Friday, January 18th 2019

How to Get Mexican Citizenship

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Becoming a dual citizen of Mexico

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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).


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.


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.

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