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Visa Requirements for Moving to Mexico

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Spencer McMullen blogs on Expats In Mexico
Spencer McMullen

If you’re planning a move to Mexico in 2017 or applying for, changing or renewing a visa within Mexico, you need to be familiar with the most current visa requirements for moving to Mexico.

Moving to Mexico

If you are moving to Mexico, you will need to apply for your visa at the nearest Mexican consulate in your country. Both temporary and permanent visas allow the “menaje de casa” or duty free exemption, which is required if you plan to bring any household goods into Mexico.

To qualify for the temporary visa you must show a monthly income of 300 times the minimum daily wage in Mexico. For 2017, the minimum wage is 80.04 pesos or 24,012 pesos per month. That is US$1,158 per month using an exchange rate of 20.73 pesos to the dollar (December 28, 2016 exchange rate). Your income must be documented with six months of bank statements.

Those of you who have liquid assets may alternatively qualify if you have maintained an average balance of 5,000 times the minimum wage of 80.04 pesos per day or 400,200 pesos or US$19,305 per year, using an exchange rate of 20.73 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). Liquid assets must be documented with 12 months of bank statements.

To qualify for the permanent visa you must show a monthly income of 500 times the 80.04 pesos minimum wage, which is 40,020 pesos or US$2,117 monthly, using the exchange rate noted above. This must be documented with six months of bank statements.

If you have liquid assets, you may alternatively qualify by showing that you have maintained an average balance of 20,000 times the 80.04 minimum wage, or 1,600,800 pesos or US$77,221 annually using an exchange rate of 20.73. Liquid assets must be documented with 12 months of bank statements.

You can apply for visas for your spouse (gay couples included) and children at the consulate at the same time or we can do it when you are here in Mexico once the primary applicant has his/her visa. Remember that in order to do this we will need birth/marriage certificates and apostilles (legalized copies for those from Canada or non-Hague Convention countries).

Please be advised that consulates may have their own special rules. Processing time varies from a few hours to a few days on average.

Living in Mexico

If you are living in Mexico, you will need to apply for, change or renew your visa at a National Migration Institute (INM) office nearest you.

To qualify for the temporary visa you must show a monthly income of 400 times the minimum wage of 80.04 pesos, which is 32,016 pesos or US$1,544 dollars per month, using an exchange rate of 20.73. This must be documented with six months of bank statements.

If you have liquid assets, you may alternatively qualify if you have maintained an average balance of 20,000 times the minimum wage, which is 1,402,000 pesos or US$95,374 annually, using an exchange rate of 20.73. This must be documented with 12 months of bank statements.

To qualify for the permanent visa you must show a monthly income of 500 times the minimum wage of 80.04 pesos, which is 40,020 pesos or US$1,931 per month using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1. You will need six months of bank statements for documentation.

Again, if you have liquid assets, you may alternatively qualify by showing that you have maintained an average balance of 25,000 times the minimum wage, which is 2,001,000 pesos or US$96,526 annually using an exchange rate of 20.73. You will need to document your liquid assets with 12 months of bank statements.

Immigration has been applying a rule the past few years that in order to change from a temporary to a permanent visa, you must show that you receive a pension or retirement income, even US$1. This has effectively stopped many people from “jumping ahead” if they only have savings and do not receive any pension or retirement income. In these cases, people must complete all four years as a temporary before going to permanent, if for only financial reasons (not family-related).

You can apply for visas for your spouse (gay couples included) and children at the consulate at the same time or we can do it when you are here in Mexico once the primary applicant has their visa. Remember that in order to do this we will need birth/marriage certificates and apostilles (legalized copies for those from Canada or non-Hague Convention countries).

Finally, if you find yourself in Mexico but due to health reasons you cannot travel, you can get a humanitarian visa if a doctor from a government clinic prepares a letter describing your health situation and your inability to travel.

For you Canadians, the Canadian Dollar is about 75 percent of the U.S. Dollar, so multiply all qualifying amounts by 1.35 percent to find the Canadian Dollar equivalent.

You can also find detailed information on the immigration process under Mexico on our homepage.

13 COMMENTS

  1. We are not completely clear about the financial requirements for a gay couple. The man at the consulate told us $5k each per month income. We thought it was less than that with a marriage license.

  2. Hi, depends on whether permanent or temporary, $5,000 seems too high, what consulate are you applying at? You can get one of you with the highest income approved and then with the marriage cert have the other apply in Mexico with no additional income needed.

  3. Hello –

    If I travel there (first for a visit) on my U.S. Passport – how long can I legally stay without getting a Mexican visa?

    I am retired US Air Force … not sure if this helps or matters. Mentioning just in case.

    Thanks.
    Dori

  4. I am thinking of applying for Permanent Residency. How many days per year am I required to live in Mexico? How often may I visit family in the US? What happens if I decide to move back to the US permanently at a later date?

    • Hi, under the new law there are no time restrictions. If you want to apply for citizenship at a later date assuming you meet the 2 or 5 year rules you cannot have been out of Mexico more than 180 days in the 2 years prior to applying for citizenship. If you never plan to apply to be a citizen then there should be no problem with your absence under current rules and practice.

  5. Rather than “multiply all qualifying amounts by 1.35 percent to find the Canadian Dollar equivalent”… I think you meant to say multiply by 1.35 (not percent).

  6. Hi I’m an Australian I want to apply for permanent retirement visa no requirement to work in Mexico just live there I read that you need. 2500 per month us income or have 25000 days of minimum day wage in Paso at 88 Paso per day which is 2200000 Paso in bank account or assetts per year is obtainable per year it is ok plus I have an income of 32000 per month in Paso from my investments can you tell me if I meet the requirements of permanent retirement visa it seem to contradict the requirements of 2500 us per month confusing

  7. Hi guys, while getting the temp visa seems straight forward for a US resident. It is not so for a UK resident. I need to be sponsored by a mex business. I Has anyone from UK got a temp visa for mexico just by showing they have enough cash in the bank?

    • JP, if you need to be sponsored by a business in Mexico, it means you are applying for a Work Permit, also. Our legal blogger Diana Cuevas recently updated our Mexico/Immigration section so you can see what the regulations are for everyone applying for a temporary visa, not just Americans.

  8. Robert, you can spend up to 180 days in Mexico on a tourist visa but must return to the U.S. after that time before re-entering Mexico for another 180 day period. You can also own property, according to our legal blogger Diana Cuevas. If you plan on living in Mexico full-time, you should apply for a temporary resident visa.

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