Globe with plans circling it

Are you considering moving from Europe to Mexico? You’re not the only one. 

Since the pandemic began, Immigration to Mexico in Playa del Carmen has seen a huge increase in requests from all over the world. Previously, immigrants requesting temporary and permanent residency were 90% from the US and Canada. While they still lead the way, there is much more variety in the nationality of new residents. Playa del Carmen is now a melting pot from all five continents.

The pandemic encouraged new ways of living which look like they’re here to stay. Remote working became the norm for many. The numbers of so-called digital nomads have mushroomed, and Mexico is a popular destination for them. While historically Italians were the European majority here, now we are seeing lots of Germans, Austrians, Belgians, British and Irish too. 

So, if you are moving to Mexico, what do you need to consider?

Good to Know About Moving from Europe to Mexico

Will you apply for temporary or permanent residency? Permanent residency is usually given to retirees who meet the conditions. It is the norm to get temporary residency first and then permanent residency later.

The common routes to resident status are: adequate economic means; to unite with a family member who is already a resident or citizen; a job offer from a Mexican employer; as an investor or business owner. 

Another new way to get residency in Mexico is if you have an expired 180 day FMM (visitors permit). In this case, you must also have visited Mexico at least once between 2015 and 2020. (These are the rules for Cancun and the Riviera Maya; they differ elsewhere in the country.)

Usually you initiate your application for residency at a Mexican consulate outside in Mexico. It can be in your home country or another location.

Whereas, if you are already in Mexico on a tourist visa, you will have to  leave Mexico to attend an appointment at a Mexican consulate abroad. The only exception to this is if you are applying for residency via a family member – spouse/child/parent who has residency or citizenship already. In this case, your entire application can be done from Mexico. 

While there are certain standard requirements, documents and fees, requirements for approval can vary between consulates.

The final decision rests with the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migracion).

After having your application approved at a Mexican consulate you will need to complete the process in Mexico.

Final Tips

We advise visiting Mexico first to get to know the country and find the right location for you. Mexico is a very diverse country with two coasts, desert, mountainous areas, farmland, and large cities. The climate and accessibility vary too. So you should visit first to decide what area you want to base yourself in.

We also recommend learning some Spanish in order to make life easier for you, and for Mexicans you interact with. 

Our Facebook group Immigration to Mexico, how to do it .. . is a great source of additional information and support. 

If you would like assistance with your application, contact Adriana Vela at