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Mexico Residency Requirements: How to Get Residency in Mexico

So you’re thinking about applying for Mexico permanent residency? That’s a great decision! I love Mexico, and the day I finally received permanent residency in Mexico was exciting. The process of getting my first Mexico digital nomad visa wasn’t easy. I applied three times before being successful! That’s why I want to write this blog post on how to get Mexican residency to help you avoid the mistakes I made.

Disclaimer: I am not an immigration lawyer—therefore, all I’m offering in this blog post about Mexico residency requirements and how I got residency in Mexico is my personal experience and advice about the process. All of the links included in this post point to official immigration information where you can get the most up-to-date rules and regulations. To skip the hassle of doing all the research yourself, you can speak directly with my immigration lawyer Alejandra who can assist with the Mexico residency requirements and help you get a digital nommad visa Mexico. Just drop your name and contact ino below and she’ll be in touch.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Mexico ToursClick here to check out the top Mexico tours
Best Mexico Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Mexico
Best Mexico Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Mexico

Mexican Residency Requirements

Most people visiting Mexico won’t need to apply for Mexican residency until they want to work in Mexico or stay for longer than six months. For people visiting for less than six months, you can get a visitor permit when you land in Mexico, the price of which is included in your airfare. If you’re arriving by land from Guatemala, Belize, or the USA, then you’ll need to pay for this at the border. The tourist permit is called an FMM and is valid for 180 days. 

However, airport immigration has recently been giving different information, so check how many days you’re given at passport control. If you need longer, ask them for more, as these visitor permits CANNOT be extended, and you’ll be detained by immigration police if caught with an expired FMM.

Note: When crossing a land border, be clear about how long you will stay in Mexico. If they don’t make you go to a cashier and pay for your FMM, you’ve only been given a 7-day transit permit. This can’t be extended, and the only way around it is to leave Mexico and return.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

What Permanent Residency Mexico Visa Do You Need?

If you want to stay in Mexico longer than six months, you must apply for a temporary Mexican digital nomad visa.

Most of the time, before you can apply for permanent residency in Mexico, you’ll need to hold temporary residency for four years. Typically, you apply for a 1-year temporary residency and then renew for three years once it’s expired. You can apply for Mexican residency at the end of that 3-year period. The exception to this is if you marry a Mexican citizen, in which case you only need to wait for two years before applying for Mexico permanent residency. 

The main criterion for getting permanent Mexican residency is that you can financially support yourself. This could mean receiving a job offer in Mexico, having a large amount of savings, or making regular income from a pension or remote job (like me). Whichever you apply for, you’ll need to prove your income. 

Who is Eligible for Temporary Mexico Residency?

How To Apply For Residency In Mexico

According to the official Mexican Immigration website, anyone who one of the following categories applies to can go for temporary Mexican residency:

  • Economic solvency
  • Scientific research in waters under Mexican jurisdiction
  • Invitation from an organization, public, or private institution
  • Under the auspices of an international legal instrument governing the mobility of people
  • Family unity
  • Real estate property in Mexican territory
  • Investor

For digital nomads (like me), you apply for financial solvency. You will need to prove that you either have a lot of savings (around $27,000 USD) or prove your income is over a certain amount for six months before your application and that you’re in an excellent financial position. If you’re a retiree, you’ll also apply for financial solvency. 

Other options for residency in Mexico are buying property or investing in the country. Or you can do what I did and marry a Mexican/have a baby in Mexico, haha. 

Note: If you marry a Mexican, you’ll apply for family unity and need a 2-year temporary residency before going for Mexico permanent residency. If you have a baby in Mexico or with a Mexican, you can go straight for permanent residency through family unity. Both can be applied for within Mexico, but all other residencies must be applied for outside of Mexico. 

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

How to Get Permanent Residency Mexico

How To Apply For Residency In Mexico Digital Nomad Visa
It’s almost impossible for them to take a good photo!

There are several ways to get permanent Mexican residency. The quickest is family unity, as mentioned above, but there are other categories:

  • Pension or retirees 
  • Holding a temporary residency for four years

You can find the official information on the Mexican immigration webpage here.

How to Apply for Mexican Permanent Residency

You can find the application form for temporary residency in Mexico and info for Mexico permanent residency here. The information is available in English, but the applications are in Spanish, and all the information you’ll need to provide to prove eligibility must be in Spanish. 

