Published On: December 20th, 2022Categories: Visas, Residency, & CitizenshipTags:

2024 Guide to Mexico Residency Visas

2024 Guide to Mexico Residency Visas

Americans don’t need to apply in advance for tourist visas for Mexico. Paperwork requirements change from time to time, but you’ll take care of them when you arrive. You’ll be permitted to stay up to 180 days; sometimes immigration authorities allot you this much time automatically. At other times. they’ll only give you the exact amount of time you’ve declared you’ll be in Mexico, so plan accordingly.

For all other visas, you’ll start by choosing the consulate closest to you in the United States. (Pro tip: all consulates aren’t created equal. If you’re struggling to get a response from one, try another, or get up-to-date advice from other expats in Facebook groups. Our immigration consultants can also help.)

We used the consulate in Atlanta, and the agents were very pleasant and gracious. When we were missing some required paperwork, they directed us to a local FedEx office and gave us time to get additional documents without kicking us to the back of the line or asking us to come back another day. They were genuinely helpful – not something we’ve experienced much with U.S. government offices!

There are several visas you can choose from to live here. Mexico residency visas are granted based on your proof of solvency, and the amounts that determine solvency are calculated by whether or not you earn or have savings in certain multiples of the country’s daily minimum wage, which is $207.44 Mexican pesos in 2023. (Pro tip: Mexico uses the dollar sign for pesos, so always ask whether it’s pesos or USD if you’re not sure!)

After entering Mexico with your residency visa, you’ll visit the nearest Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) to receive your Resident ID.

For example, Temporary Residency requires that you earn 300x the minimum wage per month. 300*$207.44 MEX=$62,232 MEX. We usually estimate the exchange rate at 20 pesos per dollar, so you’d need to show $3,111 USD in monthly income (through remote work or investment income, for example) to qualify. (Pro tip: Crypto accounts don’t qualify as savings.)

Here are the main types of temporary and permanent visas for Mexico.

1. Student Temporary Resident Visa

You’ll make an appointment and visit your local consulate to apply, and bring two copies of these documents (subject to change, review consulate instructions):

  • Visa Application.
  • Valid passport and copy of the main page.
  • One color picture, passport size, front view, with no eyeglasses and white background.
  • For non-U.S. citizens: original and copy of the document that proves that the applicant is a foreign legal resident of the USA (I-797, I-20 advance parole, etc).
  • Credit or debit card for application processing fee of $48 USD.
  • Proof of economic solvency to cover tuition, room and board while in Mexico:
    • a) Original and copy of proof of personal investments accounts or personal bank accounts with a monthly balance of at least $10,370 USD during the previous 3 months of statements (bring the last 3 months of bank statements).
    • OR b)  Original and copy of documents showing that the applicant has a job or pension that yields a monthly income of $1,037 USD after taxes during the previous 3 months. (bring the last 3 months of your paystubs and the bank statements that shows the direct deposit of your salary). Economic solvency can be satisfied by the student, his or her parents or whoever has the legal custody over the student, as long as he or she is not older than 25 years of age (in this case you must present a certified copy of the birth certificate or of the document that states the legal guardianship). It can also be proved by original document attesting that the student has received a full scholarship or document issued by a bank or financial institution showing that counts with the appropriate financing.
  • Original ink signed acceptance letter (we do not accept print PDF documents.) from the school or university where you will study (the institution must be accredited by the national education system in Mexico). Such letter should include:
    • a) Your complete name.
    • b) Fully described program to be studied, including level.
    • c) Name of the course and dates when it starts and ends.
    • d) Tuition cost.
    • e) Full name and contact information of the school or university. If the applicant is a minor both parents should be present to sign the application. If only one parent is present, it is mandatory to submit a notarized authorization (Spanish or English) from the other parent. If minors or persons requiring legal guardianship attend by themselves or someone different to their parents, it is mandatory to submit a notarized document in which their parents or legal guardianship authorize the visa application.

2. Temporary Residency Visa

You’ll make an appointment and visit your local consulate to apply, and bring two copies of these documents (subject to change, review consulate instructions):

  • Visa Application.
  • Valid passport and copy of the main page.
  • One color picture, passport size, front view, with no eyeglasses and white background.
  • For non-U.S. citizens: original and copy of the document that proves that the applicant is a foreign legal resident of the USA (I-797, I-20 advance parole, etc).
  • Credit or debit card for application processing fee of $48.
  • Proof of economic solvency:
    • a) Original and copy of proof of personal investments accounts or personal bank accounts with a monthly balance of at least $51,860 USD during the previous 12 months of statements. (Bring the last 12 months of bank statements). Each additional family member will require you to show $10,370 USD in savings.
    • OR b) Original and copy of documents showing that the applicant has a job or pension that yields a monthly income of $3,111 USD after taxes during the previous 6 months. (Bring the last 6 months of your paystubs and the bank statements that shows the direct deposit of your salary). Each additional family member will require you to show $1,037 USD in income.

3. Permanent Residency Visa

You’ll make an appointment and visit your local consulate to apply, and bring two copies of these documents (subject to change, review consulate instructions):

  • Visa Application.
  • Valid passport and copy of the main page.
  • One color picture, passport size, front view, with no eyeglasses and white background.
  • For non-U.S. citizens: original and copy of the document that proves that the applicant is a foreign legal resident of the USA (I-797, I-20 advance parole, etc).
  • Credit or debit card for application processing fee of $48 dollars.
  • Proof of economic solvency:
    • a) Original and copy of proof of personal investments accounts or personal bank accounts with a monthly balance of at least $207,440 USD during the previous 12 months of statements. (Bring the last 12 months of bank statements). Each additional family member will require you to show $10,370 USD in savings.
    • OR b) Original and copy of documents showing that the applicant has a job or pension that yields a monthly income of $5,186 USD after taxes during the previous 6 months. (Bring the last 6 months of your paystubs and the bank statements that shows the direct deposit of your salary). Each additional family member will require you to show $1,037 USD in income.

How do you choose which visa to apply for?

  1. It’s all about the Benjamins, or Juárezes, if you will. You’ll need to show the least amount of income ($1,037 USD) to study in Mexico, and the most ($5,186 USD) for permanent residency.
  2. More money ➡ less paperwork. If you have permanent residency, you’re done with paperwork and proving your solvency. If you have temporary residency, you need to re-apply every year, but after you’ve had your temporary residency for four years, you can convert it to permanent residency.
  3. ???? vs. ????. With your temporary residency card, you can bring your car with American plates. You have to pay a deposit at the border, but you’ll get it back. You can’t sell the car in Mexico. If you have permanent residency, you’ll have to import your car permanently, which is expensive and complicated. You can sell the car in Mexico, though. If you’re more concerned about selling a home in Mexico in the next few years, permanent residency is best, because there’s an expensive capital gains tax it might help you avoid.
  4. Jobs & Healthcare. With any residency, you can buy into the Mexican public healthcare system for a low monthly price, and you can also work in Mexico with any visa, but you’ll need a work permit if you have temporary residency.

MEXICO immigration plan

Jen Barnett Expatsi headshot
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen Barnett is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of Americans on their moving abroad journeys. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Jen Barnett Expatsi headshot
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen Barnett is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of Americans on their moving abroad journeys. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?