With thousands of people migrating to Mexico for the warm weather, lower cost of living, and great property values, you will also need to know more about establishing a residency status. You can choose to apply for either temporary or permanent residency. There are advantages to both statuses but depending on your situation, one might fit better than the other. When you first arrive in Mexico, and regardless of your length of stay, you need to apply and have an FMM – Forma Migratoria Multiple. This is known more as a visitor’s visa and will allow you to travel around Mexico legally.
Once in Mexico, you can decide if you want to keep renewing your FMM status. There are stipulations to a visitor’s visa, but you can apply for full or temporary residency. The visitor’s visa has certain restrictions. After 180 days of having received your visa, you must leave Mexico for a certain amount of time. You cannot extend or deviate from the dates or you will be penalized. You can reestablish a visitor’s visa; but after doing so a few times, we recommend you consider applying for a temporary resident visa instead. If you’re visiting Mexico often, that would be a better fit for you.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
The Temporary Resident Visa eliminates having to exit and reenter every 180 days. A TRV allows you to stay for a period greater than 180 days but no more than four years. To apply for a TRV you have to contact Mexico’s Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE). You can also apply for a family unit TRV as well. Staying in Mexico with a Temporary Resident Visa allows you to stay for a full year. You can renew up to 3 times consecutively. Being able to not have to leave Mexico every six months will save you and your family time and money. Psychologically speaking, it also helps you feel like you are part of the community, rather than an outsider. You can establish long-term friendships, belong to a group or church, have a family doctor and dentist, and enjoy a favorite local restaurant or bar.
You will have to pay an annual fee to maintain your status and TRV card. After four years as a temporary resident, you will either go back to using a visitor’s visa or you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. You will have to fill out the application and qualify for the card. There are several other advantages to having permanent status over going back to a regular visitor’s visa
Permanent Resident Visa (PRV)
The Permanent Resident Visa offers many benefits that you can’t receive from having a Temporary Resident card. Having PRV status allows you to speak with a legal Mexican Notary who can, in turn, approve you for a Home Owner’s Exemption. The exemption keeps you from paying a 25% capital gains tax when you sell your home. If you travel outside of Mexico for a period of time, you won’t be able to come back and deal with reapplying for a TRV card. Instead, your Permanent Resident status will grant you quick access back into the country. Another advantage is that you can get a Registro Federal de Contribuyentes (RFC) tax number. This will allow you to work legally in Mexico.
Your permanent residency is a vital step to getting a Mexican citizenship if that is what you want. For homeowners who are currently holding property in the restricted zone with a bank trust or Mexican corporation, citizenship is great news. You can terminate your fideicomiso (bank trust agreement), which will save you from paying annual fees to the trust. This alone would be a gigantic benefit in becoming a citizen in a country that offers so much for its migrating patriots.
Start Where You Need to Start
Don’t try to tackle citizenship right away. If you’re a snowbird or vacation homeowner, you probably don’t need anything else than your 180-day visitor’s visa. You may progress to temporary resident or permanent status depending on your needs. If you plan on retiring or relocating permanently to Mexico, then consider those options. But starting out with temporary status is a great way to truly find out what it is like to live in Mexico’s gorgeous Riviera Maya. And, if it’s something you can see yourself doing, then you can consider permanency.
Don’t Overlook Purchasing Real Estate
Becoming a homeowner in Mexico can definitely help you speed things up when it comes to temporary or permanent status. Moreover, it means you get to have a retirement, vacation or investment home in a profitable and affordable area. Whether you’re looking at options in Tulum or Playa del Carmen, you are sure to find the perfect home for you. And while you’re at it, you will be able to decide which residency status is the best fit for you.
Swift through our many options and contact our professional Buyer’s Representative today! They will help you find your dream home, while keeping your best interest at heart. Additionally, they will be able to answer any questions you have about the process, and anything else you may want to know, including residency.
And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…we make it happen!