While Mexico does not market a full-blown program designed to entice foreign retirees to its shores, this country is nevertheless a friendly haven for retirees and others from the U.S., Canada, and beyond.
Mexico Visa: Visitor Permit
The first time you come to Mexico, you will no doubt do so as a tourist, and you’ll get an entry permit as a visitor with no lucrative activity in Mexico. You’ll fill out an immigration form and then be given your visitor permit after you fly into the country…or at the border when you cross by car or truck. Your visitor permit allows you to remain in Mexico for up to six months (180 days) without working.
Mexico Visa: Temporary Resident Visa
There are many types of temporary resident (residente temporal) visa in Mexico—for retirees, artists, sports figures, scientists, ministers, and the like. What they have in common is that they’re designed for people who don’t plan to work in Mexico, and who wish to be there more than 180 days a year.
The most common type of temporary resident visa for expats is as a retiree. To get it, you have to show that you can support yourself in Mexico on funds you’ve earned (or are earning) elsewhere. The monthly requirement is about $2,000 in net income for an individual, plus about $500 for each dependent. Alternatively, you can provide bank account or investment statements for the last 12 months that show an average balance of at least $100,000.
You apply for your temporary resident visa at the Mexican consulate nearest your home. You can apply for a temporary visa that is valid for up to four years.
The specifics change from time to time, so be sure to check with your nearest Mexican consulate for the most up-to-date information.
Mexico Visa: Permanent Resident Visa
After four years with a temporary resident visa you can apply for a permanent resident visa for Mexico. This visa is open-ended—there is no expiration date—and gives you most of the rights and responsibilities of a Mexican citizen, except for voting.
You must show slightly higher income requirements for a permanent resident visa. You can show investments with an average monthly balance over 12 months of about $129,500. Or you can show a monthly net income or pension of about $2,600.
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