Moving to Mexico from the US
There’s a little bit of something for everyone in Mexico, whether you’re moving there alone or with your family.
And what’s not to love? The average cost of living is much lower than in the US, the cuisine is up there with the best of the best, it’s a safe and friendly environment for expats, and the scenery is out of this world.
The best part of moving to Mexico from the US? It has a huge expat scene, with Americans making up a large percentage of it. In fact, a recent Interior Ministry migration report shows that 8,412 US citizens were issued temporary resident visas in the first nine months of 2022.
But before you pack your bags, there are a few key things you need to know – and we’re here to guide you through them.
Once you’ve got Mexico sussed, you’ll need to figure out how to get your belongings out there. You can speed up this process by using our helpful quote tool. Simply pop a few details about your move into this short form, and we’ll put you in touch with our professional suppliers, who will contact you with free shipping quotes to compare.
Beautiful view of San Miguel de Allende in the evening light
Cost of shipping to Mexico from the US
The cost of shipping to Mexico will depend on a few key factors, including where you’re shipping them to and from, how much stuff you have, and the shipping company you go with.
To give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay, we’ve calculated the average international shipping rates for some of our most sought-after journeys from the US to popular shipping destinations in Mexico.
The rates are sourced from Freightos, and are based on the port-to-port transportation of a 20ft container of used furniture worth £41,000 – the typical value of the contents of a three-bedroom house (according to Admiral Insurance). The durations are sourced from Searates.
This information was last updated in January 2023.
Bear in mind these are estimates only. If you’d like a more accurate idea of how much shipping to Mexico will cost you, just pop your details into this form, and our suppliers will get back to you.
|Los Angeles to Manzanillo||£1,798||4 days|
|Los Angeles to Lazaro||£1,798||4 days and 3 hours|
|Houston to Lazaro Cardenas||£1,960||9 days|
|Houston to Veracruz||£1,547||10 days|
|Norfolk to Lazaro Cardenas||£1,831||10 days and four hours|
|Norfolk to Veracruz||£2,682||5 days and 16 hours|
Please note: these container shipping costs exclude typical add-ons such as door-to-door delivery, professional packing/unpacking, and basic insurance cover. Our shipping suppliers normally incorporate these services into their prices, so expect some discrepancy between the rates given here and the quotes you receive. These estimates should be used as an indication only.
Select the size of your move to get free quotes
Colourful streets of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico
Healthcare in Mexico
The healthcare system in Mexico has three tiers: a very basic level of care for nationals without any income, care funded by the Mexican social security system (IMSS), and the private sector.
Unemployed residents, or people in low-income and vulnerable groups, can access healthcare through the Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar (INSABI). Through this government-led scheme, people without social security can receive medical care and medications free of charge, with no complex implications.
Most residents in Mexico (including expats) contribute to the IMSS to access the healthcare system. By paying the standard rate of 9.23% of their income into the IMSS, residents are covered for a range of healthcare services, such as general practitioner and specialist consultations, hospital care, medicines, dental care, and standard examinations.
Despite having a good healthcare system in place, 2.3% of people in Mexico decide to go down the private healthcare route to swerve waiting times and make use of better facilities.
Cost of living in Mexico
The average cost of living in Mexico is 66% less expensive than in the US, but like anywhere in the world, it will vary depending on your location. For example, food and amenities will be more expensive in Mexico City – the country’s capital – than they would in some of the more rural areas.
To give you a rough idea of the cost of living in Mexico, check out the table below.
|Good / service||Average cost (USD)|
|Liter of milk||$1.08|
|Loaf of bread||$1.35|
|1 bedroom apartment in Downtown||$402|
|Monthly ticket local transport||$23.10|
|Dinner in a Restaurant, for 2||$22.20|
|A bottle of red wine||$10.71|
|1 litre of petrol||$1.03|
|A monthly gym subscription||$33.80|
Data from LivingCost.org, January 2023
Transferring money to Mexico from the US
Speaking of living costs, if you’re thinking of moving to Mexico, you’ll probably need to convert some of your savings into pesos.
It’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Wise, an easy-to-use online international money transfer service that uses the real exchange rate, and charges low fees.
How much could you save? Well, its service can be up to eight times cheaper than high street banks.
Join more than 7 million people and start using Wise today.
Working in Mexico
If you’re thinking about moving to Mexico, chances are you’ll need to have work lined up. Good job there are plenty of opportunities to choose from.
A large portion of the jobs in Mexico are usually located in Mexico City, as a lot of international and Mexican companies base their headquarters here. But you can also find thriving job markets in other areas, such as Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, Juárez, or León.
Getting a work visa for Mexico
Before expats can start working in Mexico, they need to apply for one of Mexico’s two main residency permits – either the Temporary residency (Residente Temporal) or Permanent Residency (Residente Permanente). Once they’ve obtained the residency visa, they can then apply for work privileges.
If you apply for work permissions on a Residente Temporal card, you should expect to pay a basic fee of 3,207 MXN ($150 USD). Anyone with a Residente Permanente card can avoid this fee, but you are obligated to notify the immigration office regarding any changes to your work arrangements.
