The vibrant life and culture in Mexico provide a fantastic environment in which to enjoy a very social life, warm climate, beautiful natural landscape, and low cost of living. If you’re looking for a country that provides an easy route to temporary and permanent residency, Mexico could be the perfect option for you. Our guide will look at how to obtain permanent residency in Mexico, including the requirements, processing time, and acquiring citizenship.

Mexico is an extremely popular option among retirees. In fact, the country is considered one of the best countries for Americans to retire to. The country provides high-quality medical care at a relatively low cost, exciting tourist sites such as ancient ruins (including Monte Alban Pyramid – one of Mexico’s most dramatic ancient sites) and dazzling beaches, and delicious local cuisine. 

Check out our articles: Top 10 Countries to Retire Abroad for Americans in 2024and Best Places to Retire in the World – All You Need to Know!

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Another attractive aspect of Mexico is that it offers almost immediate access to a permanent residence permit, provided you can demonstrate a relatively modest income or assets. Furthermore, there is no minimum stay requirement to maintain your residency status. 

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then keep reading to learn more.

Mexico Permanent Residence Permit

If you intend to move to Mexico for longer than six months, depending on the length and purpose of your stay, you will require a Resident Visa and Resident Card. However, you will need a Mexican Permanent Residence Card if you intend to move to Mexico permanently.

Benefits of the Mexico Permanent Resident Card

permanent-residency-mexico-benefits Mexico’s Permanent Residence Card (Visa de Residencia Permanente) is popular among retirees, as it is issued after obtaining a Mexico Retirement Visa and moving to Mexico. This card affords you similar rights to that of a Mexican citizen but without the right to vote.

As a Mexican Permanent Resident Card holder, you can:

  • Work without the need for a work permit
  • Apply for free health insurance
  • Enter and leave Mexico as many times as you like
  • Travel to 159 destinations visa-free, including the Schengen Area

Another great benefit of this card is that, as mentioned above, your physical presence is not required to maintain your residency status, and you only have to apply once. It is valid indefinitely, meaning you never need to renew it!

Check out Mexico’s ranking on our Global Passport Index and Enhanced Mobility Index.

 

How do you become a Mexican resident?

If you fulfill any of the following conditions, you are eligible to become a Mexican resident:

  1. You have close family relations in Mexico
  2. You have found a job in Mexico
  3. You will be studying at a Mexican educational institution
  4. You intend to retire in Mexico
  5. You have amassed a minimum of four years of temporary residence and therefore qualify for permanent residence

As a foreign citizen, you will receive temporary residence in Mexico (and a Temporary Residence Card) if you satisfy one of the first three conditions –  you have found employment, will be studying, or are joining a family member who is also a temporary resident in Mexico.

Your Temporary Residence Card is valid for one year initially and can then be renewed for a maximum of four years. Following four years, you become eligible to apply for permanent residence and a Mexican Permanent Residence Card.

In some cases, you may be eligible for permanent residence from the start without having to go through temporary residence first.

Legal residency program in Mexico

Another route to Mexican residency is through economic solvency – satisfying certain financial criteria in order to qualify for a legal residency permit. These criteria vary depending on whether you apply for a temporary or permanent residency permit.

To qualify for legal residency, you must satisfy any of the following criteria:

Proven monthly income based on the Unidad de Medida y Actualización (UMA)

  • $1,415 (UMA) per month for temporary residence
  • $2,385 (UMA) per month for permanent residence
  • $472(UMA)  proof of income per month per dependent, including your spouse and children under 18

Proven savings (cash or investments)

  • $23,584 (UMA) for temporary residence
  • $94,337 (UMA) for permanent residence
  • $472 (UMA) proof of income per month per dependent, including your spouse and children under 18

As the applicant, you must demonstrate a minimum monthly balance over the last year (12 months).

Real estate investment (temporary residency permit only)

  • $188,674 investment without debt, charges, or mortgage attached to it
  • $472 (UMA) proof of income per month per dependent, including your spouse and children under 18

Capital investment

  • $100,000 investment into a private Mexican-owned company or a company/companies listed on Mexico’s stock exchange
  • $472 (UMA) proof of income per month per dependent, including your spouse and children under 18

Of course, your application fee will vary depending on the type of visa you apply for.

Who is eligible for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card?

If you satisfy one of the following conditions, you are eligible for a Mexican Permanent Resident Card:

  • You are retired and intend to live permanently in Mexico without employment in or income from Mexico (also called the Mexico Retirement Visa)
  • You have close family relations in Mexico in one of the following ways:
    • You are a child or adolescent with a parent who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    • You are a child or adolescent with a step-parent who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    • You are the sibling of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    • You have a child who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
  • You have lived in Mexico as a temporary resident with a Temporary Resident Card for a minimum of four years.
  • You have lived in Mexico as a temporary resident for a minimum of two years, with a Temporary Resident Card issued on the grounds of marriage to a Mexican citizen or permanent resident. 

What is the duration of a Mexican Permanent Resident Card?

