- Relocating to Mexico: advantages and disadvantages
- Documents required for applying for a legal residence permit in Mexico
- 6 methods of acquiring Mexican residence
- Open a Mexican bank account when applying for legal residence in the country
- From legal residence to full citizenship of Mexico
- Expert support in acquiring legal residence in Mexico
Mexico has become a popular destination during the pandemic and has acquired a reputation as one of the freest countries in the world today. Mexico has never closed its borders to tourists during the pandemic, never required travellers to present a PCR test, never had a national lockdown and does not enforce wearing of masks in public. Freedom seekers from all over the world are taking a new look at Mexico for these reasons. If this sounds like just your kind of place – here is the information you need!
Why should you consider acquiring a legal residence permit in Mexico? What advantages can this bring? Is the application procedure troublesome? What documents do you have to supply when applying for Mexican residence? How much does it cost? The article below answers these and other important questions about Residence in Mexico. Please read it and then apply for a personal consultation on acquiring a legal residence permit in Mexico.
Experts of InternationalWealth portal have already helped thousands of open-minded and forward-looking people to implement efficient planning strategies, find new business opportunities, grow their capital, and improve the level of their confidentiality.
One of the key success instruments in the modern world is obtaining a legal residence permit in a foreign country and/ or a foreign citizenship. The guide below describes the process of acquiring a residence permit in Mexico, that later can turn relatively easily into a Mexican passport.
You have to realize, however, that the information that you can find here cannot replace a face-to-face consultation where your personal situation as well as your personal preferences will be taken into account. Please apply for our professional assistance in obtaining a legal residence permit in Mexico.
Relocating to Mexico: advantages and disadvantages
If you would like to relocate to Mexico, the first thing that you need to do is NOT go to Mexico. Before you hop on a plane, you must apply for a residence visa to the country at the Mexican embassy of your home country. This applies even if you don’t normally need a visa to travel to Mexico as a tourist. Residency is different.
When you enter Mexico with your new visa, you will have 30 days to register with the National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración; INM) where you will be issued a temporary residence permit legalizing your stay in the country for the time while you are collecting all the documents and going through the bureaucratic procedures there. Let us consider the pluses and minuses of relocating to Mexico.
Relocating to Mexico: advantages and disadvantages
Pros Contras Immigration procedures There are several legal reasons to apply for Mexican residence: investment, purchase of real estate in the country, family reunification, scientific research, or an invitation from a state or a private company. If you would like to take some household articles with you (furniture, home appliances, etc.) to Mexico, you will not have to pay any taxes on the household articles (Menaje de Casa) if you obtain a temporary residence permit. Mexican bureaucrats and their red tape can make you lose your temper at times. The administrative processes are far from efficient in the country and the documentation requirement can be misleading. Yes, Mexican bureaucracy can be irritating but you can hire professionals who will help you go through all the red tape without losing any nervous cells. Please apply for our consultations! Second citizenship Would you like to become a full citizen of Mexico? Acquiring a legal residence permit is the first step towards this goal. The Mexican passport is an excellent travel document: it gives visa-free access to nearly two hundred countries including all EU states and Canada. You will have to live in Mexico for five years on the legal residence permit before you can apply for citizenship by naturalization (see below). Lifestyle and culture Mexicans are easy to make friends with. They are very friendly towards foreigners. They will gladly help you in any matter (including the bureaucracy) if you are polite. Cultural events such as carnivals, for instance, and the local cuisine are the two pillars of Mexican culture. The cityscapes with multiple cathedrals and other historic buildings will leave you breathless. You will enjoy the local fragrances and traditional cocktails based on real tequila! Apart from the beautiful landscapes, you may be surprised to learn about the rich history of the country. You can visit the ruins of ancient Aztec and Maya cities and hear some shocking histories related to the indigenous peoples of the territory. The Spanish colonization period is not less interesting. The wilderness areas in the country are truly amazing. Mexico is large and its territory spans over several time zones so the natural landscapes are diverse in different parts of the country. You can go on endless walks through the tropical forests, climb the mountains, bathe in the hot springs or relax at the ocean beaches. Mexico is a Spanish-speaking country and the language barrier can be a problem. If you do not speak Spanish, you might have trouble communicating with the authorities, finding residential accommodation, and doing