Thanks to the Mexico temporary visa policy, individuals are allowed to remain in the country for up to 180 days before they must exit to a nearby country for at least 24 hours. That’s why many travellers find themselves falling in love with the idea of living in the country full time.
Interest in exploring a life beyond the border is at an all-time high as vastly changing lifestyles, new opportunities and global awareness have led to increased long-term mobility among Americans and Canadians. However, to enter the country of Mexico legally, travellers must have the proper documentation.
The most basic form of visitor documentation is the temporary visa, a small postcard sized document that lists the details of your arrival. It is typically issued to you aboard your mode of transportation into the country, and the cost of this document is almost always included in your travel fare.
Be sure to keep careful track of this visitor documentation form, as you are required to show it along with your passport to leave the country by any mode of travel. If you lose it before your return trip, you will be required to purchase a new one before boarding for your trip.
A temporary resident visa allows a foreign national to make their full-time home in Mexico for a period of between 6 months and 4 years. This visa is fully renewable and confers the status of a lawful long-term visitor upon the holder. This visa is initially issued for a single year, and can be renewed up to three times. This document is also required in order to perform as an official member of staff at a Mexican based company.
A critical component to successfully applying for a temporary resident visa is that the applying individual must demonstrate that they possess sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay in the country according to a set of predetermined guidelines.
With rare exception, this visa cannot be supplied to you in Mexico; instead an applicant must have this documentation issued at a Mexican consulate outside the county. A way to expedite this process is to apply for the Temporary Visitor card from your home country. Travelers who do this will have an identifying sticker placed in their passport upon arrival and should report to the nearest immigration office within 30 days to obtain their Temporary Resident Permit.
This documentation is intended for individuals who wish to stay in the country for a period of over 4 years, or who have renewed their Temporary Resident Permit the maximum number of times. You do not need to first hold a temporary visa to obtain a permanent resident visa, however you must meet a set of defined criteria in order to receive one.
In order to be awarded a Permanent Resident permit, long term visitors must either:
- Apply for retirement status and prove self-sufficient income.
- Have 4 consecutive years of good standing as a Temporary Resident.
- Have 2 years as a Temporary Resident after marrying a Mexican national.
- Meet minimum guidelines for permanent residency or be granted political asylum.
- Achieve recognition as a Prominent Person of international note.
Permanent Resident Permit and Becoming a Citizen will continue in the next blog.
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