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 (updated January 2015): 1 year – $3,519 pesos
2 year – $5,272 pesos
3 year – $6,678 pesos
4 year – $7,914 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. Cost for the conversion – $1,124 pesos plus the cost of whatever documentation the current administration requires.

Work permission added to a MTRV costs $2,624 pesos.

Permission to leave Mexico and return while paperwork is in process costs $360 pesos.

If you lose your visa the replacement cost is 1,083 pesos (January 2015).

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

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

  1. Aparte de trabajar la parte on line, algo que ayudará mucho a tu Marca Personal es el offline.

  2. En estas dos redes también subirás contenidos de los usuarios a
    los quue prosigues (en el Paso 4 veremos este tema).

  3. My residente temporal card was damaged- dog chewed on the corners. Do I need to get this replaced or is it okay?

  4. i use a po box in the usa to receive mail can i use my po box mailing address for the mexican consulate permanent visa forms? i do reside in mexico but get my mail in usa and would just like to be here legally without any paperwork hasstles… thanx is there a usa physical address requirement on the mexican visa form for someone that can afford to and does not want to live in the usa as a US citizen

  5. i live in mexico and am goin back to san diego cali.. i am a us citizen how long is the process at the consolate …ie go there with forms filled out… then get an appointment for a visa BEFORE i can return to my rental in mexico and then work on the permanent resident at INM? how many days should i expect to stay in the USA to deal with the mexican consulate? i dont want to take too much of my perscribed meds into the usa/mexico even though they are legal in both countries

    • Jonathon,

      As long as you have all the documents and photos for your visa, obtained next door to the Consulate in San Diego….and you have an appointment. You will do you paperwork in the morning and come back 3 to 4 hours later to do final paperwork and be issued the Visa. It all happens the same day.

  6. Exactly how does one properly cancel and return a Residente Temporal once no longer residing in Mexico and can this be done through a consulate in another country, or only when in Mexico?


  7. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I loverd this article. It wass funny.
    Keep on posting!

  8. I am on disability.$1340.00 a month. What’s the cost of the visa I need to check out the places I might won’t to live.can I rent a place on a 180 day visa also can I drive my car doing in Mexico.
    Thank You

  9. With a fm3 can you get healthcare in mexico

  10. I have worked with many companies with FM3 as a work permit , my fm3 exp 2012 i then returned home to the UK . Now i want to go back to work is there any way to get the new work visa temporal,inside Mexico,issued. So i don’t have to fly back . I have my sponsor employer in place to send letter etc .Other wise it takes far to long waiting in the UK then have to travel to the London Embassy …This new way is so much crappy then the old FM3,.
    The New way is losing them much more in Trade then making them it in Fees.
    Help please i need to go back to work asap

  11. Hi, I am currently residing in Mexico going back and forth on the FMM tourist visa every 180 days. I live with my boyfriend and his family and although I love visiting my family every 6 months, it’s very costly and tiresome. I know getting married is the easiest way to do it, but my boyfriend is in school still so money’s tight. Since I am not living in the US anymore, I am not working and I do not have a monthly income. Is there any way to work around that if my intentions are to work and live in Mexico and already have a job lined up for me? Or is the only other option marriage or to have children (which is also not in the plans for a while!) Also, how long would the process take in the US before being able to enter Mexico again?

    Thank you!


    • I spoke with the Mexican Consulate yesterday and he informed me that when you enter as a tourist, you can stay for 180 days BUT you are ONLY allowed to stay 180 days PER year. I had hoped to do as you are doing Paige, but apparently 180/365 is the maximum allowed. How are you doing this??

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  14. My daughter is living in mexico city. she has a mexican birth certificate and a u.s. passport. her 180 day visa on her u.s. passport has expired. Does she need a mexican passport now to go back to the states?

  15. Hello

    My Argentinian boyfriend has an FM3. I am American. Both of us are Scuba Instructors. I am having a hard time finding a way to get an FM3 through a diving company. If we get married, do I get permission to live in Mexico without the visa that expires in 180 days? Also can I get an FM3? How long would theFM3 take to get once married?


    • I was going trough the rules in another website and they favour explicitly the support of what is named “family life” when taking into consideration if somebody can or can’t stay in the country,

      A soon as you get married I think your husband to be would need to inform immigration about his change of status in order to renew his visa (no longer called FM3) and then they would issue a ruling.

      In all honestly you need to contact a local immigration expert, your case is more complicated than a neophyte like me can help you with.

