Mexico Quick Facts
Mexico is one of the top destinations for digital nomads who wish to immerse themselves in Mexico’s iconic culture. This magical country is full of whimsical colors, fantastic flavors, great music, and rich culture and history. Mexico City, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen attract a huge number of digital nomads and expats each and every year.
From beaches to mountains, and tacos to tequila, what is not there to love about Mexico?
Living in Mexico as a digital nomad
Most people know a bit about Mexico or have been there on vacation. It might come as a surprise that it is very easy to establish residency in Mexico, and it also has many areas that could be a good fit for digital nomads who are looking for a digital nomad visa for Mexico.
Mexico has long been a resort destination, and many of its most beautiful areas have a very high level of development. While every area of Mexico isn’t going to be a great option for digital nomads, many areas of the nation offer a great lifestyle and low prices.
Mexico is always a favorite destination for digital nomads for its amazing weather, beautiful vistas, and affordable living costs. The nation also has favorable policies which allow citizens from other countries to visit and work remotely from almost anywhere they like inside of the country.
Overall Mexico offers a great opportunity for digital nomads who are looking for a home base in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. In addition to easy residency, Mexico can also be used as a home base for exploring Central America and the Caribbean.
Attractions and best places to visit
Mexico covers a vast territory, so there are plenty of places for you to visit while living there. Mexico has over 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including ancient Aztec and Mayan sites and historic colonial cities.
You should definitely head towards the Mayan Riviera. It lays along the coastline on the Gulf of Mexico, and there are many wonderful places you can visit. The most famous destinations include Cancún and Playa del Carmen. Even though these locations attract millions of people every year, there are still areas that have retained their local charm so you can find ways to escape the crowds. You can do fun activities like scuba diving, swim with dolphins and stingrays, and even visit the largest underwater museum with an amazing collection of sculptures submerged in the water. Plus, from there you can easily visit the ancient Mayan ruins like Chichén Itzá and the nomad hotspot of Tulum.
If you’re looking for another beachside spot then check out Los Cabos. It’s a 30-kilometer stretch of pristine beaches, with clear waters and stunning landscapes. Los Cabos is also known as Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, or just as Los Cabos Corridor.. Here you can enjoy the serene beaches, or adventure into the water with some diving or fishing. There are also many resorts all over Los Cabos that fit different budget ranges.
If you want to find some more culture, then head towards the region of Chihuahua, one of Mexico’s most northerly states. There you’ll fine one of the country’s most visited natural attractions, Copper Canyon. It consists of a breathtaking group of deep canyons. In fact, Copper Canyon is larger and deeper than Grand Canyon.
And of course, Mexico City is a destination you can’t miss. It’s the most popular destination in the country because it is the capital city and the seat of government. Mexico City has many world-class museums, art galleries, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The colorful streets and lively ambience will instantly pull you towards its most attractive spots. You’ll get the chance to see first-hand true Mexican culture and taste genuine Mexican cuisine.
Digital nomad hotspots
Mexico is extremely popular among ex-pats and remote workers. This means there are many spots all over the country that are perfect for digital nomads.
Many choose to live in Mexico City, because it’s a big city with all the amenities you could ever need. It is affordable and has many attractions to see. There are stunning neightborhoods where you can stay or just walk by to enjoy the beautiful architecture.
Of course, each place comes with its downsides and sadly Mexico City has a few of them. The traffic in the city is horrible, so if you’re planning on renting a car and driving around, be prepared to fit your schedule around the long traffic lines. Another downside is that Mexico City is known for being a little bit dangerous. There are some highly dangerous zones in the city (Tepito and Doctores) which encounter higher rates of crimes, so you’ll want to stay away from them.
Another popular destination among digital nomads is Playa del Carmen. It has a big ex-pat and remote workers community, so you’ll find people from all over the world there. Plus, since it is so close to Cancún, you have easy access to the Cancún airport which has direct flights to and from everywhere in the world.
Other cities that are good for digital nomads include Mérida, Oaxaca,Tulum and Puerto Vallarta. All of them offer you a unique perspective so you can truly experience Mexican culture while working from home.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Mexico will depend on where you decide to stay. Some place are more expensive than others, or will have more accessible amenities.
You can expect to pay around $586/month for a furnished studio apartment in an expensive area, or $303/month in a less expensive area. A bigger apartment will cost around $953/month.
A basic lunchtime menu with drink included costs $12, and a menu at a fast food restaurant costs $7.
Mexico City has its own public transport system that continues to grow each year. They have a metro that has 12 lines, buses and trolleybuses with 8 lines, 1 line of suburban railway, and 1 line of light railway. Plus microbuses and passenger vans known as colectivos.
All fares cost 5 pesos, or around 25 cents, and are cash only. You can purchase a paper ticket at the booth inside the stations, or purchase a smart card for 10 pesos and top it off as you go.
Digital nomad essentials
Internet connection tends to be reliable all over Mexico, but it will depend on the area you’re staying. Usually, Mexico City and Playa del Carmen have fast internet and you’ll find plenty of hotspots for you to use.
