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Getting your Resident Card

Benefits of the Mexico Permanent Resident Card

A Permanent Resident Card gives the holder similar rights to an actual Mexico citizen, excluding the right to vote. As such, with a Mexican Permanent Resident Card:

• You are allowed to work without having to get a work permit
• You may apply for free health insurance.
• You only have to apply once – since it is indefinite, there is no need to renew it every one to two years
• You can enter and leave Mexico as many times as you want

How to Become a Mexican resident?

You can become a Mexican resident if you fulfill one of the following conditions:

• You have close family relations in Mexico
• You have found a job in Mexico
• You intend to retire in Mexico
• You start studying in a Mexican educational institution
• You have amassed at least four years of temporary residence and now qualify for permanent residence.

As a foreign citizen, you will receive temporary residence in Mexico (a Temporary Resident Card) if you find employment, want to join a family member who is also a temporary resident, or you start studying in Mexico. The Temporary Resident Card for Mexico is valid for one year initially, and can be renewed for a maximum of four years.
After four years, you can apply for permanent residence (a Mexican Permanent Resident Card).

However, depending on your case, you may be eligible for permanent residence from the start.

Who is Eligible for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card?

You are eligible for a Mexico Permanent Resident Card if you fulfill one of the following requirements:

• You are retired and intend to live in Mexico permanently without employment/income from Mexico (Mexico Retirement Visa)

• You have close family relations in Mexico:
– You have a child who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.
– You are a child or adolescent and you have a parent who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.
– You are a child or adolescent and you have a step-parent who is a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.
– You are the sibling of a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.

• You have lived in Mexico for at least four years with a Temporary Resident Card.

• You have lived in Mexico for at least two years with a Temporary Resident Card issued on the grounds of marriage to a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.

What is the Duration of a Mexico Permanent Resident Card?

The Permanent Resident Card for Mexico does not have an expiry date – it is issued for an indefinite amount of time. As such, it does not have to be renewed every few years, like the Temporary Resident Card does.

How to apply for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card?

You have to apply for a Mexican Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM)) upon arrival to Mexico. Prior to that, you have to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa at a Mexican embassy in your country, depending on your purpose of travel. The application process for a Permanent Resident Visa for Mexico is as follows:

• Contact an immigration attorney to help with the process.

• Contact a Mexico embassy to set up an appointment.

• Complete the Mexico Visa Application Form.

• Collect the required documents.

• Submit the application and pay the visa fee.On the date of your appointment, you will give your biometrics and may also have to enter an interview.

• Wait for the visa to be processed

Pick up your passport. If the application is approved, the visa will be affixed to your passport.

If your Permanent Resident Visa is approved, you may use it to enter the country, where you have to convert it into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute.

Converting the Permanent Resident Visa into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card

Within 30 days of arriving in Mexico, you must apply to convert your Permanent Resident Visa into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card. It is the Card which allows you to live in Mexico long-term, not the visa itself.

Changing a Temporary Residence Card into a Permanent Residence Card

If you are already living in Mexico on a Temporary Resident Card, when your current Card is about to expire, you have to apply at the INM to switch it into a Permanent Resident Card (provided you have lived in Mexico as a temporary resident for four years). You must apply at least 30 days before your current residence card expires.

Mexican Permanent Resident Visa processing time

The processing time for a Mexican Temporary Resident Visa changes from embassy to embassy, so you can expect to wait anywhere from one week to a month to receive a visa. As such, apply for the visa at least one month before you intend to travel.

Mexican Permanent Resident Card processing time

A Mexican Permanent Resident Visa takes about 10 – 15 working days to be processed, starting from the day you submit your completed documents at the National Immigration Institute.

What are the Requirements for a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa?

When applying for a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico, you must have several supporting documents with you, such as:

• A Mexico Visa Application Form, printed and signed. If the applicant is a minor, the parents or legal guardians have to sign the application form.
• A passport or other travel document, which has blank pages so the visa can be affixed.
– Also include a photocopy of your passport’s relevant pages

• Recent passport-size pictures

• Visa fee payment

• Additional documents related to your purpose of travel, such as:

– Proof of family relationship, for Mexico Family Visas

– Proof of enrollment in a Mexico educational institution, for Mexico Student Visa

– Proof you have obtained a Mexico Work Permit and a copy of your work contract if applying for a Mexico Work Visa

• Any additional documents that the Mexican embassy asks you to provide.

How to Apply for a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa?

The application process for obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico is divided into two parts:

• Applying for the Temporary Resident Visa at a Mexican embassy

• Exchanging the Temporary Resident Visa into a Temporary Residence Card at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM)) in Mexico

Applying for the Temporary Resident Visa

The application process for getting a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa is:

1. Contact an immigration attorney to help with the process.

2. Contact a Mexico embassy to set up an appointment.

3. Complete the Mexico Visa Application Form.

4. Collect the required documents.

5. Submit the application and pay the visa fee.

6. Wait for the visa to be processed

7. Pick up your passport. If the application is approved, the visa will be affixed to your passport.

8. Travel to Mexico and exchange your Temporary Resident Visa into a Temporary Residence Card

Keep in mind: Different embassy offices may have their own different requirements when it comes to the visa application process. This is why it is important to always get help from the immigration attorney, to learn about the specific requirements.

Exchange the Temporary Resident Visa into a Temporary Residence Card

Within 30 days of arriving in Mexico with a Temporary Resident Visa, you must apply to exchange it into a Temporary Residence Card. You can get your Residence Card at an office of the National Immigration Institute in Mexico. When you apply, you should have the following with you:

• The Resident Card request form.

• Your passport with the Temporary Resident Visa affixed

• The Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) which you received at the airport

• Payment of the Resident Card

• A cover/request letter for the Temporary Resident Card addressed to the Instituto Nacional de Migración

• Any additional documents related to your purpose of travel

Mexico Temporary Resident Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa depends on the embassy in which you apply. You can expect to wait anywhere from one week to a month. This is why it is advisable that you apply for a visa at least one month before you plan to travel to Mexico.

What is the Duration of a Temporary Resident Visa Mexico?

The duration of the Temporary Resident Visa itself is 180 days. This is why once you arrive in Mexico you must apply to turn it into a Temporary Resident Card within 30 days.

The Mexico Temporary Resident Card is valid for one year on the first issuance and can be renewed for another one, two, or three years.

After four years of living with a Temporary Resident Visa, you become eligible to apply for Permanent Residency.

How to Renew a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico?

At least 30 days before your current Temporary Resident Card expires, you must apply for a renewal at the Instituto Nacional de Migración. You can renew your Temporary Residence Card for up to four years, which is when you can get a Permanent Residence Card.

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