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Immigration

Mexican immigration laws, established in 2011, recognize four categories for foreigners to be in Mexico legally:

  1. Visitor
    These visas are issued to visitors coming to Mexico for short-term stays, and they normally expire in 180 days.
  2. Temporary Resident
    This visa is for foreigners who would like to remain in Mexico for a term up to four years, or for those who do not meet the financial requirements for a permanent visa. Those with temporary residency status can re-apply for another four-year temporary residency near the end of their residency period, or apply for permanent resident status. For the most up-to-date information and financial requirements, please check the website of your nearest Consulate General of Mexico, as requirements change frequently, and can differ by country of origin.
  3. Temporary Resident Student
    This visa is for foreigners in Mexico for the purpose of education and the visa is good until the completion of that education. For the most up-to-date information and financial requirements, please check the website of your nearest Consulate General of Mexico, as requirements change frequently, and can differ by country of origin.
  4. Permanent Resident
    This visa is issued for foreigners who wish to remain in Mexico for an indefinite term. For the most up-to-date information and financial requirements, please check the website of your nearest Consulate General of Mexico, as requirements change frequently, and can differ by country of origin.

 

HOW TO ACQUIRE VISAS
If you’d like to stay longer than the allowed term for a visitor’s visa (180 days) you must acquire a residence visa. All visas are granted by Mexican Consulates outside of Mexico, which you must visit in person.

One of the few exceptions to this rule is if you are from a country that Mexico has waived the requirement of a pre-approved visa. The U.S. and Canada are countries that do not require a pre-approved visa from a Mexican Consulate. Foreigners from the U.S. and Canada may obtain the visitor’s visa either with their plane boarding pass or at the border.

PLEASE NOTE:

    • Visitor visas can no longer be converted to a temporary or permanent resident visa within Mexico. However, temporary resident visa holders may change to a permanent resident while in Mexico. If you’re a foreigner and have an “immigrant” card under the old law, the local immigration offices in Mexico should change it to a permanent resident card without having to leave Mexico.
    • Many INM offices are reducing the monthly income or pension deposit requirements by one-half (½) for applicants who own property in Mexico. Check with your local consulate for more details.
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