Dealing with an Expired Residency Card

This article describes what happens when your residency card expires, —whether you are in Mexico, or outside of Mexico— and the procedures that exist for dealing with expired residency cards.

Permanent Residency Cards

If you are aged 18 years or older and hold a permanent residency card (Residente Permanente), this never expires and does not need to be renewed, but you do need to advise the immigration office in Mexico of things like change of address, marital status, and job if you work here.

Minors (aged under 18 years) with Permanent Residency must renew their cards periodically—see this article for details.

You must be physically in Mexico

All temporary residency card renewal/regularization applications must be processed in-person at an immigration office in Mexico.  You cannot apply to renew them at a Mexican consulate abroad, and you cannot renew by proxy.

Renewals of current Mexico residency cards

To apply for renewal of your Mexican temporary residency card while it is still valid (not expired), you should file the application for the renewal during the 30-day window prior to the card’s expiry date.  You cannot apply for renewal before this 30-day window.  See this article for details of the renewal process.

Dealing with expired Mexico residency cards

If you forget to renew your Mexico residency card before the expiry date, or if your situation prevents you from using the 30-day window for a regular renewal prior to the expiry date, there is grace period starting on the expiry date in which you can file.

How you deal with a expired residency card depends on:

  • Whether you are physically inside Mexico or outside of Mexico when the card expires; and
  • How many calendar days have passed since the card expired; and
  • If you were outside of Mexico when it expired, how many days have passed since you returned to Mexico.

Residency card expires when you are inside Mexico

If you are physically in Mexico and you miss the 30-day window prior to its expiry date to renew the card, you must file a “regularization” procedure within a 60 calendar day period after the card’s expiry date.

If your card is more than 60 days past its expiry date you cannot file a regularization procedure and must leave Mexico to start over again with a new application at a Mexican Consulate abroad. (If you have certain family connections in Mexico, you can do this in-country without going to a Mexican Consulate abroad.)

To replace an expired residency card when you are in Mexico, you must enter into a ‘regularization’ procedure.  This means that:

  • You effectively re-apply for residency from within Mexico.
  • You will need to prove your economic solvency and any foreign bank statements/investment accounts you present for this will need to be notarized and apostilled in their country of origin, and translated into Spanish by an official translator.
  • Your key documents (for example, marriage certificate, bank statements) will also need to be apostilled and translated.
  • You will need to pay late fees/penalties in addition to the regular residency renewal fees.
  • You’ll be issued with a new, one-year temporary residency card, which must be renewed after one year.  Any years you have accrued (for example, if you intend to apply for permanent residency after four consecutive years) will be lost.
  • You cannot leave Mexico while the regularization procedure is in train—even in an emergency. If you do, the renewal application becomes void.

Residency card expires when you are outside of Mexico

If you are outside of Mexico when your residency card expires, you can re-enter Mexico as a resident and apply for a regular renewal of your residency card provided that:

  • you enter Mexico within 55 calendar days after the card’s expiry date and
  • file your renewal application within 5 calendar days of your reentry date, and
  • provided not more than 60 calendar days have passed since the card’s expiry date, then
  • you can begin a regular renewal process.

If you are outside of Mexico arrive back in Mexico 56-60 days after the expiry date on your resident card, or you do not file for renewal within 5 days of your re-entry date to Mexico, you can enter a ‘regularization’ process to renew your residency card—see the previous section about this and the additional complexity it carries.

Residency cards more than 60 days expired

If your Mexico residency card is over 60 calendar days expired, you cannot return to Mexico as a resident using the card if you’re overseas, and if you’re in Mexico you cannot enter into a regularization procedure to renew an expired residency card.

If you want to continue having legal residency in Mexico you will need to restart an application for residency, usually from a Mexican Consulate abroad unless you have certain family connections in Mexico.

Leaving Mexico with an expired temporary residency card

If you have an expired temporary residency card and you want to leave Mexico and not renew your residency status, you can leave but you will need to attend the immigration desk/kiosk before you depart and might have to pay a fine.

The fine depends on the official’s assessment of your circumstances. Contact the INM for details about this, or visit the immigration office/kiosk at your port of exit for further information.

Get assistance with your residency card renewal or regularization procedure

Our associate provides personal assistance to help you prepare your Mexico residency renewal, including help with regularization of expired residency cards.

Learn more about our associate’s assistance service

Learn more about residency in Mexico

Mexperience publishes information and resources to help you learn about how to apply for and obtain legal residency in Mexico:

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