Mexico digital nomad visa guide (2023)
Many people decide to change their career path and go somewhere abroad to live and work.
Some move due to the better living standard in other countries, others due to job opportunities, while some decide to take a chance and go because of wanderlust.
In a sea of destinations popular among the wanderlust at the moment, one has caught our eye recently — Mexico.
What makes people move to Mexico? What makes Mexico more attractive than other countries?
Since Mexico is steadily becoming one of the most alluring countries to digital nomads, curious as we are, we have decided to see why.
As a result of our research, you will find out more about:
- Rules and regulations for obtaining the Mexico digital nomads visa,
- Pros and cons of living in Mexico,
- Best cities and towns for digital nomads in Mexico, and
- Tips about living in this beautiful country.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Quick digital nomad visa facts for Mexico
Before we get to the complete Mexico digital nomad visa guide, let’s take a quick look at some digital nomad visa facts.
|Mexico visa questions||Mexico visa answers|
|Does Mexico have a digital nomad visa?||No. But it has a partially suitable alternative called a Temporary resident visa.|
|Who can apply for the Mexico digital nomad visa?||– Anyone of non-Mexican nationality who works for a company registered outside Mexico. |
– Anyone who meets the other criteria stated later in the guide under the subheading Who is eligible to apply for Mexicos digital nomad visa?
|How much does the Mexico digital nomad visa cost?||Mex$904 (~$51)|
|Mexico’s digital nomad visa length?||Anywhere from 6 months, up to 4 years|
|Minimum stay requirement?||Not stated|
|Possible to extend the visa?||Yes|
|Minimum income requirements?||~Mex$59,087 (~$3,494)|
|Processing time for visa application?||10 business days|
|Can I apply with family members for a digital nomad visa?||Yes, but only with your spouse/registered partner and your children|
What to expect as a digital nomad in Mexico?
Here are some fundamental facts that every digital nomad who plans to work remotely in Mexico should know.
|Mexico digital nomad FAQ||Mexico digital nomad answers|
|Average Internet speed:||– Median download speed — 50.53 Mbps |
– Median upload speed — 19.63 Mbps
|Best coworking space (highest Google rating and number of voters):||CoWorking Tulum (5 stars from 118 votes)|
|Friendly to foreigners:||Yes. Every year plenty of foreigners visit Mexico, so locals are used to tourists and expats.|
|The most popular place for digital nomads in Mexico:||Mexico City|
|Weather in Mexico’s most popular place for digital nomads:||Average annual temperature — 20.6℃ (69.08°F);|
Coldest month average temperature (January) — 14°C (57.2°F)
Hottest month average temperature (June/July) — 28°C (82.4°F)
Around 2551 sun hours per year.
The temperatures during summer and winter depend on where you live since Mexico has various climate types.
|Type of climate:||The climate in Mexico is varied, but still, it could be divided into temperate and tropical.|
|Annual air quality average:||US AQI 66 (Moderate) |
PM 2.5 — 3.9x the WHO annual air quality guideline value (Unhealthy)
|Average cost of living:||Single person: Around Mex$26,390 (~$1,500)|
Family of four: Around Mex$46,100 (~$2,600)
|Average coworking space cost:||~Mex$2198 (~$124) per month|
|Interesting fact for digital nomads:||There are still “no-go zones” in certain areas of Mexico.|
Mexico digital nomad visa
Unfortunately, if you want to start or continue your remote work in Mexico, you cannot apply for the Mexico digital nomad visa, since Mexican authorities haven’t introduced it yet.
Furthermore, it is doubtful if they will introduce it at all.
However, don’t worry because it is still possible to work remotely in Mexico thanks to a Temporary residence visa.
The main benefits of this Mexico digital nomad visa alternative are the following:
- You can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days,
- Once you get to Mexico, you can prolong your stay to up to 4 years, and
- You can work legally for a company registered outside Mexico.
Now, let’s see what documents you have to gather and what migratory procedures to obey to be eligible for a Temporary residence visa.
What documents do you need to apply for the Mexico digital nomad visa?
To apply for the Mexico digital nomad visa or, better to say, the Temporary residence visa, you need to gather and submit the following documents:
- Your passport or a travel document,
- A copy of the identity page in your passport,
- A recent color ID photograph (3.9cm x 3.1cm maximum),
- The filled-out visa application form,
- Proof that you have paid the visa application fee,
- A contract of employment (original or copy) or other certified document proving you have had a tax-free monthly income in the amount of ~Mex$59,087 (~$3,494). Alternatively, you can submit a bank account statement proving you have had an average monthly balance during the last 12 months equal to 5,000 minimum daily wages in Mexico.
If you apply for a Temporary residence visa from the country where you do not reside, you will need proof that you have entered that country legally.
Also, be aware that the minimum income requirements vary depending on the exchange rate of Mex$ — Mexican Peso and the minimum daily wage in Mexico, so check them before applying for the Mexico digital nomad visa/Temporary residence visa.
Currently, the minimum daily wage in Mexico is Mex$207,44 (~$11,44).
Who is eligible to apply for Mexico’s digital nomad visa?
The eligibility criteria for the Mexico digital nomad visa alternative — Temporary residence visa — seems pretty straightforward.
