We often get asked questions about how long people can remain in Mexico under the auspice of visitor and residency visas.

    This article answers common questions about time limits and exit/entry rules for Mexico visitor and residency visas and explains how long you must reside in Mexico to qualify for citizenship.

    Time limits when you are in Mexico using a Visitor Visa (FMM)

    What is Mexico’s visitor visa, the FMM?

    Mexico’s visitor visa allows entry into the country for leisure or business visits lasting maximum 180 days.  The immigration official at the port of entry will grant a specific number of days (not exceeding 180) when you arrive in Mexico.

    How long is it valid?

    Your visitor permit is valid for the number of days granted by the immigration official and written on the permit —that will never exceed 180 days, but may be less than 180 days— starting from the date of your arrival.  The arrival date is always stamped on the permit.  Learn more about the number of days being granted to people arriving in Mexico under the auspice of a visitor permit, FMM. It cannot be extended beyond the number of days written on the permit by the immigration official at the port of entry.

    Extensions and renewals

    The visitor permit cannot be extended or renewed; and you must leave Mexico by the date it expires.  If you over-stay your visitor visa you will need to pay a fine when you leave the country.

    Leaving and re-entering Mexico

    You must leave by the expiry date, but there is no time limit on how long you must remain outside of Mexico before you can return using a new visitor visa.  Every time you re-enter Mexico, the number of days allowance granted by the immigration official allowance is ‘reset.’  Some foreigners have been using this feature to remain in Mexico over longer periods; however, with today’s computerized systems, immigration officials at ports of entry have ready-access to your movements through Mexico and ‘ perpetual visitors ’ may now have their intentions questioned at the port of entry.  If you intend to stay in Mexico longer term we recommend you apply for a Mexican residency permit .

    Further reading

    See our article, Your Mexico Visitors Permit, FMM for further details. Also see this article about the number of days being granted to visitors arriving in Mexico.

    Time limits when you are in Mexico using a Residente Temporal permit

    What is Mexico’s temporary residency permit?

    Temporary residency enables foreigners to remain in Mexico beyond the maximum 180-day time limit imposed with the visitor visa and also gives them access to certain residency privileges; for example, opening a bank account here which you cannot do as a visitor.

    How long is it valid?

    When you are granted a Residente Temporal visa , it’s valid from 1 year to 4 years.  Your first temporary residency card is always issued for only one year and must be renewed within the 30-day window before its expiry date. At the end of the first year, you can renew your temporary residency for a further 1, 2 or 3 years. When you renew for 3 years you won’t have to return to the immigration office to renew it until it fully expires at the end of year 4; however, you must inform the immigration office of certain changes in your personal circumstances (see below).

    Leaving and re-entering Mexico

    While your Residente Temporal card is valid, you may leave and re-enter Mexico as often as you wish.  You must attend the immigration kiosk at the port of departure to have a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) card stamped and re-present that same stamped card when you return— if you have residency status do not re-enter Mexico as a visitor or your immigration status will become ‘irregular’ and your residency status will be put at risk.  See Procedures for entering and leaving Mexico for further details.

    Renewing your temporary residency permit

    Temporary residency card renewals must be undertaken in Mexico, and you cannot leave the country while the renewal process is in trainIn exceptional circumstances, you can apply for a temporary exit and re-entry permit while your residency card renewal is being processed; the covering letter submitted with your request must state the exceptional nature of your circumstances.  See Renewing your Mexico residency permit for further details.

    Change in circumstances

    When you are living in Mexico under the auspice of Residente Temporal you must report certain changes in your personal circumstances to the immigration office —e.g. change of your residential address, change of marital status, or change of employment status or employer— and these changes must be reported in Mexico.

    Time allowed outside of Mexico

    When you are living in Mexico under the auspice of  Residente Temporal,  there is no time limit to how long you can remain outside of the country, but renewals and reporting changes in certain personal circumstances (see above) must be undertaken in Mexico.

    What happens after four years of temporary residency?

    After 4 consecutive years under the auspice of a Residente Temporal status in Mexico, you have three choices:

    • purposely allow the permit to expire and then enter a regularization process to re-apply for temporary residency within a specific time period; or
    • apply to exchange your temporary residency status for permanent residency status within 30 days before your final expiry date; or
    • leave the country and surrender your legal residency status.

    Time limits when you are in Mexico using a Residente Permanente permit

    What is Mexico’s permanent residency permit?

    Permanent residency gives a foreigner leave to remain in Mexico indefinitely, and gives certain residency privileges; for example, opening a bank account here which you cannot do as a visitor.

    How long is it valid?

    When you are granted a  Residente Permanente visa —whether you apply straight away and are granted permanent residency, or eventually obtain permanent residency after four consecutive years of living under the auspice of a temporary residence permit in Mexico— you are issued with a permanent residency card that carries no expiry date.  Permanent residency never expires, but can be surrendered, or withdrawn by the Secretaría de Gobernación , at any time.

