Yes, yes and yes. Whether it be for a short stint or a long-term stay, Mexico is a dream come true for digital nomads. Mexico is diverse and colorful country rich in culture and modern in quality of life services. From the beaches of Cancun to the metropolitan experience of Mexico City, there’s something for everyone.
How much does it cost to live in Mexico as digital nomad?
The first and foremost question most digital nomads ask before considering a new country to set up shop: how much is it going to cost me?
Plainly put: Mexico is cheap. If you’re coming over from the US, Canada or Europe, you can expect the cost of living to be several orders of magnitude cheaper than what you’re used to.
Rent varies wildly depending on where you’re staying and what sort of lifestyle you’re looking for, but for as low as $250 USD you can comfortably stay in a small studio in a nice area.
For food and groceries, expect to pay around $300 to $600 a month for single person.
I take it that internet is important for your work. The cheapest go for around $20 USD, but price can go up considerably depending on your requirements. If you need a reliable, high-bandwidth connection, keep to the main cities.
All in all, if you get $600 to a $1000 USD a month, you’ll live comfortably. Again, this estimate varies depending on the destination and lifestyle you’re looking for. Tulum isn’t Mexico City isn’t Puerto Vallarta isn’t Guanajuato.
Where to stay as a digital nomad in Mexico?
As said before, the country is rich in diversity. The digital nomad experience in central Mexico is wildly different from that of costal destinations.
We’d be here all day if we were to talk about all the possible bases you can find in Mexico, so let’s go over some easy and proven choices:
Come here right now if: you’re all about that city life.
Best qualities: lively nightlife, professionalism environment, world-class travel hub.
Best avoid if: traffic, pollution and noise are a hard no; you’re looking for something on the cheaper side.
Come here right now if: wellness, health and youth is your vibe.
Best qualities: beautiful nature and hip communities.
Best avoid if: you’re looking for something more authentic.
Come here right now if: you’re looking for safety, peace and quiet.
Best qualities: safest city in Mexico, rich culture and tradition and warm weather.
Best avoid if: you’re really into nightlife and get bored easily.
Come here right now if: you want an underrated gem.
Best qualities: slower pace, beautiful architecture and cheap cost of living.
Best avoid if: you want to travel regularly.
Come here right now if: you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Best qualities: everyone speaks English, incredible beaches, vibrant nightlife.
Best avoid if: touristy places aren’t your thing.
Let’s talk legalities: digital nomad visa in Mexico
As a good chunk of the country’s GDP is based on tourism, Mexico is one of the most generous nations when it comes to handing out permits and visas.
Most foreigners are entitled to entering the country for up to 180 days without a visa. Half a year, just like that. If your country isn’t part of the list, you could instead get a 180-day tourist vista with little trouble.
If you’re thinking of doing a short stint in Mexico, or maybe just looking into dipping your toes to make a choice later, you can easily do it right now.
Also, you can easily extend your stay by another six months by crossing over into the U.S. or Guatemala and then crossing back.
You may also apply for temporary residency, which allows you to stay in the country for 2 up to 4 years and gives you perks like a Mexican bank account.
Taxes for digital nomads in Mexico
Among the many things that draw people into becoming a digital nomad –like discovering the world, meeting new people or experiencing all that is there to experience– one of the most important ones is money.
Whether you’re creating content for yourself or doing remote work for clients all over the world, it’s unavoidable to check on the cost of living in foreign countries, take a look at your daily income, and put two and two together.
However, with money come money problems. It’s part of the experience, we’re afraid. And one of the biggest monetary issues digital nomads face is taxes.
Often, digital nomads come to us with questions such as:
- Do I need to be a Mexican national to work in Mexico? Can I work on a tourist or resident visa?
- Do I need to pay taxes in Mexico?
- Do I have to send taxes to my home country?
- Am I required to pay taxes to the countries my clients or providers are based in?
- How can I avoid double taxation?
The answer to many if not all of these questions is a simple yet complex “it depends”. It really does. Taxes, as you know, are complicated. We’d need to know the specifics of what you do for a living and how you do it to advise.
If you’re looking into being alright with el SAT –Mexico’s tax authority – get in touch with us. One of our agents will gladly look at your case and offer a solution.