Immigration Visa Process in San Miguel, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta.
San Miguel: I meet clients early. INM opens a 9 am. You may be number 7 or you may be number 20 depending on how many people are there and when they arrived. Your could be at INM 5 hours and temperatures are cool early in the day and then may be hot. Your resident card will usually be issued that day.
Puerto Vallarta: there are no appointments and it means arriving early, meeting Teresa and waiting your turn.
Nuevo Nayarit: Teresa or Sarai her assistant, normally meets you very early. No one is allowed to have someone stand in line on your behalf. The office allows people inside at 6 am to sit and wait. Early mornings will be cool and soon after hot. Typically, it is 5 to 7 hours but on rare occasions longer. Be prepared as to what you wear and for food.
Please be realistic. Some of the problems you may experience include staff shortages; lack of cards; printer or software issues; etc. At times, what you expected to be completed that day will not.
Please put in perspective your visa process in Mexico compared to this: for a Mexican citizen to apply for a resident visa for the US, it takes up to 1 year and normally you may not leave the country in that time. Applicant also requires a background check and medical.
For a Mexican citizen to visit the US or to change planes in the US, the next appointments for a tourist visa at the MX embassy in Mexico City, is almost 2 years from now.
Temporary Resident Visa
Your first Temporary Resident visa starts with a pre-approval at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico. I may guide you through this process but I nor anyone else, may make your appointments for you. Once pre-approved I will work with you to finalize your visa in Mexico. I also process visa renewals and replacements. My email.
Here is a list of the Mexican consulates.
1. Photo with face uncovered, no glasses, front view, in colour, white background. 3.9 cm x 3.1 cm (1.53” x 1.2”). This not American passport size.
2. In the U.S. $53 cash per person and in Canada $74.
3. Mexican consulate application is to be printed double-sided (one per person). Complete and take with you. Your best estimate for port-of-entry and date of entry is acceptable. On question 21, for Temporary Resident pre-approval check more than 180 days and less than 4 years. For Permanent Resident check “DEFINITIVE”. In reason for applying: “to live in Mexico” or “to retire in Mexico”. Complete questions 1- 25 and nothing more. Also, please do not sign.
4. Passport plus copy.
5. For financial statements some consulates want originals. Check with your MX consulate as there are variables for which I am not responsible. If an account is in both names, you are to have both names appear on your financial statements. Mexican printouts often show 1 name on joint accounts. The following 2023 amounts are based on a 18 to 1 US$ and 13 to 1 Canadian $ exchange rate.
The amounts are per person for 2024. When sponsoring a child or spouse the additional financial amount required by the person sponsoring is sometimes a little as 25% more.
- Monthly income ~$4,150 US / $5,746 C (300 days x minimum wage 248.93) employment or pension showing 6 months of bank statements, or
- Investments ~$69,166 US / $95,769 C (5000 days x minimum wage 248.93) with 12 months of individual statements, or
- Home ownership in Mexico worth ~ 9,960,000 pesos (40,000 days x minimum wage 248.93) per person. You will need your deed and a copy. If two people are on title, home value needs to be double.
6. Appointment confirmation form.
7. Original and copies of marriage licenses when spouse is sponsoring the other and birth certificates for children.
To make an appointment check the consulate web site and FB page. Some consulates have an email address and / or phone number.
Prior to leaving the consulate, please check your pre-approved visa in your passport to ensure your name is spelled correctly; your birthdate is accurate; male / female is indicated correctly; and, if you applied for Temporary Resident, that what you received is not Permanent Resident which for those bringing a car is an issue. Similarly, if you applied for Permanent Resident pre-approval please confirm. An error is a problem.
Entering Mexico With a Pre-approved Visa from a Mexican Consulate
Once pre-approved, you have 6 months to enter Mexico. And once you enter, you have 30 days to make an appointment where required or to apply at an Immigration office. The 30 days includes the day you entered Mexico. But you must start your process in Mexico prior to the pre-approved visa expiration date. For example, you may not enter Mexico two days prior to the pre-approved visa expires and think you now have 30 more days to start your visa process at Immigration in Mexico.
Once you are pre-approved at a consulate for temporary or permanent resident, you may only enter Mexico once and at that time you must process your visa at Immigration. Your pre-approved consulate visa states: No. de entradas / No. of entries: UNA. Should you enter Mexico and leave without processing your resident visa card you will need to start over at a Mexican consulate.
When you enter Mexico, please show your passport and pre-approved visa. At border crossings you will be issued an FMM marked CANJE and it will be for 30 days. Your pre-approved visa in your passport will be date stamped. At airports your passport will be date stamped and written the word “CANJE” and the number “30”.
