Mexico Visa – Temporary Resident / Residente Temporal (MTRV was FM3)


Summary: The Temporary resident visa (MTRV) is needed by Canadian or US citizens if they want to stay continuously in Mexico for more than 180 days.

Updated July 2013.

Updated February 2013: Please keep in mind that the current regulations are relatively new (Nov. 2012) so you may have different experiences depending on which office you use. The following information is gleaned from many sources across the internet it is only a summary of what I believe I understand. If in doubt consult a professional or ask a question on a forum to get information about the personal experience of others. If your experience is different or suggests errors in the information presented please comment below. Sharing has served us well in the past and will help us through these changes as well.

If you need to apply for a visa or change your immigration status in any way there is an on line procedure which starts the process. That process has been translated and documented here: INM ONline Immigration Application Procedure for Visas and changes

To get this visa you must apply at a Mexican consulate outside Mexico unless you already have immigrant or non immigrant status or you are the kin of a Mexican citizen.

The cost is: 1 year – $3,310 pesos
2 year – $4,690 pesos
3 year – $5,940 pesos
4 year – $7,040 pesos

It is good for 4 years after which you must either leave the country to apply for a new MTRV or convert it to a Permanent Resident Visa (MPRV) / Residente Permanente.

If you have non immigrant status (FM3) in its 1st or 2nd year then you can convert it to a temporary resident visa at the time of renewal of your status without leaving the country.

If your non immigrant status (FM3) is in its 3rd or 4th year then you will have to convert it to a permanent resident visa or leave the country. You can apply for a change in status 6 month prior to it’s expiry.

The MPRV can be purchased for up to 4 years without having to renew it annually.

There is a minimum income requirement for getting this visa in the range of 2,000 US$ per month or US$102,000 of investments for each individual. You may be required to prove this with bank statements but the INM offices have the discretion to use a combination of assets including real estate to arrive at an equivalency. The idea is that you should be financially self sufficient.

You cannot have a foreign plated vehicle in Mexico under this status.  This has caused a great deal of controversy and there may be some grace period or changes to this regulation. (June 2013 comment) This is still a hot topic of debate. Some people are getting renewals of their temporary Import Permits when they gain their Temporal status but it is expected that that may only last for a while as the attitude of the government seems to be that it will not be permitted especially if you have some income associated with your status. Only time will tell. (July 2013 comment) It is still debatable and being debated but it appears that until the tax law (Ley Aduano) is changed you can get a temporary import permit. Best to ask a professional to help you with this.

You must inform the INM of the following changes within 90 days of their occurrence:


This document can only be renewed within 30 days prior to expiry.

If your document should expire while outside the country then you have 55 days to reenter Mexico and 5 days to get to an INM office. If you don’t do that your document is no longer valid.

The time to get the document approved is estimated at 20 working days and then it has to go the Mexico City for issuance which is another 2 to 3 weeks.

When you apply for your MTRV at a consulate they will give you a visa good for 30 days. Once you enter Mexico you have 5 days to go to a INM office to continue the process. Apparently some consulates give longer periods for the visa. Up to 180 days have been reported.

Additional Resources:

I have always found the Mexconnect forum extremely useful.

The actual regulations are here in Spanish:

See also Mark’s comment on how to calculate the investment requirement below.

New Non immigrant resident card and old FM3 booklet

  133 Responses to “Mexico Visa – Temporary Resident / Residente Temporal (MTRV was FM3)”

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  7. This is a great site! I have been hired in Mexico by a small company and they have started the process of sponsoring me so that I can get my temporary visa and also a work permit. I have a husband and 4 children who will move with me. Because I am being sponsored will my family be able to also get their temporary visas at the same time? Or will it be easier once I have my temporary visa to get them Temp visas as well? We all will be living in Mexico indefinitely at this point so we will need to get the correct papers.

    Thank you for your help!

  8. im from morocco im married mexican girl since one year and i want to join to my wife in mexico but i heart some people said we need two years married but i know some people without only six month marriage and get visa i ask you please which doucuments need my wife for my visa

  9. What is the earliest I can apply for my permanent visa from my temporary visa in TJ? Also any idea of the cost and requirements. I know the law is constantly changing.

