Do I need a Residency Visa to Buy a Home in Mexico?
Explore our comprehensive guide 'Do I Need a Residency Visa to Buy a Home in Mexico?' We unravel the complexities of Mexican property law, providing clear, concise information on visa requirements for foreign property buyers. Turn your dream of owning a Mexican home into reality.
Do I Need a Residency Visa to Buy a Home in Mexico?
Do I Need a Residency Visa to Buy a Home in Mexico?
Hello, viewers. Welcome back to another video. I am Maya, your interview host for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, here in San Miguel de Allende in Central Mexico. Today we're interviewing Greg Gunter, broker and co-owner, along with his business partner, Alma, of the sole Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office in all of San Miguel.
Hi, Greg. Good to see you. How are you today?
Morning, Maya. Good to see you. It's great. It's a little chilly this morning, right? We could tell that falls here, huh?
Yeah, it got cold all of a sudden, didn't it?
Okay, Greg, let's get started. As you might know from other shows, we try to answer actual questions that come from our clients. And today's question is, "Do I need a residency visa to buy a home in Mexico, and how hard is it to get one?" So please, Greg, tell us what you know.
So that's really interesting. A lot of clients come down with a misconception. They've done a little research online in advance, it's kind of funny, and they think that they have to have a residency visa before they can even buy a home here. The interesting thing is that you don't need a residency visa to buy a home. And a lot of people think that it's a difficult process to get one, so I'm going to kind of break this into two different answers here.
So the residency visa is only necessary when you want to move all of your household goods down and not pay any kind of duty for moving all of those down. You can buy a home without a residency visa, there's no reason to get one. And then once you do own the home, it's easier to get a residency visa, because part of the, what's the word I want to use, part of what makes you eligible to be able to apply for a residency visa, is that investment in the home. So once you own a home, you take that new deed that you have down to the immigration office, and that demonstrates your ability to get a residency visa.
So what you would want to do, typically, most clients, they'll buy the home first, and then if they say, "Oh gosh, I've got two big giant U-Hauls of furniture that I want to move down," antiques, and furniture from grandma, and all that kind of good stuff, then they will go get the residency visa. Because then with that residency visa, you can get what's called in Spanish a [foreign language 00:02:32], and that allows you to move down all of your personal goods without paying a duty.
Now, the small caveat about that is that you have to do that within 6 months after getting your residency visa. So you'll want to do those hand in hand. In some cases I do have clients, because they say, "Hey, I want to move down the week after we close," so they'll actually get their residency visa in advance of purchasing. That's the only really reason that you might want to have a residency visa in advance of purchasing the home, is if you know that you want to be able to move everything down that next week, because it does take a few weeks, 3 or 4 weeks to process that residency visa.
Now, here's an interesting thing to kind of talk about with my clients. A lot of people have heard, a lot of Americans especially, that are looking in different parts of the world where they might settle down, they have heard of what's called the golden visa in Portugal, for instance. That's become kind of a new expat destination for a lot of clients. We have had that in Mexico all along. That's the interesting thing, is we've always had a very easy visa process here.
There are 3 ways that you get your residency visa. One can be based on your investment in real estate. Now, I don't do this for a living, I sell homes. I don't actually process residency visas, so it's not my expertise, I don't really remember what the threshold level is, but it's something very low. It's under $300,000 as an investment in real estate, and that's a starter home here, that's a condo price here. So that investment in real estate will get you a residency visa.
For people that are just renting, for instance, that want to get a residency visa, then the other way to apply for is based on an income level. And that income level is something like 2,500 to $3,000 a month, something like that, or a savings level. So you have to have something like, I don't know, $150,000 or something like that in savings. I'll put you in touch, if you get a hold of me, I'll put you in touch with a person that actually will process that visa for you, and they'll give you all those actual guidelines. But my point is that there's 3 levels at which you can earn that residency visa. But the biggest takeaway from this is, nope, you don't need a residency visa to buy a home.
I think that's fantastic news for our viewers, and I was actually going to ask you if you had someone, if you had a person that could help out with this whole process in case it's needed. So thank you for answering that.
So team, there's going to be a contact form at the end, a contact screen that you'll see at the end of the video here. My email and my phone number will be on there, including my toll-free number, where you can call from the US. So if you're in that process or thinking of that process and don't know who to contact, give me a shout. I'll put you in touch with someone here that I send all my referrals to. She'll be happy to take care of your visa process.
That's great to hear, Greg.
Well, thank you so much for answering today's question, and well, we'll see you in the next one.
Sounds good. See you soon.