Permanent Resident’s Right to Work in Mexico

August 13, 2013

There are some local expat webforum postings that include spicy imaginings that Permanent Residents are somehow magically not allowed to work in Mexico.

Fortunately, this is a tempest in their teapot: The May 2011 INM Law clearly stated that Residente Permanente card holders are given full rights to work.  As a real-world example of how the Law works, I got my Residente Permanente card in May,  was hired by UADY in July, and just received my first paycheck this August  (Yaay!).  And yes, the work that I do can be done by other Mexicans.

Gringos can speculate about whether US expats will be hired as Costco clerks, hypothetically taking jobs away from local Mexicans, but it is all just fun uninformed musings, based on out-of-date principles that do not apply.   Proof? I am much enjoying returning to the portion of society that is paid for being productive.

If readers still don’t believe that Permanent Residents have the full right to work, then read the 2011 DOF records:  LEY DE MIGRACION PARA MEXICO  or New LEY DE MIGRACION PARA MEXICO in Spanish and focus on Article 162, and on Chapter 2, Article 52, Item  IX and Transitorios, Sexto, I – VI amoung other items.

Ironically, this stuff has been published, widely publicized, and well known among people who follow immigration issues, since May 2011, so the local webforums are still great sources of misinformation masquerading as fact, even 2½ years later.

Further, as reported  here before:  Having a Residente Permanente card does NOT mean you are completely done with INM:  INM does require R.P. card holders to report any changes in their Mexican address, changes in their Mexican work/earning status, or changes in Mexican employer.

* * * *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read on, MacDuff.

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60 Responses to Permanent Resident’s Right to Work in Mexico

  1. Paula A. says:

    Have I told you lately how much I love you?
    As a 10 plus years expat, it still amazes me on how much confusion is created by lack of understanding, reading, and entitlement issues.

  2. mark james donahue says:

    when completing 4 years or more of residencia temporal and then changing to permanente, does one still have to show bank statements of sufficent income etc. as a requirement?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Mark,
      Sorry for not replying earlier – your question slipped through our reviews.

      Answer: Maybe yes, maybe no.
      In legal theory, you are not automatically required to show bank statements when changing from 4 years of Residente Temporal status to Residente Permanente. You can be approved without providing proof of Personal Fiscal Solvency.

      Still, the law gives INM agents the discretion to determine if a foreigner qualifies for Residente Permanente, including asking for additional items that go beyond the minimum requirements ~ which means that they can ask for proof of Personal Fiscal Solvency if they choose to.
      Clear as mud?

      Which INM office are you applying at?

      Some offices (like Chapala) are requiring them from most applicants , others? hit or miss.

      • mark james donahue says:

        hi, steve, i will be applying at the merida office.the first week in oct. i presently have a fm2 with a refrendo 3 and before a fm3 with prorroga 2. with the same income requirements for the fm2 at that time before the changes took place.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Mark,
        It should all go smoothly for you.

      • mark james donahue says:

        steve, one more question, since i have more than the 4 years temporary between my present fm2 and a previous fm3 prorroga 2 ……can i apply 30 days before my fm2 refrendo 3 expires …04 nov. 2013

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Mark,
        Yes: It is only the applicants with “Refrendo = 3” or “Prórroga = 3” on the backs of their cards who face the peculiar issue of when to apply.

  3. mcm says:

    Well, I do know that this issue came up on Yolisto — asked and answered. The correct information was given on Yolisto as well (as it is given by INM to everyone who receives their RP card) — ”report in any changes to INM — work, address, etc.”. There was some additional discussion regarding Residente Temporal status and working, and by people who have not yet come up for the change from FM3 or FM2 to Residente Temporal/Permanente, and whether INM needs information on earning from rentals or sales of goods (arts/crafts). Good for you for reminding people of the law, but I don’t see any need to erect straw men to make your point.

    • yucalandia says:

      Have any of the YoListo posters cited the specific sections of the 2011 Law that clearly enumerate the policies, or even cited the 2011 Law in a general way, or cited specific instances of actual new Permanent Residents who have gotten jobs for the first time after getting Permanent Residency, or have the discussions been continued mostly based on suppositions and musings and “things someone heard from INM” ?

      No straw men there(?)

      This is all saddening, because yolisto (not YoListo) really had been the premier expat Mexican forum-discussion site, when compared to all of the other sites. Prior to this last year of censorship by one individual, yolisto had been a vibrant place of interesting and in-depth discussions – ranging from everything from building materials and methods, restaurants, national politics, economic interactions between Canada/Mexico/USA, high quality immigration and Aduana information, spiced up with lots of playful banter, anchored in a good good mix of solid facts, new people and lots of old reliable standby folk who spoke their minds. Before the heavy hand of censorship and post moderation, yolisto was “tops”, even compared to Mexconnect. Even when things got slow or personally nasty on Mexconnect (e.g. the Hound Dawg era), yolisto continued to cook along with good fun and back-and-forth banter, anchored in solid factual content.

      yolisto: gone, but not forgotten,

      • mcm says:

        Well Steve. Yolisto provides a discussion forum. As such, it encourages discussion, including musings and personal experiences. As I said previously, it’s great that you offer a resource for English-speaking Yucatan residents and potential residents, but I don’t understand why you feel the need to bash other venues. Nobody is forced to participate in, or read, the Yolisto forums, just as nobody is forced to read, or participate in, your website.
        Yolisto is doing just fine, and continues to provide a venue for discussion (sometimes frank discussion!) that many members find useful. I find it more useful than this website, because of the diversity of views and because most posters make clear that their information is based on personal experience, including the necessary caveats. As is frequently stated on Yolisto ”your mileage may vary”.

