with me entering the US every work day? The more I read...the more confused I become. Thanks.

Zach


richmx2


Jun 7, 2009, 12:46 AM

Post #4 of 11 (10637 views)

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Re: [ZSThomp] Even more confused

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ZS... I would apply for a U.S. passport card since it's going to be the daily commute into the U.S. that'll be the biggest hassle. An FM-T is only a temporary tourist visa and expires as soon as you leave the country, not valid for mulitple re-entries. As you will be a resident, look into an FM-3 non-working visa (assuming you earn enough to qualify). You might want to check some of the border community websites, since this is a fairly common situation. Also, a site like Immigrate2US.net might have specific assistance for persons with spouse (or spousal equlivalent) living in the second country. There are also a few people who post regularly on the Lonely Planet's Thorntree Mexico Branch who are border commuters living in Mexico, and would be able to answer your question in detail.


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http://mexicobookpublishers.com


jerezano

Jun 7, 2009, 7:47 AM

Post #5 of 11 (10609 views)

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Re: [ZSThomp] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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Hello ZSThomp:

You asked:>>>>>>>>My question is, when I first go with an FMT to Mexico... does the FMT inherently imply that a person can enter, exit, and reenter Mexico for up to 180 days if stamped that many days?<<<<

Yes. You may leave and reenter Mexico anytime at your convenience during those 180 days.

You asked:>>>>>>>>Also, I would like to get FM3 status as soon as possible after moving there. I've read that you have to be 55 or so years of age or older but I'm no where near that. <<<<<<<<<

There is no age requirement on the FM3. Many years ago there used to be, but no longer. That said some consulates may have such a rule as the consulates may add whatever rules they wish, but if you get your FM3 in Mexico there is no such Federal requirement.

As for your wish to teach English legally, you will receive proper guidance from others who have experienced the problem.

Remember that upper baja is a free zone and no tourist permits are necessary unless you stay for over 72 hours. Does anybody ever check for that overstay? In 20 years I haven't heard of even one case. You will not need an FMT until you cross into Baja California proper. This last may have changed also. I hear rumours but have seen nothing and I have no personal experience.

As for car insurance, that depends on the policies of your US insurer. Some insurers cover side trips into Mexico. Others do not. However there are many US companies that sell insurance for Mexico trips. Sanborn's (not the Mexican restaurant chain of the same name) with headquarters in McAllen TX but with many branch offices along the frontier is one. They have excellent policies (although a bit expensive) and services. They have a website.

One other note: If you wish to temporarily import your car into Mexico, the import permit must be obtained AT THE BORDER and is a completely separate document from your FMT or your FM3. It has some stringent requirements including a pledge to remove your car from Mexico when you permanently leave. You do not need a temporary import permit for anywhere in a free zone. It is only when you leave the free zone to enter interior Mexico. But again that temporary permit MUST be obtained at the border. Perhaps Baja California is differnet for the entire penninsula.

Enjoy your Rosarita experiences.

jerezano


Brian

Jun 7, 2009, 8:33 AM

Post #6 of 11 (10600 views)

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Re: [ZSThomp] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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Zach

Everything is not as daunting as it might seem on the surface. It will take you about a year to really know how to work the system when having one foot on each side of the border. I have been there and done that. You won't need a car permit in Baja but, as a daily commuter, you must apply for a Sentri Pass which uses expedited lanes for crossing into the USA either at San Ysidro or Otay Mesa. There is a company in Rosarito, Cuadros and Assoc., which for a modest fee will assist with insurance coverage, utility bill payments and immigration paperwork. http://www.jorgecuadros.com/

I would suggest that you rent a mailbox at one of the UPS locations in Chula Vista for reliable mail delivery. If you will be living anywhere north of Campo Torres on the Autopista, you qualify for a discount on the toll charges but you must apply for this at the toll office (it is not automatic). You can certainly get by without any Mexican visa whether FMT, FM2 or FM3 for day to day living but to be able to work you certainly must have the proper documents. Teaching private English lessons for an acceptable salary might be a challenge since so many Mexicans in that area are fully bi-lingual and low cost english instruction is everywhere.