In most cases, you can start applying for temporary residency within Mexico. Still, you must leave the country and apply at a Mexican consulate in another country before re-entering Mexico to finish the process. 

This is why, in my opinion, a good immigration lawyer is worth every penny. I tried and failed twice to apply for temporary residency through financial solvency before finally giving up and hiring Alejandra. This cost me a lot as you must apply outside of Mexico. So that was two wasted trips to Mexican consulates!

The good news is that the INM (Mexico’s immigration body) has made many changes over the years, and this process is much quicker and more efficient these days. It wasn’t straightforward when I first applied, and receiving your ID card took months. Now, you receive it on the day or at least within seven days of your appointment in Mexico.

Digital Nomad Visa Mexico

Digital nomad visa Mexico

You may hear people in the digital nomad community referring to a Mexican digital nomad visa—well, it doesn’t exist. But if you’re a digital nomad with a monthly income of over $1,500 USD, you have a good chance of successfully applying for temporary residency through financial solvency. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Take it from someone who had two failed attempts doing it on my own!

Here’s the digital nomad visa Mexico process:

  • Complete the financial solvency form
  • Make an appointment in a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico 
  • Gather evidence proving you meet the criteria

The form is in Spanish, so you may need a friend to help translate if you decide to do this independently. Making an appointment is very easy—the complicated thing is deciding where to go for your application/interview. I made the mistake of just going to the closest place where I was traveling and going to two places where they asked many questions and expected more information than listed on the official Mexican residency requirements.

In New York, I was rejected because I had income from multiple currencies—the agent wouldn’t look at my income in pounds, she only wanted my income in USD. I was there less than 5 minutes before she dismissed me!

In London, the representative was very friendly, but in addition to six months of bank statements and proof of pension income, she also wanted me to have 10,000 pounds in a savings account for at least six months. This is not an official requirement—each consulate has its own requirements and criteria interpretation, which complicates the application process for digital nomads (unless you have a healthy savings account).   

Before deciding where to book your appointment, you must investigate and possibly call and email individual consultants to determine their requirements. For example, some places want to see $1,500 USD monthly income while others want $2,000. They make up their own rules. This is one of the main reasons I gave up and hired an immigration lawyer. Alejandra made those inquiries on my behalf and found me the best consulate.

A note on this: you DO NOT need to go to your home country. I’m British and went to the USA without an issues. If you can’t get a USA visa, Costa Rica is another good place to look. 

Once completing your form and appointment, triple-check that you have everything to prove your income. TAKE EVERYTHING you could be asked for. If you have one thing missing or insufficient evidence, you’ll need to go through the entire process again, as I did.

Here’s the evidence I needed for a Mexico digital nomad visa:

6-12 months of bank statements proving I had a monthly income of over $1,500. The statements must be original or certified copies. If, like most nomads, you get paperless statements, this is your first issue, as you must print your statements and then take them to your bank to ask them to stamp each page. Then, you’ll need a second copy of those stamped statements. 

Some places only need six months, while others need 12. Please do yourself a favor and try to go somewhere where the requirement is only six months, as it’s a lot of paper. 

In addition, getting letters from your highest-paying clients or companies who pay you a regular income is helpful to support your application. If I’d had this, maybe my London application would have gone through without the savings. I proved I had the necessary income over the previous year, but they questioned the guarantee that I would continue to earn that over the following 12 months. While I tried to argue that wasn’t on the criteria, they didn’t seem to care. 

Evidence of any savings you have.

Make sure you have the originals and copies of everything.

Here’s the official info from the government’s website, but remember to check with the consulate, as they have their own rules:

Digital nomad visa mexico requirements

You may look at this and think it seems easy, but I’d hire a lawyer if I had the chance again. You aren’t just paying for someone to help fill out the forms, you’re also paying for their connections. They deal with this daily, so they know the best and easiest consulates to visit and check over everything so you don’t waste your time, money, or energy on failed applications.

For a quote from Alejandra, fill out this form below, and she’ll be in touch to discuss. She can talk you through other options if you don’t meet the requirements. 

Mexican Permanent Residency: Family Unity

Wondering how to get Mexican residency? This is one of the most straightforward visas you can apply for, and you do it in Mexico rather than leave the country.