      • yucalandia says:

        Opinions are fine things, and welcome here on Yucalandia. We do encourage readers to weigh:
        ~ opinions versus facts~ , … to sort out and identify perceptions from reality, though.

        Your wholesome descriptions of YoListo do not include how the owners and Administrators, for 3 years, have:
        ~ Cut and pasted people’s posts and articles, to create completely new posts with new different (ugly or stupid) meanings.

        ~ Made these edits secretly, without noting that the editor/owner/Administrator had made significant edits,

        ~ Effectively created new writings that never existed before their un-approved edits

        ~ They have edited and modified people’s posts without notifying them or asking permission.

        ~ They have “moderated” multiple people’s very reasonable posts – censoring facts that countered what the Administrator or Admin’s friends espoused

        ~ They have censored many items simply because they personally did not like the poster ~ . This is proven when the same poster offered similar things under a different screen names, the new posts were not deleted, and were even promoted to Articles by the Administrator (because the Administrator did not know the identity of the real author).

        ~ They have deleted 4 out of 5 posts of some people, until what is actually published on YoListo does not actually represent what people actually think.

        This sort of censorship has created a climate of very restricted dialogue, that does not represent reality.

        When you, mcm, report only the sanitized, wholesome version of how YoListo is actually operated: Sure, it looks fine.

        When viewed through the reality of censorship by the owners and current Administrator, YoListo really is not the source of diverse or unbiased information that people imagine. The owners/Administrator’s personal biases consciously or subconsciously subtly color every single item – due to the past years of filtering and censorship.

        Factual Conclusions: YoListo is not an open “Discussion Forum” as proposed.
        Facts show it is a censored and at-times-heavily-filtered environment, where the Administrator personally sanctions and personally chooses what content is permitted. That is OK, because YoListo is a private entity, privately-owned and operated. ….

        Unlike many websites, like Mexconnect: YoListo is not a public bulletin board.

        In that sense, just like blogs: YoListo really is “Fair and Balanced
        ~ to fit the beliefs and personal tastes of the owner/Administrator ~

        One proof of the results of the personal censorship on YoListo is the steadily declining activity on the site. Another result is the lower and lower quality information and number of outright errors that are promoted as reality by the remaining die-hards on Yo Listo. e.g. Consider the persistent insistence by some Yo Listo members of non-factual immigration advice and work permit misinformation, persisting on Yo Listo, even 2½ years after these questions were resolved by much publicized law.

        Consider that most Yucatan expats and even newbies to Yucatan shake their heads and make negative sour faces when asked if they are on Yo Listo. 5 years ago, people cheerfully volunteered how helpful and fun yolisto had been. This past 2 years of consistently negative responses about Yo Listo by ordinary expats, points to a very different reality than the useful, open “discussion forum” picture you propose.

        Fortunately, you seem to not have experienced the censorship and “moderation” dealt out by YoListo management,
        that me and many of my friends have lived with.

  4. Eric says:

    Hi Steve,
    After seeing this post, I saw the banter on …ugh…yeah… that site you mentioned.

    I just want to double check. I have Residencia Temporal (no lucrativa). I am blessed to earn U.S. wages thanks to technology. I could do my job anywhere. I do not rent our house out, I do not sell in markets here, but I do receive U.S. income and pay U.S. taxes on that. I do not earn pesos or even U.S. dollars from expats here. I assume if immigration knocked on the door, I am allowed to work here for the U.S. company. I mean, the Mexican consulate that gave me the visa for ‘canje’ knew that I was not retired and knew how I earned money. Just covering all bases. Thank you for any insight!

  5. Greg Fryer says:

    I did notice that you failed to mention in your little judgemental article that what I wrote was only my belief. Not fact. I clearly stated that I was open to be corrected, which I was. Those posters corrected my assumptions in a mature fashion and I acknowledged those corrections. I can only assume that you never have had a faulty belief and so feel that you have the right to make light of others. Surely there must be another way to feel superior to others then belittling a mistake.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Greg,
      We value facts and reality over opinions.
      We choose to work to get the facts people need to make good well-informed choices.
      We think it does the reading public a disservice to publish partial YoListo-style evaluations of Aduana, Immigration, and tax laws, sprinkled with pseudo-facts, (as offered on Yo Listo). as if they were useful reality.

      Reality: The Yo Listo Discussion on what they say is legal and what is not, continues, without getting to the key pertinent facts and laws that govern the issue:
      ~ ~ ~ “… Yucalandia has posted the same information that I have regarding ”right to work” under Residente Permanente. In his post he chastises ”local forums” for getting it wrong, but what I think we’re doing is trying to GET IT RIGHT! It’s a good discussion! … ” ~ ~ ~

      This commentary is ironic on 2 levels:
      ~ This is post #26 in the thread – not exactly making rapid progress to approach answers to simple legal issues.
      ~ The Yo Listo crowd continues to thrash around on the key issue of the thread: Income earned illegally by gringos with Fideicomisos who also get paid to let others use their Mexican properties (aka rental income).

      The realities of gringos renting out their properties is that their Fideicomiso MUST BE DESIGNED / WRITTEN to allow the owner to rent. Under the IRS rules (in effect until July 1, 2013), the IRS has made this point very publicly for at least 5 years. If you have a Fideicomiso to hold a Mexican property, and you applied for the personal exemption from reporting this foreign trust, then you were REQUIRED to have the IRS evaluate your individual Fideicomiso to determine if it permitted you to rent the property. IF your property’s Fideicomiso is written TO PERMIT renting, then the IRS WOULD NOT grant the exemption.

      So, the very well-intentioned Yo Listo crowd is now up to post #57, and the discussion still has not correctly identified what roles Fideicocomisos play in whether gringos can legally rent their properties, and what INM status is needed/allowed, or what taxes are owed in either Mexico, Canada, or the USA.

