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Whether you are moving to the scenic beaches of Cabo San Lucas or the stunning mountain vistas of Guadalajara, you want a stress-free move. This means that you need to create a comprehensive relocation checklist to help you organize your move. This detailed guide contains the best moving tips to move from the US to Mexico. You can then create your personalized relocation checklist. Let’s get started. 

How to Move to Mexico: A Step-by-Step Guide

Keep reading to learn how to move to Mexico: a step-by-step guide.

There are many phases to your international move and several items that you need to keep track of. Now we’ll consider how to move to Mexico: a step-by-step guide:

Your Pre-Move Planning

If you’re still thinking about moving to Mexico, then you must do your research. We recommend that you do an extensive search for information and advice about living in Mexico. Make sure that you explore guides that talk about working and retiring in Mexico, as well as the types of accommodations and amenities that are available in different regions. 

Preparing for Your Move to Mexico

Congrats on your decision to move to Mexico! Whether it’s San Miguel de Allende, Cabo San Lucas, Campeche, Guanajuato, or Puebla, you need to prepare. So there is much planning to do before you leave the USA to settle in Mexico. 

The exact details of your plans will vary according to your unique circumstances. Some of the key factors that will affect the complexity of your move include your:

  • Marital status
  • Parental status
  • Family size

Your Moving to Mexico Checklist: 3 Months to Your Move Day

Let’s review the checklist of items that you need to consider 3 months away from your planned moving day:

Travel Documents

Make sure that you and all members of your family have passports and that you have applied for your visa to live (and if necessary, work) in Mexico. 

If you’re moving to Mexico for a job, then they will take care of all the visa documentation for you. But if you are moving to Mexico on your own (or you plan to retire), then you need to procure these travel documents yourself. You also need to ensure that you meet all the requirements to qualify to live and/or work in Mexico. 

Passport Validation

Your passport(s) must be valid for at least one year when you’re applying for a Mexican residency visa. If they are due to expire, then you’ll need to renew them before submitting them to the Mexican Consulate for residency processing.

Driving License

The good news is that Mexico doesn’t require you to have an International Driver’s license so you can use your US driver’s license. 

Once you are in Mexico, you can apply for a Mexican driver’s license if desired. But please note that the procedures to apply for a Mexican license vary from one state to the next. In some states, you simply complete paperwork, present your residency visa, and pay the fees for your driving license to be issued. 

We recommend that you check with the particular state where you plan to live, to learn what local procedures and fees you need to meet. 

Check Your Electrical Appliances 

You should create a list of all your electrical appliances that will accompany you and your family to Mexico. Some of your items will work on low-voltage like laptops, iPods, smartphones, etc. so you will easily adapt to living in Mexico. The great news is that the US voltage is similar to the one in Mexico, so that’s one source of worry that’s gone. 

However, that doesn’t mean that you should move all your large appliances to Mexico. Why? Remember that you need to pay for shipping. So the heavier your load is, the more money you will need to pay. Also, all the appliances that you’ll ever need you can easily purchase once you get to your new home in Mexico. 

Pet Time! Moving Your Pets to Mexico

You can move your beloved pets to Mexico.

Yes, you can take your favorite pooch or kitty to your new home in Mexico. However, you will need to apply for permission and your pet must be vaccinated and have all its health papers in order. 

You will need to supply a Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian or an official authority (whose signature is approved by a state veterinarian). You will need to show proof of your pet’s vaccines against rabies and distemper and should be administered at least 15 days before your pet arrives in Mexico. 

However, please note that while cats and dogs may be taken to Mexico, if you have other animals (like rabbits, birds, snakes, ferrets, etc.), you cannot import them without special import permits. 

Consider What You’ll Take and Leave

You should make a checklist of the items that will accompany you into Mexico. The rest of your items can be sold via garage sales and online platforms or donated. 

So go around your home and look for all the items that you need to evaluate. You will be surprised to see that you have a lot of things that you need to process. Go through your garage, shed, attic, and cellar (if you have them). 

Make Appropriate Arrangements for Your Real Estate

If you own your house (or if it’s mortgaged), you’ll need to decide whether to rent it out or sell it. If you plan to sell it, then this is the time to have it listed on the market.