Brian


(This post was edited by Brian on Jun 7, 2009, 10:31 AM)


La Isla


Jun 7, 2009, 9:41 AM

Post #7 of 11 (10589 views)

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Re: [Brian] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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In Reply To

Zach

Teaching private English lessons for an acceptable salary might be a challenge since so many Mexicans in that area are fully bi-lingual and low cost english instruction is everywhere.

Brian


Since the border area is one part of Mexico I've never been to, I hadn't give a thought to the Brian's comment that your services might not be needed there. Once you get away from the border, however, most people do not speak English well (except for the lucky (and wealthy) few who've gone to truly bilingual schools and have had the opportunity to travel and live in Anglophone countries.


richmx2


Jun 7, 2009, 12:58 PM

Post #8 of 11 (10563 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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With an estimated ten percent of working age Mexicans spending at least some part of their life in "anglophone countries" (one in particular), basic English skills are not limited to the middle class or those who attended bilingual schools. These are the big market, but... alas... the least able to pay.

English teaching is not a bad job, but I discourage people from considering that option UNLESS they are teachers, are trained as teachers, and like teaching. I did manage to keep body and soul together teaching, and although I had the right degree for teaching, found I really wasn't all that good in a classroom and was a better off as an administrator (til the school went broke!).

Although teaching English is the first option we think of for supporting ourselves (and often the first job we find), it's only one of several options. From the Original Post, it appears preserving the relationship is the paramount necessity, and for the short term, that San Diego commute is going to be necessary. If your San Diego employer is a fairly large company (and you want to preserve your benefits, seniority, etc.) the Original Poster might consider a voluntary demotion if the job would allow him to stay in Mexico, and phone (or email) in your work, or some kind of arrangement where he isn't having to commute every working day.

Or, start looking for something (even if the pay is substantially less, since he'd save a fortune in commuting costs) that can be done by telecommuting, or something that uses whatever skills set he has... or can learn.


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http://mexicobookpublishers.com


BajaGringo


Jun 8, 2009, 6:03 PM

Post #9 of 11 (10500 views)

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Re: [ZSThomp] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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If you are going to be working in the USA and living in Mexico, definitely get a SENTRI pass. I worked in San Diego for a couple of years while living in the Rosarito Beach area and I could never have done it without the pass. The regular border wait every day will drive you crazy after awhile...

Here is a link for more info on the SENTRI Pass and the Application Process.

Getting your FM3 in Rosarito is not hard and the folks at the immigration office at the Palacio Municipal are quite helpful.

Good luck!


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Ponkito

Jun 9, 2009, 12:00 PM

Post #10 of 11 (10460 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] Moving to Rosarito and will work in San Diego (FM3)

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Definitely get the SENTRI pass.
I have lived in SD, Rosarito and TJ and know lots of people who do the commute you are talking about. Yeah, it's a rotten drive. You learn to amuse yourself in a car while jockeying for position like a LeMans driver. Women do their nails and makeup, I know a guy who practices flute while in the "linea".
Almost nobody I know has FM3's. I've had them in other areas, but things are pretty loose in that area. You could get a tourist card every six months. But I've lived on the Mexico side for years without any paper at all. Driving a car with California plates.
It's not like they're just dying to stamp out gringos spending money in Mexico.

One time I got stopped by some hotshot mordida-cruising cops. It's like they spotted me three blocks away and I spotted them just as quick. They kept asking where was going in that neighborhood. My story was I was dating a girl there. So why do you have groceries on you, with a Dollar Store bag? I'm bringing her some stuff, we're going to make dinner. Is there duty on groceries, you want it? They gave up and took off.
I've never heard of anybody in Rosarito having trouble. Buy a place, that's another story.

On the other hand, an FM3 is cheap and your butt is covered that way.

Look up Jesus Estevez at his trailer park or Rene's in Rosarito if you want some skinny on the place and how to play it.

Personally, I'd rather live in Playas. Cheaper, closer, and you don't get soot all over everything all the time.


ZSThomp

Jun 10, 2009, 12:43 PM

Post #11 of 11 (10407 views)

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Thank you all!!

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Hello all,

Thank you all for your replies!!! They were very helpful. Also, I know that when I actually get there, I will learn so much about how to do it all quickly as it happens.
Our plans have changed and actually we are going much sooner, in which I will explain. Thanks again. I am looking forward to regularly reading and engaging in this forum.

Zman
 
 
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