August 2013 ● For Canadians Buying a Home in Mexico with a Mexican Mortgage

By Harriet Murray ● Cochran Real Estate ● August 2013

Photo by Harvest Estudio

Photo by Harvest Estudio

A visa is a requirement for lending banks and mortgage approval.  Lenders want clients to have a connection to Mexico beyond purchasing a property. They believe that by having a connection to Mexico, the client is less likely to default on the loan, and the bank is more protected.  These banks believe having migratory status is a sufficient connection to Mexico.

A visa is not a requirement for property ownership , but it provides many benefits, including being a requirement for capital gains exemption, allows one to stay in the country for 180+ consecutive days, and facilitates many services in Mexico, such as opening up a checking account with many banks.

There are three steps:

  1. Apply for the visa and receive a stamp in your passport at the Mexican consulate in your home city.
  2. Deliver paperwork to the migration office located in Mexico, and about 1 week later, leave your finger prints.
  3. Pick-up your visa at the migration office located in Mexico.

This information is for clients who are soliciting the visa for the first time.  It is from the Mexican embassy in Ottawa, but the rules should be the same across embassies and consulates in Canada.


Requirements for foreign visitors who intend to enter and remain in Mexico as temporary residents for a period greater than 180 days and less than 4 years. Documents are required to demonstrate ability to satisfy the following types of permits:

a) Economic solvency and not working in Mexico:

  • Original and a photocopy of investment receipts or bank statements showing an average monthly balance of $101,349.00 Canadian dollars during the past twelve months; or
  • Original and a photocopy of documents showing that the applicant has employment or a pension with a monthly tax-free income of over $2,027.00 Canadian dollars during the past six months.

 b) Scientific research in waters under Mexican jurisdiction.  

c) Letter of invitation:

1. Original letter from a public or private organization or institution of renowned integrity inviting the foreigner to participate in a non-remunerated activity in Mexican territory. The letter must contain the following data:

d) Family Unity:

Family Unity Applications can only be accepted at an Embassy or Consular Office if the foreigner with permanent resident status in Mexico or Mexican citizen accompanies the family member at the time the application is submitted.

One example of a family tie permitted a visa is:

Marriage or common-law relationship with a foreigner who has permanent Original and a photocopy of investment receipts or bank statements showing an average monthly balance of $18,699.00 Mexican pesos or its equivalent of $1,520.00 Canadian dollars during the past six months.  There are other family unity types, please consult the Mexican consulate nearest you.

e) Real Estate Property in Mexican territory:

Original and a photocopy of the Public Deed signed before a Commissioner of Oaths certifying that the foreigner is the holder of real estate property with a value exceeding $2,493,200.00 Mexican pesos or its equivalent of $202,697.00 Canadian dollars.

f) Investor:


marina Vallarta ∙ Photo by Harvest Estudio

marina Vallarta ∙ Photo by Harvest Estudio

1. Deed or policy from a Mexican corporation signed before a Commissioner of Oaths, or a document duly certified by the administrative body or a competent officer thereof, stating that the foreigner has shares in the capital stock of the Mexican corporation, and that the amount of the investment effectively disbursed for the foreigner’s share in the corporation would exceed $1,246,600.00 Mexican pesos or its equivalent of $101,349.00 Canadian dollars; this could be proven by a contract for the purchase of shares or stocks, contract for the transfer of assets or rights to the Mexican corporation, or a document issued by the corporation proving the amount contributed for shares in the capital stock, original and a photocopy;

2. Document proving the ownership of personal property by the foreigner, with a value exceeding $1,246,600.00 Mexican pesos or its equivalent of $101,349.00 Canadian dollars, original and a photocopy;

3. Documentation proving the conducting of economic or business activities in Mexican territory, which could be proven by documents such as (but not limited to) contracts, service orders, invoices, receipts, business plans, licenses and permits, and a certificate issued by the Mexican Social Security Institute proving that the foreigner employs at least five workers, original and a photocopy.

Entering Mexico

Foreigners who enter Mexico by land must meet the migratory requirements and comply with the migratory formalities that correspond to the category under which they are requesting entrance (visitors, temporary residents or permanent residents). Admission is subject to approval by the migratory authorities at the point of entry.

Foreigners who travel by car to Mexico must pay the fee for ‘visitor without permission to conduct remunerative activities’ at a cost of $20 USD or 295.00 Mexican pesos, and must comply with customs procedures.

As they pass through customs, foreigners may use the lane for “nothing to declare” if the goods they are carrying do not exceed their personal allowance. However, if travelling with additional items whose value exceeds $75.00 USD, foreigners must pass through the “self-declaration” lane.

Information for this article has been provided by Josh with 

Harriet Murray

This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review.

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