For those entering at an airport with no FMM and only date stamp, the word CANJE and the number 30 in your passport, you must scan the QR code and print out the FMM. Or, you may also access the FMM portal here. Once you have uploaded a photo of your passport and you corroborated the information is correct, select “Ingresos” and next click the small ORANGE CIRCLE with a check mark. Next, select “Descargar” for the download icon. You will not be able to process your pre-approved visa at Immigration in Mexico without a FMM that has been printed and presented. You may only download it once so please do not lose the FMM you printed. For clients, I will do this for you.
If driving, at the border you must obtain a car permit (TIP). The deposit is $200, $300 or $400. Your FMM and car permit will be good for 30 days. Please see this page regarding car permits.
Temporary Resident Card
Your first temporary resident card will be for 1 year. Renewal may start up to 30 days prior to expiration. Your renewal may be for 1, 2 or 3 years but financially, a 3-year renewal is best. Your temporary resident card expiration date is based on the anniversary of when you entered Mexico with your pre-approved visa from a Mexican consulate, less a day. For example, if you entered Mexico with a pre-approved visa June 10, 2023, your temporary resident card expires on June 9, 2024. Expiration date is written 9/6/24 meaning 9 June 2024.
Temporary resident Immigration fees: 1-year: 5,328 pesos; 2-year: 7,984 pesos; 3-years: 10,112 pesos; 4 years: 11,985. These fees are payable to Immigration using Visa or MasterCard.
Please never have a color copy of your visa, driver’s license or any other Mexican government-issued ID as that is considered fraud with serious consequences.
Entering Mexico As a Temporary Resident
When you enter Mexico at an airport which has passport scanners, as a Temporary Resident you must NOT go through the automatic scanners. They are meant for tourists. Should you do so, you will be a tourist and you will need to start the process over proving financials. Here is a photo of what you do not want as it has entry and exit date meaning you are a tourist. You may also print out your FMM confirming your status as a tourist.
Lost Resident Card Out-of-Country
If you lose your Temporary or Permanent Resident card while outside of Mexico you may go to the nearest Mexican consulate. Another option is upon arrival at an airport in Mexico, you immediately go to Inmigracion at the airport. You ask for a meeting and request a 2-page letter called: ACTA DE INTERNACION AEREA. You then apply at your local INM in Mexico. If immigration at the airport records you as a tourist, that is what you will be and you will have to start your visa process over again at a Mexican consulate and prove financials.
Carrying ID Within Mexico
In Mexico, you are to carry your original Temporary or Permanent Resident card. If a tourist, you carry your passport and original FMM tourist card or other proof of when you entered Mexico as FMM’s are being eliminated.
Expired Temporary Resident Card
If your temporary resident card has expired while in Mexico you have 60 days to apply at Immigration. There is a fine.
If you are out of country, you must enter Mexico within 55 days of expiration. You must submit your renewal at immigration within 5 days of returning to Mexico and there is no fine. Be sure Immigration staff at your point of entry do not record you as a tourist nor keep your temporary resident card.
In each situation, you are required to prove financials using the UMA multiplier La Unidad de Medida y Actualización (UMA) is 103.74 for 2023. Financials require certified translations and your name on your financials must be identical to your name on your passport and not one letter different.
Income required for each month for 6 months is a minimum of 103.74 x 400 = 41,496 pesos, or
Savings required for each month for 12 months is a minimum of 103.74 x 20,000 = 2,074,800 pesos.
To the income and savings amounts above, divide by the current exchange rate.
You will start over at year 1.
Traveling by Minors
Foreign minors under the age of 18 traveling to Mexico alone or with a third party of legal age as visitors for a stay if up to 180 days, do not require authorization or a letter of consent from their parents or guardian. And, Mexican migratory authorities will allow these minors to leave Mexico upon presentation of a valid passport.
Minors under 18 years of age who are of Mexican nationality or foreigners holding the migratory status of Permanent Resident, Temporary Resident or Temporary Student Resident, who are in Mexico and wish to travel abroad alone or accompanied by a person of legal age other than one of their parents, must present a document issued by the National Migration Institute (INM) called Permiso SAM (Formato de Salida de Menores).
One or both parents may apply at Immigration along with the minor child. The SAM approval is valid for 6 months. There is no cost and one document is required for each child. It is very important to note that only INM agents are authorized to stamp the SAM Format and without this stamp, minors will not be able to leave Mexican territory even if they have their travel ticket.
Minors under the age of 18 traveling with at least one of their parents or guardians do not require authorization.