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Can you get a Residence Permit in Mexico?

Imagine you visit Mexico on a tourist visa, an FMM, and you love it so much you want to stay! How to get a resident permit you wonder, since the immigration laws have become more strict and constantly refreshing your FMM is not an option anymore. 

Since the Immigration laws are applied stricter than before, traveling in and out of Mexico on an FMM is not an option anymore. (read More strict visa rules for Mexico. 

So how to get a residence permit when visiting Mexico?

The short answer is: you can’t. Not when you are inside Mexico. You have to leave the country and apply for a temporary or permanent resident visa outside of Mexico. But there are a few exceptions.

The immigration laws of Mexico allow under certain circumstances you to apply for a residence permit while in Mexico. Here are the exceptions:

1. Family Reunion

When reuniting with family you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or a Permanent Resident Permit inside Mexico, while staying here legally on an FMM. It depends on the family bonds and the legality of the family member in Mexico IF and when the family member is legally in Mexico, as a national resident, a temporary resident, or a permanent resident.

Who can apply for a family reunion if they have a family member in Mexico? 

  • legal (registered) partner
  • mother or father
  • son or daughter or legal children of 1 of the partners (considering those children are under the age of 18)
  • the legal parent of children born in Mexico during a registered partnership with the other parent

Applying for a permit based on a family reunion requires proof of income, proof of family bonds, and a letter of consent from the in Mexico living family member.

For more information about the requirements and costs of this type of residence permit, you should check the website of the Immigration Department of Mexico or your local Mexican Embassy. The income will be calculated in UMA, a value set by the Mexican government that corresponds with the current Mexican Peso value. For example, for resident permits, 100x UMA of the minimum wages of Mexico will apply as proof of income or savings.

2. Political Asylum 

If you have entered Mexico on a tourist visa, a so-called FMM (read also: Is the FMM the same as a visa in Mexico?) and you do not feel safe returning to your home country for some political, economical, or ethical reason that conflicts with your rights of freedom as a human being you can apply for asylum in Mexico. Those visa procedures are very different from a regular application for a resident permit. You have to visit an Immigration office (INM) and ask for more information.

3. Temporary Resident applying for Permanent Residency

Temporary residents who have been in Mexico for 4 continuous years do not have to leave the country to apply for their Permanent Resident Permit. They can do this within Mexico.

For all other

If the above does not apply to you you CAN NOT apply for a resident permit inside Mexico. You will have to leave the country, preferably your home country to apply for this type of visa. It will be no guarantee that any other Mexican Embassy other than in your home country will take your application into consideration.

Buying your way into a Mexican resident permit is not an option and can only have you dispelled from the country and blacklisted.