When you apply for residency in Mexico you may, depending on your situation, apply for Temporary Residency (Residencia Temporal) or Permanent Residency (Residencia Permanente).
See also: The differences between Temporary and Permanent residency.
Financial qualification requirements
If you apply for residency in Mexico as a couple using the route of “economic solvency,” the principal applicant must show the income or savings/investment amounts required for qualification, plus an additional 100x Daily Minimum Wage or UMA for the dependent spouse/partner. The additional amount required for the dependent spouse is the same whether you apply for Temporary or Permanent Residency.
Key points about applying for Permanent Residency in Mexico
When you apply for permanent residency on the basis of economic solvency, you don’t have to hold temporary residency before applying for and being granted permanent residency, but:
- the financial criteria to qualify for permanent residency are higher; and
- Mexican consulates abroad now require the applicant(s) “to be retired” to apply for permanent residency right away—even if they qualify economically; and
- if you apply for permanent residency as a couple, the dependent spouse/partner will only be granted Temporary Residency to begin with (as described in this article).
A dependent spouse/partner can only obtain Temporary Residency to begin with
A quirk exists in the rules when you are applying for Permanent Residency as a couple.
When you apply for Permanent Residency as a couple (married couples, common-law partners, including same-sex partnerships are all recognized by Mexican immigration law), the principal applicant will be offered Permanent Residency, but the dependent spouse/partner will only be offered Temporary Residency to begin with.
This can later be exchanged for Permanent Residency: after four years if the application is made at a Mexican consulate abroad; or after two years if the application is made at an immigration office in Mexico—as described in the sections that follow.
Options for couples who want to apply for Permanent Residency in Mexico
If you and your partner intend to seek Permanent Residency in Mexico together, these are three options to consider:
Apply at a Mexican consulate abroad as a couple
Applying together as a couple at a Mexican consulate abroad, you will present your application with your marriage certificate (or proof of common-law partnership—check with the consulate about what they require for this).
The principal applicant will need to show the income or savings/investments required for Permanent Residency plus and additional 100x Daily Minimum Wage.
If the application is accepted, the principal applicant will be given a Permanent Residency visa and the dependent spouse will be given a Temporary Residency visa. These need to be exchanged for residency cards in Mexico.
The dependent spouse will need to renew the Temporary Residency card after one year for a further three years, and at the end of the fourth year can apply to exchange the Temporary Residency card for a Permanent Residency card.
One partner applies for residency at the Mexican consulate, the other applies in Mexico
If one of the partners applies for Permanent Residency alone, the other partner can enter Mexico as a visitor, and afterwards apply for residency in Mexico under the Family Unit rules.
When residency is applied for this way, the immigration office in Mexico will grant the dependent spouse/partner two years of Temporary Residency and, after those two years, you can apply to exchange that for Permanent Residency.
Important: If your income or savings/investment accounts are in joint names and only one of the two named people applies for residency at the Mexican consulate, the account(s) will need to show double the income or savings/investments required.
When you go to the immigration office in Mexico to apply for your dependent spouse/partner’s residency permit, no additional proof of economic solvency requirements are usually asked for, but note that when you apply with your partner/spouse for residency in Mexico under the Family Unit rules you will need to have your marriage certificate apostilled and translated into Spanish by an officially recognized translator. If you are not legally married, you need to ask the local immigration office what proof they require of your common-law partnership.
Both partners apply separately, not as a couple
If you’re a couple seeking Permanent Residency and you each have sufficient income or savings/investments to qualify in individually named account(s), you can apply separately for Permanent Residency. You do not need to show your marriage certificate in this situation.
If your income or savings/investment accounts are in joint name accounts and you apply separately, those accounts will need to show double the income or savings/investments required, and you will need to show your marriage certificate.
Mexican consulates also require Permanent Residency applicants ‘to be retired’
The income or savings/investments required to qualify for Permanent Residency are substantially higher that those required for Temporary Residency and even if you have the money on account, Mexican consulates will only grant Permanent Residency to “people who are retired.”
If you don’t qualify for Permanent Residency right away you can apply for Temporary Residency to begin with and apply to exchange that for Permanent Residency after four consecutive years of having Temporary Residency.
Mexico Immigration Assistance for Couples
If you need assistance with your Mexico residency application, renewals, or regularization procedures, our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service provides consulting, advice, and practical support that assists you through the entire residency application or renewal process, including visa exchanges, regularization procedures, and troubleshooting.
Learn more about residency in Mexico
Mexperience publishes information and resources to help you learn about how to apply for and obtain legal residency in Mexico:
- Learn about the difference between Temporary and Permanent residency in Mexico
- Learn about the process for applying for residency in Mexico
- Read about the financial criteria to qualify for residency in Mexico
- Download our free eBook: Mexico Immigration Guide that encapsulates essential information about visas and residency permits for Mexico
- Get assistance with applying for residency in Mexico as a couple
Mexico in your inbox
Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.