Emigrate to Mexico

⇒ Mexico culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ Mexico school system

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

Mexico culture

Mexico’s culture is extremely diverse and rich in traditions that have emerged from the country’s history, indigenous culture, the influences of colonization and modern society. Here are some characteristics that distinguish the culture of Mexico:

  1. Diversity of population: Mexico is a melting pot of different ethnic groups, including indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs and the Maya, as well as European, African and Asian influences. This ethnic diversity is reflected in Mexico’s culture, language, art and cuisine.
  2. Language: The official language of Mexico is Spanish. However, there are also many indigenous languages spoken in different regions of the country, including Nahuatl, Maya, Zapotek and many others.
  3. Gastronomy: Mexican cuisine is known worldwide and famous for its variety and taste. Tortillas, tamales, tacos, guacamole, salsas and chiles are just a few of Mexico’s many culinary delights. Mexican cuisine has been declared a World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
  4. Music and dance: Music and dance are an important part of Mexican culture. Mariachi music, ranchera, cumbia and the traditional danzón are just a few examples of Mexico’s musical styles. Dance also plays a big role, from traditional folk dances to contemporary ballet.
  5. Festivals and holidays: Mexico is known for its colorful festivals and holidays. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most famous celebrations honoring the deceased. Other important holidays are Independence Day (September 16) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5).
  6. Arts and Crafts: Mexico has a rich artistic tradition, ranging from pre-Columbian art to modern art. Famous Mexican artists such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo have achieved international fame. Handicrafts such as ceramics, textiles and woodwork are also important cultural products.
  7. Religion: The majority of the Mexican population is Catholic, and religious celebrations and customs are deeply integrated into the culture. Guadalupe Day (December 12) is an important religious celebration in Mexico.
  8. Proverbs and Superstitions: Mexicans have a rich collection of proverbs, superstitions and stories that reflect the culture and moral values of the country.
  9. Sports: Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico, and the country has a passionate fan base for Liga MX and the Mexican national team. Besides soccer, baseball, lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) and rodeo are also popular sports.
  10. Leap into modernity: Mexico is an emerging country that is modernizing in many areas. Large cities like Mexico City are centers for business, technology and culture.

Climate

Mexico is a large country with a diverse geographic landscape, therefore the climate varies from region to region. Basically, the climate in Mexico can be divided into three main categories: the tropical climate, the desert climate and the temperate climate.

  1. Tropical climate: The tropical climate is found mainly in the coastal regions of Mexico, including the Caribbean coast and parts of the Pacific coast. Temperatures are high here all year round, and there is a distinct rainy season in the summer months. The humidity is also high. In this region you can find lush rainforests and beaches.
  2. Desert climate: The desert regions of Mexico extend mainly in the northwest of the country, especially in the Sonora Desert and the Chihuahua Desert. Here the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are mild. Temperatures can be very high in the summer, often over 40 degrees Celsius.
  3. Temperate Climate: The temperate climate is found at higher elevations and in some central regions of Mexico. Here, temperatures are moderate throughout the year, and there are fewer extreme differences between seasons. The capital Mexico City, located on a plateau, has a temperate climate with mild summers and cool winters.

There are also some microclimates in Mexico depending on the terrain and altitude. For example, the highland regions are cool and often have comfortable temperatures, while the coastal areas are hotter and more humid.

During the summer, Mexico can be affected by hurricanes, especially on the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. These storms can cause heavy rainfall and flooding.