You may want to rent your home out, in which case, you need to decide if you will rent it furnished or unfurnished. You will also need to arrange for a local realtor to manage your rental while you’re in Mexico. 

If you currently live in rented accommodation, you need to check your lease to see when it expires and how much advance notice you need to give before you leave. However, we recommend that you don’t give notice of your rented accommodation until the Mexican Consulate approves your visas. 

Decide What Happens to Your Vehicles

If you have cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, etc., you need to deal with them. You may be able to move some or all of them into Mexico. If you want to sell your vehicles, then you should have them serviced and advertised after your visas are confirmed. 

Set Up Your Temporary Accommodation in Mexico

You will likely stay in a hotel when you first arrive in Mexico. If you are moving during the high-traffic seasons (Christmas/New year, Easter, and Summer), then you need to book your Mexican accommodation in advance.

 

If you plan to move right into a rented house or apartment in Mexico, then you should make those arrangements as soon as your visas are confirmed. If you are buying a Mexican home and you want the sale to close quickly, then you need to keep in touch with your vendor and/or agent in Mexico. 

Contact the Best Relocation Consultants

Are you looking for the best Mexican relocation expert? Then US Border Movers is the perfect choice for you! 

We will arrange every aspect of your move from the USA to Mexico. You simply need to pack your bags and move – we will arrange all the paperwork to help you, your family, and all your possessions resettle in Mexico. 

Even if you chose to go with a relocation expert, you should still read this guide to help you glean the knowledge you need to make the best choices to suit your needs. 

Your Moving to Mexico Checklist: 2 Months to Your Move Day

Here’s your checklist when you’re 2 months away from your planned moving date:

Get Your Travel Documents 

Before you start spending on your relocation details (removals, travel arrangements, etc.) make sure that you have all your travel documents. 

You will need to get visas for all members of your family. Also, put together all of your family’s important documents like birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, professional qualification certificates, and diplomas, etc. 

Obtain as Many Moving Quotes as You Can

Once you decide on what you will take with you to your new, adventurous Mexican destination, you need to start thinking about moving companies. We recommend that you contact at least three moving companies to get their quotes for your international move. 

Make sure that you choose well-established companies that have a strong market presence. It’s always a good idea to ask for references (and check out those references too). You choose your mode of transportation – road, sea, or air freight, wherein the latter option is the most expensive. 

What’s the Size of Your Load?

Since you pay by weight for moving your household items, we always recommend that you travel light. You can rent furnished accommodation in Mexico, and you can purchase many of the extra items that you need there. You can also choose to place your stuff intended for Mexico in storage, travel ahead to get settled, and then have them imported to you. Your move, your way!

Arrange Accommodation in Mexico

Whether you’re moving to Cabo San Lucas, Queretaro, or Guanajuato, you will need to figure out your accommodation strategy at this point. 

If you’re shipping your household items into Mexico, they will likely arrive after you do. However, you need to have a plan for the arrival of your stuff – unless you don’t mind paying for storage. Since you’ll be on the ground ahead of time, you’ll have enough time to get your living arrangement sorted. 

Importing Your Items into Mexico

If you hired an expert international moving company, then you won’t have to worry about these requirements. But in the interest of full information, let’s briefly consider this aspect:

You are allowed to import personal items duty-free into Mexico when you hold a Resident Permit and present a list of them at the border (or at customs for sea and air freights). This list is called a “Menaje de Casa” and is a detailed inventory of all your household items and their current value (in English and Spanish). 

 

However, there are limits to that “duty-free” tag. Things like clothes, books, and personal items are allowed duty-free. But items like electrical goods and home appliances are subject to a duty limit and you’ll need to pay taxes over this limit. 

You don’t want the headache of navigating customs paperwork. An experienced moving company can help you not only with your move, but all the official paperwork of your household items and their second-hand resale value. So hire an international moving company and relax!

Taking Your Car? Be Prepared

Do the necessary research about importing your car into Mexico and driving there.

Do you want to take your car to your new Mexican home? Then make sure that you research driving in Mexico as well as the legal requirements for importing your car. Or, you could just hire a full-service moving expert.

Arrange Schooling for Your Children

Now is the time to arrange the details of your children’s schooling in Mexico. 

