Relocating from US to Mexico

Navigating an International Move: A Guide for Corporate Transferees Relocating from the US to Mexico 

Christina Urrutia has over 16 years of experience in helping clients strategize around their employee relocation policies to make them fair, equitable, and enticing. With Christina’s experience living in Mexico for the past 7 years, she brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to this topic.

In this blog post, she will cover her own personal tips.

Moving to a new country for work can be both exciting and daunting, especially when it involves navigating the complexities of an international relocation. For corporate transferees relocating from the US to Mexico, there are various considerations and challenges to address to ensure a smooth transition. In this blog, we will explore the essential checklist and other challenges associated with an international move to Mexico. 

Understanding the Checklist: Key Considerations for Your Move 

Before embarking on your international relocation journey, it is crucial to have a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the process. Here are some essential items to include: 

Visa and Work Authorization: Ensure that you have the necessary visas and work permits required to live and work in Mexico legally. Work closely with your employer and immigration authorities to facilitate the visa application process.  

Housing and Accommodation: Research and secure suitable housing arrangements in Mexico well in advance of your move. Consider factors such as location, proximity to work, safety, and amenities when choosing a place to live.  

Christina’s Tip: Securing housing ahead of time without the help of a specialized real estate agent is difficult. You need to have an Aval in most cases which is a local person from the same state where you intend to live to sponsor/co-sign for your residence and debt as a renter. You can also find much better housing options wandering the streets than by using websites. I highly recommend temporary accommodation for 30-45 days (about 1 and a half months) to allow you to explore your specific area.  

Healthcare and Insurance: Familiarize yourself with the healthcare system in Mexico and arrange for health insurance coverage for yourself and your family members. Explore options for international health insurance plans that provide comprehensive coverage abroad.  

Christina’s Tip: Temp residents are not eligible for IMSS health plans and cannot apply until they have an RFC # which is only given when you are a perm resident or citizen – securing alternative expat health insurance is imperative! I had to pay for an emergency surgery out of pocket $3000 USD. FYI also – in Mexico private hospitals will not administer any care until you have paid the estimate up front. There is no option for “partial” pay or care before payment – even in emergency situations! 

Financial Planning: Review your financial situation and make necessary arrangements for banking, currency exchange, and managing finances in Mexico. Consider consulting with a financial advisor to understand tax implications and optimize your financial strategy. 

Cristina’s Tip: Remember that currency exchange rates change frequently. I suggest working with a financial advisor OR at the very least an exchange partner like OFX to lock in currency exchange rates for 1-3 months at a time. 

Cultural Adaptation: Prepare yourself and your family for cultural differences and language barriers that you may encounter in Mexico. Take time to learn about Mexican culture, customs, and etiquette to facilitate a smoother transition.  

Christina’s Tip: This is very underrated. Mexico has a very collective culture and personal space, and time is so limited. Mexico is also a VERY loud culture with sounds all the time and some of the biggest things I have struggled with are cultural things like “appropriate party hours,” “dogs barking,” “common courtesy.” 

Schooling and Education: If you have children, research educational options in Mexico and enroll them in suitable schools or educational programs. Consider factors such as curriculum, language of instruction, and extracurricular activities when selecting schools.  

Christina’s Tip: Schooling is not free in Mexico, even private schools. All schools require the use of uniforms (at your expense) and you pay for the curriculum, extra school fees, lunches, etc. Nothing is “included” in your tuition rate.  Always ask for a breakdown of costs. Also, when choosing a school, it is important to meet with the instructors who will give the classes. Many schools state that they are English speaking but spend more time speaking Spanish because it is just “easier.” This happened to us – my son was supposed to have ½ day of English and he has stalled out in his English skills and has only developed more in Spanish. When asked – he told me that he ONLY speaks Spanish all day at school) 

Transportation: Arrange for transportation options in Mexico, whether it is purchasing a vehicle, using public transportation, or relying on ridesharing services. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations to ensure safe driving.   

Christina’s Tip: Driving in Mexico is quite different than the US – the laws are much more flexible and often ignored. I find Mexico to be an aggressive driving environment.  

Purchasing a vehicle in Mexico is EXTREMELY expensive and requires a downpayment of at least 40% of the car value. You also must pay for licensing and registration fees. The monthly payments are usually not friendly for an expat. Work with your relocation management company to partner with the right team of experts to get you a transportation method that works best for you. Uber is reliable in Mexico and can be used for most needs in the major cities, beware of Taxis on the street because you will get charged the “tourist” rate if you do not look like you fit in. When possible, book taxis with a reputable company. 

Legal and Documentation: Gather and organize important documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and academic transcripts. Keep copies of essential documents both in physical and digital formats for easy access. 

Christina’s Tip: It is especially important that your documents be in “like new” condition. They will often not accept anything that is worn out. It is also worth noting that you will need to have all your documents notarized as being official and if you are married and have changed your name, you need to have a notarized statement that confirms that you are all the above names. Mexico is very particular about naming and will require that your US ID (passport), Your Birth Certificate AND your Mexico Issued ID all have the exact same format AND signature. Example: THOMAS RALPH JONES cannot be shortened to Tom R. Jones – I had a LOT of issues with this one). 

Challenges and Solutions: Overcoming Hurdles in Your International Move 

In addition to the checklist items mentioned above, corporate transferees may encounter various challenges during an international move to Mexico.  

Some familiar challenges include: 

Language Barrier: Adjusting to a new language can be challenging, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish. Consider taking language courses or hiring a language tutor to improve your language skills and facilitate communication.  

Christina’s Tip: Language barrier is not really the worst part of adjusting though most feel it would be. I was surprised by how little language influenced me. 

Cultural Adjustment: Adapting to a new culture and way of life may take time and patience. Seek support from local expatriate communities, participate in cultural events, and embrace new experiences to integrate into Mexican society. 

Christina’s Tip: (See above comments on Mexican cultural elements like loud gatherings, late-night party hours”, dogs barking, and differing views on what is expected as “common courtesy”. 

Logistics Issues: Coordinating the planning of an international move, including packing, shipping, and customs clearance, can be complex. Work with experienced moving professionals who specialize in international relocations to streamline the process and minimize disruptions.   

Christina’s Tip: Especially important. I had my shipment stopped in customs because our broker did not know how to clear a used HHG shipment.  

By addressing these challenges proactively and following a comprehensive checklist, corporate transferees can navigate their international move from the US to Mexico with confidence and peace of mind. Remember to seek support from your employer, relocation specialists, and local resources to facilitate a successful transition. 

At MM Worldwide, A division of MiniMoves Inc., we understand the unique challenges of international relocations and are committed to providing personalized support and assistance to corporate transferees moving to Mexico. Contact us today at to learn more about our international moving services and how we can help make ANY RELOCATION a seamless experience. 

Safe travels and best wishes for your new adventure in Mexico! 

More About Our Contributing Author:

Christina has spent her career advocating for relocating families to ensure that their relocation experience is the absolute best while minimizing the disruptions that often come with international assignments. Currently residing in Puebla, Mexico, Christina is no stranger to the relocation process and the importance of being supported in a foreign country.  To learn more about Christina visit-