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Friday, January 1, 2010

How to Become a Mexican Citizen?


The process of obtaining Mexican citizenship is time-consuming, and in some situations, hiring an immigration lawyer might be particularly useful. Before engaging in the process, there is one fundamental issue that needs to be addressed: dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship describes the situation where a person has citizenship in two countries simultaneously. Some countries allow dual citizenship, some do not, while others do not have any provisions regarding this special status. While dual citizenship is considered advantageous, one should remember that it comes with additional duties such as paying taxes.

Starting in 1998, the Mexican government began allowing people to have dual citizenship. However, the Mexican legislation is not the only one that matters. More precisely, American applicants need to comply with the existing U.S. legislation with respect to dual citizenship.


In the U.S., people who obtain citizenship in another country will not be able to keep their American citizenship. Americans can enjoy dual citizenship only if they are entitled to a second citizenship by birth. More precisely, Americans who have a Mexican parent or at least a Mexican grandparent can enjoy dual citizenship in U.S. and Mexico. Those who do not have Mexican relatives and want to become Mexican citizens will lose their American citizenship.

The American government is not as permissive as other countries on the issue because, in their point of view, dual citizenship might create conflicts in some situations. The conflict occurs because people who have dual citizenship need to obey the laws of two countries simultaneously. These laws might be incompatible, and this could cause problems to the dual national.

From this point of view, Canadians are lucky because they do not lose their Canadian citizenship once they become citizens of another country. In fact, the whole process of renouncing Canadian citizenship is extremely complex.

In Mexico, there are three types of naturalization certificates, and each of them comes with its own procedure:
  • Naturalization certificate for direct descendants of Mexican citizens 
  • Naturalization certificate for individuals with children who are Mexican by birth 
  • Naturalization certificate for those who reside in Mexico 

Here is the procedure that one needs to follow in order to obtain a nationalization certificate.

1. Naturalization certificate for direct descendants of Mexican citizens

In order to obtain this certificate, the applicants need to demonstrate that they are the descendants of a Mexican. In addition, they need to have resided for two years in Mexico with an FM2 visa before submitting the application.

Necessary documents:
  • DNN-3 application form printed and filled by hand in black ink. 
  • The valid immigration document; original and two copies. The document has to prove that the applicant lived in Mexico for more than two years prior to the application. Also, the document has to be valid for at least 6 months starting from the moment of the application. 
  • A sworn statement by the applicant that states the arrivals and departures to/from Mexico in the past 2-years. 
  • The foreign passport or any travel document; original and two copies of all pages. 
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate belonging to the applicant’s relative. 
  • A recent passport-sized color photograph. 
  • Proof of payment of the fee. 

2. Naturalization certificate for individuals with children who are Mexican by birth

In order to obtain this certificate, the applicants need to demonstrate that they have children who were born in Mexico. In addition, they need to have resided for two years in Mexico with an FM2 visa before submitting the application.

Necessary documents:
  • DNN-3 application form printed and filled by hand in black ink. 
  • The valid immigration document; original and two copies. The document has to prove that the applicant lived in Mexico for more than two years prior to the application. Also, the document has to be valid for at least 6 months starting from the moment of the application. 
  • A sworn statement by the applicant that states the arrivals and departures to/from Mexico in the past 2-years. 
  • The foreign passport or any travel document; original and two copies of all pages. 
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate belonging to the child who was born on Mexican territory. 
  • A recent passport-sized color photograph. 
  • Proof of payment of the fee. 

3. Naturalization Certificate for those who reside in Mexico.

In order to obtain this certificate, the applicants need to demonstrate that they have resided for five years in Mexico with an FM2 visa before submitting the application.

Necessary documents:
  • DNN-3 application form printed and filled by hand in black ink. 
  • The valid immigration document; original and two copies of all the pages. The document has to prove that the applicant lived in Mexico for more than two years prior to the application. Also, the document has to be valid for at least 6 months starting from the moment of the application. 
  • A sworn statement by the applicant that states the arrivals and departures to/from Mexico in the past 2-years. 
  • The foreign passport or any travel document; original and two copies of all pages. 
  • A recent passport-sized color photograph. 
  • Proof of payment of the fee. 
According to the Law of Nationality, those who apply for a naturalization certificate will need to pass a test related to Mexican culture and history.

The institution which handles the applications for naturalization certificates is “Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores”. The official website is http://www.sre.gob.mx/english/. The DNN-3 application form can be downloaded from the website. All the information regarding processing time and fees is published on the website only in Spanish.