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How to Become a Temporary Resident in Mexico

Foreign citizens and their families who wish to remain in Mexico for more than 180 days will have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. This can be for work, to visit tourist spots or to obtain permanent residency.  

All passengers traveling to the country will need the Mexico FMM Card. This tourist card will allow them to be in the country for 180 days. To legally extend the stay or to live in the country, foreign nationals should apply for the Temporary Residency Visa.  

Certain travelers can apply for the Mexico ETA which allows them to bypass the formal visa process.

A temporary visa is issued by Mexican embassies and consulates for a period of six months.

Foreigners arriving on this visa will have to convert it to a temporary resident card at the national immigration office in Mexico within 30 days of landing in the country.

The temporary resident card is considered as the legal permission to stay in the country on a temporary basis and is issued for a period of one, two, three or four years. 

Who is a Temporary Resident in Mexico? 

Foreign nationals who hold a Mexican Temporary Resident Visa are temporary residents in the country. They can enter or leave the country anytime they wish to do so. They can also get a work permit in exchange for remuneration.  

If the applicant needs to go to another country while the temporary residency visa application is in the process, he or she must get official permission. It may take up to seven days to issue the letter of exit/entry permission. 

This allows the applicants to travel outside and stay in a foreign country for a maximum of 60 days. The application for the temporary visa will be put on hold during this period. 

Those who hold a temporary visa can get a Unique Population Registry Code and those who hold the CURP code can register their own vehicles in the country and can get local discounts in parks, archeological sites, restaurants and other services.   

After five years of legal residency, a foreign national can apply for permanent citizenship or a Permanent Resident Visa in Mexico. For this, they are required to acquire proficiency in Spanish and clear tests and interviews about Mexico’s history and culture.  

Types of Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico 

Foreign citizens can obtain Temporary Resident Visas if they fulfill various requirements. The three main types of temporary visa for Mexico are the Mexico work visa, Mexico student visa and Mexico family visa.  

The work visa allows the holder to take up paid employment in the country. Prior to this, the applicants should get a work permit.  

As the name suggests, the student visa is for foreign students who wish to pursue higher education in Mexican universities. 

There are two types of student visas – the Temporary Resident Student Visa is for students who want to take up a course that is longer than 180 days and the Visitor Student Visa is for courses that do not exceed 180 days.  

The Mexico family visa is for foreigners who want to stay with a close family member living in the country. The visa will be issued only based on the nationality of the family member and the applicant’s relationship with them.  

Requirements for a Mexico Temporary Visa  

The applicants should meet various requirements to obtain a Mexican temporary visa. One of the key criteria is that the applicants should prove that they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves while in Mexico or have a steady income.  

If the applicants feel that they have sufficient assets, they will be asked to provide proof of their earnings for at least the last 12 months. They can submit their bank statements.   

If they want to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa by proving that they have sufficient monthly income, they are required to present the last 6 months' salary receipts from a recognized financial institution. 

If someone owns real estate in Mexico that is valued over $280,000, they can apply also for the Temporary Resident Visa.  

How to Apply for a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa? 

The application process is divided into two: First, the applicants need to apply for the temporary resident visa in a Mexican embassy. After this, they have to exchange the visa into a temporary residence card at the National Immigration Institute in Mexico.  

Below is a step-by-step guide to the visa application process:  

  • Contact the Mexican embassy and schedule an appointment.
  • Download the application form from the embassy website.
  • Submit the required documents and application forms.
  • Pay the fee.

Keep in mind that different embassies will ask for different documents. So, it is good to visit the official website before starting the process. In most cases, the applicants need to provide the following documents.  

  • The application forms
  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months
  • Signed letter of authorization from the Mexican Immigration office
  • Signed letter of job offer from company in Mexico
  • Signed letter of registration of the company or employer
  • Letter of Notification of Authorization of Visa received by the Mexican Company.
  • Airline ticket itinerary
  • One color passport size photograph

Within 30 days of arriving in Mexico, the applicant must file an application to change the visa into a temporary residence card. For this he/she needs to approach the immigration institute with a cover letter, application form and other required documents.  

Mexico Temporary Resident Visa Processing Time 

The processing time for the Mexico Temporary Resident Visa depends on the embassy where you apply. If the papers are in order, the visa will be granted anytime from one week to a month. In some cases, it can take up to 3 months.  

It is advised to apply for the visa at least a month before the travel plan. 

Once you reach Mexico, foreigners need to apply for the temporary permit within 30 days and the process can take up to three months.  

What is the Duration of a Temporary Resident Visa? 

The validity of the temporary visa is 180 days. The applicant needs to apply for the Temporary Resident Card within 30 days of his/her arrival in Mexico. The card is valid for one year on the first issuance. It can be renewed for two, three, or four years.  

How to Renew? 

While foreign citizens can apply for the Temporary Resident Visa in embassies, for renewal, they should personally approach the national immigration institute with the required documents. 

The Temporary Resident Card can be renewed for up to four years. After that, if they wish to, they can apply for the Permanent Residence Card.  

If something is amiss in the application form, the authorities may not process it. This will create a delay. So, it is highly recommended to start the process early, before the 30-day window for the permit to expire.  

What if I lose or Damage My Mexican Resident Card?   

If someone loses or damages their Mexican Temporary Resident Card, they have to report it to the local immigration office and apply for a replacement. If they lose it in a foreign country, they can do the same in the Mexican embassy of that country.  

On the day of the appointment, they must submit all the required documents and their photocopies. There will also be a small processing charge.  

After the verification, if the documents are found to be in order the applicants will receive a replacement at a later date.
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