How to Get Mexican Citizenship

If you enjoy white sandy beaches, infectious music, and delectable cuisine, then Mexico might be the country for you. Discover the sights and the rich culture for yourself, and begin to experience what expats in Mexico have been saying for years: that’s it’s one fantastic country. For those expats in Mexico who wish to fully immigrate, WeExpats has put together a helpful article on how to get your Mexican citizenship. The good news is getting your Mexican citizenship is not as difficult as in other countries.

There are some key differences between getting your Mexican citizenship and simply staying a permanent resident in Mexico. You gain full rights in the country, such as the ability to change your job or your address without having to notify the National Institute of Immigration (INM).

 

WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO GET MEXICAN CITIZENSHIP:

There are many benefits to getting your Mexican citizenship in Mexico. Obviously being a citizen in Mexico entitles you to vote in elections and have a greater say in Mexican politics. Furthermore, you cannot be deported. Being a citizen will always entitle you to all the rights awarded through full citizenship, just like any other Mexican national—outside of a few jobs that can only be held by citizens born in Mexico: such as flight attendants and airline pilots.

Here are some perks that you can get through Mexican citizenship over Permanent Residency:

– Reducing Capital Gains on Sale of Your Home –

As a Mexican citizen or permanent resident of Mexico, you will be eligible to drastically lower your tax liability when it comes to capital gains if you should ever sell a home. This tax exemption is difficult for permanent residents, however, it is a bit easier with Mexican citizenship. You should seek the advice of a notario publico to find out the specific requirements in getting this financial benefit which can amount to hefty savings.

– National Healthcare with Mexican Citizenship –

Having your citizenship allows you full medical coverage. Any restrictions that might be placed on you as a permanent resident in Mexico, are then lifted as a full Mexican citizen. You become eligible to benefit from the Instituto Mexicano Del Seguro Social (IMSS) or Seguro Popular (SP) social security programs which provide medical care. IMSS provides private employees and employers with pensions, healthcare, and social security services. However, permanent residents, temporary residents, and those with Mexican citizenship can join into this program without being employed.

– Mexican Citizenship Grants the Ability to Work in Mexico –

Whether you’re self-employed, working for an employer, or freelancing as an independent contractor, having your citizenship can help you to work in Mexico without hindrance—except in a handful of jobs such as airline pilot. For more information, click here. When you are a permanent resident, you have to notify the Instituto Nacional de Migracion of your intent to work. You don’t have to do this step when you have Mexican citizenship. You only have to register for tax purposes with the Mexican Tax Administration Services, called “Servicio de Administración Tributaria – SAT”.

– Visa Validity versus Mexican Citizenship –

The tourist visa is in Mexico is 6 months (180 days). The INM is beginning to tackle the issue of Americans leaving and entering the country to continue to get a 6-month visa, but what is commonly known as a “border run”. Developments in technology are enabling stricter policies for expats who continue to abuse the practice of entering into Mexico on endless tourist visas.

As a visa holder with a temporary resident, you can legally live in México for up to 4 years. This visa comes with unlimited exits and re-entries. If you are a Mexican citizen or a permanent resident, then you can stay in Mexico whenever you want, and you can come and go as you please. Becoming a legal resident is not a difficult process, and it is recommended for all who want to live in Mexico for extended periods of time.

– Local Discounts for Mexican Citizens –

With Mexican citizenship, you might be entitled to discounts at local establishments, especially if you are a senior or a student. You should consider checking with local establishments, you might be surprised the savings you would find.

– Mexican Bank Account as a Mexican Citizen –

As a temporary resident and permanent resident, you can still get a bank account. However, it’s less tedious to get one if you have Mexican citizenship. Having a Mexican bank account can make paying utilities, or other transactions easier. One example is you can get automatic debit transactions via electronic transfers or OXXO deposits between Mexican bank accounts. Not all service providers or individual merchants accept foreign debit cards or credit cards in Mexico. Having your own Mexican bank account can smooth things over in the event that you find yourself requiring the services of someone who does not take foreign cards.

– INAPAM Senior Discount Card for those with Mexican Citizenship –

Mexican citizens, temporary residents, or permanent residents are all entitled to receive a card from the Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores (INAPAM) if you are over 60 years old. This a federal agency’s responsibility is to administer programs supporting senior citizens in Mexico. This INAPAM card is free, and it allows you to receive discounts from service providers and merchants across the country. This card can benefit you when purchasing everything from medication to bus tickets in Mexico.

– Having a Mexican Passport with Mexican Citizenship –

The Mexican passport is one of the most underrated passports in the world. It has been steadily climbing the ladder up the world’s passport rank, and it currently stands at 19th-strongest in the world with 99 countries that accept the Mexican passport without a visa and 43 countries that accept the passport with a visa.

