The Playa Del Carmen Immigration Office
The Immigration Office in Playa Del Carmen every day is crowded with lots of new people coming to live in Mexico, to be honest is one of the busiest offices in the southeast of Mexico. The immigration office has been particularly busy since they are short staffed. The new airport in Tulum has taken some people to work there in immigration, leaving a deficit in the Playa Del Carmen office.
Another one of the reasons this office is also very busy is especially since the government is offering a new way to apply for a residency called regularization, where you can get a temporary residency for 4 years directly, but you don’t need to leave the country. Basically, you need to cover 2 rules, that you have been in Mexico at least once between 2015-2022 and that your actual stamp in your passport expires and just after that we can book an appointment to get the residency.
Below are all the tips and information to make your visit to immigration a little easier.
Where is the immigration office in Playa Del Carmen?
The immigration office in Playa Del Carmen has moved to a new location. It is on Constituyentes Avenue and 95th Avenue. It sits on the corner on the south side of Constituyentes Avenue. On google maps it is still using a photo of the preexisting business photo. The building now has white tents out front that serve as a waiting area.
Parking is fairly easy on the street around the immigration office. This area does not have metered parking.
Tips for people going to the Immigration Office
If you are reading this, you must be looking to become a new resident of the area. For most, it is required you start the process in your home country. If you have started the procedure in your home country, you have 30 days since you arrive to start the process.
- We recommend you make an appointment as soon as you arrive.
- Photos for your visas and paperwork are now done at Immigration. So, no more looking for a photographer nearby.
- Payments, credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Tip: It is recommended to pay with card in the office since there is less chance of mistakes. No cash is accepted in the Immigration Office. If you cannot pay with a card, you can print from online your payment information and pay at a bank before your appointment. Note: All names on your payment must match your name fully. If you card has another name, you must present the card holder in order to sign and approve payment.
Tips for appointments at the Playa Del Carmen Immigration Office
- When you have your scheduled appointment, you should be prepared with all paperwork and copies. It is best to arrive 20 minutes before your appointment.
- If you are called for your appointment and you are missing a paper, you will be rescheduled.
- The appointment will take one hour or less with the agent. The longest wait is when you get to the second step for fingerprints and photo for your visa. This appointment can take in total 3-5 hours. The last step on this day is doing the biometrics. After this, they will call you back about 20 minutes later and give you your new residential card. Most processes are done the same day unless they are short staffed, or the system is down.
What hours is the Immigration Office in Playa Del Carmen open?
Immigration is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 2:30pm. This does not mean that you can go anytime to get what you need. There are better times for different services at the Immigration Office. See below.
Tips for the best time to visit the Immigration Office in Playa Del Carmen
- If you want to book an appointment to start your process? Go to the Immigration Office around 8:00am-10:00am maximum, this is just to ask for an appointment.
- If you need to get some information, go between 9:00am-1:00pm
- Avoid coming Thursday because that’s the day they do the humanitarian program and it’s crazy busy the office.
- All the processes are under appointments in this office, they don’t have a walk-in appointment any longer. Appointments right now are within 3 weeks after you ask one.
The good thing about all this, is that they are very well organized, and everything is ready in the same day. Unless they are crazy busy then you will need to come back next day to finish it.
Who needs to go to the Immigration office?
All procedures with immigration are done in person. Meaning, you cannot do things online only.
- If you have applied for residency in your home country, you have 30 days to start your process in Mexico. We recommend making an appointment as soon as you arrive.
- If you have residency and need to renew or change to permanent visa. To renew you need to start 30 days before the expiration date.
- Curp and RFC. The Curp number is a unique number necessary for different processes with banks and government departments. Curp comes automatically with your residency, and you can find this online. The RFC is not part of immigration. This is a tax number for SAT. You need to request this at the Hacienda office. This can take months to get an appointment. The RFC number is needed to open bank accounts, get a car in your name, sell your property and needed if you want to work.
What areas does the Playa Del Carmen Immigration office cover?
Since there are several immigration offices, the Playa Del Carmen Immigration Office is for people living in Tulum to Puerto Morelos. Puerto Morelos residents has been an independent city and residents can choose between Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. If you have moved out of the area of the Riviera Maya, you need to go to the immigration office that serves that area. For example: there is an immigration office in Valladolid and Merida.
Common mistakes made at the Immigration Office
Procedures for immigration are possible for people to do themselves if you speak some Spanish and do some research before your visit. Here are some of the mistakes people make that can end up costing you time or money or both.
- Paying the wrong fees for services. Sometimes even Immigration will process the payment even though it is not the correct payment. Getting refunds is a slow and complex procedure. Take it from me, I gave up on getting a refund because it was a lot of paperwork and procedures.
- Not putting your full name on documents. This is a common mistake because middle names are not always used in other countries or people are not used to signing their full name.
- Filling in forms wrong.
- Signing in the wrong color. It should be in blue ink.
- People don’t bring all papers needed. Most people after dealing with immigration learn to make copies of everything and be prepared with multiple copies. Copies also need to be readable.
- Booking an appointment after your expiration date.
Will you need to speak Spanish at immigration?
The immigration agents are friendly most of the time and just some of them speak a little bit of English. We recommend if you can afford a facilitator hire one, the cost is around 5000 pesos for the fees of a facilitator.
What do Facilitators do?
Many people are intimidated by the whole process and choose to work with a facilitator (some use the term immigration lawyer, but this technically is not correct). Facilitators make everything go smoothly with none of the mistakes above. Some of the procedures and paperwork can be handles without you, hence saving some time. However, you still need to go to the Playa Del Carmen Immigration office for signatures, biometrics, payments, and picking up your physical card.
We would estimate that 20-35% of people use a facilitator, and most will say it was money well spent. One of the most recommended immigration facilitators is Milly Arceo. Lic. Milly Herrera Arceo, better known as Milly Arceo, has been working in the Playa Del Carmen area for over a decade now. Many of the new residents and people changing status at immigration use her to facilitate the process and make sure everything goes well. For more information about Milly Arceo, you can find our article here about here. Below is also her email to make it convenient to contact her about immigration services.
If you would like to contact Milly Arceo you can visit her website here: http://www.legallyinmexico.com/eng/