Moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has never been more appealing.
For many foreign visitors, having a vacation home here has become a wonderful winter escape, but quite a few have loved it so much they’ve made it their full time residence, and today, the city has a population of over 300,000. Taking the leap from seasonal visits to living here full time is not difficult at all. Full time residents enjoy approximately 330 days of sunshine per year and average temperatures of approximately 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). Once you spend time in our tropical paradise and experience everything it has to offer, the possibility becomes very tempting.
Throughout the years, waves of foreigners have happily settled in Mexico, so the unique cultural mix of the local Mexican society with the snowbird population has created an atmosphere of prosperity and cultural exchange that keeps attracting new generations of expats from Canada, the US, and Europe. Mexican nationals continue to take advantage of the prosperous environment while thousands of young and older expats have also decided to make a move and find their own way of life on these welcoming shores.
International Living recently published the results of their research into the best places for expats south of the Rio Bravo, and the three top places happen to be in Mexico: Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allendale, and Chapala. Many variables were taken into consideration, including proximity to family, cost of living, real estate values, safety, and health services. It comes as no surprise that there are over a million Americans and Canadians who have built their retirement getaway or their private villa in the area.
Due to the 2008 financial crisis in the United States, we’ve seen swarms of investors buying in Mexico and shifting back to safer investments. It’s never been a better time for foreigners to take advantage of the excellent real estate opportunities being offered in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico in general.
In comparison to the United States and Canada, the Puerto Vallarta property values, sizes, and architectural flavors are unparalleled. The wise investors who continue to take advantage of the real estate opportunities in Puerto Vallarta are experiencing substantial returns on their investments. The “buy-to-rent” market is especially strong in the Mexican beach destinations where owners can enjoy their property for a few months every year and rent their homes to visitors while they’re away.
The unspoiled sandy beaches, Sierra Madre mountain range, and unique Mexican charm are just a few of the many attributes that first attracted foreign visitors fifty years ago. Puerto Vallarta has become the flagship of Mexican tourism with numerous international awards, and has been deemed as one of the safest, friendliest, and most cosmopolitan hotspots for expats from all over the world. When moving to the city, you’ll experience the legendary Mexican hospitality welcoming you with open arms. After all, the city has been rated by Condè Nast Magazine as one of the friendliest cities in the world.
The city offers visitors a myriad of world class services for the luxury traveler, including golfing, fishing, skydiving, scuba diving, stand up paddle-boarding, luxury yacht rentals, and every type of sea and land adventure imaginable.
Puerto Vallarta also offers a diverse selection of schools, universities, quality hospitals, and churches for every religious faith in the town. This constant growth has also attracted well-known American companies that have branched out and established themselves in Mexico. As an expat, it can be comforting to see a brand that you’re familiar with at home while you’re living in a different country.
Mexican regulations regarding immigration change from time-to-time as with most countries, therefore it is advisable to find out the pertinent information before applying for your resident visa.
Many independent agents assist aspiring residents with the procedure that may involve a few trips to the local immigration office before getting your desired resident card.
For up-to-date information and regulations, visit your local Mexican consulate or the official National Immigration Institute (INM) website where you will find the requirements to apply for or upgrade your immigration status.
There are several types of immigration statuses and associated visas for foreign visitors to Mexico:
When you arrive in Mexico by land or air, the customs officer will stamp your passport with a 180-day Tourist Visa. This visa allows you to vacation in the country but does not give you permission to perform any profitable activities during your stay.
Temporary Resident Visa
If you wish to live here full-time, the next step on the immigration ladder is the Temporary Resident Visa, which allows you to stay for a whole year before applying for renewal.
Property owners are advised to obtain this Temporary Visa, which does not place restrictions on foreign travel. A work permit can be added as part of the Temporary Visa allowances, giving you the legal right to work.
Permanent Resident Visa
After four years of successfully renewing your Temporary Resident status, you may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa.
The Permanent Visa gives you the total freedom to live and work in Mexico and enjoy every right Mexican citizen do except for the right to participate in elections. To keep your resident status, you must inform the INM of any address and work changes within 90-days of their occurrence.
Regulations regarding the use of foreign plated vehicles in Mexico should be carefully followed. For additional information on this subject, we suggest you checkout the website for the Foreign Affairs Department of Mexico or meet with a legal adviser.