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MEXLAW > Immigration  > The Loss of a Mexican Temporary or Permanent Residence Card

The Loss of a Mexican Temporary or Permanent Residence Card

What do you do if your resident card is lost, stolen or destroyed?

If you lose your temporary or permanent resident card in Mexico, you will need to go to the Immigration office to apply for a replacement card. Provided your card is still valid you may replace it by providing your passport, identification and travel documents that prove you have a condition to stay in Mexico.

Also provide the original receipt of your payment to IMN, complete application, photos 2.5 x 3 cm, two face frontal view, and one of the right side of the face, white background with forehead and ears uncovers, no glasses.


Loss of Temporary or Permanent Residence Cards Outside of Mexico

If you have lost your Resident Card while traveling outside of Mexico, you will need to go to the closest Mexican Consulate or Mexican Embassy. As long as your visa is still valid, you will arrange an appointment at the consulate or embassy and apply for a Request for Replacement. Unfortunately, this may take time and cause delays in your travels. Provide a police report, photo, passport and payment of a small fee and receive a special travel document which you will present to the INM agent in Mexico, this document allows the foreigner to re-enter Mexico without being classified as a tourist.

It is important you do not enter Mexico as a tourist, this mistake will cause you to lose your residency visa, and you will be required to start the process again, including leaving Mexico in order to apply for a residence visa.


Bring the following documents to your appointment at the Mexican Consulate;

  • Complete both sides of the Visa application


  • Valid passport or travel document, original plus a photocopy of the photograph and personal data page.
  • A photograph measuring 3.9 cm x 3.1 cm, face uncovered, no eyeglasses, frontal view, color photo with white background.
  • Original and a photocopy of the police report from the city
  • where the theft, loss or destruction of the temporary or permanent resident card occurred.
  • Original temporary or permanent resident card, in a case where the card is partially destroyed.
  • Payment of fees in cash for the issuance of the visa.


We recommend you keep photocopies of all Immigration documents, passport, resident card, and payment receipts in a safe place, and email copies of your documents to your cell phone.

Upon entering Mexico present the special travel visa which is issued for a single entry, do not leave the immigration counter until you are sure you have not been classified as a tourist, your stamp should only allow you 30 days, not 180 days.

You must report to the National Migration Institute INM within 30 days after entering Mexico and apply for a replacement card. Fees for replacement card will be paid directly to the INM.

The processing time is approximately 10 working days from the date of the visa application and the date of its issuance.


Important Points About Your Resident Visa

  • Remember as a Resident Card Holder; you are not a tourist! Mexico law states that if a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal holder enters or exits as a tourist, their visa will be canceled.
  • We recommend you keep your residence visas current, allowing them to expire can cause you grief and expense. Residence visas may be renewed as early as 30 prior to the expiry date.
  • If your resident visa expired while outside Mexico, you may enter within 55 days of the expiration date. Show the expired card to INM, do not get a tourist stamp, and apply for renewal at the INM office within 5 days.


Immigration rules and procedures constantly change If you have questions about Immigration to Mexico contact immigration@mexlaw.com.mx