Updated 6 months ago

Do you wish to retire in Mexico? It is, indeed, the dream of thousands of senior citizens across the globe. But there are some procedures to follow...

Mexico is not only known to be the bridge between South and North America, but also a choice destination in terms of expatriation. Mexico is very popular due to its proximity with the United States of America and Canada. However, the cost of living is rather low compared to many neighboring countries. This is why thousands of senior citizens across the globe dream of retiring there. In fact, the number of foreigners visiting the country and settling there has been growing over the years.

Thus, Mexico can offer what you are looking for if you dream of a change in lifestyle and environment.


Living in Mexico can be quite advantageous to foreigners, senior citizens in particular. Retiring in Mexico will allow you to enjoy a completely different lifestyle from that which you have been used to in your home country. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about the country's rich cultural, historical and architectural heritage. The low cost of living is also among the numerous advantages in settling there, not to mention the population's friendliness and hospitality.


Retiring in the land of Sombreros, however, needs appropriate consideration. In fact, the country's lack of infrastructure and security has continuously been pointed out by tourists and media. You also have to be cautious in terms of health threats before moving there. You are hence advised to inquire on the Mexico's environment and infrastructure beforehand.

Health care

Mexican authorities are well aware of the country's conducive climate and conditions for retirement. Therefore, special measures have been applied in order to facilitate the settling of senior citizens and ease their living in terms of accommodation, health care, etc. Thus, foreign senior citizens can easily access to health care services according to their needs, as well as pharmacies and other health care services.

As regards costly operations, foreigners are advised to subscribe to an international insurance in their home country prior to their departure. Some countries' Social Security service may offer special conditions. It is recommended to inquire with these beforehand.


To retire in Mexico, you have to apply for an “immigrante rentista” visa, that is the FM2 visa at the Mexican Embassy or consulate in your home country. This visa entitles you to an unlimited stay in the country provided you don't work. Documents to be produced are:

  • a duly filled and signed visa application formalities
  • a valid passport (for the whole duration of your stay in Mexico)
  • photocopies of your passport's first two pages
  • two passport-size identity photos
  • proof of funds (last three bank statements and an official letterhead from your bank stating that you will receive a monthly transfer of US$ 1500, plus an additional US$ 600 for each of your dependents)
  • proof of retirement in your home country
  • fees applied.

On the other hand, foreigners wishing to retire in Mexico for a short period can request for a “visitante rentista”, that is the FM3 permit. This permit can be renewed every year over a maximum of four years. Documents to be produced to the Mexican Embassy or Consulate in your home country are:

  • a request letter mentioning your motivation to retire in Mexico, your request for the FM3 permit, as well as your residential address and your scheduled arrival date in Mexico
  • proof of regular funds (you must receive a minimum of US$ 1,000 monthly to be eligible to this visa, plus an additional US$ 250 for each dependent, resulting from bank interest, rent or retirement pension)
  • a valid passport
  • four passport-size identity photos (two face front and two right side profile pictures
  • fees applied
  • a sum of US$ 127 for the tax stamp (to be paid in cash or by credit card).

 Good to know:

You will be eligible to a 6 months delay to pay the tax stamp if you intend to import your furniture. You are then required to produce a full list and description of your personal belongings, including brand, model and serial number in case of electrical appliances.

Note that the visa request may vary. Senior citizens are required to inquire with Mexican authorities in their home country before proceeding.

Popular destinations

Playa Del Carmen is known to be the second most popular Mexican tourist destination after Cancun. The city allies modernity to a bohemian lifestyle in the middle of a tropical heaven. Rent prices, as well as the cost of living are lower in Playa Del Carmen. However, high temperatures and humidity can be inconvenient for senior citizens who are more likely to settle in coastal regions.

Merida is a richer and more comfortable city, with various cultural and artistic and other leisure activities. In fact, the city center counts some 300 expat families.

Chapala is also quite appreciated for its low cost of living. Some US 12,000, Canadian and European senior citizens have settled there to enjoy a better lifestyle and living standard. The region is famous, above all, for its artistic and cultural activities, as well as its clubs and sports, not to mention its population's heartiness.

You could as well settle in the Puerto Vallarta or in neighboring coastal regions where you can enjoy the same environment as above-mentioned cities.

Peace and liveliness

Mexico is, above all, a highly active and lively country. But you can also find really calm regions where you can relax and enjoy a peaceful retirement. As it is, most essential services and facilities are easily accessible in the whole country. Thus, Mexico can be your dream retirement destination provided you make appropriate planning.

 Useful links:

Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) – Visa request form
INM – Resident permit request form
IMSS – Social aid for dependents

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.