      This means that the facts say that your judgement is still incorrect about this “little judgemental article.

      What is the purpose of the discussion on what is allowed or disallowed by Mexican Laws?
      What should gringos be doing to follow the law?

      The facts show that you falsely claim :
      ~ ~ ~ ” … Surely there must be another way to feel superior to others then belittling a mistake. …” ~ ~ ~

      Reality shows that most readers want to know the facts about what is needed to be compliant with the Law. Yo Listo advisors who claim to tell us the actual law, have still have not corrected their factual errors, and they have not yet written about how Fideicomisos actually function (or don’t function – depending on how each Fideicomiso was written) regarding income generating activities.

      What do readers actually want …. and expect?
      Useful and accurate information … or
      … interesting banter and a few facts, laced with false information and bad advice,
      … continuing for 57 posts without correcting the potentially $$ damaging factually incorrect advice?

      Your words, claiming that this article is somehow “belittling“, shows that you are personally more concerned about feelings and attitudes and making personal criticisms, while we focus on facts and reality and giving readers accurate and factual legal insights.

      Why not work to find out reality?
      Why choose to attack and make personal criticisms?
      Why not start a dialogue over what is legal and complete and useful?
      Why judge?

      Is it factually “belittling” to report how very consistently YoListo posts seem to give good advice on immigration issues, tax issues, Aduana issues, etc, while the months-old and years-old facts tell a different story?

      Is giving and repeating seriously out-of-date and incorrect legal advice, somehow now a valuable service to the reading public?

      Is it “belittling” to make factual observations that Yo Listo posters repeatedly present their personal opinions as substitutes for well-known facts?

      Again, you have substituted your emotional reactions and your personal opinions, and presented them a facts.

      We at Yucalandia have chosen to do a little research and a little reading on key issues, before announcing what is actually happening. We choose to invite actual experts to answer the questions and address the issues: Consider that we have articles and commentaries from 5 different Mexican lawyers on these issues, plus commentaries and reports from 2 highly experienced Customs Brokers, by good Insurance agents, and from 4 different accountants and tax experts … all on key issues –

      … to get the facts people need to make good well-informed choices.

      Finally, by doing the research and inviting real experts to provide the basis for what we write, we also include citations and references, (when possible), so readers can read the DOF, the INM Law, the IRS rules and IRS press announcements, Mexican Law, and the Mexican Constitution on key issues, versus the common YoListo practice of presenting partial pseudo-facts as reality.

      What do people prefer:
      Full pertinent facts … or … emotional opinions / perceptions presented as fact?

  6. Greg Fryer says:

    Is it not what discussions are all about? The ebb and flow of various peoples thoughts and opinions. Sure it can take a while but much more fun. If Yolisto is such a trivial discussion forum then why do you bother to read it. Seems like a waste of time to me. By continuing to obviously access the site there must be something that draws you to it.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Greg,
      Yes, discussions are about ebb and flow.

      Reality and the law can be clear cut – not really about personal opinions and emotions.

      The reality of Mexican government policies on how they enforce the laws can be variable, but that is not what was at issue.

      The change in Mexican government policy on them increasing enforcement was the topic of the thread.

      You personally chose to write opinions on how you imagined things should be, and how you wanted them to be, but reality of both the text of the INM law and the INM’s application of whom is allowed to work do not fit your perceptions.

      As a very good professional chef, it makes sense that you have dedicated your life to how things are perceived.
      Creating a pretty plate, is a perception.

      A meal of gorgonzola cheese, crunchy bread w/olive oil and Modena vinegar, and red wine disgusts the majority of the world’s people (Chinese and Indians), while an Italian chef or an Italian diner would drool.

      A soup rich in fish heads, strong fish sauce, and swallow-spit/saliva, with a side of durian is similarly repulsive to the minority diners of typical European, Canadian, and US tastes.

      As an expert chef: Taste is a perception. There is no published rule, fact or law about what is the precise correct amount of salt.

      There is however a law, a rule, and large body of facts about INM policies on whom is legally allowed to work. This has been true and consistent for at least 10 years of Inmigrado status.

      It is worth discussing how lots of people love to offer incorrect opinions, when a little research answers the questions quickly, using public and easily accessible web sources, like Mexconnect.

      Whom should we rely on for accurate and useful information?

      If we are picking a restaurant, then the emotional expert who knows perceptions well, is an excellent choice.

      When deciding legal, immigration, Aduana, tax and other issues dealing with governments, then the analytical expert who knows the laws, has studied the rules, who consults regularly with professionals, and who has followed first-hand reports from 5-6 webforums across Mexico, would seem to be the more reliable source of information.


    • yucalandia says:

      Why read YoListo?
      I still have many friends on YoListo, and it is interesting to see how people react. e.g. Imagine an active and ongoing discussion on ethical/unethical and manipulative behaviors regarding real estate sales. It can be highly interesting and instructive to see how some people react, and what different personality types write.

      One group tends to show that they LOVE to offer opinions, and to judge and criticize others. This group commonly includes people who haven’t taken the time to find out the facts.

      Consider a hypothetical drama that presents dilemmas about: Who is acting reasonably and who is manipulating perceptions?
      Imagine a “buyer” of a house who misrepresents the facts, to an absent, remote/distant older/nervous seller, about by telling her about supposed (false) risks of her house falling into the sea, and then that “buyer” tells other potential buyers that the seller is “desperate” – gossiping things like “… we don’t have to pay her full price, because she is scared…“, and the now-scared seller says that she intentionally sold the property at 10% below market value to that same, distorting-buyer… Does that all seem OK??

