The Most Complete Guide to Mexico’s Resident Visas

Getting residency in Mexico is a pretty straightforward process. Yet, I see so many people who either think Mexico’s immigration laws are non-existent. Or I see people who know they exist but don’t obey them. I’ve read reports that said as much as 91% of Americans living in Mexico, are there illegally.

I hear stories all the time about people either overstaying their visas or simply leaving the country every six months to avoid having to get a residency visa. Then they are surprised when they get caught and fined or turned away at the border. And the Mexican National Immigration Institute (aka INM) is starting to crack down on perpetual tourists.

If you are thinking about moving to Mexico, you should really understand that you can legally get residency. If you are coming in as a tourist to check it out before moving here, you should also know how long you can stay. Either way, the following information should help you decide what to do to be here legally. That’s why I created this COMPLETE Guide to Resident Visas in Mexico.

But first, let me explain some of the terminologies for tourists vs. residents because it matters in your understanding of the process.

Learn how to get your residency in Mexico the right way. We cover the process for Temporary and Permanent Residency. And get access to our directory of Immigration facilitators across Mexico. In ourCOMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide.

Tourist Visa or FMM

You might be coming to Mexico to check it before making big decisions. That’s a great idea! I suggest taking your time to explore this beautiful and large country before going through the process of getting a residency visa in Mexico.

And why not? You can stay in the country for up to 180 days as a tourist if your passport is from one of the “no visa required” countries.

But keep in mind that even though you can be given up to 180 days, there is no guarantee you will actually get the full 180 days. There have been many cases where tourists have come to Mexico and were given 30, 20, or even 15 days on their tourist visas.

And many people are caught by surprise when they come to Mexico with plans of being here for more than a few weeks or months and are given only days on their tourist FMM. Some people may have brought their pets, some of their household goods, or something else that they assumed could stay longer. Or maybe you’ve made reservations at an Airbnb for five months and may lose out on some of that expense.

So if you plan to be in Mexico for more than 180 days, or if you can’t risk getting less than 180 days’ permission to stay in the country, you should consider a residency visa.

FMM Mexico Tourist Visa

Flying Into Mexico

Some of you will be flying into Mexico to finish your residency visa process.

The fee of an FMM is usually included in your ticket. Most likely, an agent will give you this form to fill out before entering Mexico. You’ll need to fill out a declaration form before arriving in Mexico, and you only need to fill one out per family.

If you’re coming in to finish your residency visa in Mexico, you’ll need to let an agent know they need to mark you as “canje.” It’s super important, and I cover that in detail further down.

If you’re coming in as a tourist, an immigration officer will stamp your passport and issue you a slip with the amount of time you are allowed to stay in Mexico.

Remember that you are not entitled to or automatically guaranteed 180 days as a tourist. This is up to the immigration agent to process your FMM upon arrival. You must check the amount of time they write into your FMM when you arrive in Mexico so that you don’t accidentally overstay your visa permit.

In some airports, you will be given a paper FMM. Whereas in some other airports, you will only get a stamp on your passport. Changes are happening daily- for more info, go to this post

Driving Into Mexico

A lot of people moving to Mexico decide to drive across the border. Makes sense to me. You might have pets. You might have household goods. Or, this vehicle may be your transportation in Mexico. And if you decided to get your residency in Mexico, you might need a car.

If you decide to drive to Mexico, you’ll still need to get an FMM. An FMM costs 638 pesos or roughly USD 32. (as of Jan 1st, 2022)

If you’re coming in as a tourist, you might read online that no one checks this while you’re driving in Mexico. And while it may be the case most of the time, it is required by law for you to get one upon arrival. If you get caught without one, it could cause trouble for you while you’re in the process of getting your residency visa in Mexico in the future. And no one at the border in Mexico enforces you to get an FMM. So it’s your responsibility to either buy one online ahead of time or get it at the border when you cross.

If you’re a resident coming in for canje, then you absolutely need to get an FMM at the border crossing you drive on. Make sure they mark you as Canje and not as a tourist.

Where to Get An FMM On The Land Border?

When you drive across the border, there is usually an INM office for you to get your FMM. They will need to see your passport, at least six months before it expires. Usually, an immigration officer will give you an FMM for up to 180 days if you are from one of the “no visa required countries” and coming in as a tourist.

But if you’re coming in as a resident, it’s extremely important that you let an agent know you are coming in as a resident and not a tourist if you are in the process of getting your residency in Mexico (also known as “canje”). If they mark your FMM as a tourist, your residency visa will no longer be valid, and you will have to start all over again. So don’t let an INM agent brush you off.

Getting a TIP permit for your car

Assuming you drive your own car across the border, you’ll also need to apply for a TIP. (Temporary Vehicle Permit) A TIP allows your foreign-plated vehicle to be driven while you are in Mexico.

The cost of a TIP is MXN 1,130.65, or roughly USD 52.

You can ONLY apply through Banjercito, but I found the process on their website to be really easy!

