May 17, 2010, 6:45 PM
Post #28 of 57
I would be willing to tell you my recent experiences, although I would not yet describe them as successful.
Re: [Rolly] New INM Procedures for FM2s, FM3s, & FMMs
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I went to my local INM office to get the first renewal of my FM2 visa on or around 20 April 2010. I waited almost two and a half hours to get the current requirements and payment form, only to be told I ought to wait until after 1 May 2010, when I would be able to do everything online.
I pressed for better information and was told after 1 May 2010 I could go to a specific website, set up an account, and get an appointment to go into the office and complete the process. None of that is true.
So when I got back from the USA on May 10th, my partner (a Mexican) got online at the website I was given. We got nowhere. So next day he called the local INM office (a minor miracle, they answered the phone) and talked him through what to do. And told him "all" the requirements, which did not include bank statements nor proof of residence, which had always been required before. I had bank statements ready to go and a copy of my water bill, which they tend to prefer over my property tax statement and payment receipt, so I took them with me next day.
Next day, we did not have a long wait and the INM lady who helped us, the same one who registered my FM3 when I came to Mexico, and helped me through one renewal of the FM3 and a conversion to FM2. She had always been so pleasant and seemingly competent and efficient, but was now grumpy and morose and having a helluva time operating the ancient Dell laptop she had on the front desk. I think the internet connection cable kept popping out and she would lose control of the whole process and have to get it plugged in again and start over. I don't think she was comfortable with what she was doing and it was sad to watch as she had always been the picture of efficiency in the past.
Of course she asked for all the same stuff that they always ask for, plus new fotos...specifically "infantil" size, 2 of the right profile, 3 from the front. No glasses. I had those as a result of the phone call we made the day before.
She finally got it all stamped and stapled and assembled into a file folder and gave me a "comprobante de registro de solicitud" that has my case number and a password to use online to check the status of the application. She told us the visa would be ready in two days, last Friday. Today I got online to the website I was given, used the case number and password and there is a computer file with entries, indicating they had received a payment, had received the application, had entered the application, had registered the application. But that is all.
Maybe...MAYBE in the end, later, sometime down the road, all of this will prove easier than the old way. I am pretty sure of it. And the new little card, to carry in my wallet, will be an improvement. I wonder about checking in with INM when I leave and go to the USA and come back. I suspect they will swipe the new card and register, electronically, my departure, and then the reverse of that to record my re-entry. I hope that is how it goes.
It seems to me that the process is just as bureacratic, inefficient, and time-consuming as ever. Same information to assemble. Payment at a bank, requiring a special form that you have to go into the INM office to get and wait forever to get it, and get the current requirements, just in case something has changed. At least two additional visits to the INM office, to handover the documents and watch them stamp the holy begeezus out of everything, then another visit later to pick up the visa. If all goes well, with no glitches like them losing the payment receipt, like they did during my FM3 to FM2 conversion. Make personal copies of EVERYTHING and try to get them stamped. They love to stamp things.
I fail to see how the process is much improved and it sure has made the ladies there unhappy. For me, it is all about the same. And I don't mind doing it. But there is no appointment and no processing of the application online, as far as I am concerned. It is just like it used to be, with the exception that I will probably get a cute little card instead of a ratty-looking booklet as my visa and they have work to do via an ancient laptop on their front desk. I guess that is the online part.