FMM= tourist visa for max of 180 days. You apply for a TVIP to temporary import your US or Canadian plated vehicle into Mexico.
FM3= temporary resident visa for 1 year and renewable > FM3's have been discontinued. Before, you apply for a TVIP as above and renew your TVIP at the border every 6 months.
FM2= temporary resident visa for 1 year and renewable with different features than FM3 > FM2's have been discontinued. You drive a Mexican plated vehicle with a FM-2.
FM2 and FM3 are no more. FM2 and FM3 visas are now referred to as Temporal Residente visas. Those who had these visas before are grandfathered under the old law. New visa applicants fall under new income requirement rules. If you have had a FM3 with prorogga 3 or 4 on the back of the card, then you are suppose to apply for permanent resident status. If your FM2 or FM3 has expired, you have to leave Mexico within 30 days and apply for a new visa in a Mexican consulate in the US or Canada for example. Temporal Residente visa holders can drive foreign plated vehicles in Mexico on a TVIP but must take the vehicle to the border every 6 months to renew the TVIP or obtain a letter from Aduana stating that the vehicle permit is good as long as the Temporal Visa is in effect, then you are supposed to take the vehicle to the border annually to renew the TVIP to coincide with your Temporal Visa renewal dates.
The other option is Permanente Residente. Permanent visa holders do not renew annually,. You can not import on a TVIP your Canadian or US plated car. You are required to either nationalize your US or Canadian vehicle or drive a Mexican plated vehicle. You've got 30 days to make the change.
Your car can and most likely will be impounded if you have no TVIP and you are carrying either a FMM or temporal residente status visa.
All Immigration laws changed as of November 12, 2012. Each state in Mexico has some leeway in the application of the new laws but basically it is as above. You mention you are coming to Chapala, and this is the way it is in Chapala.
You can own property with any of the above visas, but to sell property and avoid huge tax penalties, then you must have the equivalent of the temporal or permanente visas. Something to think about now rather than later.
"Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the face.".....Mike Tyson
Kiko screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 04:14 AM