Permanent Residency in Mexico-The Ultimate Guide

Are you dreaming of living in Mexico permanently? Whether you want to retire in paradise, start a business, or enjoy a new lifestyle, obtaining permanent residency in Mexico can be a game-changer.

But navigating the complex immigration system can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the requirements and procedures or the language.

That’s why I’ve put together the ultimate guide to obtaining permanent residency in Mexico.

From the different types of visas to the application process and the benefits of becoming a resident, we’ve got you covered. Our comprehensive guide is designed to help you achieve your goal of living in Mexico hassle-free.

You’ll discover the steps, the documents you need, and the common pitfalls to avoid. So whether you’re a digital nomad, a retiree, or a semi-retired, read on to learn everything you need to know about obtaining permanent residency in Mexico.

Benefits of Permanent Residency in Mexico

There are many benefits to obtaining permanent residency in Mexico. One of the most significant benefits is the ability to work legally.

With a permanent residency visa, you can work for any employer in Mexico without a work permit. And if you have social security benefits or other pensions paid to you by your home country, you do not have to pay taxes in Mexico.

Another benefit of obtaining permanent residency in Mexico is the ability to travel in and out of the country without restrictions.

With a permanent residency visa, you can leave and re-enter Mexico as often as you’d like with no issues. This is a significant advantage for those who frequently travel back and forth to visit family in the U.S. or Canada.

And there is no law requiring you to live in Mexico permanently, so you can leave Mexico for an extended amount of time and still remain a resident.

Qualifying For Permanent Residency

There are four types of permanent residency visas in Mexico. Each visa has its requirements and benefits. They are:

Economic Solvency

Most Mexican Consulates require applicants to be retired and at least 60 years old to qualify for permanent residency. And some consulates require you also to be retired and no longer actively working.

To qualify for this visa, you must prove that you have had a monthly income of at least $4,300 USD for the past 6 months or savings of at least $43,000 USD for the past 12 months. However, the income requirements vary by consulate. Here are the most up-to-date income requirements for residency in Mexico.

Family Unity Visa

A Family Unity visa is for individuals with family ties to a Mexican citizen or permanent resident. The benefit of residency through family unity is that you don’t need to prove economic solvency.

To qualify for this visa, you must be

  • A parent to a Mexican citizen child.
  • A parent to a Mexican permanent resident child.
  • The child to a permanent resident parent, even if you are adopted. As long as you are under 18 and not married.
  • A child declared incompetent and under the permanent resident card holder’s legal guardianship.

Eligibility Requirements for Permanent Residency in Mexico

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for permanent residency in Mexico. The requirements vary depending on the consulate you are applying in. Some general requirements include the following:

– A valid passport

Proof of financial solvency- varies by consulate

– Be of retirement age

Documents Needed for Permanent Residency in Mexico

You must provide several documents to apply for permanent residency in Mexico. These documents will vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, some common documents include the following:

– Valid passport

– Birth certificates when applicable

– Marriage certificates when applicable

-Financial statements

It is essential to ensure all your documents are in order before submitting your application. Any missing or incorrect documents can result in a delay or rejection of your application.

Application Process for Permanent Residency in Mexico

The application process for permanent residency usually begins at a Mexican Consulate near you. However, it depends on whether you are applying based on economic solvency or through family ties in Mexico.

  • Set an appointment at your nearest Mexican consulate.
  • Receive an answer from the Mexican Consulate on approval or denial of residency.
  • If approved, you get a temporary stamp on your passport.
  • That residency stamp is valid for up to 180 days.
  • Need to travel to Mexico to exchange that stamp for a card- aka Canje.
  • Once in Mexico, you have up to 30 days to go to INM– aka Immigration In Mexico.
  • Schedule an in-person appointment at INM -either the same day or a future date.
  • INM will ask you for some documents, your temporary stamp, pictures and fingerprints, and payment.
  • Receive your residency card. And now you’re done with the residency process.

Additional Reading:What Is Canje?

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are several common mistakes that applicants make during the application process. These mistakes can result in the rejection of your application or delay the processing time.

Some Common Mistakes Include:

  • 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 four 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.
  • You will receive a stamp on your passport when you are approved at a Mexican consulate. 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.
  • When you enter Mexico, you have 30 days to start the process at the immigration office nearest you in Mexico, aka INM.
  • You cannot leave Mexico until you receive your residency card if you have to leave while in the Canje process, you must ask for permission from INM. Otherwise, you lose your residency.
  • 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. Make sure they mark Canje on your FMM and NOT Tourist.
  • The stamp you get at your Mexican Consulate dictates the type of residency card you get at INM. If you received a temporary residency stamp, you can’t request permanent residency once you go to INM.

Cost of Permanent Residency in Mexico

The cost of permanent residency in Mexico depends on the number of people in your family applying, if you need to get documents apostilled and translated, and whether you hire an immigration facilitator.

