Mexican Citizenship For Canadians
Can Canadians become Mexican citizens?
Yes, Canada allows dual citizenship. A Canadian citizen may become a naturalized citizen of Mexico.
Will I lose my Canadian citizenship if I become a Mexican citizen?
Within Mexico, you will be considered Mexican. If you ever identify yourself as a Canadian to a Mexican official, by law you would lose your Mexican citizenship. A Mexican by birth with dual citizenship may have more leeway for using foreign documents, but it is strictly forbidden for a naturalized Mexican citizen to identify themselves as a foreigner.
Outside of Mexico, you will retain your Canadian citizenship and could travel to any other country with either a Canadian or Mexican passport. Entering Canada you would always be required to present a Canadian passport, entering Mexico you would always be required to present your Mexican passport, and traveling to other countries you could use either.
How do I legalize my Canadian birth certificate for use in Mexico?
Legalization is a two-step process, which requires authenticating your Canadian birth certificate, and then having a special legalization document affixed to it by a Mexican consulate or the Mexican embassy in Canada.
Canada is not a member of the Apostille Convention, and it is not possible to apostille a Canadian birth certificate. In Canada, the equivalent process is called legalization, in which the document is first authenticated by a Canadian government office, and then legalized by Mexican authorities in Canada.
What are the Mexican consulate addresses in Canada?
Consulado General de México en Toronto
11 King Street West, Suite 350
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 4C7
Consulado de México en Leamington
350 Highway 77
Leamington, ON N8H 3V5
Embajada de México en Canadá, Sección Consular
45 O'Connor St. Suite 1000
Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4
Consulado General de México en Montreal
2055 Rue Peel, Bureau 1000 Montreal, QC. H3A 1V4
Consulado General de México en Vancouver
411-1177 West Hastings St
Vancouver, BC. V6E 2K3
Consulado de México en Calgary
407-2nd Street SW, suite 400
Calgary, AB. T2P 2Y3
Consulado Honorario de México en Manitoba
133 Park Place West
Winnipeg, MB. R3P 2J2
Consulado Honorario de México en Nova Scotia
130 Lakeshore Park Terrace
Dartmouth, NS. B3A 4Z4
Consulado Honorario de México en Quebec
380 Grande Allée Oest, bureau 1470
Quebec, QC. G1S 4M1
Which type of Canadian birth certificates can be legalized for use in Mexico?
In Canada there are several types of birth certificates - wallet, with parental information, without parental information, statement of live birth, et cetera. For the authentication, you can use the birth certificate with parental information, or statement of live birth. Either of these birth certificate types can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada - Authentication Services Section, in Ottawa.
Most provinces will offer their own authentication service as well. In Ontario, the office that performs this is called Official Document Services, in Toronto. This is a provincial service, similar to the federal service from Global Affairs Canada - for that provinces' documents only. In general, the provincial document services are intended for authenticating the seals of notaries and public officials. For this reason, they can only authenticate the cerified copy of the birth registration (long form), which has a raised seal, and not the polymer birth certificates.
How does a Canadian get legal residence in Mexico?
If you do not have residence in Mexico yet, but you would like to become a legal resident of Mexico, you will have to apply for a visa. Most Canadians living in Mexico have what is known as a temporary resident visa, or a permanent resident visa. You cannot become a citizen without first having legal residence. Generally speaking, as a Canadian you will have to apply for a Mexican visa from within Canada. This can be done at any Mexican consulate in Canada. For the list of consulates where you can apply for a Mexican visa in Canada, please see the list above.
Temporary Resident Visa
A temporary resident visa is valid for 1-4 years. A Canadian can apply for temporary residence in Mexico in several ways. If you are a Canadian married to a Mexican citizen, you can apply for temporary residence based on the marriage, and it can be done in Mexico. Otherwise, most Canadians would apply for Mexican temporary residence based on financial solvency. In this case, you must apply from a consulate outside of Mexico. In most cases, that would be from within Canada. Mexican consulates outside of Canada will process your application if you have residence in that country. If you do not, some consulates are known to be cooperative, while others, such as Belize, are not.
Temporary residence is the appropriate visa for a Canadian if you are not sure if you want to live in Mexico permanently. The financial solvency requirements are less than those for permanent residency. Importantly, it is possible for a Canadian to qualify for temporary residence in Mexico with income from employment in Canada. This makes it the only visa that most working age Canadians can qualify for.
Permanent residence based on financial solvency only qualifies with investment and pension income. If you have a full time job in Canada, however, you can qualify for temporary residence in Mexico based on your employment income in Canada over the last six months. If you are a Canadian digital nomad working for a company in Canada, a temporary resident visa is the right visa for you.
The financial requirement for a temporary resident visa is proof of monthly income of $2,850 Canadian dollars per month, or an average monthly balance in bank and investment accounts of $47,507 Canadian dollars, for the last 12 months. You cannot use modern digital assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, home equity, or any other types of investments to qualify. The only thing accepted is traditional, liquid financial assets in an investment account, or cash in your chequing or savings account.
A temporary resident visa does not give you permission to work in Mexico. Working online for a Canadian company is still a bit of a grey area, but it seems to be accepted these days, since you can use that income to renew your temporary resident visa in Mexico, implying you've continued to work. It absolutely does not give you permission to work for a Mexican company, however. If you have a temporary resident visa and wish to perform lucrative activities for a Mexican company, you must be sponsored by that company with a separate endorsement from immigration allowing you to work for that specific company only.
It is definitely possible for working age Canadians to get permission to perform lucrative activities in Mexico with a temporary resident visa, but it is not always easy. If this is your case, you should first have a job offer from a Mexican company willing to do the paperwork to hire a foreigner, and consult with an immigration specialist.