First, digital nomads of any nationality can apply for a Temporary residence visa.
This information is particularly important to EU/EEA citizens, who are often unable to apply for digital nomad visas in many European countries since those visas are mostly intended for people outside the EU/EEA.
Here are other requirements you need to meet to be eligible to apply for a Temporary residence visa:
- Have enough funds at your disposal, which means that you need to have:
- A monthly income during the last 6 months that is, at least, equal to 300 minimum daily wages in Mexico, or
- An amount in your bank account during the last 12 months that hasn’t been lower than 5,000 minimum daily wages in Mexico,
- Work for a company or business entity registered outside Mexico (if applicable), and
- Have all of the aforementioned documents.
Although the eligibility criteria seem clear, we recommend you check if you are eligible to apply for Mexico’s digital nomad visa by contacting the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
Getting in touch with official representatives of foreign countries can be slightly difficult for some people who are not used to writing professional emails.
Therefore, if you want your emails to sound more formal and increase your chances of getting the information you want, we recommend checking out the following articles:
Are you eligible if you are a United States citizen?
Yes, as a US citizen, you can get a Temporary residence visa and enjoy the benefits of working remotely in Mexico.
Also, as a US citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Mexico if you plan to stay there for less than 180 days.
However, you must visit the office of the National Migration Institute (INM) to get an entry permit, in case you want to visit Mexican areas 12 miles (20 km) away from the border.
Are you eligible if you are a US Green Card holder?
Yes, as a US Green Card holder, you can apply for a Temporary residence visa.
However, be aware that you will lose your rights to a Green Card if you stay outside the US for over a year. Therefore, think carefully if getting a work permit for Mexico is worth the risk of potentially losing your US Green Card.
Are you eligible if you are an EU citizen?
Yes, as an EU citizen, you are eligible to apply for a Temporary residence visa.
However, being an EU or EEA citizen is not enough to grant you a Temporary residence visa, so you will have to meet all of the aforementioned conditions, as well.
Are you eligible if you reside in any other country?
Yes, if you reside in any other country, you can apply for the best alternative for Mexico digital nomad visa — a Temporary residence visa.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
If you don’t meet some of the criteria mentioned above, you might be interested in some of the other countries with digital nomad visas. To learn more about them, visit the following page:
Also, if you would like to know more about some of the most popular digital nomad visas, we recommend you visit the following page:
How do I get a digital nomad visa for Mexico?
Unfortunately, there are currently no suitable online links where you can apply for a Temporary residence visa for Mexico.
Therefore, the only way to apply for a Temporary residence visa, for now, is to visit the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy.
After finding the nearest accredited Mexican representation, gather all the appropriate documents mentioned above, schedule a meeting there, and submit the documentation.
If everything is fine with the submitted documents, you will get to the next stage — an interview at the embassy/consulate.
Providing your interview is successful, you could get a Temporary residence visa right away, at the interview.
However, in most cases, you can expect to get your visa days or weeks later. After all, it all depends on the efficiency of the Mexican representation where you apply.
Finally, once you get to Mexico, you must get your residence card from one of the National Immigration Institute offices.
After you obtain the residence card, the procedure is over, and you can start enjoying the benefits of living in Mexico!
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
If you often feel anxious before important meetings, such as the one you should have in a Mexican embassy, then the following article might help you to overcome it:
Also, people at the interviews often get asked to describe themselves, hence we recommend checking out the following article:
What other types of visas suitable for digital nomads does Mexico offer?
Unfortunately, Mexico does not have too many alternative visas for digital nomads who do not meet the requirements for a Temporary residence visa.
The only suitable alternative is a Temporary resident visa through NUT (NUT—Número Único de Trámite).
Let’s find out more about its requirements and benefits.
The alternative to a Temporary resident visa — Temporary resident visa through NUT
A temporary resident visa through NUT is one of the Mexican work visas that allow you to work for a company registered in Mexico.
This visa allows you to perform remunerated activities and stay in Mexico for up to 4 years.
However, depending on the agreement with your employer, you will have to renew the visa from time to time.
Naturally, before applying for this type of visa, we recommend you consult with your employer and the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy to be sure you are eligible for this type of Mexican working visa.
What documents do I need for a Temporary resident visa through NUT
To get a Temporary resident visa through NUT, you have to submit the following documents:
- Your passport,
- A copy of the identity page in your passport,
- A recent color ID photograph (3.9cm x 3.1cm maximum),
- The filled-out visa application form,
- Proof that you have paid the visa application fee, and
- A letter of authorization with the NUT number.
If you live in a foreign country and want to apply for a Temporary resident visa through NUT, you have to submit proof of legal status in the country (residence permit/visa) as well.
Also, if some of your family members want to come with you to Mexico, you must submit the following documents:
- Birth certificate (for children),
- Marriage certificate (for a spouse), and
- Proof of financial solvency — a bank statement.
Bear in mind that Mexican authorities may require some additional documents depending on where you apply. Hence, we recommend you check at the nearest Mexican Consulate or Embassy if you are obliged to provide some other documents.
Which Mexico visa type is best for digital nomads?