The application fee at your local Mexican Consulate in 2023 is $51 USD.

The cost of an immigration facilitator range between $4,000-$8,000 Pesos per person.

And the fee paid to INM for 2023 is $6,226 Pesos per applicant.

Having documents apostilled can cost between $20 USD- $200 USD. It depends on whether you hire a 3rd party to help you or request the documents yourself.

Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Facilitator

Navigating the immigration system in Mexico can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the laws and procedures or speak Spanish.

Hiring an immigration facilitator is money well spent and will help you avoid any mistakes that could result in the rejection of your application or a significant delay. An immigration facilitator can also help you book your consulate appointment, help you prepare for your interview, and make the tedious process in Mexico seem like a breeze.

But you also must consider that not all immigration facilitators are good at what they do. And there are A LOT of scammers out there taking advantage of people who don’t know any better. Many scammers claim to be professionals who take money from their victims and deliver fake documents.

And some “facilitator” also charge outrageous amounts for the process because their customers don’t know any better.

That’s why you want to hire a reputable immigration facilitator who is reasonably priced and also very good at what they do.

Next Steps

Obtaining permanent residency in Mexico can be a game-changer for those who want to live in Mexico long-term.

With the ability to work legally, access affordable health care, and the freedom to travel in and out of the country without restrictions, becoming a permanent resident in Mexico is an attractive option for many.

However, the process can be complicated, and making mistakes is easy if you don’t know what to watch out for.

That’s why we created our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide. Our online course gives you simple-to-follow steps, up-to-date requirements, and a directory of vetted and reputable immigration facilitators, apostille brokers, and so much more!

That way, you get your residency in Mexico the right way and with the least amount of headaches.

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. Luik Kronin says


    With regards to same sex married couples, each person must qualify separately and there is no option for having marriage certificates to be used as proof of marriage as it’s not recognized at the federal level for immigration.

    Please add this to the document.

    The option to do the following is not possible.
    “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.”

    • Mariana Lange says

      This is not accurate. Same sex marriages don’t have to qualify independently
      One person can qualify and petition their same sex spouse in mexico as long as they are legally married

  2. Ronald M Douglas says

    Hello Mariana, my wife is a Mexican citizen born & raised , would I qualify for family unity visa or permanent resident visa ? Thanks for all your help and information.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Ronald
      Yeap you sure do! As long as you are legally married, the process for you to obtain permanent residency is fairly straightforward.
      If you live abroad, you start the process at your nearest Mexican consulate. If you live in Mexico, you start the process at your nearest INM

  3. Ann Schurman says

    Immigration facilitator? How to know one’s authenticity?
    Why not an approved Immigration Attorney?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Because you don’t need an immigration attorney to help you in Mexico unless your case is very complicated- such as seeking asylum or seeking refuge because of some crime in your home country. A facilitator doesn’t need to be an immigration attorney in Mexico to provide expert guidance. And regarding how to know one’s authenticity- it takes a lot of research and knowing what questions to ask. We’ve done all that research and we know how to find only the most reputable facilitators that have excellent reviews. That’s why our online guide is so valuable. If you’re a newbie and know no one, our guide introduces you to the best network of people in Mexico. We save you hundreds of hours of research and save you money by not hiring the scammers. And we never get paid by our recommendations so we only recommend the people we absolutely trust

  4. Marilyn smock says

    Looking to move to huatulo. Have been reading all you have posted. Need housing 3bed furnished have good retirement, 1 level. My husband is a us veteran, married for 59 years. We live in oregon. Thank you

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Marilyn thanks for following us!
      You can easily find houses in Huatulco- my biggest advice is that you will find some of the best rentals by actually spending some time in Huatulco and finding the best gems not advertised online. But if you need to find something before you get here, then I would suggest renting an Airbnb for at least 2 weeks so you can explore and find something in person

  5. Caroline R says

    Hello Mariana,
    Can my husband and I qualify for temp res if I am still working but don’t plan on working in mexico just using the income for qualifications. ? He is not working nor taking social security yet.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Yes you can receive temporary residency if you are still working. However some consulates may require you to bring a letter from your employer stating you will continue to be employed after moving to Mexico. If they don’t ask you for this letter, I would NOT volunteer that you don’t plan to work after moving to Mexico because that could make you seem like you won’t have a way of supporting yourself after moving.

  6. Jerry Keir says

    My son was born in Mexico but lives in the US. My wife and I wish to retire early @ 58 years old. We also qualify financially now, but I want to work a few years.

    What is the best approach? Do we use our son’s citizenship? Does he need to live Mexico? Or can we just demonstrate we have the funds?


    • Mariana Lange says

      Your wife and you can obtain residency through your son. You can start the process at a local Mexican consulate.

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