Why the Financial Requirements for a Mexican Resident Card Vary by Consulate Location

If you plan on getting either a temporary or permanent Mexican resident card, chances are that you’re going to have to prove economic solvency in order to be approved.

That’s just a fancy way of saying that you’ll have to meet certain financial requirements to prove that you can support yourself in Mexico and not be a drain on their economy. That part makes sense to most people, the problem is that the financial requirements will vary from one Mexican consulate to the next.

For applicants who are right on the financial line, the difference can be enough to get their application rejected by one consulate but accepted by a consulate located in another city.

A Look at Where the Numbers Come From

Contrary to what you might read in some Facebook groups, the financial thresholds are not being arbitrarily set.

They are determined by mathematical formulas; however, the formula used will depend on the type of resident card you’re applying for (temporary or permanent), and if there are any special circumstances (e.g. family ties in Mexico).

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Let’s say someone is applying for a temporary resident card, and they’re going to prove economic solvency through either a pension payment or foreign earned income (e.g. remote job).

The applicant will be required to prove that he or she has an average monthly income (after taxes) of at least 300 days of the Mexican minimum wage: 300 X $102.68 = $30,804 pesos. 

That amount of $30,804 MXN does not change. Every Mexican consulate on the planet will determine if an applicant for a resident card meets the requirement based on that number.

And Then Just Like That, the Numbers Were Different

In spite of what I just told you, the fact is that the financial requirements do vary from one consulate location to another and the reason why is this:

Each consulate location is tasked with determining what the set value in pesos would be in the foreign currency.

That’s right, they are setting the value based on an exchange rate that is in a constant state of change. Since it would be impractical to change the financial requirements on a daily basis, each consulate picks an exchange rate and runs the numbers.

For example: If one consulate used an exchange rate of 19 MXN: 1 USD to determine the values, and the one in another city used 18.3 MXN: 1 USD, the final financial requirements will be quite different.

It’s also not uncommon for the consulates to round the number up or down. For example, $1,621 USD may become $1,600 or $1,700.

Let’s Wrap This Up

So, what does this all mean if you’re applying for Mexican residency? It just means that you should make contact with the Mexican consulate where you plan to apply for residency and obtain a copy of their specific requirements.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

22 Comments on "Why the Financial Requirements for a Mexican Resident Card Vary by Consulate Location"

  1. How do family ties in Mexico affect their decision? I applied for a permanent resident visa for retirement, meeting financial requirements only. I did not disclose that I am married to Mexican citizen who owns property in Mexico, because I was concerned that they would direct me to a temporary resident visa first.
    I will be starting step 2 of my application in Mexico soon, and I am not sure if I should mention my marriage. Will it help or hurt me? I will discuss this with my lawyer.

    • In your shoes, I would have done the same thing. You wouldn’t have had to meet the high financial requirements if you had gone the spouse route; however, you most likely would have been granted a temporary first.

      It’s unlikely to even come up during part tow of the process. It was just a lot of paperwork, fingerprints and photos.

  2. Michael R Ghawaly | June 4, 2019 at 10:25 am |

    Thanks Paul, a follow up question, pros cons for temporary vs permanent, being a ff up north and wife a teacher, as long as pensions don’t change, we will should have no problem meeting the requirements so im thinking permanent based on my research, but wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks

    • If you can get the permanent first, get it. The only con is that you wont be able to temporarily import a foreign plated vehicle — but that’s only an issue if you plan on driving it in a part of Mexico that requires a temporary import permit, know as a tip.

      Having only a temporary resident card can be problematic when trying to sign-up for the public health care system or qualify for a capital gains tax exemption when selling property (some Notarias will only accept permanent residency). Also, it will cost you a lot more in the long run to renew the temporary and you always run the risk of the rules changing in the meantime.

  3. MICHAEL L DUFFEY | June 4, 2019 at 11:08 am |

    I have a temporary card, so you know what procedures for my renewal in Oct, I am a retired cop from Detroit, currently in Mexico City.

  4. Hi Paul, my situation is a little unique. I am a chiropractor who is thinking of coming to Puerto Vallarta for six months a year. When I am there, I would like to help out another chiropractor who has a practice there. He would pay me per patient seen on a part time basis. He spoke about a “lucrativo visa”. I have tried to find info on that type of visa and can’t seem to come up with anything. The Chiro in PV said they would ask for transcripts from my schooling in the states and that I would need to have them translated into spanish. Other than that I cannot find any other requirements. Any ideas?

    • If you’re not planning on getting a resident card, then the visa you’ll need is called “visa de visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas.”

      It will need to be granted at a Mexican consulate, so my advice would be to go to the one closest to where you live and speak to them about what you want to do. They should be able to give you the requirements from the immigration side.

      There will most likely be other requirements like validation of your foreign studies and credentials (Registro de título profesional y expedición de cédula electrónica para extranjeros con estudios en México, para niveles de técnico, técnico superior universitario y licenciatura).

      If you do end up doing this, let me know how it goes. I think it would make a great blog article.

  5. Phil Reitano | June 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm |

    Talking about different requirements from consulate to consulate. I first went to Austin to be told everything I read online was wrong and although my financials were all in order, it didn’t go well. I decided to go to Laredo. Talk about night and day. I have the same financials and in fact they looked them over and needed very little. Within 2 hours my wife and I walked out with our permanente. So yes different consulates make a big difference.

    • Thanks for sharing that. We often tell readers not to give up if their application is denied at one consulate.

  6. Vivian Hart | June 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm |

    When you renew your temporary residency permit, do you have to provide proof of financial solvency again? And if so can you use the original documents or do you have to provide new documents?
    Thanks for all your wonderful insights and help; much appreciated.

  7. Thanks AGAIN!!!! great info Paul!

  8. Always great articles Paul & Linda . The monthly income amount of 30,804 is that for one person or two? If only for one what would the spouse require?? Thx Paul

  9. Judy Krall | June 4, 2019 at 9:40 pm |

    When my husband retires next year, we plan to do like you did and sell everything and go. But I’m still confused about something. Do we have to be retired for at least 6 months, before we start the residency process? I am under the impression that we must show proof of the past 6 months of the funds we will be receiving in retirement. We really don’t wasn’t to wait that long, especially if we have already sold our house and all belongings.

    • It really on the consulate office and how you plan on showing solvency (e.g. investments, annuities). In most cases, you do not have to wait. Most people I know obtained their approval before they retired, even though their financials at that time didn’t reflect their retirement income. We also did that but we brought along some documentation to show my pension would be paying us X amount of dollars each month.

      • Judy Krall | June 6, 2019 at 7:45 am |

        You mean we could bring the past 6 months of our teachers salary? Don’t they realize that won’t be our same income?
        That sure would make things simpler, thanks Paul!

  10. Ethel Merts aka Fran Clark | June 5, 2019 at 6:49 am |

    Wow!! This is all very interesting. Although I will probably never use this information, it is nice to know how this is done in Mexico. Thanks!

  11. Hello Paul. Had our first week in Costa Rica and things are more expensive then we thought although beautiful here and we do love it. Not sure if we want to invest here. Anyway we will know for sure at the end of our six months stay here. Love your blog and all your expertise. Mexico is our plan B. Hope to see you sometime in the future. Frank and Missy from California.

    • Thanks for the update. Costa Rica has been a popular retirement destination for a long time now, and I’ve heard that it has driven up the prices in that tiny country. We have a few neighbors that lived there first but later moved to the Riviera Maya.

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