We hope that Mexican authorities will introduce an official Mexico digital nomad visa at some point in the future.
Until then, the best visa type for digital nomads in Mexico is a Temporary resident visa. Its biggest benefit is that you can work legally for a foreign company while living in Mexico.
However, its biggest disadvantage is that the process of obtaining it is a bit unclear and that some additional requirements may appear during the application process.
Hence, we recommend you contact lawyers specialized in Mexican migration laws or official Mexican representations in your (or nearby) country.
That way you can be sure that a Temporary resident visa is the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you are, for example, working remotely in Mexico for a US company registered in Mexico, a Temporary resident visa through NUT is the best choice.
Costs you need to consider as a digital nomad in Mexico
One of the most important things to consider before moving to another country is how much money you would need for a comfortable life there.
Since digital nomads who come to Mexico with Temporary resident visas have a minimum income requirement of around Mex$59,087 (~$3,494), they will likely enjoy their time in Mexico without worrying about finances.
However, be prepared to give the largest part of your income for rent, since the accommodation in Mexico is pricey.
In any case, let’s see in detail the costs of living in Mexico as a digital nomad so that you can estimate your future expenditures.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
Moving to another country can be pretty expensive. Especially when the accommodation costs are as high as in Mexico.
Therefore, it would be best if you could earn or get some additional money before the trip. One of the ways to get the money is by asking for advance payment:
Expense #1: Accommodation
Accommodation prices in Mexico are pretty high compared to some other destinations popular among digital nomads.
To get a 1-bedroom apartment in Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, you will need at least Mex$17,590 (~$1,000). The rent will be even higher if you look for a better-equipped or larger apartment.
Holders of Mexico work permits who want to live in a Mexican nightlife hotspot, Tulum, need even more money for a 1-bedroom apartment — Mex$21,110–Mex$26,390 (~$1,200–$1,500).
These rent prices place Mexico City and Tulum on the list of the most expensive destinations in the world. That is because these destinations are massively popular among tourists, and recently they have become popular among well-off digital nomads, as well.
In any case, Mexico City and Tulum are not the only destinations in Mexico, there are other interesting cities where digital nomads could live.
Therefore, let’s learn more about the average rent prices of 1-bedroom apartments in Mexico’s most popular cities.
|Place in Mexico||Accommodation costs|
|Mexico City||Mex$17,590 (~$1,000)|
|Tulum area||Mex$21,110–Mex$26,390 (~$1,200–$1,500)|
|Puerto Vallarta||Mex$22,000 (~$1,250)|
Expense #2: Groceries
If you come from the USA or European countries, you would notice that there are no huge discrepancies between the prices there and in Mexico.
We all hope that predictions are correct and that there wouldn’t be any further hikes in groceries prices.
To give you a better picture of groceries cost in Mexico, we have created a list of the most commonly bought groceries and their prices.
|Groceries||Grocery prices in Mexico|
|Water 1 l (33,8 fl oz)||Mex$10,03 (~$0,57)|
|Milk 1 l||Mex$21,28 (~$1,21)|
|Chicken breasts 1 kg (2.2 lbs)||Mex$108,70 (~$6,18)|
|Steak 1 kg||Mex$172,72 (~$9,82)|
|Cheese 1 kg||Mex$122,77 (~$6,98)|
|12 eggs||Mex$33,77 (~$1,92)|
|Rice 1 kg||Mex$22,34 (~$1,27)|
|Apples 1 kg||Mex$42,74 (~$2,43)|
|Oranges 1 kg||Mex$22,16 (~$1,26)|
|Tomatoes 1 kg||Mex$23,74 (~$1,35)|
|Potatoes 1 kg||Mex$24,98 (~$1,42)|
Expense #3: Utilities
We don’t know about you, but for us, one of the hardest farewells is the farewell from the money that goes for the utility bills.
Unfortunately, utility bills are something we have to live with, so let’s see how much you need to spend on utilities in Mexico.
According to the latest available data, the electricity price in Mexico is Mex$1,78 (~$0,1) per 1 kWh of power. Therefore, if you spend 100 kWh of electricity, you will need to pay Mex$178 (~$10).
Mexico has a pretty moderate, if not low price of electricity, compared to some other countries with digital nomad visas.
On the other hand, water pricing depends on where you live and how you get your tap water. Therefore, there is no universal water price for households in Mexico.
Also, bear in mind that a lot of Mexicans don’t drink tap water, but use it only to take a shower or clean up the dishes.
Most Mexican homes do not have any heating system, and hence, you will not have to pay the heating bills.
However, since Mexico has various climate types, if you live in some of them, you will need some kind of heating during the cold days and nights. Therefore, it would be good to have air conditioning in your apartment so that you can heat the room a bit when needed.
Finally, depending on where you live, you might need to pay some additional bills, such as garbage collection or cleaning bills.
Expense #4: Transportation
Since Mexico is a huge country with various beautiful attractions worth visiting, we recommend you use a car while living there as a digital nomad to get to them easier.
Unfortunately, the detailed prices of fuel in Mexico are not available online. However, 1l of petrol is currently around Mex$24,13 (~$1,37), so you might get a basic picture of the other prices, as well.