 

HOW TO GET YOUR MEXICAN CITIZENSHIP:

First of all, it’s important to note that you can have dual citizenship in Mexico. Contrary to popular belief, dual citizenship is officially recognized in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Click here to found out if your country allows dual citizenship. Therefore, as long as you go through the process, you can have dual citizenship in your home country and in Mexico.

Now, how to get your Mexican citizenship. First, you must become a residente permanente in Mexico. Then you must remain in the country for 5 years before you can apply for Mexican citizenship.

You can skip this procedure through two different methods:

  • Getting your Mexican citizenship through having Mexican parents. For more information, you can click here to see the step by step procedure as to how to get your Mexican citizenship if you have at least one Mexican parent.
  • The second way to get Mexican citizenship is to marry a Mexican citizen. Through this method, you do not have to wait five years as a permanent resident in Mexico. However, you have to be married in Mexico, not overseas in any other country. You can find more information on the Mexican government’s webpage on dual citizenship. To see this webpage, click here.

If you are neither married to a spouse with Mexican citizenship nor do you have at least one Mexican parent, then you will have to go through the process of naturalization in Mexico. The first step is to become a permanent resident in Mexico (residente permanente). We have a detailed guide to becoming a permanent resident in Mexico, including prices, you just have to click here. However, the main thing to gather is that you have to apply for permanent residency outside of Mexico, at the Mexican consulate nearest to your home country. Once you follow the proper procedure, then you will get a temporary visa which must be exchanged for your permanent residency card within 30 days, or you risk fees and follow up interviews.

*If you are just interested in living in Mexico for a few years, then there are several different visas, including a multitude of residency visas. To find out more information, click here.

Many people have to become a temporary resident first, and then after four years, you can apply for permanent residency. However, you can qualify for permanent residency in Mexico if you satisfy any of the following:

  • You are seeking political asylum
  • If you are an unmarried minor with a Mexican parent
  • If you can prove that you have adequate monthly income through savings, investments, or a pension
  • If you have given birth to a Mexican citizen, or are the sibling of a Mexican citizen
  • If you have a permanent resident to the second level, such as:
    • Parent
    • Daughter
    • Grandparent
    • Son
    • Grandchildren

You can also qualify to become a permanent resident in Mexico through Mexico’s new Point System. This system was created to attract people who excel in their fields to make Mexico a better nation. If you have expertise in technology, sciences, humanities, sports, or a few other areas, then you can apply through Mexico’s Point System. Unlike other applications, applying through the Points System can be done in Mexico (instead of the Mexican consulate in your home country). You just have to go to the Instituto Nacional de Migracion nearest to you in Mexico. For more information on the Point System, click here.

The criterion for the Point System includes:

  • Work Experience in low-supply, high-demand jobs
  • Skills in science and technology
  • Education level
  • Spanish language proficiency
  • International acknowledgments or awards
  • Knowledge of Mexican culture
  • Investment in the country

After you have been a Mexican resident for at least five years (If you come from a Spanish speaking country, then you can apply for your residency in as early as two years), then you should contact your home country’s embassy or consulate to see the exact procedures for your country. However, we can give you a basic overview of the process, including what to expect when for the process on how to get your Mexican citizenship.

The first step on how to get your Mexican citizenship is to pass a naturalization exam. This tests you on two levels. The first is the level in which you speak Spanish. You must be near-fluent in Spanish. The second part of the exam tests you on Mexican politics and Mexican culture.

Once you pass this exam, the rest of the process is relatively straightforward. You really just have to supply the correct information to your local Mexican consulate.

We want to thank you for making it to the end of our article.

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Comments (35)

  • Walt Maykulsky

    I heard that there is a waiver of the language requirement if you are 65 or older. Is that true?

    Reply
  • Douglas orlando turcios cruz

    I been mexico 34 years i have permanent resindet papers for almost 7 years

    Reply
  • Patrice

    I have tried for over 12 years to become a citizen, starting with the FM3 process, and then the temporary to permanent route. They have finally accepted my papers, and after 3 attempts, I finally passed the horrible test (no history, pure mythology, reading aloud for 5 minutes, answering questions, and writing perfect sentences. It was so humiliating and intense, I had to get high blood pressure and heart palpitation medicines. Now, I have been waiting for several months, calling in on the first of every month as required, but still no word on whether I have been accepted. I am married to a Mexican citizen. They told me the only benefit from this was I could apply one year earlier, but it has turned out to be longer than the 5 years. Why is it so difficult? I have been a model citizen, helping my neighbors, church and schools.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Patrice! We are so sorry to hear that. We sincerely hope that you finally get your paperwork settled. If we had any advice for you, it would be to hire an immigration lawyer if you have not already. They can often help smooth over the process or at least find out why it is lagging.

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • María Anton

    I had a temporary residency for 1 year but I never renew it and never left the country, after almost 3 years I finally got my papers straight and I got the permanent residency because I have 2 children that have a Mexican citizenship because of their father. Now I have the permanent residency for 2 years, Can I apply now for the Mexican citizenship?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Maria, yes that is correct. You can apply for citizenship in Mexico if you are the parent of a Mexican citizen, and you have been a permanent resident for two years.

      Reply
  • Erika Acosta

    I have two children that are Mexican born in mexico am I eligible to have duel I’ve lived in Mexico for yrs

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Erika,

      Unfortunately no, as a parent of a Mexican citizen, you are not automatically eligible for citizenship. However, if you have been a temporary or permanent resident for years, then you should be eligible for citizenship! And having children that are Mexican citizens does make you eligible for residency if you do not have it yet.

      This article should help. 🙂

      https://mexlaw.ca/foreigners-receive-residency-mexico-family-unity/

      Reply
  • GUSTAVO SCHIUMA

    The article is all ok except when you remark that a permanent visa holdet can not get the full benefits of the Health Care system or IMSS.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Gustavo,

      That is not what the article says. It merely says that people with temporary and permanent residency papers often have to deal with bureaucratic obstacles in proving their identity and validity of residency, which a Mexican national does not.

      In fact, the article then clearly states that all three can benefit from IMSS and Seguro Popular when it says, “However, permanent residents, temporary residents, and those with Mexican citizenship can join into this program without being employed.”

      We hope this comment finds you well.

      Reply
  • Pedro Alvarez

    Do you have to know about “La Llorona” Empache, Mal del Ojo, Virgin Giadalupe, St Jude, La Santa Muerte. And be able to drink Tequila, or at least know what state and city It comes from. Just kidding, is there a book that showrs you the Q and A.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Haha! Good one. Yes, the Mexican government gives you an information packet when you apply. We hope this message finds you well. 🙂

      Reply
    • Albertina Huitzil

      What do I have to do to get my Mexican citizens?
      When I became US citizen they didn’t offer duel citizenship

      Reply
      • Raf Bracho

        Hello ALbertina,

        This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you get your Mexican citizenship. The US doesn’t offer dual citizenship, but Mexico recognizes dual citizenship, so it is still possible to have both.

        We hope this message finds you well.

        Reply
  • Pedro Alvarez

    What’s the cost to have having double nacionality.

    Reply
  • Marcos Silva

    If I get a permanent residency visa by having enough monthly income I will be eligible for citizenship after 5 years correct? How much time each year do I have to spend in Mexico to qualify for citizenship?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Marcos,

      Yes, that is correct. I’m not sure how much of the year you have to spend in Mexico. The permanent visa is designed for people who wish to stay over 180 days in Mexico, but I am not sure if you have to stay that amount to keep your permanent residency. You should speak to an immigration lawyer to get the particulars of your situation.

      Here is some additional information for you to read:

      https://internationalliving.com/countries/mexico/visa/

      Reply
  • Patrick Nevarez

    I applied a few months ago and the hurdles continue. I’m a child of a Mexican citizen and the process should be automatic. After telling me to come back with this and this and that, and that that is all that will be needed. I come back with everything and they tell me that I still need something else. They’ve done this 3 or 4 times now. The last time they said to bring my mother’s death certificate and that even just a picture of it would do. Now they want me to get it apostillized and translated, but why didn’t they say that before? The problem they are presenting me with is that the name on her birth certificate is TERESITA DE EL NINO JESUS PEON and her name on my birth certificate is TERESA PEON. That they are unable to correlate that both are the same person. I think this is ridiculous. Do you think they are deliberately giving me the runaround? I feel that if I show up with the apostillized and translated death certificate, they will just come up with something else.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Oh dear! Patrick, my father still tells horror stories about this. When my father was growing up, he was named Rafael Antonio Bracho, however other documents just listed him as Rafael Bracho with no middle name. When he graduated High School, he was not permitted to move on to college because the scholarship was in Rafael Bracho’s name–not Rafael Antonio Bracho’s name.

      This was a nightmare when he was alive and had to deal with it himself, let alone having to deal with it when a relative has passed. This has the makings of a bureaucratic nightmare. We can absolutely relate with what you’re going through. Just follow through the hoops. From what I’m told, you have to prove that Teresita de el Nino Jesus Peon is the same person as Teresa Peon.

      Jump through the hoops. There is hope at the light at the end of the tunnel. We believe!!!!

      Reply
      • Raf Bracho

        Patrick, my father wrote the following in regards to your situation:

        Basically, he is in a pickle, because of the names. It is indeed similar to my situation, which by the way is worse than you made it look. I was allowed to enter college, because I presented my high school diploma. I even enrolled in college as “Rafael Antonio”, but they caught on the mistake and changed my student name to simply “Rafael”, because that was on my birth certificate (the middle name only showed in the baptismal certificate, but I didn’t know). So, the problem came when I was going to graduate from college (as “Rafael”) because I had not done any prior schooling, missing it all, not only high school. “Rafael Antonio” had all the pre-college schooling, but “Rafael” did not. So, with a few days before going to the USA for my masters (and I needed my college diploma), I went to a lawyer (actually a Notario) who certified that “Rafael” and “Rafael Antonio” were the same person, as you correctly said in your comment reply.

