If you are applying to become a resident in Mexico, there are specific immigration fees you should be aware of. These usually increase each year and are different based on which residency visa or immigration process you will be applying for.
Visitor Visa (tourist)
When you travel to Mexico as a tourist, you will either drive across the border, fly in, or take a cruise. And in case you didn’t know this, there is a fee that Mexico charges foreigners to process their FMM or forma migratoria multiple, which is essentially your tourist visa.
The cost of this is $687 MXN (about $34 USD)
You can pay for your FMM at the INM offices on the land borders if you are driving across. Although if you are traveling to Mexico for less than 72 hours, there is no charge.
If you are flying to Mexico, the airline automatically charges you this amount when you reserve and pay for your ticket. No need to pay for this again. If you are not a foreigner, you can apply for a refund. But in my experience, getting a refund is a marathon.
And if you are taking a cruise to Mexico, the cruise line automatically charges their passengers for this permit to enter Mexico. However, you aren’t given an FMM as you’d normally get if you were flying or driving to Mexico.
Temporary Residents (Canje)
The first part of your residency process will almost always start in your home country. You have to secure a Mexican consulate appointment- where they will check to see if you qualify for residency in Mexico. The cost of this consular appointment is always $51 USD or the equivalent based on your home country’s currency. And it is non-refundable regardless of whether you are approved or not.
The second part of the process takes place in Mexico and is known as CANJE.
Because most Temporary Residents are given their residency card for one year initially, you can expect the cost of this to be $5,108 MXN.
After the first year, you will have to renew your residency visa and can only do so for up to 4 years. These are the costs for renewal
- 1 Year $5,108 MXN
- 2 Years $7,654 MXN
- 3 Years $9,693 MXN
- 4 Years $11,488 MXN (only optional when someone meets the requirements for a 4 year residency visa upfront)
Work Permit for Temporary Residents
If you wish to work in Mexico as a temporary resident, you must obtain permission to work from INM. Even if you rent an Airbnb in Mexico as a temporary resident, you have to ask INM for permission to work- because you are generating an income.
The cost of this work permit is $3835 MXN.
Permanent Residents are given permission to work without having to process any additional permits., Although you are supposed to notify INM of your intent to work and what you plan to do for work.
If you are given permanent residency at the Mexican Consulate that approved your residency, your visa is indefinite and does not need to be renewed. You only pay $6,226 MXN once (about $311 USD).
When you come to Mexico, you pay this amount to finish your process at the INM offices.
Temporary Residents Changing to Permanent Residency
After 4 years as a Temporary Resident, you can become a permanent resident. The process is very straightforward and needs to be done in Mexico.
The cost of this change in your residency status is $1632 MXN.
Exit and Re-Entry Permit
Any new resident of Mexico who is coming to process their canje (the exchange of their residency stamp for a residency card) CANNOT leave Mexico without written permission from INM. Doing so will cancel your residency process, and you will have to start over again.
For this, INM has a special exit and re-entry permit given to people in special circumstances. With this permit, you are allowed to leave Mexico for a period of up to 60 days. At this point you have to come back to Mexico and cannot leave again until you have your residency card in hand.
The cost of this permit is $522 MXN.
Who Can Help You With Obtaining Residency in Mexico?
Mexican bureaucracy can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for anyone who has never had to deal with immigration in Mexico.
And although it isn’t impossible to process your residency on your own, the process can be frustrating and confusing. So who can help you ensure you have a smoother experience?
An immigration facilitator.
However, remember that an immigration facilitator’s fees are on top of immigration fees. And you can expect to pay an immigration facilitator anywhere from $3,000-$10,000 MXN per person. Depending on who you hire, what services they offer, how much they will do for you or expect you to do on your own, how many people in your family they are helping, and a few other factors.
A good and reputable immigration facilitator can help guide you through the residency process in Mexico. And because the process varies slightly from one INM office to another in Mexico, it’s important to hire a facilitator familiar with local norms.
Hiring a local expert that knows the immigration processes will not only save you time, but it can save you money. Not to mention saving you some frustrations.
Because of this, I have put together a directory of my recommended immigration facilitators across Mexico. I have them in a variety of cities in different states of Mexico. If you’d like one of our recommendations, check out our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide.