Real Estate & Legal Topics

Obtaining Residency in Mexico

Canadians and Americans are seeking temporary and permanent visas for residency in Mexico. Many decide to buy a home for retirement in the Riviera Maya or spend a longer vacation to avoid the chilly temperatures in their hometowns.

Adriana Vela, immigration specialist from MexLaw, commented that some foreigners who buy properties in the Riviera Maya are looking to obtain their residency because of the advantages it offers, including the exemption from capital gains tax when selling said properties. She also mentioned that the majority of foreigners who approach the firm she represents are Canadians (60%) followed by the US (39%) while Europeans represent 1%.

The immigration specialist explained that usually, foreigners arrive in October or November, and return to their homes in spring or summer when the weather is milder. To avoid paying for hotels for long periods, they choose to buy a house or an apartment and rent it to tourists when they are not occupying it.

Other foreigners come to spend their retirement in the region, so they choose to get their permanent residency. In this case, they should seek support from a specialist in matters of immigration.

Ms. Vela explained that there are various requirements to apply for a residency, and currently, foreigners must apply for a temporary or permanent visa from abroad and can no longer apply in Mexico. The specialist noted that three fundamental steps should be taken:

  1. They should apply from a Mexican consulate in their home or another country.
  2. Once they obtain the pre-approval, they have 180 days to return to Mexico and begin their exchange process.
  3. In the case of those who want to obtain their visa due to a job offer, they can apply in Mexico, and later, leave the country to return again to do the exchange.

Ideally, foreigners should contact an immigration specialist to obtain information, advice and to complete the process.


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