And if you like to plan ahead, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get your TIP permit from 7 and up to 60 days before travel. Usually, a TIP is good for up to 180 days.

Stays Longer Than 180 Days

If you’re planning to stay in Mexico for more than 180 days, you must apply for a temporary or permanent residence visa. And yes, you can get deported if you’re caught overstaying your visa. If you only want to be in Mexico temporarily, you must leave by the 6-month mark and surrender your FMM.

The most popular visas for ex-pats are either the temporary resident visa (residente temporal) or the permanent resident visa (residente permanente).

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for one or both. I’ll explain how you can determine the right one for you and how to apply.

Temporary Resident (Residente Temporal)

The most common visa in Mexico is a temporary resident visa. To qualify for a temporary residency visa, you need to:

  • Demonstrate monthly income of approximately USD $2,600 monthly for the past 6 months. You must provide at least the last 6 months of bank statements.
  • or
  • Demonstrate a minimum balance in investments or savings of approx USD $43,000 for the last 12 months. You’ll need to provide at least the last 12 months’ bank statements.
  • or
  • You can also submit official documents issued by a Mexican Notary proving the ownership of a property/company/business and one photocopy with a minimum value of $320,000 USD

Permanent Resident (Residente Permanente)

A permanent resident visa is less common because to qualify; you need to prove a higher amount of savings or income. *In some cases, you also have to be of retirement age. I’ll go over that further down. To qualify for a permanent residency visa, you must:

  • Demonstrate a minimum monthly income of approximately USD $4,350 for the last 6 months/
  • or
  • Demonstrate a minimum balance in liquid assets of approximately USD $170,000 for the last 12 months with bank statements showing this minimum balance each month.
  • *It is worth mentioning that some consulates require you to be a pensioner or of retirement age (over 60) to apply for the Permanent Resident VISA without having the Temporary Resident VISA first. However, different consulates in the USA have different rules. It is best to check with your immigration facilitator.


For most expats you’ll have to start the process for a permanent visa in the country you live in. Once you are granted a permanent resident visa you have to go to Mexico to finalize the process.

Same as the temporary visa, it is valid for up to 180 days and once you arrive in Mexico you have up to 30 DAYS to exchange it for a permanent resident card. This is known as CANJE.

Your permanent visa is valid indefinitely. You don’t have to renew it as you do with a temporary visa. You’re also allowed to work without having to apply for a work permit. However, you do need to tell INM if you have taken a job offer in Mexico.

Residency For Family Reunification

You may qualify to apply for residency without having to leave Mexico.

You qualify if you are the:

  • Parent of a Mexican citizen/permanent resident
  • Child of a Mexican citizen/permanent resident
  • Sibling of a Mexican citizen/permanent resident
  • Child of the spouse/common-law partner of a Mexican citizen/permanent resident

Instead of starting the process in a Mexican consulate/embassy near you, you would start the process at one of the immigration offices in Mexico.

Plus, a residency visa comes with a few perks too!

But what if you’re not sure if you plan to live in Mexico full-time? That’s ok! You don’t have to live in Mexico full-time to remain a resident of Mexico. The only caveat is, that if you become a temporary resident, you will have to come back in person to renew it. So, if you think retirement or living in Mexico might be in your future, I encourage you to look into residency sooner rather than later.

There are some additional perks of being a resident in Mexico such as:

  • You can come in and out of Mexico as you’d like
  • The ability to open bank accounts
  • You can import your foreign plated car free of import taxes (Temporary only)
  • You can bring your household goods to Mexico free of import taxes
  • You have access to Mexico’s low-cost healthcare through IMSS
  • Many private healthcare insurance companies require you to be a resident
  • You can apply for a Mexican driver’s license
  • You can work in Mexico or run a business in Mexico
  • You can register/nationalize a vehicle in Mexico
  • Retiree discounts available through INAPAM
  • No capital gains are paid when you sell a property in Mexico
  • Discounts for locals only
  • The cost of getting residency is very affordable compared to other countries
  • You can bring pets with you long-term
  • And so many more!

Should You Hire An Immigration Expert?

Getting an appointment at the Mexican Consulate in your country of origin might be impossible these days. Appointments are scarce, and you might have to dedicate a few days to calling and checking online every few minutes just to see if you can get one.

You also might not feel comfortable going to an immigration office in Mexico especially if your Spanish isn’t strong. Or you might not know if you are filling out the paperwork correctly. And trust me, you want to fill it out right the first time. It’ll save you multiple trips back and forth.

So hiring an immigration attorney or facilitator might be a good idea. We have a list of vetted and very affordable immigration facilitators around the country. All of them speak Spanish and English. They have dedicated staff just for the sole purpose of making appointments at Mexican Consulates for your initial interview. They’ll prepare you with the right kind of paperwork. And most importantly, they’ll know the best immigration offices in Mexico where you can do your residency exchange in a day or so.

It’s worth every dime.

How To Decide Which Immigration Attorney Is Right?

Not all immigration attorneys are the same. They vary a lot in costs and services provided. And in some cases, they’ll never deliver what they promised to do. Leaving you unsatisfied and having to hire a different person.

