How To Get A Temporary Residence Visa In Mexico?
Mexico is in a beautiful place to visit with its abundance of charm, history, and vibrant economy. Mexico also has an attractive climate and is the 14th largest economy in the world because of its border that is shared with the USA.
After your visit Mexico you might be tempted to move there permanently with your family and start a business.
Mexico has made it really easy for tourists in recent years with a 180-day tourist visa that is a simple form you complete on the plane. Lots of people are tempted just to keep renewing this instead of applying for a proper temporary residence.
Like all good things, the 180-day tourist visa might come to an end and you should be ready to apply for a temporary residence visa.
Pro Tip: Staying on a tourist visa allows you to stay 180 days. When you enter Mexico the give you given a miniature passport card and your return this card when you leave the country. If you overstay your 180 days you have to go to a different part of the airport before your flight and pay small immigration fine before you can leave.
List Of Countries That Can Stay Visa Free For 180 Days In Mexico
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
But what is the process to get a temporary residence visa in Mexico for foreigners?
Mexico is a lot like the rest of Latin America and is infamous for its slow bureaucracy so please take note when applying for a temp residency visa that it is not a quick process.
Clarification: the temporary residency visa is not the same as a work visa. If you intend to live and work in Mexico you have to apply for a Mexican work visa. If you are a freelancer and all your clients are from outside of Mexico, you can live and work in Mexico using a temporary residence visa.
You cannot take any work from a Mexican employee (even if it is freelance work), and if you do you will be violating the terms of your visa.
Let's Start With Step One To Acquiring A Temporary Residency Visa In Mexico
- Create an account and make an appointment with home country consulate. Make sure you give yourself enough time to collect all your paperwork outlined in this step. The relevant web page is: https://mexitel.sre.gob.mx/citas.webportal/pages/public/login/login.jsf
- Download, print, and complete a visa migration form. At the web page: https://www.gob.mx/tramites go to: Migración, visa y pasaporte -> Visa para extranjeros viajando a México -> Visa de residente temporal. You can click on the top right phrase “Descargar Formato” (download form).
- Don’t forget you have to list, in writing, the documents you are providing on the visa application form.
- Print out proof of income for the previous year.
- On the day of the appointment bring the following:
- Passport, original and photocopy of the photo page
- Visa application form
- Payment in cash
- Photocopies of proof of income documents
This step is usually quite informal but they do keep your passport for up to three days. You are excepted you return to the embassy a few days later to pick up your passport and it should have a temporary visa attached. From this point, you were given six months to start the process and go to Mexico and start the application.
Once you are in Mexico they never keep your passport, they just glance at it, or look at it for reference.
That is step one of the process and we will move on to step two.
Step Two For Acquiring A Temporary Residence In Mexico
Travel to Mexico but Important note: fill in the FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) on the plane as usual, BUT SHOW IMMIGRATION THE VISA PAGE so they don’t stamp your passport with a tourist visa. If they stamp your passport with a tourist visa you need to start over.
Step Three To Obtain Temporary Residency Visa In Mexico
- Fill in web form: http://www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/Solicitud_de_Estancia.
- Choose “Canjear documento” and “Canje de FMM por tarjeta” options from the drop down menus. Fill it in and it print out, this form will be required later and it’s used so you can obtain the correct additional forms later.
- Go to your local INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración) office and acquire the following forms that aren’t available for download on the web.
- Formato Básico
- Carta de Solicitud de Canje. For the “Carta de Solicitud”, – there are two important things to note on this form: under “activities in Mexico” write “Viviré en México de mis recursos provenientes de mi país” (I will live on funds earned in my home country whilst in Mexico). Write this simple sentence and you will be fine.
- Aviso de tratamiento de los datos personales y notificación electrónica
Because you can’t download these forms on the internet this is where your patience with the Mexican bureaucracy will be tested. You need to go to the INM office and wait in line for additional forms that you will be needing. The office is open from 9 am until 13:00. It is a good policy to arrive half an hour early so you don’t have to wait in line as long.
This is the process once you arrive at the INM office. Once you sign in and are assigned a number your number is called and they give you forms. If the forms need to be filled in you go to an assigned window number. Go to the assigned window where they check your forms and process your application.
If you made no mistakes they approve you, if you made any mistakes you start over.
Step Four For Acquiring A Temporary Mexican Residency Visa
- Go to INM office early because you have to go to the bank in-between processing. Bring the following:
- Cash (approximately 4000 Peso for one-year temporary residency)
- Passport and a photocopy of both the photo page and Mexican visa page
- The webform you printed in the previous step
- The three filled-in forms collected in the previous step (check carefully for errors as none are allowed)
- You will be given a bank form pay for your residency and any bank will work for this. Bring back a bank receipt to the INM office and get in line.
Once this process is complete you will receive:
- A NUT ID (Numero Único de Tramite) with a web address to view application status – https://www.inm.gob.mx/tramites/publico/seguimiento-tramite.html
- An email with a password to login the online system to track your application status:
- You will need to make an appointment for fingerprinting.
Step Five For Acquiring a Mexican Temp. Residency
After about 2 to 3 weeks you’ll receive a “resolución” form. Log into your account and under “notifications” download the recent “resolución” you received. If everything was done correctly it should state success and the start and end dates of your residency. All you need to do at this point and get your fingerprints taken.
Step Six To Receiving Your Temporary Residence Visa
Get approved photos taken at INM approved facility. Pictures must be on matte paper 2.5 x 3 cm with no white clothes, forehead, and ears uncovered, no earrings, and no glasses. Two pictures from the front and one from the right side.
Step Seven To Complete A Mexican Temp Visa
Plan to take these items with you to your fingerprinting appointment:
- Appointment form with your NUT ID
After your fingerprints are complete, you should’ve received original documents from step five “resolución”, a certificate with your CURP(Clave Único de Registro de Población) identification number and lastly to return in a week to pick up your residency card.
The Final Step For Temporary Mexican Visa Residency
Collect your new shiny Mexican temporary residency card that is valid for one year and enjoy Mexico.
If you would like an easier way to collect your temporary Mexican residency, contact us and our legal advisors will help you with every step of the application to make sure it’s completed properly.