      Is it then worth digging a bit deeper to find out that the supposed “investor” “buyer” ~ turned around and sold the house just 3 weeks later ~ for, let’s say, a 30% profit. Should the back-benchers and self-appointed judges be publicly scolding people who are disturbed by the perceived cheating of the older woman seller? Should the judges/opinion-writers treat the people who are upset, like squabbling immature “children”?

      When someone scares an older women into selling cheap, and then flips the same property for 30% more in just 3 weeks, should the rest of us just pretend that the “buyer” / “investor” / flipper did not manipulate things? Should we all just stay silent, as that same buyer is then shown to be seemingly cheating other women by taking advantage? Sure, in this hypothetical example, the buyer/cheater is acting legally.

      Is it good for the rest of the community to be alerted to such behaviors?

      All Legal behaviors, still: Most people consider such profiteering and manipulations to be ________ .

      Is it worth getting all the facts before judging people?

      Should we value the opinions of people who do not take the time to get the facts?

      Is it worth reading the local forums, like Yo Listo, to see who is making reliable observations, and who is stating facts?

      Is it worth reading the local forums to see who is potentially cheating others, and scamming?

      Is it worth reading the local forums to see who is making snap judgments, without knowing the facts?

      Is it worth reading the local forums to see who might be trying to control other people by scolding people into doing what the scolder/critic personally perceives as acceptable behavior, especially when the critic does not take the time to find out the facts?

      Is it worth reading who is very slick, and exceptional at manipulating perceptions, seemingly turning facts and reality upside-down?

      Is it worth reading whom is known and recognized for years of generous and honorable behaviors?

      ebb and flow…

      It seems that there is a lot to be learned about the character types that commonly pop-up in Mexico, by reading even emotion-based forums.

    • Visitor says:

      I’m new to this site and unfamiliar with Yo Listo, but I know this: discussion is about opinions, not facts. How far would children get with their elementary school teacher they tried to spend 57 minutes “discussing” whether or not 6×8=48? About as far as the principal’s office is my guess. OTOH, the same teacher might encourage a class discussion about whether arithmetic is useful in daily life.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Visitor,
        I know this: discussion is about opinions, not facts.


        I would think that you agree with the overall point of the article.
        ~ The Mexican Government passed legislation in May 2011 that specifically said Permanent Residents have the right to work in Mexico.

        ~ The Mexican Government approved and published final rules in November 2012 dictating the specific details of how foreigners get Permanent Residency, and 10,000’s of foreigners got Permanent Residency status.

        ~ 9 months later, some gringos actually publicly wrote how they don’t believe that Permanent Residents must not have the right to work in Mexico, because it didn’t fit the individual author’s belief system.

        ~ Our article begins and ends with facts, including the factual rules on reporting requirements for Permanent Residents.

        Did you read the article? Do you know Mexican immigration law or immigration rules?

        You have offered odd and definitely unique comments,

  7. Greg Fryer says:

    Steve. I value people for who they are not what they know. I also know that people, myself included, makes mistakes. I appreciate those that offer constructive criticism. You chose not to do that. You chose write about my hypothetical Costco example in a condecending fashion. That is what I do not understand. You are much better than that and have so much to offer. It is the condecending wording that you chose to use that turns me off. My opinion only, others mileage may vary. Still friends? Hugs and smiley faces.

  8. Greg Fryer says:

    And yes my feelings were hurt, but I over that.

  9. Greg Fryer says:

    OOPS.I AM over that.

    • yucalandia says:

      Good. Nothing personal meant by referring to your posts – just used them as an example of how far-afield-from-facts some expat discussion forums get.

      Plus, it provided the context for explaining the actual work rules for foreigners, and adding the missing bits about some Fideicomisos being allowed to be used as income generating properties.

  10. Pingback: Permanent Residence a license to work - Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya Forum by In The Roo

  11. Joe says:

    Steve, you may need to cut back on your coffee, just a bit. The right to work that comes with permanent residency, formerly called “Inmigrado”, has been the law for a long time, long before the 2011 changes to the law you mentioned. The ease and speed with which somewhat affluent foreigners can become permanent residents is what’s new, the result of the changes to the law of 2013.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Joe,
      For better or worse, Residente Permanente is not the same Inmigrado. They have VERY different requirements, and different legal definitions. The idea that Residente Permanente was formerly called Inmigrado is an oversimplification. They do share some qualities, but if you read the old Law and the 2011 Law, they are not the same. If they were the same, SRE would not be having trouble trying to harmonize the SRE law sections on Naturalized Citizenship with the 2011 INM Law.

  12. Joe says:

    The former laws and the new laws are different, but not in the respect that’s under discussion here. Both the former Inmigrado, and the new Permanent Resident status give a right to work without having to seek the permission of INM. What is different is opportunity to go straight into permanent resident status, as we can under the new law, vs. the old law which required a number of years as a temporary resident before you could apply for permanent residence.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Joe,
      True. Still, the terms “Inmigrado” and “Permanente Residente” should not be convolved, because they are not the same, especially in their Mex. Gob. legal definitions ~ which affect foreigners ability to qualify for citizenship. The two categories do share some qualities and characteristics – like the right to work.

  13. Visitor says:

    Uh, I was supporting your side, Steve. But I will refrain from any more odd and unique comments.

  14. Matt says:

    Hello, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s truly excellent,
    keep up writing.

  15. Tonya Maxwell says:

    Hi, I hope I’m not on the wrong blog, I’m really new here, have been reading for hours, and hours and would like to ask some questions about the process that leads up to my working in Mexico and being a permanent resident…

    My late husband and I were dreaming of the day we would retire to Mexico, but a few years ago our nightmare began and ended with his death, and my being on a fixed income at this time.

    I have a disability income at 61, but have the ability to work,(I have a B.S. in Physical Anthropology and used to nurse before the accident that turned our lives upside down). My income is 998.00usd each month. I own our home (deed no mortgage), but the economy is keeping it from selling so I can be free to move. If it sold it would be worth around 30,000. usd.

