How to Apply For Residency in Mexico — Detailed Summary

There are lots of different reasons why people decide to apply for residency in Mexico.  The most common scenarios are:

Qualifying for residency in Mexico

When you have made the decision to apply for legal residency in Mexico, you will need to consider which route you will use to apply.

Type of residency in Mexico

Mexico offers two main residency types: Temporary Residency (Residencia Temporal), and Permanent Residency (Residencia Permanente).

Permanent residency is obtainable without having temporary residency first, but the situations that allow this are very limited, and thus most applicants begin holding temporary residency first.  After four consecutive years of holding temporary residency, you may apply to exchange this for permanent residency.

  • Learn about the difference between temporary and permanent residency.
  • If you’re a couple applying for permanent residency together, read this.
  • Note that temporary residency does not automatically come with permission to work in Mexico—this needs to be applied for and granted separately.

The residency application process

When you have determined how you will qualify, and what type of residency you will apply for, you can begin the application process.

  • Most applications for residency must begin at a Mexican Consulate abroad.
  • If your application through a Mexican Consulate abroad is successful, a residency visa sticker will be placed in your passport. This sticker must be exchanged for a residency card in Mexico before the visa’s expiry date—usually six months after its issue date.
  • Family Unit applications and applications through special procedures can be made at an immigration office in Mexico.
  • If your application is one of the few that can be made at an immigration office in Mexico, you will exchange your visitor permit (or other visa type you might have) for a residency card in-country.
  • Learn more about the government fees for residency permits, and typical time scales for obtaining residency in Mexico.

Residency card renewals and exchanges to permanent residency

When you take possession of your residency card, you will gain certain legal rights and obligations as a resident in Mexico and you’ll need to manage your ongoing status, thus:

Renewals, exchanges, and notifications must be done in Mexico

Although there are currently no time limits on how long you need to be in Mexico each year to retain your legal residency status, card renewals, exchanges, card replacement, and official notifications MUST be done in person, in Mexico—they cannot be done by proxy.

Mexico residency card use and management

Your Mexico residency card serves as a form of official identification in Mexico, and may be accepted abroad as form of government-issued ID.

For more details, read our article about managing your resident card and residency status in Mexico.

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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