When you hire an immigration attorney it’s a good idea to interview them to know what’s included. You should ask questions like:

  • Will you translate the documents for me?
  • Are government fees included in your price?
  • Will you provide an official translator?
  • How long can I expect the process to take?
  • Will you schedule my Mexican Consulate appointment for me?
  • If I process two resident permits, are your fees the same per person?

You can expect reputable and efficient immigration lawyer fees to be around $400-$600 USD per person. However, your final cost may depend based on your specific situation and the amount of paperwork they may need to arrange for you. But I’ve heard stories of expats being taken advantage of and paying thousands of dollars to scammer immigration lawyers who didn’t deliver. All because they didn’t do their research.

We only work with the best and most reputable immigration contacts around Mexico. And we only work with immigration lawyers whose fees are reasonable. Want to learn more about working with our recommended immigration lawyers.

Get More Info About Our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide

Common Mistakes or Misconceptions

Here are some of the most common mistakes I see or hear about. Sometimes the consulates are the culprit for giving you wrong information. Get the facts:

  • There is no guarantee that if you qualify for Permanent residency, you will get Permanent residency. The consulate has the final say on what residency visa you will receive. Don’t get upset- you can always get Permanent residency after 4 years as a Temporary resident.
  • If you are applying as a married couple, some consulates require each one of you to qualify independently. If only one of you qualifies, don’t worry. Get residency, and once you are in Mexico, you can petition your spouse without having to prove additional financials.
  • When you are approved at a Mexican consulate, you will receive a stamp on your passport. You have up to 180 days to come to Mexico and finish the process. This is known as Canje. Canje is the process by which you exchange that stamp in your passport for an actual card. You are not done with the process until you receive your residency card.
  • From the time you enter Mexico, you have 30 days to at least start the process in the immigration office. If your appointment at INM for canje is past the 30 days, don’t worry you are not going to get in trouble. But it does mean you cannot leave Mexico unless you get permission from immigration. Otherwise, you cancel your whole process.
  • If you are driving to Mexico to do your Canje, it is YOUR responsibility to stop at INM at the border and ask for your FMM. Without this, you cannot get your residency card. And it would be a bummer to have to drive back to the border.
  • You might get asked to bring financials with you when you renew your temporary residency at INM. Doesn’t mean you have to prove the income requirements again. In fact, I’ve never known anyone to get denied for not having a specific amount. But be prepared that you may get asked for money in the bank when you renew your Temporary residency at INM. And not every INM office requires this.
  • What you get in the Mexican consulate is what you get in Mexico. This means if you got temporary, you can’t request permanent residency once you go to INM (immigration) in Mexico.
  • All Temporary residencies are for one year initially. After the first year, you can renew for 1,2 or 3 additional years. You can only be a temporary resident for up to 4 years. After which, you will either have to become a permanent resident or start over again.
  • Once you get your Mexican visa stamped on your passport, you need to finish the process in Mexico the next time you enter. You can’t come as a tourist while you have the visa in your passport and come back later to the country to finish it.

Mexican Bureaucracy Is Challenging

Ask any local or foreigner living in Mexico what they think about Mexican bureaucracy, and I guarantee you will get a few eye rolls. It’s one of the most frustrating things you will have to deal with when you move to Mexico, but trust me, once you learn to accept that nothing will be super easy, you will live a happier life.

Mexican government offices are sometimes very old school in their way of handling procedures. And immigration is no exception.

And while doing the process on your own isn’t impossible, knowing and hiring the right people to help you can save you time, frustrations, and money.

Just to give you an example, in March 2022, all immigration offices in Mexico stopped taking online appointments. Now, all appointments must be made in person. Which automatically made all INM (immigration in Mexico) offices have long lines and long wait times to get anything done. From renewals to canje to family unification processes. Many people don’t realize this. And they might come to Mexico thinking they might be able to finish their residency process in a matter of days. But come to find out, they need to invest about 2-4 weeks. But what happens if you have a job you have to come back to? Or pets or family?

It’s also not uncommon for some immigration offices in Mexico to run out of plastic. So what could have taken 1 day to complete might now take 3-4 days.

Knowing the right facilitators and having access to the right information can help you avoid some of these surprises. You have to keep in mind they do this for a living. They are at the immigration offices daily. They know what’s happening in real-time. Plus, they can help you shorten your processing times and help you avoid unnecessary frustrations.

That’s what your paying for when you hire a good immigration facilitator. Someone who can help guide you. Someone who knows the local procedure. What’s your time worth to you?

But not all facilitators are created equal. And if you don’t know what to look for, you could end up getting scammed. I see it all the time. “Reputable” immigration facilitators who are recommended by other “experts” end up wasting that person’s money or time. Not sure which is worse? I’ve seen people lose money because their facilitator made a crucial error and can’t fix it but won’t give them their money back. I’ve seen facilitators take payment and not return phone calls.

