An FMM for years does not make you a resident

An FMM for years does not make you a resident

Okay, this has come up across social media for the past few days and I just can’t bite my tongue any longer. For those who “live” here on FMMs, know now — hear it here — that INM is on to you. They have begun stopping people that they know are residing in the country on FMMs.

If you’re one of those foreigners “living” here that doesn’t even know what INM is, stop reading. That’s what I do when I come across social media posts where in a reply, someone will suggest “blah, blah, blah INM” and the initial poster will come back with “what is INM?”

That KILLS me and I have to stop reading before I start typing. Whewww…okay. Tangent over. Back to the original task at hand. You and your illegal FMM “residency”.

How does INM know you live here on FMMs?

Your passport. Again, this isn’t rocket science, but it seems to be for those who’ve been busted. The most recent was a woman who was pulled aside and had her phone and laptop searched. It didn’t take long for them to find what they were looking for. Evidence of her earning money in the country on an FMM. What happened?

She says she’s lived in this area for four years on 180-day FMMs, but after her recent pull-over, she’s been given a 30 day entrance. After that she can 1) return to her home country and apply properly for residency or 2) return to her home country and stay there.

My neighbor-acquaintance who has been “living” here for 7 years, recently got caught as well. Her big issue now is she drove her Canadian-plated vehicle here (years ago) and has been doing border runs to renew the TIP, but now she’s stuck in Canada while her car is stuck in Mexico.


It’s ignorant to assume that each and every time you enter the country you’re automatically granted a 180-day visa. That simply is not true. It’s even more ignorant to assume it’s okay to reside in a country as a permanent tourist. No where in the world is this okay.

While I will be the first to admit I couldn’t imagine having my Mexican roots pulled up from under me (especially at this point nearly 10 years later), I will also be the first to admit I’m all for INM cracking down on those FMMs “residents” who don’t lose sleep abusing the system.

There are rules. You need to follow them. Thousands of us have done it. I did my process back when an FM3 was issued (they don’t issue those anymore) that looked like an old army passport from the television show MASH. This is my first FM3.

Every 10 or 11 months I poured my heart and soul out onto paper in the way of forms and letters, paid my dues and stood in massive lines and waiting rooms over and over again to get the renewals complete. I did this for five freaking years. This was back in the day when INM only issued one year at time.

My point is I did the work. I followed the rules and now, live here with legal residency and work here legally without worry. It truly gets under my skin when I come across all these Belize / Border questions…which I have to say are MANY. It seems these days, there are more people “living” here on FMMs then there are living here with legal visas.

With that said, INM, I’m on your side! I get it.

So be warned. INM is cracking down. This is the third incident I’ve heard of this week alone. They are aware of the problem, aware of the foreigners entering and exiting the country and are dishing out a heavy ultimatum. Either qualify for the proper visa or go back where you came from…permanently.

Love, Roaming Canadian