So you want to move to Mexico???

Dangers in Mexico  may as well read this one first.
Traveling dangers in Mexico - updated Jan 13th, 2014

Be sure and read ALL of this page before travelling to Mexico  

Guadalajara tourist info and good map can be found at 
Guadalajara is a very fascinating city, be sure and visit the Tonala and Tlaquepaque artisan sections- muchas cosas!

More info on Mexico can be found at :
and  at 
and at 
and at 
and at 
and info on Guadalajara at 

and at   
where I devulge our favorite beach to you - lots of pics & info

If you are traveling to Mexico with minor children you need to read the information  and requirements  here      

AND - I received  this letter   from a fellow very familiar and versed with Mexican culture and knowledge of the thought process on both sides. And after living here for ten years now I find his letter so blatantly accurate that I have to post it and share it with you. I do not consider this letter derogatory from either side. But it explains how the situation "is"  probably better than any other resource I have come across. We love it down here. Yes, we gave up some things to make the transition. But people here treasure what is truly important; family, time, God - even if their affiliation for most here deals with a pagan religion for most part. And I would have to say the average  Mexican will stop to help you if you are in trouble long before an average American will.  And there is no better climate in the whole world. 75-85F  365 days a year here. But you DO have to use extra precautions here.  This is not a country where you leave your keys in the car and your house unlocked like we used to back home.

and  - Pacific Coast of Mexico
and regarding owning property in Mexico. 
Also see  
Rentals can be found at 

I moved to Mexico  for the climate (it's 70-85 year round where we moved to); to get away from  atmospheric pollution affecting our health by the US Gov't (see actually they are spraying us with chemtrails also here, just not as much; for food that doesn't contain pesticides and chemical sprays because for most part they can't afford them,  for economics - my property taxes here are less than $70/year compared to over $4000/year in the states, food is cheap - you can buy an 72# sack of oranges here for about $7-$8 and have fresh squeezed OJ every day - fresh produce is extremely abundant and competitive; there is NO minority racism here as is found in the US (that I have come across yet anyway) - the people here are very friendly and helpful; the school I send my kids to in Guadalajara (Lincoln School)  teach God and the bible right along with the academics and the parents have to attend sessions  on how family, God, and children all tie in together. Mexico has not stuck it's nose in other people's business around the world like the US has; no one has an axe to grind with Mexico. There aren't fifteen countries gunning for Mexico to attack them with nuclear suitcase bombs and biowarfare.   There are no resources to speak of worth fighting over and confiscating. It's just a peaceful country, if you ignore the drug cartels,  trying  to go about it's own business. America has become the United States Empire. See for a good explanation of what I mean. That's a shame because the American people are good people, most have no idea what their government does behind their backs and how the gov't is setting them up for martial law and confiscation of life and property soon (see  for more on this subject).  We like it here; a lot.  For us it was  a one way trip. With several hot springs waterslide parks nearby in 80 degree weather, everything you could want from a major city within a half hour away,  and the warm water ocean beaches four hours away;  who wouldn't like it. 
However, as Mexico is the major land mass between the drug producers in Columbia, South and  and Central Americas,
major war is continually being fought between the drug cartels themselves as well as between the drug cartels and the military and the policia.  If the drug cartels can't buy off the police, they kill them.  And oftentimes they are much better armed than the policia or the military.  Mexican police are still a corrupt group for most part. I am still able to buy a cop off for 200 pesos instead of getting a traffic ticket issued for example.  The US doesn't help much with this drug war because the black ops side of the US Government is behind the traficcing of this illegal contraband. Who you think is running the US Government is not really who is running the US Government.  The border patrol is a ruse for what the real US Government allows to come in to finance all their dastardly operations. Where do you think all the money has come from that has financed all the underground bunkers for the elite when Planet X comes by or all the underground cities and connecting tunnel networks under the US?  But what this means to you wanting to visit Mexico is don't spend time in border towns and don't leave your car or residence unlocked, watch your wife and kids at all times (kidnapping for money is rampant in Mexico), don't go into areas where population is scarce.   Don't be caught on dark streets alone.  Spend some time with this article.    Dangers in Mexico.

So you want to move to Mexico? Be sure and click on ALL the links at the top of this page to get more information. Moving to a foreign country, either permanently or for part of the year, is a big step, and often people teeter on the edge for years, see-sawing back and forth, not able to make up their minds. Even if you’ve traveled around Mexico and love it, you’ll find that living here is quite different from visiting.

