Amnesty Announced for Foreigners in Mexico Illegally

Jan. 14, 2015
The good attorney Lic. Spencer McMullen has reported some good news for well-behaved non-criminal foreigners who are in Mexico illegally.   Here’s Spencer’s report:

New Regularization (Amnesty) Program for people illegally in Mexico
In Dec. 2014,  President Peña Nieto mentioned a program to regularize (offer amnesty) to people illegally in Mexico.   The programs details were published in the DOF (Mex. Gob. Daily Federal Register), on January, 12, 2015, taking effect on January 13, 2015.   The amnesty program lasts until December 18, 2015.

The program mentions nothing about paying fines nor having to show income to qualify.
Here is the publication in plain English:

The present program applies to foreigners who entered Mexico before November 9, 2012 and on January 13, 2015 (for people who) find themselves living in the country with an irregular immigration status.

The aforementioned is when the foreigner does not fall into one of the following situations:

  1. Have a pending immigration request except those expressly canceled in order to participate in this program.
  2. Are in the process of an assisted return procedure or deportation
  3. Given false information or false documents to Immigration or authentic documents obtained fraudulently.
  4. People deported with reentry restrictions
  5. People with pending criminal charges or a criminal record
  6. People who compromise national security due to past criminal records
  7. People subject to express prohibitions dictated by a competent authority
  8. Having not complied with a deportation order during the program period
  9. Having an irregular immigration status after January 13, 2015

(or) Anything else covered by the Immigration law and its regulations.  In the cases of V and VI the authority will weigh the corresponding resolution attending to the principles of social redapatation, as well as those relative to family reunification.

Foreigners requesting their regularization per this program need to present the following in original and copy:

  1. Immigration form
  2. Request letter
  3. Passport
  4. Immigration document (in the event the person had one)
  5. One of the following documents that proves their residence in the country:

a. Airline tickets

b. Passport with entry stamp

c. Immigration document (in case the person was regular in Mexico)

d. Utility bills (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility)

e. Medical file, school records or rental contracts

f. Any other document issued by a public agency that shows the requestor has resided in Mexico or

g. Declaration signed by two people who know the person and state they have lived in the country for the time required.

The documents can be in the name of the person or their children, partner or spousal figure.

  1. Documents that prove their current residence (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility).
  2. Payment of regularization fees
  3. Copies of ID of people authorized to present papers.

The procedure for the person requesting the regularization of their immigration status is the following:

  1. Present documents at Immigration as mentioned prior where they will have a hearing on the spot or set the date for a future hearing.  The future date shall not be more than 10 business days after the papers are turned in.
  2. They will make a written record of the hearing and go over all the paperwork presented that proves what needs to be proved

Immigration then has 30 days to give a response.  If the response is positive then they shall issue a temporary resident document good for four years.

Once the person has the document they may request work permission as well as documents for family members.

For the issuance of the document the person will need the positive resolution, 2 copies of the format basico, 3 photos, and payment of fees.

Immigration may not arrest anybody who applies for the program due to their irregular status.

 Hope this helps !

Lic. Spencer McMullen is in Chapala, Mexico, and can be contacted at

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For more details on immigrating to or living in Mexico, see our main article on importing cars at:  ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution:
YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan. ©Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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22 Responses to Amnesty Announced for Foreigners in Mexico Illegally

  1. sdibaja says:

    Very interesting.
    does this sidestep the income requirements?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi sdibaja,
      Interesting question.

      We have not yet read the DOF reference, so, you’re raised a good issue.
      I’ll see what I can find out,

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi sdi,
        I just found and read the DOF reference, and there are no mentions of “personal fiscal solvency” requirements for income or savings requirements.

      • sdibaja says:

        thanks Steve, and thanks for the link too.
        application will tell the tale.
        hopefully this will open the door for the many folks that had been caught in between a rock and a hard spot.

  2. bobbybrown says:

    what hypocracy of the Mexican people !! this new law only affects a 92 year old blind women in a nursing home and a 85 year old man in Chapala–these people probably immigrated back in the eighties before this DRACONIAN Lawless country of Mexico entered the twenty- first century–I immigrated to Mexico from California to get away from big government and now it is catching up to me at 68 years old–once I get my PR next year – one less major hassle—HA

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bobby,
      You’re as cheerful and appreciative of Mexico now, as you’ve been in the past. 😉

      Why do you choose to live-in and file permanent residency applications & pay serious $$ to such a “DRACONIAN Lawless country” ?

