Every day the number of foreigners who, seduced by the attributes of Puerto Vallarta and/or Riviera Nayarit, decide to move to this area of Banderas Bay increases. Some reasons include the attractive currency exchange rate, as well as the quality of life, infrastructure, and the peaceful and safe surroundings. All this makes our destination one of the best places in Mexico for expats to consider as a good place to live temporarily or permanently.
Once the decision has been made, where to start? To delve deeper into this subject, Vallarta Real Estate Guide visited María Lazareno, a lawyer specializing in immigration issues, who kindly received us in her KL México office to provide us with basic advice on this process.
Our expert began by defining what Temporary Mexican Residency is and where it can be processed. “It is a condition that certifies the legal stay of those foreigners who want to be in the country for more than 180 days, but no more than four years. Although there are different ways to process it, the most common is through the Mexican consulate closest to the interested party’s place of residence, where they will go directly to verify that they have the economic solvency required to obtain this visa.”
Foreigners must demonstrate that their average income, during the last 12 months, is equal to or greater than 32,000 dollars. On the other hand, if the interested party is working for a company, they must verify that they have received over $1,900 per month in the last six months or, if they are retired or pensioned, clarify that they have received at least that same amount in the last six months.
According to our expert, another way to process Temporary Mexican Residency is through the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) (National Institute of Immigration), as long as the foreigner has a link with any Mexican or permanent resident who is already living in Mexico.
The Mexican government’s website (gob.mx) specifies that a link occurs in the case of:
“Through the first way, that is, applying directly to one of the Mexican consulates abroad, Temporary Mexican Residency could be issued within a period of one to ten business days. However, there are consulates that grant it on the same day. Upon obtaining that first visa, the foreigner will have 180 days to enter Mexico and continue with the second step, which is with the Instituto Nacional de Migración, and that takes around 35 business days,” she explains.
As for prices, which may vary without prior notice, the Temporary Residency Visa processed at a consulate is currently 40 USD, and Temporary Mexican Residency at the INM is 4,272 pesos.
Among the most important obligations foreigners with Temporary Mexican Residency must take into account is to notify the INM of any type of change they make during the first 90 days in which it happens. “This includes, for example, changes of address, marital status, nationality and workplace, among others.”
Since Mexican law states that a foreigner cannot have two conditions of stay at the same time, it is of the utmost importance that, if a temporary resident is outside of Mexico, they avoid returning as a tourist, because if the immigration file is documented that way, they will have to start the whole process over again.
In addition, temporary residents must take into account that to be able to work in Mexico legally, they need a special permit issued by the INM, officially known as a Visa por Oferta de Empleo (Job Offer Visa), which currently takes between 30 and 45 days to be issued.
Before concluding, Lazareno shared one last consideration: “If foreigners wish to carry out this process on their own, it is highly recommended that they speak Spanish well because, although it is not complicated to obtain the visa by fulfilling all the requirements, the language of the paperwork can be a barrier when wanting to carry out the procedure at the INM.”