    I need to understand if I am following a dream that I cannot make into reality, or if there is a way for me to move to Mexico, and retire there, working if I need to, … oh heck I’m a farm girl who just wants a modest life style with a garden, chickens and lots of friends. Is this possible?

    I keep reading the laws, rules, and such… I have been practicing learning Spanish for about 20 years (on my own now), and can make myself understood, but need more practice to go toe to toe with a customs person… et.

    I hope you don’t write me off as nuts, but I would really like to sell this old house, pack up my little Ford Ranger and move to Mexico and live the dream I’ve had for so long.

    Thank you so much for your time, I have so loved reading and learning and will continue to do so…. wonderful, factual — very useful– site


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tonya,
      What lovely dreams you have.

      Under the current INM rules, (see: New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico, subsection: Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Permanent Residency / Residente Permanente Applicants ) your current fiscal situation would not qualify you for permanent residency.

      You could move to Mexico, entering on 180 day (6 month) visitante visas, and go to a border twice a year to get a new visitor’s visa. e.g. There are many lovely small towns (pueblos) in Yucatan state or Campeche state, where you could easily have a garden, chickens, a simple life, and make friends in the Mexican community – and practice your nursing skills. These towns would be within a 4 hour bus ride ($30 – $40 USD) of the border, and within an hour of Merida (for medical care, etc). Some of these towns have a few Canadians or Americans – others not.

      After living here for a time, your nursing practice might get you a formal job offer – or you might be able to make enough of a business of it, to then qualify to stay in Mexico, based on your new Mexican work contacts (see Other Categories/Qualifications that Permit a Foreigner to Become a Residente Permanente ) – or maybe you meet a nice Mexican man??? On this path, as an owner of property in Mexico, and with some work opportunity, you could take those new qualifications to a Mexican Consulate (in the USA or Belize) and apply for Residente Permanente. You also might have SSI income at that point?

      With the impending retirement(s) of 100 million Americans between 2014 – 2030, there might even be opportunities for elder care – providing nursing/home-care to some elderly or sickly American/Canadian who is much more comfortable getting care from an English speaking professional…???

      Maybe you provide care for some gringo who has a casita out in the back garden… A casita is a little one room house with its own bathroom – where you have some privacy living in the casita – have your garden (& chickens?) and do in-home care for the owners? Many older mid-sized / middle class Mexican homes have casitas for their live-in help. ?

      One advantage to this approach (moving here temporarily – renting for the first 6 months), is that you have a chance to see if you like living in a small town in Mexico. Some Americans take to rural Mexican life like ducks-to-water – or enjoy living in a cheaper neighborhood of a big Mexican city: Merida has a few OK – blue-collar neighborhoods in the south with small houses for rent for $150 a month – but these are all-Mexican neighborhoods – no gringos nearby – but many bluecollar Mexicans have worked in the USA and speak much more English than Mexican lawyers, accountants, doctors, dentists… *grin* 😉 .

      Other people who move to Mexico find that they had a lot of high expectations that were not met, get frustrated over how different – and slower – things are here – and Mexico drives them batty. In this case, using visitor visas (at $22 each) and RENTING is both cheaper and easier to move back to the USA – or to move on to Ecuador or Costa Rica.

      So, I think you have options, but I would consider coming here first, for 2 – 6 months, to see if it really does fit you, and for you to determine if you want to live in a small rural town (Baca, etc) with a few gringos in town, or if you prefer a blue-collar city neighborhood…
      Happy Trails,

      • Tonya Maxwell says:

        Thank you so much Steve for answering my letter, and giving me so much hope.

        I have the SSI income now, that is the just under 1,000.use per month, but with the economic situation I don’t know for how much longer that might be here in the US. But it seems austerity is a way of life where ever we go these days. I also have been learning the travel business, as a home based agent, just a back up set of knowledge if I need it, and a way of supporting myself etc.

        I know that I prefer a small town over a large city, don’t like the rush and traffic…. but I do like the internet…lol We lived in so many metropolitan areas over the years! But I so enjoy the theater, and a good concert upon occasion.

        Do you advise me to try to drive it or just fly? I was hoping to bring a medium size (about 60 #) dog with me. Do you know how much it might cost to drive? I can’t find a set millage from central Michigan to Merida anywhere on the internet… it is all gauged for “flight miles”… very useful… My little truck is a 1998 Ford Ranger and is mechanically sound, only synthetic oil etc over the years.

        What is the best month to plan to come to climate more easily? I’m freezing right now, and we still are far from cold up here.

        Thank you ever so much again for answering me!

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Tonya,
        I don’t know the flight costs from Michigan to Cancun (Merida often more expensive than the $40 four hour bus ride), but driving here gets you a vehicle to use, and easy travel for the dog.

        You can use Mapquest to plot your route – where I would do the diagonal interstate travel across Texas to San Antonio, and drop south through Laredo – crossing into Nuevo Laredo – taking tollways through the center of Mexico – faster – safer – easier on your ’98 Ranger than the 1,000’s of heavy high speed bumps (topes) on the coast road going south from a Matamoros crossing.

        I drove it with my ’96 Ranger – over 200,000 highway miles – and it did very well.

        Using Mapquest, you enter a central Michigan starting location and a Laredo, Texas destination. Then do the second leg of the journey by entering Laredo, Texas to Merida, Yucatan. This route is well described at: Driving Through Mexico to Yucatan

        Lansing, Michigan to Laredo, Texas = 1586 miles => 24 hrs of driving.

        Nuevo Laredo, MX to Merida, MX = 1500 miles => 30 hours of driving.

