We’ve published a lot of articles on this site about the different types of Mexican residency. However, many people have been asking for all the information condensed. So here it is.
If intending to stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days, it is advisable to apply for residency. There are two types of residency: permanent and temporary. Depending on your motives for moving to Mexico and circumstances, only one might be applicable to you.
Both procedures will be inititated by making an appointment at a Mexican consulate. The consulate will be in your home country, or another convenient location (outside Mexico). If you’re already in Mexico when applying, you will have to exit Mexico to attend appointment at the Mexican consulate of your choice. After your consulate appointment and upon (re-)entering Mexico, you will also attend several appointments at local immigration offices (INM). Originals and copies of identification, certificates or statements proving status and connections depending on the visa type, financial situation, fee payment, translations of documents will be required. On the Riviera Maya, the process can take several months and it is helpful to have an understanding of Spanish when applying as immigration staff may not speak your language. Read more about both types here: Pros and Cons of Temporary and Permanent Residency in Mexico
NOTE: The minimum wage in Mexico in 2020 is $123.22 Mexican pesos per day.
Let’s start with temporary residency.
Temporary residence is granted for one year upon first application, and can be renewed for up to the three years. After four years of temporary residency you can apply for permanent residency – or sooner for family unity.
Temporary residency is possible via various routes.
Non-Lucrative – Financially Solvent
Applicants must prove sufficient monthly income or savings/investments to cover living expenses in Mexico. Options are:
1. Proof of monthly pension, salary or monthly investment income that you have received for the last 6 months. Proof via pay stubs or financial statements showing at least 300 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
2. Proof of financial stability via statements of investments, savings or checking accounts from the preceding 12 months. You are required to prove a monthly balance of approximately 5000 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
Let’s say you receive a job offer you want to accept. The employer first submits various company documents proving its legal existence, that taxes are paid, and the identity of the representative.
The INM initially issues you one year of temporary residency with permission to work. Occasionally, a three-year visa is offered upon renewal after the first year.
Read our article here: How to Obtain a Mexican Work Visa
If you own a business in Mexico, you also require permission to work.
First, your company needs to register for Constancia de Empleador at the INM, allowing it, as a company, to hire foreigners.
Additionally, you will need to prove that your business has been operating and paying taxes for a minimum of three months. Only then can a Mexican business offer employment to a foreigner, even to the owner.
If your spouse or partner already has Mexican citizenship or residency, you can apply for temporary residency through them with the family union visa. You can apply from a consulate before entering Mexico, or enter as a tourist and then apply. In this latter case you won’t have to leave Mexico for a consulate appointment as with other visas, and proof of financial solvency is not required for the applicant spouse. (If both partners are applying from outside Mexico at the same time, then proof of financial solvency will be required.)
In addition to the usual paperwork, you must submit an apostilled (or legalized) marriage certificate. A government-appointed translator (Perito Traductor) in Mexico must translate the legalized marriage certificate into Spanish.
Check out this blog post for more information: What to Do if a Spouse Does Not Fulfil Financial Requirements at the Mexican Consulate.
Students may apply for temporary residency for the purposes of their studies.
Financial solvency, parental economical support (for applicants under 25) or a scholarship must be proven via letters of confirmation from the parents/organisations. The scholarship or financial resources must have a value of at least 100 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage in the form of salary or monthly investment for the previous three months.
You can apply for temporary residency if you own property in Mexico with a value of at least 40,000 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
You can apply for temporary residency if you own shares in a Mexican corporation or own property in Mexico via a foreign corporation with a value of at least 40,000 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
This could be a volunteering or religious entity, for example. The organization or the applicant must prove financial stability via statements of investments, savings or checking accounts from the preceding 12 months. They are required to prove a monthly balance of approximately 5000 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
Individuals can apply for a permanent resident visa straightaway. However, it often depends on the consulate they apply through.
They must either prove sufficient monthly income or savings/investments to cover living expenses in Mexico, or apply for a family union visa via close family relations. Permanent residence includes a work permit.
Get more information here: How to Get Permanent Residency in Mexico
Non-Lucrative Application (usually, but not exclusive to, retirees)
1. Proof of monthly pension, salary or monthly investment income that you have received for the last 6 months. Proof via pay stubs or financial statements showing at least 500 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
2. Proof of financial stability via statements of investments, savings or checking accounts from the preceding 12 months. You are required to prove a monthly balance of approximately 20,000 days worth of the Mexican minimum wage.
If you are a close family relation ((step)-child, parent, sibling – but not spouse or partner) of a permanent resident holder, or in some cases Mexican national, you may also apply for permanent residency.
Mexican government immigration website