business in the country. This said, however, Mexicans speak better English than any other Spanish-speaking country in the world due to its proximity to the USA. So if you speak English, you should be able to find your way around in Mexican cities. In any case, Spanish is a wonderful language and it is not so difficult to learn. As far as the pace of life in Mexico is concerned, it is slow. This may be disappointing for young immigrants but retirees will certainly find it rewarding. You also have to take care of your personal security in Mexico. Things may not be so bad in the country as they are portrayed in the international mass media but you cannot be too cautious. Just behave safely and you will be safe in Mexico. Cost of living Living in Mexico is considerably less expensive than living in Western Europe or the United States. So if your income is at the European or American level, you can live a luxurious life in Mexico. This is especially true if you are happy with locally made products and you like fresh, locally produced food. Imported goods can be expensive in Mexico. The tourist sector is actively developing and premium-class condominiums near the beaches cannot be referred to as affordable places to live in. Healthcare The cost of medical services are comparatively low in Mexico. Legal residents of the country have access to the state medical care system. Private clinics offer top-quality medical services. Yes, there are top-class medical institutions in Mexico but some state clinics do not provide the best medical services. The quality of these services varies depending on the part of the country. You should not count on receiving good medical care in the rural areas of Mexico. Education Foreign nationals moving to Mexico with children have a wide choice of educational opportunities for them. There are various international schools working on Mexican, American, British, and even Japanese curricula. The languages of instruction are also different in private schools. Inclusive education is also available in the country. Handicapped children attend normal schools where they are assisted by specialists (psychologists and speech therapists, for example) in their studies. Even though primary, secondary, and (partially) higher education is free in Mexico, many schools and universities do not come up to the expected standards. This is due to the low salaries that teachers earn in the country and general lack of educational resources.
Documents required for applying for a legal residence permit in Mexico
- The form to be filled out by the applicant for Mexican residence that is available for downloading at the Instituto Nacional de Migración official website.
- A valid passport whose expiry date is at least six months away.
- A clear photograph of the applicant’s face against a white background.
- A copy of a valid residence card if the applicant is already in Mexico (not filing an application to the Mexican embassy in his or her home country).
- For applicants below 18 years of age – birth certificates and parents/ guardians’ IDs.
Additional documents may be required depending on the route to Mexican residence that you choose. We will specify what documents need to be supplied when we discuss the methods of acquiring legal residence in Mexico below.
6 methods of acquiring Mexican residence
1. Mexican residence for financially independent persons
To apply for legal residence in Mexico on this scheme you will have to prove your solvency by one of the methods listed below:
- A bank statement that shows that you have had an equivalent of 5,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (around US$ 35,000) in your account each month of the recent 12 months. The bank statement needs to be stamped by the bank. If the statement is issued by a foreign bank, a translation into Spanish or English needs to be provided. The document has to have contact details of a bank officer who can confirm the validity of the statement. However, it does not have to be apostilled.
- A proof of a stable regular income in the amount of 300 minimal daily wages in Mexico (around US $2,100) per month over the last six months. Payment receipts or a bank statement can be used for this purpose. The documents need to be stamped by the bank.
2. Mexican residence via family reunification
If you have relationships of kin with a Mexican citizen or legal resident, this can be a reason to apply for Mexican residency. You will have to supply the following types of proof:
- The original and a copy of the Mexican citizen/ resident’s ID. The Mexican relative of yours should be present at the embassy when an application for Mexican residence is filed. If your Mexican relative is in Mexico, you should contact the Instituto Nacional de Migración as they can prepare an invitation locally.
- One of the following documents (depending on the type of kin):
- For spouses: the original and a copy of the official marriage certificate issued by an authorized institution is Mexico or by a Mexican embassy in a foreign country. If the marriage certificate has been issued by the authorities of a foreign country, it has to be apostilled/ legalized at the embassy or another authorized institution and translated into Spanish/ English if necessary.
- For parents: if the applicant is a parent of a Mexican citizen/ legal resident, the original and a copy of the child’s birth certificate is required. If the birth certificate has been issued by the authorities of a foreign country, it has to be apostilled/ legalized at an authorized institution and translated into Spanish/ English if necessary.