        3,100 miles of interstate highway driving between Lansing and Merida.

        The last time we drove this, we were on the road at 7:00 AM each day – crossed the border at Laredo, taking 1 hours for Immigration (INM), Customs (Aduana), and temporary import of a truck and trailer (at Banjercito – the government bank that handles the Temporary Import Permits – TIPs – for cars and pickup trucks).

        One way costs: 3,100 miles @ 20 mpg = 155 gal of gas. @ $3.50 a gal => $550 in gas one way… Tolls in Mexico are about $150 USD(?) one way. Hotels in Mexico can be found for about $40 – $50 a night – and if you use “Love Motels”, then you get your truck in a locked walled lot or in a locked garage with you. Food???

        The route I describe is all easy easy driving – taking the Arco Norte Bypass to stay outside of Mexico City – and easy as long as you are comfortable with mountain driving (around Córdoba in Vera Cruz state).

        I am not telling you what you should do, but just offering options that we found easy and fit our needs (hauling a trailer load of stuff). If you decide to bring the Ranger, Ford Rangers are very very common here, and the mechanics know how to work on them, and there is very good/easy access to parts if you need repairs.

        Hope this helps,

  16. Tonya Maxwell says:

    Hello again Steve, and thank you for giving me such detailed information. I’m sure it will all be very useful… and very re-assuring that I CAN do this.

    We lived in the Smoky Mountains between Sylva and Franklin, in a hanging valley on the back of Cauwee Mt… Snow Hill Falls valley … lots of interesting twists and turns to get there every day…

    I have another question, do I need to go to the consulate in Detroit? I would like to work once I get there… yes I have a small fixed income but if I can either start a little business, or find employment, etc… Can I have the 180 visitors visa and a work permit?

    I plan to go to the little sherrifs office in Gladwin to get a “clean back ground check” while I have a chance, just incase I may need one. (I saw that under several circumstances one is required to obtain one. )

    I will also be working with my auto insurance company to make sure I’m covered while in Mexico. If I love it, and the house sells (fingers crossed) can Gringos get insurance in Mexico for US titled vehicles? If so what is the average cost I may have to consider?

    With only the 1,000.usd per month I understand I won’t be able to get any resident visa, but if I have a part time job (if I can get the permission to work in Mexico) and make the required income then would I have to leave to file for the residentcy?

    Also, would it be posible when I have a closer date (I’m thinking May/June 2014) to have someone research a small house with chicken/garden space just outside of Merida? sort of in the country, but handy to the city for employment if needed.

    Thank you so much for all you do on this blog, I have been pouring over it and realizing that the light at the end of my tunnel really isn’t a train! Thank you!


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tonya,
      If you are coming to Mexico on a visitante (tourist) visa for 6 months, then you do NOT need to go to a Consulate. Trips to the Consulate are for people who want Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente permits.

      Visitors are generally not allowed to work. You would need to look for work here, and then apply to change status (which can mean a trip to a Consulate).

  17. Tonya Maxwell says:

    Hi Steve,
    I understand as long as I am not working, I will only have to cross over the border and back again to renew my 180 day visa, now the question, if I do find a position, or start a day care, (for the sake of “having a income”) … will I have to go to a consulate in the US or can I go to a neighboring country that is closer?

    Just thought of this, if my home sells and I do purchase a place, do you think the income I have now (1,000.00) plus home ownership would qualify me to work toward a resident standing?

    In your time doing this, what are the things, paperwork, and personal items do people not think of that they end up wishing they had. I am trying to make a list of the essentials.

    My Ranger is a 4 cylinder stick, I was told that I could not haul anything with it, so I will have to pack the capper tight. (I read about making an excel list in Spanish, and entend to do so).

    Also, what month is the best to find rentals? Should I be looking at a particular month, or is it standard? Also do you know of a paper online that might carry local information like the rentals?

    Thank you again.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tonya,
      The letter of the law says to return to your home country to get Residente Temporal, but some folk have found that the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, does the process for Americans and Canadians – Belmopan is a bit of a haul – but can be done by bus, taxi, bus from Merida.

      I will have to check with our local INM to see if they are still including home ownership as a credit towards qualifying for Residente Temporal.

      Rental availability? At the beach, beach rentals will be scarcer between November – March (especially Easter week – Semanana Santa), and July-August vacation season. In Merida and rural areas, there is not really much seasonal variation in rental availability that we know of.

      Essentials? People talk about how decent sheets and towels are very expensive here. Hand tools are more expensive here. One advantage to living within driving distance of Merida is that Merida is a modestly big city, almost 1 million people, with almost anything you could need here. Merida is the commercial, industrial, medical, and educational center for 500 miles around, so if you can find the 1 or 2 vendors that have what you want – it is here. There are 2 Sam’s Clubs, 1 Costco, 5 Walmarts, and a Home Depot for those who want US things.

      Online stuff for sale/rent? Diario de Yucatan ( “Avisos” section ), tacolist? , craigslist?, “Mexico Amigos” group on Facebook (I recommended you – since this is a “closed group”)… There are listings on Yoliso webboard’s real estate section: , but know that Yolisto is very click-ish and the owners heavily censor and edit people’s posts with more sniping than people like, so most expats in the Merida area have moved over to Mexico Amigos.

      Hope this helps,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tonya,
      You have to check with your local Consulate to find out if they include home ownership as a qualifier to reduce the monthly personal income requirements. 6 months ago, some Consulates (including Chicago) did reduce the monthly income requirements by half for home ownership in Mexico – while others (Boston Consulate) did NOT. Ask the Consulate if they “use a Points System, where you get points for owing a home, points for offering a service that is needed in Mexico (like the elder care/nursing), your plans to open a small business to employ Mexicans to take care of elderly Americans and Canadians living in Mexico, etc”…

      I talked with the Merida INM people this morning, and they said the choice of crediting you for owning a Mexican home is up to each Consulate – where you apply for a Residente Temporal with permission to work.