That’s why hiring the right people can make all the difference. In our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide, we only give you access to the immigration facilitators we know are trustworthy and professional. That way you have one less thing to worry about.

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions


  1. Roxanne says

    This is a great resource! I saw your updated page for 2021, but can you update this Residency-Cost-in-Mexico page for 2021, too? Also, can you discuss the UMA figures that are lower than required incomes for 2021? There has been talk that the Mexican immigration requirements for income will be tied to UMA in the future. Thank you so much for your hard work!

  2. Mita says

    Didn’t see much about retirement visa. Could you please explain
    Thank you

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi there
      There are two types of residency visas in Mexico. A permanent and temporary visa.
      The qualifications for each are different. Most retirees apply for permanent
      I detail the permanent visa in the article. Hope this helps!

      • MD. TOWHIDUL ISLAM says

        how can i get pr in mexico?

        • Mariana Lange says

          The article covers how to get permanent residency 😉

      • Cathy says

        Great article. What I didn’t see addressed is the requirement for permanent residents to have Mexico plates on their vehicle. Is that still requured? It’s the primary reason I’m leaning towards temporary residency.

        • Mariana Lange says

          Hi Cathy- yes it is still required. That information is included in our online guide along with the detailed instructions on how to get a temporary import permit and the contacts that can help you renew it when you renew your temporary residency.

      • DR. JORGE VALDES says

        Hi Mariana, I have Mexican permanent residency but no longer reside in Mexico, how do I return my permanent residency? Dr. Valdes, [email protected]

        • Mariana Lange says

          You mean like surrender it?
          You may have to ask your local Mexican consulate how to do that

      • John Bali says

        Hi Mariana,
        How to I provide proof of address in Mexico for the Canje when I am living in a hotel until my funds arrive from my house sale in the uk?
        Would printed out hotel booking reservations be OK?
        Very much looking forward to hearing from you,
        Kind regards,

        • Mariana Lange says

          Hi Nick
          It depends on the INM office you are going to in Mexico. Not all of them require proof of address. And if they do, all they need is a utility bill (doesn’t have to be in your name). Either your Airbnb host may be able to give you a copy of theirs or your immigration facilitator can supply one.

  3. Marlene Jenkins says

    Hello, I have my temporary visa from USA, now that I’m moving to Mexico what do I need to bring to get my residency card? Thanks

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Marlene!
      You should bring your temporary visa stamp along with your passport.
      You have up to 180 days to travel to Mexico to do the “canje” or exchange for your residency card. Once you enter Mexico, you have up to 30 days to go to INM and start the “canje” process.
      When you go to INM (immigration in Mexico), they will tell you what you need to exchange your residency visa for a residency card.
      Where in Mexico are you moving to?


  4. Jay Taylor says

    Hello Mariana,

    Under the requirements for a Temporary Residence visa, it says: emonstrate a minimum balance in investments or savings of approx USD $43,000 for the last 12 months. But shouldn’t the amount be quite a bit higher than just $43,000? To compare, the amount needed for a Perm. Resd. visa is listed at over $170,000.

    Just wondering.

    Sincerely, Jay

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Jay!
      The amounts posted are correct. The differences between temp and perm residency in terms of savings is very large.
      Each consulate has its own income requirements but they won’t vary too much from these amounts

  5. Jay Taylor says

    Hi Mariana,

    Thanks for your reply. I was just coming on to say that I found the same amount ($43,000) listed elsewhere, so no need to bother replying. lol

    I guess the reason the difference in amounts required for Temp. and Perm. visas is so large is that, since people only have to apply once for the latter, the Mexican government wants to be fairly certain that people will be able to cover ever increasing cost of living expenses once they become permanent residents.

    Thanks again!


    Jay (Taylor)

    • Mariana Lange says

      My pleasure!

  6. J T says

    I am interested in applying for the permanent residency visa, could you refer an attorney or agency to help me with the process? I am living in Dominica currently.
    Thank you.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi JT,
      Great! Yes in our Complete Mexico Relocation Guide we have a directory of immigration facilitators that can help you out.
      Learn more here

  7. Elise Aiwohi says


    What’s the additional amount needed for a spouse if using investment or savings accounts? I know that when using monthly income there is an additional amount needed when adding a spouse but, can’t find an answer regarding savings or investments.

    Thank you!

    • Mariana Lange says

      About $800 USD a month- but it varies by consulate

      • Elise Aiwohi says

        Thank you for your response. I might not be understanding correctly. You are saying $800 more a month but, if we are qualifying on savings what does that calculate as? Is it $800 x 12 months? If my spouse qualifies with a retirement account and I bring in $1900 a month can that qualify as the $800 or does it need to come from one spouse only?

        • Mariana Lange says

          You should talk to an immigration facilitator/expert about your specific situation

  8. Owen Evans says

    After 4 years of temporary residence, when you apply for permanent residency. Do you need to show the 170,000 Financials?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi! you do not

  9. Thomas L Dennis says

    If you are married, can you apply for a temporary or permanent (Mexico) residence card without adding your spouse?