A Mexican Permanent Resident Card is valid indefinitely, meaning it has no expiration date. The advantage of this, as mentioned previously, is that your card does not need to be renewed after it has been issued, unlike the Temporary Resident Card.

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How to apply for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card?

When applying for a Permanent Resident Visa, you must apply at a Mexican Embassy in your home country (depending on the purpose of your travel). Upon your arrival in Mexico, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM)).

Converting the Permanent Resident Visa into a Mexican permanent resident card

As stated above, you must apply to convert your Permanent Resident Visa into a Permanent Resident Card in Mexico. You must make this application within six months of your arrival in the country. This card will then allow you to live long-term in Mexico.

Changing a temporary residence card into a permanent residence card

If you live in Mexico on a Temporary Resident Card, you will need to apply to change it to a Permanent Resident card at the INM at least 30 days prior to its expiration. You can make this application only if you have resided in Mexico as a temporary resident for a minimum of four years.

Mexican Permanent Resident Card Processing Time

It takes between 10 and 15 working days for a Mexican Permanent Resident Visa application to be processed. This period starts from the day you submit your completed documentation at the INM.

Mexican Permanent Resident Visa and Card Fees

The visa costs about $36, but this cost can vary slightly depending on the country from which you apply. To pay the fees, some embassies will require you to pay in cash, while others may require you to make a bank transfer.

When you apply for your Permanent Resident Card at the INM, you will be required to pay a fee of around $250 or 5,000 Mexican Pesos.

Requirements for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card

mexican-residency-requirements There are several documents required to make your application for a Permanent Resident Card, including:

  • Passport with photocopies of the first page, the last page, and any visas and stamps you have received
  • Completed and signed Mexico Visa Application Form
  • Passport-size picture (white background and taken within a maximum of six months prior to your application)
  • Visa fee payment
  • Proof of booked flight ticket
  • Additional documents related to your purpose of travel (as outlined in the following section)

 

Requirements for the Mexican Permanent Resident Visa for Family Unity

If applying for Mexico permanent residency on the basis of family reunion, the cases of which are outlined below, you will be required to present the following documents:

  1. As a parent of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    1. Your child’s birth certificate stating your name (original and photocopy)
  2. As the child of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    1. Your birth certificate (original and photocopy)
  3. As the sibling of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    1. Both your and your sibling’s birth certificates (original and photocopy)
  4. As the child of the spouse or common-law partner of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident
    1. Proof of your parent’s marriage or common-law union (marriage certificate or equivalent)
    2. Your birth certificate
  5. If your family member has a Mexican Permanent Resident Card
    1. Their valid Permanent Resident Card (original and photocopy)
  6. Proof your family member can support you during your stay
    1. Bank statements or investment receipts (original and photocopy)
    2. Proof your family member has an income through employment or investments

All official documents submitted – birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) must be legalized by an Apostille or the Mexican Embassy prior to your application. The documents you submit must be in English or Spanish and will need to be translated. In this case, you will need to submit both the original documents and translated versions. 

Important note: This list of requirements is only a guideline and is not exhaustive. The Mexican Embassy at which you apply may request additional documents as they see fit.

What Happens if you lose or damage your Mexican resident card?

If you lose or damage your Mexican Resident Card, you will need to apply for a replacement at your local immigration office. The following documents will be required:

  • Passport (original and copy)
  • Residence card replacement fee
  • Three pictures, two front-facing and one showing your left side profile
  • Form to request immigration procedure stay
  • For a damaged card, submit the Tourist Card and your entrance visa with your residence card
  • For a stolen or lost card, submit the Tourist Card and your entrance visa
  • Any additional documents, as requested by the immigration office

If you are abroad when your Resident Card is damaged, stolen, or lost, you will need to visit a Mexican Embassy to request a replacement card.

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As you can see, becoming a Mexico permanent residency offers a number of advantages. Coupled with its rich culture, beautiful landscape, and straightforward path to residency and citizenship, Mexico is an ideal relocation destination for many.

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help

Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for permanent residency, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market

Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain Mexican permanent residency. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mexico Permanent Residency

1. How do I get legal residence in Mexico?

You must apply for a Permanent Resident Visa at your nearest Mexican Embassy to obtain legal residence in Mexico. You can make your application based on family reunion or economic solvency.

2. How much money do you need to get permanent residency in Mexico?

The financial requirement in order to obtain permanent residency in Mexico will depend on the basis upon which you make your application.

3. What are the different types of Mexican residency programs?

Mexico offers two residency programs, temporary residence and permanent residence.

4. Can a US citizen live permanently in Mexico?

As an American citizen, you can remain in Mexico for up to 180 days (six months) with a visitor’s visa. If you want to live permanently in Mexico, you must apply for a Permanent Resident Permit.

5. What are the benefits of being a permanent resident in Mexico?

Being a permanent resident in Mexico has several benefits, including a lower cost of living, the ability to hold dual citizenship, a warm climate, work without the need for a work permit, free health insurance, and more.