Things were complicated as my temporary residency was up for renewal in September, but I was pregnant! When having a baby in Mexico (even if neither parent is a Mexican citizen or resident), you’re automatically eligible for permanent residency, but only after the baby is born. My baby wasn’t due until February after my visa expired. I didn’t want to renew for a year and wait for that visa to expire before applying for permanent residency through family unity. It’s not possible to change visas.

Then, we looked at doing it through our marriage, which requires a 2-year temporary residency visa before applying for permanent residency. This is more expensive, and permanent residency has a longer waiting time. 

After discussing my options with Alejandra, I decided the best thing to do was leave Mexico before my temporary residency expired and re-enter as a tourist on an FMM. Then, after the baby was born, apply for permanent residency before my FMM expired… PHEW. Sounds complicated, right? It was simple because I knew better than trying to do it myself this time—I hired Alejandra to do it all for me!

Applying for Permanent Residency in Mexico After Giving Birth

Once my son Charlie was born, we needed to move quickly as my FMM was due to expire, and you must have an appointment made with INM before that happens. Otherwise, you’ll pay a fine.

Alejandra booked my appointment in Guadalajara (where I was living then). Even though she’s based in Playa del Carmen, she can usually help you apply in the state you’re living in. She then completed all the forms for me, wrote a letter, listed all the documents I needed, and wrote an email with complete instructions about the process and Mexico residency requirements. I needed this, as I had enough to deal with looking after a newborn!

Anyway, applying for Mexican permanent residency through family unity was a breeze. The most complicated part was getting the documents together for the baby. 

Here’s what I needed for permanent residency Mexico:

  • The Mexican birth certificate for my baby
  • A letter from my baby’s doctor proving identity with a photo or vaccine book—Alejandra sent an example of this letter, which I took to the doctor
  • My passport
  • My FMM
  • A bill (CFE or water) with my current address
  • Receipt for the application fee
  • Completed paper forms from INM
  • Copies of all documents

I also took my marriage certificate and a million other documents, just in case!

The process:

Since Alejandra told me I needed some forms only available from INM, I went in one week before my appointment to request them and confirm where to make the application payment. You’ll need to make two payments: before and on the day of the appointment at a nearby bank. 

I arrived with all the documents and payment receipts on the day of my appointment. The woman looked over everything, took what she needed, and added me into the system. I was then told to make the second payment and was given the account details. She told me to wait for an email telling me my application was approved—once that came through, I had seven days to return and collect my card.

I went directly to the bank, paid, and then waited. 

My appointment was on Friday, and I got the email on Monday morning. I returned to INM with the receipt (and a copy) for my second payment. I had my photograph and fingerprints taken and was on my way home, Mexico permanent residency ID card in hand within 30 minutes! 

It was SO easy, and while it’s possible to do it yourself, I know many people who did and had to return several times as they either had missing documents or incorrectly completed the form. So, I didn’t want to take the risk.

Mexico Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Mexico?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Mexico which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Mexico on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Mexico?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Mexico?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Mexico tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!

If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Mexico Residency Requirements: Final Thoughts 

I’m proud to call Mexico home, and achieving Mexican permanent residency was important. I got a decent bank account, applied for a credit card, and got a phone contract. Plus, it felt like the right thing to do after unofficially living in Mexico for almost three years. 

My only regret is not hiring a lawyer sooner—I would have saved much money and stress. That said, if you’re in a solid financial position and speak good Spanish, the process isn’t that complicated,d and everything is evident on the official government website. 

For more information about getting assistance with your residency application, fill out the form below, and Alejandra will contact you soon. She is fluent in English, so you’ll have no problems communicating in English or Spanish.

Good luck!


Sunday 19th of March 2023

Hello Claire,

Thank you for your blog post on this! I’m from Australia and currently looking on applying for the temporary visa. Above you said you would need $27,000 usd savings for 12 months or the monthly income. When I clicked on the immigration website you had linked above it says it’s $76,000 Canadian dollars that’s needed in savings or the monthly income. Which is a big difference, I’m assuming Mexican immigration has increased the savings total but wanted to check your thoughts. Thanks again for this info!

Claire Summers

Tuesday 21st of March 2023

Hi Jayde,

It's super complicated actually and each consult has its own rules! So my advice is to contact the Mexican consulate you want to go to to do your application and ask them what they require. Sorry, I can't be more helpful!