On the other hand, since Mexico City has a chronic problem of traffic jams, you might need public transport services. Fortunately, Mexico City has a metro system, a well-developed bus transport system, and a tram system.
As you can see below, public transportation tickets in Mexico City are pretty cheap by US and European standards.
|Type of public transport in Mexico City||Price of ticket|
Expense #5: Bars and restaurants
To go to Mexico and not visit some of its bars, clubs, or restaurants would be almost impossible.
Naturally, prices in bars and restaurants vary depending on where you live. For example, since Tulum is a tourist hotspot, prices in bars there aren’t quite the same as in Toluca or Guadalajara.
However, here are some usual prices of drinks in Mexican bars.
|Drinks||Drink prices in Mexico|
|Beer 0,5 l (16,9 fl oz)||~Mex$36,95 (~$2,10)|
|Pepsi/Coca–Cola 0,33l (11,15 fl oz)||~Mex$17,07 (~$0,97)|
|A bottle of wine||~Mex$351,88 (~$20)|
“Where’s tequila?”, you might ask. Well, since Mexico is for tequila what the Middle East is for oil, it is pretty hard to say the usual price of the drink that tastes like not going to work tomorrow.
Hence, be prepared to pay anywhere from Mex$17,50 (~$1) to a small fortune for one shot of tequila.
If you prefer to go to restaurants, you will be happy to hear that the prices of meals in restaurants are moderate.
Of course, there are fancy restaurants, where you need to spend Mex$527,80 (~$30) and more per meal, but there are also nice local restaurants where you can enjoy your meal for between Mex$123 (~$7) and Mex$75 (~$10), which is a bargain.
Expense #6: Coworking spaces
The average monthly price of a desk in a coworking space in Mexico is Mex$2181 (~$124).
There are plenty of coworking spaces in Mexican cities popular among digital nomads. However, there is a difference in their prices.
Coworking spaces in towns such as Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, and the Cancun area are slightly more expensive than in hubs in Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Toluca.
Expense #7: Internet
Although Mexico doesn’t belong to the group of countries with extremely fast Internet, it still offers stable and reliable Internet that is even faster than the Internet in some European countries.
The internet price in Mexico is between Mex$263 (~$15) and Mex$703 (~$40), depending on where you live and how fast you want it to be.
Do digital nomads pay taxes in Mexico?
No, digital nomads do not pay taxes in Mexico if they are other countries’ residents for tax purposes.
On the other hand, you have to pay taxes in Mexico if you become a Mexican resident for tax purposes by working for a company registered in Mexico.
Furthermore, if you ever get a job in a Mexican company, you might also need some other Mexican work visas. Also, there is a huge chance that your employer will pay taxes for you.
In any case, once you get to Mexico, we recommend you contact the INM (National Immigration Institute), Mexican tax authorities, and accredited tax and accounting services offices to get the most accurate information about the taxes in Mexico.
What are the benefits of being a digital nomad in Mexico?
If you have ever asked yourself “Why should I move to Mexico?” or “What are the benefits of living in Mexico”, the following list might provide you with answers.
Here are the main benefits of being a digital nomad in Mexico.
Benefit #1: Cultural diversity and great social life
One of the first things you will notice when you come to Mexico is social diversity.
Sociable people from different social classes, ethnicities, and races make Mexico a unique place and a true melting pot.
There are not many countries in the world where in the morning you can meet the Mayan descendant, in the noon have a drink with locals from different social classes, and in the evening enjoy a night out with European and US citizens working remotely in Mexico.
There are plenty of great cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can try local or international drinks and specialties for more or less affordable prices.
If you are fond of nightlife, almost every Mexican city has something for you. However, if you are looking for the best clubs and entertainment, Mexico City and Tulum area leave others in the shade.
Mexico has a rich history and a variety of attractions worth visiting.
Therefore, in your spare time, we recommend you visit temples and ancient ruins such as Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacan, Kukulkán, and many others. Also, there are plenty of museums, churches, and other buildings and institutions worth seeing whenever you have an opportunity to do so.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
Since a lot of people of different ethnicities, races, and social classes live in Mexico, there is a high probability you will meet some of them while working from some of the Mexican coworking spaces.
Therefore, the following article might be useful:
Benefit #2: Moderate cost of living
Although rent prices are pretty high, groceries, utility bills, transportation costs, and prices in bars and restaurants are moderate, which makes Mexico attractive for digital nomads.
To cover the expenses of rent, basic groceries, and utilities, a single person needs between Mex$26,360 and Mex$28,116 ($1500–$1600).
The cost of living would be much lower if you could find a cheaper apartment. Therefore, we recommend you pay special attention to finding moderately priced accommodation.
Of course, there is always a possibility to go off the beaten path and find accommodation in some of the less popular places for digital nomads in Mexico. That way, you could save more than if you lived in Mexico City or the Tulum area.
Overall, since most digital nomads have an annual income of more than 50k, we believe the holders of Mexico digital nomad visas will be able to cope with the expenditures and live comfortably in this North American country.
Benefit #3: Up to par Internet speed
It might be surprising for some people, but the broadband Internet in Mexico is (on average) faster than the Internet in some European countries such as Croatia or Greece.
