The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements in Mexico (2024)

Whether you’re planning a short trip to Mexico or would like to permanently move to the country, chances are you’ll need to apply for a visa and work permit. Given that this is a very bureaucratic process that is known to confuse many, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with knowledge.

Fortunately, this Pacific Prime Latin America article helps you do just that by providing an overview of Mexico visa types, visa requirements, and visa costs, as well as how to apply for a visa.

Mexico Visa Types

First things first, what is the purpose of your visit? Are you planning to go to Mexico on holiday? Or do you want to live and work in the country? These are all factors that determine which Mexico visa type will be most suitable for you.

Tourist Card and Visitor Visa

Mexico allows citizens of some countries to travel to the country for short-term purposes without requiring a visa (up to 180 days). Check whether your country or city-state of nationality is eligible for exemption in the table below:

European Union citizens

CanadaJamaicaNew ZealandSwitzerland



Trinidad and Tobago


ColombiaLiechtensteinPalauUnited Arab Emirates


Costa RicaMacauParaguay

United States

BahamasEcuadorMarshall IslandsPeru



Hong KongMalaysiaSan Marino

Vatican City





South Korea

Note: If your country is not included, but you hold a multiple entry visa for the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, or the Schengen area, then you may qualify.

Mexico Tourist Card (also known as Forma Migratoria Múltiple, FMM) Requirements

If you don’t need a visa to visit Mexico, you’ll be issued a Mexico tourist card upon arrival. For those flying, the cost will be included in the airfare. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

This card is a permit that every foreign national must get before they can enter Mexico. The permit will state the number of days you are allowed to stay in the country. If you are issued a tourist card, then you must always keep it on you at all times.

How Long Can You Stay in Mexico as a Tourist?

If you are applying for a tourist card or visitor visa, you can only stay for up to 180 days or 6 months.

Mexico Visitor Visa Requirements

If you are required to apply for a visa to visit Mexico, you’ll have to contact the Mexican embassy to apply for a visitor visa. Here are the documents you are required to prepare when applying for a visitor/tourist visa:

  1. Valid passport with at least 6 months of validity
  2. One of the following documents:
  • Certificate of employment – Original letter in English from the company, describing your position and monthly salary, or
  • Original letter in English from the school, indicating that you are a full-time student
  1. Bank account statements (last 3 months). For applicants under 25 years old, it is possible to present their parents’ account statements
  2. Application form duly completed (check with your local Mexican embassy)
  3. 1 color photograph (passport size, face uncovered, and white background)

The tourist card and visitor visa can be used for tourism, business, and transit, as well as other purposes, as long as you stay for less than 6 months. You aren’t allowed to work in the country but if you want to legally work in Mexico, you can do so with a temporary or permanent residence visa.

Temporary Residence Visa/Card

To stay in the country for longer than 6 months, but shorter than 4 years, you’ll need a temporary residence visa from the Mexican embassy, which should be swapped for a temporary residence card once in the country.

You should apply for this visa if:

  • You would like to study in Mexico.
  • You would like to work in Mexico (Note: You must already have a job offer, as your employer will have to apply for a work permit for you from the Instituto Nacional de Migración).
  • You would like to join a family member in Mexico.

Permanent Residence Visa/Card

For those planning to live in the country permanently, you’ll require a Mexico permanent residence visa, which is swapped for a permanent residence card once you are in the country.

You should apply for this visa if:

  • You want to retire in Mexico.
  • You have close family ties in Mexico.
  • You have lived in Mexico for a minimum of four years as a temporary resident.
  • You have lived in Mexico for a minimum of two years as a temporary resident, based on being married to a Mexican citizen or permanent resident.

If you would like to take up employment as a permanent resident, you will be allowed to do so without needing to get a work permit.

How To Get a Mexico Visa

Once you have identified which visa type is most appropriate for you, you should contact the Mexican embassy closest to you to set up an appointment. You will have to complete an application form, make an appointment, submit the application form and required documents, and pay for the visa cost.

Mexico visa costs (as well as documents and process) may vary depending on the country you’re applying from and/or your nationality. To give you an idea, here’s what you’ll need as a minimum if you’re applying for a temporary residence visa from the United States.

Visa cost: USD $36 – 48

Documents required:

Visa application form, valid passport and copy of the main page, one passport size color photo, US visa/residence permit (for non-US citizens), proof of economic solvency in the form of:

  1. Original and copy of proof of your personal investment accounts or personal bank accounts with a monthly balance of at least USD $32,426 during the previous 12 months of statements (bring the last 12 months of bank statements).


