How to move to Mexico - costs of living, setting up bank account

What you need to know about planning a trip to Mexico or getting a residency visa and settling there.

Basic information about the country

Situated in North America, Mexico borders the USA, Belize and Guatemala. Mexico is rich in natural resources such as oil, silver or copper, for example. They also have a very well developed agricultural sector. One can find various ruins, ancient cities and pyramids all over the country as it was once home to many ancient civilizations such as the Mayas or the Aztecs.

If you plan to move there learn the very basics of the country and its culture.

Official Name: United Mexican States

Form Of Government: Republic Of Federated States

Capital: Mexico City

Population: 125,959,205

Official Language: Spanish

Currency: Peso

Area: 758,449 Square Miles (1,964,375 Square Kilometers)

5 Reasons To Move To Mexico

1. Beautiful landscapes

Their beautiful sandy beaches by deep blue waters with a warm almost exotic climate for many can be enough of a reason to move to this country.

Moreover, if chilling by the water is not your thing, you can explore tropical jungles, climb mountains or even see a volcano.

On top of that, there are numerous ancient ruins and mayan temples to explore. Don’t miss a chance to learn about one of the richests ancient cultures there has ever been.

2. Low costs of living

Whether it’s housing, food, utility bills or medical care, the prices are usually 50% cheaper than for example in the USA.

Later in this article, we will take a closer look at costs of living and prices of the basic goods and services.

3. Good location and border with US

Being placed in the southern part of North America, one can easily access and explore Central America and even southern countries such as Brazil or Uruguay. Mexico can be a great spot for any adventure seekers and people who’d like to explore a whole new continent or even two.

If you are from Europe and don’t want or can’t afford living in the USA, settling down in Mexico can be a tactical option. You can enjoy the great spanic culture, cuisine, beautiful beaches, and all of that at relatively low costs. And whether you are in need of some American goods or want to visit their tourist attractions, you won’t have to buy a pricey plane ticket from Europe. Instead, just drive there for a few hours from your house.

4. Culture and the people

Openness, friendliness and laidback hispanic lifestyle are welcomed to be adapted by anyone and you will need to get used to it. Many businesses are temporarily closed during the strongest heat, therefore you will learn what siesta is very quickly. However, feel free to enjoy the relaxing yet passionate and devoted vibe around you. Friendly people can be found everywhere.

5. Legendary food

Last but not least, one can’t forget about the mexican cuisine, which is known all around the world. The spices, chilli peppers, enchiladas, guacamole, tacos, not even mentioning the specialities and varieties of certain regions, as each of them has its own taste. You can even plan a whole culinary trip around the country. You can find seafood by the coast. Corn is added to almost everything on the Yucatan Peninsula.

How to get a visa to Mexico?

Many people decide to get a 6-month tourist visa first to accommodate in a new culture or even live in the country for a few months. Then, you will need to get back to your home, but after a certain period of time you can do it again if you miss this unique latin american country. This type of tourist visa doesn’t have any strict requirements.

If you are sure about moving there for good you will need to apply for a permanent residency visa. However, the process can take a long time.

First, you can apply for a temporary stay permit and get a work permit, which will allow you to stay in Mexico for first few years. There are different costs depending on the length of the permits:

  • two years: 5,272 MXN
  • three years: 6,678 MXN
  • four years: 7,914 MXN

What documentation do you need?

According to the official immigration info provided by the government, you will need:

  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Fill out an application form
  • One passport size photo
  • Proof of sufficient funds (for example last three bank statements and letter stating current salary)
  • Proof of permanent residence in the country where the application is being made
  • Pay fees for the visa

What is a Curp Card?

Once you have all of the legal documentation and residency permits handled, you will need to apply for a Curp Card. It is a special identity code required to have access to most government services, handle taxes or even renew your passport in Mexico.

You can apply for it in any local government facility, all you need is a copy of your visa and passport.

Mexican Currency - MXN

The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso. Its short name is MXN and the same “$” as american dollar is often used regarding this currency. Currently, 1 USD is exchanged for around 19 MXN. It isn’t widely accepted anywhere outside the country, apart from the neighboring towns of USA or Guatemala close to the border. The Mexican peso is the 10th most traded currency in the world and the first in Latin America.

Costs of living in Mexico

Here is a list of estimated monthly costs in major Mexican city per basic utilities, food or activities which fall into the entertainment category, such as going out a few times in a month whether it’s dining out, clubbing or going to the cinema.

Price in USD
Rent (two-bedroom home) $750
Electricity $30
Water $15
Gas $30
Internet $20
Cellphone $10
Cable/Pay TV $35
Healthcare $85
Transportation $30
Groceries $350
Entertainment $250
Miscellaneous/Incidentals $150

Therefore, one should easily live a very comfortable live closing within $1500 range. Spending $2500 monthly could set you up with a nice house by the beach.

Popular Banks in Mexico

After you move into the country one of the essentials is to set up a local bank account. Here is the list of the most popular banks in Mexico, which you can consider:

  • BBVA Bancomer
  • Banamex
  • Banorte
  • HSBC
  • Santander
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