Oct 6, 2011, 6:34 PM
Post #2 of 23
Re: [sparks] Why so little talk about becoming a citizen
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The current regulation is that you only need 5 years (unless some other things apply which allow this to be as little as 2 years) in the status inmigrante to apply for naturaliztion as a Mexican citizen. To explain this a bit further, once you have successfully been in the status inmigrante for 5 years, you have to make a choice. You can either: apply for the status inmigrado, you can apply for a new no inmigrante status (equivalent to today's FM3) or you can apply for naturalizción as a Mexican citizen. Actually, for inmigrado status or naturalización, that 5 years is only 4 1/2, since that is when you must start your applications for those two options.
To apply for naturalization does NOT require a trip to DF, just print out the online forms, fill them out properly, pay the fee at a local bank (with the correct form!), go to your STATE CAPITOL SRE office and make the application. If you make some of the obvious mistakes on the forms (like I did), you may have to go home and redo those forms before they will accept the application. There is no police report required, although I do believe that somewhere on the SRE website it says there is, something that worried me at the time I did it, as every municipio in México has innumerable police organizations from the most local, the transitos, up to the state level and then the Federal level. Not knowing just who to go to for the "police report", I didn't, and the SRE office in Culiacán told me, essentially, "ni modo."
After having all the correctly filled out forms and the bank receipt (back in 2006 it was a little over $2,000 MXN if I remember correctly, so not a terribly major expense) accepted by the SRE office in Culiacán, it was just about 18 months before I heard anything, and that was when I was notified that I had to come to their office in Culiacán within the next 30 days to take the test (or start all over again!).
Went to Culiacán, took the test, which was 5 questions (you must get 4 correct) gleaned at random from a list of 100 possible questions that is available for study purposes on the SRE website. This list of 100 changes every few months, so be certain to check the expiration date of the list. The list my questions came from was evaluated as the most difficult that had ever been published up to that time, as it didn't seem to include ANY of the questions used on previous lists.
Once I had passed the test (got all 5 correct :-D ), it was another 3 months before I received a telephone call from Culiacán telling me to come into the office to receive my naturalization papers. After signing the typical Mexican bureaucracy pile of various papers, I was given my carta de naturalización and told that I really must quickly go to my local IFE office and get my credencial para votar and to the local (Mazatlán) SRE office and get my Mexican pasaporte. I did both promptly, and have even voted in Estado de Sinaloa and Municipio de Mazatlán elections already.
Three things you MUST have (do) and one thing you must NEVER do:
Have a passport from your home country with at least 6 months remaining validity.
Have an inmigrante visa with at least 6 months remaining validity—I understand this is a requirement when you go to apply for inmigrado status also, but that may have changed.
Make certain you are prepared to transact ALL steps, verbal or written, in Spanish. This does NOT mean being completely fluent in Spanish or else I would never have made the cut. It does mean being able to understand most clearly spoken (and written for the forms) Spanish and be able to respond in reasonably accurate Spanish (something which only requires a very nominal level of fluency).
The thing that you must NEVER DO is to take your friendly Spanish-speaker (wife, husband, relative, friend, lawyer or notario) with you to help with the process. The only ones I have ever known to be refused naturalization (besides those who failed the test after trying to pass it several times in the 30 day period*) were ones who did this.
* It appears you can take the test at least 3 times during the 30 day period, although the 5 questions will be different each time. There were several on that forum I spoke of in the other thread who had done so, both successfully and unsuccessfully.
There might be details I have missed or minor things that have changed, and of course, this being México, all state level SRE offices may not implement the regulations exactly the same, but my experience was pretty nearly the norm for all of the many, many persons who were posting on that forum back in 2006-7. I doubt that much has changed, though, as there has not been the massive overhaul of the naturalization laws since 2007 like there has been of the immigration laws and regulations—with more to come.
Incidentally, just as it seems to be with INM in getting working visa status, the DF office of the SRE seems to be the toughest one to deal with.