INAPAM Program Might Be Closing to Foreign Residents

The discount program that is offered to seniors aged 60 and over has become increasingly restrictive to foreign residents who go to apply for the card

INAPAM Logo in Greyscale

One of Mexico’s popular programs for seniors is the INAPAM discount card, that offers people aged 60 and over an opportunity to enjoy discounts on a range of services and products in Mexico, including long distance public transport.

The program has historically been open to Mexican nationals (and naturalized foreigners) as well as foreign residents holding temporary or permanent residency cards.

Recent patterns suggests a quiet change in policy

Readers living in Mexico have been writing in to tell us about a change in pattern they are experiencing when they attend INAPAM offices to apply for the card, describing how it’s becoming increasingly restrictive and difficult to obtain.

Reports about availability of cards for foreign residents vary by INAPAM office by state, but this is the pattern that has been emerging in recent times:

  • Where previously temporary and permanent legal foreign residents were offered the INAPAM card, some offices began to restrict the card to permanent residents only.
  • Some offices offered cards to temporary residents only if they could prove they owned a house in Mexico.
  • In recent times, applications filed by foreign residents have not received a response or been processed, with staff at the offices citing administrative technicalities—such as the unavailability of special forms or cards.
  • We have recently learned that INAPAM offices in at least two states have declared that foreign residents need to show their naturalization certificates to obtain the cards—effectively closing the program altogether to legal foreign residents.

One of our associates visited the INAPAM office in Mérida, where they were told that current delays in issuing cards to foreign residents were due to the unavailability of forms required for foreign resident applications. When pressed about whether the program was effectively closing to foreign residents, the staff replied that they had not received any official directive to that effect.

How to approach the situation

If you’re legally resident in Mexico and intend to apply for the INAPAM card, it’s worth keeping in mind that this change of pattern is taking place and you might not be able to get the discount card at this time.

  • If you want to apply, we suggest that you visit your local INAPAM office and talk to the staff there about applying as a foreign resident.
  • Some offices accept applications, but we know that in several places foreign residents have been waiting many months for their cards and have no indication when or if their cards will be issued to them.
  • The office you attend might tell you that you need to show your naturalization certificate to apply. If this is the case, the program is closed to foreign residents at that office.
  • Reports vary by state and INAPAM office. It might be that the state or municipality you apply at accepts your application and issues a card.  The only way to know is to ask locally.

You can ONLY apply in the state where you live

All INAPAM offices ask for proof of your physical address and you can only apply in the locality where your address is located, so you can’t attend an office out of your area to apply.

Visit and talk to a representative at your local INAPAM office for details.

Existing INAPAM card holders

The INAPAM card never expires, so for those foreign residents who already have cards, they continue to work as normal.  Absent an official announcement about any of this, we do not know if in future foreign residents’ INAPAM cards will remain valid.  If you lose or damage your existing card, it might be difficult or impossible to obtain a replacement at this time.

Future updates and readers’ experience

We will keep this article updated as new information becomes available.

If you have recently applied for an INAPAM card and would like to share your experience, please use the comments form below.

Resources for Living & Lifestyle in Mexico

Mexperience offers you a comprehensive online resource of information and local knowledge to help you discover Mexico, explore choices, find opportunities and plan a new life in Mexico.  Our resources include:


  1. Michael Savage says

    I was turned away in Playa del Carmen today when applying for a card. Wish I had seen this column sooner. When they turned me down they suggested I go to another office and then said they will tell me the same thing. You need naturalization.

  2. Kymberly says

    Puerto Vallarta DIF office last week…was told they would not have cards for 4 months.

  3. Victoria says

    I used my INAPAM card as ID to get a replacement Costco card. This was in Queterero. They placed it on the computer screen, issued a new Costco card and sent me on my way. I never saw the card again and they said they didn’t have it. I’m unable to get a replacement card from San Miguel so this is a dirty deal.

  4. Doug Maus says

    In San Miguel de Allende you now have to be a citizen (born or naturalized) to get the INAPAM card

    • Bill Bailey says

      Received my INAPAM card in 2013 in Tulum as a Permanent Resident. Tons of friends in Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, recently have not been allowed to apply for INAPAM and have been turned away. I live in Atlixco, Puebla State now. I went to pay the Predial on my house a few weeks back. Naturally, I wanted to get the 50% discount that INAPAM allows you to receive on your property taxes. I gave the rep my documents, including my Resident card. She refused my Resident card, stating the only acceptable ID was an INE card!! Which I don’t have, as I’m not yet a citizen. For all the world, it sure looks to me like the government is trying to exclude foreigners. My card is still valid (so far) as I am grandfathered in. This whole thing is really up in the air….