  16. If I meet the retirement requirements, can I change from temporary resident to permanent resident after 1 year of temporary residence? I also previously had a temporary resident for 4 years, but started over with temporary resident again until I could remove my foreign-plated vehicle.

    • If it was your first visa I don’t think so, the rules are very explicit about the residence requirements to obtain an upgrade.

      Since you had the status before your case is different from most, you will need to check with a local immigration lawyer.

  17. Hi,

    My boyfriend and I are going through the process of getting a Temporary Permanent Residency Visa. We both have contractual work with a company in Vancouver, Canada where we will be having a monthly salary coming in during our stay in Mexico which will be a couple of years.

    My question is, once we get the approval of the Temporary Permanent Residency Visa, and we arrive in Mexico, when we visit the INM Office to finish the TPR visa process, do we have to again show our bank statements, and all the information regarding economic solvency and anything else we needed to show for the application process?

    Thank you,


    • Can we talk if you don;t mind . I am also on the same boat as you . So need direction if you already had your process cleared

  18. I am considering retiring in Mexico, once granted a temp. residency can I move all my belongs with me ? Is there an import tax? Can I take my 2014 vehicle or wilI I need to sell it? One last question, should I apply for a temporary residency on my own or is it best to hire an immigration specialist? -Thanks

    • Once you get your visa from the consulate and enter Mexico you will have 30 days to go to the immigration (INM) and exchange “canje” your visa for the actual residency card. This process takes up to a month and half. You will also need to apply for a CURP (similar to the SSN as it is a unique identifying number per person). With this two items you can lease or “buy” property.

      The reason why I mentioned the previous is that once you received the visa from the Mexican embassy or consulate you are pretty much granted residency in Mexico. You can choose to bring your stuff at that point to Mexico but almost everyone requests the CURP now. Without this number it might be difficult to lease or “buy” property. Therefore, you may need to store your belongings. My suggestion is wait until you have your residency card, curp and have found a place before you bring your goods.

      As for your belongings, you can apply for a menaje at the consulate or Mexican embassy. There is is no import tax for the items (restrictions apply so Google these: example electronics have to be six months owned at least,etc.). How ever you will need to hire a Mexican custom broker for around 600 to 1000 usd to do this procedure. Note: Mexico is 110v, reason why I mention is that many homes in usa or Canada use applied ces such as range or dryer that are 220v.

      Regarding 2014 car, you can temporarily import your car into Mexico. The duration of the permit is the same as your legal authorization to stay in Mexico. This is can only be done as a temporary residet. Note: if your car has only one license plate cops tend to stop vehicles like frecuently (my case) ad I have to explain how in the USA states are required sometimes to have one. It is a magnet to get stopped…

      As for a lawyer you can do it on your own as long as you meet the criteria. But be prepared to wait long times and lines once in Mexico. We did it on our own and all is great.

      • Let me clarify the menaje a little more. It has very little cost to apply at the embassy or consulate. The real issue is that in order to import your goods into Mexico under a menaje a Mexican customs broker charges between 600 to 1000 to do this.
        If you hire a moving company to relocate your goods, more than likely their fee will include this item but confirm it with them.

  19. I work and live primarily in San Diego, but bought a house on a land lease in Mexico several years ago. My fm3 is expired, & I’m not sure what the current requirement is if I own property in Mexico but visit usually one day a week. Seems like I need the MTRV to replace the FM3?

  20. Hello. I have a US permanent resident card and am living in San Diego. I’d frequent Tijuana constantly and would love to rent a place there being cheaper. Can I apply for a Mexican Temporary Resident Card without affecting my US permanent resident status?

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  22. I am interested in living in Mexico, however, my husbands social security and mine together only comes to around $1700/month. We are planning to sell our home in the US and will expect to have well over $100,000 in the bank. I am assuming we cannot apply for a temporary resident visa – is that correct?

    I was wondering, if we had a 6 month visitor visa, would it be possible to leave Mexico at the end of every 180 days, and then return and renew the tourist visa? If so, is there a limit to the number of times that could be done?

    Also, if we came in on a tourist visa and bought a house, for say $85,000, would that change the amount of money required to apply for a temporary visa?
    THanks for any help you can extend to us. We are finding this rather confusing – every site seems to say something different.

  23. Hi Johan,
    I would like to apply for a temporary resident visa but I’m not going to work for a Mexican company. I will earn my money online through an online business. It might be less than 2000 USD a month though. Do you know if there is a way to make this work?

    Thanks so much for your help

  24. Someone just told me FM3 is $35 american if i am married. Is this true. This website says different.

    • Ashley perhaps if you are married to a Mexican citizen but otherwise no. Marital status does not alter what you pay. I am not sure what the cost is for spouses of Mexican citizens.

