Citizenship Process

The Mexican Constitution states that Mexicans nationals by birth are:

  1. Persons born in Mexican territory regardless of parents' nationality or immigration status in Mexico
  2. Persons born abroad of a Mexican citizen born in Mexico
  3. Persons born to an individual after that person has become a naturalized citizen of Mexico

Some ways to become a Mexican Citizen include proving residence (being a Temporary and / or Permanent Resident) in Mexico for five years immediately prior to the submission of the application, or an individual married to a Mexican national residing in Mexico who fulfills the requirements set forth in Mexican laws who have lived with the spouse for two years immediately prior to the date of the application.

And, for others who have two years of residency and:

  1. is a direct descendant of a Mexican by birth; or
  2. is the mother or father of a Mexican by birth; or
  3. is a national of a Latin American or Iberian country.

For an expat with 5 years of residency one option is a letter from INM stating what was your visa status over the past 5 years, provide a copy of your visas covering those 5 or 2 years. In the 2 years at time of your citizenship application the maximum time you are allowed out of the country is 180 days. There is a way to avoid this step but documentation is very important.

All citizenship applicants including those over age 60 are presented a test that consists of about 3/4 of page of writing in Spanish. This is followed with five multiple choice questions pertaining to what one just read. You are to underline the correct answer. Please click the exam study guide to help you to prepare for these 5 questions. The sixth question consists of the applicant being presented a photo and being asked to describe in 3 full sentences using subject, verb and predicate, what you see in the photo. One photo for example may be of Chiapas and another photo may the heritage site of Xochimilco and the trajineras. Your Spanish language skills have to be at upper high school level.

In addition, those 60 and under write a test pertaining to government, geography, culture, etc. Example of questions are similar to: when was the registro Civil initiated in Mexico? What Mexican won the Nobel prize in Science? Name the Mexicana that won Miss Universe? Who authored "The tragedy of Tlateloco"? What school did the Spaniards send the indigenous nobles to be educated in Spanish ways? Eight correct out of ten is needed to pass. The test is very difficult.

A person who does not pass the test may have 3 attempts. If you do not pass after 3 tries you may return in one year and try again. 

Your birth certificate has to be legalized (Canadian) or Apostille (American) and both the birth certificate and apostille / legalized document needs to be translated in Mexico by a certified translator. If applying based on two years being married to a Mexican national and married outside of Mexico the marriage license in addition to the birth certificate must be Apostille / legalized and then translated by a certified translator in Mexico. Individuals are responsible for the apostille / legalization and I can arrange for a certified translator.

Required are three photos, passport size 4.5 x 3.5 cm with a white background, front view, no glasses, etc. 

The name on your passport must exactly match your name on your birth certificate. If not, your consulate or embassy mYayprovide a letter stating the documents are for one and the same person.

One needs two criminal records as noted above. 

I complete the required documents recording your visa history plus how many times and duration of time outside of you Mexico in past two years. This includes a chart indicating when you left, when you returned, where you went and the page number in your passport with the stamps confirming this. One also needs copies of complete passport. There are two trips to the SRE office. One is to submit your documents and one is for your interview. The two trips to SRE are normally about a week apart. 

All submitted documents are to be in triplicate

The process takes 6 to 8 months.

Cost for your citizenship application is ~5300 pesos, payable upon passing the test.

Passport fee is ~ 2300 pesos depending on how many years you request. 

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On numerous occassions I was asked to assist with Citizenship. I hesitated as there are many steps including apostille / legalization, certified translation, two background checks at the state and federal level, two INM requests, forms to complete and so much documentation. The background checks have a 90 day expiration so sequence and timing are critical. But people were frustrated as locally one who provided this service was charging very high fees and making applicants travel to Mexico City to file citizenship applications because he was turned away at the SRE office in Queretaro. And, once at the SRE office in Mexico City, their applications were never accepted due to numerous errors. 

​I studied the law, the requirements and I met with Inmigracion staff in San Miguel and citizenship staff at SRE in Queretaro. I travelled to Mexico City and personally requested a background check to learn that process. I completed state background checks in San Miguel. 

For my clients, I complete all documents, most in triplicate. I document time out of country and complete application forms. Next will be Federal background and state background checks. And, finally, I take my clients for the two trips to SRE in Queretaro, the citizenship office, to submit applications and again for an interview. 

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