Special Procedure to Apply for Residency in Mexico (RNE)

Special Regularization Procedure Status Update 2024

We understand that this special regularization procedure remains in effect during 2024 “until further notice.” Special programs can be altered or withdrawn at any time.  The program is known as the “RNE”—Registro Nacional de Extranjeros.

We are receiving mixed reports about how INM offices are dealing with requests for this procedure.  Some applications are being received, others are not.

This is a reminder that each immigration office retains absolute discretion about whether to accept or deny any application (and subsequently about whether to grant or reject any application that is accepted) made under any procedure, including special procedures.

Mexico’s immigration institute, the ministry responsible for managing visitor and residency permits, has announced a special ‘regularization’ procedure, available to people currently in Mexico with expired visitor permits, that enables them to ask to apply for residency at an immigration office in Mexico, without having to leave the country.

What is the ‘regularization’ offer?

Under the Mexican immigration rules, an ‘irregular’ immigration status is one where your current immigration permit has expired, or you violate one or more of the rules associated with immigration law.

This special regularization procedure offers foreigners in Mexico holding an expired visitor permit (FMM) an opportunity to ask to apply for legal residency in Mexico in-country, without having to leave Mexico.

Who can apply under this special procedure?

This special procedure was originally announced by the INM in late spring of 2021.

Through this special procedure you may ask to apply for Temporary Residency in Mexico without having to leave Mexico to apply.

We are seeing in practice that precise criteria asked for vary depending on which office you attend, so we recommend you visit your local office to ask if:

  • You are currently in Mexico and have a Mexico Visitor Permit (FMM) that expired in or before 2022.
  • You are currently in Mexico with an expired Visitor Permit (FMM) AND you have entered Mexico before as a visitor on at least one separate occasion (some offices ask to see two visits) in or before 2022.

Your entries to and exits from Mexico will be checked against electronic records.  If you have stamps in a previous (cancelled) passport, these can be accepted provided they match with the electronic record. If your stamped entries are before electronic records are generally available (c.2011), then the immigration office might assess the situation on a per-case basis—you need to go and ask.

Caution about Tampering with your FMM form (or stamp in your passport)

We’ve seen stories on Social Media that suggest some people might be manually altering the number of days written on the form, or on the stamp in their passport.  The form has a unique serial number printed on it that correlates to an electronic record of your entry to Mexico; your passport number is also associated with this record.  The number of days you are granted is stored on that record and the INM will not take kindly to anyone tampering with the form or passport stamp by altering the number of days written by the immigration official, or falsifying entries to or exits from Mexico.

How do I apply?

This special ‘regularization’ procedure can be undertaken in Mexico without the need to leave the country and apply at a Mexican consulate abroad, as is normally required with most residency applications.

Note that your visitor permit (FMM) must be expired—i.e. you are past the date when you ought to have left the country. The INM will not receive your petition if your FMM is still current.

To request the special procedure:

  • INM offices require the applicant to attend the local INM office in person to ask for advice and guidance, and whether they are willing to consider the application. After the interview, the official will advise you whether or not the INM will accept an application from you.
  • If you are able to apply, the application begins with the completion of an online form and writing a covering letter requesting the procedure, and afterwards you have to return to your local immigration office to complete further steps of the procedure and get your temporary residency card, that will be issued for four years with no need to re-apply after the first year.

Assistance with your application using this special program

If you believe you may qualify, our associates can help with the application procedure and completion of the paperwork:

Government processing fees

The special procedure requires you to apply for 4 years of temporary residency and each applicant will need to pay the usual fees for a 4-year temporary residency permit, (approximately MXN$11,985 pesos, about US$700 dollars) and you will also need to pay a ‘regularization‘ fee of about MXN$1,700 pesos, plus a fine of about MXN$2,000 pesos.

Economic solvency requirement waived

Temporary residency qualification usually carries income or savings requirements and foreigners usually need to leave Mexico to begin the residency application procedure.

However, this special procedure waives ‘economic solvency’ requirements for qualifying persons and makes it possible to ‘regularize’ your legal residency status here in Mexico, without having to apply from a consulate abroad.

Note that people who ask to apply and are accepted for residency through this special procedure will be granted four complete years of temporary residency and do not have to renew their temporary residency each year.  Near the end of the four year period, holders may optionally apply to exchange their temporary residency for permanent residency.

How long does the offer last?

The immigration institute has not stated an end date for this special procedure; it can be altered or withdrawn at any time, without prior notice.  If you are currently in Mexico and qualify under the criteria described above, and you wish to apply to stay in Mexico longer term through legal residency here, it’s best to ask to apply soon after your current visitor permit (FMM) has expired.

Assistance with your application using this special program

If you believe you may qualify, our associates can help with the application procedure and completion of the paperwork:

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