If you are employed by a company, then your relocation package may include this aspect. But if you are moving on your own, then you’ll need to research potential Mexican schools. 

You can create a shortlist and visit about three of them when you arrive in Mexico. Also, the US Consulate in Mexico may be able to give you a list of private schools that you can explore for their suitability. 

Make Your Airline Reservations

If you are flying to Mexico, then you need to start researching your flight options now. Don’t leave this for the last minute when prices will be expensive. And consider whether or not you will fly with pets. 

Change of Address 

Create a list of all the people and organizations that you need to inform about your change of address closer to your moving date. Arrange for a holding or forwarding address in the USA if you don’t have a permanent address in Mexico as yet. 

Do Your Garage Sales

You’ve already decided what won’t make the trip to Mexico and what won’t go into US storage. So why don’t you try to get a few extra dollars before you leave? A series of garage sales is ideal. Also, consider making some donations to your local charitable organizations. 

Get Your Finances in Order

You’ll need to consolidate all your financial arrangements. For example, you may need to pay-off or cancel some of your credit cards, close and open bank accounts, adjust your investment accounts, etc. 

In the decluttering process, make sure that you shred all paperwork that contains your personal or financial details. Also, shred any bank cards or checkbooks that you no longer need. You don’t want to move to Mexico and then have to deal with identity theft implications.

Settle the Details of Your Pension and Taxes

If you are retiring in Mexico, then you need to have all your pension, investment, and tax paperwork organized. Why? The Mexican authorities will ask for proof of your economic solvency.  If you are employed or an entrepreneur, then you need to have all your bank statements and recent payslips on hand. You’re going to need them for your visa application or renewal process.

Always store your share certificates, bonds, and other financial instruments in your hand luggage. Also, you’ll need to declare the import/export of cash and other negotiable monetary instruments if they exceed US$10,000. While there is no limit on the amount of money you can import into or export out of Mexico, you have to declare all funds if they total more than US$10,000. Since you will be traveling from the USA to Mexico, you’ll need to make a separate declaration to US customs if you are traveling with more than US$10,000. 

You need to also consider your tax position. A good accountant will advise you about the best tax structure for your financial situation. Furthermore, consult a tax expert to discuss how your taxes will be handled from your new home in Mexico. 

Arrange Your Overseas Voting RIghts

Research your state’s requirements about how you can vote from overseas. Then you can make all arrangements to do so before you relocate to Mexico. 

 

Your Moving to Mexico Checklist: 1 Month to Your Move Day

Let’s discuss your one-month-in-advance moving checklist.

Do you want to take your car to your new Mexican home? Then make sure that you research driving in Mexico as well as the legal requirements for importing your car. Or, you could just hire a full-service moving expert.

Arrange Schooling for Your Children

Now is the time to arrange the details of your children’s schooling in Mexico. 

If you are employed by a company, then your relocation package may include this aspect. But if you are moving on your own, then you’ll need to research potential Mexican schools. 

You can create a shortlist and visit about three of them when you arrive in Mexico. Also, the US Consulate in Mexico may be able to give you a list of private schools that you can explore for their suitability. 

Make Your Airline Reservations

If you are flying to Mexico, then you need to start researching your flight options now. Don’t leave this for the last minute when prices will be expensive. And consider whether or not you will fly with pets. 

Change of Address 

Create a list of all the people and organizations that you need to inform about your change of address closer to your moving date. Arrange for a holding or forwarding address in the USA if you don’t have a permanent address in Mexico as yet. 

Do Your Garage Sales

You’ve already decided what won’t make the trip to Mexico and what won’t go into US storage. So why don’t you try to get a few extra dollars before you leave? A series of garage sales is ideal. Also, consider making some donations to your local charitable organizations. 

Get Your Finances in Order

You’ll need to consolidate all your financial arrangements. For example, you may need to pay-off or cancel some of your credit cards, close and open bank accounts, adjust your investment accounts, etc. 

In the decluttering process, make sure that you shred all paperwork that contains your personal or financial details. Also, shred any bank cards or checkbooks that you no longer need. You don’t want to move to Mexico and then have to deal with identity theft implications.

