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Why & When You Need a FM- Document from Mexican Immigration

Mexican Flag wavingby Lic. J.E. Beaulne, LL.B.

Certain persons who only wanted to make money on the back of foreigners for years told lies regarding the necessity to have an  FM document, the truth regarding the reasons why and when one would need it:

One does not need an FM-3 or an FM-2 because one has real estate property in Mexico, there is no stipulations in the immigration law and by-law (regulations) which obliges a foreinger who has a real estate property in Mexico to have such immigration documents.  

The reason why banks require to see an FM-2 or 3 when a foreigner wants to open a bank account is because of a directive which comes from the Bank of Mexico, not from the law, I am told that one without such immigration status can open an account at BBVA...

 Driver´s licence, the traffic police dept. requires that a foreigner has one of the mentioned documents but that has nothing to do with owning real estate property or the immigration law.

Fideicomiso Traslativo de Dominio (FTD conract), one, who is a foreigner, does not need to have an FM-3 or FM-2 to acquire personal Rights in such legal vehicle one only needs to present his or her FMM which replace the old FMT (tourist card) which is the only document that one needs if he is not living in Mexico more than continuous 180 days. Please note that with the new FMM document one can work in Mexico without an FM-3 or FM-2 as long as he does not work more than 180 continuous days or take the job away from a national and one can form a partnership (wrongly called a Mexican corporation) without having an FM-3 or 2.

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Selling a real estate property does not require one to have an FM-3 or FM-2 but, if one has a dwelling under a Fideicomiso Traslativo de Dominio contract (FTD contract) and has an FM-2 one will be exempt completly or in part of the ISR tax commonly known by foreingers as Capital Gain Tax according to a new accord between the National  organization of Notario Publicos and SAT (IRS MEXICO) and if one does not have an FM-2 there are legal ways to reduce the tax.

In the event that one has an FM-3 and realises that he does not needs it one can cancel said document by either going to any immigration office and request the cancellation and a letter that will permit a legal exit of the country or wait until his return “home”, send it to us via courrier (DHL, FED-X or UPS) and we will request the cancellation and provide copy of the letter acknowledging the cancellation. Upon reentering Mexico one needs to fill out an FMM and ask for the period one will be visiting or the maximum which is 180 days.

If one has an FM-3 and wishes to change over to an FM-2 because he has “immigrated” to Mexico, in other words spends more time than out of Mexico one does not need to wait 5 years, an FM-2 is issued when it is proven to immigration that one lives here most of the time which translate that he has immigrated, one who has an FM-2 can be out of the country for no more than 2 years (in one or variable times) during the 5 year period; once the 5 year period is done one must apply for the “Inmigrado” status which translate in Landed immigrant or request his naturalization so as to hold the Mexican nationality.

More info can be obtained by contacting me at

Contact Information

Lic. J.E. Beaulne, LL.B.
Abogado / Avocat / Attorney at Law,
International real estate investor
Member of Lawyer's college in B.C.S. Firm´s Senior Partner, Notaria 8, Planta Alta, suite 4 & 6, Esq., Allende y Serdan, La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico. CP 23000. 24/7
From outside Mexico: 011 52 1 (612) 348-9793
In Mexico:045-(612) 348-9793 cell