    • Mariana Lange says


      • John says

        I am a handicapped adult that would like to move to mexico with my mother. I receive adult disability payments from the u.s. government. My mother is retired and receives social security. I recieve 1,200 per month. My mother receives 1,500 per month. Together do we qualify to live in Mexico? What about leaving the country every six months and reentering under a tourist visa as well and also. Thank you.

          • Pamela Van Arsdel says

            Hello Maria,
            My sister is a permanent resident and Mexico. She obtained this status several years ago. If I move to Mexico could I start the process of Residency for Family Unification…once there?
            Thank you

          • Mariana Lange says

            Hi Pamela,
            Normally, siblings don’t qualify as family unification.

  10. GWC says

    As far as the 12 months of income rule goes does it have to be guaranteed you will make that income while in Mexico? Let’s say I’ve made $10,000 a month for the past 3 years but will most likely lose my job when I move to Mexico. Does that mean I’d still be able to get Temporary Residency?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Great question- they don’t need proof that you’ll have that job when you move to Mexico. Only that you have the income requirements when you show up to your interview

  11. Lucy says

    Hi ,can a person born I’m MEXICO and has lived for the past 45 years as a permanent resident in CALIFORNIA and is retired ,move back to MEXICO (Baja California) as a retiree and buy property ? Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Lucy
      Yes- as a Mexican National you will always be a Mexican. And yes you can buy property in Mexico

  12. K. Andrews says

    Stated above under temporary resident is “You can also submit official documents issued by Mexican Notary proving the ownership of a property/company/business and one photocopy with a minimum value of $320,000 USD.”

    I’m assuming this property/company/business would be located in Mexico but want to confirm.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes- you are assuming correctly. The property has to be in Mexico

      • Sebastien Charles says

        Hello Mariana,

        For proof of ownership, will a certified copy of the original deed by notario be sufficient to prove ownership of property or you need to provide the original of the deed?


        • Mariana Lange says

          A certified copy should be good enough. Although you may want to check with your local consulate if this would be sufficient as each consulate has its own rules.

  13. Desert Dog says

    Hi – just a quick question regarding permanent residency in Mexico; my wife and I are Canadian citizens, but we live in Arizona full time as we legally own and operate a business here, I’m wondering if we EACH have to “Demonstrate a minimum balance in liquid assets of approximately USD $170,000 for the last 12 months with bank statements showing this minimum balance each month”……?

    I have approximately 700K CAD dollars worth of retirement investments back in Canada, she has approximately 130K CAD – plus we have a house in Arizona (mortgage free) worth 650K USD which we’d sell upon moving to Mexico.

    Thanks in advance…

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi there
      No- only one of you has to meet the income requirements. The spouse has to meet $800-$1000 USD extra depending on the consulate.
      The mortgage won’t be taken into consideration by the consulate but they will consider all of your financials. Bring copies of everything.

  14. James E Cook says

    Great info!

    I was wondering if there are any limitations on the length of time a person who becomes a permanent Mexican resident can be traveling outside of Mexico?

    I can imagine wanting to be on the road in the US and other countries four or five months a year, but obviously wouldn’t want to jeopardize the permanent Mexican resident status.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi! You don’t have to live in Mexico to remain a permanent resident
      Once you’ve been given permanent residency you can leave and come back as many times as you want and for as many months or years as you would like

  15. DJ says

    I am wondering about working remotely in Mexico. If you work for a US company but want to live in Mexico, do you need a Mexican work visa? I anticipate travelling back and forth every quarter or so staying longer than 180 days is not an option. The job is 100% US and can be conducted anywhere there is internet connection.

    • Mariana Lange says

      As long as none of the services you offer are rendered in Mexico, you don’t need a work permit.

  16. Eric L says

    Hello, My girlfriend and I, with our two kids, would like to get temporary resident visas to live in Mexico. We are unmarried, but we have been planning to get married. I’m wondering if the paperwork at the consulate would be simpler if we were married (or not). I know we have to bring our marriage license if we are married. But for couples who are not married, I am having trouble finding information on if we have to bring any documentation or “prove” anything about our relationship. We plan to have her submit her bank statements and have myself and the two kids all be dependents. She has the money in her bank account to cover it. I believe it would be around $46,000 that she would need. Thanks so much for any help.

    • Mariana Lange says

      In most cases, they will need proof that you two are a common-law marriage. Such as joint bank accounts, lease agreements in both names, and such.
      BUT It all depends on the consulate.
      And yes, a marriage certificate will always be the most straightforward way to prove your marriage.

      • Eric L. says

        Thank you!! That’s very helpful.

  17. Gilbert says

    Hello. I am approaching the end of my 4 years as a Temporary Resident. What is the process at the INM to change to the Permanent Resident. Do they have paperwork there for me to complete or is it an online process? Thanks (great website!)

  18. KJ says

    Hi Marianne,
    My ex-husband and I would like to get a temporary residency for ourselves and three kids. Would we need to book separate appointments at our consulate or could we do it together? He will have two of the kids under him financially and I would have one.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi! It depends on the consulate. In most cases each one of you needs to have their own appointments or the co sulfate has to be aware that it is multiple people. It just depends on their booking system

      • KJ says

        Got it! Thanks Marianne!