You may need to make a test run before making a permanent move. To do this, carve out a time period of several months when you can actually live in Mexico. Take a few of your favorite things, rent an apartment and get a feel for the area. This experience may differ from the one you had as a tourist. You can stay in Mexico 180 days on a tourist visa (FMT that you get on the airplane or at the border). If you want to stay longer, apply for a Non-immigrant Visitante-Rentista (FM-3). You can get this type of visa at a Mexican Consulate in the U.S./Canada, or in Mexico. It merely allows you to live a year in Mexico, and it can be renewed. I am talking here of a non-work type FM-3. Getting an FM-2 work permit in Mexico is more complicated and difficult. To get an FM-3, You’ll need a passport, two passport photos, and proof of income (currently $1,500/month for an individual, and $750/mo for each dependant.) Cost is around $115 each for the FM-3. For more specifics.

In preparation for the big move, you may also talk to people who live there (on discussion forums, by e-mail, in person). This way you can find out some basics, but you won’t know if living like an expat is for you, until you DO IT.

You'll discover that things that are simple in your hometown take time and energy in a different country, especially if you aren’t fluent in the native language.You’ll have to find not only good restaurants, but markets stands that have the freshest fruits and veggies at the best price. You'll have to learn how to prepare them so they’re safe to eat. You need to know where to pay your bills (telephone, electric, Internet), how to dispose of garbage, where to buy five-gallon jugs of drinking water, who to call when the faucett leaks, what time the English language newspaper arrives each day, and more. If you drive, you need to find a parking space.Or, you need to learn the bus routes and schedules. Simple stuff isn’t so simple in a foreign land.

Even more importantly, you’ll have to adjust to a new culture. You can read about this culture and you can experience it as a traveler, but to live in Mexico happily ever after, you must become part of a new way of life, a new way of thinking, a new way of doing. You’ll always be an outsider, a foreigner, but to what degree? There’s no money-back guarantee that you’ll integrate into the daily rythmn. 

For books on how to live in a foreign environment, The Intercultural Press offers a variety of publications from “Survival Kit for Multicultural Living,” and “Doing Business in Latin America,” to “Intercultural Marriage” or “The Art of Coming Home.” (Yes, you should expect re-entry adjustment once you return stateside after living in Mexico, even if just for a visit). For other books: Expatriate’s Bookstore or Virtual Mexico’s selection of 600 books.

Prepare for your Big Move with this checklist of Things To Know Before You Go. Or, surf around Mexico Mike's website. This guy is an acknowledged expert on living and traveling in Mexico.

For tips and insights into living abroad, subscribe to free e-mail newsletter. This is particularly helpful if you’re interested in the political and economic aspects. To subscribe, send e-mail to: Put “subscribe repatnewsletter” in the body of your message.

Body language and gestures are important when you’re in a foreign environment. In addition to the ones here, let me add another. If you really mean “NO,” instead of shouting or getting frustrated because pesky vendors won’t go away, merely wave your index finger back and forth, calmly, gently. It works.

We love living in Mexico. For most part you are going to have to learn Spanish; but it doesn't take much along with charades and sign language to get you by.

In Mexico, there are 3 distinct immigration statuses. They are:

·        No Inmigrante – Non immigrant – FM3 VISA – some short term visits of a non immigrant nature are not issued an FM3, these conditions are stipulated in the Law of Population.

·        Inmigrante Immigrant – FM2

·        Inmigrado  - Immigrated person – Permanent resident


FM3 VISA - A Non immigrant – is person who enters the country temporarily, for several days or several years for various reasons, but without the intention of residing permanently in Mexico.

 The NON IMMIGRANT VISA is issued in eleven different categories, most, except for short term visits, require the application for an FM3 VISA, these are stipulated in the Law of Population, which are as follows:  

1.      TOURIST: This category grants a simple paper Visa and does not require applying for an FM3. Tourist is the person that enters the country for recreation, health, artistic, cultural or sports activities – activities that are not profitable or compensated. This permit is issued for a maximum of six months and is NOT renewable.

2.      TRANS MIGRANT: is the person in transit to another country that travels through Mexico for up to 30 days, this permit is NOT renewable.

3.      VISITOR: is the foreigner that enters Mexico for a specific profitable or non profitable activity and is granted for up to one year.