Language

Several languages are spoken in Mexico, with Spanish being the most widely spoken and official language. Here are the main languages spoken in Mexico:

  1. Spanish (Español): Spanish is the dominant language in Mexico and is spoken by the vast majority of the population. It is also the official language of the country and is used in educational institutions, media, government and public life.
  2. Nahuatl: Nahuatl is an indigenous language spoken by the Aztecs. Although less common today, Nahuatl is still spoken by a significant number of people in Mexico, mainly in the states of Puebla and Veracruz.
  3. Mayathan (Yukatek Maya): This Mayan language is spoken in the Yucatán Peninsula and surrounding areas. The Mayan culture has a strong presence in this region.
  4. Zapotec (Zapotec): Zapotec is an indigenous language spoken in the southern states of Oaxaca and Teotitlán del Valle. There are several dialects of this language.
  5. Mixtec (Mixtec): The Mixtec are an indigenous group in Mexico, and their language, Mixtec, is spoken in the Oaxaca region and surrounding areas.
  6. Mazatec (Mazateco): Mazateco is an indigenous language spoken in the state of Oaxaca, particularly in the Sierra Mazateca region.
  7. Tzotzil and Tzeltal: These two Mayan languages are spoken by the indigenous Tzotzil and Tzeltal peoples in Chiapas.
  8. Purépecha (Tarascan): The Purépecha language is spoken by the Purépecha indigenous community in Michoacán.
  9. Huastec (Huastec): Huastec is the language of the Huastecs of eastern Mexico, particularly in the states of San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas.
  10. English: Due to its proximity to the United States and tourism, English is often understood and spoken in tourist areas and in the business world.

The diversity of languages in Mexico reflects the country’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity. In addition to these languages, there are many other indigenous languages and dialects spoken by different communities in Mexico. The government of Mexico has taken measures to promote the protection and preservation of indigenous languages in the country.

Mexico school system

For emigrating to Mexico with your family, the school system obviously plays a big role:

The school system in Mexico is federally organized, which means that educational policy and administration are divided between state and federal district responsibilities. However, the education system in Mexico is largely centralized and follows a uniform curriculum and syllabus set by the Mexican education authority, the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP).

Here are some important features of the school system in Mexico:

  1. Educational levels: The Mexican school system has three main levels:
    • Primaria: Primary school lasts six years and is compulsory for children aged 6 to 12.
    • Secundaria: Secondary school lasts three years and is intended for young people between the ages of 12 and 15.
    • Preparatoria: The preparatory school (high school) lasts three years and is intended for young people aged 15 to 18.
  2. Higher Education: After preparatory school, students have the option of pursuing higher education. Mexico has a variety of higher education institutions, including public and private universities, technical schools and colleges.
  3. Education legislation: Mexico has an education law that sets the educational guidelines and standards in the country. This law also regulates the admission, curriculum, quality control and financing of the education system.
  4. Curriculum: The curriculum in Mexico is standardized and is set by the SEP. It includes subjects such as mathematics, languages, history, literature, natural sciences and social sciences. There is also a focus on Mexican culture and history.
  5. Education quality: Education quality in Mexico varies widely, and there are large differences between urban and rural schools and between public and private schools. Some public schools can be overcrowded and lack resources, while some private schools offer a higher quality of education.
  6. Language of instruction: Classes are usually held in Spanish, the national language. However, in some regions with indigenous populations, classes may be offered in indigenous languages.
  7. Education promotion: The Mexican government has developed various programs to improve education, including literacy programs, increasing compulsory schooling and promoting school attendance in disadvantaged areas.

It is important to note that while education is compulsory in Mexico, implementation and quality of education may vary in different parts of the country.

Healthcare system

The health care system in Mexico is complex and consists of public and private health care facilities. It is subject to oversight and regulation by the Mexican government and is largely funded by state resources. Here are some important features of the health care system in Mexico:

  1. Health Coverage: Mexico has a system of universal health insurance known as “Seguro Popular” that covers most citizens. Since 2020, Seguro Popular has been replaced by the Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar (Institute of Health for Wellbeing, INSABI). This system is designed to ensure that all Mexicans have access to health care, regardless of their income or social status.
  2. Public Health Facilities: Mexico’s health care system includes a variety of public health care facilities, including health centers, hospitals, and clinics operated by different levels of government, including federal, state, and local. Some of the best known public health institutions are the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) and the Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (ISSSTE), which are mainly responsible for providing health care to workers and their families.
  3. Private Healthcare: Mexico also has a well-developed private healthcare system dominated by private hospitals, clinics and doctors. Private health care services are often more readily available and offer a wider range of services than public facilities.
  4. Medical Tourism: Mexico has become a popular destination for medical tourism as many private hospitals offer quality medical care at lower costs compared to countries such as the U.S. or Canada.
  5. Drugs and medicines: The government regulates the prices of drugs and medicines in Mexico. Both prescription and non-prescription medications are available in pharmacies.
  6. Challenges: The Mexican health care system faces several challenges, including improving health care delivery in rural areas, addressing health inequity, and ensuring the quality and efficiency of medical care.

It is important to note that quality and access to health care in Mexico can vary by region and social status. Larger cities often have better health facilities and services, while remote rural areas may have less access to health care.

Die Tierwelt von Mexiko

Vaccinations and medical certificates

For emigrating to Mexico, vaccination requirements may vary depending on the country of origin and health situation. However, there are usually no specific vaccination requirements for entry into Mexico unless there is a special health situation.

However, it is advisable to keep your standard vaccinations up to date before traveling to Mexico. These include vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), hepatitis A & B. Recommendations may vary depending on age, health status and travel plans.

Tax system

The tax system in Mexico is complex and includes a variety of taxes at the federal, state and municipal levels. Here are some of the most important taxes and aspects of the tax system in Mexico:

  1. Income Tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta, ISR): Income tax in Mexico is progressive and is paid by both individuals and companies. Tax rates for individuals may vary depending on income levels. Companies pay a uniform tax rate on their profits.
  2. Value Added Tax (Impuesto al Valor Agregado, IVA): The VAT rate in Mexico is generally 16% on the sale of goods and services. However, there are some exceptions and reduced rates.
  3. Corporate Taxes: In addition to income tax, companies also pay other taxes, such as the Corporate Tax (Impuesto Empresarial a Tasa Única, IETU) and the Financial Transactions Tax (Impuesto a las Transacciones Financieras, ITF).
  4. Property Tax: Property tax (Impuesto Predial) is paid by owners of land and real estate and varies depending on the location and value of the property.
  5. Customs duties and import taxes: Mexico imposes customs duties on imported goods, and these can vary depending on the product. Import tax (Impuesto General de Importación) may also be imposed on certain goods.
  6. Environmental taxes: Mexico has introduced taxes on certain environmentally harmful activities and products, including energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
  7. Wage tax: Employers are required to withhold wage tax from their employees and pay it to the tax authorities.
  8. Social security contributions: Employers and employees pay social security contributions that cover benefits such as health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits.
  9. Taxes on financial transactions: Mexico imposes taxes on certain financial transactions, including credit and debit card transactions.
  10. Stamp Tax: Stamp Tax (Impuesto sobre Operaciones con Títulos y Valores) is levied on certain financial transactions and contracts.

Tax system

In Mexico, as in most countries, there are legal ways to save taxes or optimize the tax burden. Here are some strategies that can be used for both individuals and businesses in Mexico:

  1. Take advantage of tax incentives: Mexico offers various tax breaks and incentives for companies in certain industries and regions. These can help reduce the tax burden. Examples of this are the promotion of investments in the border region (maquiladoras) or special programs to promote research and development.
  2. Income distribution: In Mexico, the distribution of income within a family can be used to reduce the tax burden. This can help ensure that family members are taxed at lower rates.
  3. Real Estate Taxes: The valuation of real estate for tax purposes may vary in Mexico. It is important to ensure that properties are valued appropriately to optimize property taxes.
  4. Tax benefits for donations: In Mexico, there are tax benefits for donations to non-profit organizations and charitable causes. If you support charitable causes, you may be eligible for a tax deduction.
  5. Capital Gains Taxes: Capital gains may be incurred on certain investments, such as the sale of stock or real estate. It is important to be aware of the tax laws and develop strategies to minimize capital gains tax where appropriate.
  6. Tax planning for small businesses: Small businesses in Mexico can benefit from various tax breaks and incentives. It is important to understand the tax laws and conduct effective tax planning.