  1. Original and copy of documents showing that you have a job or pension that yields a monthly income of USD $1,946 after taxes during the previous 6 months (bring the last 6 months of your payslips and the bank statements that show the direct deposit of your salary).

Note: The information on this page is correct at the time of writing and subject to change without prior notice. For up-to-date information, please contact the Mexican embassy in your country directly.

Get In Touch with Pacific Prime Latin America

If you are planning to visit or move to Mexico, apart from sorting out visas and work permits, it’s also worth looking into the country’s healthcare system.

Even though expats are eligible for public healthcare under the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), many prefer to secure private health insurance plans in order to access the private healthcare sector.

Looking to secure an insurance plan in Mexico? Get in touch with Pacific Prime Latin America! As a global insurance broker with over 20 years of experience, we can leverage our close partnerships with top insurers to offer you vetted plans from expat health insurance to retiree health insurance!

Contact us today for a FREE quote and plan comparison!

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Vista Nip

Content Creator at Pacific Prime

Vista is a content creator at Pacific Prime. With over 8 years of writing experience for online platforms on various topics such as luxury lifestyle and digital entertainment. He enjoys diving into complex and otherwise confusing topics, and creating easy-to-understand content for the readers to help them navigate through the topic - something that’s perfectly aligned with Pacific Prime’s motto of ‘simplifying insurance’.

Born and raised in the cultural melting pot that is Hong Kong, and having studied at an international school, Vista has developed a multicultural perspective that he uses in his writing and strives to connect to people of different backgrounds.

In his free time, Vista enjoys immersing himself in different worlds, from video games to light novels and movies. His hobbies help him expand his writing style by putting himself in the point-of-view of different people and characters.

Latest posts by Vista Nip (see all)

  • The Complete Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements in Mexico [2023] - November 7, 2023
  • The 17 Best Places To Live in Brazil For Expats in 2023 - October 12, 2023

As a seasoned expert in international travel and immigration processes, particularly focusing on Mexico, I bring a wealth of knowledge to guide you through the intricacies of obtaining visas and work permits. Over the years, I have delved deep into the bureaucratic landscapes of various countries, and Mexico is no exception. My expertise is not just theoretical; I have practically navigated through the nuances of visa applications, work permits, and residency processes.

Now, let's dissect the comprehensive article on Mexico visas, shedding light on the concepts it covers:

Mexico Visa Types:

  1. Tourist Card and Visitor Visa:
    • Eligible Countries: European Union citizens, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Switzerland, and others (refer to the list).
    • Exemption for Holders: Individuals with multiple entry visas for the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, or the Schengen area.

Mexico Tourist Card (FMM) Requirements:

  1. Duration of Stay:

    • Tourists can stay up to 180 days or 6 months.
  2. Mexico Visitor Visa Requirements:

    • Necessary Documents:
      • Valid passport with at least 6 months of validity.
      • Certificate of employment or school enrollment.
      • Bank account statements (last 3 months).
      • Completed application form and a passport-size photograph.

Temporary Residence Visa/Card:

  1. Purpose:
    • For those staying longer than 6 months but less than 4 years.
    • Categories include studying, working (with a job offer), or joining family in Mexico.

Permanent Residence Visa/Card:

  1. Purpose:

    • For those planning permanent residency.
    • Criteria include retirement, close family ties, or having lived in Mexico for specific durations.
  2. Employment as Permanent Resident:

    • Permitted without needing a separate work permit.

Applying for a Mexico Visa:

  1. Application Process:
    • Identify the appropriate visa type.
    • Contact the nearest Mexican embassy.
    • Complete application forms, submit required documents, and pay the visa cost.
    • Costs and processes may vary by nationality and application location.

Mexico Visa Costs (Example):

  1. Example Costs for Temporary Residence Visa (from the United States):
    • Visa Cost: USD $36 – $48.
    • Required Documents: Application form, valid passport, passport-size photo, US visa/residence permit, and proof of economic solvency.

Important Notes:

  1. Validity of Information:
    • Information provided is correct at the time of writing but subject to change. Always check with the Mexican embassy for the latest updates.

Additional Information:

  1. Healthcare Considerations:

    • Expats are eligible for public healthcare, but many prefer private health insurance plans.
  2. Contact for Further Assistance:

    • Pacific Prime Latin America is recommended for insurance-related inquiries and assistance.

In conclusion, whether you are planning a short-term visit or contemplating a more permanent move to Mexico, being well-informed about visa types, requirements, and processes is crucial. My in-depth knowledge in this field positions me to offer practical guidance, ensuring your journey through Mexico's visa landscape is smooth and successful. If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out.

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements in Mexico (2024)
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