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Guide to Obtaining Permanent Mexico Residency for U.S. Citizens


Permanent Mexican residency status authorizes you to reside in Mexico indefinitely. As a permanent Mexican resident, you can work or open a business in Mexico without requiring a special permit.

Steps to Acquire Permanent Mexico Residency

Step One: Apply for a Permanent Residency (P.R.) Mexico Visa

Begin by applying for a P.R. Mexico Visa at a Mexican Consulate in the U.S.

Step Two: Issuance of the P.R. Mexico Visa

The Mexican Consulate will issue a P.R. Mexico Visa, valid for six months.

Step Three: Exchange the P.R. Mexico Visa for a P.R. Mexico Card

Within thirty days of the P.R. Mexico Visa being validated and stamped at the Mexico border or airport, you must exchange it for a P.R. Mexico Card.

Scenarios for Applying for a P.R. Mexico Visa Card

1. Retirees

If you are retired, you can apply for a permanent resident visa by proving a monthly net income of $7,321.00 from social security or other income sources for the past six months.

2. Investment or Savings

If you do not meet the above income requirement, you can apply through your investments or savings by demonstrating an average balance of $292,859.00 per month for the past twelve months.

3. Temporary Residency

After completing four years as a Temporary Resident, you can change your status to permanent residency.

4. Mexican Spouse or Permanent Resident Card Holder

  • If you are married to a Mexican national or a Permanent Resident Card Holder, you can apply for Permanent Residency. You will be granted temporary residency for two years, after which you can apply for permanent residency.

5. Mexican-born children

  • If you have Mexican-born children, you can apply for permanent residency regardless of their age. This process can be completed directly at the National Institute of Immigration (INM) in Mexico, a Mexican Consulate, or an Embassy.

Starting the Process

  • Income-Based Process: This must start at a Mexican Consulate or Embassy before entering Mexico.

​Through Mexican Spouse or Child: This can begin in Mexico.


How long does the process take to obtain a Permanent Mexico Residency Visa?

The process takes 1 to 10 days at the Mexican Consulate. After visa approval, receiving the Permanent Resident Card at the Mexico INM Immigration office near your Mexico address can take 1 to 15 days.

How much are the fees?

Permanent Resident Visa Fee: $53.00

Permanent Resident Card Fee: $382.00

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Lifetime Status: The Permanent Mexico Residency Card is a lifetime document renewals are not required.

Work Authorization: Permanent Resident Card holders can work without a special permit.


Vehicle Restrictions: Permanent Resident Card holders cannot drive U.S.-plated vehicles in Mexico unless they are imported.

Property Ownership Restrictions:

Permanent Resident Cardholders cannot own property within 50 kilometers of the coast and 100 kilometers from the U.S.-Mexico border.


In general, Permanent Mexico Resident Cardholders can do everything Mexican citizens can, except vote and own property in restricted areas. This guide provides an overview of the steps and scenarios to help U.S. citizens navigate the process of acquiring permanent residency in Mexico.