Immigration & Visas, Money

Mexico’s UMA and Residency Qualification Criteria 2024

UMA is replacing Mexico's 'minimum wage' as a basis for official calculations. This article describes how it affects applications for legal residency.

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UMA and Financial Qualification Criteria for 2024

The values of Mexico’s Minimum Wage and UMA rise in January year, and these affect the financial criteria to qualify for residency in Mexico.

UMA for 2024 was published on January 9 at a rate of $108.57 pesos.

Mexican consulates abroad continue to use Minimum Wage and do not appear to be adopting UMA to calculate their residency qualification criteria.

Immigration offices in Mexico are using UMA values for their residency qualification calculations.

For decades, official fees, fines and other calculations (including ‘economic’ solvency’ calculations for legal residency) in Mexico were based on a multiple of ‘daily minimum wage’ (Salarios Minimos).

UMA replacing ‘Minimum Wage’ for official calculations

In 2016, the Mexican government began to decouple the official ‘daily minimum wage’ from all types of official calculations, and introduced a new measure, known as Unidad de Medida y Actualización, more commonly referred to by its initials, UMA.

The UMA has enabled the country’s daily minimum salary to be increased significantly without the corresponding punitive rises in public charges and fees. Mexico’s daily minimum wage has been increased by inflation-busting rises year-on-year since 2017, but UMA has risen much less—in line with official inflation.

Immigration offices use UMA, but Mexican consulates do not

When you apply for legal residency in Mexico under the auspice of ‘economic solvency,’ the financial criteria for qualification were originally tied to multiples of the daily minimum wage, but Mexico’s Immigration Institute, the INM, are now applying multiples of UMA to their calculations instead.

However, Mexican consulates abroad —where most applications for residency must begin— have continued to use multiples of the daily minimum wage and have not adopted UMA as the basis for their calculations related to residency qualification.

We don’t know why Mexican consulates have not adopted UMA, or whether they will adopt UMA in future as a basis for their residency qualification calculations.

Implications for people seeking residency in Mexico

The implications of this for applicants seeking residency on the basis of ‘economic solvency’ depend on whether your application is processed inside Mexico, or at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico.

Applying at a Mexican consulate abroad

If you’re applying for residency for the first time, you will most likely have to apply for residency via a Mexican consulate unless your situation is one of the few that allow applications from inside Mexico.

When you apply for residency via a Mexican consulate, each consulate quotes its own criteria for ‘economic solvency’ that have been (throughout 2021) generally aligned with multiples of minimum salary, not UMA.

You can find updated information about the amount of income or savings required to qualify on our article about financial qualification.

Processing residency-related applications in Mexico

Any residency-related matter processed at an immigration office inside Mexico, for example Family Unit applications, and residency card renewals/exchanges, will apply multiples of UMA, for their calculations and not daily minimum wage, if ‘economic solvency’ is within the scope of the immigration procedure.

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:

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