How to Get Permanent Residency in Mexico by Having a Baby (Family Unification)

Can I get Mexican citizenship through child? Yes, you can and it’s a very simple and straightforward process.

Due to an influx of people wanting to move to Mexico, the government made it more difficult now. Back when I got my first Mexican temporary residency over a decade ago I had to step into the IMSS in Mexico and apply and I even got a work permit, it was that simple.

Nowadays it involves applying from outside the country, filling multiple forms, proving income, getting rejected for weird requirements, and then re-applying in Mexico.

The good news is that if you have a baby in Mexico you skip all this and apply in Mexico. Both parents will receive permanent residency based on family unity. There are no limitations on your time out of countryso you don’t need to immediately move to Mexico afterward – you can come and go as you please.

Benefits of the Mexico Permanent Resident Card

Apart from the obvious of being able to live in Mexico indefinitely, there are mostly benefits to having a permanent residency.

Unlike temporary residents, a Permanent Resident can work easily You just must register with SAT and inform Inmigracion about it.

As a temporary or permanent resident, you can obtain a Mexican driver’s license. In fact, this is how I got my first-ever driver’s license. Having a residency also allows buying and registering a car in Mexico. As a tourist, obtaining a Mexican state driver’s license and car registration is almost impossible.

The only disadvantage of Permanent Residency vs Temporary Residency in Mexico that people like to point out is that if you’re a temporary resident you can keep a car with foreign license plates in Mexico. As a permanent resident, you basically need to contribute to the local economy and buy a car locally (while you can technically register a foreign vehicle, it’s pretty difficult, costly, and not guaranteed).

What are the requirements for Permanent Residency in Mexico?

Normally, in order to get a permanent residency, you need to prove your finances, submit a bunch of forms at the Consulate in your country, and these days most likely to be retired (working people can get temporary residency).

If you’re getting a residency through the Mexican baby or child it’s very simple. All your need is your passport, your spouse’s passport, baby’s Mexican birth certificate, baby’s Mexican passport (or Mexican vaccine card), get a proof of address (you can even ask your Airbnb landlord to print you a bill) and pay the fees.

If you’re also applying for a permanent residency for another child under 18, a sibling of your Mexican child, all you need is their birth certificate with a translated apostille. My son was born in Poland and also had a CRBA – we used his CRBA without any issues.

That’s it! You don’t need to speak Spanish to be a resident, but if you don’t, it’s useful to have someone who speaks Spanish to help you because no one English at the INM and all forms are in Spanish only.

If you’re married to a Mexican citizen then you’re only eligible for a Temporary Residency. Hence why it’s easier to get a residency through your baby and not your spouse, because then you’re going straight for the Permanent.

Where to obtain a permanent residency in Mexico based on a baby born in Mexico?

You can get your residency anywhere in Mexico, but it’s best to get it where you’re planning on living, investing in a property, or visiting frequently. As a resident, you get many discounts in the state, just like in any country, so I highly recommend going that route.

Places with more expats are obviously going to be more annoying to obtain a permanent residency because local INM is booked months in advance and the residency cards might not be printed instantly (Mexico runs out of plastic for the cards often now).

The longest wait times for an appointment are in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel, Merida and anywhere in Quintana Roo: Cancun, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen.

I scheduled our appointments in December and got an appointment for mid-March in Playa del Carmen. My friend did his in Colima and there were no appointments, just walk-ins, and he got it all done on the spot.

This is where you wait in Playa del Carmen… on those metal benches, then proceed to a few chairs inside.

Do You Need a Fixer to Get a Mexican Residency?

You might have heard about fixers, or if you haven’t you will once you join any Mexican expats groups on Facebook. A fixer is a person that arranges all the paperwork for you, fills applications, sets up appointments, and stands in line for you. It’s basically a middle-man that knows the system, knows the people working at INM and their way around everything.

I know some people use an agency to give birth in Mexico, because they want to use some hand-holding and translations and fixers do something similar in terms of getting residencies – both temporary and permanent.

