Mexican resident cards

Temporary residency expiry means one of three things if you intend to stay in Mexico: renew, reapply or change condition. Temporary residency is renewable for up to four years. After four years, you must therefore decide whether to reapply for temporary status or apply for a change of condition to permanent residency.

Temporary Residency Renewal

Temporary residency is usually granted for one year to begin with. Then, after that year, you can renew it for another one to three years. Check the bottom front corner of your resident card for the expiry date.

TIP: The resident card generally expires one year after the application date, not one year after issue.

Therefore, you will usually have the card in your possession for less than a year before renewing the first time.

TIP: The date is in order of day/month/year. Do not get confused!

You should start the renewal process at an immigration office in Mexico (INM) within the month before the temporary residency expiry date. So, give yourself plenty of time, as paperwork and payments can cause delays. If you leave it until the week before expiry, you could run into problems.

For more details on temporary residence renewal, see this article. To download the renewal documentation, visit the INM website.

Reapply for Temporary Status After Four Years

If, after four years, you aren’t ready to change your condition to permanent resident, you can reapply for temporary residency. However, you will have to begin the process from scratch, and leave Mexico for a consulate visit. (Not the case if you are the spouse of a resident/national).

Change of Condition to Permanent Resident

After four years as a temporary resident, you then have the right to change your condition to permanent resident at the INM in Mexico. This is the most common way to get permanent status following temporary status.


If you have a child born in Mexico, you can apply directly for permanent residency (even if you do not have temporary status). This process is called change of condition for family union.

Likewise, spouses of Mexican nationals or temporary residents can apply for permanent residence after just two years. This is also the change of condition for family union procedure.

In each of these cases, the change of condition procedure takes place in Mexico. See, also, our post on permanent residency

Finally, please note that conditions vary from office to office. There may be additional restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Therefore, we recommend that you verify requirements and waiting times at your local office.

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