VISA: This document is necessary for natives of some countries. Canada and the United States of America have an agreement with Mexico to make traveling easier.  Six types of Visas are expedited: Visitor without permission to work, Visitor with permission to get remunerated for work, Visitor to realize an adoption, Visitor with temporary residence, Visitor with temporary residence to study, Visitor with permanent residence.

Note: A) Any foreigner who has a criminal record will most likely be refused said visa.  B) The Visa does not permit one to enter Mexico, each person at point of entry must fill out an FMM.  C) The person requesting a Visa must do it personally except in the case of a person who is going to work in Mexico or for humanitarian reasons.

IMMIGRATION Changes that took effect November, 2012

The most important changes affecting North American travelers headed south will be:

1) FMM’s previously known as Tourist Visas will only be issued for a maximum of 180 days. No renewals, you must leave the territory of Mexico and reapply.

2) You must acquire your FMM document at the point of entry.

3) You may be required to produce proof of your immigration documents to Immigration and FEDERAL police at any time on request.

 The FMM (Migratory Multiple Form), which replaced the old “tourist visa” started to be used in 2012, contrary to the old one this document can not be renewed for more than 180 days. Foreigners who enter Mexico as tourist are given a maximum of 180 days; other time limits are applied for other activities.

The old FM-3 in its book disappeared and was replaced by an ID card format called “NO INMIGRADO” (Non Immigrant) this is now called “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL” (Temporary Resident) and its life time has been extended, one can now ask for a one, two, three or  4 year permit. The holder of such permit will be able to be remunerated for work if he was offered a job. The new Law stipulates that his children, wife or concubine (must be of different gender), parents who also will be able to work and be able to enter their movable goods as per the laws governing such movements. At the end of the term one can request a RESIDENTE PERMANENTE(Permanent Resident) permit, the request will be studied and if the holder meets the requirement he or she will be awarded the permit otherwise he or she will have to exit the country.

A second “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL” is now available for persons who want to study in Mexico, it is called “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL ESTUDIANTE” (Student as Temporary Resident), certain restrictions apply so does the presentation of documents and there is a possibility for the student to work .

The old FM-2 in its book form disappeared and was replaced by an ID card format called “INMIGRANTE” (Immigrant) this is now called “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE (Permanent  Resident), this permits the holder to live in Mexico as a permanent resident with the Right to work for remuneration.

“INMIGRATO” status (Landed Immigrant) was in a book form then changed to an ID card format; with the new Law this status has disappeared. Each person who is now a landed Immigrant will become a permanent resident (RESIDENTE PERMANENTE).


Mexicans: One must present proof of citizenship, be a passport, IFE ID Card, certified copy of Birth Certificate, Naturalization Card, Certificate of consular matriculation, Certificate of Mexican nationality or any ID card with photo emitted by the Mexican government such as the most popular ID card which is called IFE; in the case the person does not have proof of Mexican citizenship the person will be interviewed, said duration of the interview cannot be more than 4 hours.

Foreigners: One must present to the Immigration officer at point of entry his passport or an ID with a document of trip recognized by the International Law in effect, in the case of a person who required a Visa it must also be presented along with an FMM duly filled out and his passport. In the event that the person has a Mexican Immigration permit (Residente temporal or Residente Permanente) or any other document emitted by the Mexican Institute of the Immigration officer at point of entry.

The FMM is given to all foreigners who are visiting Mexico as tourists, they are permitted to be in the country for up to 180 days; other activities can be allowed under such document such as Minister or Religious Associate and Correspondent, Student, Visitor with lucrative activities as a Professional, Counselor, Artist, sports person, Management,  Scientist, Technician or scientist, Member of a cooperative,  Visitor with non lucrative activities as a business person or others. Human Rights observer, 10 days maximum; one who is in transit or as a Provisional visitor: 30 days.

The FMM price is included in the airline ticket or paid at the entry time or at the Mexican consulate or at any bank, the cost is set depending of the activity. The foreigner must fill out the FMM and sign it. At entry point of the country must answer and present the information that the Immigration authority is asking.


Applying for a “RESIDENTE TEMPORAL” (Temporary Resident) or a “RESIDENTE PERMANENTE”(Permanent Resident) permit will be done using the internet.  Passport and the Mexican immigration permit and or visa must be presented at the time of presenting the request plus payment, at a Mexican bank,  of the government fees.

To be able to qualify for the Temporary Resident permit one must fulfill one of several conditions which are enumerated at 138. of the By-Law:

  1. Have link with Mexican or foreign resident temporary or permanent person, in conformity with the hypotheses of familiar (family).
  2. Invited to work.
  3. Be registered as a tax payer, holding an RFC (Federal registry of who contributes).
  4.  Be invited by an organization or of an institution public or deprived of recognized honesty established in the national territory, to take part in some activity for the one that does not perceive income in the national territory.
  5. Have economic solvency to cover the amount of the expenses of housing and subsistence during his or her stay in the national territory.
  6. Be an owner of a real estate property with value equivalent to the amounts foreseen in the administrative regulations of general character that are issued by the Secretary which will be published in the Official Diary of the Federation.
  7. Have investments in México.

In the event that the permit expires while the foreigner is out of Mexico he will be able to enter Mexico with the expired document as long as it is within 55 days from the expiry date, no sanctions will be applied and the foreigner will have to renew his or her permit in within 5 days of his return.

To be able to qualify for the Permanent Resident permit one must fulfill one of several conditions which are enumerated at 139 of the By-Law:

1.- Be recognized by law as a refugee.

2.- Have link with Mexican or foreign permanent person, in conformity with the hypotheses of familiar (family) unit in terms (ends) of the foreseen in the articles 55 of the Law.

3.- Be pensioned or pensioner with monthly sufficient income for his or her subsistence during his or her stay in the national territory;

4.- Enters in  the categories and the minimal points needed by system of points, in conformity with the administrative dispositions of general character that issues the Secretary which be published in the Official Diary of the Federation.

5.- To hold migratory regular situation for four consecutive years, in case of the Temporary Resident permit holder.

6.- To have kinship on a straight ascending or descending line up to the second degree with born Mexican.

7.- To have migratory regular situation for two consecutive years as a Temporary Resident, when said permit was granted because of been married or living with a concubine or equivalent form  with a Mexican or Permanent Resident and that the relation is active.


The exit and entry permit will have a term of 60 natural days and cannot be renewed.

The Immigration Law provides to migrants Rights to education and free medical services equivalent as to what is available to Mexicans.

1907453_10152782455842572_8651025371406049381_n     CONCLUSION

The new Immigration Law and its By-Law removes the discretionary powers from the personal working in the Immigration Instituto thus providing guarantees to any migrant in the Mexican territory; it protects the family unit which is  a very important part of the traditions in Mexico and respect the international treaties and conventions while making sure that the foreign person who wants to live in Mexico does not become a burden for the society.