I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend of mine at The Turtle Bay Café & Bakery in Akumal Mexico, there were wondrous tales of scuba dives and general agreement about the serenity of retirement. Ron then completely one upped me by producing a Permanent Residency green card. As a retired American expatriate a green card is much desired due the benefits conferred to the bearer. I asked how this had come about, he related his story and told me that he had written an article about it.
With Ron Stern’s permission, I have reproduced his original article.
From Zero to Permanent Residency in 28 days.
The new Mexican immigration regulations instituted November 12, 2012 streamline the efforts for foreign (non-Mexican) citizens who wish to retire in Mexico (and do not wish to work in Mexico) to obtain a Permanent Resident green card in Mexico. I learned of these new regulations listening to NPR radio. It was stressed that an essential part of this new policy to obtain Permanent or Temporary Resident cards is to initiate the process outside Mexico, preferably at a Mexican Consulate near your current non-Mexican resident location.
Here is the chronology and efforts I undertook to successfully obtain Mexican Permanent Residency in 28 days. I had no previous Mexican immigration status other than standard 120-day tourist visas.
July 29, 2013: I requested the services of a legal firm in Playa del Carmen I had successfully worked on real estate issues to assist me in the process to become a Mexican Permanent Resident. The immigration lawyer and contact information are:
Mariana OzunaInvestment & Legal Consultants
Av. 45 Nte. Con calle 6 Nte. Bis 171 Col.
Centro C.P. 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo
Tel. (984) 873-3436, Fa (984) 803-0998U.S. numbers 623-241-4074 623-241-4566
There was a modest fee ($2,700 USD) to cover all associated fees and lawyer expenses.
July 30, 2013: As mentioned, it is important to initiate the process outside Mexico. I live in Irvine, CA. so at 9 AM on July 30, 2013 I went to the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, CA. I came prepared with a filled out Permanent Residency Application obtained at
I also came with the required documentation for proof of economic solvency and a required passport style photograph. These requirements (and more information) are listed at
I did not have an appointment, waited for 2 hours in a comfortable waiting room, and finally was escorted to the appropriate Visa office. It took 30 minutes, one free photograph taken at the premise, and $36 USD to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa placed into my US passport. This Visa is good for 6 months to enter Mexico to complete the paperwork for the final Permanent Resident green card. Once in Mexico you have at most 30 days to visit an Immigration Office to initiate the Mexico part of the requirements.
August 4, 2013: I flew to Cancun and rented a car to drive to my condo at Playa Caribe in Akumal Norte.
August 5, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen in the afternoon to meet with the immigration lawyer, Mariana Ozuna, to give her my passport to be held for at least three days together with 4 “pico” passport style photographs with frontal view, and 3 with a right side view. These I obtained in the USA. Mariana Ozuna requested further evidence of financial solvency used to obtain the Visa in the USA.
August 19, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that I should appear at the Immigration offices in Playa del Carmen (located at the Plaza Azteca at the north entrance of Playacar) at 10:30 AM for fingerprints. I drove there, spent 10 minutes in the waiting room, 5 minutes for the fingerprints, and departed back to Akumal (well after a few hours of shopping).
August 26, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that my Permanent Residency card was ready to be picked up.
August 27, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen and meet Mariana Ozuna at the Playa del Carmen Immigration Office and waited 5 minutes. My name was called, I signed a document stating I had received the green card, and departed with my Permanent Resident card, for more shopping in Playa.
Other than the efforts mentioned above, Mariana Ozuna and her office did all of the work (of which I am unaware). I suspect all of this can be done without the assistance of an immigration expert. However, this may come at the expense of several more trips to the Mexican Immigration Office and longer waiting times.