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Guide to Applying for Permanent Residency as a Couple in Mexico

From stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant traditions to world-renowned cuisine, Mexico boasts a rich history blending indigenous cultures with Spanish colonial influences. Naturally, it makes an enticing destination for couples who are looking to relocate abroad.

For couples applying for permanent residency (PR) in Mexico, the initial immigration process may not treat both partners equally. The main applicant, who may have a job offer, substantial investments, or other qualifying criteria for PR, may be granted permanent resident status immediately.

Are you an expat couple looking to move and settle down permanently in Mexico? Are you finding ways to obtain the necessary documents, visas, and permits?

In this Pacific Prime Latin America article, we will give you an all-in-one guide on how to apply for permanent residency as a couple in Mexico.

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Applying for Permanent Residency in Mexico

Navigating the process of obtaining PR in Mexico as a couple involves understanding various options, requirements, and timelines, which can differ depending on your circumstances and chosen application method.

The following section will go over the key points about the application process, the residency options for couples, and the requirements for each option.

Key Points About Permanent Residency Application in Mexico

When applying for PR in Mexico as a couple, the main applicant will be granted permanent residency, but the dependent spouse or partner will only initially receive temporary residency.

This temporary residency can later be exchanged for permanent residency, but the timeframe depends on where the application was made.

If the application was submitted at a Mexican consulate abroad, the dependent spouse/partner can exchange the temporary residency for permanent residency after four years.

Whereas if the application was submitted at an immigration office within Mexico, the dependent spouse/partner can exchange the temporary residency for permanent residency after two years.

Residency Options for Couples in Mexico

If you and your partner aim to obtain permanent residency as a couple in Mexico, consider these three options:

1. Apply as a couple at a Mexican consulate abroad

When applying together at a Mexican consulate outside Mexico, you’ll need to submit your application along with your marriage certificate or evidence of common-law partnership.

Upon approval, the main applicant will receive a Permanent Residency Visa, while the dependent spouse gets a Temporary Residency Visa. These visas must be exchanged for residency cards once in Mexico.

The dependent spouse must renew their temporary residency card after one year for an additional three years. After the fourth year, they can apply to convert their temporary Residency card to a permanent residency card.

2. One partner applies at the Mexican consulate, the other applies in Mexico

If one partner applies for permanent residency independently, the other can enter Mexico as a visitor and subsequently apply for residency in Mexico under Family Unit rules.

With this method, the immigration office in Mexico grants the dependent spouse or partner two years of temporary residency. After this two-year period, they can apply to convert it to permanent residency.

When applying for the dependent partner’s residency permit at the Mexican immigration office, additional proof of economic solvency is typically not required. However, when applying under Family Unit rules, you must provide an apostilled marriage certificate translated into Spanish by a certified translator in Mexico.

3. Both partners apply separately, not as a couple

For couples pursuing permanent residency where each partner has adequate income, savings, or investments in individually named accounts to meet the requirements, you may apply for permanent residency separately. In this case, presenting a marriage certificate is unnecessary.

If applying separately using joint name accounts for income or savings/investments, these accounts must demonstrate double the required financial threshold. Additionally, you’ll need to provide your marriage certificate in this scenario.

Financial Requirements for Couples Seeking Residency in Mexico

When a couple applies for residency in Mexico through “economic solvency”, there are specific financial criteria to meet. The main applicant needs to demonstrate income, savings, or investments that satisfy the basic qualification threshold.

Additionally, they must show an extra amount equivalent to 100 times the Daily Minimum Wage or UMA (Unidad de Medida y Actualización) to account for their spouse or partner.

It’s important to note that this supplementary financial requirement for the dependent partner is mandatory, regardless of whether the application is for temporary or permanent residency. This is to ensure that the couple can demonstrate sufficient financial means during their stay in Mexico.

