pros and cons

If you’re deciding between temporary and permanent residency in Mexico, it can help to know the pros and cons of each. In this article, we look at what you should consider before applying. 

Benefits of Both Temporary and Permanent Residency in Mexico

Firstly, with both temporary and permanent residency, you can get a Mexican registration number called a CURP (Clave Unica de Registro de Población – Unique Population Registry Number). Similar to the US social security number, the CURP allows you to

  • Open accounts at any bank.

  • Buy and register a car.

  • Get a Mexican driver’s license (without giving up yourforeign one).

  • Join the national healthcare program with IMSS (Mexican Institute for Social Security). Alternatively, you may apply for private health insurance.

  • Get a homeowner’s exemption from paying capital gains tax on a future sale of a Mexican property.

  • Enjoy special rates and discounts, such as transport and entry to sites and events. 

Temporary Residency


  • Maybe you are unsure of how long you want to stay in Mexico. With temporary residency you can stay up to four years.

  • Temporary residency holders can keep foreign plates on a car for the duration of their residency (max. four years).

  • Eligibility for temporary residency is less restricted. For instance, it requires lower savings/income than permanent residency.


Temporary residents

  • Need permission to work in Mexico.

  • Can only renew their status for up to a total of four years without leaving Mexico to visit a consulate.

Therefore, after four years, you have two options: begin the process of temporary residency again, or change your status to Permanent Resident. See this article for further details: Temporary Residency Renewal or Change of Condition?

Permanent Residency


  • One-time application

  • One immigration fee payment

  • Obtain a credit card

  • Permission to work

  • All the benefits/rights available to Mexican citizens, except for the right to vote, or buy land or properties in restricted areas


  • Application for permanent residency is restricted to certain cases. For example, spouses of Mexican nationals must get temporary residency first.

  • Permanent residency holders must import foreign-plated cars. You can sell your car after crossing the border from the USA or Canada or import it into Mexico. However, not all cars can be imported, so check the rules according to your situation. 

See also: How to Get Permanent Residency in Mexico.

For a quote or more information on immigration to Mexico, please email Adriana Vela at