  18. Tonya Maxwell says:

    Thank you again Steve!
    Tomorrow I will be calling the Consulate in Detroit, and explaining the situation, and asking their assistance in getting things together. I’m not the hottest burner on the range but I do know that when people are “helping” you, they seem to like working with you more, so hopefully I will find a wonderful person who is willing to work through the tough spots of my transition.
    Do you think that the fact that my home is for sale, and I would be willing to sign papers promising to buy in Mexico as soon as it sells …. so that I can start the process of at least temp to start a small business. I don’t know the qualifications are there, but I could train nurse aides perhaps? and gather the assignments by soliciting for employers… Oh my mind is running ahead of my options …. but it is a place to work from.
    I have also been studying the travel business, and started a small home business, not really lucrative, but business take time to grow… and that is also an option, I will be talking with my host agency and see if there is a way I can work from Mexico… if that were to work, and grow, again I could train and employ local people… and tourism is a growing industry… though I am moving to Mexico to get away from the hustle and bustle… I’ve always been someone who can’t just sit down and stay there for long…. that is why I garden, etc…
    Heck, I could start a cleaning business and find the contracts, work the business too and employ locals, there are so very many options … lol, selling my gardens produce, and chicken’s eggs by the roadside is also an option if all else fails!
    I’ve put in the request to join Mexico Amigos on FaceBook… my picture is just a rose, skinny old women don’t always come out so well on pictures, or is it ego, what ever… thank you , thank you, THANK YOU!
    I volunteer at the Sacred Heart Mission on Mondays, and today for the first time mentioned in passing that I was “thinking of moving to Mexico” for the winters… oh, lead balloon time. the ladies were all about “I thought that those were JT’s dreams, what are you nuts?”…. sort of comments… I know that they meant well, and that they are worried about me… but for the first time in 6 years I feel like I have a future. lol, if I died tonight it would be with joy in my heart! Thank you for this blog, and your encouragement!
    I will let you know what the consulate, and my host agency both think of these “options”.

  19. Joe says:

    “Ask the Consulate if they “use a Points System, where you get points for owing a home, points for offering a service that is needed in Mexico (like the elder care/nursing), your plans to open a small business to employ Mexicans to take care of elderly Americans and Canadians living in Mexico, etc…”

    Steve, I think you’re misreading the intent of the points system, and the limits of its intended application in making this suggestion to the poster. Earlier in this thread I invited you to give us a single example of a person known to you who had applied under the point system and you did not.

    When a consulate considers financial wherewithall, and makes a decision to count some asset in the calculation, they are not applying the point system to the consideration: to start an application under the point system, the applicant must clearly declare in their application that they are requesting residency based on the point system. It is never merely implied,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Joe,
      Steve, I think you’re misreading the intent of the points system, and the limits of its intended application in making this suggestion to the poster. …. When a consulate considers financial wherewithall, and makes a decision to count some asset in the calculation, they are not applying the point system to the consideration: to start an application under the point system, the applicant must clearly declare in their application that they are requesting residency based on the point system. It is never merely implied,

      For better or worse, the method you describe for using the system does not fit the realities of what is happening at several Mexican Consulates. there is more to using the points system, than reading the intent. **

      Based on 3 different reports from US citizens who had successfully applied using a combination of the ad hoc points system and some savings, and some monthly income, and home ownership, it is clear that the Consulates have broad and wide discretion in whom they allow in, especially when the applicants do not meet income or savings requirements. One used the Miami Consulate and the other 2 Chicago. There is wide variation between how restrictive vs how liberal the individual Consulates are acting. Boston and San Fran are two of the most restrictive: denying all applicants who do not have retirement income, denying applicants they think look “too young”, etc, ~ accompanied with a complete refusal to consider the factors/qualities listed in the “points system” clause in the law, while Miami and Chicago have swung the other way.

      We have read zero reports about the Mexican Consulate in Detroit – so, there was no way how Detroit’s Consulate would treat her application.

      Have you heard first hand accounts about the Mex. Consulate in Detroit that say it is not worth trying?

      **I also personally used the points system, and found that INM employees struggled greatly to figure out how to apply the very general qualifications listed in the law.

  20. Joe says:

    …and there is nothing in the information the poster provided to suggest that she would come anywhere near the criteria set out in the law for those who wish to apply under the point system.

    She would have a better chance at making something happen along the lines you suggested by forming a Mexican Corporation: for a modest initial investment she could open a door to residency, and develop an economically viable activity within the country, provided she had the business sense to make it a go.

  21. Christina says:

    Hello! I know this thread is two years old, but it came in the course of research for opening our second business here in Mexico. We have had a gallery in Bucerias in Nayarit for ten years. We had a Mexican manager for eight of those, but have managed and worked the business ourselves for the last two with no problems.

    We are opening a small restaurant next year. Mainly take-out with a few tables. Food that is completely unavailable in this area and the whole state of Nayarit as a matter of fact. After reading another site’s info(not the one mentioned above) I became a little concerned. It said that if you own a restaurant or bar, specifically, that you cannot serve guests, pour drinks or make the food. They specifically singled out restaurants in this article.

    I am hoping that with the law changes that this is complete misinformation with the law changes. I have no problem with having Mexican employees as we have had them before. But, there is no way that I can entrust this particular kind of food to an employee without at least a full year of training.

    Sorry to join the party so late, but I am hoping you can enlighten me!

    Thank you,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Christina,
      I would refer that question to an abogado who knows the current law on this.

