Getting residency in Mexico as a retiree is becoming an attractive option for more and more people. Since the pandemic, Mexico has seen a rise in people choosing the country as their new home. They may be attracted by the lower cost of living, good weather, rich culture or easy lifestyle. Mexico is a welcoming country for senior citizens, and for US and Canadian retirees it is an obvious choice given its proximity. But how easy is it for a retiree to relocate long-term to Mexico? 

Getting Residency in Mexico as a Retiree

In general, Mexico is quite an easy place to reside in as a retiree. There is some bureaucracy of course. But it is straightforward. That said, there are lots of other things to consider when moving to a different country, such as health, support and language. 

Many retirees come for a longer stay before moving here to explore their options. They enter as tourists and visit a few locations to find the right one to settle down in. On the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Puerto Morelos are particularly popular. Whereas inland, San Miguel de Allende and Lake Pachuca are also common choices. 

The next thing to consider is housing. Will they rent or buy? What neighborhood should they choose? Pricing, amenities, accessibility, safety and community are all important factors. The Riviera Maya offers access points for most budgets and lifestyle preferences. There are many Facebook groups, including our own – Immigration to Mexico, how to do it …, with supportive members who share their experiences and tips. 

Immigration Procedures in Mexico

Since 2020, immigration procedures in Mexico have improved in terms of efficiency. However, one change to consider is that 180-day stays for tourists are no longer standard. Therefore, when coming to Mexico to research your relocation, consider this. Before, many retirees simply entered Mexico as tourists for six months at a time. That is no longer so easy as immigration often only approves shorter stays now. Therefore, if you are planning to move here, we advise that you seek temporary or permanent residency.

The residency procedure is not complex, nor is approval, as long as you meet the requirements and submit the right documents. The most common reasons for rejection are lack of financial support and incorrect paperwork.

Immediate permanent residency is possible for some retirees, provided they can prove economic solvency. Our article outlines this: Can Expats from the US and Canada Get a Permanent Resident Visa in Mexico Straightaway?

For others, the standard process is to get temporary residency first (for four years) and then change to permanent status. The process in both cases is similar, and you can learn more from this article: Mexican Residency – In a Nutshell

Usually, you will begin the procedure outside Mexico via a Mexican consulate. The process will be completed in Mexico once you relocate. If you do not speak Spanish, we advise working with an immigration consultant to help with paperwork and translation in Mexico. 

Upon entry to Mexico, usually one gets their resident’s card at their next appointment with immigration. We advise having patience and persevering with the paperwork involved. The reward will be worth it when you finally get residency and can retire in Mexico.

Other useful websites besides our blog are: Two Expats in Mexico and the Mexican immigration service:

For help with your residency application as a retiree, contact Adriana Vela at