Application Process for Mexican Permanent Resident Visa

The first step to obtaining permanent residency as a couple in Mexico is to apply for a Mexican Permanent Resident Visa. The steps to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa for Mexico include:

  • Arrange an appointment with the Mexican embassy in your home country for your visa application.
  • Acquire and fill out the Mexico Visa Application Form from the embassy’s website or premises.
  • Compile all necessary documents as outlined above.
  • During your appointment, submit your application, pay the required visa fee, provide biometric information (e.g., fingerprints), and possibly participate in an interview.
  • Allow time for the embassy to process your application.
  • Upon approval, retrieve your passport with the affixed visa.

After securing your Permanent Resident Visa, use it to enter Mexico, where you’ll need to convert it to a Mexican Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración).

Mexican Permanent Resident Visa Processing Time

Processing times for a Mexican Permanent Resident Visa may differ between embassies, typically taking between one week and one month.

We recommend submitting your visa application at least one month prior to your planned Mexico travel date to allow for adequate processing time.

Applying for the Mexican Permanent Resident Card

To obtain the Mexican Permanent Resident Card, first apply for a Permanent Resident Visa at your home country’s Mexican embassy, indicating your intention to relocate to Mexico as a couple.

Upon arrival in Mexico with the Visa, you must convert it to a Permanent Resident Card within 30 days at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración). This card, not just the visa, permits long-term residency.

If you currently hold a Temporary Resident Card and have resided in Mexico for four years, you can apply to change it to a Permanent Resident Card at least 30 days before your current card expires.

Requirements for Mexican Permanent Resident Card Application

To qualify for a Mexican Permanent Resident Card as a couple, you’ll need to meet several requirements related to your financial means, intended residency, and income sources.

The specific requirements include:

  • Having sufficient financial resources to support yourselves comfortably in Mexico
  • Planning to live permanently in Mexico without engaging in any income-generating activities within the country
  • Not benefitting financially from sources of income located within Mexican territory

Converting the Permanent Resident Visa into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card

After arriving in Mexico with the visa, you must convert it to the actual Permanent Resident Card within 30 days. This card, not just the visa, allows long-term residency.

If you already have a Temporary Resident Card and have lived in Mexico for four years, you can apply to change it to a Permanent Resident Card at least 30 days before your current card expires.

Mexican Permanent Resident Card Processing Time

Converting the visa to the Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM)) typically takes 10-15 working days from the document submission date.

Overall, the entire process, from visa to card, usually takes about three to four weeks in total once you’ve arrived in Mexico.

Let Us Help With Your Relocation to Mexico

For couples seeking a vibrant and culturally rich lifestyle, Mexico is an attractive destination for permanent residency. However, carefully considering the intricacies of the visa and residency requirements is crucial.

While the prospect of living permanently in Mexico can be enticing, it’s best to secure comprehensive health coverage to fully enjoy your experience in Mexico without worrying about incurring potentially unnecessary expenses.

This is where Pacific Prime Latin America can be your invaluable partner. With over 20 years of experience as a globally renowned health insurance broker, we specialize in tailoring affordable and customized solutions that meet the unique needs of expats in Mexico.

Compare quotes for free, or contact us today for a smooth transition to life as a couple in Mexico.

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime Latin America
Veerabhatr is a content writer with over 6 years of experience with a particular penchant for storytelling and marketing, both in print and online. He now works with an experienced team of writers at Pacific Prime, aiming to shed light on the essence and benefits of insurance for companies and individuals by creating engaging, informative content across multiple platforms.

After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, International Relations from Mahidol University International College, Veerabhatr has forged his career as a content writer in the travel, lifestyle, and real estate industries, writing in both English and Thai. He now continues to hone his skills as a writer at Pacific Prime, looking to engage and educate the audience by simplifying insurance.

Writer by day, and a DJ by night, Veerabhatr is a staunch music lover, and listens to all spectrums of genres available. He also loves to drink beer (moderately), eat all types of food, go to the beach, and learn about different cultures across the globe. He is also a die-hard fan of football and motorsports.
Veerabhatr Sriyananda