    Leaving and re-entering Mexico

    When you have permanent residency status in Mexico, you may leave and re-enter the country as often as you wish.  You must attend the immigration kiosk at the port of departure to have a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) card stamped and re-present that same stamped card when you return— if you have residency status do not re-enter Mexico as a visitor or your immigration status will become ‘irregular’ and your residency status will be put at risk.  See Procedures for entering and leaving Mexico for further details.

    Change in circumstances

    When you are living in Mexico under the auspice of Residente Permanente you must report certain changes in your personal circumstances to the immigration office —e.g. change of your residential address, change of marital status, or change of employment status or employer— and these changes must be reported in Mexico.

    Time allowed outside of Mexico

    Under current rules, when you have permanent residency status in Mexico, your Residente Permanente card does not require renewal and there is no time limit to how long you can remain outside of the country, but reporting changes in certain personal circumstances (see above) must be undertaken in Mexico.

    Time qualification for Mexican citizenship

    If you intend to apply for Mexican citizenship as part of your lifestyle planning, you must prove five consecutive years with either temporary residency or permanent residency, and you cannot have been physically present outside of Mexico for more than 180 days during the last two years prior to the application date.  If you are married to a Mexican national , the qualification period may reduce to two years.  See Becoming a Naturalized Mexican for further details.

    Mexico Immigration Assistance

    When you need assistance with your Mexico residency application, renewals, or regularization procedures, our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service  provides consulting, advice, and practical help that helps you through the entire residency application or renewal process, including regularization procedures.

    Learn more about Mexico visas and immigration

    Mexperience publishes extensive information about visas and immigration to Mexico, including:

    • Our free  Mexico Immigration Guide  that encapsulates detailed information about applying for visas and residency permits.
    • Learn about  Mexico’s visitor permit, the FMM .
    • Discover the  principal routes for obtaining legal residency in Mexico
    • Our latest  articles about visas and immigration  keep you apprised of current situations including  financial criteria for residency ,  fees , and  procedures —and our  FAQs page  is updated regularly

    Mexico in your inbox

    Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.

    How long can Americans stay in Mexico without visa?
    180 days Visa Not Required for Mexico Visa-exempt travelers who come to Mexico for tourism or business can stay for a maximum of 180 days without a visa, while travelers who want to transit through the country can stay for a maximum of 30 days visa-free. more
    How long can an American stay in Canada?
    6 months Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. If you're allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they'll put the date you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document. more
    How Long Can American stay in Ukraine?
    90 days Upon arrival in Ukraine, U.S. citizens generally will be registered for an authorized stay of 90 days. In some cases, it may be possible to extend the registration for an additional 90 days. more
    How long can an American stay in Croatia?
    U.S. citizens, currently in Croatia, who plan to stay in Croatia for longer than 90 days must apply for a temporary residence permit and should contact the Ministry of Interior at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the 90-day visa-free stay. more
    How long can I stay in Mexico without a visa?
    180 days Visa Not Required for Mexico Visa-exempt travelers who come to Mexico for tourism or business can stay for a maximum of 180 days without a visa, while travelers who want to transit through the country can stay for a maximum of 30 days visa-free. more
    How Long Can American cars stay in Mexico?
    Tourists and Temporary Residents are allowed to bring ONE car per person into Mexico, for their use as long as they keep that immigration status, including renewals. Hence, a tourist can bring a car into Mexico for 90 or 180 days (according to its immigration form). more
    How Long Can American stay in Colombia?
    U.S. citizens do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or less or for cumulative stays of 180 days or less per calendar year. Before your 90-day stay expires, you may request an extension of up to 90 additional days from the Colombian immigration authority (MigraciĆ³n Colombia). more
    How long can an American stay in Israel on a tourist visa?
    three-month Travelers normally receive a free, three-month tourist visa upon arrival in Israel, which may be extended. more
    How long can your car stay in Mexico?
    six months With a tourist visa (FM-T), you are allowed to import your car and drive it in Mexico for a period of up to six months from the first date of entry of the vehicle into the country. These six months have no extension, which means that you have to remove your car before the end of this period. more
    How long can a American stay in Colombia?
    U.S. citizens do not need a Colombian visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or less or for cumulative stays of 180 days or less per calendar year. Before your 90-day stay expires, you may request an extension of up to 90 additional days from the Colombian immigration authority (MigraciĆ³n Colombia). more
    How long can my car stay in Mexico?
    A foreign plated car in Mexico will require a temporary import permit. The permit will be valid for 180 days (the same as your tourist visa) If you are arriving in Mexico on a Temporary Resident Visa your car's permit will be as valid as long as your Temporary Resident Visa is valid. more

    Source: www.mexperience.com

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