Residency Visas: Temporary and Permanent
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
Mexico offers two types of residency permit: Temporary Residency (Residente Temporal) and Permanent Residency (Residente Permanente).
Temporary Residency in Mexico
Mexico offers a Temporary Resident Visa, intended for people who wish to live in Mexico for more than 6 months. The Temporary Resident Visa is a renewable, long-term (more than six months) permit which gives non-immigrant temporary residency status to the holder. The visa is always issued for one year initially, and can then be renewed for a further 1, 2, or 3 years; this visa can optionally give work permissions, and allows unlimited entries into, and exits from, Mexico.
There are various categories under which the Temporary Resident visas are granted, and these relate to the activities you intend to undertake while in Mexico. Under the terms of the Temporary Resident Visa, you are authorized to only undertake certain, specific, activities which may be lucrative or non-lucrative, depending on the visa’s classification.
A key criterion that the Mexican authorities require for the issuance of a Temporary Resident Visa is that the applicant prove that they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves while in Mexico and/or a proven steady income.
With a few exceptions, the Temporary Resident Visa cannot be issued to you in Mexico and you must apply for it at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico.
After living in Mexico for 4 years with a Temporary Resident card, holders may apply to exchange it for Permanent Residency.
Permanent Residency in Mexico
Permanent Resident visas are issued to foreign nationals who have the intention of living in Mexico for long periods of time (over six months) AND who intend to settle permanently (indefinitely) in Mexico.
The Permanent Resident Visa is intended for people seeking permanent residency status in Mexico. You do not need to be a Temporary Resident first to become a Permanent Resident later, provided that you fulfill one of the other requirements needed for permanent residency.
To apply for and be granted Permanent Residency, the applicants must:
• have certain close family connections in Mexico, or
• apply for retirement status and prove they have sufficient monthly income (or substantial assets) to support themselves, or
• have 4 consecutive years of regular status as Temporary Resident, or
• have 2 consecutive years of regular status as Temporary Resident where that Temporary Visa was issued through marriage to a Mexican National or marriage to a foreign permanent resident, or
• meet a minimum score under the Points System, or
• be granted residency on humanitarian grounds or through political asylum.
With a few exceptions, the Permanent Resident Visa cannot be issued to you in Mexico and you must apply for it at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico.
Converting Temporary Residency to Permanent Residency
The least bureaucratic way to gain residency in Mexico is to apply for and be granted permanent residency without first acquiring temporary residency—but qualification criteria are stricter for permanent residency. People who do not qualify for immediate permanent residency may, after four consecutive years as a temporary resident in Mexico, apply to automatically change their status to permanent resident.
Contact us for more information and we will put you in touch with our trusted experts who can either consult with you to help you "Do it yourself", or guide you through the whole process.
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