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

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 of 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 the country, so 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 vs temporary residency.

Unlike temporary residents, a Permanent Resident can work easily You just must register with SAT and inform INM 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 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 proof of address (you can even ask your Airbnb landlord to print you a bill) and pay the fees.

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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 speaks 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.

Permanent Residency for Siblings of the Mexican Baby

While the parents (or anyone over 18) can get permanent residency in a one-and-done process, for kids under 18 the process is slightly different.

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 and we used his CRBA without any issues.

The biggest difference is that for a sibling under 18 the permanent residency isn’t permanent. You have to renew it more often as they need to update the photo. It’s the same for a baby’s Mexican passport and why for kids under 3 the passport can be given for a maximum of 3 years.

  • If a sibling is under 3 – you can get them permanent residency but need to renew it every year.
  • If a sibling is over 3 – you can get permanent residency for 3 years.
  • there’s an option for 6 years later, but I’m not 100% certain at what age so don’t want to spread misinformation.

You can only renew the residency up to 30 days before its expiry date and it has to be done in person IN MEXICO (only one parent can do this as both parents are no longer needed, but it has to be the parent who signed the original paperwork for a child).

Now, if you’re planning on going in out and maybe not living in Mexico instantly you can wait till a sibling is over 3 years old as renewing a residency every year is a hassle. Residency for a sibling can be obtained whenever, so there’s no issue. with waiting.

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.

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IMPORTANT: If you get your residency in another state and then move to another state you will keep your original residency card and only receive a letter stating that you’re a resident of the current state. I have friends who obtained their residency in Yucatan and live in Quintana Roo and almost no places accept the letter as proof of QR residency now as a result, they’re not eligible for local discounts, so I highly recommend getting residency in the state you will spend most of your time.

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.

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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 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.

Please note: I was informed by one of my readers that there’s a Russian scammer telling people that he arranged my residency trying to get money out of people. This is absolutely not true, so please beware.

Reliable fixers/facilitators are:
Mexico CityGuy Courchesne
Playa del CarmenMilly Arceo
Puerto Vallarta & San MiguelSonia Diaz
QueretaroCecilia Marian
Guadalajara Spencer McMullen

Then on 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 have 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.

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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

Before the changes of 2023 everyone had to fill out a tourist card on the plane, but that’s no longer the case. All you need to do is to present the card to the immigration officer.

IMPORTANT: You cannot use the machine to enter Mexico (they’re present at some airports like Mexico City and Cancun) – these are just for tourists.

But, if you’re traveling with your Mexican child you can use a national line and there’s no one in it usually.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

This was an insightful read. Thanks for sharing. Do the siblings have to be present in Mexico to apply for the permanent residency?


Sunday 6th of August 2023

Hi, a slightly different angle i know but do you know anything about the process when your child is a mexican national? My (soon to be ex) husband is mexican and i understand my son gets mexican nationality through this(havent done the paperwork yet) and i understand as parent of a mexican national i would have the right to PR... i dont know however 1)if i need to do this before he turns 18 and 2) if this is only possible to do once actually moving to mexico and is not possible to be done in anticipation (from the UK) or if you know any immigration person i could email I would appreciate it!


Thursday 17th of August 2023

@Anna Karsten, I hope applying for a passport for my new born child within a month or so would be great instead of a residency. In that case, how do we get PR for both set of grandparents? Do they have to be physically present at the time of child birth or can we apply from the consulate?

Anna Karsten

Sunday 6th of August 2023

Your son needs to get his Mexican nationality paperwork before turning 18 - that's correct. Once he has his paperwork then yes, you can apply for PR but based on family reunification you need to do it in Mexico.

Only temporary residency permits have yo be started outside of Mexico, but even then they're not actually processed outside as they still require exchanging to an actual residency once they arrive in Mexico (sort of like when one does US fiancee visa), so family based residencies are easier as you skip that first long and frustrating process outside of Mexico.


Monday 12th of June 2023

Wow that's such brilliant information ,great work pls and I do appreciate for such knowledge.


Thursday 1st of June 2023

Hi! I was wondering if you're able to have a baby in Mexico and residency - as a single woman (no partner) thank you:)


Monday 12th of June 2023

@Anna Karsten,

Hi, thanks for the information. In addition to being a single woman having a baby in Mexico, my question is, can you add the dad's information to the birth certificate later if it wasn't done during the birth of the child? And if so, what is the process? Any information would help. Thanks again.

Anna Karsten

Saturday 3rd of June 2023

Yes you can :)


Friday 12th of May 2023

Hi Anna, Thank you for the great article. As a US Citizen father and a US/South African dual citizen mother, we will have our second baby in Mexico. We reside in the US with our first son (now 2 years old). My understanding is that we need to apply in-person in Mexico at the INM for permanent residency for both the parents and the 2-year old sibling. My understanding is that permanent residency for the parents only need to be done once and then it will not expire, but for our 2-year old toddler (the sibling) it will expire every year and then we have to renew it. Does it mean we will need to renew it every year in person for him in Mexico at an INM? If so, it doesn't seem practical in which case it make more sense to do it in later years for the sibling correct? I can't seem to find information on whether there are limitations to get permanent residency for the US sibling (now 2 years old) at a much later date (through the birth in Mexico of his younger brother). Thank you,


Thursday 25th of May 2023

@Anna Karsten, Hi Anna, first thank you for the awesome info on your blog!

My wife & I are heading to Mex City to have our baby. We don't want to v@ccinate our baby (certainly not in 1st year).

Will we have issues be able to get our baby their passport & back to the UK?

Also as parents will we still be able to get our Mexican residencies? Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Anna Karsten

Monday 15th of May 2023

Hi, since your son is 2 he will have to re-apply (basically resubmit paperwork) a year later before it's every year for kids under 3. But yes, that means in person in Mexico. Once he turns 3 it will be every 3 years until 18. So you could wait until he turns 3 to make it more convenient and it's not a problem to do it later :)

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