- For underage children: if the applicant is a child of a Mexican citizen/ legal resident, the original and a copy of the child’s birth certificate is required. If the birth certificate has been issued by the authorities of a foreign country, it has to be apostilled/ legalized at an authorized institution and translated into Spanish/ English if necessary.
- For underage children of the applicant’s spouse: if the applicant is a child of a Mexican citizen/ legal resident’s spouse, the applicant’s birth certificate is required as well as the couple’s marriage certificate.
- Proof of sufficiency of funds required for supporting each family member:
- A bank statement that shows that the applicant’s family has had an equivalent of 100 minimal daily wages in Mexico (14,170 MXN) per each family member in their account each month of the last 12 months.
- A proof of a stable regular income in the amount of 100 minimal daily wages in Mexico (14,170 MXN) per each family member per month over the last six month.
3. Temporary Mexican residence for researchers
If you are engaged in marine research work, you can qualify for temporary residence in Mexico to do the research in Mexico’s territorial maritime belt. The following documents need to be submitted:
- A copy of the letter from the Mexican Minister of the Exterior (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) allowing the applicant to conduct research in Mexico’s territorial maritime belt. The letter shall contain the following information:
- Full name and nationality of the applicant.
- The name of the state/ private research institution that is inviting the applicant.
- Information about the research project that the applicant is planning to carry out.
- The expected research project duration/ date of completion.
4. Mexican residence on an invitation from a state/ private organization
If you would like to engage in a charitable project in Mexico, you can also qualify for a temporary residence permit. The following documents will have to be submitted:
- The original of the invitation letter from the organization. The letter shall contain the following information:
- Full name and nationality of the applicant.
- The name of the organization that is inviting the applicant.
- The organization address, contact information, registration number (if applicable).
- Information about the project that the applicant is planning to be involved in.
- The expected project duration/ date of completion.
- A letter of commitment to cover the applicant’s costs of living from the organization as well as the costs of his/ her return to the home country upon completion of the project.
- A copy of the ID of the organization official signing the invitation letter.
- Originals of the documents that confirm possession by the applicant of relevant knowledge, skills, and experience required to carry out the project that he/ she is going to be involved in.
- If the organization commits itself to covering the applicant’s costs of living while in Mexico, it has to prove its solvency. It can be a bank statement that shows that the organization has had an equivalent of 10,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (14,170,000 MXN) in its account each month of the last 12 months. Please note that national educational institutions (such as universities, for example) do not have to supply proof of their solvency.
- If the organization does not commit itself to covering the applicant’s costs of living, the applicant shall prove their solvency themselves. The following documents are required:
- A bank statement showing that the applicant has had an equivalent of 5,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (708,500 MXN) in their account each month of the last 12 months.
- Originals and copies of the documents that confirm the receipt of income equal to 200 minimal daily wages in Mexico (28,340 MXN) per month over the last six months.
5. Mexican residence by purchase of real estate in the country
- The original and a copy of a notarized ownership certificate that proves that the applicant owns real property in Mexico. The value of the property must exceed 40,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (5,668,000 MXN).
6. Mexican residence by investment
You can qualify for legal residence in Mexico if you make one of the following types of investment:
- Acquire a share of ownership of a Mexican-based corporate entity. You will have to supply an official document that confirms the following:
- That you have a company ownership share.
- That you have invested a sum that exceeds 20,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (2,834,000 MXN). A share purchase agreement or a document confirming the investment of the money into the company’s social capital will serve as suitable proof.
- Purchase property or invest into fixed assets in the name of a foreign-based company that is going to engage in economic activities in Mexico. The investment amount shall exceed 20,000 minimal daily wages in Mexico (2,834,000 MXN). A document confirming the investment shall be supplied.
- Engage into independent economic activities in Mexico. You can supply business contracts, orders, invoices, business plans, licenses, etc. to prove your engagement in economic activities in the country. In addition to that, you have to submit a confirmation from the Social Security Institute that you have created jobs for more than three people in Mexico.
Please note that all the documents that are not written in Spanish or English have to be translated into one of these languages. Besides, all documents issued by authorities other than Mexican ones need to be legalized/apostilled.
