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Complete guide to obtaining a Mexico retirement visa, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Experiencing rapid development in recent years, Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, has expanded its economic market. This resulted in more foreigners and investors entering the country with the purpose of making Mexico their new home.

Currently, Mexico is home to more than 1 million expats from around the world. You can easily travel to Mexico and stay there for a certain period of time, but if you want to move in permanently, the procedure is more complicated.

How Can I Retire in Mexico?

Retired foreigners who want to reside permanently in Mexico for retirement purposes can do so by getting a Mexican Permanent Resident Card.

The Mexican Permanent Resident Card, also referred to as the Mexico Retirement Visa, is the most popular retirement option among foreigners who want to retire in Mexico.

To get a Permanent Residence Card, you must first apply for a Permanent Resident Visa and then convert the visa into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card.

Once you obtain a Permanent Resident Card, you can live in Mexico for an indefinite period of time.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria for Retirement in Mexico?

To be eligible for a Mexican Permanent Resident Card, you must meet certain criteria such as the following:

  • You must be retired in your home country.
  • You must have enough financial resources to live comfortably in Mexico.
  • You must plan to live permanently in Mexico without participating in any gainful activities.
  • You must not be a beneficiary of any income from within the territory of Mexico.

Requirements for Mexico Retirement Visa

If you are applying for a Residence Permit on the grounds of retiring in Mexico, you must have the following documents:

  • Cover Letter, addressed to the Mexico embassy, explaining the reason for requesting the visa and stating:
    • Your full name, address, and passport number
    • Information about your pension, such as where you receive it from and the amount
    • Whether you have any investments
    • Your address in Mexico and the address in your home country
    • The date when you will travel and which port you will enter through
  • Bank statements from the last six months, proving you have received a set monthly income (the amount may change from country to country, but it is around US$2,000-US$3,000)
  • Proof of investments in the form of bank statements from the last twelve months (if applicable)
  • If you have a dependent:
    • You must have an additional 25% of your monthly income for them per month as well
    • You must include proof of family relationship (birth certificates, marriage certificates etc)

How to Apply for a Mexico Permanent Residence Visa?

The application process for a Permanent Resident Visa for Mexico is as follows:

  1. Contact a Mexico embassy to set up an appointment. You can find a list of Mexican embassies here.
  2. Complete the Mexico 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.
  3. Collect the required documents. See the requirements for a Mexico Family Visa below.
  4. Submit the application and pay the visa fee. On the date of your appointment, you will give your biometrics and may also have to enter an interview.
  5. Wait for the visa to be processed
  6. Pick up your passport. If the application is approved, the visa will be affixed to your passport.

If your Permanent Resident Visa is approved, you may use it to enter the country, where you have to convert it into a Mexican Permanent Resident Card at the National Immigration Institute.

Mexican Permanent Resident Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a Mexican Temporary Resident Visa changes from embassy to embassy, so you can expect to wait anywhere from one week to a month to receive a visa. As such, apply for the visa at least one month before you intend to travel.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Mexico?

One of the perks of retiring in Mexico is the low living costs. You do not need to spend much to live well, and an amount of $800 will get your monthly expenses covered.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Singapore:

ACCOMMODATION (rent)Monthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$435
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$270
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$780
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center $560
Price for purchasing an apartment in City Centre$1200
Price for purchasing an apartment Outside of Centre$890
Rice $1.35
Apples (kg)$2.40
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$50

Healthcare for Retirees in Mexico

Healthcare in Mexico is provided by government-run public institutions, private hospitals, private clinics, and private physicians, and it is ranked at 61 by WHO (World Health Organization). According to the Mexican constitution, all Mexican citizens are guaranteed free access to healthcare. 

Mexico has an impressive and efficient healthcare system that consists of public and private sectors. The majority of Mexican hospitals are in excellent condition, and the staff is highly trained, with most of them speaking English.

Although the country offers free healthcare services to its citizens, the private sector covers a considerable portion of the population. The medical services provided by private institutions in Mexico are offered by a part of the population by contracting private insurance companies or paying directly for the received services.

Around 6.9% of Mexicans have private insurance coverage, which is mainly paid out of their pockets.

Why Retire in Mexico?

Here is why you should retire in Mexico:

  • Healthcare. Mexico offers free medical services to all its citizens and legal residents. The country has a two-tier healthcare system, consisting of the public and private health sectors, with great medical facilities and qualified staff.
  • Housing. Construction prices in Mexico are relatively cheap, therefore, renovation costs far less due to the lower cost of labor. Besides renting and purchasing prices being cheap and affordable, property taxes are also low.
  • Living Costs. The best thing about living in Mexico is the affordability. The estimated monthly cost of living for a single person is around $500 without including rent.
  • Taxation. There is an exemption of up to 15 times the daily UMA for pension payments. For withdrawals, the exemption is set at 90 daily UMA for each year where the contributions were paid. Taxes are applied for amounts higher than these thresholds.
  • Food. Mexican cuisine is known for being full of flavors and containing healthy and fresh ingredients like avocadoes, beans, chillis, and different types of meat like beef, fish, and chicken. One bite will be enough to taste a variety of delicious flavors.

What Are The Best Places for Retirees in Mexico?

Mexico offers a number of great places for retired expats. The area of your new permanent home depends on your lifestyle and your location preferences.

Here are some of the best places for retired foreigners to live in Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a resort town on the coast of Mexico’s Pacific, famous for its beaches, marine life, water sports, nightlife, and local resorts. It is a very popular destination for vacations and welcomes thousands of tourists every year.

In Puerto Vallarta, you can find boutique shops, a variety of restaurants and bars, and the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church.


The capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan, is famous for its colorful Spanish colonial architecture. It is indeed a beautiful and unique city, with unique architecture, history, culture, and delicious food.

In Mérida, you will taste some of the most delicious food. The food has its own style and is different from the typical Mexican food. The cuisine is influenced by the local Mayan cuisine, Caribbean, Mexican, European, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Tropical fruits like coconut, pineapple, tamarind, and plum are often used in traditional dishes.

Lake Chapala

There are more than 20,000 expats living in the Lake Chapala region, most of whom are retired. The area is one of Mexico’s most popular expat destinations and a thriving retirement community. Retired expats love the perfect climate, the beautiful lakeside homes, and the affordable costs.


A green and blue paradise located on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Tulúm makes a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving. The town is known for its beaches and well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city.

Tulúm is not that expensive and perfect for people who want a laid-back and quiet lifestyle. 

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town in Mexico with white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and beautiful caves. The area is a hotspot for tourists and people who want to enjoy a typical Caribbean relaxation and swim in crystal clear waters. While swimming in the turquoise waters, there is a chance you will come across turtles. 

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