Residency in Mexico
When you vacation in Mexico, you are issued an FFM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) document at the point of entry into Mexico. The FMM document allows entry into Mexico for up to 180 days. What happens if you want to stay in Mexico for a more extended period or live there permanently?
Mexican Residency Visas
There are two types of residency visas in Mexico for those that want to remain in the country longer than 180 days. The first is called a Temporary Resident Visa (Residente Temporal), and the second is called a Permanent Resident Visa (Residente Permanente). Both will get a stamp (sticker) on your passport and a resident card, and both have minimum financial requirements that must be met.
Temporary Resident Visa
A temporary residency visa (Residente Temporal) is valid for one to four years. Typically, at the time of application, you will be granted a one-year visa, and then you can renew that visa for an additional three years. After a maximum of four years of continuous renewals, you either leave the country or may switch to permanent residency status.
The minimum financial requirements for a temporary residency visa are:
- income of 300 times the Mexican minimum wage (as of 2022, 172.87 Pesos per day) for the previous six months. As of 2022, the income requirement is 8,643.50 Pesos per month for the previous six months. This is the equivalent of $432 USD per month (@20 Pesos per USD) or $540 CDN per month (@16 Pesos per CDN).
- if using savings/investments, it’s 5,000 times the Mexican minimum wage in your bank accounts for the previous 12 months. As of 2022, the savings requirement is a balance in your account of 864,350 Pesos or more for the last 12 months. This is the equivalent of $43,218 USD (@20 Pesos per USD) or $54,022 CDN (@16 Pesos per CDN).
Permanent Residency Visa
A Mexican permanent resident visa (Residente Permanente) has no renewal requirement and is permanent. This visa has higher financial requirements than the temporary resident visa.
The minimum financial requirements for a permanent residency visa are:
- income of 500 times the Mexican minimum wage (as of 2022, 172.87 Pesos per day) for the previous six months. As at 2022, the income requirement is 14,406 pesos per month for the last six months. This is the equivalent of USD 720 per month (@20 Pesos per USD) or $900 CDN per month (@16 Pesos per CDN).
- if using savings/investments, it’s 20,000 times the Mexican minimum wage in your bank accounts for the previous 12 months. As of 2022, the savings requirement is a balance in your account of 3,457,400 Pesos or more for the last 12 months. This is the equivalent of $172,870 USD (@20 Pesos per USD) or $216,088 CDN (@16 Pesos per CDN).
To determine the specific amount for your currency, divide by the peso exchange rate when you’re applying. This amount can also vary depending on the consulate which you visit. Make sure you check out the consulate office website of the one you’re planning to visit to review specific financial requirements.
How to apply for the Mexican Resident Card
Visit the consulate website you plan on visiting to determine how they do the resident visa process. Some consulates take walk-ins, and some require an appointment by phone or online For those consulates that require an appointment, you must make an appointment for each person applying.
Steps to apply for your visa
- Contact a Mexican embassy to set up an appointment.
- Complete the Mexico Visa Application Form.
- Collect the required documents, which at a minimum consist of:
- Visa application form printed on one page, double-sided, adequately completed, and signed
- Valid passport or travel and identity document, original and a photocopy of the page containing the photograph and personal data.
- One photo measuring 3.9 cm x 3.1 cm, face uncovered, no eyeglasses, frontal view, color, and white background.
- Gather Financial requirement documents
- Apply and pay the visa fee. …
- Wait for the visa to be processed.
- Pick up your passport.
Finalizing Your Residency
This is very important as you DO NOT want to enter Mexico as a tourist, which cancels the visa you just paid
Once you are approved by the consulate and have your visa in your passport, you have six months to enter Mexico to finish getting your residency. Upon entering Mexico, you will get an FMM (“tourist visa”). When completing this form, write either RESIDENTE TEMPORAL or RESIDENTE PERMANENTE (whichever applies) across the top in big block letters and show the immigration agent the visa in your passport. The immigration agent will give you 30 days on the FMM (tourist visa) and mark the CANJE (“exchange”) box. You turn in this FMM with your initial application at the Mexican immigration office to finalize your residency.
Once you have entered the country and are where you plan to reside, you only have 30 days to finalize your residency. Failure to complete your residency within the 30-day time limit means your permanent or temporary visa is voided. You will have to start the immigration process outside of Mexico (and pay the fees again). Make an appointment at the INM offices before even arriving in México. Note that finalizing your residency can take up to one month, during which time you are not allowed to leave Mexico without written permission.
After you submit your application and it is accepted, you will be notified via email by the immigration office of the need to return to INM for fingerprinting and a photograph to get your card. You cannot leave Mexico while waiting for your residency card without specific written permission.
Leaving Mexico During Visa Processing
While it’s best if you plan not to leave Mexico while you wait for your residence card, sometimes it is necessary. Contact your local INM office for a “travel letter that permits you to go while your visa is processing. It is a one-time-only letter good for one exit and entry only, and you can be out of the country for no longer than 60 days.
With little organization and planning, getting a temporary or permanent resident visa is easy. There are also plenty of local resources in Cabo who can assist you with the process.