  19. K.C. Wright says

    Very informative! I am a US citizen planning to move to Mexico next year. For permanent residency, can I apply now or do I have to wait until I’m actually moved or have planned intentions to move? Also, any tips on moving household goods? I am in a border town but I’m hearing you can’t take a u-haul across. Appreciate your site!

    • Mariana Lange says

      Thanks! You don’t have to wait until you move to actually apply for residency. Many people get their residency nailed down sometimes years before they actually move. Especially since things change quickly.
      I would however not mention you aren’t moving to Mexico yet whenever you are asked at your consular interview.

      No – you cannot take a Uhaul to Mexico. If you need our recommendations on international moving companies or private drivers who will bring a small amount of household goods to Mexico, they are included in our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide

  20. Susan van Niekerk says

    Hi Mariana,

    This is incredibly helpful!

    My South African parents are planning to move to Mexico. They haven’t been able to get in contact with the consulate there at all, so they are planning to apply for temporary residency while in California, before traveling to Mexico.

    Their plan is to demonstrate a minimum balance in investments or savings of approx USD $43,000 for the last 12 months. Their investment accounts are currently split between them, however, meaning that together they meet the $43,000 requirement, but apart, they don’t. Do they need to combine their investments into one of their names for 12 months before applying? Or can they use accounts from each of their names that together total $43k?

    Really appreciate your help!

    • Mariana Lange says

      It depends on the local consulate in South Africa. Some consulates will let you combine investment accounts and savings. I would ask your local Mexican Consulate

  21. Peter smith says

    I am English 86 and unvaccinated my girlfriend is Philippines 63. I am not allowed into her country she is not allowed into mine we both speak Spanish and have only communicated by Skype for 2 years. We would like to retire to Mexico to be together.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Mexico might just be your best bet! I hope it works out for you too. If you need a relocation tour check out our tours

  22. Lillie B. says

    Hello, I found your site this evening and read most every comment and submission. All of the information and answers to questions that you provide have been very helpful to me. I appreciate your site. Thank you.

  23. Ava Ellis says

    When you arrive in Mexico and go to the immigration office to get the residency card, do you need to have a permanent address, or can you be staying in some kind of temporary residence like a hotel or Bed and Breakfast while you’re hunting for a house, condo or apartment?

    • Mariana Lange says

      We recommend working with an immigration facilitator who can help guide you through this process. It depends on the local INM office.
      If you need a recommendation we have them in our Mexico Relocation Guide

  24. IVCDub says


    Thank you for this valuable information. My wife and I are planning to apply for PR on the basis of 12 months of financial statements. We have two children, one who is 17 years old and the other who is 20. I have two questions for you:

    1) Is it possible to include our daughter in our application for PR? I know that we can’t include our son until after we have our PR when we can apply on the basis of family reunification; and

    2) What is the approximate time it takes to acquire the PR card once we are in Mexico; is there a way to speed up the process? We are planning to arrive in Mexico in the middle of June, but have to leave after only 2 weeks for a weekend wedding in the U.S.. After which we’ll return to Mexico for the foreseeable future. I know that we are allowed only one entry into Mexico on the PR visa, and we shouldn’t leave Mexico until we receive our PR cards.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes you can add your daughter to your original application. however, depending on the consulate, they may require each applicant to prove the minimum economic solvency. She’ll likely get temporary then and after 2 years can be a permanent residency.
      In most cases right now, the canje process in Mexico is taking 3-4 weeks. And you normally can’t leave once you’ve started the process in Mexico because you can lose your residency. There is a special permit you can ask for if you had to leave but they rarely approve them.
      There are some INM offices in Mexico that are faster than others such as La Paz, Huatulco, Mexico City, and Juarez. If you need a recommended facilitator in those areas, we have them in our Mexico Relocation Guide

  25. CD says

    Hi Mariana,
    Thank you for your post this is really helpful. Right now I have my resident visa, I am wondering how long does INM to issue the card when I get to Mexico? I am thinking to go to the INM in Mexico City. Since the appointment website was off, I am wondering is that still possible to get my card on the same day I walk in?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Most INM offices are taking from 1 week to 4 weeks because you have to get an appointment in person first- which is usually for a future date. Then come back and do your biometrics. Then get your card.

  26. Angela says

    I have a mex permanent card how can i change my last name after marriage, i am currently in california where i need continued cancer treatment. Thank you !

  27. jimmy dean puckett says

    information very helpful

  28. Loretta says

    I know they are cracking down on border jumpers my question is can I live in Mexico for 6 months then in panama for 6 months without getting residency visas from either country

  29. Lonnie says

    Hi Mariana,
    I am married to a Mexican national. I am retired. She still works. We, live in the states. We, (in her name), own a casa in BCS. Is there a simpler way for me to gain residency than the usual way for Americans, being married to her?

