Mexico is becoming one of the top places for people that want to retire, live, move or expatriate due to its climate conditions, relative low cost of living, security in some cities and peaceful way of living.
Despite the exaggerated media news of drug wars and crime there more than one million Canadians and Americans living in Mexico. Sure there are some cities where crime is a concern, but its not worse than in the USA, there are cities like Mazatlan, Merida, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Acapulco, Huatulco, San Miguel de Allende, Playa del Carmen, Guanajuato and Puebla that are very safe to vacation and to live.
Right now many Americans are Moving to Mexico from USA, however moving from one country to another can be a complex task because you dont know where to start and you dont know the country, so let me guide you with the following steps:
Here is How to Move from USA to Mexico:
Where do you want to Live?
- This should be your first step before making any arrangements, you need to decide to what city in Mexico you want to Move. Maybe you already decide because you are going to work in a company in Mexico. But if you have not decide what city is best to live on these are some of the best cities to live because they are safe, have all the comfort and fun you need:
- Puerto Vallarta
- Los cabos Huatulco
Do you have your Documentation Ready?
- Travel Documentation: make sure that all members of your family have passports and apply for your visa to live and work in Mexico. Get in touch with your local Mexican Consulate so you can fill the necessary forms and fees required. In some cases you may need an immigration Lawyer to help you out.
- Is your passport Valid? your passport has to be valid for at least one year when you apply for a visa. If it is about to expire, you will need to renew it before you apply for a visa in the Mexican consulate.
- Apply for a Resident Visa. There are 3 types of Mexican Visas:
- FMM Forma Migratoria Multiple if you are staying in mexico no longer than 180 days.
- FM3 Long-Term, Non-Immigrant Visa. You need it if you plan to stay in Mexico longer than 6 months
- FM2 Immigrant Visa. If you plan to achieve permanent Mexican residence status or citizenship in the country
- if you are from Canada these are the requirements for a permanent resident visa.
- Here is more information on how to get a visa for Mexico
- Do you have a valid Driving License? You can use your own US drivers license in Mexico, but you can apply for a Mexican driving license if you want.
Make a List of all the things you need to Take
- What electrical Appliances do you plan to take with you? Voltage should not be a problem for any small electrical appliances like laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, tablets. The voltage of USA is the same as Mexico so big ticket items can be moved to Mexico with no problem, however you should consider that some things you can buy them on Mexico instead of taking them.
- Do you have Pets? It is possible to take your pet to Mexico but you need to apply for the necessary permissions and papers. Contact the Mexican consulate and ask for details about what is needed. You will probably need a health certificate by a licensed veterinarian or official authority with proof of vaccines.
- What items are you Leaving? You will also need to list those things that you will leave behind, so you can decide if you want to sell them, gift them or just leave them.
- Do you Own Real Estate? What are you going to do with it, for example if you have a home, are you going to rent it? sell it? you will need to call your local realtor and tell him if it will be rented furnished or unfurnished.
- Do you have Vehicles? If you have a car, truck, boat or motorcycle then you can take it from usa to Mexico or sell it and buy a new one in Mexico.
Where are you Staying in Mexico?
- Do you need Temporary Accomodation? if you need to book a Mexico Hotel then do it now, the sooner you do it the cheaper is going to cost you, so plan ahead of time what day month and day you want to travel to Mexico.
- Do you want to Rent an Apartment? If you plan to move to a rented apartment you should start to look out for your options before your visa is confirmed.
- Do you want to Buy a House in Mexico? If so, then you need to start looking for available options and talk with your real estate agent so he can help you out and make the necessary arrangements before your visa is ready. Keep in mind that is recommended that you rent an apartment for some time before buying a house, so you can get a sense of the life in the city and look at the houses that you really like in the zone that you want.
Get Ready to Move
- Have you asked for Quotes from Moving Companies? Now that you have decided what you are going to take and leave, its time to ask for quotes to moving companies so you can get your personal items moved to Mexico. Choose an established company and ask for references, if you live in the USA your goods will be shipped by road.
- Do you want to leave your big items behind? You can rent a furnished apartment or house in Mexico or even buy everything again overtime if you want to. A good option is to travel to Mexico settle in and then once you are established you can have your personal items moved later on.
