Foreigners who want to study in Mexico for longer than 180 days must get a Mexico Student Visa. The Mexico Student Visa is one of the types of the Mexican Temporary Resident Visa.
Mexico is the largest of the Spanish-speaking countries, with a rich and diverse culture and countless historical heritages, many of which are protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is one of the most-visited places in the world, attracting millions of tourists every year, who are looking to enjoy Mexico’s vibrant way of life. However, it also attracts foreigners who are looking to work for a Mexican employer or to pursue their studies in a Mexican educational institution.
Foreigners who want to relocate to Mexico for a period that’s longer than 180 days have to apply for a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa.
Who Needs a Mexico Student Visa?
Every foreigner who intends to study in Mexico for longer than 180 days must apply for a Mexico Student Visa. there are two types of Mexico Student Visas:
- The Temporary Resident Student Visa, which is for students who will take a course that’s longer than 180 days.
- The Visitor Student Visa, which is for students who will take a course that’s shorter than 180 days.
However, if you are from one of the following countries and your study course is shorter than 180 days, you do not need a visa to study in Mexico:
|European Union citizens||Andorra||Argentina||Australia||Bahamas|
|Colombia||Costa Rica||Ecuador||Hong Kong||Iceland|
|Marshall Islands||Malaysia||Micronesia||Monaco||New Zealand|
|San Marino||Singapore||South Korea||Switzerland||Trinidad and Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates||United States||Uruguay||Vatican City||Venezuela|
What are the Requirements for a Mexico Student Visa?
When you apply for a Mexico Student Visa, you must submit the following documents (in original and copy) at the Mexico embassy:
- Completed and signed Mexico Visa Application Form
- Your passport along with photocopies of the relevant pages (first and last page, any visas and stamps you have received)
- Passport-size picture with a white background and taken in the last six months.
- A booked flight ticket (not necessarily purchased)
- Letter of acceptance from your educational institution, addressed to the Mexico embassy, containing the following:
- Your full name
- The level, degree, and area of the study you will take
- The name of the course in which you have been accepted
- The duration of the course, including start and end dates
- The cost of the tuition fee, along with specification on whether you have received a scholarship
- The school’s contact information
- Bank statements or investments from the last three months
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover your stay, such as:
- Proof you have a steady income of at least US$400 per month
- Proof you have savings or investments
- Proof you have received a scholarship
- If you are a minor: Include your birth certificate and the IDs of your parents or legal guardians.
- If you are not a national of the country you are currently living in: Include proof of legal residence there, such as a residence permit.
- Student Visa processing fee
Keep in mind:
All the documents you submit have to be in English or Spanish. If they are not, translate them and include both the original and the translation.
All the official documents you submit (birth certificates, school diplomas/transcripts, etc) have to be legalized before submission, such as through an Apostille or the Mexican embassy.
This is not an exhaustive list of requirements. The Mexico embassy mayr request any additional documents as they see fit.
How to Apply for a Mexico Student Visa?
The application process for a Mexico Student Visa consists of two parts:
- Applying for a Mexico Student Visa at a Mexican embassy in your country
- Turning the visa into a Mexico Temporary Resident Card upon arrival (for stays of over 180 days)
Applying for a Mexico Student Visa
The application process for a Mexico Student Visa is as follows:
- Contact a Mexico embassy to set up an appointment. You can find a list of Mexican embassies here.
- Complete the Mexico Student Visa Application Form. You can find the application form on the website of the Mexico embassy where you will apply or at the embassy itself.
- Collect the required documents. See the requirements for a Mexico Student Visa above.
- Submit the application and pay the visa fee. On the date of your appointment, you may also have to enter an interview.
- Wait for the visa to be processed
- Pick up your passport. If the application is approved, the visa will be affixed to your passport.
- Travel to Mexico and exchange your Student Visa into a Temporary Residence Card
Keep in mind: Different embassy offices may have their own different requirements when it comes to the visa application process. This is why it is important to always contact them or visit their website to learn about the specific requirements, opening hours, etc.
Turning the visa into a Mexico Temporary Resident Card
If your study course will take longer than 180 days, then within 30 days of arriving in Mexico, you have to apply to get your Temporary Residence Card at an office of the National Immigration Institute in Mexico (Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM)). When you apply, you should have the following with you:
- The Resident Card request form, which you can download from the website of the Immigration Offices.
- Your passport with the Temporary Resident Visa (Student Visa) affixed
- The Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) which you received at the airport
- Payment of the Resident Card
- A cover/request letter for the Temporary Resident Card addressed to the Instituto Nacional de Migración
- Proof of enrollment into the Mexican educational institution
What is the Mexico Student Visa fee?
The fee for a Mexico Student Visa is around $36, but it may change depending on the country in which you submit your application. The payment method also differs since some embassies may ask you to pay the fee upfront via bank transfer while others ask you to pay in cash.
Additionally, you also have to pay a fee for the Mexico Temporary Resident Card at the INM along with a processing fee.The fee for the Temporary Resident Card depends on the number of years it is issued for, and ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 Mexican Pesos.
How Long Does it Take to Process a Mexico Student Visa?
The processing time for any type of Mexico visa depends on the embassy in which you apply. You can expect to wait anywhere from one week to a month. This is why it is advisable that you apply for a visa at least one months before you intend to travel.
What is the Duration of a Mexico Student Visa?
A Mexico Student Visa by itself is only valid for a maximum of 180 days and for a single entry. However, if you intend to stay for longer than 180 days, you must apply for the Temporary Residence Card. The Temporary Residence Card allows you to stay in Mexico long for one year initially and then it can be renewed for the duration of your studies. It also allows you to enter and leave the country multiple times.
How Can I Renew a Mexico Student Visa?
You cannot renew a Mexico Student Visa itself, but you can renew the Mexico Temporary Resident Card. You can apply for renewal at an office of the National Immigration Institute in Mexico at least 30 days before your current resident card expires.
Can I Work With a Mexico Student Visa?
No, a Mexico Student Visa does not allow the holder to work. If you have a job offer, then your employer must apply for a Mexico Work Permit on your behalf at the National Immigration Institute. They must submit the following documents when applying for your work permit:
- The Mexico Work Permit Request Form
- The original job offer/contract, stating the full details of the job: your salary, the duration of your work, your position, the company’s address, etc. The letter must be written on the company’s letterhead.
- A full photocopy of your passport
- Your original diplomas, transcripts, and other certifications (legalized)
- Your CV
- Documents related to the company that’s hiring you
- Any additional documents related to your job, studies, etc.
What if I Lose or Damage my Mexican Resident Card?
If you lose or damage your Mexican Resident Card, you must visit the local immigration office and apply for a replacement. You must have the following documents with you:
- Your passport (original and a photocopy)
- Residence card replacement fee
- Three pictures, two showing you face-front and one from your left side profile
- If your resident card was damaged: Submit the Tourist Card (FMM) and your Student Visa along with the residence card
- If your resident card was stolen/lost: Submit the the Tourist Card (FMM) and your entrance Visa
- Form to request immigration procedure stay (here)
- Any additional documents the immigration office may request
If you lose or damage your Mexican Resident Card while you are abroad, you must approach a Mexican embassy to request a replacement.