After being in the Philippines for over 3 years, I moved to Mexico. For me, it was important to have a visa upfront and preferably a long-stay
visa, since I was tired of the visa extension procedures I went through in the Philippines every 6 months. What options does Mexico offer for me to stay longer than the 180 days visa upon arrival for Dutch tourists?
In this article, I will explain my procedure to acquire a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico
Let me list the difference between a tourist visa upon arrival and a temporary resident visa for you:
Tourist visa upon arrival
valid for a maximum of 180 days, to be decided by the immigration officer on duty
you need to pay an exit clearance when leaving the country
no multiple entries allowed, if you leave the country you have to get a new visa
you are not allowed to work
you cannot purchase a Mexican drivers license
no local bank account allowed
you have to have a hotel booking or proof of stay and an outbound ticket
you cannot claim tax exemptions in your own country
buying land or a house is more complicated
price 424 pesos, this price is included in your airline ticket or cruise booking
Temporary Resident Visa
valid for a maximum of 1 year and extended up to 4 years
you can apply for a permanent resident visa after those 4 years
multiple entries is allowed once you get your temporary resident ID card
you can apply for a work visa
you can apply for a Mexican Drivers license
you do NOT need to pay exit clearance every time you leave the country
you do NOT need an outbound ticket upon entry
you can open a local bank account
you can claim tax exemption in your own country if you pay income taxes in Mexico
the process of buying a property is more simple
680 pesos for the local application at the embassy and 4,148 pesos, for the first year at the INM office
This made a lot of sense to me and fitted my plans in Mexico perfectly, after all, I travel the world to find the right place to relocate permanently. And since the Philippines turned out not to be that place, maybe Mexico is.
How to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico
Depending on the country you are from this section may vary in procedures, but all visa applications require:
applying for a visa by sending in a visa application form and necessary paperwork
a consular interview at the Embassy
All visa applications must be done outside Mexico. You cannot apply for this visa while you are in Mexico. The easiest way is to apply in the country you hold a passport from. But you can apply at any Mexican Embassy anywhere int he world. If you apply outside your home country all paperwork needs to be notarized and probably translated into Spanish. For example, your bank statements might need to be notarized, preferably in your home country, before you can send them in. If you apply outside your home country you also need to prove that you are legally in the country where you apply. So, for example, when you apply in the Netherlands you would need to be able to show an official resident permit.
Now my experience is that at the Dutch consulate my bank statements from the Philippines were accepted without notarization, but they came with an impressive letter from my bank branch stating that I was their customer for x years and I finalized my account there. All on branch paper with official autographs.
What paperwork do you need for a Temporary Resident Visa for Mexico
It goes without saying that when you apply for any kind of visa because you want to travel abroad you need to have a valid passport. So the first thing you need is to get a passport that is valid at least 6 months after your arrival in Mexico and has 1 empty page for the visa sticker.
And you need a visa application form. Now many websites have a link to a consulate or embassy on their site. I choose not to do that. You need to google the nearest embassy or consulate and select: consular services -> visa -> temporary resident visa -> application form. On these websites, which are in English, you can also find the requirements. And I do urge you to check my information with those lists. For immigration laws change over time and I might have missed an announcement.
In my case, I needed
a color photocopy of your passport bio page with all information clearly visible
a filled out the visa application form (you can download it online)
an officially taken passport size photo, white background, no glasses, hats or facial covering (no scarfs either) and no self-made photo’s or photo-editing or photo booth pictures
bank statements or employers letter that proves an average monthly income of 1400 US$ or the equivalent in your local currency over the last 6 months or
bank statement with proof of sufficient economic solvency an average savings of 22 US$ per months or the equivalent of that amount in your local currency
a letter of intent in both English and Spanish
It is a huge stack of paperwork, especially the proof of income. If you are self-employed you need to copy 12 months of bank statements to prove your income.
The letter of intent is not mandatory in every consulate, but it was mandatory in the Netherlands. And since I have not enough income and depend on a sponsor for me that was the most important part of my application.
The Consular Interview
In the Netherlands the mandatory Consular Interview is step 2 of the visa process, in other countries the application and interview might all be done in one appointment, so please read carefully the instructions on the page of your embassy of choice.
After sending in all the papers you have to wait for an email. This might take up to 2 weeks. So plan your visa application carefully. I got my email with an invite for the consular interview in 8 working days.
The email contains a link to a secured website, where you make an account (keep your passport at hand for you need your passport number) and once your account is activated (through an activation email) you can log in and choose a date and time for your visit to the consulate.
Make sure you arrive 15 minutes before the actual appointment!
The consular interview in my case was more like a friendly chat while the employee processed my visa. I had fingerprints taken and a photo, she politely asked if I liked my photo willing to take another one upon my ‘know’. But she did a good job. After that is was just a matter of time, browsing through the library of the Mexican Embassy, while waiting for my passport.
Once you have paid your visa fees you will receive your passport back and you have 6 months to travel to Mexico to activate the visa.
After you arrive in Mexico you have to visit INM within 30 days to apply for your temporary resident card. During this application process, you cannot leave the country, unless you apply for a letter of travel, also at the INM.
This visa allows you to enter Mexico on a one-way ticket. You do have to fill out the FMM form on the plane or at the border. Make sure to show your visa to the immigration officer and that they stamp your visa for 30 days and write “Canje” on your FMM form. You need this little piece of paper and the 30 days stamp to process the second part of your temporary resident visa.
All articles on the Visa Application Proces for Mexico
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.