New Immigration Rules In a Nutshell

September 14, 2013

New Immigration Rules in a Nutshell
Immigration rules for entering Mexico have never been simple
for establishing residency. The new rules make significant changes and like the old ones are very complex, but I wanted to do my best to give you the Reader’s Digest version as I understand the new rules.
I’m not an immigration expert. I don’t hold myself out as one. This is your disclaimer. Be sure and seek out competence legal counsel.
There are a variety of ways to qualify to enter and live in Mexico beyond the tourist permit having to do with making investments in Mexico, being invited in because of your skills, and various reasons related to Mexican National family members or being married to a Mexican National. None of these are addressed here.
This article will also not address entering Mexico to work. Some employers may help potential employees with Visas.
There’s a formula for economic solvency that’s based on a multiple of the minimum wage is Mexico city. Applying this formula strictly means that the amount needed will vary with the exchange rate and the minimum wage.
The following is my summary of information obtained from the Dallas Mexican Consulate. Each consulate will of course be interpreting the new law and making decisions based on their own interpretation.
Once you meet the qualifications by the proof the consulates require they issue a temporary visa that get’s you into Mexico.
Then you proceed to the area of Mexico you plan to live and go through the second half of the process to obtain your identification document. It will be a photo ID looking card which is your Visa and proof you’re in Mexico all legal eagle.
You must do this if memory serves within 30 days of entering
There’s a local office for this on Hidalgo street in the City of Chapala.
If you need help negotiating this process there are a number of local immigration specialists close by who can help.
          Requirements for Temporary Visas
1.    Proof of a bank account with $102,000 USD for a sustained Period ( 6 months). Some sites say $100,000 as the rate changes based on minimum wage mentioned earlier.
2.    Proof of retirement or investment income of $2000.00 USD per month for the previous 6 months.
3.    Proof of property ownership by deed in Mexico of   the proven value of $200,000 or more.
Requirements for Permanent Visas
1.    Proof of bank account with $128,000 USD average
Balance for a sustain period. (6 months)
2.    Proof of retirement or investment income of $2500.00 per month for the previous 6 months.
3. Proof of property ownership by deed in Mexico of     the proven value of $200,000 or more.
Spouses can piggy back on the other’s income and so as I read the rules these amounts would cover a married couple. One spouse qualifies and then sponsors the other.
I realize that this bare bones information still leaves a lot of questions. That’s why you should seek competent legal Counsel and or obtain information directly from a Mexican Consulate in your area.
My guess is that people who are turned down at one consulate or think they will be, will forum shop for
other consulates thought to be easier.
As you know normally I love questions, but now you
know what I know. Comments are welcome as always, but I may not answer questions above my pay grade so to speak.
Others who have actually gone through the new process are much better equipped to answer these questions. And I hope some of those folks will comment below and share their experiences.
Frankly, I’m just glad I became a Mexican Citizen before the new rules… but that’s another story.
Here’s the web address for the Dallas Mexican Consulate Section on Visas in English
All for now, Siempre tu amigo, Sid
  • Fred

    Hi, Sid– Good info. I think it’s a good idea to remind people that there are many expats in the Lakeside area who are here on tourist visas (FMM), good for 6 months at a time. Tourist visas require no financial proofs at all– just a legal passport. And there seems to be no restriction on how many times tourists visas can be renewed. One simply has to leave Mexico (even for just a day) before 6 months is up, then return with a new 6-month tourist visa. (People accomplish this with their vacations back to the U.S. or Canada to see family, shopping trips to Houston, etc.) With a tourist visa you cannot buy property (I believe–I’m not a lawyer) but I believe you can rent a home or condo. The tourist visa is a great way to “test the waters.”

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Fred,
    Good summary, except you can buy property in Mexico in your
    name even on a tourist permit.
    Owning a home here can help you become a permanent resident.

    Thanks for your input as always. Tu amigo, Sid

  • OC

    Anybody have any suggestions on who to use for filing for the permanent visa here in the Lake Chapala area? Betty and Kevin are both now out of the question due to their very unprofessional services rendered in the past. Thanks, OC

  • Sid Grosvenor

    You must apply initially at a Mexican Consulate outside of Mexico.
    There are several well thought of immigration specialists that help
    folks at Lake Chapala to complete the process begun at a Mexican
    consulate outside of Mexico.

    Alvaro Professional Services – 333-618 6671 & 333-637 3692
    Mago’s Office – 765 3640, 765- 3660 in Chapala
    Spencer McMullen 765-7553 cel 331 120 6662

    I’ve used all three for various legal services over the years all to
    my satisfaction. Hope this helps. Tu amigo, Sid

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