Investing and Residing in Mexico – Part II (Candidates and Process)

By Jorge Chávez
Aug. 13, 2021

Within the July 2021 edition of Vallarta Real Estate Guide, we reviewed the different residency options available in Mexico, when you should seek residency, the reasons to choose one level of residency over another and the different benefits each option offers for buying and selling real estate in Mexico.

In this second and last part of this special article, we will analyze the candidates who can apply to obtain one of the two types of permits available, as well as the requirements that are necessary to qualify for the residency status.

Investing and Residing in Mexico

Requirements that applicants must meet and cover in order to obtain a temporary or permanent residence in Mexico.


Any foreigner who wishes to be legally in Mexico can apply to obtain residency. The immigration status for which they wish to enter varies and may be due to job offers, student, family ties or financial solvency, among others.

Regarding the requirements that are asked of the candidates for residency, the Mexican authorities have different criteria to determine the legal status that will be granted to the foreigner. In the case of Americans and Canadians who are not interested in working in Mexico, but wish to legally reside in the country, it is highly recommended that they get the information from the nearest consulate abroad regarding the necessary documentation to make an application, as all consulates have different requirements. Then, it will be necessary to make an appointment to apply for temporary or permanent residence. The requirements are straightforward documents to obtain.

In most cases, the income requirements for temporary or permanent residency are usually the following (the economic figures are approximate and vary depending on the consulate and/or exchange rate fluctuations):

Those who already own a property in Mexico are asked for an original and a copy of the notarized deeds to prove that the interested person owns a property with a value of more than 174,000 USD.

However, as an investor, documentation from the Mexican entity certified before a notary or properly certified documentation is required that shows that the foreign person participates in the capital of said Mexican corporation. In addition, he must to verify that his investment exceeds 90,000 USD, as well as present a document that certifies the ownership of real estate with a value greater than 90,000 USD or documents that endorse the development of the aforementioned economic activity in Mexico.

In the same way, if the interested party does not intend to make investments in Mexico, he also has the way to apply for residency, either by demonstrating economic solvency through financial statements (original and copy) that verify a monthly balance of at least 25,000 USD during the last twelve months; or instead, original and copy documents showing tax-free income from work or pension that exceeds the monthly amount of 1,500 USD during the last six months.


The process to obtain residency is divided into two steps, beginning with an interview at the Consulate of Mexico in your country of origin (where you will demonstrate financial solvency, as needed) and ending in our country with the exchange at the National Migration Institute (INM). This exchange process is usually very fast (from one to two months in the case of pensioners and from three to four months in the case of a job offer).

For instance, the foreigner goes to his appointment at the Consulate of Mexico in his country. After having reviewed the documents and other requirements, the consul grants the foreigner the pre-visa, which he must show when he enters our country. Once the foreigner is here, he has 30 calendar days from the day of entry to exchange that pre-visa at the INM office for his temporary or permanent residence.

Finally, it is recommended to seek a professional to assist with carrying out this process. Specialists, whose job it is to help foreigners navigate this process, can help in case of any inconvenience resulting from said procedure.

Generally, if a foreigner does not have knowledge of laws and requirements, or if he is not fluent in the local language, he can have many problems. The specialists know the laws of the place, the resolutions that the immigration authority can determine and guarantee that, from beginning to end, the process is successful.