  30. David W Caldwell says

    As a gay American single male would I have trouble getting a temporary and/or permanent visa in Mexico? And if I were a married gay male couple would there be a problem getting either visa?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi David- no. Being gay doesn’t matter in terms of getting a residency. If you are legally married you can apply together

  31. Juanita says

    Hi Mariana,

    Thank you for the valuable information. When you obtain a temporary visa within proven required income, will you have to prove income each time you renew your visa?

    Thank you!

    • Mariana Lange says

      No- currently you don’t

  32. Debbie Mann says

    We have had property in Baja Sur for a number of years. We are now having a local contractor building a home and separate bodega on the 1/2 acre piece. My husband and I are on social security, but neither makes the monthly requirement (total is $3400 for both). Because we are using our savings to build the home, we may be a little shy for the savings requirement for past 12 months for one of us to get a permanent visa (which is what we would like). Would it be better to get the temporary visa and then apply for the permanent one in a year after our home is completed in Mexico. It will be valued at approx $450,000? How do we get it appraised and notarized for the immigration office. Thank you

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Debbie
      In my personal experience it is rare that a consulate will let you obtain permanent residency from property in Mexico valued at 6 million pesos or more.
      I think your best course of action would be to first become a temporary resident, renew for up to 3 more years after the initial year, then become a permanent.

  33. Debbie Mann says

    We have a property in Baja Sur. A local contractor is building a home and bodega for us. The total value will be approx $450,000. How do we get the value notarized so we can use to obtain a permanent visa. Currently, my spouse and I are on social security but neither make the required minimum monthly amount ($3400 for both). Our savings will be a little shy of the amount needed for a permanent visa once we build the home. Should one of us apply for a temporary visa for one year and then use the value of the home to apply for a permanent visa the following year? Would the other spouse be able to apply in Mexico the following year also.

  34. JJ says

    Hi Mariana,

    My wife and I meet the financials for PR, however we’re in our 50s. If we initially apply for PR but are rejected, will they give us TR or do we need to start the process over again?

  35. Dee Watkins says

    I will be applying for my Temporary Residency very soon. I have a partner of 10 years that may or may not move to GDL with me. Should I/we apply as a Common Law “married” couple just in case she decides that she wants to become a resident. I have the savings to cover both of us. Or will the process be difficult if we decide to do it later?

    • Mariana Lange says

      I would absolutely apply as a common law marriage if you have any paperwork to support it. Such as join bank statements, leases together, etc.

  36. Bill D. says

    Buenos dias Mariana, regarding the financial requirements for the permanent visa, we get quarterly statements from our investment companies. Will this work or do we need to contact them and see about getting everything redone as monthly statements?
    Many thanks in advance,

    • Mariana Lange says

      I would ask my bank to give me monthly statements
      You don’t want to give them any reason to deny you

  37. Kit Wainer says

    I am a US citizen and have a flight to Mexico City booked for August 29. I need to stay for several months for academic research and may need to return several times over the next few years. I had hoped to apply for a temporary residence visa in New York but the consulate had no appointments available earlier in the summer. Is it possible to begin the application in Mexico or will I need to wait until I return to the US to start the process?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Unless you’re the family member of a Mexican National or resident, you have to start the process in the US. 😀

  38. Marin says

    Buenos Dias Mariana! I have my temporary resident visa (as of today!) and am ready to begin my INM process. My challenge , over the next 6 months, is to be able to enter Mexico and complete the INM process for the card in a 3 week period. I will need to return to the US for business and family reasons -I can go beyond 3 weeks by just a few days if necessary.

    I have been working with an expert facilitator in just one location for some time now and the appointment timing window is now at 1 month or more in her location. ( and seemingly exploding in many locations)

    Do you have the ability, in your services to look across each INM location you have lawyers/facilitators in and guide clients to the most efficiency location at a point in time?

    And – is it possible in any INM location for an appointment with the INM to be scheduled for me/on my behalf, without my in country presence? BEFORE my entry into Mexico in any region? This could help to better plan for arrival time and help ensure I have more time available after the initial appointment to finish up? ( vs waiting until I am in country before a facilitator can get an appt.) I am getting conflicting information elsewhere on this question.

    Thank you in advance for any thought on this you may have!

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi there
      If you need to leave by 3 weeks, I wouldn’t recommend going where it takes a month. Because that’s a best case scenario
      The offices I know of where the process is done the same day are
      La Paz
      Los Cabos
      Mexico City

  39. Christy says

    Hello Mariana,

    We have started our temporary residency in Canada and now need to complete it in Mexico. We will be driving and crossing at Reynosa, so from what I’m understanding we can finish the process in Juarez in one day? We have until December 9, 2022 to get to an INM office, how much time should we allow ourselves? Should we be there by December 1st? Etc? Thank you for any help you can offer is!

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes- Juarez is one of the offices that can process you in one day. But you should allow yourselves at least 3 days just in case their printers stop working or they run out of plastic cards. Which does tend to happen.

