Congratulations on your decision to move to the land of mariachis and mezcal, chips and salsa, sunsets and sandy beaches, rich culture and warm hospitality.
You’re in for a one-of-a-kind adventure!
But now that you’ve made up your mind to become an expatriate in paradise, you may wonder what it takes to make the big move.
Below are 6 of our favorite how-to tips to prepare for your big move to Mexico:
Big Move to Mexico Tip #1: Proper Paperwork at Your Fingertips
To live in Mexico, you’ll need to have a temporary visa. Eventually, you can earn a permanent visa. And if you’re planning to work in Mexico, you’ll need a work visa.
To handle all of this documentation, either contact the nearest Mexican consulate or embassy in your area or an immigration lawyer once you’re in Mexico. Your tourist visa will give you 6 months to be in the country before you’ll need to change your visa status or leave the country. If you choose to go through the visa process on your own – and some expatriates do – just be sure to read and follow the immigration laws paying special attention to the financial requirements and submission deadlines.
- Birth certificates
- Certificates of adoption
- Driver's licenses
- Marriage certificates
- Medical records
- Membership cards
- Professional licenses
- School records
Big Move to Mexico Tip #2: To Your Health
Most soon-to-be-expatriates update their immunizations before they arrive in Mexico. Talk to your health care provider or travel health clinic (at least 6 months before your move date) regarding these immunizations:
Be sure to keep a record of your health history on hand in the event you’ll need a physician's care while living in Mexico. Once you arrive, you should establish yourself with a local provider.
If you do find yourself in need of medical treatment, rest assured that you’ll be in good hands. Mexico is known in the international medical community as having outstanding care. Mexico has some of the best doctors, surgeons, medical schools and healthcare facilities in the world. We dare to say that you’re likely to receive better care – both pre- and post-treatment) here than in other parts of the world. (And you don't have to wait to get the help you deserve.)
In fact, millions of North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans elect to come here for treatments ranging from dental work to surgeries.
Big Move to Mexico Tip #3: Animal World
If you’re bringing your furry sidekick (dog or cat) with you, you’ll need a veterinary health certificate with proof of immunizations and an annual rabies shot for each pet. This certificate will need to be completed and signed within 5-7 days of your travel date.
(Related Article: How To Take Your Pet to Mexico)
Everyone is different when it comes to bringing their belongings. Some prefer to sell everything while others bring their entire house in a truck. The latter option can be expensive thanks to customs fees.
If you’re still set on bringing your belongings with you, shop around for a moving company that is both affordable and reputable. Also, check with your local consulate to find out what exit and entrance documents you’ll need to bring items into the country.
Big Move to Mexico Tip #5: Money Matters
Successful expatriates spend at least 6 months for their relocation to Mexico. This includes working with local and international financial advisors to be certain their affairs are in order. The goal is to be able to stretch and access your funds in order to live a happy and comfortable lifestyle in Mexico.
Once the long-term details are in place, it’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your home-based banking institution. Some have branches in Mexico. Let them know of your relocation plans.
You’ll need to know how to make deposits and withdrawals, transfer funds, and exchange money. They may charge additional fees for international transactions – money and wire transfers, ATM withdraws and changing account information.
Big Move to Mexico Tip #6: On the Fast Track to Mastering Spanish
Here’s one of the best tips we can pass on. The faster you master Spanish, the faster you’ll acclimate to your new home. (Sure there are English speakers in Mexico, but don’t count on the fact that you’ll see them beyond the resorts and expat communities.)
There are a number of ways to get you conversing with the locals in no time: Apps, DVDs, CDs, books and online resources. These are great, but the best method is to hire a tutor. He or she will customize a series of lessons to help you reach your language goals.
Learn more about Learning Spanish in our article Think You Can't Learn Spanish? Think Again.
In the meantime, start working on the following word categories to get a jump start on speaking the most widely used language in the world:
- Days of the Week
- Everyday Greetings
Most people need from 6-12 months of lessons to work their way up to conversational Spanish.
So there you have it, our favorite tips for your big move to Mexico. If you’re an expatriate living in Mexico, we’d love to hear from you. Share your favorite tips below.