Immigration. Travel. Living.

Mexico: immigration options

Flag of Mexico

The population count as of Nov.2021 stands at 131 million. The country’s immigration and entry laws regarding foreigners are governed by Mexico’s General Law of Population. Mexico offers permits (visas) for non-immigrant and immigrant status. A non-immigrant permit is akin to the visit or tourist visa offered by other countries, and as it goes, a non-immigrant permit allows a person to enter Mexico for a specified time and then return. An immigrant permit is for those who plan to stay in the country for the long term on a permanent basis.


Applying for a Mexican visa

If your country happens to be on the visa-exempt list of Mexico, then all you need is a valid passport to enter and stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. A tourist card is issued on arrival for visa-exempt nationals. On the other hand, if a person’s country requires a visa, such can be obtained by formally applying for the visa before traveling.

The applicant may opt for a visa that most suits his/her purpose of visit:


Mexican tourist visa

A tourist visa for visa-required countries can be applied by filling out a form in the Mexican embassy in the applicant’s home country along with the Mexico tourist card. The Mexico tourist card, known as Forma Migratoria Multiple, can be purchased from the airline you travel with at the time of arrival or through the official website.

A visit visa is strictly for tourist or business purposes and does not allow employment.


people gathered around gray concrete building

Temporary resident visa

A person planning to stay in Mexico longer than 180 days (6 months) can apply for a temporary resident visa. A student visa allows a person to work and study in Mexico so does a Mexico family visa. A temporary resident visa may be categorized by the purpose of the visit and stay of the applicant. Some temporary resident visas limit the holder to certain specific under the terms of the visa while others allow a larger activity.

A very crucial aspect while awarding a temporary resident visa is whether the applicant has the financial capability to support a decent livelihood. Similarly, a Mexican temporary resident can not be applied for while in the country, a person has to apply at a Mexican embassy in either their home country or the one nearest to them. The validity of all temporary visas is no more than 12 months.

The embassy then places a sticker on the applicant’s passport, the person has to travel to Mexico and visit the local immigration office and obtain the temporary resident visa, within 30 days of entering the country.


Permanent resident visa

Mexican permanent resident visa is issued to foreigners who wish to reside in the country permanently. Senior citizens or people who retired with a substantial income often choose this visa, hence it’s unofficially also known as a Retiree visa.

The eligibility requirement can be investment, old family ties, or temporary stay in Mexico for more than4 years.  

Must-haves for a permanent visa

Aspirants for a permanent residency in Mexico must have one or more of the following:

  • Family connections in Mexico
  • Sufficient and sustainable financial status
  • 4 or more years for continuous residence in Mexico
  • Meeting or exceeding the point score system
  • Humanitarian grounds, such as refugee; or political grounds, such as asylum, etc.



Mexican speak Spanish, it is their official language too. Hence moving to Mexico, one must have a basic understanding of the language. Especially while dealing with the bureaucracy and officials of the country Spanish language comes in handy.

In case one is rusty in Spanish, then it is advised that all immigration may be handled by a Mexican immigration lawyer or law firm to ensure the process runs smoothly.



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