Often when people imagine retiring abroad, one of the first countries to come to mind is Mexico. The country is close to the United States while offering great weather, beautiful beaches, and amazing cuisine. However, the visa process for retiring in Mexico is a little more complicated than it is for other retirement hotspots. Here is everything you need to know about obtaining a retirement visa for Mexico.
Mexico Doesn’t Have A Standard Retirement Visa
Unlike some countries, Mexico has no visa created specifically for retirees. While Mexico is a popular retirement destination, those looking to retire in the country must use other types of visas for this purpose. The three main visas recommended for retirees are the tourist visa, temporary resident visa, or permanent resident visa.
Snowbirds Should Take Advantage Of The 180-Day Tourism Requirements
By far the easiest visa to obtain is the standard tourism visa. Mexico’s tourism visa allows for individuals to stay in the country for up to 180 days.
One of the great perks of traveling from the United States into Mexico is that U.S. residents don’t have to actually apply for a tourist visa. By providing a passport issued by the United States government, an individual is automatically permitted to cross the border and stay in the country for up to 180 days.
If retirees are looking to take up the snowbird lifestyle, this is the simplest course of action. They can easily escape down to the warm beaches for half the year, with no complicated visa applications.
The Tourism Visa Is Not A Permanent Solution
Sometimes retirees have used this tourist visa to their advantage, simply making “visa runs” to elongate their stay. At the end of the 180 days, individuals will leave the country for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They then turn back and reenter, thus starting a new 180-day time period.
This method is not recommended. There is technically no time limit on instigating a new 180-day tourist visa, but immigration officials have access to an individual’s border-crossing history, and they may deny entry to overly frequent visitors. If a retiree is interested in a more long-term settlement in Mexico, they should instead apply for either a temporary or permanent resident visa.
The Temporary Resident Visa Allows Retirees To Stay In Mexico For Several Years
The residente temporal visa grants individuals the right to stay in Mexico for longer than 6 months and less than 4 years. Holders are free to leave and reenter the country however often they choose, with no concerns about a 180-day limit.
In order to complete the application, individuals must locate their closest Mexican consulate, where they will submit all required documents. These documents include:
- Applicant’s passport
- Completed application form
- At least one passport-sized color photograph of applicant (white background, no eyeglasses)
- Marriage certificate, if a spouse is listed as a dependent
- Birth certificates of children, if they are listed as dependents
- Processing fee
- Proof of sufficient income, presented via bank statements or something similar
In order to qualify for the residente temporal visa, an individual must have a monthly income of at least $2,237. This income can come from either a current salary or a regular pension, meaning retirees are eligible for the visa. Applicants can also include a spouse and children as dependents, which increases the minimum monthly income.
The Temporary Resident Visa is initially granted for 1 year, after which an individual can renew it for another 1, 2, or 3 years. The visa is valid for up to 4 consecutive years, after which it is not eligible for renewal. If a retiree wishes to continue their residence in Mexico after 4 years, they can upgrade to a permanent resident visa.
The Permanent Resident Visa Allows Retirees To Move To Mexico Forever
Retirees can apply for the residente permanente visa either from the beginning or after living on a temporary visa. The permanent resident visa, once granted, is valid for the rest of an individual’s lifetime, and has no further renewal processes.
When applying for a permanent visa, an individual must submit the exact same required documents as a temporary resident visa. The main distinction between the two is that Permanent Resident Visas require a higher monthly income, asking for at least $3,729 per month. After the application is approved, individuals are free to permanently settle into their life in Mexico, with no worries about updating their visa status again.
Get information on retirement to other countries and U.S. sites here, along with other Mexico articles: