1. Depending on the retiree's plans for staying in Mexico, there are different visa procedures. For someone looking to stay in Mexico for a short period, a tourist visa (FM-T) is easy to obtain. It is valid for up to six
months but does not grant work status.
2. Rentista is a non-working visa available only to retirees aged 51 or older. Applications for rentista status must be accompanied by a letter from a bank, social security agency, or financial institution, certifying that the applicant receives
a certain minimum monthly income.
3. Foreigners who have lived in the country for five years are eligible to become permanent residents and acquire most of the rights and obligations of a Mexican national. The change to permanent resident status is not automatic and is subject
to the guidelines of Mexico's Immigration and Naturalization Service.
4. Owning or renting a home in Mexico is relatively easy. Foreigners can buy directly in any area that is not near the coast or the border. If the property is within 60 miles of the border or 30 miles of the coast, non-Mexicans are required
to purchase through a fideicomiso (beneficial trust).
5. Medical benefits stop at the border, so it is advised that Canadian and American retirees in Mexico buy health insurance. In general, the quality of healthcare in Mexico is very good. Hospitals, both private and public, are usually easily
accessible and well equipped.
6. Retirees also have the option of signing up for the medical IMSS plan (Mexican Social Security). It costs approximately $200 a year and covers medical, dental, and vision care.
7. Another healthcare alternative is to buy a private insurance policy in Mexico that covers major medical expenses.
8. Generally speaking, there is no need to have a car in Mexico; public transportation is affordable and reliable.
For more information, contact the Mexican Tourism Board at visitmexico.com or Mexico Online.
In Canada, call 800-44-MEXICO.
In the U.S., call 212-821-0314, fax: 212-821-0367
Canadians should consult Canadians Retiring Abroad