4.      MINISTER OF A RELIGIOUS GROUP OR ASSOCIATION: is renewable every year for five years.

5.      POLITICAL ASYLUM: This is for the foreigner that enters Mexico to protect their “liberty or life from political persecution in their country authorized for the term that the Secretary of Government deems appropriate.

6.      REFUGEE: This is for the foreigner that enters Mexico to protect their “life, safety, or liberty when they have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights.. that have obligated to flee to another country. The Secretary can renew this permit as many times as deemed appropriate.

7.      STUDENT: is the foreigner that enters Mexico for initiating, completing, or continuing studies. *note, the person who completes a degree in Mexico under a Non immigrant Visa must change to an immigrant visa if they want to practice the profession in Mexico.

8.      DISTINGUISHED VISITOR: Is the foreign scientist or humanist of international prestige. The Secretary may grant these visas for up to six months and can renew them.

9.      LOCAL VISITOR: is the foreigner authorized for visiting maritime ports or border cities for less than 3 days.

10.   TEMPORARY VISITOR: Are all foreigners that the Secretary authorizes for up to a 30 days stay when landing at maritime ports or airports.

11.   JOURNALIST: is the foreigner that enters the country for journalistic activities.



An immigrant is the foreigner that enters Mexico legally for the purpose of remaining permanently in the country, until he obtains the Immigration status of “Inmigrado” Immigrated person or permanent resident. This status requires applying for an FM2 VISA. The FM2 Visa is extended (refrendo) every year until completing five years. At the end of five years, the foreigner can apply for another FM2 visa or request a “Declaration as an Immigrated Person” (Declaratoria de Inmigrado) Once the status of ‘INMIGRADO”  is granted, the foreigner can live and be involved in any legal activity in Mexico. This status is permanent and does not require further renewals or extensions.   There are 9 categories of immigrant visa (FM2); they are as follows:

1.      INDEPENDENT INCOME. This refers to the foreigner who wants to reside permanently in Mexico and live on resources brought from outside the country. These resources may include interest produced by the investment of capital in certificates, stocks, and bonds of the State or the national institutions of credit or others determined by the Secretary of Government or from any permanent income that comes from outside the country. The minimum amount required is presently 400 times the daily minimum wage (19,468 pesos) in the Federal District and 200 hundred days minimum wage (9,734 pesos) for dependent family members. Actually I inquired in 2010 of what this amount was and was told about 12,000 pesos per month per resident; half that if you owned your own home./ 

2.      INVESTORS. Foreigners that seek immigration in order to invest their capital in industry, commerce, provided that it contributes to the economic and social development of the country and that is maintained during the time of the residency of the foreigner at a minimum amount of 40,000 pesos times the daily minimum wage in the Federal District.

3.      PROFESSIONAL. The foreigner who immigrates in order to exercise a profession. The foreigner must document their credentials for that profession. They must validate any studies or university degrees in Mexico.

4.      POSITIONS OF CONFIDENCE. The foreigner who immigrates in order to assume positions of supervision, sole administrator of a corporation, or others of absolute confidence in companies or institutions established in the Republic.

5.      SCIENTIST. The foreigner who immigrates in order to direct or perform scientific research or diffuse scientific knowledge, to prepare researchers or perform work as docents.

6.      TECHNICIAN. The foreigner who immigrates in order to perform research applied within manufacturing production or perform technical or specialized functions.

7.      FAMILY MEMBERS. The foreigner who immigrates in order to live under the economic dependence of the spouse or a blood relative, “Immigrant”, “Immigrated person”, or Mexican in direct lineage without limit of degree or transversal up to the second degree.

8.      ARTISTS AND ATHLETES. The foreigner who immigrates in order to perform artistic or sports activities.

9.      ASSIMILATED PERSONS. The foreigner who immigrates that has had or has a Mexican spouse or child and that are not found to be covered in the latter sections. What is interesting is that if a foreigner comes to Mexico and has a child, they are eligible for immigrant status under this section, and are eligible for naturalization as a Mexican national after two years.


The FM2 Visa is extended (refrendo) every year until completing five years. At the end of five years, the foreigner can apply for another FM2 visa or request a “Declaration as an Immigrated Person” (Declaratoria de Inmigrado) Once the status of ‘INMIGRADO”  is granted, the foreigner can live and be involved in any legal activity in Mexico. This status is permanent and does not require further renewals or extensions. The person with this status can request Naturalization from the Secretary of Foreign Relations or stay with this status permanently.