According to Ookla Speedtest Global Index, the Internet in Mexico has a median download speed of 50.53 Mbps and a median upload speed of 19.63 Mbps.
In addition, the connection is stable and reliable, so digital nomads do not have problems while working from their Mexican homes or coworking spaces.
Among other benefits from our list, satisfactory internet speed is one of the main reasons why an increasing number of digital nomads move to Mexico.
Benefit #4: Satisfactory healthcare system
The Mexican healthcare system is not state-of-the-art, but it isn’t bad either. We can describe it as satisfactory.
There are public and private hospitals where you can find help if needed.
Although it is not stated as one of the Mexico digital nomad visa requirements, we strongly recommend you get private health insurance before coming to this North American state. That way, you can get medical treatment in both public and private hospitals.
However, although there are a lot of newly renovated and modern public hospitals, we recommend you go to private hospitals if needed due to more English-speaking personnel and better equipment.
Another proof of the reliability and efficiency of private hospitals in Mexico is the fact that Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for medical tourism.
More and more Americans who want medical treatments outside the USA choose Mexico as their preferred destination.
We hope that you will never test the efficiency and service in Mexican hospitals, but if you have to, you will be in safe hands.
Benefit #5: Fine weather
If you like countries with various climate zones, where the temperatures and climate conditions vary from region to region, Mexico is the right place for you.
The average temperature in Mexico is 20.6℃ (69.08℉), but it doesn’t mean much since the country is climatologically different.
The average annual temperature in central Mexican areas is between 15℃ and 20℃, while coastal areas have higher average annual temperatures — between 23℃ and 27℃.
If you prefer arid areas, the Northern and central parts of Mexico are for you. On the other hand, those who like occasional rain would prefer more humid areas near the Mexican coasts and mountains.
In the southern parts of Mexico, the warmest months are April and May, while the rest of Mexico experiences high temperatures from June to September.
Unfortunately, due to the El Niño climate pattern, Mexico’s coasts are areas where hurricanes and rain storms may appear from July to October.
Overall, the weather in most popular destinations for digital nomads in Mexico is fine, but with occasional exceptions.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
Since the weather in Mexico is splendid in most cases, going out and enjoying nature is one of the ways of relaxing after an exhausting day.
However, to relax properly, you should know how to create a work-life balance. Hence, here is the article that might be helpful:
Benefit #6: No smoking in public areas
If you don’t smoke or don’t prefer to hang out in places where smoking is allowed, you will love the fact that smoking is banned in all public areas in Mexico.
Mexican anti-smoking law is one of the strictest in the world. The ban includes not only bars, restaurants, and clubs, but also parks, squares, bus stations, offices, etc. Furthermore, vapes and e-cigarettes are also banned indoors.
Smoking prohibition in public places means that private residences are the only places where you can legally smoke.
What are the drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Mexico?
Although there are more advantages of living as a digital nomad in Mexico than disadvantages, you should carefully consider if the drawbacks outweigh all the positive things about Mexico we mentioned above.
Therefore, here are the main drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Mexico.
Drawback #1: Unsatisfactory safety
Unfortunately, there is no exact data about the number of crimes in Mexico.
We witness that crime in Mexico has been a burning issue in Mexican society for decades now. Ongoing violence between cartels and a high number of homicides (25.2 per 100k people) make us believe safety in Mexico is currently at an unsatisfactory level.
Also, you should avoid certain areas of Mexico if you don’t want to accidentally end up in a potential crossfire or disputes between rival gangs.
However, this burning issue doesn’t bother tourists too much, since around 34 million 700 thousand foreigners visited Mexico from January to November 2022.
Also, according to the Mexican statistics agency’s latest data, around 1.2 million foreigners reside in Mexico. Nowadays, the number might be even higher since the last official data about foreigners living in Mexico has been published in 2020.
Overall, it seems that the popular tourist and digital nomad hotspots are safe and have been spared from the outbursts of violence.
In any case, we recommend you be alert if you notice any suspicious behavior and activities around you and move away from the potential danger. With enough caution, you will be safe and enjoy your stay in Mexico.
Drawback #2: Air pollution
Air pollution is the second biggest problem of living in Mexico.
Although air pollution has drastically lowered since the 80s and 90s, the air quality in most parts of Mexico is still moderately good or unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Furthermore, the level of PM2.5 is 3.9 times higher than what the WHO considers fine.
The high concentration of ozone due to specific climate, the large number of vehicles on Mexican streets, and dirty industries are the main contributors to air pollution in Mexico.
Unfortunately, fighting air pollution doesn’t seem to be high on the current administration’s list of priorities. Therefore, we hope that better times will come and that the air pollution problem in this beautiful country will be history.
Drawback #3: Expensive rent
Since Mexico has become increasingly popular among digital nomads and expats in general, rent prices have skyrocketed.
As stated above, you will need between Mex$12,300 and Mex$26,390 ($700 and $1,500) per month to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Mexico, depending on its location.
Of course, there is a good chance that you will find an apartment for less money, but still, you need to be thorough during the research process to find the best and most cost-effective solution.
According to the trends in the market, it doesn’t seem that the rent prices will go down anytime soon. Therefore, Mexico would remain, for at least some time, a country with pretty expensive rent.
