Visas for Mexico
There are two categories that determine whether a visitor needs a visa for Mexico: free nationalities, which only need to fill in a form at the port of entry, and restricted nationalities, which need to obtain a visa before travelling to Mexico.
Foreigners holding a valid US visa, as well as those who are citizens or permanent residents of the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK and countries that comprise the Schengen area, can visit Mexico without a visa. Those nationalities that do require a visa to visit Mexico should apply at their nearest Mexican consulate before arriving in the country.
Types of visas for Mexico
FMM (Multiple Purpose Form) / Visitor's Visa
The FMM visa is valid for stays of up to 180 days as a tourist or business visitor. This is the best choice for those wanting to visit Mexico on vacation or for business. Travellers are required to surrender their FMM visa to the Immigration Officers at the border when they leave Mexico, and must request a new one if they want to return.
Temporary Resident Visa
The Temporary Resident Visa lets expats stay in Mexico for one year and continually re-apply for one-year extensions. This is the most common visa for expats employed in Mexico and their dependents who intend living in the country for longer than six months, but less than four years. After the fourth renewal, expats can apply for permanent residence. This process generally takes between one to six months, depending on the local immigration office where the application was filed. Holders of this type of visa can work or live as dependents without any problem.
Expats are required to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa at a Mexican consulate before arriving in the country. Once arriving in Mexico, the holder of the visa is required to visit their nearest immigration office within 30 days to have their visa (which is stamped in their passport) replaced with a Temporary Resident Permit card.
Permanent Resident Visa
The Permanent Resident Visa needs no extensions and is for expats who plan to live in Mexico permanently. A benefit of this visa is that, according to Mexican foreign investment law, legal residents are sometimes considered as nationals when they want to make an investment.
This visa is most common for retirees to Mexico or those with close family ties in the country. Provided certain conditions are met, it is not necessary for expats to have a Temporary Resident Visa before applying for a Permanent Resident Visa.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.