Brit expats now heading for Mexico as Europe closes down

Published:  21 Apr at 6 PM
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For would-be British expats unable to decide between European countries due to Brexit, relocating to Mexico is good for retirees, but less so for job hunters.

Everyone who’s ever been an expat or conducted objective online research as part of an emigration plan knows full well that nowhere is perfect, even although some locations may be better than others. It all depends on your requirements as well as the reasons for leaving the home country – even more so since the entire world and its economy seems to be caught up in the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s old news that Mexico is a favourite with USA expats due to the two countries’ sharing of a border, with or without a controversial wall, but Britons and Europeans have been stealthily moving to Mexico over the past few years. The influx is now considerable, with some commentators labeling Mexico City the new Ellis Island after the first port of call for immigrants to the USA in the old days. Britons, Spaniards and Chinese have now discovered the weather is as good as in Spain, the food’s delicious and visa requirements, although onerous, aren’t too tough to navigate.

Nowadays, some 15,000 Brits have their homes in Mexico and some 400,000 more visit the country on holiday or for business. The hype continues, rating the country as great for finding a job, but those who’ve tried this aren’t exactly pleased with the results. The only expats for whom job-hunting is straightforward are those who’ve expertise and qualifications in very specific fields, with everyone else finding their applications have been disregarded or there’s no feedback after rejection.

As with many other countries worldwide, visa issues head the negative aspects of relocating to Mexico. EU citizens are able to stay in the country for 180 days on a straightforward tourist visa, but are disallowed from working unless a work visa is granted. Doing this alone can be a bureaucratic nightmare, whilst leaving it to the professionals costs between £150 and £500. Some new arrivals find it less of a hassle starting a small business such as a restaurant or bar, and it’s not certain how much will change after Brexit is finalised.

Mexico City is the favourite expat location, with the British community itself mostly centred on the foreigner-friendly Roma district. British culture is well represented as a balance against the huge American expat presence in the country, but Brits who’ve mastered the numerous forms, strict immigration officials and massive queues at visa offices know full well they’ve got to get it rights as home isn’t just a short car drive away!
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