Baja Tips
  • Latest Tip
  • Cellular coverage
  • Customs on the road
  • DSS TV south of Cataviña
  • General & History
  • Immigration, Tourist Cards, FM3 (Inmigrante-Rentista)
  • Internet
  • Pemex & Propane
  • Road conditions
  • Tipping, dont overtip!
  • Travel Tips

  •        Make sure you watch the military personal while  they are checking your suitcases and tool boxes, get out, lock the doors, then only open one door at the time!!!.

       Tourist Cards: are required for anyone who wants to stay longer than 72 hours in Mexico.
    As of Jan. 1st 2000 you will be asked to present a valid passport to obtain the T-card.
    They are valid for up to 6 months and cost 170 pesos. They may be obtained at the Border, the Guerrero Negro checkpoint, Mexican Embassies and Consulates. They must be stamped while you are in Mexico at an authorized immigration office, you have several days to pay the fee at a Banamex or some other bank.

     1) There now is a 24 hr Bank at the San Ysidro/Tijuana crossing, that is open 24 hrs for paying the Tourist card fee,  Banco Bilboa Vizcaya, located at the first bay (most right) of the 2nd inspection.

    At the time of this writing no tourist cards are asked for if you go for a short visit anywehre in Baja Norte (Tj, San Felipe, Ensenada, San Quintin or LA Bay etc.)

    The La Paz Immigration office informed me that in Baja Sur they will ask for the passport but if you have none you will not be send back if you have a birth certificate and a valid PHOTO ID, but ask you to have one next time.

    Guerrero Negro Check Point

    Santa Rosalia Immigration now has an Sub Office in the fruit inspection building in Guerrero Negro. The office is open 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm,  to obtain a Tourist Card; you have to have proof of recent entry (3 days or less) in to Mexico, any store receipt from the states or the ticked from the Toll road to Ensenada will do, also you have to have a Passport or Birth certificate witch will be stamped .

    You must have a Tourist Card or a FM3 (FM3 if you signed a lease of any kind) to enter, visit or reside in Baja Sur, you are in violation if not having a validated tourist card or visa , if you can not make it to G.N. from 8 am to 8 pm you better get one in Tijuana or Ensenada. 

        Immigration, FM3 & FM-VC etc.

    FM-3: General Information and Requirements
    for residency status as Retired income-holder  (Inmigrante-Rentista) The present immigration law of Mexico has established a migratory classification for  “Inmigrante Rentista” (Immigrant - Retired) for foreigners who want to live in retirement in Mexico. Subsisting on funds or pensions brought from abroad, on interest derived from this funds, or any other permanent income derived from Mexican fixed interested-bearing securities. Such persons are not permitted, however, to engage in any remunerative activities. A foreigner may live in Mexico under this status for a provisional period of five years, renewable every year, after which he may apply for a FM2 permanent resident status. 
    REQUIREMENTS to apply for an FM3  at the Mexican Consulate!
    (Different and additional requirements may apply at the Immigration Office in Mexico)

        1. LETTER OF APPLICATION: giving name, place and date of birth, sex, marital status, occupation and final destination. 
        2. PROOF OF PERMANENT INCOME: Applicant must establish trough documentary evidence, copies of your last 6 bank staments showing a average balance of at least $ 12,000 or proof of a monthly income of $1,500.00 us dlls. or equivalent in Mexican currency. If the prospective immigrant applies also for the admission of members of his immediate family, the minimum income required will be $500.00 per month for each family member 15 years of age or older.

        The income required may consist of rents, pensions or income from interest or cash deposits in banking institutions, which can be proved with a notarized letter from a bank or government office from where the applicant receives his income, to the effect that instructions have been given for the proper transfer of funds to him in Mexico, in the minimum required amounts. If applicant’s income derives from a Mexican bank or investment,  written proof must be presented. 
        3. A VALID PASSPORT: at least one year remaining, plus a copy of your passport and a green card and a copy is also required if you are not a US Citizen.
        4. 2 passport size photographs front view. 
        5. $132.00 US dlls cash. 

        Applicants must submit their paperwork in person. It takes approximately 1 to 2 working days to issue the F.M.3 

        FM-3 "Lucrativo", WITH PERMISSION TO WORK: is a special permit issued to authorize foreignors to legally work in the country of Mexico. They are obtained in Mexico and it is suggested that you contact the department of immigration for the current requirements. 

    Read me    If you have an FM3 issued in the US    Read me

    you have to get it stamped like the tourist Card at entry on page 3 within 90 days of issue, and in addition to it, within 30 days from your entry date on page 3 you have to register it  and get it stamped on page 6 in the district where you live or use it!! At this time or at the time of renewal, the office where you register will like to start a file on you since all your paper work was done and is at the consulate. (You need translated Documents and photos 4cm x 4cm, b&w, 3 front views, 2 right profiles, taken in a studio no instant ones are aceptable, no glasses, no makeup, no jewelery, no beards, and the hair must be pulled back, expect to pay 100-300 pesos to have them done. The cheapest way to get translations is, look close to your Consulate for a translating Notary Public, have him translate and notarize your documents, cost  ca. $20,  and then go to the Consulate and have them legalized at the entrance desk, most times this is a free consulate service.) Fines have been from $400 to $500 US at the time when the person got checked or wants to renew it if your FM3 does not have the required stamping on pages 3 & 6.

    New 30 day Visa
    There is a new Visa now, an FM-VC it is for technicians to do warranty repairs or people to talk and / or represent business, take orders without money changing hands, before you had to have a FM3 lucrativo (work permit). It is free, but you have to apply for in spanish writing, stating exactly what you are attending to do and why, with a translated certified copy of the US business permit, and / or the letter from the company you representing  and your Passport. In the south they check US plate cars with LOGOS!!
     This  is since January 1998.
    Baja Sur recently has been divided into several Immigrations regions
    a new one is now in Loreto. Senior Joventin Hernandez, formerly Sub Delegado, in charge of the Santa Rosalia Office is now Delegado for the Cabo San Lucas region. I am told, we than can expect to have a much better and faster service for FM3s in Sta Rosalia since the new Sub Delegado can issue and a proof them without getting approval first from La Paz. 
    La Paz still will be the overseeing Office for the State of Baja Sur.
    FM3's new and renewals out of Santa Rosalia
    in short: New, best in the US, Renewals at the local Immig. office 
    Price: ca $60US for residental, $100US for Business, no change so far. 

    * Each year it is a different ballgame. The rules come from Mexico and are changed very often. It is defenative the best & most easy way to get your first FM3 in the states, if you need any special papers they are easy to get and certification of documents cost nothing or very little at the Consul or a nearby translating Notary, but thereafter the renewal  has to be done at the local Office. Be shure to save a certified copy of all your documents, you may need them at the first renewal which has to be done in Mexico. Also once you started a paperwork, there is no way to start a new one in another office .