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Aaron+

Dec 13, 2013, 10:27 AM

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Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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As I believe has been touched upon before in the Forums, if you marry a Mexican outside of Mexico, your marriage is legal just about anywhere in the world (as far as I know), except, of course, bureaucratic Mexico.

We went to a notario publico (specialized lawyer) the fall of 2012 to start the ball rolling on "legalizing" for Mexico our marriage some years back in Philadelphia, Pa. He told us to hold off, as a new notarial law had been passed in Yucatán, but the notarios, judges, and Registro Civil (RC - record keeping folks who actually do the registration and printing of documents) were uncertain as to how to implement the new law, that was allegedly less paper-based (you could fool me!). He told us some hocus pocus about a judge in the court of oral family law (a new court here) that implied (he is very hard to pin down) would have to review our submission prior to the RC. Another delay was that the new oral law family court needed to find or build a building to set up shop in Mérida...

Allegedly, sometime over the summer he took our documents, 1/3 of the big chunk of money he was charging us (a total of $12,000 MXN), and arranged for an official translator to do the translation into Spanish (a requirement, so do not think of doing the translation yourself!). We provided the notario with an electronic version of my translation of the documents, but no indication he passed it along to, as it turns out, the law firm who subsequently hired someone to do the translation.

Nov. 22 the notario, notoriously unresponsive, wanted the balance of his fee, and had his contract employees accompany us to the Registro Civil to file the tramite. There was no indication that our documents ever had to go before the mysterious judge of the family oral law court.

We demanded to see the translation to compare it against the original documents, but he refused to show us -- a real pain in the a*s. Needless to say, I cannot recommend him to others. A nice guy, tells great stories, but his name best left out here to avoid my spreading lashon hora.

At the RC, once we finally got to see the correct clerk, she also declined to allow us to compare the translation against the original. We also had to get a current certified copy of wife's birth certificate, as of course an older certified copy issued by the same office was not acceptable. Other documents included the Philadelphia marriage license application-license, the certification of the relevant court there that that document was an authorized copy, and a apostille issued by the Penna. Secretary of State in Harrisburg that the signature of the Philadelphia court official was genuine. Let's see what next, four copies of my wife's IFE (the voter's document used as an ID in Mexico). We had one document in our favor -- the original flowery document signed by our Rabbi. Unlike the photocopy of the handwritten application, which had no beautiful design on it, the original contained some decorations. That is, it may have passed the test of looking like an official marriage certificate. (Perhaps the apostille etc are insufficient if the original is not adorned.)

We came back Nov. 27 for the legalization registration. On my reading their document, I saw various errors of various types, including such fatal errors as in my first name at one point, and in the name of the rabbi who officiated. Begrudgingly, the clerk presented us with the transaltion, saying the lawyer should have showed us (I agree, but...). For errors made by the translator (certified to be correct, yeah), I did not go back to el flojo, the notario, but went to the law firm that prepared the translation. They were very forthcoming. After a long weekend, I received and verified the new translation, made some necessary corrections, which the firm corrected in their computer on the spot, then they printed out and provided the necessary rubber stamp marks over the transaltions.

Back to the RC. We provided the corrected translation, and noted the typos introduced by the RC. Of course, we could not have a copy of the RC draft as it was an "internal document."

Today, Dec. 13, we trudged back to the RC. We checked the latest, made some significant but minor corrections, which the RC clerk typed into her computer. A few minutes later ... we actually walked out with the legalization. Yippee! Allegedly, sometime by mid-2014, Mexico will no longer require a fideicomiso for foreigners to own or have an interest in residential or investment property within 50km of a frontier or shore. (That date came from the attorney of the firm that handled the actual translation. He based his estimates on a conversation with a federal diputado (congressman) from the Yucatán. He said that the Mexican upper house had approved the constitutional amendment after the lower chamber's approval.)

A question I never asked is whether a foreigner married to a foreigner has any need (as for subsequent wills) to "legalize" a foreign marriage in Mexico. Logic says, no. But then, this is Mexico. (Anyone know for sure?)



marlie2014

Mar 20, 2014, 7:06 AM

Post #2 of 11 (3692 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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I'm sorry that I did not see this post until today, but the answer to your final question is both "yes" and "no." It depends on what you're trying to do.

I did not register my marriage in Mexico until very recently, and I had some of the same silly difficulties as you did.

But I've been a "residente temporal" for a few years and did not need that registration to get the residency although it was/is based on my marriage to a Mexican. INM only wanted an apostilled copy of my marriage license, not even a translation was needed.