    • Victoria says

      And don’t loose the card, if you have one, because they will not replace it.

  5. Darlene Chase says

    Last week we went to Cancun to try and apply for the INAPAM card. We are permanent residents. We were told it is only for nationals. They did not let us apply.

  6. Mick N says

    I obtained my inapam card in Cabo San Lucas without any issues. I do have my permanent residency. I was at the office only 15 minutes.

    • D Rogers says

      What did they need other than residency card? TIA

    • Yvonne says

      Hi Rick, we live and have a home in Quintana Roo. Do you know if we can fly down there and get a card?

    • Lori says

      Where is the office for INAPAM in Cabo please?

      • Bobby D. Simmons says

        I have owned a home in Playa del Carmen since 2003, I didn’t become a permanent resident until 2023 after I retired in 2022. I went to apply for a card today Feb 21, 2024, and was denied an application because I am not a Mexican citizen.

  7. Javier A Mantilla says

    One more thing: I have asked for the official policy or document from the Mexican governmnet where they state this issue.
    None so far. I want to see it and read it.
    I am in cdmx,
    Please advice me what to do? I need this credential

  8. Javier A Mantilla says

    I was stopped at the entrance of the Inapam office ” for foreigners”in cdmx. its name scapes me now,Colonia Juarez, Cuautecmock(I went to two other offices in my area)the run arounds.
    They said that Ihave to be a naturalized citizen. /So I left.(At about april 2023)
    Ever since, I have sent countless emails to Inapam officials,I have spoken with the” auditory branch” etc.
    The have given me these funy answers. We run out of forms for foreigners. /keep checking. Last time was June 2023.
    Let’s do something. We qualify not only because of age but of legal status as well( I am a temporary resident)
    I am latino 67 and I have not been able to do this
    Help me , please if you know anything. Use my email
    Javier A mantilla

  9. Margot Garcia says

    18 oct 2023
    No INAPAM without permanent residency in Jalisco, despite info to the contrary.

  10. Sharon says

    I received my INAPAM credential in San Miguel de Allende this month, June 2023. There was a 2 week delay for processing and they even called me to tell me that the office was unexpectedly closed and when it would reopen again, which saved me a trip. At this office you need to have permanent residency. I had brought copies and originals of all the required docs including an apostilled birth certificate but they did not look at the originals nor the apostilled bc, only took the copies. It was very easy and user friendly. Kudos to the office and staff there.

    • Yvonne says

      We are permanent residents in Quintana Roo and own a home here. Are they accepting applications there and do you know if we can apply there?

      • LaJuana Ferdinand says

        I am a permanent resident. Just left the INAPAM office here in Playa Del Carmen where I was advised they can only process cards for those that hold a letter of naturalization.

    • Victoris says

      Don’t loose it because you can’t get a replacement

  11. Dolly Lee says

    I live in Merida, Yucatan. I applied for the card 2 months ago in person and was told I had to be a citizen. I went to the headquarters and was told the same thing, so I am unable to get the card.

    • JOHN O'LEARY says

      Anyone else from Mérida have this issue?

      • Larry Peterson says

        I also have gone numerous times and was told they don’t have correct forms. One location told me I was not eligible as a
        Temporary and the other said they didn’t have forms. The agency I use to help with residency told me they were planning on discontinuing the program for foreigners.

  12. G. Heaney says

    Gerry H,

    When I applied for my INAPAM card in the city of Guanajuato I had all the docs I thought i needed but was told I needed my original birth Certificate.
    I live in Canada and never leave the country with my BC so this would be difficult.
    I argued that friends had obtained the card without the BC .
    After an hour wait was issued the INAPAM card.
    The lesson is to persevere in your application.

    • Talyaa L says

      Do you know if they require permanent residency? And when was this, please?

    • P Diane Schneider says

      I applied for inapam in León gto in May of this year. I did have my birth certificate with me even though I had not expected to need it. Apparently only one inapam office is issuing the cards in Leon. And the hours are restrictive. I was able to recibe my card on the same day I went to that ofrece. I did arrive early however and waited in líne before the ofrece opened. The photos I took were not accepted as they require infant size and I had passport size. I had to llave to have the appropriate photos taken and return. When I returned there were no further problems. I do have permanent residency.

