How to Immigrate to Mexico
Published: Friday, May 20, 2011
Migration to Mexico is on the rise. People planning for retirement, baby-boomers looking to spend winters in warmer climates, retired or semi retired folks who want to live in Mexico full-time and, increasingly, professional people who can tele-work using the Internet are some of the types of people who are considering to move their lives south of the border.
Who is moving to Mexico?
Whether it’s for retirement, to take an extended sabbatical, to work or set-up a business, Mexico has become a country on foreigners’ radars. From the emails and inquiries we receive, we can conclude that most of those interested in moving here live in the United States and Canada, although interest from some European nationals is also noticeable.
Plan ahead to secure your Mexican visa
When you begin to plan your move to Mexico, one of the first considerations you will need to take into account is the type of visa you’ll need to stay here legally. Citizens from many countries (you can find a list on our immigration guide) can arrive in Mexico as tourists and remain for up to 180 days (6 months). However, you cannot work or settle here on a tourist visa. To work or remain in the country beyond the 180 day tourist limit you will need to apply for and be granted an appropriate FM3 or FM2 visa.
The right visa for your circumstances
There are different visa sub-categories to apply for and, depending on your situation and intentions, you will need to apply for the correct visa for your circumstances. You can apply for the visas yourself or hire an immigration lawyer to take care of the application process on your behalf. Foreigners who speak good Spanish and are familiar with the procedures tend to renew their visas themselves, others opt to pay a professional to undertake the work. Applying for Mexican visas has never been more straightforward than it is today: the applications are usually made online and the fees are reasonable when compared to fees for equivalent visas to enter the U.S., Canada or Europe.
Learn more about Mexican visas
You can learn about the different visa types and the outline procedures on our Guide to Mexican Immigration. If you want detailed information about the type of visa needed for your specific circumstances and also instructions about how to apply for it, and the associated costs, from there you can download the Mexico Immigration eBook—a fully updated guide to the procedures you need to know. If you need professional advice, you’ll also find links to immigration lawyers from our guide.
If living, retirement or working in Mexico is part of your lifestyle plans, you should start researching your visa requirements as soon as possible. Lead times for issuance of visas are not too long, but it’s important to apply for the correct visa, gather the necessary paperwork evidence, and apply in the right way to save money and avoid inconvenience during the application process.