However, this year when I began the naturalization process, SRE did require me to register my marriage locally and, in fact, are not even going to include the apostilled, translated marriage certificate in my packet of documents that they send to Mexico City as part of my application. Go figure.


Aaron+

Mar 20, 2014, 9:39 AM

Post #3 of 11 (3666 views)

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Re: [marlie2014] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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Good luck on your acquiring Mexican nationality!

Oh, and a correction to my original note -- despite overwhelming vote in the Camara de Diputados, the amendment that would have permitted foreigners to purchase property where fideicomisos are now (still) required, well, it failed to pass the Mexican senate.

And I admit, without excuses, that my wife and I have yet to create a will here, which we should have done when we first settled here (in Mexico).


YucaLandia


Mar 20, 2014, 1:02 PM

Post #4 of 11 (3644 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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Our experiences with INM, SRE, and Registro Civiles for getting a US marriage approved:
Years ago, as a newbie to living in Mexico, I did not have enough income for INM's old FM3, FM2, or Inmigrante requirements, so I applied as a spouse of a Mexicana.

INM Merida required that our US marriage be registered (certified/approved) by the Yucatan state Registro Civil. We filed every single required document, plus copies, plus apostilles, plus official translations required to register our already 5 year old US civil marriage.

On the positive side, our application to register our marriage did appear as a consistent line item on the Yucatan State website of official legal filings - categorized as "in process". After unsuccessfully nudging the process for 6 months, we got a lawyer involved. The lawyer filed yet more requests.

A year later, INM still wanted Mexican proof of marriage, and the best we could show them was the Yucatan State website listing of our official legal filing. INM accepted that and approved yet another year of FM3.

By the 3'rd and 4'th years, I had become a regular-enough fixture at our INM office, (from helping others - and posting answers to Immigration questions on Yucalandia), our INM agents just stopped asking about proof of our marital status.

The list of excuses that the Registro Civil provided to explain delays finally ended with them saying that both the Registro Civil and the Juez at the tribunal de justicia both ruled that our 9 year old US marriage was invalid, because our Larimer County marriage certificate was too plain... no illumination, no venados, no faisones, no aguilas... This Colorado license was just heavy-bond legal sized paper, embossed with a big gold seal, bar-coded stamped, with florid signatures ...

Since I wanted to become a Mexican citizen, sliding by at the INM office would no longer pass muster - and SRE definitely required 2 year of Mexican Registro Civil-approved marriage to qualify for citizenship. Since the Yucatan State Registro Civil and judge had rejected our marriage, I asked the same Registro Civil supervisor who handled the rejection that since we were not married in the eyes of Mexican law, could we just get married in Mexico. She replied that there would be no bigamy or other crime, so, we had a quickie wedding performed by the same Registro Civil supervisor who rejected our US wedding. Blood tests, documents, and witnesses were all procured in under 2 weeks, and we were back at the Registro Civil office - friends-in-tow.

The same Registro Civil representative said some very nice words about the sanctity of marriage and family, blah, blah, blah.... and we were married, again.

We fortunately got the quickie Mexican marriage filed the same week that I applied for the new Residente Permanente - meaning just 2 years of RP to qualify for citizenship. The INM people (same ones who processed me the previous 5 years) never blinked at the freshly-minted Mexican wedding certificate...

Mexico - ....
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Mar 20, 2014, 1:04 PM)


marlie2014

Apr 1, 2014, 1:23 PM

Post #5 of 11 (3508 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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What a story! Reminds me a little of what I experienced last month when I registered my marriage locally.

During my first trip to the Registro Civil, the grumpy old dinosaur who received my documents kept insisting that my marriage license was not a real license because it said "Application" on the top. I was married in Indiana, and the Johnson County marriage license is first taken out as an application and then signed on your wedding day at the bottom. I pointed this out to the man and also that it was apostilled by the Secretary of State, but he still kept asking me for the "real" license. He also didn't like my translation (a coworker had done it for free). He kept saying that the documents I had could be anything at all, how could he tell?

Since SRE required a translation done by an officially recognized and government-approved translator anyway (or so they said, but then later I found out that actually they wanted the civil registry instead of the US marriage certificate), I coughed up a lot of $$$ to have the license translated together with the apostille, and then I returned to the Registro Civil. The old dinosaur completely ignored me for a full ten minutes, never even looking at me -- in fact, I took a picture of him ignoring me -- and then he finally finished whatever he was doing (probably playing solitaire) and turned to me, grunted, and asked if I had brought the proper documents this time. When I responded in the affirmative, he said, "Then go with that lady over there." What??????? Are you serious???

