Quick Guide To Mexican Residency
October 2023 Update: An in-depth guide to applying and gaining Mexican residency
*Each year the requirements for residency change. If you are finding this guide, it is by intent. I have left it in place so that you can see bother the process progression and the cost increase of residency. I suggest applying as soon as possible in order to be grandfather in. The 2023 update is below.
there are many ways to cut down a tree. This article focuses on gaining temporary (4-year) Mexican residency through a clause called "Economic Solvency." This process is simple: you prove to the Mexican Government that you have money.
You do not need a lawyer.
You do not need to speak Spanish. ( It helps a lot, though)
This process can be completed in as little as a month.
The time-consuming part is that you must do this from within America, and you will have to schedule an appointment (which can take anywhere from days to weeks).
There is an option for Permanent Residency, but you have to show a much larger income, and you are unlikely to gain it simply because Mexico is not as lenient unless you are truly old and retired. I met all the financial qualifications and was essentially laughed at and told I don't meet the age requirement (Officially Retired or 62+ Years old).
Step 1: Find your local consulate and book an appointment.
Personally, I chose the Washington D.C. Consulate because:
- It was closest to my house.
- It had all the instructions on the website.
- They process the visa in-house. (Many Mexican Consulates do not have their documents on their website, and you have to email them to get them. Not all Mexican Consulates process Residency Visas, so you may, in fact, have to call or email to check.)
Here is a list of United States Consulates and their websites
United We Dream - Consulate List
This page will link you to the Washington DC consulate page for visa documents * It is the most organized Visa Services For Foreigners
There you will find the PDF document for temporary residency.
On this page, you will find a file for Temporary Residency . The provided link directs you straight to the PDF form. As of the time of writing, the document is dated November 2022. Please note that this document is subject to change, so it is advisable to check the website for any updates.2023 Update: The page now list the requirements in Mexican pesos along with the governments current conversion
This document lists the requirements for residency - When I completed it, the requirement was to show 6 months of income of $2300 USD a month ( Post Tax)
Some states have lower income thresholds, but this number is generally based on 100x the daily wage. AKA $3200 USD / 30 days = $106 USD a day
Mexican Daily wage averages around $10USD
Fortunately, the D.C. Branch has an online scheduler. Appointments go quickly, so I recommend you follow the instructions and check when new openings are released.
If you are not using the D.C. Consulate, you will likely have to call or email your local consulate to get an appointment. When I booked - I was lucky enough to get an appointment 3 weeks out. Everyone wants to apply for residency now, so it’s understandable that their schedule is much harder to get on.
After you get your appointment - collect all your paperwork. I suggest you have 2-3 copies of each item. Sometimes they will make copies for you. Sometimes they will take yours and file it.
They will likely ask you basic questions about why you intend to come to Mexico.
My replies were I have visited multiple times and want to learn more about the culture. I also have many friends there and would like to stay long-term and build those relationships.
It took all of 35 minutes for them to process my paperwork. From there, they will add a page-sized sticker to your passport and an additional page of instructions called
Expedición de documento migratorio por canje
* This page will be entirely in Spanish - You can easily translate it with Chrome.
Step 2: Arrival in Mexico & Immigration Process ( This is where you will either need to Google Translate, know Spanish or have a Spanish-speaking friend because rarely will the Mexican government website have an English option)
The sticker page in your passport requires you to enter Mexico within 6 months.
Upon entering Mexico, you have 30 days to get to immigration and complete the process.
*I entered through Mexico City - Again, one of the more accessible places to enter with the best infrastructures.
Upon arrival, you will report to the local Instituto Nacional de Migración.
If you are arriving in Mexico City, the address is
Sección Palmas, Av. Ejército Nacional Mexicano 862-1er. piso, Polanco, Polanco II Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11530 Ciudad de México, CDMX
I recommend you visit your immigration center immediately because their websites are always down, and they often switch up the instructions.
Bring your laptop with you because you can always walk to a local coffee shop, get internet, and start the process right there.
Trámites Migratorios / Migratory Process
This website is where you will need to fill out the initial document.
The information you put here must match your passport exactly. If it doesn’t, they may make redo the online process again. Write your middle name in the same box as your first name because there will not be a specific area for middle names.
You will get a PDF document with a barcode and a Pieza number.
It will also ask you for a Mexican address. You CAN use your Airbnb address. This is not verified; if you genuinely wish, you can change it later.
None of this information will go on your actual card, so there’s no need to worry.
*You will need to print out 3 copies of everything. You can easily search for a local copy print place and have your documents printed 3 times.
Once you have the above document - You can schedule your appointment. I recommend you do all this immediately upon arrival.
Mexican Government Website to Schedule an Appointment
The website is often down, and you must go in person. You may not get a date within that 30-day window, but as long as you book your appointment within 30 days of arrival, you are good to go.
Payment of Visa
* Some locales will now allow you to pay your fee with a Debit card in person - I wouldn’t trust their system to work. Instead, I have linked the website that will create the payment document.
You will also need to print this document and take it to any local bank. If you show them the document, they will know what to you. You will have to pay this fee in cash.
You’ll get a receipt - Which you also need to make 3 copies of.
Step 3: The appointment
Now that you have all your documentation in order - You are ready for your appointment.
I suggest you arrive at least 30 minutes early because there will likely be several confused lines before getting situated.
* In some cases, you can show up early without an appointment and be a walk-in, but I suggest arriving an hour before they open because there WILL be immigrants from around the world doing the same things.
They will shuffle you from chair to chair, and multiple people will give your forms to sign and keep.
I suggest you bring a book because you are not allowed to use our phone
I also suggest you google translate your forms and be familiar with the words because while they help you, if you don’t speak English, they will not baby you.
This process took me about 3 hours of being shuffled around and waiting before I was told to go upstairs for another hour and a half to take my photo.
Fortunately, the Mexico City office created your card while you were there.
Congratulations - You now have Mexican Residency
Your initial card will only be for 1 year. You will have to return to the office within 30 days of your card expiring.
You simply go to the websites, fill and print the form to renew, create, print, and pay for the additional 3 years, go back to the office as a walk-in, and do the process again.
Now that you’ve got that part set - Check out these articles next
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