By Angel Marin Díaz
Atención welcomes Angel Marin Díaz to the weekly Legal column. Mr. Díaz has 20 years’ experience as President and CEO of Inmtec Legal Services. Inmtec offices in Mexico include San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City, with offices currently under construction in Querétaro.
Welcome to the biweekly “Q&A with Angel.” I will answer your questions every other week with pleasure; they do not necessarily have to be on the previous week’s topic.
Q: Bill from Seattle, Washington
I have my FMM Tourist Visa and it doesn’t expire until September 2020. When should I get my Humanitarian Visa?
A: Hi, Bill. The time to start the online process could be now. This would create your personal reference folio number that you would take into the INM (immigration) offices in hard copy on the day of the expiration. We cannot solicit the Humanitarian Visa until the FMM Tourist Visa is expiring or has expired. But we can do the homework part now.
Q: Susan from Santa Fe, New Mexico
I want an extension for my FMM Tourist Visa. I don’t need a Humanitarian Visa. How do I get this?
A: Hello, Susan. There are no longer “extensions” to the FMM Tourist Visa—that is a thing of the past. To remain in the country legally without having to leave and return, the clear path is now the “Humanitarian Visa.” Essentially, you will achieve the same goal with a visa by another name.
Q: Bobbie from New York City
Hi, Angel. What’s the price for the Humanitarian Visa, and how long does it allow me to stay?
A: The Mexican government, ever cognizant of the financial hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, has waived all costs for the procurement of the Humanitarian Visa in an effort to promote legal existence while in the country and support travel protocols. The visa allows you to remain an additional 180 days from the date of issuance by the INM (immigration) offices.
Q: Robert from Dallas, Texas
Angel, I am retired and don’t need to work and don’t want to work. Is the Humanitarian Visa what I need to stay here legally, as I am older and at higher risk and meaning I don’t want to travel?
A: Hi, Robert. Because the Mexican government, with great foresight, recognized early on that some folks from the foreign community who are stranded here due to COVID-19 travel restriction protocols might need to supplement their income to sustain themselves, included a provision for all bearers of the Humanitarian Visa the right to legally work; the government did not and do not require anyone to do so. Also, by processing your Humanitarian Visa locally, you can follow the appropriate safety protocols as well as NOT have to leave the country.
Thank you all for your questions this week. For more specific questions or information on the matter or other subjects, please contact Angel Marin Díaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.