The funny thing was, there was a sign hanging above his head that said, "El Registro Civil de Tamaulipas y esta oficilia del registro civil tienen por misión servir con: amabilidad, sensibilidad y respeto." (The Civil Registry of Tamaulipas and this Registry Office have as their mission to serve with kindness/friendliness, sensitiveness and respect).

Yeah, right!!!!

The woman to whom he sent me actually typed the entire document with one finger. Halfway through, she said, "Oops, I just deleted it all. I'll have to start over again. Why don't you come back tomorrow?" When I told her I had asked for time off of work to be there that day, she said, "Oh, then you have plenty of time. Good. You can wait."

Ah, life in Mexico...LOL


salto_jorge

Apr 1, 2014, 7:55 PM

Post #6 of 11 (3474 views)

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Re: [marlie2014] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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After 38 years of being married in a Mexican church with a US civil marriage certificate would Mexico ever want it to be registered?


(This post was edited by salto_jorge on Apr 1, 2014, 7:56 PM)


YucaLandia


Apr 2, 2014, 5:51 AM

Post #7 of 11 (3445 views)

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Re: [marlie2014] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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"I took time off of work to be here today." :
"Good. You can wait."

Hilarious....
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


esperanza

Apr 2, 2014, 5:51 AM

Post #8 of 11 (3444 views)

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Re: [salto_jorge] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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Yes. If you have a reason to do so, you will need to register your USA wedding.

Your only legal marriage is the one in the USA. Church weddings in Mexico don't count; that's why Mexican couples are usually married http://por la civil y por la iglesia, or simply http://por la civil. Only the http://civil is legal.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









YucaLandia


Apr 2, 2014, 5:59 AM

Post #9 of 11 (3441 views)

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Re: [salto_jorge] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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If you are applying for naturalized citizenship or residency as the spouse of a Mexican, then yes, you need it registered.

If you want to buy property in the restricted zones near the border or coasts in your name, and decide you don't want a fideicomiso, then yes, you'd need citizenship, and you'd want it registered.

If you already live in the restricted zones near the border or coasts, and your home has no fideicomiso because it is in your spouse's name, then the citizenship route may look good in case your spouse dies.

Being a citizen and recognized spouse of a Mexican makes getting the homeowner's exemption from gains taxes (on property sales) far easier - and can represent huge savings when the properties were purchased long ago.

I personally expect (imagine?) that if my Mexican wife dies, then having our marriage recognized as legal could make a huge difference in me inheriting the property easily, versus having NO legal status as her husband could make keeping our home more complicated (in the event of her death), especially if some of her relatives made challenges (we live in her family's traditional home).

???
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Apr 2, 2014, 6:02 AM)


AlanMexicali


Apr 2, 2014, 6:09 AM

Post #10 of 11 (3436 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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In Reply To
Yes. If you have a reason to do so, you will need to register your USA wedding.

Your only legal marriage is the one in the USA. Church weddings in Mexico don't count; that's why Mexican couples are usually married http://por la civil y por la iglesia, or simply http://por la civil. Only the http://civil is legal.



We were at a large wedding on Sat. for a cousin of my wife´s daughter. First the church wedding and then at the salón where the lawyer from the Registrar Civil had the legal marriage performed and everyone signed the Acta de Matrimonio.

THEN the lawyer proceeded to give a long [25 minutes]moral speech about the bonding of these 2 newlyweds. It was so long and opinionated I started to think to myself: This person is a civil servant and here she is giving a moral speech and telling everyone present there "what" marriage entails in her opinión.

I could not help but think that NOB this would not be acceptable especially all the details and opinions. It was the first time I have seen this as most speakers after the signing are by a relative, not the lawyer from the Registrar Civil. No speech after that except the father of the bride said a of couple words.


(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Apr 2, 2014, 6:11 AM)


esperanza

Apr 3, 2014, 5:31 PM

Post #11 of 11 (3381 views)

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Re: [AlanMexicali] Married a Mexican outside Mexico? Welcome to the "legalization" process.

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The lawyer from Registro civil is actually a judge, but that is beside the point.

The judge at our wedding gave a speech in which he spoke about marriage and what it takes to make a good one. Of course they were his opinions, but very well taken. Other civil weddings we have attended have also included speeches by the judges performing them. I have never heard speeches by others, not from friends or relatives.

Our differing experiences are just that, differing. The judge is within his or her rights to make a speech.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com







 
 
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