Whether you can obtain Mexican citizenship if your parents were born in Mexico depends on a few key factors. Here’s a quick overview of the requirements:
If Your Parents Were Mexican Citizens When You Were Born
If your parents were Mexican citizens when you were born, you are most likely automatically a Mexican citizen at birth. Mexico grants citizenship at birth based on jus sanguinis, or “right of blood.” This means citizenship is passed on from parent to child.
So if at least one of your parents was a Mexican citizen when you were born, you are most likely automatically a Mexican citizen regardless of your place of birth. The only exception is if you were born to a Mexican mother and unknown or stateless father – in that case your parents would have had to take additional steps to confer citizenship.
If Your Parents Became Mexican Citizens After You Were Born
If your parents were not Mexican citizens when you were born, but later became citizens of Mexico through naturalization, you may still be eligible for Mexican citizenship. However, it is not automatic.
Mexico’s constitution allows for naturalization of foreign-born children of naturalized citizens. To obtain citizenship through this method, the following conditions must be met:
- You are under age 18
- You are single
- You have officially resided in Mexico with your parents for at least 5 years
If you meet these requirements, your parents can apply for your naturalization as a minor child once they have officially held citizenship for at least 2 years.
If You Were Born Outside of Mexico to Non-Citizen Parents
If you were born outside of Mexico to parents who were not Mexican citizens at the time of your birth, you are not automatically a Mexican citizen. However, you may still be able to acquire Mexican citizenship through one of the following options:
You can apply to become a naturalized Mexican citizen if you meet the following requirements:
- You have officially resided in Mexico for at least 5 years immediately prior to applying
- You can speak and write in Spanish
- You have a way to support yourself financially
- You are of good moral character with no criminal record
If granted, you would take an oath renouncing your original citizenship and become a full Mexican citizen.
If your parents were Mexican citizens who later naturalized in another country, you may qualify to apply as a “Returning Mexican.” To qualify you must:
- Have at least one parent who is a naturalized Mexican citizen
- Be born outside of Mexico
- Apply for Returning Mexican status by age 18
If approved, you can obtain full Mexican citizenship by declaring your intent to live in Mexico and taking an oath of allegiance to Mexico.
In summary, you can only automatically obtain Mexican citizenship at birth if at least one of your parents was a Mexican citizen when you were born. Otherwise you may still qualify through one of the naturalization pathways if you meet the requirements. It’s best to check current laws and consult the Mexican consulate about your specific situation if you are interested in acquiring Mexican citizenship.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get Mexican citizenship if I marry a Mexican citizen?
Yes, you may be eligible for expedited naturalization if you marry a Mexican citizen. You would still need to meet requirements such as proving basic Spanish language abilities and showing 5 years of official residence in Mexico. But the process can be faster with a Mexican spouse – you may qualify in as little as 2 years.
Can I have dual citizenship with Mexico?
Yes, Mexico allows dual citizenship. If you naturalize as a Mexican citizen you are not required to renounce your original citizenship. However, if you were born a dual citizen, you may be required by your other country of citizenship to choose one or the other once you turn 18.
Does Mexico allow citizenship by investment?
No, Mexico does not offer a citizenship by investment program. There is no “fast track” to Mexican citizenship by making an economic contribution or real estate purchase in Mexico.
Can I get Mexican citizenship by serving in the military?
There is no special citizenship provision for serving in the Mexican military. Joining the military also does not reduce the standard 5 year residency requirement for naturalization.
How long does it take to get Mexican citizenship?
If you are eligible for naturalization, it typically takes 1-2 years from start to finish. Processing time varies by location. The fastest route is through naturalization as a minor child of Mexican citizens, which may take only a few months.
Do I lose my Mexican citizenship if I become a citizen of another country?
No, Mexico recognizes dual citizenship, so you can become a citizen of another country without jeopardizing your Mexican citizenship. The only way to lose Mexican citizenship is through an official renunciation process.
Can I apply for Mexican citizenship based on my ancestry?
Mexico does not offer citizenship based solely on having a Mexican ancestor or being born to Mexican parents outside Mexico. You must either be born in Mexico or naturalize based on residency and other requirements.
What are the benefits of Mexican citizenship?
Benefits include the ability to live and work freely in Mexico, own property, attend Mexican schools, participate in elections, and travel easily between Mexico and your home country. Mexican citizens can also apply for Mexican passports to enjoy visa-free travel to many countries around the world.
Table Comparing Citizenship Requirements
|Other Options to Obtain Citizenship
|Born in Mexico to Mexican parents
|N/A (already citizen)
|Born outside Mexico to Mexican parents
|Returning Mexican status before age 18 if parents naturalized
|Born outside Mexico to non-citizen parents
|Naturalization after 5 years residency
|Parent naturalizes after your birth
|Minor child naturalization if under 18 and meet requirements
|Marry a Mexican citizen
|Expedited naturalization (2 years residency)
Applying for Mexican Citizenship
If you meet the eligibility requirements outlined above, you’ll need to follow these steps to apply for Mexican citizenship:
- Gather required documents – these include your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), valid ID, proof of address, and evidence you meet any other criteria.
- Submit your application at the Mexican consulate or immigration office covering your place of residence. Applications can be completed online or in person.
- Pay application fees – this is usually around $200-300 USD.
- Pass background checks – criminal records from Mexico and any other country are reviewed.
- Interview – you will need to interview with immigration authorities.
- Take citizenship test – tests your Spanish skills and knowledge of Mexico’s history, geography and civic systems.
- Oath ceremony – you will swear allegiance to Mexico and renounce any other citizenships (unless dual citizenship is permitted).
- Receive naturalization certificate – this will serve as proof of your Mexican citizenship.
The entire process can take over a year. It’s recommended to consult an immigration attorney, get help translating documents, and verify requirements with your nearest consulate before applying.
Gaining Mexican citizenship through your parents’ birth in Mexico is possible but not automatic in most cases. Unless you were born to Mexican citizen parents in Mexico, you will likely need to pursue naturalization through one of the pathways outlined here. Be sure to check if you qualify and carefully follow the application process through the Mexican government. With the right documentation and perseverance, your Mexican ancestry can help you obtain the benefits and rights of Mexican citizenship.