Mexico Visa: Getting a Visa to Retire in Mexico

Planning to make the move to Mexico Visa?

For retirement living in Mexico, there are essentially three types of visas that are pertinent to anyone planning on traveling and or living in Mexico and to our discussion. In Mexico visa applications are relatively easy to get as compared to when foreigners apply to come here to the USA.

These three visas are the FMT, FM2 and FM3. I will give a quick overview here and go further in depth further along.

FMT- The FMT visa, a tourist visa, is the standard narrow page paper handed out on the plane when you are in route to your destination in Mexico. It is simple to fill out and you simply hand it to the INM (Institución Nacional de Migración) worker at the airport upon arrival along with your passport and he will ask how long you plan on staying.

From past experience I have learned to say how long my reservations are but I also state that I may stay a few weeks longer. Past experience is that he will give you a visa for 180 days.

This is much easier than being specific and having to go to the INM office for an extension. The $20 fee is included in your ticket price if traveling by air but if arriving under other methods you will have to pay the fee.

Many expats continue to only use a tourist visa.

A side note. Take a high quality pen. The cheap ones tend to either explode or quit working in flight due to the pressure changes.

FM2- The FM2 visa can only be applied for at your local INM office in Mexico and is the type of permanent residency visa that leads to permanent residency and citizenship. It also allows you to earn money while living there and may be a consideration for those looking for jobs in Mexico, doing business in Mexico or would like to supplement their early retirement in Mexico.

FM3- The FM3 visa is for those expats that plan to live permanently in Mexico and allows you to purchase property, open bank accounts, (note that Banamex is owned by Bank of America and simplifies managing your money between countries) starting utilities, etc…

If this is your plan gather all of your legal documents such as official birth certificates, marriage certificates several months of your bank account records, proof of income, even a report from your local police stating that you have a clear criminal record wouldn’t hurt.

Your first step after arriving in Mexico is to visit the immigration office. On your first visit they will inform you of all of the documentation required but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead and get started. More on this process later.

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