Drawback #4: Very low English proficiency
According to the English Proficiency Index, the English proficiency of Mexicans has been labeled as very low.
This means you might face potential communication barriers in Mexico since many Mexicans don’t speak English at all or speak broken English.
However, locals may have better knowledge of English in places popular among tourists or populated by expats — such as urban areas of big cities and coastal destinations. Hence you should be able to avoid any communication problems there.
On the other hand, if you want to visit some destinations in the back of beyond and need to communicate with locals, we cannot guarantee they would understand you.
Therefore, it is nice to know some alternative communication types to express what you want in the hope that someone gets it.
5 Best destinations for digital nomads in Mexico?
Now that you know a lot of details about the Mexico digital nomad visa, its requirements, and life in Mexico in general, it is time to learn more about your potential destinations.
Here are the 5 best destinations for digital nomads in Mexico.
Mexico City — The biggest city in Mexico
City area: 573 mi² (1,485 km²)
Time zone: UTC–06:00 (CST)
Average internet speed: 63.60 Mbps (median download speed), 20.02 Mbps (median upload speed)
Average cost of living: Around Mex$28,805–Mex$30,500 (~$1,700–$1800) per month
Average cost of rent: Mex$17,590 (~$1,000) per month
Biggest advantage: A variety of attractions
Biggest drawback: Traffic
Mexico City is the cultural, political and economic center of Mexico.
It is really hard not to fall in love with this city since it offers you a variety of attractions.
First of all, although it is big, the city is walkable, so you can easily get where you want on foot, especially if you live near the places you most commonly visit.
Also, while walking through the streets of Mexico City, there is a high chance you will see some architectural jewels, interesting museums, or cozy bars on your way.
Secondly, Mexico City offers a variety of places where you can hang out, meet new friends, and enjoy various types of drinks and food.
Thirdly, there are a lot of expats and digital nomads working remotely in Mexico, so if you come from Europe or the USA, there is a high possibility you will meet your countrymen and enjoy spending time with them.
Sadly, Mexico City has its share of problems as well.
Here are the main disadvantages:
- High accommodation prices,
- Traffic congestion, and
- Air pollution.
However, we still believe living in Mexico City is a unique experience and that the positive aspects of the city outweigh the disadvantages.
Where to work in Mexico City
There are a lot of coworking spaces in Mexico City.
However, the one that stands out, at least according to Google ratings, is Colony Spaces Cibeles, which has an average rating of 4.9 after 314 reviews.
Guadalajara — The best alternative to Mexico City
City area: 58 mi² (151 km²)
Time zone: UTC–06:00 (CST); summer (DST) UTC—5 (CDT)
Average internet speed: 61.25 Mbps (median download speed), 24.94 Mbps (median upload speed)
Average cost of living: Mex$21,003–Mex$22,753 (~$1,400–$1,500) per month
Average cost of rent: Mex$12,300–Mex$17,590 (~$700–$1,000) per month
Biggest advantage: Lower cost of living
Biggest drawback: Poor public transportation
Guadalajara is a truly amazing city to live in.
It is the 7th most populated city in Mexico, the economic capital of the Bajio region, one of the centers of the Mexican economy, and a city with various UNESCO sites.
Digital nomads and expats with some kind of Mexico business visa will be thrilled to hear that the cost of living in Guadalajara is moderate. The average cost of rent is slightly lower than in other cities, making the city attractive to digital nomads who don’t have high salaries.
In your spare time, we recommend visiting various historical sites, museums, restaurants, bars, or numerous festivals in Guadalajara and its surroundings. That way, you will learn more about the great history of this part of Mexico and experience the casual spirit and friendliness of the locals.
Also, if you believe that tequila is not the answer, but it’s worth a shot, visiting the nearby town called Tequila is a must. After all, it is the tequila’s birthplace.
Although Guadalajara is much smaller than Mexico City, you will not miss the big city vibes since Guadalajara is alive and kicking 24/7.
On the other hand, the two main disadvantages of living in Guadalajara are poor public transportation and potential violence between the gangs.
However, since the city has developed a lot during the past decades, gang violence rarely happens, and we could say that Guadalajara is safe.
Where to work in Guadalajara
It seems every bigger city in Mexico has a plethora of coworking spaces available. The same applies to Guadalajara.
According to Google ratings, the one that leaves others in the shade is IZA Business Centers Punto Sao Paulo (4.8 stars from 262 reviews).
Cancún — The best destination for digital nomads in Mexico
City area: 55.1 mi² (142.7 km²)
Time zone: UTC–5 (EST)
Average internet speed: 32.49 Mbps (median download speed), 11.38 Mbps (median upload speed)
Average cost of living: Around Mex$28,000 (~$1,800) per month
Average cost of rent: Mex$19,310 (~$1,100) per month
Biggest advantage: City’s energy
Biggest drawback: Might become overcrowded with expats
Cancún is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists and digital nomads from all over the world.
The city is located in the southeast of Mexico, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. It was founded in 1970, and since then, it has been developing rapidly.
One of the first things you will notice when you come to Cancún is the relaxed atmosphere and laid-back and friendly locals.
