The legal requirements for Americans to move to Mexico change often, but much remains the same. Being able to work legally in Mexico is a bit more difficult than it used to be, but if you’re serious about the move, it shouldn’t be too much trouble. The first requirement, is obtaining a job offer. Once you receive an offer, you can then apply for permission to work. The whole process requires a lot of documents. Originals of birth certificates, degrees, and transcripts are a good idea, although sometimes copies are okay. It used to be possible to process a visa in Mexico, but as of 2016, you must process it at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico. As previously mentioned, these regulations change often, so it’s best to ask your consulate on the most recently-updated rules.
In addition to the previously-mentioned documents, these also come in handy:
Your passport - sometimes they want copies of every page, and sometimes only the photo page. Remember to ask.
The immigration paper you filled out when you entered Mexico.
The application printed a day or two before, maximum. Refer to the Instituto Nacional de Migracion website, to begin the application.
Infantil-sized photos (approximately the size of Driver’s License photos)
Two payments - one when you apply, and one when you pick up your visa. The forms are available at the office. At last reference, the initial payment was 500 pesos, and the second, 2,000. However, like everything else, this may change.
To gain legal residency, you technically must have an income of $2,000/month for one person. For many retirees, this is doable. For those who do not have an income from America while living abroad, this can be more difficult. If that’s the case, you can go on a 180-day tourist visa and figure it out from there. Just remember you must leave before those six months are up, and then return. Remember, doing this all the time will raise suspicion. As with work requirements, you must start your residential application at a consulate at home. They often require at least 12 months of bank statements, notarized by the bank, in addition to documents such as your birth certificate or a marriage license. The visa fee is around $240 at the time of this writing. Once you pick up your permanent residency card (a.k.a CURP card), you can then legally open a bank account, and receive a few discounts from time-to-time. Best of all, you can use the national health care system, after some paperwork and a physical.