Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
a mexico visitor’s visa is not a substitute for a resident card
September 14, 2021
After seeing this type of post again, I felt a need to explain a few things to those of you who are here on a visitor’s visas. First of all, a visitor visa is just that, a visa for visiting. It is not a way to “live” in Mexico without the correct immigration paperwork.
Over my years here, I’ve met many people who publicly claim to actually live here, but the truth is, they don’t. They enter Mexico with the tourist visa they’re given at the airport then stay for the duration of that visa, which is usually six months, then make a social media post like this:
Anyone know how long I gotta go out to get back in legally?
Are you serious with this question? You’re not “living in Mexico” legally unless you actually have the residency card that says otherwise. Without a residency card, you are not a resident. You are a visitor.
Living in Mexico on a visitor visa is illegal. Don’t believe me? Grow a pair and ask an immigration official, or better yet, wait until you’re stopped and asked for your legal paperwork.
The answer to the above question about leaving the country and reentering “legally” is no, it’s not legal to come in and out on visitor visas, and if you’re caught, you’ll be sent away. Far away back to wherever it is your passport says you rightfully belong.
Mexico has come a long way over the years and as of late, digitally keeps track of your comings and goings. Immigration officials know when you were last here, for how how long, and when you left.
They can also see that — wow — now you’re back. Hmmmmm… and if you’re thinking to just “scoot” across the Belize border and back “cuz it worked for a friend of mine”, think again.
Posted September 13, 2021 by INM. A virtual cross-border immigration meeting between Quintana Roo and Belize officials. Yes, they talk and exchange information. They also read social media posts by the way. It’s shocking how many people do not realize this.
Travelers into Mexico need to understand that they are not entitled to a six month tourist visa. Truth be told, you are not entitled to anything. Most people are granted a 180-day stay because that’s the legal in-country stay (as is with many countries). Anything more is illegal.
If you’re caught or even suspected of abusing the system, expect your “entitlement” to be decreased to a few weeks. I’ve seen it many times where a returning visitor is given as few as two weeks to stay rather than the 180-day stay. Why? Because most honest travelers only come for a two-week vacation. Right?
Gawd forbid INM suspects you of working while “visiting” Mexico on your tourist visa. That too will see you returned to your home country, but for a lot longer. It’s called being deported.