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Mexico Immigration Rules

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Immigration Rules were changed in 2012. These rules are still being resolved, for an over view, please click here... 


Mexican Immigration RulesOne of the most confusing things about retiring to Mexico is the fact that the information on the rules that you will receive from Mexican consulates in Canada and the United States can be entirely different from what the Immigration people will tell you once you are in Mexico. In fact, the rules may vary from one consulate to the next. They basically set their own rules!

I know this is hard to believe, but it is absolutely true. For instance, compare the contradictions in these rules:

When applying through a Consulate north of the border, these are the rules:

  • Applicant must be 55 years of age to be eligible
  • Certificate of non-criminal records for applicant and spouse
  • Health Certificate issued by local physician (back home) attesting the general good health of the applicant

When applying from within Mexico, these are the rules:

  • You can move to Mexico on a FMT (tourist visa) or Residente Temporal at any age. The applicant needs to be 55 years of age (or older) to be eligible ONLY to get the Residente Permanente. By the way, if husband is 55 and his wife is younger, they can both get Residente Permanente status as a couple.
  • Certificate of non-criminal records is NEVER asked for when applying from within Mexico.
  • Health Certificate—This is never asked for when applying from within Mexico

You can see why it is easy to understand why people don’t know who or what to believe.

Participants in our Focus Programs tell us time and again that they could never have gathered all the ‘correct’ information nor had such a positive experience without attending our program.


 Pat & Dave Barker, Grimsby, Ontario 
 “For anyone considering living in Mexico whether full or part time, the Focus on Mexico Program is an extremely worthwhile venture. We don’t know how long it would take an individual to put together all the information we were given, but we’re convinced it would take a great deal of time! All of the legal, cultural, medical and real estate information about Mexico one could ever need was presented to us by a team of highly skilled, experienced, practicing professionals.” 


Marlene Robertson (full time in Lake Chapala)
 “Just over eight years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever, and not for one minute have I ever regretted that change. {Start legal and stay legal} Those were the first words I heard during the immigration seminar presented by Julie Vargas. My decision to move to Lake Chapala Mexico, permanently involved a lot of changes, and my immigration status was obviously very important to me. In a country with different laws, customs and language, how do you know where to go, what to do and how to do it? Meeting Julie, who is bilingual, and hiring her as my facilitator for immigration caused me to heave a great sigh of relief. For a modest fee, she filled in all the forms, paid the necessary fees, and took me into the immigration offices in Guadalajara so I could live legally in Mexico. If you’ve ever tried driving in a city of eight million when you don’t know your way around or speak the language, you’ll understand when I say her fee was worth that trip alone. And she is just one of the invaluable contacts I made during the Focus program.” 



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On your Journey of Discovery to retire in this land of enchantment, we cover topics that will be important to you…immigration, health options available in Mexico, legal and financial topics, and information that will guide you through the decision-making process of buying or renting a house, options for moving, bringing your pets, and a myriad of other details that we have collected during Focus on Mexico’s 15 years of experience guiding our participants through the Lake Chapala area.

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