Settle the Details of Your Pension and Taxes

If you are retiring in Mexico, then you need to have all your pension, investment, and tax paperwork organized. Why? The Mexican authorities will ask for proof of your economic solvency.  If you are employed or an entrepreneur, then you need to have all your bank statements and recent payslips on hand. You’re going to need them for your visa application or renewal process.

Always store your share certificates, bonds, and other financial instruments in your hand luggage. Also, you’ll need to declare the import/export of cash and other negotiable monetary instruments if they exceed US$10,000. While there is no limit on the amount of money you can import into or export out of Mexico, you have to declare all funds if they total more than US$10,000. Since you will be traveling from the USA to Mexico, you’ll need to make a separate declaration to US customs if you are traveling with more than US$10,000. 

You need to also consider your tax position. A good accountant will advise you about the best tax structure for your financial situation. Furthermore, consult a tax expert to discuss how your taxes will be handled from your new home in Mexico. 

Arrange Your Overseas Voting RIghts

Research your state’s requirements about how you can vote from overseas. Then you can make all arrangements to do so before you relocate to Mexico. 

 

Your Moving to Mexico Checklist: 1 Month to Your Move Day

Let’s discuss your one-week-in-advance moving to-do list.

This last week is going to be hectic but power through! Here’s what you will need to keep in mind:

Prepare to Vacate Your House/Apartment in the USA

You need to move out this week! Anything you haven’t been able to sell should be donated. Your refrigerator and/or freezer should be empty, defrosted, and completely dry by now. All your designated storage items should already be stored away. 

Do you have houseplants? Give them a new home too. Complete all your last-minute laundry and dry cleaning (and pick up any items from the dry cleaners). 

If your bed has already been packed away, then you will need to either arrange to stay with family, friends, or a local hotel. Finalize your forwarding of all your mail to Mexico as well. 

Arrange Your Personal Belongings

You need to organize your items in your carry-on luggage. Also, take all your high-value items like jewelry and sentimental items in your carry-on luggage. Make sure that you have enough clothes as you wait for your shipment to arrive in Mexico. The rest of your luggage will need to meet your airline’s requirements regarding size and weight.  

Get Ready for Your Moving Day

If you have young children, arrange for childcare on moving day. Older children can help with the move. Give yourself lots of time to vacate and thoroughly clean your space. Your cleaning service needs to come in during this final week. Then finally, ensure that your moving company has enough time and space to move your household items. 

Your Moving to Mexico Checklist: Days to Your Moving Day

You’ve only got a few days left – stay strong! Your move may stretch across more than a day – depending on your circumstances. Regardless of how long your move takes, you should arrange to hand over the property no earlier than the day after you expect to fully vacate the property. 

Here are a few last-minute details to address:

Assemble Essential Paperwork and Documents

Check that your important paperwork and travel documents are in one place that’s secure, yet easily accessible. Don’t leave them where they may be lost, accidentally thrown away, or packed away with items in your shipment. 

The Arrival of Your Moving Company

If you’ve hired an international moving company, then they should arrive early and get you all moved out. This will leave you with a space to clean. If you’re going to move, then remove all your household goods and leave yourself with a blank slate to hand over.

Thoroughly Clean the Property

You want to leave your property completely clean – whether you’re selling, renting to someone, or handing back possession of a rental property. You don’t have to do the hard work yourself – you can hire professional cleaners to get it all done.

Take Final Meter Readings

You should take final readings from your gas, water, and electricity meters. Then, call your service providers to let them know the details and a forwarding address for your final bills. Also, cancel your landline phone service and cable TV – if you’ve not done so already.

Do a Final Check

Once you’ve cleared your property and all the cleaning is done, then do a final sweep of the house. We recommend that you thoroughly check the property one last time to ensure that all is in order. 

Property Handover

If you’re handing over the property to someone else, then arrange for this to occur within 24 hours of your moving day. You don’t want to be moving out and having the new family moving in on the same day. 

If your house is going to stay vacant for a long time, have someone visit the property regularly. This can be a friend or a professional property manager. You want expert eyes on your empty property to address any maintenance issues that may arise – like leaks, breaks, etc.

 

Your Arrival in Mexico

Welcome to Mexico! Let’s talk about your next steps.

