Puerto Vallarta Lifestyle

Frecuently Asked Questions - General Question

 


1. Can I own property in Mexico?

Non-Mexicans can obtain direct ownership of property in Mexico's interior. Properties within 50 kilometers of any ocean front and 100 kilometers of any border must be acquired through a bank trust or the formation of a Mexican corporation, according to Mexican law.


2. Can I own property near or in front of the ocean?


Yes, legislation passed in 1973 and 1993 enabled foreigners, foreign companies, and Mexican firms with foreign participation to acquire interests in coastal real estate through a bank trust or a Mexican corporation. Please keep in mind that more details about Bank Trust and Mexican Corporation can be found in the FAQ – Closing Process section.


3. Can I purchase property within the restricted zone under a Mexican corporation entity?


Yes, a non-Mexican must buy property inside the restricted zone through a Bank Trust or a Mexican Corporation. If you want to buy a home purely for personal use, you must use a bank trust. If you want to buy for reasons other than residential, you can do so through a Mexican corporation, subject to certain conditions and procedures.


4. Can the Mexican Government confiscate my land?


Foreigners are often concerned that the Mexican government will seize their property. Mexico does not expropriate land except for a public reason under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the United States, this is known as "Eminent Domain." When it is appropriate to expropriate property, prompt and fair market compensation, as well as accumulated interest, must be compensated.



5. What are my rights as a buyer?


While a bank trust is a legal replacement for fee simple ownership, the trustee is also the legal holder of the land. As the beneficiary, you have the unrestricted right to sell your house. You may also assign your rights to a third party or designate heirs.


6. Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa to buy property in Mexico?


Anyone, including those in Mexico on a tourist visa, can purchase property. It is claimed that if you sign a contract, rent a house or condo, buy a house or condo, or lease land, you are no longer a "tourist" and can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. However, a Temporary Resident Visa is not needed in order to purchase land.


7. How long can a foreigner reside in Mexico per year?


When you arrive in Mexico, you will be issued a Tourist Visa. This visa allows you to stay in Mexico for up to 180 days (nearly six months) without having to work. You can also apply for a Temporary Resident Visa while still in your home country, which is valid for a year and can be extended for up to four years.


8. What is a Tourist Visa?

This is the visa obtained upon first entering Mexico and can be extended indefinitely by merely leaving Mexico within the allotted 180-day timeframe and then reentering.


9. What is a Temporary Resident Visa?


This is a document for someone who wants to live in Mexico part-time but does not want to make it their permanent home. To be issued a Temporary Resident Visa, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient capital to be financially independent, or that you fulfill certain conditions to operate or own a company in Mexico. Temporary Resident Visa "Rentista" status is open to those with a monthly income of more than $1,000 USD (from investments, social security, or other retirement) plus an additional $500 USD for each dependent. The amount of income needed is nearly cut in half if one owns property in Mexico.


10. What is a Permanent Resident Visa?


This document is for someone who wants to live in Mexico permanently, and the requirements are just marginally more rigorous than for temporary resident status. After four years of successfully fulfilling the conditions of a Temporary Resident Visa (including limited time out of Mexico), one may apply for "Inmigrado" status, which grants you most of the rights and privileges of a Mexican citizen, with the primary exception being the right to vote. Inmigrado status does not require you to give up your native citizenship, but it allows you to work and stay in Mexico without having to renew your immigration papers every year.


11. If I decide to sell my property, can anyone buy it?

Yes, you can sell to both Mexicans and non-Mexicans. Please keep in mind that a Non-Mexican will also be needed to establish a bank trust.


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