• Michaela & Ricardo

Mexican Immigration Visas - First Hand Experiences



We get so many questions about getting your Mexican immigration visa I thought I might share a couple personal experiences from two parties that have recently done it. This is invaluable information for those of you looking to make the move to Lake Chapala.

The first party is from Canada and the second from the U.S.


Personal Experience #1 – Consulate : Vancouver, Canada


I first contacted (the very efficient) Connie in this office by email (visasvan@sre.gob.mx) back in February. She asked for my number and phoned me to ask a few questions and then walk me through the steps. She then booked an appointment for me for August based on our likely date of travel to Mexico to complete the immigration process (once approved, the visa is good for 6 months and one entry into Mexico). Connie advised me that I could qualify for permanent residency based on the average balance over 12 months in an investment account. By adding a small amount to that balance requirement my husband could qualify for temporary residency. To go this route, I would require a letter from my financial advisor to confirm that my average monthly balance in the 12 months leading up to the appointment would meet the requirements. She said she did not require individual monthly statements in addition to the letter. I also needed an official full-sized paper version of our marriage certificate, to demonstrate my husband’s eligibility for temporary residency based on being my spouse. (I had to order this from the government, as we only had a small card version.) In June, Connie called me again to update me on covid-related changes and to make sure I was on track with everything I needed for the appointment. To allow for advance processing so meeting time could be minimized, I was asked to scan and email our passport photo pages and the front page of our applications a couple of weeks prior to the appointment. I was also asked to courier the marriage certificate to the person at the consulate who verifies authenticity of documents. She advised that we needed to wear masks and to bring our own pens. Our appointment was at 11am. The door to the waiting area was locked off and they buzzed us in. The office was very well set up for covid. Everyone was masked, hand sanitizer was on the counter, plexiglass windows separated us from personnel, and the waiting area had a maximum capacity of 3 people. I handed Connie the original copies of our applications with photos, our passports, and the letter from my financial advisor. She retrieved our authenticated marriage certificate from her files. She took our photos and fingerprints. That was it! By 11:10 we were heading off to kill some time (about an hour) until we could pick up our visas. We plan to go to Mexico in November, where we will need to initiate the process to convert our temporary visas into residency cards within 30 days of our arrival. In addition to other paperwork required for that process, Connie advised me that they will want to see the authenticated marriage certificate, and I should keep the financial advisor letter with me in case someone asks. Advice for others undertaking this process:

If possible, arrange to connect with someone at your chosen consulate well in advance so you can verify that you do qualify and what the documentation requirements are.

Pay attention to the details. Make a list and follow it. I witnessed people being turned away because they were missing some aspect of their package.

Check consulate website to verify what the applicable fee will be on the date of your appointment (in Vancouver, website is updated early each month).

Personal Experience #2 – Consulate: Phoenix, Arizona


My wife and I just got our temporary residency visas from the Mexican consulate in Phoenix. We chose this consulate because of the many positive testimonials from people who went there. We started the process by contacting the consulate through email. Their response was almost immediate and our correspondence was all in English. We were told everything we needed to submit to apply for residency and all our documents were submitted through emails for per-approval:

1) visa applications

2) passports

3) passport size photos

4) marriage certificate

5) letters from our banks confirming ownership of accounts

6) last 6 months of bank statements

Jacqui, our agent from the consulate, worked with us patiently and graciously to make sure we had everything required. There were several email exchanges as well as a couple phone calls from her to set our minds at ease.

An appointment was set the following week for our interviews at the consulate. We took our documents and drove 8 hours to the consulate. We arrived 30 minutes early just to be sure to be on time. Jacqui called us to her office right away so we didn’t have to wait the 30 minutes and quickly got work sorting our paperwork and taking photos and fingerprints. After a short while, she took our file to her supervisor for final approval. 30 minutes later we were handed our passports with our new visas and asked to pay $40 each. The entire consulate visit took just 2 1/2 hours. Everyone we encountered was kind and helpful. COVID precautions were thorough with temp checks, sanitizers and mask requirements as well as plexiglass barriers everywhere.

We had spent the last year planning and preparing for the visit, making sure we had all our finances in order and everything documented for the consulate. It was a long, anxious year of eliminating all of our possessions and even quitting my job three weeks ago to have time to make the move to Mexico in two months from now. I’m not sure what we would have done if we had not been approved for residency.

Our due diligence, patience, research, and love for Mexico has paid off. Not enough can be said for the value of being kind and respectful. I believe the Americans who do not offer either are the ones who have “difficulties” in dealing with the Mexican consulates. We were treated as welcomed guests and our gratitude was apparent in our smiles.

In less than two months we will arrive in Mexico to begin the next chapter of our lives. We are keenly aware of the COVID-19 situation, the timing of our arrival during a pandemic, and our responsibilities to be as safe and respectful as possible. We will quarantine for two weeks and get tested right before we travel to Mexico


Wrap Up


So there you have it. Two peoples experiences with getting their immigration visas for Mexico. Many have told me that the Mexican Immigration Guide by Mexperience.com has provided great information and you can get a copy of that guide by requesting it through our website.

If you would like help with the immigration process, then Contact Us and we can supply you with a couple of recommendations for local immigration lawyers.


As always, Michaela and I from RetireInLakeChapala.net are here to help answer your questions about moving to Lake Chapala. We're dedicated to making your expat transition to Lake Chapala as easy as possible and to provide you with tons of information. Be sure to request our Free Tour of the area when you arrive, Subscribe To Our Website, and join our community of over 1000 followers on our Facebook Page.

Thank you for reading and look forward to seeing you soon!


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