  25. Hi,
    I am 21, unmarried, and want to move to Mexico in December of this year. Am I able to move to Mexico and then apply for a temporary residence visa or do I have to apply for the visa before entering Mexico?

    • You must apply before entering Mexico.

      • Ok, thank you. Do you think I would be approved for a MTRV? I understand that they want people to be financially self-sufficient but I am getting ready to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree (I only work part time now) and my plan is to move to Mexico and work there.

        • Hi Taylor

          Doing exactly the same as you!

          I’m off to Mexico for 2 weeks at the end of the month to hunt for work in person, with the plan of living there by the end of this year. As far as I understand, the employer needs to begin the FM3 paperwork for you and you have to be in your home country to process the visa at your local Mexican consulate (a huge pain as I’m based in the UK), so it’s a bit back and forth.

          I’m a recent graduate too and it’s a pain trying to save for the airfares but it has to be done!

        • No you won’t.

          You need to have a minimum level of earnings or investments.

  26. I just got married to a Mexican National, I want to get temp. residence. How can I do that from where I am in Tijuana?? I don’t have a 180 day visa either. Please any advice would be great!

    Also we want to get him a visa for the U.S do I have to get my temp. residence first??
    Is it easier to get him a visa to cross over since were married??

    • You could inquire about acquiring Mexican citizenship, it is a right you have as soon as you marry a Mexican citizen.

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  28. My wife and I just recently obtained our Residente Temporal and my wife accidently lost hers. In your article it says you can get a replacement for 1080 pesos. Can that be? We weere told you have to start completely over in the process.

  29. Im married to a Mexican , and I i was thinking on opening a business there, do I need some type of visa to be able to do this

    • You can apply for a visa through your husband showing the papers that say you’re married. same as when mexican people marry a us citizen and then get the green card. After that, for creating a business, you must follow the laws that apply to mexican citizens

    • The Mexican Constitution says you have the right to become Mexican citizen, at that point you can do anything you want in Mexico.

      I would inquire about that as well if you don’t mind having double nationality.

  30. I’m a US citizen I’m Mexico on a 180 day visa. After 180 day is it required that I return to US or can I go to another country? When can I return?

    • It’s my understanding that you just have to leave the country, and Mexico doesn’t care if you’re going to Central/South America, the Caribbean, the U.S. — wherever. You’re supposed to surrender your 180-day visa upon departure to close it out.

      You can probably return whenever you like. You’ll just need to have your U.S. passport, complete another 180-day visa and have it validated/date stamped at your point of entry.

      • Generally it is true that if you leave the Republic of Mexico and return from any country you can be re-issued another 180 day tourist visa; however, there have been instances where entering from Guatemala that the Mexican officials will only issue a 90 day tourist visa.

  31. I been married to a mexican national for 2 years I Will be retiring in mexico in her home town. Can I apply for a temporary resident visa in mexico or do I need to apply outside of mexico at a mexican consulate?

  32. i am Indian, can i am apply for residence permit of mexico?

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  34. Hi, I am from the UK and have lost my 1 year visa to be in Mexico. I arrived in January and am leaving in just over 3 weeks. I have been advised to go to the agencia del turista to get a constancia del hechos and all I need to take along is my passport a week before I am due to leave. I am just a little concerned as I do not have a photocopy or anything of the original Visa and whether this is going to cause me problems leaving the country and whether it is going to cost me any money??

    • I don”t know if this will show on the page here but I have the same situation. Wallet was stolen and I need to leave for Christmas. When you find an answer could you email me at It would be much appreciated.

  35. 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!

  36. 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

    • birth certificate, your passport and the papers that say you’re married. if you have evidence such as pictures from the wedding, those are useful too. Basically bring all paper that says who you and your wife are. As far as I am concerned, you don’t have to wait two years

    • The Mexican Constitution grants you the right to become a Mexican Citizen, this is something to keep in mind when dealing with your situation,

      I don;t think you need to wait for anything, it is a matter of paperwork, but I am not a lawyer.

  37. 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.

  38. 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?

  39. 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?

  40. Incredible points. Outsstanding arguments. Keepp up the good work.

  41. 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

  42. 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!

      • Yes, that is correct, but something else very few people are aware off is that once you marry a Mexican you are actually granted Mexican citizenship, you just have to follow up whatever paperwork they throw at you, but it is an automatic right, no ifs, no buts.

  43. 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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  45. 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,

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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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