The majority of locals speak English pretty well, so you will probably not have any problems with communication.
Although relaxed, it seems that the locals are pretty serious regarding the future of their city. They want it to prosper even further.
Hence, the Cancún house market has been developing dramatically in the last few years, with many new buildings mushrooming around the city.
When you come to the city, apart from the laid-back lifestyle of the Cancúnenses, you will notice the amazing nature — turquoise sea, white sand beaches, and historical sites.
Therefore, during your spare time, apart from the beaches and sea, you should visit the other attractions of Cancún and nearby areas.
Accommodation costs in Cancún are slightly higher than in Mexico City, so we recommend Cancún to the digital nomads with slightly deeper pockets. Also, the prices of groceries might be somewhat higher since many wealthy tourists often visit this tropical paradise.
Overall, the only problem in the future might be overcrowding due to the large number of foreigners who pick Cancún as their new home.
Where to work in Cancún
There is no shortage of coworking spaces in Cancún. There are a lot of hubs where you can work, but one has caught our eye — beNuk Coworking (4.9 stars on Google from 65 reviews).
Puerto Vallarta — The coolest destination for digital nomads in Mexico
City area: 18.96 mi² (49.11 km²)
Time zone: UTC–6 (Central Central Standard Time)
Average internet speed: 26.94 Mbps (median download speed), 9.62 Mbps (median upload speed)
Average cost of living: Around Mex$30,900 (~$1,850) per month
Average cost of rent: Mex$22,000 (~$1,250) per month
Biggest advantage: One of the most beautiful places in Mexico
Biggest drawback: Higher cost of living
Puerto Vallarta is a tropical paradise located on the Pacific coast in the country of Jalisco.
The city is well-known for its beauty, world-class beaches, and breathtaking nature. Therefore, if you love hiking, boarding, surfing, or golfing, apart from swimming and sunbathing, Puerto Vallarta might be the perfect choice for you.
The fact that Puerto Vallarta is still a hidden gem is amazing.
Although beautiful and popular, most tourists in Mexico visit Tulum or Cancun areas for holidays, leaving Puerto Vallarta citizens to enjoy their usual, relaxed lifestyle and the city to develop properly without the influence of the so-called “investor urbanism”.
However, the aforementioned doesn’t mean the city doesn’t get its share of tourists or urbanization. It does.
Many tourists visit this small town, but still, the city is not in danger of becoming overcrowded or destroyed by sudden urbanization, at least for now.
The biggest drawback of living in Puerto Vallarta is the high cost of living.
Namely, to live comfortably in this tropical heaven, you need around Mex$30,900 (~$1,850), due to the high cost of rent.
However, we hope you will find accommodation with slightly lower rent than the average. That would lower your cost of living significantly.
Where to work in Puerto Vallarta
Since Puerto Vallarta slowly becomes pretty appealing to digital nomads who are looking for an alternative to Cancún, more and more coworking spaces are opening.
The one with the highest rating on Google is Vallarta Cowork. It is near the beach and has an average rating of 4.9 from 74 reviews.
Toluca — The biggest hidden gem in Mexico
City area: 174.66 mi² (452.37 km²)
Time zone: UTC–6 (Central (US Central)); summer (DST) UTC–5 (Central)
Average internet speed: 23.73 Mbps (median download speed), 13.31 Mbps (median upload speed)
Average cost of living: Around Mex$30,900 (~$1,850) per month
Average cost of rent: Mex$22,000 (~$1,250) per month
Biggest advantage: Large, but not crowded city
Biggest drawback: Not so vibrant
Toluca is a rapidly developing capital of the State of Mexico. Due to its proximity to the country’s capital, Mexico City, and economic development, Toluca has become one of the most advanced cities in Mexico.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Toluca has a subtropical climate. That means summers are mild, while the winters can be pretty cold.
Most Europeans, especially from northern and central European countries, would easily adapt to this type of climate since it is pretty similar to the climate types in their countries.
Since it is a rapidly developing city, we would expect Toluca to be bustling with activities and to have a rich social life, but that is not the case.
Naturally, you have places where you can go out and enjoy a nice evening, but that is nothing compared to the atmosphere in some other Mexican cities.
Therefore, if you like a more tranquil but still large city where you have everything at your disposal, Toluca might be your cup of tea.
Also, like almost any other city in Mexico, Toluca is rich with historical sites, architectural gems, and natural beauties. Hence, we recommend visiting some of the Tolucan attractions.
Bear in mind that living in Toluca is not cheap, again due to high accommodation prices. When it comes to other costs, for example, for groceries, the prices are more or less moderate.
Where to work in Toluca
If you come to Toluca, you will have plenty of coworking spaces at your disposal. According to Google ratings, the best and worth visiting is Proyecto 7 coworking space. It has 4.5 stars out of 22 reviews.
Tips for digital nomads in Mexico
To make your stay in Mexico more pleasant, we have made a list of tips that might help you.
Here are the most important pieces of advice.
Tip #1: Accept the more relaxed lifestyle
Mexicans are known for their relaxed lifestyle. However, that doesn’t mean that they are lazy. On the contrary, the average Mexican works more hours than any other worker in the world.
