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Juan Eufracio Marquez Flores of LM&A Immigration and Legal Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Former steel mill, Monterrey, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTo add more information to Spencer's answer, as a tourist any person can own property or purchase property in Mexico. (A tourist cannot purchase property near a border of the sea or lake.  Only Mexicans can purchase property within  certain meters of the shore of the sea).
 
Also as a residente temporal status you cannot be a shareholder in Mexican corporations, or open or start a Mexican corporation. 
 
To work in Mexico the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (the Mexican immigration department) requests that any Mexican corporation or employer in order to hire a foreigner must have more Mexican employees than foreign ones.  Also a foreigner with residente temporal or residente permanente cannot work in the Mexican government. 
 
(Former steel mill, Monterrey, Mexico, pictured.)
 
 
 
 
Juan Eufracio Marquez Flores of LM&A Immigration and Legal Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Art Camp recognition awards given to Mexican students by the Lake Chapala Society, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe difference between Mexican citizenship and permanent residency is that with citizenship the person has the right to vote, and has the right to have a passport. With only a residency, the person cannot vote, and cannot have a passport. 
 
Other than that it’s basically the same. They don’t have to deal with immigration.  The permanent residency foreigners who have that status don’t have to worry about renewing every year. They can even work.
 
In terms of work, they only have to notify immigration. “Notify” does not mean getting an approval. Only submit a letter “I’m doing that.” When they’re finished, okay, “I am doing this activity now.” Do this no longer than 30 days from the new activity, and basically that’s it. They don’t have to pay. When they submit a notification, it’s free.  
 
(Art Camp recognition awards given to Mexican students by the Lake Chapala Society, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.)
SONIA DIAZ of Sonia Diaz – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
As a resident, you almost have all the rights as a Mexican except the right to vote and run for government office. With citizenship, you get a Mexican passport, while as a visa holder, you only receive a green card.
 
Mexico is one of the easiest countries to come and live legally.  The authorities do not do background checks nor medicals and the whole process takes a very few weeks and minimal cost.
 
Yolanda Martinez – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beach front homes, Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhen you have Mexican citizenship, you can vote for our president, you have a different tax bracket when it comes to selling houses or businesses, and you can own property without a trust on the beaches or on the borders. If you’re a resident, you’re allowed to live here in Mexico as long as you legally keep your residency. You have to open a trust to own beachfront property. The bank is the one who administrates it for you. You are the owner of your property but you pay to own your property through the bank and you’re not allowed to vote. 
 
In the state of Jalisco, if you’re a temporary resident, you cannot register your vehicle plates if you purchased a Mexican-plated car. It’s been in our laws but they started just recently to enforce it. You have to be a permanent resident to be able to have the registration of your vehicles in your name.
 
(Beach front homes, Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)
Dianne Harper  – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
INM Mexico sign and building – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingResidency refers to living legally in Mexico whereas citizenship refers to the right to vote and to have a passport. Naturalization usually refers to being born in a country.
 
People from other countries can legally live for various amounts of time in Mexico depending on their immigration status. You can come into Mexico on a tourist visa and stay for 180 days. This is the visa you get when you visit the country on a plane or cruise ship. It's a small form for which you don't need any other documentation except your passport which you show when you leave the plane or ship in Mexico.
 
If you wish to stay longer than 180 days, you will need to start the process in the US. You may apply for either a Temporary or Permanent Visa. The Temporary Visa is good for 4 years and the financial requirement is considerably less than for a Permanent. The Permanente is as the name implies and grants you permission to stay for an unlimited time in Mexico provided you can show proof of financial stability in on-going income and/or proof of substantial savings.
 
All of these are visas meaning you have most of the rights of those born in Mexico, except for citizenship. You cannot vote in Mexican elections and you cannot have a Mexican passport. You can apply for citizenship after 5 years of residency in Mexico with Residente Permanente status or by virtue of marital status, among other ways. Once you have citizenship, you may apply for a Mexican passport and retain your passport from your home country. There are restrictions on government jobs which you may hold in Mexico and a few other things. Most expatriates don't need citizenship to live comfortably in Mexico.
Spencer McMullen of Chapala Law – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Residential street in San Miguel Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe advantage for an American citizen becoming a citizen of Mexico are few.  
  • There have been issues with people through miscommunications or errors when they enter and exit Mexico as a tourist which would cause the Mexican authorities to cancel your temporary or permanent residence. If you’re a Mexican citizen, that won’t happen.
  • As a Mexican citizen, you can also own property on the coast and the restricted zone, 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) from the borders and 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) from the coastlines. If you wanted to buy land in these areas and were not a Mexican citizen, you would be forced to use a land trust.
  • If you wanted to go to Brazil, for example, you can go on your Mexican passport and not pay the high visa fee that Brazil charges US citizens mainly in retaliation for the US charging higher visa fees for citizens of those countries to visit the US.
  • To work in certain occupations, they want you to be a Mexican citizen.
  • A permanent resident can own or be a majority shareholder in Mexican corporations engaging in fields other than banking, bonds, legal services and perhaps some others without having to register with the secretary of economy. A citizen has broader rights to have ownership in Mexican corporations and not have to comply with reporting requirements or restrictions.  
(Residential street in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, pictured.)

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