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An Expat’s Guide to Getting a Mexican Residency

An Expat’s Guide to Getting a Mexican Residency

Everyone knows that Mexico is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. In recent years, the country has retained economic and political stability that might have seemed unlikely in the past. Personally, I feel that everyone should consider Mexico as a prime destination to settle down in for financial reasons and to get nationality because of the advantages of a Mexican passport. 

Getting Mexican residency is pretty simple, whether you’re thinking of retiring there and buying property or looking to set up a business, the government has made it pretty easy to move in. There are very few barriers to settling in and it’s quite cheap to live there as well. For this reason, I often suggest that my clients buy a home and take advantage of the ideal conditions offered by the country.


Some Background

Even though Mexico is one of the leading emerging economies in the world, it’s in a bit of a tight spot at the moment. The economy shrunk in the past quarter and the GDP forecast was revised showing a lower closing GDP than was projected earlier in the year. This is probably because of Trump’s announcement to impose tariffs on Mexican imports and generally lower demand from the US because of its trade war with China. 

Things are looking up once again, though, because Trump himself suspended the announcement to restore faith in the growth of the economy. As we once again look towards greater economic growth in Mexico, the country’s well on its path to economic development again. Assuming that things pan out the way they have over the past couple of years, you could stand to gain quite a lot from a Mexican residency.


Getting Permanent Residency In Mexico

You can only get Mexican citizenship if you’ve lived as a permanent resident in the country for four years. There are other ways to get a nationality—like claiming blood relation to Mexican nationals or marrying a Mexican national, but I’ll focus on how people can get naturalized without these relations. 


Retirement Visas To Mexico

People looking to retire to Mexico must directly apply for a permanent residency visa. The requirements of the visa are as follows:

  • You must have a valid passport.
  • Alien residents must present their green card to qualify.
  • A letter addressed to the Consulate General of Mexico, specifying the reasons you want to move to the country. The letter must also explain how you derive your income and the amounts that you receive.
  • You must prove your economic solvency by presenting the last six months’ account statement which shows that you receive $2000 monthly and had closing balances of $2000 at the end of the month.
  • If you’re generating income through investments, you must show income statements for the past 12 months, showing an average closing balance of $80,000 a month.
  • If you’re applying with dependents then the average minimum monthly income increases by 25% as you increase the number of dependents.
  • If you’re retiring with your spouse, you must present an apostilled copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Pay a visa processing fee of $36.


Temporary Mexican Residency Visas

Temporary visas are offered to people who haven’t retired and/or wish to live in Mexico for a pre-defined period of time. The visa is renewable every 1,2 or 3 years and you can’t live in Mexico as a temporary resident for more than 4 years—which works well because then you can just apply for a permanent residency.  

Temporary visas are granted to people in accordance with categories describing what activities people intend to pursue during their stay in the country. You must meet the following criteria if you wish to qualify for temporary residency:

  • Prove your economic solvency
  • Prove your familial connections to existing Mexican nationals.

The minimum financial criteria for each category include:

  • Temporary Residency— You must show that you have saved a minimum of $27,000 in the past year or that you get regular income of at least $1620 a month.
  • Real Estate— If you’re applying for temporary residency based on your ownership of real estate in Mexico, you must prove that the property is worth at least $216,000.
  • Investing in Mexico— If you want temporary residency based on investments you’re making in Mexico, then you must prove that the investment is worth $108,000. This investment could be your own company or one already listed in the Mexican stock market.
  • Applying with a spouse—If you’re applying on the basis of your savings, you must show that you have saved up at least $28,000 over the past year or you make $540 per month in addition to your existing income.

If you’re looking to apply through a family connection, then you must prove one of the following familial relations:

  • You are a parent of a permanent resident.
  • You are the sibling of a foreigner holding a permanent resident.
  • You are a foreign parent of Mexican nationals.
  • You are a sibling of a Mexican national


Getting Mexican Permanent Residency

If you’ve lived in Mexico for four years with a temporary residency, you can apply for a permanent residence. You’ll have to apply in any case because they don’t extend temporary residence beyond four years anyway. Some other conditions that apply include:

  • You can apply for PR if you have close family connections to Mexican nationals or permanent residents.
  • You’re applying as a retiree and have met the minimum financial criteria.
  • You have lived for two years as a temporary resident, where the residency was granted because you were married to a Mexican national or a foreign permanent resident.



Mexico’s a great place to live in, irrespective of whether you’re thinking of retiring of starting your own business. The weather’s great (I was there last week and loved it!), the people are welcoming and the country is perhaps one of the most economically stable throughout Latin America. If you’re thinking of becoming a Mexican citizen, you should begin working right away to get either a temporary or permanent residence.

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