Foreigners living in Mexico under resident immigration permits run the risk losing their status unless they go strictly by the book every time they exit and reenter the country, Florencia Vega Mendez, head of the Chapala branch of the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), is warning.
Incidents of local expats getting downgraded to 180-day tourist visas are piling up, with five cases reported just in the past week.
International travel that can be hectic and stressful under the best of circumstances tends to become more intense in busy holiday seasons. Understanding and complying with your INM obligations will save you from getting entangled in bureaucratic boondoggles, penalties, time delays, lost flights and added expenses that could turn an upcoming trip abroad into a Christmas nightmare.
Persons holding temporary (RT) or permanent (RP) resident visas should think of their wallet-size green cards as shields against snags at INM checkpoints. Revocation of residency most commonly stems from errors committed in processing the Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM), a standard form that must be submitted individually by all foreigners entering and exiting Mexico.