      Lic. Spencer McMullen is a superb reference on these kinds of issues:

      We have tracked Lic. McMullen’s regular public service announcements, that he updates with every change in the ISR that affects expats, and we are not aware of any nationwide (federal) requirement that
      ~ somehow serving guests can only be done by Mexicans (?)
      ~ somehow making food can only be done by Mexicans (?)
      ~ somehow pouring drinks only be done by Mexicans (?)

      We know 3 different restaurant owners here in Yucatan State, who have been fully inspected by IMSS and by INM – and they all 3 are owned and operated by foreigners – with NO restrictions applied by IMSS, INM or the local labor board.

      I really would ask the other website to provide a formal reference, or formal citation that documents these supposed policies … unless they are some local or state quirky reg .

      Happy Trails,

  22. Robert says:

    Your information is 100% correct Sir. I am a Resident Permanente in Mexicali B.C and though I’m not presently working, I can or I can open a restaurant, bar, candy store or whatever I choose as long as I give notice to INM. R/P is the way to go! Just can’t vote but who would want to anyway? The politicians in this world basically lie, steal and.cheat.

  23. ryannagy says:

    Thanks! Has anything changed in the law? I just became a permanent resident and though I work online, I do have a strong academic teaching
    background and I am thinking about working.



    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ryan,
      Nothing has changed for you.

      You still need to get~have a valid RFC (that fits your category of work), and then provide the RFC information + explanation letter of your plan to work, employer details, type of work, duties, etc.

      Happy Trails,

  24. Inquiring Mind says:

    Question: I have a Permanent Resident card. I applied as a retiree and obtained it because of my pension. But now I want to pick up some part-time work as a teacher. Can I do this legally? Or do I have to have my status changed? I’m 60.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey I.M.
      Yes, you have a solid plan.

      Mexico, SAT & INM all welcome RP visaholders to work.

      Generally, INM offices want us to go to a SAT ~ ‘Hacienda’ office and get registered for work by applying for a tax ID number (RFC number) & permission to work. In that process, the SAT agent typically asks what kind of work you plan to do, and with what company(s). It can help to have an offer of employment, on company letter head, describing the job title & responsibilities~activities.

      Next, you write a letter to INM, notifying them that you intend to work (actividades remuneradas), for whom, etc. INM then records your request, enters your RFC # in their database, & records whom you plan to work for & what you’ll be doing.

      Straightforward stuff that took me about 7 – 10 days to complete.
      All good,

  25. John Austin says:

    Now it’s 2019, 6 years after this article. I just received my permanent resident visa. The consulate where I first applied in San Diego said specifically that I did NOT have permission to work. Most everything I read online says I do. So it’s not just gringos spreading misinformation.

    • yucalandia says:

      It has been the published law since Nov. 2012.

      The California Consulates are notorious for not educating their employees, and for creating fake bogus extra requirements (that don’t exist in Mexican law).

      Glad you persisted, in spite of the California consulate errors.

  26. Trent says:

    Maybe this information needs to be updated? There is a guy living in Mexico now with permanent residency posting videos (YouTube: Two Expats Mexico) on various subject. He speaks Spanish very good, and cites his sources in his videos. He is saying as a permanent resident, you just can’t go and pick any job you want. He is saying according to LEY FEDERAL DEL TRABAJO, some jobs are restricted to native born Mexicans. Also, many places have to have 90% Mexican workers. In addition, he is saying companies have to have permission to hire any foreign worker from INM.

    • yucalandia says:

      & the rules prohibiting police & others from putting their own non-factory seating in the back of pickup trucks

      & the rules prohibiting people from riding in the back of pickup trucks.

      and the rules requiring people to use turn signals.

      Notice how a person could spend A LIFETIME trying to force others to follow the rules. 😉

      Instead, I would go with what’s been reality since at least 1990.

      Let the Karen’s, Ken’s and Mexican-busy-bodies work themselves up into whatever latest frenzy they choose … and instead … enjoy living your life here, following the rules that the Mex. Govt. cares about.
      Dr. Steven M. Fry

      • Trent says:

        He did mention the difference between laws, and cultural norms of what really happens. But it does seem there is an uptick in immigration enforcement with all the migrants from other places coming up from Central America

      • yucalandia says:

        There’s nothing to do with “cultural norms”. The guy is being a male version of a Karen.

        We follow 12 different forums across Mexico, and there have been no reports, zero, zip, nada of INM stopping Residente Permanentes from changing jobs. It’s treated like any other “major change”, where you have to notify them if you change addresses, change jobs, etc.

  27. yucalandia says:

    Example of what novices the Two Expats are, notice that the guy doesn’t even know how to pronounce the name of his state.

    He calls himself Q Roo Paul … pronouncing his “Roo” like kanga-roo – a huge rookie move.

    Even the most beginning Spanish student knows that o, has a long O sound … Q. ROW …

    In another example of him being a “Ken”, he spends much of his video on how to become a citizen explaining things he does not know about, because clearly he hasn’t done it, and has not tracked how hard it has been these past 5 yrs to become a citizen. … He mistakenly quotes test questions from 10 years ago when the questions were easy, and he sadly ignores how today’s actual questions are so hard that very few Mexicans can pass the test this past 5 years. … Sadly, Q Ru-Paul doesn’t even offer a list of the actual questions.

    By comparison, I have passed the exams … had to sing verses 1, 2, 10, and the Coro of the National Anthem, and we include about 20 of the current exam questions in our article on getting Naturalized Citizenship in Mexico.

    IOW … Q Ru-Paul is not up to speed on these things. … Cute videos though.
    Dr. Steven Fry

    • Trent says:

      For “Roo” in the name I think that is how he pronounces it. I have heard him say “Quintana Roo” properly every time in the videos.
      I did see some others commenting about some of his information is incorrect on citizenship.

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