We recommend you purchase a SIM card when you arrive at Mexico. You can easily purchase a data chip from any of the internet providers in the country. AT&T and Xfinity have great plans at low costs.
There also many coworking spaces all over Mexico. We recommend you check out these ones:
Mexico also has many coffee shops that are perfect for working remotely.
Mexico is bursting with the digital nomad community, so you’ll find plenty of events that will connect you with other remote workers. Keep an eye out on the Digital Nomad Groups for new opportunities!
Try our free visa wizard to figure out which visas you qualify for!Find a visa
While there isn’t a specific digital nomad visa for Mexico per se, most foreigners are allowed enter the country on a 6 month tourist visa. But if you want to stay longer, Mexico also has very simple temporary residency requirements.
If you end up loving life in Mexico, it’s a snap to start the temporary residency process. While the 6 month tourist visa won’t let you use local banking services, once you get temporary residency on the digital nomad visa for Mexico, or if you stay long enough permanent residency, you will be able to open a bank account.
The temporary resident visa will give digital nomads the ability to live in Mexico from 6 months to 4 years. It will not allow you to work for Mexican companies, but it is a great choice for anyone who already has stable earnings and is comfortable working remotely in the sunshine.
After the 4-year duration of the temporary residency has passed, you can apply for permanent residency if you want to stay in Mexico long-term.
Citizen Remote has a broad range of resources to assist with the exciting process of relocating to another country!
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Mexico
Nationals from all over the world can stay in Mexico on a tourist visa that lasts 6 months with no income requirements. You’ll receive a visa on arrival, so you won’t need to apply in advance if you only plan to stay 6 months. But if you want to stay longer than you’ll need to apply for the digital nomad visa for Mexico, aka the temporary resident permit.
If you plan to apply for a Mexican temporary residency visa then you’ll just need to meet the given economic requirements.
How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Mexico
To apply for the temporary resident visa you’ll need to visit a Mexican embassy or consulate that is located OUTSIDE of Mexico. We’d recommend applying from you home country. You’ll need to book an appointment in advance and can do via the online reservation system here. Once your appointment is confirmed you can take the necessary documents with you to your visa interview.
After your visa is approved you will get a temporary permit which you will exchange for your temporary resident card once you arrive in Mexico. You will get your physical card at the Instituto Nacional de Miagración (INM), which you will have to collect within 30 days of arriving. You will also need to pay a fee, which will vary based how long it’s issued for.
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa for Mexico
A valid passport or equivalent travel document (required to have at least 6 months until expiration)
The visa application form with your signature on it, which must be filled out in English or Spanish, printed double-sided on one page only
A color (3.9 cm x 3.1 cm) photograph with a clear, visible face without glasses with white background
Original and copy of the legal permit to stay in the country where the appointment is taking place, in case you are not natives of that country
Proof of income (about $2,600 per month)
Later, when you come to the INM to get your temporary resident card, remember to bring all necessary documents. You should check the list online before going.
These documents include:
Online completed form, which clarifies your purpose of registering and entering INM
Valid passport or another eligible travel certificate (including both the original and color copy)
Valid visa got from the Mexican Consulate (both the original and color copy)
Original bank receipt with two copies of your prior fee payment
3 photos (sized 3 cm x 2.5 cm, color recommended), two of the three taken with your straight-looking face and the 3rd from your right side.
How much does it cost?
The interview fee to get the visa at the Mexico Consulate is fixed at $40 USD. This fee should be paid one time when the visa is issued. Some official consulate sites say it must be paid in cash, but this will depend on your local consulate.
Afterward, to get the temporary resident permit card in Mexico, you will need to pay another fee of between 3000 – 7000 MXN (between $150 – $350 USD) depending on length of visa issued. This fee should be paid at a bank before you go to the INM building.
You will have to pay the fee each year to renew the visa, as your card will usually be valid for 1 year at a time.
Timeline for Applying
The whole process for completing the Mexico temporary resident visa process can take quite a while, especially if you are currently based in Mexico, since you have to leave Mexico to complete the process.
We recommended you book an appointment with the Mexican consulate a minimum of few weeks before you plan to go to Mexico, but be willing to be flexible about your travels if it takes longer. It’s not a good idea to plan on a tight schedule, as many aspects of the process are out of your control.
Always make sure you’re on time for your visa interview and that you bring all the required documents with you. If you successfully pass the interview, you could even get the visa the same day (although this in not guaranteed).
After you cross the border when you reenter Mexico, you will probably have 30 days to start and complete the application for finishing step two (since the FMM you received is often written to last for 30 days, instead of 180 days).
You don’t need an appointment to pick up your INM card once you arrive to Mexico. It’s first come, first served so make sure to get there as early as possible to beat the lines. Your card will be valid for 1 year and then you can return to renew it each year for up to 4 years total.
Curious about other digital nomad visas that you may be eligible for? Enter your details in our Visa Wizard to get a list of all the options available to you.