US Citizen Marrying a Mexican in Mexico

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Posted by Renee on July 27, 1999

Ah–the adventure continues!

I received my permiso last week and the boda civil is planned for 8/7. For those of you who have seen my previous postings, this is an update. For new readers, this is one gringa’s encounters with Mexican bureaucracy–my fiancé is from Monterrey, we live in Nuevo Laredo, I am a daily border crosser because I work in Laredo, and my novio prefers to live/work/study in Mexico.

1) Be prepared for different information from every office you inquire at. The Mexican Consulate in Laredo gave us one set of instructions, the Office of Migracion in Nuevo Laredo another, and when we got to the Office of Migracion in Monterrey, we received yet another set of instructions. While there were some overlaps, there were also some important differences. My advice, once you’ve decided WHERE (which city/town) you’re going to get married, inquire at the Office of Migracion which has jurisdiction for that particular locale.

2) What the Office of Migracion did NOT tell us initially was that you MUST FIRST go to the Registro Civil who will be performing the boda civil and set a date (the date can be changed later if need be) and obtain the official certificate with sello (seal). This cost 50 pesos, the official certificate is blank but does have the official sello. You don’t need to have this filled out until you return it to the Registro Civil 3 or 4 days before the boda (it seems equivalent to a marriage license). More on this later.

3) The Office of Migracion gave us 2 forms to submit (the info MUST be typed in) as well as the list of the documents they needed from us. These forms will include the info about which registro civil will be performing the boda, where, and when, and other family-related info.

Posted by Renee on July 27, 1999

These forms and the following documents will be submitted to the Office of Migracion. Take your originals, but be prepared to let the Office of Migracion keep copies thereof (this means you need to bring the originals AND copies for submission!)

  • Passport (copy the entire thing)
  • FMT (turista visa)
  • the 2 forms from the Office of Migracion
  • a letter, signed by both parties, saying you are contracting the marriage of your own free will and that there are no impediments to the marriage (my fiancé’s sister is a lawyer–she called a colleague and checked on the appropriate wording and form for this letter, which we then typed up–por supuesto–en español)
  • an official copy of my fiancé’s birth certificate (acta de nacimiento)–NOTE–for this office, the date of the acta is not crucial; however, the Registro Civil requires the Acta be dated no more than 6 months prior to the boda.
  • My birth certificate, and official translation into Spanish (which we had done at City College of Nuevo Laredo), AND an apostille (also translated) from the state which issued the certificate (apostille is an official document from the State’s Sec’y of State certifying the birth certificate is true–varies in cost–in CO it’s $2; in TX it’s $10)

Posted by Renee on July 27, 1999

Any other official document (i.e., divorce decree/translation and apostille), 3 blank forms, purchased at a papeleria–Form #5 de Hacienda (it is like a blank receipt form)

Submit all this to the Office of Migracion–be prepared to return in a week to PAY the fee (in the case of Monterrey, the fee for a permiso is 1522 pesos). The office of migracion gives you one of the Form #5 de Hacienda, which you take to any bank, pay the fee, and get the form stamped. (This I had to leave to my fiancé’s mom, because I had to be back in Los Dos Laredos–in order for her to be my official representative, we had to write a letter to that effect, and have it signed by both of us and 2 witnesses–thank goodness for the sisters!–with the letter, one also has to make a copy of the “electoral card” (voter registration in Mexico) of each of the witnesses to bring with the letter).

Return a week later to pick up the permiso (assuming it has been approved). Gloria picked it up on the 19th, it was dated the 14th (recall, Gloria had submitted the payment on the 12th), and the boda civil is truly on for the 7th of August!

On the 3rd or 4th of August, my fiancé is going to go to Monterrey, taking his Acta de Nacimiento, my birth certificate (and apostille and translations–all copied), the permiso (a simple one page document), and results of our blood tests (which can be done in either locale–but the Registro informed us NOT to take them before August 1!)–which here in Nuevo Laredo will cost appx. 350 pesos, the certificate con sello (now including all typed information) originally obtained from the Registro Civil AND 1000 pesos (would’ve been cheaper if we’d had the boda at the Office–but the Registro #2 in San Nicolas de los Garza is closed Sat. so the boda will be at the family’s house). Bus fare to Monterrey (the cheap route, via Sabinas Hidalgo–costs 94 pesos; the directo is 124 pesos). Cost breakdown thus far (just the big stuff; in pesos):

1360 – translations
1522 – fee for permiso
50 – to set date for boda
1000 – for boda civil

–comes to 3932 thus far (does not include fees for copies, apostilles, new acta de nacimiento, bus fares, nor blood tests) After the 7th, I’ll conclude this wonderful and crazy adventure by posting an account of the boda civil. (Not the end by all means! after the boda we have 30 days to register my change of status with migracion–this time in Nuevo Laredo!)


Posted by Renee on August 11, 1999

Greetings to all–

this is the follow up to my postings about my adventures as a norteamericana tying the knot (in Mexico) with my novio (now marido!), who is a Mexican national from Monterrey. The boda civil went so quickly, it was rather anti-climatic, given all the other activities involved in obtaining el permiso.

Oddly enough, things went as planned with no additional “surprises” encountered. After work, Aug 2, we went to a laboratorio (in Nuevo Laredo) and had the “examen prenupcial” done (blood tests). The clinica we used charged 310 pesos for the tests; the results were available the next morning (the tests are for blood type/RH factor, gonorrhea, and AIDS). (BTW, the other labs we’d asked were charging 350 and more for the 2 exams; however, if we’d had them done at the university in Monterrey, I believe they are less than 100 for both). Vicente headed on to Monterrey on the 4th, submitted all the documents (and the 1000 pesos) at the Registro Civil where we had obtained our “certificado” back on 7/5. I headed down after work on Friday, 8/6. Vicente and his family had taken care of most of the details (the buffet–antojitos tipicales de Mexico–I’ve got their card if anyone in the Monterrey area ever wants them to cater–I was impressed at the quality and service and price), the pastel, cerveza (en barril), etc.

The juzgada was a stylish young woman (quite de moda) who never once pronounced my name correctly (I can forgive trouble with my appellido, but with “Renee?”–ah well). The legal questions she zipped through rapidly. However, she gave a very dramatic delivery of the speech that is part of the ceremony (although I never could relocate my copy of the text, a colleague here at the library–a Zacatecan, thinks he has a copy). After the few “si’s,” and 5 signatures (w/ 5 right thumbprints) by each of us, and the signatures of the witnesses (and yes, it was acceptable for us to have Vicente’s siblings serve as witnesses–3 sisters and a brother), it was over and time for the party.

We now have to submit a copy of our “acta de matrimonio” at the Office of Migracion where I filed for the permiso. However! Because we are living in Nuevo Laredo, we’ll also be checking with the Migracion here to make the appropriate follow-through on changing my FMT (probably to an FM3).

I’ll keep updating as I encounter more adventures. In retrospect, it really was not too difficult–but I learned that one really needs to seek information directly from the offices involved, and keep asking, “algo mas?” (as, is there anything else I should know about or do?) Vicente and I are both glad it’s now a done deal. 🙂

Published or Updated on: March 1, 1999
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