Open a Mexican bank account when applying for legal residence in the country
It would be a very good idea to open a bank account in Mexico prior to applying for legal residence in the country. This will simplify many procedures involved in the process of Mexican residence acquisition.
Many foreigners in Mexico are surprised by the modern and efficient banking facilities found in the country. For instance, inter-bank money transfers (from one Mexican bank to another) happen in an instant and are often free of charge (some banks will charge a small commission). The transfers are made with the help of the CLABE numbers that are similar to the European IBAN, or debit card numbers, or mobile phone numbers.
Only about one third of Mexicans use bank accounts. Others are happy with having ‘payroll cards’ that are issued by their employers. Expats in Mexico, in their turn, actively use the banking opportunities available in the country as they appreciate the quality of the local banking services. For instance, many Mexican banks provide an opportunity to open a bank account via a mobile application even if the client is not a citizen or a legal resident of Mexico.
Please apply for a consultation to the experts of InternationalWealth portal. We will gladly help you choose the bank in Mexico that suits your purposes very well and then open an account there!
From legal residence to full citizenship of Mexico
In accordance with Article 30 of the Mexican Constitution, a person can become a citizen of Mexico by birth or by naturalization.
Citizenship by birth
People born in the following circumstances are considered Mexican citizens:
- Born on the territory of Mexico regardless of the citizenship or residence status of their parents.
- Born in a foreign country to a citizen of Mexico.
- Born on ships or airplanes registered in Mexico regardless of their parents’ citizenship.
- Born to Mexican diplomats working in foreign countries.
Citizenship by naturalization
A person can become a naturalized Mexican in the following circumstances:
- If the person is married to a Mexican citizen. The marriage has to last for two years before the interested party can apply for Mexican citizenship.
- If the person has legally resided in Mexico for five consecutive years before the application for citizenship is filed.
- If the person has lived and Mexico for two years and he/ she is a parent or a child of a Mexican citizen, or if he/ she is a citizen of a Latin American or an Iberian country.
- If the person has lived in Mexico for one year and he/ she is an adopted child of a Mexican citizen.
- If the person has made an exceptional contribution to the Mexican culture, social life, science, technology, art, sports, or business. In this case, the residence period can be reduced or eliminated altogether.
In addition to that, the legislation requires that the applicant for Mexican citizenship by naturalization should do the following:
- File a formal application to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs;
- Prove knowledge of Spanish and Mexican histories and cultures;
- Prove integration into the local society.
Expert support in acquiring legal residence and citizenship in Mexico
You are welcome to apply for our professional assistance in acquiring legal residence in Mexico. We will be happy to guide you through the process and help you avoid various traps and pitfalls on the way to obtaining a Mexican residence permit, citizenship and passport.
Please contact us by email, telephone, or use our live chat!
Our packaged offer comes at 8 900 USD and it includes the following services:
- Assistance in obtaining a permanent residence permit in Mexico (you will have to pay a visit to the Mexican embassy in your home country).
- Assistance in acquiring a residential address in Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara for one year (this includes the utility bill you will need to show to the immigration authorities).
- A Mexican telephone number with free international call diversion (for one year).
- Assistance in opening a bank account in Mexico.
- Assistance in acquiring a CURP (national identification number).
- Assistance in acquiring a RFC (tax number).
- Assistance in acquiring a driving license.
- Assistance in putting your children into school (if required).
- Assistance in buying or renting residential accommodations (if required).
- Document translation, notarization, legalization, etc. (additional fees may be due).
The government fees are not included into the overall price of the packaged offer.
Please bear in mind that if you would like to reside far away from Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara, you will have to incur additional transportation costs.
Should I apply for Mexican legal residence in advance?
Yes, you certainly should. Mexican embassies and consulates are often overwhelmed with applications so application processing is going to take time. Remember, you cannot apply from within the country – even if you entered completely legally as a tourist.
I have a Mexican residence card but the date has expired. Can I extend the card at the embassy?
No, you cannot. Residence cards can be extended only at the National Migration Institute offices in Mexico.
How can I apply for a work permit in Mexico when I obtain the residence card?
If you have a legal residence permit in Mexico, your employer will normally file an application for a work permit for you to the National Migration Institute. You can also file the application yourself.