  13. Marta A says

    I went to the INAPAM office in Manzanillo. I had copies of all the documents required and had my card in about 20 minutes. They never asked for originals and they did keep the copies.

  14. Denis C. says

    We got our permanent resident card, CURP and RFC in January 2023 in Playa Del Carmen.
    I went to the INAPAM office in PDC in January, February and March with all the required documents and every time they told me the do not have the proper form for foreigners.
    When i ask them when will they get the form they just just did not know (or care for that matter).
    I ask the to get a pdf form and i will get it printed they say it was not possible.
    Getting the run around is very frustrating.
    Friends in Costa Rica told me it is simple and easy to get discounted price for seniors in CR.

    • Marc VC says

      Hi Denis,
      Same thing here in PDC.. I went in February/March 2023 with all documents required. They told me the same: proper forms not available and enlisted me on their waiting list.
      They told me they would call me when the forms would arrive… not heard from them since…Maybe we should go again at the offices together and try to find out if they still deliver cards in PDC?
      I will be back in PDC from August 14th on…

      • Susan says

        Hi Marc,
        I was just reading about your situation with INAPAM in PDC. You said you were back in August. Did you ever go and get your INAPAM card? Or have they finally decided to not issue any cards to foreigners? My husband and I are now permanent residents in PDC. We are still trying to figure out home insurance, health insurance and now, how to get an INAPAM card since we are 60 and 63. If they are not giving them anymore, I guess there is no sense even trying. (sad face)

        • Janie says

          As of October, 2023, PDC told us only naturalized citizens can get the card. I’m a permanent resident and could not even apply. Bummed – hubby got his card in 2020 and I just turned 60 and it looks like I won’t be able to get one.

    • Darrell says

      Same in Cozumel, tried 6 times so far and each time told that the proper forms for foreigners are not available.

    • Casey Scott says

      Yes, perhaps, but CR has so many messed up regs and hoops to jump through, new ones every year. And the CoL is 25% higher generally. Lived there 13 years, Mexico is much better.

  15. Doug Mofoz says

    I’m a temporary resident in living in Puebla. When I applied for my INAPAM card in early March I had to submit my CURP certificate, proof of current address, passport, temporary residence card and birth certificate with raised seal. I happened to have all of that but it took me three trips. They told me they would contact me in three weeks. After 6 weeks I went back to the office and after waiting about 20 minutes I had my card.

    • Margaret says


      Two days ago, Oct 05/23 I applied for the INAPAM card at the Bienestar office in Rioverde/ CD Fernandez SLP office.

      The short version is I absolutely can not get a card without being a naturalized Mexico citizen. I am a permanent resident in Mexico for 22 years.

      It certainly is not obtainable
      At this office

  16. Juan Zamora says

    My wife, who is a temporary resident, applied where we live in Coyoacán CDMX. She was first told could not apply as a temp or perm resident. After we showed the staff that the gov website says otherwise, they then said that there was a different “special” “yellow” application and that they didn’t have it. When we pressed them about that they said that only the border towns issue the INAPAM to residents (and other States that say they they do–we had shown them that another State said they issued the card), but that CDMX does not. It was frustrating.

  17. Phil Davison says

    I went to the office in Álvaro Obregon, CDMX. They told me that there was a special card for foreigners and that they were out of them. They took my phone number and said that they would contact me.

  18. Jeff Silvertrust says

    In the region Jalisco in the town of Melaque they are saying that you need your original (not a copy) of your birth certificate to get the INAPAM card. Just another excuse to make it as difficult as possible

    • Dan says

      I accompanied a friend to the Melaque office in October 2023; she had her original birth certificate and all the other info listed, but was told that they had no forms at this time.

  19. John MW says

    Just informed by the module in San Pedro Pochutla, Oaxaca, that they will not process Inapam applications for Permanent Residents until Naturalization has been achieved. They were also informing Mexican nationals that they would not receive their cards for six months. The office has also moved from the location shown on the internet.

    • Dawn Hockaday says

      How long ago were you told this John? We haven’t been told that yet by the Immigration company office that we contacted to help us. We have our Perm Residency and we’re hoping to get our cards. Thanks!

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