Last updateSat, 11 Oct 2014 1pm
Century 21 Ajijic

Mexico's federal government relaxes strict income/asset requirements for retired expats

Immigration law changes published Friday, October 10 in Mexico's Diario Oficial de la Federacion (DOF) substantially reduce the income and asset/investment qualification requirements for retired temporary residents, while also mandating a minor relaxation of requirements for permanent residents.

The changes signal a slight thaw in the strict financial obligations introduced several years ago by the Mexican government that have forced some retired foreigners to abandon plans to settle in Mexico.

At first, it appears the lower financial requirements will apply only to applications made at Mexican consulates in foreign countries, but legal experts here expect the rules to be broadened to include those made in Mexico.

The DOF publication (available at www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5363603&fecha=10/10/2014) states that to qualify for temporary residency an applicant's minimum bank balance (maintained over a 12-month period) must be equivalent to 5,000 days' minimum wage (in Mexico City), 336,450 pesos or approximately $25,000US at current exchange rates. This is a huge reduction from the previous minimum of 20,000 days' minimum wage, around $100,500US.

Alterantively, qualification by monthly income for temporary residents has been reduced to 300 days' minimum wage, 20,187 pesos or approximately $1,510US. This is down from the previous figure of around $2,010US.

The income requirements for those applying for permanent residency are the same as before, but the new regulations specify a lower asset/investment requirement: bank balances must maintain a minimum of approximately $100,500US over a 12-month period, in contrast to the previous amount of around $125,800US.