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Foreign nationals planning to move to Mexico can choose from a range of visas. In this article, Expat.com explains the requirements relating to obtaining a visa for Mexico.

The tourist visa

Travellers from most countries do not need a tourist visa for Mexico. This includes citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union. A passport valid for at least six months is necessary, as well as the FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple, or Multiple Migration Form), a two-part form that you will receive on the airplane or at the border.

The immigration officer will stamp the second part of the form and write the amount of time you may stay in the country, typically 180 days.

 Important:

It is important to save this form because you will need it when you leave Mexico. Without it, you will be issued a fine of 525 pesos, or $42 USD.

The resident visa

If you plan on staying in Mexico for more than 180 days, you should apply for a temporary resident visa. It must be applied for at a Mexican consulate in your home country. There are several categories for this visa, such as for retirees, investors, and different types of professionals.

Although information about this visa is available in Spanish on the National Migration Institute’s webpage, it may not be current or complete. Therefore, the first step in this process is to visit a Mexican consulate in your home country to pick up the application form and a list of requirements. Besides your passport, the application form, photos, and the fee, you will need original financial records to prove that you can support yourself while in Mexico, such as bank statements or pay stubs from the previous 12 months that show a monthly income or savings of approximately $1,500 USD.

The temporary resident visa allows you to stay in Mexico for one year. It does not grant permission to work. It can be renewed for four additional years, and after these four years, you must leave the country or apply for permanent residency. Once you are a permanent resident, you will have all the rights of a Mexican citizen, except the right to vote or serve in the military.

Permission to work in Mexico

Foreigners who wish to work in Mexico must first receive a job offer before they can apply for the temporary resident visa with permission to work, which is a different category of visa from the temporary resident visa described above. The company must provide a letter explaining their intention to hire you, along with a tax form or similar document. As with the regular temporary resident visa, you must apply for this visa outside of Mexico at a Mexican consulate in your home country, and it is a good idea to visit them first to receive current information and requirements.

Note that those who are in the country as tourists are not allowed to work or be paid for any activity. If you work online for a non-Mexican company, however, and are not paid in Mexican pesos, you do not need a work visa.

 Useful links:

List of countries whose citizens require or do not require a tourist visa
FMM Multiple Migration Form
National Migration Institute
Requirements for the various visas from the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco
Requirements for the temporary resident visa
Application for the temporary resident visa with permission to work

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.