Permanent Resident Visa
A permanent resident visa allows you to reside in Mexico indefinitely. It does not require you to renew the visa, as with temporary residence. There are several ways for a Canadian to qualify for a permanent resident visa in Mexico. The typical for most Canadians would be: financial solvency, being the parent of a Mexican citizen, or converting to permanent residency after having temporary residence for 4 years.
If you are retired Canadian, you can apply directly for a permanent resident visa based on financial solvency, without having temporary residence first. The income requirements are a monthly, tax-free income of $4,751 Canadian dollars for the last six months, or an average monthly balance of $190,030 Canadian dollars, for the past twelve months. As with temporary residence, they only accept liquid financial assets in traditional investment, chequing and savings accounts. They do not accept modern digital assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, home equity or other investments to qualify for permanent residence.
If you are a Canadian citizen and you are the parent of a Mexican citizen, you can apply directly for permanent residence also. If you are a parent of a Mexican citizen, you do not need to apply for temporary residence first. This does not apply for marriage, however. Marriage of a Canadian citizen to a Mexican citizen does not automatically grant permanent residence to the Canadian. The Canadian citizen would have to apply for temporary residence first, and could apply for permanent residence or citizenship after 2 years of legal residence in Mexico, if the marriage is still intact.
A Canadian who is a permanent resident in Mexico is allowed to work and engage in lucrative activities in Mexico, including for Mexican companies, without a separate endorsement or work permit from immigration. However, companies hiring foreigners must be registered separately with immigration, and there are certain occupations that all foreigners in Mexico, including permanent residents and even naturalized Mexican citizens, are forbidden from engaging in. This includes being president, a pilot, a boat captain, or working in the military, among others. A Canadian permanent resident in Mexico must still notify immigration of any changes of their employment status, but this is a notification, not a permission, per se.
If you do not qualify based on financial solvency or family unity, there may be other options available. There is now a points system which may be useful for working age Canadians, although this is not the route most retirees, remote workers or digital nomads would take. There is also refugee status, which may seem absurd, but in exceptional circumstances it has been granted to people from Western countries. If you own real estate in Mexico worth $380,060 Canadian dollars, or invest $190,030 Canadian dollars in a Mexican corporation, you can qualify for temporary residency, later convertible to permanent residency after 4 years.
For more information on visas, please consult with an immigration specialist, as this site is focused on citizenship, and only mentions visas as the starting point for eventually attaining citizenship.
What are the benefits of Mexican citizenship for a Canadian?
If you are a long-time resident in Mexico, becoming a citizen grants you the security of knowing that you will be able to stay permanently, no matter what happens. You cannot be deported. You will never have to go to immigration again, neither for renewals nor to report changes of status. If anyone gets jealous or annoyed by something you're doing, such as running a competing business and tries to report you to immigration, it doesn't matter. With a resident visa only, your entry to Mexico can still be denied by an immigration officer, for any reason at their discretion, or if you have committed even a minor violation of your visa conditions.
For example, you may be a temporary resident and a friend asks you to do them a favour and receive the guests coming to their AirBNB - let them in and give them the keys. It may not seem like a big deal, you're just helping out your friend who is out of town for a few days, but this is a violation of your visa as you are performing a business activity which has not been authorized by immigration, and someone could report you and get your visa revoked.
Another major benefit is being allowed to own property in the border and coastal areas. Foreigners are not permitted to own land directly in these areas, without going through a bank trust. A Canadian citizen who naturalizes would be allowed to own property directly in the coastal areas or along the US border, without the bank trust.
There are many reasons why Canadians love living in Mexico - the better weather, access to private health care at reasonable prices, diverse culture, beaches, history, friendly people, more relaxed lifestyle and cost of living being among the primary benefits for Canadians. Becoming a citizen gives you the security of being able to continue enjoying these benefits indefinitely, even if other unforseen circumstances arise: a change of government which introduces stricter immigration laws, you accidentally engage in unauthorized lucrative activities, or accidentally engage in a political protest or other activity which foreigners are forbidden from engaging in by the constitution.
By becoming a citizen, you become a full member of society with the right to vote, discuss the political issues affecting your community, own any property you want, or do almost any work you want, except the few professions that are forbidden even for naturalized Mexican citizens.
After how many years in Mexico can a Canadian apply for Mexican citizenship?
A Canadian citizen who is married to a Mexican citizen, or who has a child who is a Mexican citizen, can apply for Mexican citizenship after two years of legal residency with a temporary resident visa or permanent resident visa, excluding student visas. In this case, you must have physically resided within Mexico for 180 days of the last 2 years, and this must be proven by either passport stamps, or a flujo migratorio document from immigration. In these cases, it's possible for a Canadian to become a Mexican citizen with only temporary residence, without ever having had permanent residence.
If you are a Canadian and do not have a Mexican spouse or child, you must have legally resided within Mexico for the last 5 years. In this case, you must be a permanent resident to apply for citizenship, as it is impossible to have a temporary resident visa continuously for more than 4 years. Renewing a temporary resident visa after 4 years is effectively the same as starting over, and you will lose any accumulated time for citizenship if you do this.
People from Latin-America and Spain are allowed to apply for Mexican citizenship after 2-years, regardless of whether they are married to a Mexican or have a Mexican child. This does not apply to Canadians, who must otherwise wait the full 5 years.
In any case, you will be required to pass the Mexican history and Spanish test as a Canadian, which is very challenging. Most Canadians who are not of Mexican or Latin-American descent would not be able to pass these tests without intentional and careful study. If you intend to apply for citizenship when you become eligible after 2 or 5 years, it would be prudent to begin studying the history of the country and language long before that.