Home Expat Blogs What You Need to Know About a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico

What You Need to Know About a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico

Immigration application
Credit: Aleksandar Stojanov | Thinkstock

In one of my previous blogs I provided you with an overview of the different visas required by the government for expats to stay in Mexico. Each has different rights and obligations. Today I’ll focus more in depth on what you need to know about a Temporary Resident visa for Mexico.

First, this visa is for foreigners who plan on staying in the country for more than 180 days and up to four years. Holders of the visa have the right to multiple entries and exits in and out of Mexico, and this visa also provides permission to work, as an option.

To qualify for the Temporary Resident visa, you must be able to prove one of the following:

1. You have sufficient economic resources to cover the cost of accommodation and meals during your stay in the country. As an example, if you’re a retiree and intend to apply for temporary residency in Mexico, the law stipulates that you need to demonstrate an income per month over the past six months that is derived from foreign sources (e.g. pension, investments) of at least 300 days of minimum wage, which is approximately US$1,300, or have a savings balance equivalent to at least 5,000 days of minimum wage, or approximately US$21,000 over the past 12 months.

2. You are a part of a scientific research project, or sample collection in Mexico or Mexico’s territorial waters, after having obtained authorizations from the appropriate Mexican national authorities.

3. You are a part of a family unit of a Mexican, temporary or permanent resident:

a) Father or mother of the permanent resident.

b) Spouse, who will be granted the status of temporary resident for two years, after which you can obtain the status of permanent resident, provided that the marriage bond remains.

c) Concubine (cohabitant), or equivalent, to which the status of temporary resident will be granted for two years, after which the permanent resident status can be obtained, provided that the concubinage remains (cohabitation of persons not married).

d) Children of the permanent resident and the children of the spouse or concubine, as long as they are children and adolescents and have not contracted marriage, or are under their guardianship or custody.

e) Brothers of the permanent resident, as long as they are girls, boys and adolescents and have not married, or are under legal representation (maximum 18 years).

4. You have an invitation from an organization or a public/private institution established in Mexico to participate in an activity for which they will gain no income. The invitation must be on letterhead and indicate the activity that you will be performing, the duration of the work, the address of the workplace and the party responsible for your travel and living expenses. Otherwise, you must demonstrate sufficient economic solvency to cover your living expenses during your stay in Mexico.

5. You own real estate in Mexico. Foreigners by themselves or through a proxy may acquire real estate and real rights over them, without requiring permission from the National Institute of Migration (INM).

6. You have investments in Mexico, consisting of:

a) Participation in the capital stock of a Mexican company.

b) Movable or fixed assets used for commercial or business in Mexico.

c) The development of economic and business activities in Mexico.

You will need to apply at your nearest Mexican Embassy or Consulate for your Temporary Resident visa. The visa will be issued for 180 calendar days and will allow for a single entry into Mexico. Once in Mexico, you must start the process to obtain your Temporary Resident card within the first thirty calendar days after your entry into Mexico. The resident card will be granted for one year. After the first year, when it is time for renewal, temporary residents can apply for one, two or three year extensions of the Temporary Resident visa.

Even though temporary visa extensions may be granted for up to three years, foreigners younger than 3 years of age may only obtain it for one year.

Any foreigner, of any nationality, who has a job offer from a company, association, institution legally constituted in Mexico, government or a natural person with business activity (autonomous), can apply for temporary residence. The job offer must be made by the company, association or individual to the INM, and the company or person must be registered as an employer with the INM. Registrations are renewed annually.

Temporary residents with work permits can perform paid activities, change companies if they wish, become self-employed and study.

At all times, foreigners who are temporary residents in the country must notify the INM if they make the following changes:

1. Address change

2. Change of nationality

3. Job change

4. Change of work place

5. Change from employee to self-employed status

6. Change of marital status

Your temporary resident status also entitles you with the rights of residence to obtain Mexican citizenship by naturalization.

The INM will cancel your Temporary Resident visa for the following causes:

1. Communication from you that your departure from the country is final.

2. Authorization for a change to another immigration status, such as Permanent Resident

3. Providing false information to INM.

4. Losing the recognition of your refugee status.

5. Criminal prosecution or conviction of a felony offense.

There is a lot to digest here, so if you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment to this blog and I’ll try to answer your question. In my upcoming blogs, I will address other immigration issues including Permanent Resident visas, customs requirements and pet importation.

For those of you who need work permit information, please check out my blog: “How to Get a Work Permit in Mexico.”

Remember, knowledge is power.