You’ve arrived: Yay! Welcome to Mexico!  Whether it’s San Miguel de Allende, Cabo San Lucas, Campeche, Guanajuato, Puebla, or another city, your journey has come to an end. 

There are several formalities to follow when you arrive in Mexico. However, they are straightforward and you can quickly begin the process of settling in. 

Here is a list of the main things for you to complete upon arrival:

Arrival at the Port of Entry

Whether you arrive via road or air, you will need to clear Mexican immigration. The good news is that entry to Mexico is an easy process. 

When you first enter Mexico using your resident visa, the officer at the port of entry will stamp a page of your passport indicating your entry date into the country. This means that you have 30 days from this date to register on the foreign resident’s register via your local Immigration office in Mexico. 

It will take up to four weeks for your visa details to be registered. If you need to leave Mexico for any reason during this timeframe, you’ll need to request a special exit/entry permit. After the visa is processed in Mexico, you’ll get a plastic residency card which you will use to exit and re-enter Mexico at any time during its term of validity.

Importing Your Household Goods

You can import all of your personal items duty-free into Mexico once you have a resident visa. After a few weeks in Mexico, your shipment should have cleared customs and is ready for pickup. 

Arrange Transport to Your Hotel or Accommodation

If you are arriving by road, then you will already know how to get to your hotel. However, if you are flying into Mexico, then there are official taxis to transport you from all airports to your hotel or other arranged accommodation. 

If you’re renting in Mexico, then the homeowner or rental agent may have agreed to wait for you at the airport.

Get Some Local Currency

As soon as you arrive in Mexico, you’ll need to exchange your US dollars for Mexican currency. It will be far easier for you to transact business that way. 

 

How to Settle into Life in Mexico

Now that you’re in Mexico, let’s discuss how you can easily settle in.

Once you’re in your new city, it’s time to start getting acclimatized. Here are some practical tips  that you’ll need to consider when you’re settling into your new surroundings and environment:

Spend Some Time Exploring

Mexico has a unique feel and every city has its ambiance. For example, if you move to Cabo San Lucas, then you will have a lot of potential hobbies to explore such as scuba diving and horseback riding. In Veracruz, you can explore the Spanish colonial-style architecture. If you’re in Puebla, then you’ll be able to delve into the many creative projects. There are so many new and exciting things to see in every city!

Select Schools for Your Children

You will need to find schools for your children to enroll. That means visiting schools on your shortlist and choosing the best one. As your children attend school, they will make new friends and settle into their new environment. 

Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture

Moving to Mexico means that you will experience a new culture. This means adapting to local customs and traditions. Don’t be afraid to learn more about all facets of Mexican culture!

Establish a Routine

If you moved to Mexico with your spouse and one of you is working, that means slipping into an automatic work routine. But both spouses must have a routine. 

You or your spouse may not have work outside the home in Mexico, so getting involved with the local community is a good way to get settled. There are several communities and social networks in Mexico that need volunteers.

If you’ve retired to Mexico, then you will have all the time and space you need to settle into your new pace of life in your new home country. You choose: relax and enjoy life or enjoy a variety of sports and community activities. You can contact the US consulate in Mexico to learn more about the American expatriate community networks that you can join.

Work on Your Spanish!

How’s your Spanish? Although Mexico also recognizes the English language, becoming fluent in Spanish will help you to fully engage in the culture. On the plus side, living in Mexico means that you’ll constantly be surrounded by the Spanish language. 

Further Considerations When Moving to Mexico

Moving to Mexico will give you a chance for an exciting lifestyle. But this move involves many considerations. Here are some more tips to consider:

Arrange All Your Documents

 It’s important to have all your documents to facilitate your easy transition to life in Mexico.

Want to have a smooth move? Then have all your documents prepped and ready to go! At US Border Movers, we have ensured that all your shipping documents are complete for a seamless transition of your household goods from the USA to Mexico. 

However, as a foreign national, you will also need to provide:

  • Proof of employment letter: You will need to present a job letter to prove your ability to care for yourself while you’re in Mexico. This letter should be on company stationery that contains your full name and nationality, job title, job description, monthly salary, and the contact information for the employer. 
  • A visa: If you’re going to move your household goods to Mexico, then you’ll need to have a Permanent Resident visa or a Temporary Resident document. 

