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Living in MexicoThe Plain Truth about Living in Mexico:

The Expatriate's Guide to Moving, Retiring, or just hanging out

Guide to moving to mexicoHead for Mexico: The Renegade Guide

A distinct guide for Americans and Canadians planning to retire in Mexico

More Essential Reading


FPuerto Vallarta Vacations Guide

The Puerto Vallarta Guide- prepare for your Puerto Vallarta vacation with this handy travel guide.

puerto vallarta mexico mariachis on the beachEvents and Entertainment in Puerto Vallarta

Festivals, holidays, special events and entertainment throughout Puerto Vallarta

Please note that any information supplied on these pages are subject to change.  Consult your local embassy and legal professional to confirm current status of Mexico's immigration requirements.



A Brief Overview of the immigration permits required when visiting or moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Foreign nationals are welcome to visit Mexico as tourists and may remain for up to 180 days using a tourist visa (FMT.) 

Requirements for business-related visits or stays exceeding 180 days require special permits directly from the Mexican Consulate.

According to Mexico's General Law of Population, foreigners entering Mexico are required to have one of the following two types of permit:

  • Non Immigrant Permits - for individuals who intend to visit Mexico for a distinct purpose and then depart;

  • Immigrant Permits - for individuals who wish to become permanent residents in Mexico.

Becoming a resident of Mexico:

You are not required to surrender your natural citizenship in order to be granted full residency in Mexico.

Once granted full residency in Mexico, you are entitled to all rights and benefits of a Mexican National.  You may live, work, claim state benefits.  You are also required to pay taxes.

Once granted full residency in Mexico, you may not vote in Mexican elections. 

Visa and Immigration Resources:

Information on how to get a passport, visa, or certified copy of a birth certificate

Immigration Lawyer Directory- great way to choose a lawyer without being pressured or hounded.

passport requirements for puerto vallarta mexico

Mexico Tourist Visa Overview

FMT - Tourist Visa


An FMT is a tourist visa for people traveling to Mexico.  FMT forms are supplied by airlines on flights, OR they can be acquired through your local Mexican Consulate. If entering Mexico by car, you may request an FMT form at the border.

The tourist visa, (FMT) is valid for up to 180 days.  If by chance your visa is completed for 90 days, note that this can be extended by visiting any Mexican Immigration Office once in Mexico for a fee of approximately $240.00 pesos ($24 USD.)

Requirements for an FMT - Tourist Visa

Proof of citizenship in the form of a passport.  NOTE: in the past, a birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID was sufficient for entry into Mexico. This has changed- Mexico now requires a passport (click here) for entry into Mexico.

Information requested when filling out your visa: place of birth,  destination and the reason for your visit.

What happens if I lose my Tourist Visa (FMT)?

Should your tourist visa get stolen, report it immediately to the nearest Mexican Immigration Office.  Be sure to bring your passport and airline ticket and the $240.00 pesos for a new tourist visa. 

Limitations of a Tourist Visa

A tourist visa permits you to enter Mexico as a visitor.  It does not allow you to work, register a vehicle, vote, etc.  The amount of luggage you bring are also limited to what would be needed for approximately 15 to 30 days.  In other words, a moving van full of furniture would raise issue. 

Immigrating to Mexico : FM2 Visa


For those seeking to become a long term resident of Mexico or gain Mexican citizenship, the immigrant visa, or FM2 must be held for a consecutive 5 year period.

If you currently hold an FM3, it is suggested you apply for the FM2 as soon as possible since time accrued holding the FM3 does not count toward the 5 year period required under the FM2.

An FM3 is not required prior to applying for an FM2. 

You may apply for an FM2 directly from any Mexican consulate, or in Mexico at any local immigration office. 

Once the required five year qualification period has completed, you will be permitted to apply for full resident status.  Once granted, full resident status in Mexico entitles you to all rights and benefits of a Mexican citizen with the exception of voting.  Once granted full resident status, you may also initiate your application for Mexican citizenship.

Once granted permanent resident status, you will lose this status if absent from Mexico for longer than 2 years, or for 5 years in any 10 year period and be required to begin the process again.

Requirements for applying for an FM2 Visa: 


Any of the following may apply for an FM2 Visa and become permanent residents of Mexico.


To qualify for a Retiree Immigration Permit:  Must be over 50 years of age and intend to engage in "non-remunerative activities."  Must be receiving funds from abroad (pension, investments or fixed income) at least to the value of 400 times the daily minimum daily wage per month, and a further 200 times daily minimum wage per month for each dependent (i.e. spouse, children.)


To qualify for an immigration permit under this category, you must be willing to invest industry or service capital in Mexico equalling a minimum of 26,000 times the minimum daily wage in Mexico City.


Must be sponsored by a company who must satisfy the authorities in their statement that you are essential to their operative requirements.  Your certificates must be validated by the Mexican consulate. You may then apply for an immigration visa to live in Mexico and seek permanent residence. 

Technical or Scientific Professions

Under sponsorship of a foreign company, qualified technicians and scientists may apply for permanent resident status in Mexico.

Artists and Sports People

Artists or athletes seeking permanent resident status may apply for an FM2 visa, however each case is considered on a case by case basis and entry is at the Interior Ministry's discretion.




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