Living in Mexico
For a long time Mexico has been one of the top expat destinations for living and retiring abroad, largely thanks to its proximity to North America and low cost of living. In addition to the beaches and great cuisine, Mexico has a lot to offer for those looking to enrich their lives or businesses.
What to Expect
In general, Mexico provides a slower pace of life. The core of the culture lies in family, religion, and heritage. In the smaller cities, there is much less focus on commercialism, unless you’re living in the high tourist zones and bigger cities such as Mexico City and Monterrey. However, the benefit of the larger cities is that they offer many of the comforts of home like movie theaters and a happening night life.
If you’re considering a move to Mexico, it’s advisable to know or start learning Spanish. English is usually spoken in the resort areas and business sectors, but Spanish is necessary to navigate day-to-day life. Naturally, the best way to learn is to immerse yourself locally, rather than sticking to expat hangouts and tourist areas.
Who Moves to Mexico?
People of all walks of life relocate to Mexico; Living abroad from their home country opens up opportunities and experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have.
Families and individuals can find a better quality of life and exposure to a new culture and language. For those moving from North America, Mexico is only a short and inexpensive plane ride away from “home”.
Retirees are drawn to the warm climate of Mexico, which allows for year-around outdoor activities. Plus, with the reduced cost of living compared to North America, retirees can often live comfortably on their savings or pensions.
More and more businesses are moving their facilities to Mexico, especially if they regularly work in North America, Central America, or South America. Japanese, North American, and European companies are especially prevalent. Mexico’s central location, progressive inter-country pacts, and low cost of labor make it an ideal country for conducting business, particularly for the manufacturing industry.
How Easy is it to Live in Mexico?
Obtaining a visa or residency in Mexico varies depending on what you need. Upon entry to the country, most nationalities receive a 180 day travel visa. To stay longer but not necessarily permanently, you’ll need to apply for the Forma Migratoria 3 (FM3), which basically acts as a renewable visa. Full residency can be acquired once you have successfully held a Forma Migratoria 2 for five years.