The point is that Mexicans simply know how to spend their spare time and relax — by hanging out with their family and friends, going out, and meeting new people.
Naturally, if you come from a culture where most people keep themselves for themselves, you might find this type of lifestyle strange, but thanks to the friendliness of the locals, you will get used to it sooner or later.
🎓 Pumble Pro Tip
It is important to be as relaxed as possible during your free time. It is good for your mental health.
If you want to learn more about mental health in the workplace and why it is important to protect it at any cost, check out the following article:
Tip #2: Avoid risky situations
It is true that safety in Mexico is at an unsatisfactory level.
However, forget the ignorant claims that if you go to Mexico something bad will surely happen as soon as you leave the plane. If that were true, Mexico wouldn’t have millions of tourists every year.
You will be safe, as long as you avoid any risk, just like in any other country. By avoiding risk, we mean:
- Avoid dangerous places and no-go zones (mostly near the American border and in the state of Michoacan),
- Don’t flash money or speak about how much money you have,
- Don’t wander through unknown places during the night, and
- Walk away if you notice suspicious behavior.
Tip #3: Try local specialties
Mexico has a world-famous cuisine. Therefore, it would be a pity not to try some of their specialties.
Some of the best and most popular Mexican dishes are:
- Tamales, and many others.
You can try them in some of the local or fancy restaurants — both options are great, as long as you get the opportunity to eat like a local.
Unfortunately, there are currently no Mexican restaurants with Michelin stars that we would recommend.
However, according to customer reviews of some restaurants, some places in Mexico truly deserve the prestigious stars.
Tip #4: Travel as much as you can
Enrique Peña Nieto, a former president of Mexico, says that Mexico is a mosaic of different realities and beauties. And that is one of the best descriptions of this North American country.
So many different cultures, ethnicities, and civilizations have left their marks on contemporary Mexico that you need years to see everything.
Furthermore, nature has been more than generous, so all those historical sites and buildings in Mexico are often surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty you can see only in this proud country.
Therefore, we recommend you travel as much as possible and experience life in, at least, the 5 best destinations for the holders of the Mexico digital nomad visa we mentioned above.
Tip #5: Learn Spanish
Since the English proficiency of Mexicans is not high, we recommend you start learning Spanish (the official language in Mexico) as soon as possible.
That way, you will communicate with the locals easier and enrich your knowledge. Furthermore, knowing the Spanish language will enable you to “feel” or “learn” some aspects of Mexican culture that are familiar only to locals.
Further reading for digital nomads in Mexico
During the process of researching the topic of the Mexico digital nomad visa and life in Mexico in general, we found some additional useful reading.
Here are the resources you could use:
- If you are looking for more details about life in Mexico City check Peter Sentanello’s vlogs — Mexico’s Craziest City and Moving to Mexico City.
- If you live in Mexico City and prefer to use public transport while there, we recommend visiting Mexico City’s public transport page.
- By joining the Facebook group Digital Nomads México, you get access to various information shared among expats and digital nomads who live there.
- In case you don’t know what to do while in Mexico City, Cancún, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, or many other Mexican cities, visit the Time Out website. It will give you some ideas about where to go and what attractions to visit.
Conclusion: The best destination for digital nomads in North America
Mexico, with all its benefits and drawbacks, represents a truly unique destination for digital nomads.
Although it doesn’t offer an official digital nomad visa, Mexico is still very popular among digital nomads. Hence, it is doubtful that a new Mexico digital nomad visa will be created anytime soon.
But that shouldn’t worry us too much. Instead of focusing on what we miss, let’s focus on what we get if we go to Mexico. As you have seen above — we get a lot.
Not many countries have such cultural diversity, history, nature, and people so friendly that make foreigners fall in love with the country instantly.
Therefore, bearing all this in mind, Mexico is the best destination for digital nomads in North America.
Mexico digital nomad visa guide disclaimer
We hope this Mexico digital nomad visa guide has been helpful and that you enjoyed reading it. Throughout the guide, we have given you various links that might lead you to new interesting data or simply to articles that will expand your knowledge on various Mexico-related topics.
Please bear in mind that our article was written in Q3 of 2023, so any changes that are made in the Mexico digital nomad visa procedures or laws after that time have not been included.
Before you start the application process, we advise you to consult with certified representatives, lawyers, and institutions that can provide you with all the information needed.
Pumble is not responsible for any negative responses, losses, or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal and other official advisors.
- Consulmex. (n.d.) Temporary residence visa through NUT. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/houston/index.php/tempresidentvisanut
- Embajada de México en Japón. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/japon/index.php/en/visa/03-visa-for-temporary-resident-with-work-permit-nut#:~:text=All%20temporary%20resident%20visas%20with,at%20the%20relevant%20Consular%20Section.&text=NUT%20confirmation%20letter
- IQAir. (n.d.). Mexico air quality index (AQI) and Air Pollution Information. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.iqair.com/mexico/
- LivingCost. (2023, February 11). Cost of living in Mexico: Prices in 144 cities compared. Retrieved May 18, 2023, from https://livingcost.org/cost/mexico
- Mexico International Travel Information. (n.d.). Mexico International Travel Information. Retrieved April 26, 2023, from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Mexico.html