Important Note: Many people visit Mexico on a Tourist Visa to figure out if they would like to live there full-time. Although this visa allows you to stay in Mexico for up to six months, you can’t move goods into Mexico with this type of visa. So you need to have the right visa to be able to move all your household goods to Mexico. 

If you are a citizen of Mexico living abroad, then you would provide:

  • A valid passport;
  • A copy of a US visa or other visa;
  • Proof of residency in the USA (like a green card) or another country.
  • Proof of employment in the USA or other foreign country as noted above. 

Once all your documents are complete, then you’ll be able to get your shipment into Mexico. 

Your international relocation company should be able to give you the right information to ensure that your shipment can be packed and moved on time. 

Also, you need to be aware of the restrictions on items imported into Mexico. For example, new items (less than six months old) are not permitted. However, your moving company should give you this list in advance of your move to avoid any complications and/or delays. 

Understand the Uncertainties in Mexico

Moving to a charming city like Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta is appealing, but you need to know the quirks as well. You may encounter some issues in housing, shipping, and logistics. 

Mexico has a laid back culture where things move on their respective timelines. For example, your rented apartment may be available later than agreed upon, or the deal could fall throughout the last moment. Therefore, it is best to have an idea of where to access storage and how long it would take to arrange the same. 

Watch Out for Extra Charges

When you’re moving your household items into Mexico, beware of extra charges. Some companies trick you into signing contracts with them with a low initial price, but the final price is often much higher. 

As your goods move across the border, you may see supplemental invoices added to your final cost. These are extra charges like inspections, fumigation, etc. Although these charges can be distressful you may not be able to get your shipment until you pay them. 

How can you avoid all of this stress? Do your due diligence before you hire an international moving company. Although you may be getting cheaper quotes upfront, always read the fine print to see if you could get supplemental bills. Accepting a cheaper moving quote without doing your research could lead to you paying a lot more. 

At the end of the day, you want a hassle-free and cost-effective relocation. And you can get this experience with US Border Movers

Transit Times Will Vary

The local culture permeates Mexican logistics as well. Therefore, your shipment may take much longer than expected – as long as 3 to 8 weeks. Your transit time depends on whether shipments are held up at the Mexican border, changing delivery schedules, and other factors. 

However, some moving companies have pre-arranged agreements that can reduce your transit time anywhere between 5-12 business days. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Moving to Mexico

Here are a few FAQs about living in Mexico.

Let’s explore a few of the FAQs about moving to Mexico to live:

Can US Citizens Move to Mexico?

Yes, US citizens can move to Mexico. However, you will need a visa to live in Mexico. You can legally remain in Mexico as a tourist for up to six months. You can also make a visa run to another country, re-enter Mexico, and stay for another six months. 

Requirements to Move to Mexico

If you want to get a Mexican permanent resident visa, then you must:

  • Have close family connections in Mexico. Or:
  • Apply for retirement status and prove that you have sufficient finances every month to support yourself. Or:
  • Have 4 consecutive years of regular status as a Temporary Resident. Or:
  • Have 2 consecutive years of regular status as a Temporary Resident where it was issued to you via marriage to a Mexican national or a foreign permanent resident of Mexico. Or:
  • Meet the minimum score under the Points System. Or:
  • Be granted residency on humanitarian grounds or through political asylum.  

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Mexico?

The average cost of living across Mexico ranges anywhere from $600 to $2000 per month. Housing will tend to be your largest expense (and even Western-style accommodations are affordable). If you’re single, you should be able to keep within a $1000-per-month budget with no problem. 

How Difficult is it to Get a Job in Mexico?

If you don’t have the right documents that prove you’re legally allowed to stay and work in Mexico, then you will not get hired. The rule of thumb is that if you are 35 or older, it’s extremely hard to get employed – even as a Mexican national. However, it’s quite easy to start your business or sell your services.

Get the Experts to Handle Your Move to Mexico!

We have discussed the best moving tips to move from the US to Mexico. But you need to choose a moving company with a track record of successfully moving clients into Mexico: US Border Movers. When you choose US Border Movers, we handle all the paperwork and logistics necessary to move your goods into Mexico. We invite you to contact us today so that we can begin to plan the details of your hassle-free move to Mexico.