also make sure you know the documents that will be needed for other eventualities,
such as the transferal of your children to a new school (again, you'll
need an official apostille from the relevant public office for education
in the country where the child was last studying), health insurance (a
recent medical report), pets (a vaccination certificate stating that your
pet has been vaccinated against rabies, hepatitis, pip and leptospirosis
and an official health certificate that must be issued by a veterinarian
no more than 72 hours before entering Mexico), auto (valid driver's license,
international credit card, birth certificate, passport, visa, original
and copies of the vehicle state registration certificate, auto insurance
to be obtained at customs and a permit that will be valid for 6 months).
Thus make sure you know all the documents you will need for every eventuality,
otherwise it could be a grand hassle once you're in Mexico.
The next step
is to begin thinking about the moving process itself. The moving process
involves selecting a good moving service, and it's essential that you base
your choice on recommendations from people who have worked with a particular
moving company before you make your choice. One thing to make sure is that
you are not bringing in illegal substances like organic goods, alcohol,
drugs or firearms into the country. You will be required to sign an official
document certifying this. You are also not supposed to bring in any new
goods, what you bring in should be your used household items, nothing else.
Make sure to insure what it is you are moving and keep a record of the
items, as things may be lost along the way, damaged or broken. You never
know, even with the best companies. Besides, you will need to provide Mexican
customs with an inventory of the goods you are bringing in.
your homework, it is a very good idea to contact a relocation specialist
before you move to Mexico. If you are relocating with a company, your company
could provide you with a relocation specialist, as the services of a relocation
specialist is sometimes included in the company's budget for the expatriate
relocation package, but not always. Relocation specialists are very handy
in that they offer you the chance to make your relocation to Mexico as
smooth as possible for you and your family. They generally offer look and
see tours to help you figure out where you'd like to live (it would be
ideal if you could make a pre-move visit), and they also go into home searches
to help you find a place once you've figured out where you'd like to live.
They take charge of the hassles and details of setting up the house, utilities
and communications, etc. If you are planning on leaving the country they
can also take care of the sale or lease of your home. One thing to note
about most relocation companies is that they generally prefer to work with
companies as clients, rather than individuals. So if you are being relocated
through your company, make sure you know if your company has included a
relocation specialist in your relocation budget.
If you are
not planning on using a relocation service, you can hire the services of
a real estate agent, but make sure you go about this task upon recommendations
from other people who have relocated to Mexico. Do your homework, search
around, check out on-line resources and forums. You can find a house or
an apartment depending on your needs, but you should know that the cost
of living in Mexico is not cheap, despite the misconceptions of many foreigners.
As a foreigner, you will also need a guarantor (aval) to underwrite your
lease contract. This is often underrated by potential lessees, but is very
important nevertheless. Note that your company can act as a guarantor if
Live - Where Not To Live
There are certain
things to look out for in picking a home in Mexico. Proximity of home to
work and also your children's school is very important in a city the size
of Mexico's capital. Traffic is often bumper-to-bumper, distances can be
long. Making sure your work, school and home are within close vicinity
of each other (as well as other amenities like sports clubs, shopping centers,
supermarket, etc.) can significantly improve your quality of life. Another
thing to note is pollution. There are parts of the city with residential
areas that have less congestion, more parks, less traffic. Added to this
factor is the ever-pervasive problem of insecurity in Mexico City. The
crime-rate is high and you always have to keep in mind the safety and security
of yourself and your family. Certain areas are safer than others, but even
then, always make sure you take precautions.
a school, make sure you go and visit all the schools that you have picked
out and that you are given guided tours into all the facilities. Also see
and compare the curriculums of the various schools and make sure they offer
the quality and facilities you are expecting. Although Mexico City has
excellent private and bilingual schools, one should always know all facets
of such an important decision as concerns the education of their children.
In terms of
finding a job in Mexico City, this often depends on whom you know as well
as how good your credentials are. Being bilingual is always a big bonus,
especially with a knowledge of English, while other languages like French,
German and Italian may also come in very handy considering the number and
size of European companies doing business in Mexico.
looking to change jobs or acquire new jobs, the best way to go about it
would be through a headhunter. There are some excellent international headhunting
services and companies spread throughout Mexico. Another good place to
begin are on-line Internet employment sites and forums where you can find
information and also interact with others who may know of opportunities
and also exchange advice and experience. Make sure to also contact chambers
of commerce, be they foreign or local, as well as checking out the daily
classifieds in Mexico's various newspapers and their respective websites.
To Sum Up:
homework before and during your move will have acquainted you with what
to expect in Mexico in terms of culture shock, nothing will inure you until
you actually live and experience Mexico for yourself. While the differences
take time, patience and an open mind to come to terms with, having become
acclimatized, you will find it the most rewarding experience of your life.
As mentioned above, crime, pollution, traffic are ever-pervasive factors,
yet the subtleties of becoming acquainted with social and business etiquette,
style of living, language, culture, arts and crafts, the unique multi-layered
history the country offers, reflected in the art, architecture and even
in the faces of the people, all of this is just waiting to be discovered
and what awaits you is a veritable feast for the senses and mind. Sure,
we have to consider the itsy bitsy details of this whole complicated relocation
process, and we have to do our homework assiduously, but you will understand
once you have settled in, that you will experience the satisfaction and
fulfillment of having relieved yourself of the panic, while at the same
time having given yourself the time and knowledge to take upon yourself
the adventure that is waiting to be discovered.