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MEXLAW > Immigration  > The First Steps of Moving to Mexico, Visa Process Step by Step.

The First Steps of Moving to Mexico, Visa Process Step by Step.

You have decided to relocate to Mexico; do you know how long you want to stay? If you have already fallen in love with Mexico and know you want to stay indefinitely and you have a sufficient monthly income or substantial assets you may want to apply for Visa de Residente Permanente – Permanent Resident Visa. A Permanent Residency never expires, and you may enter and exit Mexico as you please.

If you are still checking it out, but want to remain in Mexico more than 180 days you should apply for Visa de Residente Temporal Temporary Resident Visa. This visa can be renewed, and at the end of four years, you will automatically qualify for Permanent Residency.

If this is your first resident visa, it must be initiated in your home country at a Mexican Consulate. At the Mexican Consulate, you will apply for a resident visa, either as a temporary resident or a permanent resident. The financial requirements have changed due to Mexico’s minimum wage increase to 102.68 MXN. For this article, we are using an exchange rate of 19.5 pesos per USD.

Visit the closest Mexican Consulate and submit the following:

A complete online application available at www.sre.gob.mx.

  • or you can obtain the form from any Mexican Consulate.
  • Provide original and a copy of your passport
  • Passport size photo, full face view, minimum: 3.2 cm x 2.6 and maximum: 3.9 cm x 3.1 cm
  • Do not wear glasses or earrings and hair must be behind the ears.
  • Photos should be taken at a specialized photography studio.
  • Payment of the visa fees.

Please note that fees and processing times are different in each consulate and these numbers are only an estimate.


Provide the original and copy of the last 12 months worth of statements as proof of investments showing a monthly balance equivalent to five thousand days of general minimum wage in Mexico, approximately $27,000 USD. The dollar amount will vary with each consulate.
Provide the original and copy of the last six months of bank statements showing a monthly income or pension of approximately $1,600 USD or more, the equivalent of three hundred days of general minimum wage in Mexico.

As a qualifying pensioner, you may apply for Permanent Residency without previously holding a temporary resident visa.

Provide the original and copy of the last 12 months worth of statements as proof of investments showing monthly balance of $106,000 USD, based on the equivalent of twenty thousand days of general minimum wage in Mexico.
Provide the original and copy of the last six months of bank statements showing monthly income or pension of approximately $2,700 USD, the equivalent to five hundred days of general minimum wage in Mexico.

Next, attend an interview with an officer of the Mexican Consulate.
After the interview, the officer will then authorize or deny the visa.

If approved the consulate will attach a temporary visa inside the applicant’s passport.
The visa will be issued within ten working days, sometimes on the same day, if you are lucky,  it will be valid for 180 days but only valid for one entry into Mexico.
Upon arriving in Mexico, the applicant has 30 days to initiate the canje (exchange).

*The applicant must pay attention when they land in Mexico; it is imperative that the immigration officer does not classify them as a tourist. They must only allow you 30 days for the canje.

Report to the INM (National Immigration Institute) in Mexico to request your resident visa.
Submit the following documents:
Complete the online form, which is available at the INM website


Letter requesting the canje of the visa.
Original and a copy of the passport.
FMM which was provided at the port of entry, marked as canje for 30 days.
Formato básico,which can be downloaded here and filled out by the applicant:


Payment of Immigration fees
The immigration officer will provide an E5 form and the applicant will take this to the bank to make the payment and submit the receipt to the INM office.
Once all documents are submitted at INM the applicant will receive a document with a NUT, (unique processing number) and a pieza with a password; to follow up on their application at;  

The applicant will be notified that the canje is approved online.

Appointment at INM

Once the procedure has been approved, the applicant must request an appointment at INM Provide three color photos with white background, infant size (2.5 x 3 cm):
Two front facing photos.
One right profile photo.
No glasses or earrings in the photo and hair must be behind the ears; wear dark color shirts; matte finish.
Photos should be taken at a specialized photography studio.
During this appointment, the applicant will be fingerprinted and sign documents.

Receiving your Resident Card
The applicant will be notified by INM when the card will be ready for pick up.

You are now a resident of Mexico.

Visa requirements and prices change from time to time and will vary between consulates. There are many ways to qualify for a residence visa in Mexico, contact an immigration lawyer to find out other options, including investment, real estate, education, family and work visas.

For assistance or more information about immigration in Mexico contact MexLaw at  https://mexlaw.com/contact/.

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