Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to Mexico

Mexico is characterized by rich native heritage, 300 years of Spanish colonialism and a shared border with the US. Mexicans are proud of their Olmec, Mayan and Aztec history,  some of the world’s most advanced civilizations. The Mexican landscape is known for its extremes: deep canyons, dry deserts, dense rain forests and beautiful coasts. Life is much different in the cities from the countries, and there are many different established areas that range from tourist spring break traps to ancient archaeological structures.

There are different types of visas to go to Mexico, depending on your length of stay and intent while you are there. You do not need to surrender your natural citizenship to reside or become a citizen of Mexico.

Visas in Mexico:

Tourist Visa in Mexico:

The Tourist Visa is known as the FMT. It is valid for up to 180 days, and you must return it when you go back home. If you fly to Mexico, you will be given the form on the plane. You must show your passport and pay a fee.

Work Visa in Mexico:

You are not allowed to visit Mexico with the intention of finding work, but you may contact an established company in Mexico out of the country. Your employer must apply to the immigration department in Mexico City to do the work for your entry. Your employer must also indicate which city you will enter. If your stay does not exceed 180 days, you may enter on the FMT Tourist Visa (see above).

To obtain a work permit, you must submit:

  1. A letter from the company that you will be hired
  2. A description of your qualifications
  3. Copies of degrees and licenses
  4. The corporation papers of the company
  5. The most recent tax return of the company
  6. Copy of your Mexican tax number seal
  7. A list of the company employees, with their names, addresses, ages and citizenships
  8. Required immigration form
  9. Additional taxes for immigration

If you plan to work in Mexico for over 180 days, you should apply for the FM-3 Visa at any immigration office in Mexico, or any Mexican Consulate.

You must submit three copies of:

  1. A  letter in Spanish to the immigration authorities
  2. Your full name, address, request to change your visa to an FM-3, statement that you have annexed all relevant paperwork
  3. Current and original tourist visa
  4. Passport
  5. Proof of income (the amount you pay for your home is also factored into this)
  6. Marriage certificate, if you are married
  7. A letter signed by two Mexican citizens stating that you are an upstanding citizen, and a positive asset to the community; must include the Mexican’s photo ID

Then once you submit your application and get back your authorization, you must put together:

  1. Black and white passport photos (4 x 4 cm), 3 right profile and 4 front, with no jewelry or glasses and with hair removed from your forehead
  2. Form SHCP-5 (you can get it at any immigration office)
  3. Letter of authorization for your FM-3; 1 original, 2 copies
  4. 2 copies of the first page of your passport
  5. Include FM-1 form you received with your authorization letter, 2 copies

You must submit all of this within 45 days of receiving your authorization notice.

The FM-2 Visa is an upgrade to the FM-3 Visa. The FM-2 Visa is a one-year permit to reside in Mexico, and can be renewed annually. After the fifth year of residence, you can apply to become an inmigrado, and be a permanent resident. It is harder to get an FM-2 Visa, so it is a good idea to get a Mexican attorney to back you up.

To get an FM-2 Visa, you must submit your proof of income, such as in form of a bank statement (if you own a Mexican home, this is factored in). The proof of income must be deposited in any financial institution with credibility. You do not necessarily need an FM-2, but it helps if you are trying to become a permanent resident.

For more details, click here.

Student Visas in Mexico:

Students who stay under 180 days can just use an FMT Tourist Visa.

Those who wish to stay over that time must apply for a Student Visa.

The following steps are necessary:

  1. You must apply in person from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM in the Mexican Immigration Office in your city
  2. Submit an acceptance letter
  3. Submit 6 front-view and 5 profile photos, 2″ x 2″, with a white background
  4. Submit a notarized bank statement from legal guardians
  5. Submit a certificate of health
  6. Visa Fee
  7. Within thirty days, you must notify the authorities of the enrollment date and register at the National Registry of Foreign Citizens

At Mexican schools, all courses will be in Spanish. Students cannot work or engage in “lucrative” activity while in school.

For more information, click here.

Moving Pets to Mexico:

To move a cat or dog to Mexico, you must get a certification of health from a veterinarian, as well as have it vaccinated. This certificate must be dated five days before you cross the border. Mexico is not strict with moving in pets, and there is no quarantine.

Other Information:

Click here for a list of Mexican Embassies.

Click here for a list of Laws in Mexico.


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