Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Ever considered retiring in Mexico or living here part time? If so, you're not alone. Many tourists who come to Puerto Vallarta fall in love with its tropical climate, white-sand beaches, rich culture, sensational restaurants, and, most of all, its wonderfully friendly people, on their very first visit.
These "snow birds," begin flying south regularly to seek warmth in the winter. While soaking up Mexico's history and traditions, they check Vallarta out from stem to stern so when the question of retirement starts to loom in their lives, PV looks as if it might be more than just a temporary escape from the weather.
The journey to obtain either a temporary or permanent resident card begins at a Mexican embassy or consulate in your home country.
Meeting the immigration requirements is relatively easy. There is paperwork to be done, but getting a residency visa in Mexico is a straightforward process, and while there are lawyers that can help, many expats are able to easily manage the document process on their own.
The first step is to make an appointment at the nearest Mexican Consulate in your country of origin. When the time comes for your appointment, you will need to be prepared with:
• Your valid passport and photocopy of the photo and personal data pages
• Completed visa application form
• A 3.9 cm by 3.1 cm color photograph, taken to standard (no glasses or jewelry)
• Financial records showing income of $1,700 USD or more monthly, i.e., bank statements
• Yearly social security statement with photocopy
• If applicable, original documents proving US property/business ownership and a copy
• Mexican property ownership documents & a photocopy, or a copy of the lease, if renting
• A clear criminal record from the police department in your city
• $36 USD for the processing fee (subject to change)
When the Mexican embassy or consulate approves your application to obtain a temporary or permanent resident card, they will place a visa inside your passport that gives you 180 days to get to Mexico to begin the second part of the process.
The second part of the Mexican residency procedure is completed at the Immigration office in Puerto Vallarta, where you will need to provide:
• A current utility bill proving your address in Mexico
• A second set of photos
• The tourist visa issued as you entered the country (FMM)
• Any other letters or documents required based on your application.
It takes INM approximately 5 weeks to process your paperwork, but it important to know that during that time, you are required to stay in the country. If you absolutely need to leave Mexico during that time, you can get permission and an exit permit from INM, which costs approximately $150 USD.For more information, contact your nearest Mexican Consulate to take the first step towards becoming a legal resident of Mexico, and living the dream in Puerto Vallarta.