        The situation for him is that, with his mother deceased, he will have to use other means to prove that “Teresita de el niño Jesús” is the same as “Teresa”. Unfortunately, she used her non-diminutive name in his birth certificate (“Teresa”), whereas her own had her as “Teresita”, and that complicates things because it is not only the middle-name omission. He may have to show other documents, or witnesses, to corroborate that they are one and the same.

        The “trick” is to find a person in the Civil Registry who will want to help. In my case it was the secretary of the official who signed the documents. He told me exactly what to take to him, so he could do the document and have his boss sign them. The person who will be willing to help in that manner, will say exactly what he/she requires to draw the documents.

        He is correct in that several trips are required, but eventually you get the right person and things move on. It happened with your case (getting my passport).

        We hope this helps!

        Reply
  • Ani dayma

    Hi i have been married to mexican for 2 years and residing here in Mexico and have 6 month old mexican citizen daughter. I just got my permenant residency. Am i eligible to apply citizenship or i need to wait more?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Ani,

      You have to be a permanent resident for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. Having a child in Mexico only helps you get permanent residency. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  • mohmmad

    i married with a Mexican woman 4 years ago i was busy with my work in my country after 2 years i come mexico i live with my wife for 2 years in mexico right now our relation is no good some time we try to become separate
    when i become separate what do i do
    should i leave the mexico or i dont know
    please im waiting for your guide
    but dont say i stay up to i get my paper

    Reply
  • mohmmad

    i the case i separate from my Mexican wife do i have to go back my country
    actually i like mexico i want to stay in mexico right now it is like my country
    i have my Mexican friends i have work here i want to stay in mexico please need for your good guide
    thanks

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Mohmmad,

      I am not certain as to the particulars of your situation. Do you have a residente temporal visa? Do you have a residente permanente visa? Do you solely enter the country on tourist visas?

      Reply
  • Martin G

    Hello everyone, I keep reading different things regarding the Mexican citizenship qualification. I got married to my Mexican partner in September last year but am only going through my temp residency process now. Surprisingly I read now that as a spouse of a Mexican I would qualify for Mexican citizenship after just living together as a couple for two years in Mexico. It also states that this applies too if I only hold temp, rather than permanent residency. Is there any truth to that? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Martin, we have not heard this personally. However, if you can get a source and send it over, we’ll do some research! Thanks for letting us know. . . We’ll definitely update the content if that is so.

      Reply
  • Kira

    Hello!
    So my husband and I are both dual citizens (Mexico & U.S.). If I have a child in Mexico, is he/she automatically granted citizenship in the United States, or vise-versa?

    Reply
    • Justin Barsketis

      Yes but you have to make sure that you tell both countries of the birth to the local embassy.

      Reply
  • Wayne

    Hi

    I am a Jamaican citizen and I’m planning on getting married to my Mexican girlfriend who lives in Mexico (she is a citizen). We have no children together as yet. My question is, how soon after marriage can I apply for permanent residency / Mexican citizenship.

    What are the main benefits of becoming a Mexican citizen versus only being a permanent resident?

    Eagerly awaiting your reply 🙂

    Reply
    • Justin Barsketis

      I believe you should be able to do it immediately. If you become a permenent resident, then you are under the juridicial law of Mexico first, meaning if you do something bad you cannot go to the embassy of your original country to help you. You will also have to pay local income taxes etc. Being a citizen you will more easily qualify more government programs, and you will be able to get a Mexican passport.

      Reply
  • Antoinette Rascon

    I am in the process of helping my husband get his Mexican citizenship-(both of his parents were born in Mexico- both now dead). My husband was born in US and we have three children. If he gets his citizenship- do we (myself and 3 kids) get citizenship as well?(we live in US now, but may want to move to Mexico in future) I can not get a hold of a live person at any Mexican consulate I call to get any questions answered??

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Antionette,

      When your husband gets his citizenship, then you can insert your three children and they will automatically become citizens! 🙂 You should read this blog that we wrote: https://weexpats.com/get-mexican-passport-parents-mexican/

      Unfortunately, you would not get citizenship automatically. You have to pass a test in Spanish as well as you have to take a test on Mexican history (which I’m told is unexpectedly difficult from my aunt who is Argentinian and going through the process now, and she has been living in Mexico for 27 years!)

      However, I do believe you are entitled to permanent residency following the procedure listed in this article. I hope this helps!

      Reply

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