- Is your Accomodation in Mexico Ready? By now you should have you hotel booked or apartment agreement ready for rent. If you are shipping all your personal items to Mexico, then those will arrive after you, because you are probably flying to Mexico. But you need to have a plan of where you are going to store your items when they arrive.
- How to import your Personal belongings to Mexico? You can import your personal items free of duty if you hold a Resident Visa and present a list of your personal items at the border.
- What can you Bring? All your personal and household goods such as clothes, books, appliances, furniture, computers, entertainment electronics, musical instruments. You can also bring scientific instruments and tools that are needed in your profession or hobby. Medical equipment such as, blood pressure, wheelchair, sugar monitor, oxygen generator are duty free.
What you can not bring? Guns and ammunition you should not bring. You should not bring frozen or fresh food. However canned and packaged goods are usually allowed.
Menaje de Casa: The Government allows you to move your used (6 months old)household belongings to Mexico without paying import duties. The Rules for preparing the Menaje vary among consulates, you should ask your local consulate. But it consist of the list that you prepare and a cover letter from the consulate. The Menaje is a good deal if you are moving move than just a few items.
- Have you make your Airline Reservations? You are probably going to fly to Mexico so is important that you check your flying options and make your reservations as soon as possible to get the best possible price.
- Contact about your change of Address? you may want to tell some organizations and people you care, about your change of address so you can get your correspondence at your new address.
- Get your Visas Confirmed. Before you keep making plans, pay hotel, flight and sell items you no longer need, be sure to confirm that you have your Visas ready and get all the paperwork and info of your family or people that are coming with you together such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, professional qualifications, etc. double check and get copies and scan them if possible.
- Make the necessary financial arrangements. is important that you pay any receipts, debts and cancel credit cards that you will no longer need, avoid innecessary fees.
- Get your Financial Documents ready. if you are a retire, have all your pension and investment papers at hand, Mexican authorities may ask you for proof of income. Have your bank statements and recent pay bills at hand, because you may need them as proof of being employed or for your visa application. If you own real estate, having the documents that proof you are owner of real estate can be helpful.
- Be ready to Declare the amount of cash you are importing. You must declare how much cash you import or export if the sum exceeds $10,000. There is no limit to how much money can be imported or exported from Mexico, but if it is over $10,000 you must declare it.
- Have your Passports and Visas in one place
- If you are renting or selling your home you should have been given notice to the real estate agent and make final arrangements.
- You should be selling or donating your unwanted goods.
- You should have informed people and organizations that you are moving like telephone company, cel phone, tv companies, banks, financial institutions and any other one.
- Get your Medical Records and prescriptions Ready. You should go to your doctor and get copies of your familys medical records and prescription medicine.
- Confirm your moving date with your moving company, cleaner and any other service provider.
- Get all the personal belongings that you are going to take with you together in your luggage. Make sure that you have enough clothes while you wait for the shipping company to send all your stuff to Mexico.
- Cancel your land line phone service and cable tv, make final readings from the gas and electricity meters, pay your final bills.
- The Moving company should arrive early and leave empty the property so you can clean it.
- Leave the property clean especially if you are renting it or selling it.
- Make a final check of the property to make sure that you are not leaving anything you need behind and ensure that everything is in order.
- Make sure that all your travel documentation and paperwork are passports, visas, etc. are all easily accessible.
- If you are handing the property to someone arrange this to happen the day after your move.
Arriving to Mexico
- There is a straightforward process for arrival to the port of entry.
- Use your Resident Mexican Visa for Entry. The officer at the port o entry will stamp a page on your passport marking your date of entry to the country. You have 30 days from this date to register on the foreign residents register via your local immigration office in Mexico. Check Mexico Immigration contacts for their nearest offices located where you are in Mexico.
- Importing your personal belongings. You are allowed to import all your personal goods free of duty when you hold a resident visa
- Get transport to your hotel. You will need a Taxi to take you to your hotel, if you are renting a property in Mexico the owner of the house or apartment may receive you at the airport.
- Get some Local currency. You need to exchange some money to get mexican pesos and pay for your taxi and any other things. You can check the current exchange rate here.