Mexican Immigration and Types of Visas

There are three ways to enter Mexico:

Visitor Permit

The first time you enter Mexico, as well as subsequent trips for less than 180 days, as long as
you do not have a lucrative business in Mexico, you can use a Visitor’s Permit. Below is the
link to download the form before your trip to save time:

You will complete the immigration form that you downloaded before arriving at the border and
then you will get your Visitor Permit at the airport if you travel or at the border if you drive.
You can stay up to 180 days, but you can not work.

Temporary Resident Visa

Apply at the Mexican consulate near your home, not in Mexico. There are several types of Temporary Residency Visas depending on your purpose in Mexico and if you want to be in Mexico more than 180 days a year. You can apply for a temporary resident visa for one, two, three or four years. After four years with this visa, you must leave Mexico or change to a Permanent Resident Visa.

However, the four years that you spend with the Temporary Residence Visa automatically you him for the Permanent status. We will focus on the permanent visa, because it is the most common. To qualify, you must bring copies of bank accounts and investment statements to show that you can support yourself in Mexico with the funds you have earned or are earning elsewhere.

The minimum monthly income requirement is approximately $1,500 to $1,600 . Another way is to show the bank or investment statements of the last 12 months that show an average total balance of around $25,000- $26,000. Another way is to prove that you own a property in Mexico that has a value of at least around $210,000.

NOTE: The above amounts are shown as estimates for two reasons: first, the Mexican rules may change and the amounts are also affected by the current exchange rates; Second, expatriates who have visited different Mexican consulates in their general areas have seen some differences or interpretations of the rules that result in somewhat different financial requirements.

Permanent Resident Visa

Apply at Mexican consulate near your home, not in Mexico.

If you know that you want to live in Mexico for a prolonged period of time, you can apply for the Permanent Resident Visa and simply skip the temporary step. The permanent resident visa is open because there is no expiration date. It also gives many of the rights and responsibilities of a Mexican citizen, including the right to work but not the right to vote. It does not make you a Mexican citizen because that is another separate process. You must also show higher income or investment . You can show investment balances during the last 12 months of approximately $105,000 or an average monthly income or retirement income (pension or social security) of at least approximately $2,500- $2,600.

General Guidelines

Whether for a temporary or permanent residence
visa, the Mexican consulate near your home will
place a special “exchange” stamp on your passport
that forces you to go to the INM immigration office
across the street from the terminal. Cruises in
Vallarta, where they will finish Process and issue
your Temporary or Permanent card.

NOTE: this process must be completed within 30 days after your arrival in Mexico, so you should start the process as soon as you arrive in Vallarta. The immigration office is open Monday through Friday 9:00-1:00 and we suggest you arrive 45 minutes early to get a number because it is a very busy place and you will have to wait. After speaking with someone and organizing the paperwork and finding out the copies you will need, you should go to the bank and they will ask you to deposit the money to cover the fee; Be sure to keep
the receipt. You should also go to a photography store to take your immigration photos in a
certain size and we recommend the Kodak store in the Plaza Caracol shopping center, near
the mattress store, where the photos will be ready in about 30 minutes.

VERY IMPORTANT: When you cross the border into Mexico, either by car or airplane, you MUST stamp your passport. For a temporary or permanent residence visa, the box must be marked as “exchange” and write 30 days and not 180 days as for the regular tourist visa. If you don’t do it, you will not be able to continue with your immigration process and you must leave Mexico and start the whole procedure in your country of origin.