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Citizenship by Naturalization for Foreigners Choosing to Live in Mexico


In the past people vacationed in Mexico, or stayed only for the winter, but the retirement population has changed in recent years. Many visitors realize a lower cost of living, safe communities, and a better quality of life and decide to live in Mexico permanently with no desire of keeping a residence in their country of origin.

Pensioners find it more affordable to live, invest and retire in Mexico, leaving the question, why go back to the US or Canada? If you have come to this realization, we can help you make living in Mexico full time a reality, contact a MexLaw immigration specialist at immigration@mexlaw.com.mx

 The immigration process for foreigners who have no intention of returning to their country of origin is Citizenship by Naturalization. Most countries do not force you to give up your original citizenship or birth passport, allowing for dual citizenship.

The citizenship process in Mexico is managed by the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE). There are several methods of naturalizing in Mexico it may be acquired by meeting residency timelines, cultural integration, or marriage and family ties.

Because of the lengthy process and ever-changing rules and obligations of obtaining Mexican citizenship hiring an immigration specialist is recommended.

To apply for citizenship in Mexico, you must already be a permanent resident; or have family ties. Naturalization in Mexico requires a minimum of five consecutive years of residency prior to the application date, which may include temporary or permanent status depending on your situation.

Two years legal residency if you are married to a Mexican or you have a child born in Mexico.

The process includes a criminal background check, a trip to Mexico city and proof that you have a basic conversational level of Spanish, you know the history of the country and have integrated into the national culture. There will be a test about culture and history, although if you are over 60 years old, you may only be required to have an interview.

Mexican naturalization offers several benefits to foreigners, including:

  • Buying property in restricted areas in your name without the need of a trust (fideicomiso)
  • The possibility of dissolving a trust (fideicomiso) and having the title deed in your name and avoiding trust annual and renewal fees.
  • The right to vote in Mexico.
  • No need to inform the National Institute of Immigration (INM) of every address or job change.
  • The right to earn an income, greater employment and entrepreneur options as a citizen.
  • Avoid change and renewal fees of your immigration status each year.

Points to Consider About Gaining Mexican Citizenship:

  • Check with your country of citizenship, do they allow dual citizenship?
  • Once you become a Naturalized citizen of Mexico, should you encounter issues with Mexican authorities you may no longer rely on your home country’s consulate. You will be treated as a Mexican citizen.
  • Consult a financial advisor in your home country about the implications on your business and personal taxes if you become a dual citizen.

When traveling as a dual citizen, you are required to present the corresponding passport to the country you are entering.