With diverse natural beauty, vibrant cultural touchstones, and a low cost of living, Mexico is a perfect place to visit for any traveler. But for digital nomads and remote professionals, Mexico’s immigration rules make the country a top remote work destination.
In this helpful guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of these unique immigration rules to begin working remotely in Mexico.
Why Work Remotely in Mexico?
Low Cost of Living
Compared to other countries, Mexico has a cost of living that is exceptionally low. In this cost of living index that looks at 490 countries, Mexico ranks 381, making it an inexpensive place to live and work.
Common Time Zones
One main worry about working remotely is dealing with changes in timezone. In Mexico, remote workers can keep similar working hours to companies across the Americas because of close, common time zones.
Solid Wi-Fi Connectivity
Mexico has increased its Wi-Fi coverage and number of hotspots, even in rural areas. Some of these hotspots require an account or prepaid SIM card, but by bringing your own portable router or signal booster, you can stay connected on the go.
How to Start Working Remotely in Mexico
To successfully work remotely in Mexico, you must consider your length of stay, which type of visa you need, and your remote taxes. Follow these steps to get started.
Determine if You Need a Work Visa in Mexico
Mexico allows citizens from more than 70 countries to stay and work for up to 180 days through an FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple), also known as a “Tourist Card” or “Visitor Permit.” With an FMM, non-immigrant workers can conduct business trips lasting up to six months without the need for a work visa.
For stays over six months, individuals must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa and Mexico Work Visa to extend their stay. The requirements for the visa include having a valid passport, signed authorization to work, your travel itinerary, and payments for all fees.
Understand Your Remote Work Taxes
Most countries have tax-residency rules that dictate how long you can stay before you have to report taxes. Individuals working in Mexico under an FMM do not have to report taxes, but those working with a Temporary Residency Visa are taxed for all Mexican-sourced income and should report it accordingly.
Failure to report taxes to Mexico and back at home can result in double-taxation, in which both countries charge income tax to an individual. To avoid the risk of double-taxation, learn how to navigate, file, save for, and report remote work taxes.
Get Your Employer’s Approval
If your current role requires you to be in an office or work from a certain location, draft a remote work policy and propose it to your manager. This policy acts as a set of guidelines to help you initiate and establish your remote work trip to Mexico.
In the policy, make sure you cover your work objectives, work schedule, and procedures for maintaining productivity, safety, and security. Lastly, add in your equipment needs, including a laptop and Wi-Fi router.
Plan and Prepare for Your Travels
Mexico has many beautiful places to stay, offering scenery from mountains to beaches. With a plethora of cities and landscapes to explore, there are a number of travel considerations to keep in mind when working remotely in Mexico, including:
Climate and weather. Parts of Mexico can be very hot, humid, and rainy during the summer. This intense seasonal change can be a big adjustment for some travelers, so make sure to pack the right clothing and accessories for various climates.
Health and wellness. To stay healthy while working in Mexico, get travel insurance that covers healthcare emergencies, or check if you're eligible to enroll for or receive public health insurance in Mexico through Mexico's social security scheme. Also, watch out for common health risks, like drinking contaminated tap water.
Finding transportation. Traveling in rural areas of Mexico can be a challenge. Staying in a city versus the country makes it easier to get around using cabs, ride sharing apps, and public transportation.
Language barrier. If you do not speak Spanish, start taking lessons. By knowing some Spanish basics, you can overcome the language barrier much faster.
Money exchange. Some establishments take credit cards, but street vendors and rural areas require local currency for transactions. Make sure to convert your local currency into pesos or set up a reliable international debit card before arriving in Mexico.
Get Help With Working Remotely in Mexico
Working remotely in Mexico allows you to see a different part of the world and embrace a new culture. While you plan your trip and accommodations, leave the complicated employment, payroll, and visa obligations to a global HR partner.