Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Don’t Risk a Fake Marriage for Residency in Mexico

A ‘marriage of convenience’ intended to secure legal residency is risky.  Mexico’s INM has special checks in place to spot these applications

Signing a contract

Many foreigners come to Mexico to live with and be with their Mexican partners.  Most intentions and marriages between Mexicans and foreign nationals are genuine, and spouses of Mexicans who want to live here will apply for residency in Mexico on the basis their partner being a Mexican national.

The illegal and risky business of a marriage of convenience

There does exist an illegal underbelly of this arrangement: whereby a foreign national will marry a Mexican only for the convenience of seeking legal residency in Mexico. The Mexican national may be offered financial incentives directly by the foreign national, or by unscrupulous intermediaries who intend to profit from the arrangement.

Mexico’s INM is vigilant in regard to fake marriages

Mexico’s immigration rules are very humanitarian and offer genuine couples and families the opportunity to live together in Mexico with the least amount of bureaucratic friction through Family Unit arrangements.

However, the INM is very vigilant when it comes to applications for residency by marriage to a Mexican national. They have special checks and teams in place dedicated to rooting out fake arrangements and they take swift action to deal with fraud.

Consequences of obtaining residency by marriage fraud

Mexico’s immigration rules cite strict penalties for people who marry only for the convenience of attaining legal residency in Mexico:

  • Foreign nationals face having their legal residency status revoked and being deported; and
  • Mexican nationals participating in this fraud can face prison time.

By participating in a fraudulent ‘marriage of convenience’ with a Mexican national for the sole purpose of obtaining residency, you’re creating a real risk in your own circumstances, and you may also condemn your ‘partner’ to a prison sentence.  Furthermore, intermediaries in this fraud will often take advantage of the vulnerable.

Legal routes to residency in Mexico

There are legal routes to obtaining residency in Mexico that don’t require you to commit fraud. Most applications are made through economic solvency.  Residency for genuine relationships is facilitated through Family Unit rules.  You can learn more about applications for residency in Mexico by downloading the free Mexico Immigration Guide from our eBooks library.

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