Reader email: I'm a 55 year old Canadian and I've spent two winters in Mexico. One in Merida and one in Holbox. I liked Merida more, it has a lot of culture and beauty. Plus its a very safe, modern city. I want to move to Mexico permanently, and leave Canada. The vaccine mandates, the increase in the prices for everything, from groceries to rents, and the terrible "universal healthcare" which guarantees that I can't get a doctor's visit until I am nearly dead. In fact, the last two years I've done all my catch-up dental work in Mexico for a bargain price. And I get prescriptions filled in advance at a much cheaper price and take them into Canada. After a lot of research I am going to try to apply for permanent residency. I have some passive income coming in that will make it financially comfortable for me (although I am not wealthy by any means). Do you think this is possible to get this done in just a few months? Do you think I can manage the application process myself?
Thanks in advance for your advice
Answer: Welcome to our blog, William! First of all, Merida is a great choice for adult expats of all ages who want a modern, beautiful city. We spent a full month in the Yucatan this year and it was beautiful. We wish we could have extended our stay so we could see more of what Merida had to offer.
US citizens, EU citizens, and Canadians relocating to Mexico may easily apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa, depending on their financial status. We suggest the Permanent Resident Visa, if you qualify. Canadians can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days per year as visitors, but you won't be able to work or open a bank account. And you won't have the legal rights that a legal resident or Mexican citizen would have.
A couple can live comfortably in Mexico with an average income of about $2,500 a month, or $30,000 a year. If you live frugally, and away from the beach zones, it is possible to live on much, much less. Remember that the average Mexican family lives on less than $20,000 USD a year, and salary ranges for lower paid workers can be as low as $500 USD per month. The average cost of living in Canada is 150% more expensive than in Mexico. That includes rents, food, everything, except perhaps electronics, which happen to be more expensive in Mexico. So our suggestion is that if you want modern electronics, like a laptop, tablet, etc. use your luggage and carry-on weight to bring those with you. Things like clothing and shoes can be purchased in Mexico cheaply. So don't bother stuffing your suitcases with useless tchotchkes!
As for navigating the application process, we do not recommend doing this yourself. We TRIED to do it ourselves, and ended up having multiple problems with Mexican immigration. We hired a lawyer, Eduardo Fregoso, Esq. who did a great job for us, and saved us any future headaches. It was reasonable, too, only costing a few thousand dollars.
No website or company has paid a fee to be mentioned in this blog. Any suggestions you see are based solely on our own experiences and personal preferences.
Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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