  40. James Dombrowski says


    If I don’t have a residence yet in Mexico, can I just use the address of my hotel/AirBnB?


    • Mariana Lange says

      If you are referring to when you do your canje, the short answer is yes. However, you should be aware that it is your responsibility to change your address within 90 days with INM. They can do a random check to see that you are actually living in the home that you provided the address for. Although it is rare, I figure you should know this also.

  41. Erik Forstreuter says

    Hi Mariana
    I will be relocating to the Puerto Vallarta area. I won’t be needing information on any other region/city. Does your guide have lots of PV specific information such as; immigration facilitators, lawyers, property managers, construction contractors etc?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hello Erik!
      We have a lot of great info on Puerto Vallarta
      Including a lot of local contacts. Although I don’t have any recommendations for construction contractors in the area, I’m positive we could get you a few recommendations through our contacts there

      We have immigration facilitators, healthcare brokers, relocation tour guides, lawyers, people who can help you get a drivers license and more

  42. Bow Archer says

    Hi Mariana!

    I am American, and have my 1 year residency. I recently got married (to another American citizen). What is the process to get residency for my wife? I intend to renew mine in December, and was hoping there was a process to petition to get her residency without having to leave Mexico. We no longer have a House in the U.S. and her Temporary Visa will expire soon. While we know she can “cross the border” and come back, this is increasingly risky with the new procedures on FMM visas. They are not giving foreigners 180 days by default any longer.

    What are our options?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes you can petition your spouse without having to leave Mexico.
      The process is getting an appointment at the local INM and then showing up with an apostilled marriage certificate, copies and original, your current address with proof through an electric bill, and pay the immigration fees. Some INM offices offer same day service while others give you an appointment for the future.
      If you’d like to ensure you do it the right way from the very start, I recommend hiring an immigration expert/facilitator. If you need a recommendation, we have a directory of recommendations throughout Mexico
      Check out our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide

  43. John says

    What form of payment do your facilitators accept from clients outside of Mexico?

    For example, payment of retainer fees, etc.

    Thank you.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi John
      It fully depends on the individual
      But most of them accept PayPal, bank transfer through Remitly or Wise, or cash

  44. Alexei Tchernov says

    I am 60, retired, I have enough funds to qualify for permanent residency (combined over prescribed 222K CAD). However, for a few months I kept about 90K in a joint account with my son, which brings me below minimum if counts only my only accounts. Is this a problem?

    Also, how do they treat investment accounts. Does only cash matter, or bonds and stocks too?



    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Alexei,
      the truth is it all depends on the consulate. Some consulates may be okay with you showing joint statements and will give you residency. But not all of them will.
      My best advice is to check with your local consulate first- email them please

  45. Eric Davis says

    You rock! I just found your YT channel and signed up for your newsletter. YOu cut through all the hype and you answer all the questions!

    I am just figuring it all out but really appreciate your insights.

    I am looking at either Mexico, Nicaragua or Colombia to travel and then move so really appreciate all your work.

    Let me know how I can help promote your work…

    Eric Davis

    • Mariana Lange says

      Thank you so much Eric!
      If you find my blog posts or videos to be helpful, feel free to share them!
      Find all my content at


  46. Paul Smith says

    Hi Mariana
    My wife has a temporary Mexican visa and a vehicle from Canada registered in her name fully insured for Mexico and TIP in place, I have a permanent Mexican visa is there any problem for me to drive her vehicle in Mexico? Of course we both have driver’s licenses from Canada.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes there is a problem. If you are stopped with the vehicle and the TIP is not in your name, the car could get impounded.

  47. Lori says

    My husband is a dual Mexican/American citizen. We are retiring in Mexico (in the process of buying a home there) and we want to start the process of getting me my temp residency. Our local consulate (in AZ) is telling us to do this from Mexico.

    Upon researching, the docs I need are simply my FMM, my American passport, my marriage license, and lease/deed/utility bill from a property in Mexico.

    However, my husband changed his first name to his long time “nickname” when he became American, and I legally married him under his new American name.

    He has been traveling to Mexico as an American… we recently corrected that and now has a Mexican passport under his birth name as well as a CURP in order to take property title.

    We have a clear paper trail to show his birth name and American name are the same person…. But it is a combination of Mexican and USA docs.

    Do I have to remarry him in Mexico under his birth name in order to achieve residency, or will proof that he is the same person through a series of documents/picture IDs from both countries suffice?

    • Mariana Lange says

      This is tricky and I would recommend consulting with an immigration expert. If you need our recommendations to reputable immigration facilitators in Mexico, we include them when you purchase our Mexico relocation guide

  48. Manian says

    For the canje process, is it possible to get it done within couple of days in Mexico City? That is I fly into CDMX with temporary residence visa and go very early in the morning to local INM office and stand in the queue. Can I get the residence card the same day or next day?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Mexico City does not offer same-day service anymore, unfortunately. But assuming you start lining up pretty early in the AM (before 4am) there is a good chance you’ll get an appointment for the following day. At which point they usually give you the card that same day

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