  10. I currently have a Work visa FM3 that is expiring. I want to continue to work in Mexico. Do I need to leave the country to then re-apply for a new Entry visa and then a new FM3 and if so how long do I need to be out of the country to re-apply? Or is the only option transitioning to a permanent Visa situation?

  11. We obtained our Temporary Residency last year (2013) which was issued for only one year. It is good thru 10/19/14. I understand we will need to go to Mexico to renew it before October 19th of this year. Can we renew it anywhere in Mexico or only in the state (in our case, Sinaloa) where it was issued? Do you know if we can pay in full for the next 3 years in advance so we don”t have to come to Mexico each year in October for it to be renewed?

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  13. Hi sir I did married recently with Mexican .I have a problem right now please guide me which visa I can apply now FM 2 or FM3 or something other .and where I can get visa application form for this to submit an application for visa .please help me in this case thanks

  14. I have been married to a Mexican citizen for 12 years and our 2 kids were born in the US but, we registered them so they have duel citizenship. My husband is a US permanent resident eligible for US citizenship but with things here in the US getting more and more difficult to make ends meet we have considered going back to Mexico before he is ready to retire. I was looking at this site and the INM site but, I am confused on the process I would need to go through as wife of a Mexican citizen and mother to duel citizen children. Do I apply directly for MPRV and after 2yrs with that apply for citizenship or do I need to start with the MTRV and how long till I apply for MPRV. My husband said he would send us first then he would come later….we really want to both have duel citizenship so we can go back and forth as we please because of our children….because as they grow up it is their choice which country they want to make their life in. Any info would be great.

    • Because you are married to a Mexican national and you have children together, you are eligible to apply for your Mexican Permanent Resident Card. Go to your nearest Immigration office, and they will give you a checklist of all the things you need to submit with your application. After receiving that checklist, I would advise you go to a reputable and honest Immigration consultant, so that they can assist you in detail, step by step.

      I, too, am a married to a Mexican national, although, I am a temporary resident of Mexico. When we went to Immigration, we asked if I qualify for permanent resident application, and right away, they asked if we had children. Because we don”t, I only qualified for temporary residency. The officer old us that if we did have children, I could automatically apply for my permanent residency.

      When you go to Immigration, go with your family. Bring your passport, original marriage certificate, as well as passports and original birth certificates of your kids. As soon as you get called up to the counter, tell them that you want to apply to become a permanent resident. They will ask if you have kids, and then you can inquire further from there as to what the requirements are.

      Hope this helps!

  15. I intend to apply for temporary residence visa for mexico .
    How much do i need to show going in my bank monthly???

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  17. Hello,

    I have a temporary resident visa here in Mexico which I will be changing for a permanent one next year. I have had no issues getting my visas as I got into the program before the change in 2012 and am self employed via the internet.

    I haven´t left the country in more than 5 years and now I must return to my country for some months. Is there any restriction on how long I can leave the country for with this visa? I am hoping to go for a 3 month trip.

    Regards and Thanks,

  18. Im planning on retiring in mexico and have done a lot of research but am still unclear about a few items. Can I apply for my fm2 from us before I ever enter mexico permanatly without a permanent address in mexico?

    • Yes you must start the process at a consulate outside Mexico. You will need to prove you are in residence once you get here to continue the application process.

  19. I want to move to Mexico, but I’m having trouble grasping the whole idea of visas. Can the tourist visa be exchanged into the temporary residency visa? What about the work visa? Should I take care of it prior to coming? Does it make a difference if I am from Lithuania (Europe)? Thanks for your time!

    • Yes you need to start at a Mexican consulate in your home country. Most of the information you find on this site is intended for Canadians and Americans so yes there are differences for non North Americans.

  20. I have a temp residency and i am eligible too apply for permanent residency , my temp expires on may 20th but i want to be in Canada for 2 months starting on the 20th, can i start the process now before my expiry . anywhere else in the world allows you to apply for a new visa or drivers license up too 3 months before it expires, the immigration office is telling me i have to wait until it expires , well i want to be at my other job in Canada at that time. anyone know if there is a way to start my application for permanent resident right away thanks

    • Pete: Unfortunately local offices have a lot of latitude to interpret the rules so I don’t think you will have much luck and you have probably already tried to explain your situation to them. You may be able to get a professional to do it for you by signing all the forms before you leave. Ask around locally for someone who does that kind of work.

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