Do you need a fixer to get a Mexican residency? Absolutely not, you can do it all by yourself. BUT…

If you don’t speak Spanish and planning on doing yours in an expat popular hub, or have a busy work schedule then I can highly recommend it. In some instances, it’s the best money ever spent – ​​even if you’re a little miss independent like me.

I have experience with both: getting a residency on my own and getting a residency with a fixer, so can attest to both.

The first time I didn’t want to spend money and saw no need as I spoke fluent Spanish, so I did it on my own. It wasn’t rocket science, but one time I forgot to sign something in one corner, I had to wait in line for hours, I had to return to the office twice and it took good multiple hours out of my life but I had nothing better to do at the time.

The second time my case was simple because we were applying for a permanent residency based on a baby in Playa del Carmen. I decided to use a fixer/facilitator because we had a limited time to deal with documents and honestly… with fast-changing rules, I felt like we needed it. We paid 5000 MXN for adults and 4000 MXN for our other son and I’m very glad we did.

We submitted all the documents to our facilitator over WhatsApp and she arranged all the appointments. A month before we met with her at the office and she arranged for my son’s birth certificate to be translated. Then at the day of our appointment, someone else stood in line for us while we had a coffee nearby, and we basically just walked in for fingerprints and photos and walked out, while others sat there for hours. The next day (you have to apply for the minor child the next day) we basically did the same thing. An easy and pleasant process that I couldn’t imagine otherwise with small kids – honestly, have fun entertaining two kids at a boring office for hours while you wait in line or having to come back multiple times because you forgot something.

I was particularly glad that we had a facilitator because the INM in Playa del Carmen ran out of plastic for residency cards a few days before our appointment. We got informed about the situation by our fixer which was crucial, as we had a trip planned a few days after.

You cannot leave Mexico without your residency card without an extra exit permit that requires paperwork and fee, but thanks to our facilitator we got everything done in time and basically drove by her office to pick up our residency cards. To me, it was totally worth the money and made the process smooth.

Can you become a Mexican citizen by having a baby in Mexico?

You can become a Mexican citizen after years of having a residency, but it’s not as simple as in some other countries and doesn’t provide any benefits, especially if you already have a Mexican baby you could buy a property under.

You are eligible to become a Mexican citizen and receive a Mexican passport after just 2 years of permanent residency. However, the rules have been changed and while there’s no requirement to be present in Mexico while you’re a resident, you can only be out of the country 6 months over the course of 2 years to be eligible to apply for citizenship.

This process has been changed and now many states send you to Mexico City to get the process started there and wait times are long.

You will also need to pass a Spanish language test and a Mexican history test. This test is hard and actually checks the knowledge. It’s not just easy 100 questions you need to memorize and read one sentence like for the US naturalization test (speaking from experience).

I haven’t gone through the process because we travel too much, but while I could pass the citizenship test I can say that most people wouldn’t be able to after 2 years unless you intensively worked on your Spanish.

Waiting for our photos taken at INM

Rules for Mexican Permanent Residents

Once you receive your permanent residency in Mexico you never have to renew it. It saves a ton of time not having to visit INM on a yearly basis. Once it’s done, it’s done.

The only exception is children. Children with a Permanent Resident card between the ages of 1 and 3 must renew annually. Children over age 3 must renew every 4 years until 18.

Once you’re a permanent resident you’re entitled to IMSS services, you can freely register a car under your name, and most importantly: not be limited to having to leave Mexico.

How to Enter Mexico with a Residency Card

Once you have a Temporary or Permanent Resident card by law you are to complete an FMM paper each time you leave Mexico, not when you enter.

You need to fill the same card as tourists do, but you need to do so when you leave Mexico by grabbing a form at the booth marked Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM) before security – it will be stamped at immigration right after security.

When boarding the plane you’ll give the small part of your paper to the agent, just like

In Box 8, you enter your TR or PR visa card number from the back of your visa. At the top write “RT (residente temporal)” or “RP (permanente)”. At no time should check as a “tourist” or you will need to start over the entire process.

Keep half of the FMM and turn it in when returning to Mexico. And please never have a color copy of your visa, driver’s license, or any other Mexican government-issued ID as that is considered fraud.

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