Hola, expats. My last blog covered everything you need to know about obtaining a Temporary Resident visa. Today, I will explain how to obtain a Permanent Resident visa for Mexico.
Whether you are moving to Mexico or already living here, you should know that the Permanent Resident visa is issued to foreigners who intend to enter the country in order to reside in Mexico indefinitely.
Here is an overview of what you need to know about obtaining a Permanent Resident visa:
First, the applicant must demonstrate one of the following:
1. That they are related to a permanent resident of Mexico or a Mexican by birth up to the 2nd level (i.e., grandparent, parent, sibling, daughter, son or grandchildren). In the case of siblings, it only applies if the applicant is under the age of 18 years old, is not married and is under the sibling’s legal representation.
2. That they are pensioned or retired and are able to prove sufficient monthly income from their pension to cover their living expenses during their stay in Mexico, or have sufficient savings/investments.
3. That they meet the categories and the minimum score required to enter through the Point System under the “General Administrative Provision” issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and published in the Mexican Official Gazette.
4. That the Mexican government grants him/her political asylum.
5. That they have held a Temporary Resident card for four consecutive years.
6. That they have held a Temporary Resident card for two consecutive years, provided the visa was granted through marriage to a Mexican or permanent resident or through living with a Mexican or permanent resident concubine (cohabitant) or equivalent.
The Permanent Resident visa is issued for 180 calendar days with a single entry. The applicant must start the process to obtain the resident card within the first thirty calendar days from his/her entry into Mexico.
Renewals or changes from Temporary to Permanent Resident status will be done in Mexico. Also, regularization or applications for visas that are about to expire will also be done in Mexico.
In the case of permanent residents who want to start working, it is only necessary to submit a notification to the National Institute of Migration (INM). No payment has to be made because one of the rights of a permanent resident is to be able to engage in any legal economic activity.
If you want to work with a Permanent Resident visa, you must provide the following:
1. An online form that must have the signature of the applicant.
2. A letter signed by you notifying the change of the activity (from non-working to working) and specifying the activities to be performed and address.
3. An original and copy of your passport.
4. A “formato básico” (basic form) from the INM.
5. An original and copy of the identification (IFE/INE) of the individual or the legal representative of the corporation, public institution, academy (artistic, sports or cultural) if the representative is Mexican, or the resident card if the representative is a foreigner.
6. The original letter of the job offer on the letterhead of the employer stating the activities that the applicant will perform according to the classification of the Sistema Nacional de Clasificación de Ocupaciones, the time period the job will last, the address of the workplace and the salary or fees to be paid.
7. A copy of the proof of registry of the employer filed with the INM (Constancia de Inscripción de Empleador).
8. The last tax payment of the employer.
If the applicant will be working for himself/herself without any employer, then he/she will have to commit to the INM that after getting the Work Permit he/she will go to SAT (Mexico’s Tax Office) and apply to get a Tax ID.
Once you are granted your Permanent Resident visa and receive your Permanent Resident card the following will apply to you:
1. All the guarantees that the Mexican Constitution grants to all Mexicans, with the exception of the political guarantees that are exclusively for Mexican citizens.
2. You will not need to renew your permanent resident status (although, some INM officers request its renewal every 10 years to keep the photograph current). If the holder is less than three years old, he or she will have to renew every year until achieving 3 years of age, and then every four years until reaching the age of 18.
3. You will have the right to engage lucratively in any legal activity, without having to request permission of the INM. Notification of job changes is required. If you are working under a professional designation (as an engineer, architect, etc.) you may be required to file your degree at the Dirección General de Profesiones. Please check with INM.
4. You will be able to travel freely in and out of the country, as provided for any Mexican citizen.
5. As a permanent resident you will not be able to vote in Mexico.
6. Permanent residents cannot own land directly if it is located within 50 kilometers of the beach or 100 kilometers from the Mexican land border (but you can own property near beaches and land border through a trust, and have legal right to the property in all but name).
7. Permanent residents cannot import or keep foreign-plated vehicles in Mexico.
Once you receive your Permanent Resident card you will have these obligations:
1. Uphold the responsibilities of a citizen as spelled out in the Mexican Constitution.
2. Carry the Permanent Resident card with you at all times, and keep a copy of it at home.
3. Inform the INM of any change of employment (with a letter stating the new job), marital status (marriage, divorce or death certificate), nationality (new passport or letter of naturalization) and address (with a letter and utility bill providing the new address) within 90 days of the change. If this does not take place in such time frame, the temporary resident will be subject to penalties.
Next time I will look at Customs requirements for Mexico, including what you can and cannot bring into the country, shipment of household goods and importation of vehicles.
Remember, knowledge is power.