We know you may have some questions about buying a property in Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya, and that’s why we have created our FAQs section hopping to provide you with the correct answers.
1. Can the Mexican government confiscate my land?
Foreigners often worry about their land being expropriated by the Mexican government. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, Mexico may not directly, or indirectly, expropriate property except for a public purpose. This is the same as “Eminent Domain” in the U.S. Where it is necessary to expropriate land, swift and fair market compensation must be paid, together with accrued interest.
2. How long can a foreigner reside in Mexico per year?
When you arrive to Mexico, a Tourist Visa is issued. The Tourist Visa allows you to remain in Mexico for up to 180 days (almost six months) without working. You also have the option while in your home country to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, which is valid for a 12 month period and can be renewed for up to four years.
3. Can I as a Mexican Foreigner, purchase property within the restricted zone under a Mexican corporation entity?
Yes, a Mexican Foreigner must purchase property within the restricted zone either with a Bank Trust or under a Mexican Corporation. If you want to acquire for residence purposes you need to acquire with a bank trust. If you want to acquire for purposes other than residential, you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain requirements and procedures.
4. What is a Tourist Visa?
IA Tourist Visa, is the visa that is obtained when first entering into Mexico. These can continually be renewed by simply leaving Mexico within the allotted 180 day period, and then reentering.
5. What is a Temporary Resident Visa?
Is a document for a person who wants to live at least part time in Mexico, but does not necessarily intend to make this their permanent home. To be granted a Temporary Resident Visa status, you must prove you have sufficient resources to be financially independent, or meet certain requirements to be able to work or own a business in Mexico. Temporary Resident Visa “Rentista” status is available to anyone with a monthly income (from investments, social security or other retirement) more than $1,000 USD plus around another $500 USD for each dependent. If one owns property in Mexico, the amount of income required is reduced by nearly one-half.
6. What is a Permanent Resident Visa?
Is a document for a person who intends to permanently reside in Mexico, with qualifications only slightly more stringent than temporary resident status. After four years of successfully meeting the requirements of Temporary Resident Visa (including restricted time out of Mexico), one may apply for “Inmigrado” status, which allows you to enjoy most of the rights and privileges of Mexican citizen, the primary exception being the right to vote. Inmigrado status does not require you give up your native citizenship, but holders may freely work and remain in Mexico without annual renewals of immigration paper.
7. If I decide to sell my property, can anyone buy it?
Yes, you can sell to either a Mexican national, or Non-Mexican Foreigner. A Non- Mexican would also be required to set up a bank trust. The Buyer.
8. What are my rights as a buyer?
The Trust is a legal substitute for fee simple ownership, but in many cases, the Trustee is the legal holder of the property. As Beneficiary, you have the right to sell your property without restriction. You may also transfer your rights to a third party or pass it on to named heirs.
9. Can I own property near or in front of the ocean?
Yes, laws passed in 1973 and 1993 have made it possible for foreigners, foreign firms, and Mexican firms with foreign participation to acquire interests in coastal real estate through a bank trust.
10. Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa to buy property in Mexico?
Anyone, even someone in Mexico on a Tourist Visa, may buy property. It is stated that: If you sign a contract, rent a house or condo, buy a house or condo, or lease property, you are no longer a “tourist” and therefore, are invited to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. But in order to acquire property, it is not necessary to possess a Temporary Resident Visa.
11. If the buyer is a foreigner, is his interest limited in the balance of the 50-year period?
No. Upon application, a foreigner automatically receives his own renewal 50-year permit. However, this is not mandatory.
12. Can I own property in Mexico?
Yes, Mexican foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. Mexican foreigners can also own property along the ocean front. By Mexican law, properties within the 50 km of any ocean front and 100 km of any country boarder are acquired via a bank trust or via establishment of a Mexican Corporation.