To get started with the process, all you need to do is fill out the visa application form. To make things easier, there’s only one application form – you just need to state which visa you’re applying for in the bottom right-hand corner.
Average salary in Mexico
According to the OECD, the average salary in Mexico is $16,429 – a long way off the US’s average salary of $74,738.
However, because the cost of living in Mexico is 66% less expensive than in the United States, the lower wage shouldn’t have too much of a burden on expats’ lifestyles.
Income tax in Mexico
Similar to the US, the amount you pay on income tax in Mexico will depend on your earnings.
Overall, Mexico’s individual income tax rates range from 1.92% to 35%. Check out the full range in the table below:
|Annual income (MXN)||Individual income tax|
|1 – 7,735||1.92%|
|7,735.01 – 65,651.07||6.4%|
|65,651.08 – 115,375.90||10.88%|
|134,119.42 – 160,577.65||17.92%|
|160,577.66 – 323,862.00||21.36%|
|323,862.01 – 510,451.00||23.52%|
|510,451.01 – 974,535.03||30%|
|974,535.04 – 1,299,380.04||32%|
|1,299,380.05 – 3,898,140.12||34%|
Job hunting in Mexico
If you’re moving to Mexico for work, you’re in luck. There are plenty of thriving industries to get stuck into. Manufacturing plays a big role in Mexico’s economy – whether it's vehicles, materials (such as silver, iron, and steel), chemicals, or electronics. So if you already have experience in these fields, you’re golden.
Not into the manufacturing scene? Not to worry. Other key industries in Mexico include:
- Oil and gas
- Infrastructure and transportation
- Renewable energy
Climate in Mexico
Mexico has a tropical climate, with balmy weather all year round. Like most tropical locations, there are both dry and rainy seasons in Mexico, with the rainy season running from late August to November. But even during the rainy season, it’s rare to get a full day of rain, with most showers only lasting a few hours.
All regions of Mexico typically reach temperatures of between 50°F and 90°F throughout the year, with the average annual humidity hovering around 70%.
Don’t cope too well with the humidity? If you venture into one of Mexico’s mountainous regions, you’ll experience cooler temperatures and lower humidity.
Does it snow in Mexico?
Despite its reputation as a tropical paradise, it does snow in Mexico. In fact, 12 out of the 35 states of Mexico experience snowfall at some point in the year, with some mountain peaks and volcanoes getting up to 10 inches of the white stuff during winter months.
The best places to live in Mexico
When it comes to choosing a place to settle down in Mexico, you really are spoiled for choice. Do you go for a bustling city with a thriving job market, or a quaint coastal town to find some peace and quiet? Check out our top three recommendations below.
Mexico City: best for nightlife
There are lots of party towns scattered across Mexico, but we’ve named Mexico City the best for nightlife because it caters to everyone.
Whether you’re after a chill night with a couple of beers in a local bar, a more sophisticated outing at a cocktail cantina, or clubbing at one of Mexico’s finest venues, Mexico City has it all.
Head to either Downtown or Polanco to find a swanky bar with a view of the city, or maybe venture through Roma and Condesa if you’re after more of a unique and quirky scene.
And if you’re searching for an LGBTQ+ community to get involved with, check out Colonia Juárez, where you can find some of the city’s best gay bars and clubs, including Mono, Vaqueros Bar, and Xaman.
San Miguel de Allende: culture
If you’re moving to Mexico to explore the beautiful architecture and soak in the culture, San Miguel de Allende is the place for you.
This pretty town is peppered with pastel buildings, each with its own unique charm. History is etched onto the streets’ architecture, which has earned the town a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Expats can also enjoy San Miguel de Allende’s rich arts community, which attracts a lot of authors and artists from around the globe. The town even hosts the largest writers’ conference in Latin America – The San Miguel Writers Conference.
Guadalajara: Best for job opportunities
If you’re moving to Mexico to further your career, it’s worth considering Guadalajara – also known as Mexico’s Silicon Valley – as your new home.
The city’s thriving job market mainly boils down to the many IT start-ups and technology manufacturers that have made themselves at home in Guadalajara over the past two decades.
This level of growth in the city has led to the state of Jalisco holding roughly 40% of Mexico’s IT industry within its borders, providing roughly 100,000 jobs to residents of the area.
Big names with offices in Guadalajara include IBM, Amazon, HP, Dell, and Oracle.
7 quick facts about Mexico
- There are roughly 69 different languages spoken in Mexico
- Mexico is Latin America’s most visited tourist destination
- The meteorite that wiped out dinosaurs hit Mexico
- Mexican cuisine is officially considered a cultural heritage of humanity
- Mexico City was built on a lake, which means it now sinks around about an inch per year, with some suburbs sinking between 18 to 24 inches each year
- Mexico City has women-only carriages on the Metro and buses
- US citizens make up the largest Mexico expat group
Now that you’re up to date with everything you need to know about moving to Mexico, it’s time to get started with the move. Once you’ve got your visa, accommodation, and job sorted, you’ll need to figure out how to get all of your stuff over there – luckily, we can help with that.
All you have to do is pop a few details in this form about where you’re shipping your stuff to and from, and we’ll do the hard work. We’ll put you in touch with our professional suppliers, who’ll then provide you with their best shipping prices.