Economy

The Mexican economy is one of the largest in Latin America and has a diverse economic structure. Here are some important features of the Mexican economy:

  1. Diversity of economic sectors: Mexico’s economy is divided into different sectors, including manufacturing, services, agriculture and mining. The manufacturing industry, especially the automotive, electronics and aerospace industries, plays an important role in the Mexican economy.
  2. International Trade Relations: Mexico has numerous trade agreements with various countries and regions, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, now replaced by the USMCA) that includes Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This has made Mexico an important location for foreign direct investment and trade.
  3. Tourism: Tourism is an important industry in Mexico. The country attracts tourists from all over the world with its cultural attractions, beaches, historic cities and gastronomic offers.
  4. Agriculture: Mexico is a major producer of agricultural products such as corn, beans, tomatoes, avocados and fruit. It is also one of the world’s largest exporters of beer.
  5. Oil and energy industry: Mexico has extensive oil and gas reserves and has a state-owned oil company called Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). The oil industry has historically played an important role in the Mexican economy.
  6. Labor market: Mexico has a growing labor population, but it also faces challenges such as informal employment and low wages. A significant portion of the population works in the informal sector.
  7. Challenges: Mexico faces economic challenges such as inequality, poverty, corruption, and high levels of informal economic activity. The government has taken steps to address these challenges, but they remain.
  8. Trade with the U.S.: Mexico maintains close trade relations with the United States, which is its largest trading partner. Many Mexican exports, especially in the automotive and electronics industries, go to the United States.
  9. Currency: The currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN).

The Mexican economy has shown some economic stability and growth over the years, although there are challenges. The country’s political and economic stability remains important for its role in the global economy.

Prices by index

Since prices can change constantly even in a large economy like Mexico’s, we refer here to the Cost of Living website. This constantly updates its values and thus keeps you up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant, it is possible to buy as well as rent real estate in Mexico. Mexico generally has no special restrictions for foreigners wishing to purchase or rent real estate. Here is some important information about it:

  1. Buying Real Estate: Foreigners can buy real estate in Mexico such as residential houses, apartments, vacation homes and land. However, there are some restrictions in certain coastal areas and near the country’s borders. In these so-called “restriction zones”, foreigners are not allowed to purchase land in their own name. However, you can purchase a property in a restriction zone through a fideicomiso (bank trust). This is a common practice where a bank holds title to the property on behalf of the foreign buyer.
  2. Real Estate Rental: Renting real estate in Mexico is straightforward for foreigners. You can rent apartments, houses and other types of real estate. Lease terms and rental rates vary depending on the location, size and condition of the property.
  3. Land registry and proof of ownership: make sure that the property you are buying or renting is properly registered in the land registry and that the seller or landlord has clear ownership rights.
  4. Lease Agreement: When renting a property, you should always enter into a written lease agreement that sets forth the terms of the lease and the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord.
Company foundation

As an immigrant, it is possible to start a business in Mexico. The Mexican legal system allows foreigners to establish and operate business enterprises. Here are some important steps and information to keep in mind:

  1. Visa and Residence Permits: Before you can start a business in Mexico, you must have the necessary visas and residence permits.
  2. Commercial Registry Registration: To incorporate your business in Mexico, you must register it with the Commercial Registry (Registro Público de Comercio) and submit the required documents. This includes the certificate of incorporation, bylaws and other necessary documents.
  3. Taxes and Permits: You must be aware of your company’s tax obligations in Mexico and ensure that you register and pay all required taxes. Special permits or licenses may also be required depending on the industry and location.
  4. Business Plan: Creating a comprehensive business plan is critical to running your business successfully. The plan should include your business goals, financial projections, market analysis and other important information.
  5. Accounting and Finance: It is important to set up a good accounting system to track your finances and properly pay all required taxes and duties.

