Applying for Mexican Residency Programs When You are Outside Mexico

Getting a Temporary or Permanent Resident visa from a consulate outside of Mexico is a two step process.

Mexican Consulate appointments are usually required to apply for most types of Temporary and Permanent Residency status visas.

If you’re already in Mexico, and plan to leave to start the application process abroad, you can still make an appointments by calling 01-404-266-2233 (ext 250) from Mexico.

You can also schedule an appointment online, via the process and link described below. In the upper right-hand corner, you can change the language to English.

Note: Every member of the family needs to book a separate appointment time, including each child.


A) Find out if an appointment with the embassy or consulate is necessary first.

You can check this list of Mexican embassies or Mexican consulates abroad to find the phone number of the consulate you wish to visit.

If an appointment is required, click here to book an appointment with the Mexican consulate online, through the MEXITEL government booking system.

At this time, you’ll also want to check what the requirements are to qualify. Some embassies and consulates will ask for a police report or background check. Ask in advance of your appointment.

B) Prepare your application, identification and supporting documents for the appointment.

Depending on the type of residency application, you’ll need to assemble the package of what Mexico requires for your particular request.

This will include a valid passport or identity document, any birth or marriage certificates which have already been legalized for use in Mexico, and photos for the application.

Note: ​​You’ll need multiple photographs measuring 39 mm x 31 mm max to 32 x 26 mm. You cannot wear a hat, cover your face in any way, no glasses or earrings. It’s best to wear white and the background must be white. You cannot be smiling.

You will also need to photocopy the documents and your identification beforehand.

You may also be required to bring financial documents, if they are necessary for your type of request. It’s often a good idea to ask the embassy or consulate in advance. There can be a variance in the qualifications set by each office abroad, so always inquire directly with the office you plan to apply at.

C) At the appointment

When you arrive to your appointment, you will be interviewed by a consular agent. They will review all of your documentation and compare it with your identification.

They may also ask you questions. Some of the common questions are, “Why do you want to move to Mexico?” or “Where will you live?”. It’s important to know your intentions beforehand and reply honestly and in brief explanations. If you mention you plan to work, you will likely be declined.

Once you have passed the interview and all of your documents are in order, the agent will place a sticker inside your passport. It will be valid for six months and can only be used to enter Mexico once.

You must enter Mexico prior to the six month expiration, or you will have to re-apply from abroad.

Note: The sticker has the word “visa” on it, but this does not mean you’ve been granted a residency visa yet. You’ve just been pre-approved.


From the day you enter Mexico, you have 30 days to start step two of the process.

Depending on the type of application and the office you are reporting to, approval can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to be issued your Temporary or Permanent Resident card.

You will be fingerprinted before you are granted your card. While you are waiting for it the be issued, it’s best to plan to stay in Mexico, as you’ll need a permission letter from INM to leave Mexico until you are granted your ID card.

If you leave while your visa is processing, you will compromise your visa and have to start the process again from abroad.

Below is a link to the Mexican embassy and consulate visa application form.

This form may not be accepted at all offices, it is best to ask first of there may be another form that you can access and print online.

Note: For question 21, if you are applying for Temporary Residency, check inside the circle beside “More than 180 days and less than 4 years”. If you applying for Permanent Residency, check inside the circle beside “Definitive”.

Click here to print a sample Visa application in English


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