The immigration process
The immigration process can be somewhat confusing but has certainly become more streamlined over the years. There are companies that can help, however, self-representation in Spanish is encouraged.
Tourist Visa – FMT
Mexico will issue a tourist visa to citizens with valid identification of the US and Canada, most of Western Europe and parts of Latin America for up to 180 days.
To obtain a work visa, the individual must have a job in Mexico. Specific regulations and fees apply to those who are granted work visas while on a tourist visa.
Temporary Resident Visa
Granted for one year and renewable for up to three more.
Applications for temporary resident visas must be made at a Mexican Consulate outside of Mexico which grants a temporary visa document. The temporary visa document allows 30 calendar days to be exchanged in Mexico for the official temporary or permanent residency visa card. Failure to do so will result in a regularization period including fines and delays. It does not grant permission to work. The application has corresponding fees.
How to Qualify:
- You have sufficient means to live in Mexico without working in Mexico.
- You have been invited to volunteer with an organization or institution for which you will not be paid.
- You are related to a citizen or temporary permanent resident of Mexico.
- If you purchase real estate valued or invest in Mexico over government established amounts.
Permanent Resident Visa
This is for people who are planning on living here long term. A temporary visa is not required first if otherwise qualified. Corresponding fees apply.
How to Qualify:
- You are related to a permanent resident to the second level.
- You are pensioned or retired and are able to provide adequate monthly income through investments, savings or pensions.
- You are seeking political asylum.
- You have a Mexican father or mother (if you are an unmarried minor), have given birth to or are the sibling of a Mexican citizen.
- You have completed your fourth year (possibly second if you marry a Mexican citizen) of Temporary resident visas.
- The points-system: applied to foreign investors or individuals with expertise in the sciences, technology, arts, humanities, sports or other areas that the Mexican government considers would improve Mexico as a whole.
Citizenship in Mexico
After obtaining permanent residency, the next step is Mexican citizenship. Most foreigners qualify for citizenship through naturalization which requires five years of residency prior to the application date and can include all years of residency, both temporary and permanent. People from Latin America may need only two years. You must pass a history test and speak Spanish to obtain your citizenship, as well as pay corresponding fees.
The Delegación Federal of the INM in Baja California Sur is located on Lázaro Cárdenas Boulevard, the main street in downtown Cabo San Lucas. It is open from 9 am to 1 pm, weekdays.
Tel.: 624-105-1638 or 624-143-0135