Company forms

As an immigrant in Mexico, you can start different types of businesses, depending on your business goals, needs and legal requirements. Here are some common business forms available in Mexico:

  1. Sociedad Anónima (S.A.): This is equivalent to a corporation and is one of the most common forms of business in Mexico. It allows the sale of shares and has limited liability for the owners.
  2. Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S. de R.L.): This is a limited liability company in which the liability of the owners is limited to their contributions. It is a flexible and popular choice for small businesses.
  3. Sole proprietorship (Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada, EIRL): This form of business allows individuals to set up a company and limit liability to business capital.
  4. Branch or Subsidiary (Sucursal o Agencia): Foreign companies may establish a branch or subsidiary in Mexico to conduct business in the country. This requires the approval of the Mexican government.
  5. Merger (Asociación en Participación): This type of company is often used for joint ventures and cooperation projects. One partner is the lead partner, while the other investors have limited liability.
  6. Corporation (Sociedad Anónima Promotora de Inversión, SAPI): This type of company was developed specifically for foreign investors and offers some advantages related to taxes and liability.
  7. Cooperative (Sociedad Cooperativa): Cooperatives are widespread in Mexico, especially in agriculture and the financial sector.
Visa

There are a variety of visa options for emigrating to Mexico. The type of visa you can apply for depends on your reason for immigration and your personal circumstances. Here are some of the common visa types:

  1. Tourist Visa (FMT): This visa allows you to travel temporarily in Mexico and stay in the country for a limited period of time. Tourist visas are usually valid for 180 days, but may be renewable.
  2. Permanent Residence Visa for Retirees (Rentista): This visa is for retirees who have sufficient income to support themselves in Mexico. It allows permanent residence.
  3. Permanent Residence Visa for Investors (Inversionista): This visa is for foreign investors who wish to do business in Mexico. The minimum investment varies by state and industry.
  4. Permanent Resident Visa for Family Reunification (Familiar Residente): This visa allows family members of Mexican citizens or permanent resident visa holders to live in Mexico.
  5. Work Visa (Visa de Trabajo): If you want to work in Mexico, you will need a work visa sponsored by your future employer. This usually requires an employment contract and approval from Mexican immigration authorities.
  6. Study Visa (Visa de Estudiante): If you want to study in Mexico, you need a study visa. This requires accreditation from an accredited educational institution in Mexico.
  7. Humanitarian Visa (Visa Humanitaria): This visa can be granted for humanitarian purposes, such as refugees or people seeking international protection.
  8. Special Immigration Programs: Mexico also has special immigration programs that target specific categories of immigrants, such as the Program for Millennials (Programa para Extranjeros Menores de 1,000 Días), which focuses on families with children under 1,000 days old.
Security in the country

Security in Mexico varies greatly by region and city. Mexico is a large country with different regions and different security challenges. Here are some important points about safety in Mexico:

  1. Violence and crime: In some parts of Mexico there are problems with drug cartels, organized crime and violence. This can lead to security risks in some regions. Cities and tourist sites in tourist areas are often safer, but again, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.
  2. Tourist areas: Tourist destinations such as Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and many others are often safe and well guarded. Nevertheless, tourists should follow the same precautions as elsewhere, e.g. do not show valuables openly and do not travel alone at night in secluded places.
  3. Border regions: Some border regions with the United States may be more unsafe due to drug trafficking and crime. You should be especially careful here and obtain up-to-date information.
  4. Big cities: In Mexico’s big cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, there are safe neighborhoods, but also neighborhoods where the crime rate is higher. It is advisable to get information about the safe areas on site.

It is advisable to inform yourself about the security situation in the country and pay attention to travel warnings or advisories. We refer here to the German Foreign Office: Safety advice Mexico.

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