In Mexico, the declared objective of immigration law (the Law of Population) is to regulate immigration as to volume, structure, and distribution. One of the goals of immigration law is to distribute within Mexico, immigrants with the skills and abilities needed in different areas. Mexican immigration policy is designed to maintain the integration within the fabric of Mexican society of those persons who have left Mexico and assumed other nationalities, and to facilitate their participation in the political and social life of the country. It is all about eliminating those obstacles and barriers to remaining part of the Mexican extended community.

Dangers in Mexico   Received 3-4-2010

Link to: State Department Recommendations if you must go to Mexico  )

The Department of State has issued this Travel Alert to update security information for U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico.  It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated August 20, 2009, and expires on August 20, 2010.

While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including tens of thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business and nearly one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico), violence in the country has increased. 

It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks in Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim.  Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.

Recent violent attacks have caused the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to delay unnecessary travel to parts of Michoacan, Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua (see details below), and to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution.  Drug cartels and associated criminal elements have retaliated violently against individuals who speak out against them or whom they otherwise view as a threat to their organization. These attacks include the abduction and murder of two resident U.S. citizens in Chihuahua.

Violence Along the U.S. - Mexico Border

Mexican drug cartels are engaged in violent conflict - both among themselves and with Mexican security services - for control of narcotics trafficking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border.  In order to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops throughout the country.  U.S. citizens should cooperate fully with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades.  Large firefights have taken place in towns and cities across Mexico, but occur mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Matamoros, Reynosa and Monterrey.  During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.  The U.S. Mission in Mexico currently restricts non-essential travel for U.S. government employees assigned to Mexico within the state of Durango, the northwest quadrant of the state of Chihuahua and an area southeast of Ciudad Juarez, and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River.  This restriction was implemented in light of the recent increase in assaults, murders, and kidnappings in those three states.

The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted.  Recently, the cities of Durango and Gomez Palacio in the state of Durango, and the area known as ?La Laguna? in the state of Coahuila, which includes the city of Torreon, experienced sharp increases in violence.  In late 2009 and early 2010, four visiting U.S. citizens were murdered in Gomez Palacio, Durango.  These are among several unsolved murders in the state of Durango that have been cause for particular concern.

A number of areas along the border continue to experience a rapid growth in crime.  Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico, with notable spikes in Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and northern Baja California.  Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues.  Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana.  Travelers on the highways between Monterrey and other parts of Mexico to the United States (notably through Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros) have been targeted for robbery and violence and have also inadvertently been caught in incidents of gunfire between criminals and Mexican law enforcement.  Such incidents are more likely to occur at night but may occur at any time.

The situation in the state of Chihuahua, specifically Ciudad Juarez, is of special concern.  The U.S. Consulate General recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to the Guadalupe Bravo area southeast of Ciudad Juarez and to the northwest quarter of the state of Chihuahua including the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes and surrounding communities.  From the United States, these areas are often reached through the Columbus, NM and Fabens and Fort Hancock, TX ports-of-entry.  In both areas, American citizens have been victims of drug related violence.

Mexican authorities report that more than 2,600 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2009.  Additionally, this city of 1.3 million people experienced more than 16,000 car thefts and 1,900 carjackings in 2009.  U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports.  Visa and other service seekers visiting the Consulate are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method.

U.S. citizens are urged to be alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region.  Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons.  In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles.  While most crime victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.  U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message.

Crime and Violence Throughout Mexico

U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times.  Bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens living in Mexico have been kidnapped and most of their cases remain unsolved.  U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible.  U.S. visitors who suspect they are a target should consider returning to the United States immediately.  U.S. citizens should be aware that many cases of violent crime are never resolved by Mexican law enforcement, and the U.S. government has no authority to investigate crimes committed in Mexico.

U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll ("cuota") roads, which generally are more secure.  When warranted, the U.S. Embassy and consulates advise their employees as well as private U.S. citizens to avoid certain areas, abstain from driving on certain roads because of dangerous conditions or criminal activity, or recommend driving during daylight hours only.  When this happens, the Embassy or the affected consulate will alert the local U.S. citizen Warden network and post the information on their respective websites, indicating the nature of the concern and the expected time period for which the restriction will remain in place. 

U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas.  Travelers should leave their itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with them, avoid traveling alone, and check with their cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that their cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks.  Do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.  Travelers to remote or isolated hunting or fishing venues should be aware that they may be distant from appropriate medical, law enforcement, and