      If it is so terrible here, why not go to a country that you appreciate? ~ like your home country ~ ?

      Or, since you have been here 30 years, why have you not become a Mexican citizen(?), and then worked for the causes you believe-in, especially since you really detest ” hypocrisy ” ?

      Just poking a little fun,

    • sdibaja says:

      perhaps you did not read the article carefully.
      this new law provides a simple and easy path for those old folks to become legal residents.
      BTW: those old folks apparently did not actually “immigrate”, they just slid in without doing the paperwork. and it was remarkably easy back in the 80s.

      hypocrisy? you say you immigrated to avoid big government, but you condemn the People of Mexico? next you can work on Assimilate (google it)

    • bobbybrown says:

      sdibaja–Mexico will always be a puppet and regurgitates the liberal ideas of California–I got away from liberalism and it keeps following me– HA– an example–Walmart in Fluvial tried to get away from plastic bags to copy the Bay Area; that didn’t work–HA—-so i’m not in love with Mexico as much as I am trying to escape Communist California–HA

  3. bobbybrown says:

    bottom line—My presence in Mexico is my belief is— IT IS BETTER TO BE THE MASTER OF SLAVES THAN THE SLAVE OF KINGS— HA– I am a king in exile–HA

  4. WD Pearlman says:

    Anybody know what the fees are at this time for this four year temporary? Does it make any difference for people who have been coming and going on tourist visas for a long while?

  5. Joe says:

    Hi, Steve, I wonder if you have any feedback to offer regarding cases of people you know who’ve used this process successfully. If not, what have you heard from any source?

    Thanks! And, if you don’t mind, could you share your email address with me? I have some other topics I’d like to explore with you if you have time.

  6. says:

    I have a question and this site has been the most informative for me when I was getting my residency.

    I have a friend visiting and getting dental work done…. he is nearing the 180 tourist visa limit and wants to stay longer without flying back to USA.

    What is the procedure like on the Mexican/ Belize border,,,,, I have been reading different sites that are 2-5 yr old and is mostly conflicting info.

    Any recent info or if anyone has done this …..let me know.

    Thanks everyone!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Robert,
      The last word we heard from friends was that they had no problem … though occasionally the INM guys at the Subteniente Lopez crossing can be a pain.

      They can look up our old records (online) and check how many times a person has either gotten visitors visas or has had problems/fines.

      If they decide a foreigner is abusing the visitor’s visa (trying to slide-by with a series of visitante visas instead of getting the Residente Temporal visa), they can try to force the foreigner to get the temporary residency visa by denying the foreigner a new visitor’s visa.

      I don’t think anyone can completely accurately predict what exactly will happen, each time, when trying to get serial visitor’s visas.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks… This is his 1st time. Are there any monies to be paid or time limitations on either side or can he just leave and come back?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Robert,
        No monies owed at the time of crossing.

        Generally, they simply issue a fresh new Visitante visa.

        There are a few occasional reports that INM tells the person to spend 1 – 2 … or even 3 days outside Mexico, before returning.

        This a possible a time when being cheerful, helpful, (thrifty, clean, brave & reverent) … and being respectful … can help.

        We’ve had them insist on unofficial “requirements” for us in the past … and we hopefully replied, “no thanks” … and patiently worked through things with them to get the solution we wanted … but it took 15 minutes of cordial dialogue … and repeatedly respectfully asking for their help… and for the help of a supervisor.

        Threats, intimidation, desperation, bullying and other frequent US citizen’s behaviors often trigger the opposite reaction from Mexican bureaucrats.


      • Robert says:

        Sorry to be a pest, lol

        So no money to leave either… i.e. the tourism Tax?

        Is it “possible” to do everything without crossing into Belize or is that a requirement?

      • yucalandia says:

        No, if they are willing to allow her to simply get a fresh new visitante visa then she does not have to cross into Belize.

        The last time we did it, we had the option of paying at the Banjercito office, or paying the fee at a bank later.

        We look forward to hearing how it works out for her,

      • Robert says:

        I just got back to Merida…

        My friend ( a guy) went to the border and had no problem… but he did have to cross into Belize.

        he also paid some 300 pesos for the tourism tax or something because he came on a 1-way ticket and hasn’t paid it yet…. but were no problems.

        Thanks for your help….as always!

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