Can a Canadian live in Mexico?

Are you thinking about moving to Mexico? It could be to live, work, or retire. Whatever your reason, you need to know whether it’s possible. So, can a Canadian live in Mexico?

A Canadian can live in Mexico. But there’s a process for moving here. You need to research, inform the CRA, prepare your documents, and get a visa. Once in Mexico, you also need to visit the INM office, contact the Canadian embassy, get your CURP card and driver’s license, and set up utilities.

Although Mexico isn’t as developed as Canada, the quality of life here is still okay. The cost of living is much lower too. Here, we discuss whether a Canadian can live in Mexico and the process for relocating.

Steps for moving to Mexico

Relocating to Mexico might be a little complex, but it’s possible to summarize the process into four steps. These are:

1.   Research

It’s important to conduct adequate research once you plan to move to Mexico. Since this is a new country, you need to know what you’re getting into. There are places in Mexico that are considered great for Canadians. These include cities like Merida, Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, Ensenada, Huatulco, and San Miguel de Allende. You can research these and similar places in advance to know which is ideal for you.

2.   Notify the Canadian Revenue Agency

Once you’ve decided on moving to Mexico, you need to inform the Canadian Revenue Agency. The CRA will use the information you provide to determine the type of resident. You can be one of the four types: deemed resident, fractural resident, non-resident, and deemed non-resident. Your residential status determines whether you pay taxes.

3.   Gather all the Documents you Need

The Visa application will require you to present several documents. This includes your birth certificate, Canadian passport, RCMP certificate for criminal records, etc. You’ll have to legalize most of these documents in the Mexican embassy or any of its consulates in Canada. You also need to prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in Mexico.

4.   Get a Visa

Mexico allows you to apply for a temporary or permanent resident visa. This gives you great options based on your reasons for moving to Mexico. The visa requirements are quite strict. But if you follow the right legal steps, you can get it done in a matter of weeks. You should work with experts in Mexican immigration laws to make the process easier. Given that the immigration process is constantly changing, you’ll need someone familiar with the laws and has current information. You can get two types of visas when planning to live in Mexico. They include:

  • Temporary Resident Visa: This is for anyone planning to send above 180 days. Upon application, the visa lasts for one year initially, but you can renew it for between 2 to 4 years. Temporary residents can enter and leave Mexico at will. You can also get a work permit and all other necessary benefits.
  • Permanent Resident Visa: This visa is for those who want to be citizens. To be a permanent resident, you must have an immediate family in Mexico, be a retiree with sufficient income, meet the required points under the point system, or apply for residency on humanitarian grounds. Without any of these four conditions, you have to be a temporary resident for four years before applying for permanent residency. But if your spouse is Mexican, you only need a temporary visa for two years.

What to do on Getting to Mexico

Since your reason for moving to Mexico is to live there, you’ll need to settle down into this new environment. Here are the things to do on arrival in the country:

  1. Visit the INM Office in Mexico

Upon arriving in Mexico, show your visa to the consulate officer, who will mark it ‘canje’ and write 30 days. This means you have to complete your ‘canjeprocess’ within 30 days. Next, you’ll have to visit an Institute Nacional de Migracion (INM) office, where you’ll fill out paperwork and apply for a resident card.

  1. Contact the Canadian Embassy

The next step is to inform the Canadian embassy and register there. This means the embassy can know your whereabouts, and you can get assistance from the embassy if need be.

  1. Get your CURP Card

The Clave Única de Registro de Población (CURP) or Unique Population Registry Code in English is the social security number in Mexico. Everyone residing in Mexico will have one for life. You can contact the Institute Nacional de Migracion (INM) to get this number. It’s necessary to do many things in the country, especially government services and the civil registry.

  1. Get Driving License

Although you can use your Canadian driver’s license in Canada, it’s best to get a Mexican license. This makes it easier to drive throughout Mexico. You can apply in any of the 14 SEMOV offices. Requirements include a valid passport, visa card, valid driver’s license, CURP, and proof of address. They may also ask for blood type documentation. The driver’s license lasts for four years before renewal.

  1. Identify Healthcare Services

The IMMS programs also cater to expatriates who want to enjoy public healthcare. But most times, it’s advisable to find a private healthcare services provider. Depending on where you live, you can access US private healthcare services.

  1. Make Arrangements for Utilities

Utilities in Mexico are either in the hands of the government or private companies. So, you’ll need to contact each relevant authority to get what you need. For example, the government-owned CEF supplies electricity. So, you have to apply to the company. But your house has to be within 35 meters of an electric pole.

The private companies manage gas supply, and you can take your gas tank there to fill it. You may also find gas trucks on the streets and call them to fill your tank. For water, you can use private or government services. The private services are more reliable. Places in remote areas usually have underground reservoirs that collect rainwater or wells. You’ll need any of your CURP card, address, proof of residence, passport, or other sources of identification to get utility services.

In Conclusion

Mexico is an amazing country with lots of vibrant places to live. Canadians can live here temporarily or permanently. Although the standard of living isn’t up to Canada’s, it’s not as bad. There are also several wonderful locations for foreigners living in the country.

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