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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Can Foreigners buy real estate in Mexico?

Yes. There is a restricted zone in which foreigners may not acquire direct ownership of the property. In that cases you can own the property indirectly through other legal entities such as trust (fideicomiso) or through a Mexican corporation. 

2. Were are the restricted zones?

Any property located within 30 miles of any coastline, and within 60 miles of any Mexican border. Seeing the inherent value of the property in the restricted zone, and realizing the need for foreign INVESTMENT, the government permitted the acquisition of residential properties by foreigners through the use of the fideicomiso.

3. What is a FIDEICOMISO?

Is an agreement in which the trustor (seller) contractually transfers the ownership of the property irrevocably to the trustee (bank), who can only act in respect to that property with the express instructions of the beneficiary (foreign buyer). The beneficiary has full control of the property. 

4. How long does the fideicomiso last?

Usually is set up for 50 years, and can be renewed at any time just by application.

5. What is the cost of a trust?

Approximately 500 usd to register it in the National Foreign INVESTMENT Registry and about 500 usd annually.

6. Can foreigners buy real estate through a Corporation?

Yes, other way to purchase properties in the restricted zone is to form a Mexican corporation in order to use the property for commercial purposes.

7. What is the typical purchase process in Mexico?

Generally, the process is “open” once a written purchase offer has been accepted by the seller and when the agreement has been signed by both, the seller and the purchaser. A payment of 10 to 30% will be requiredas a deposit. The balance is normally paid during the period from the sale agreement upon the signing of the Trust Deed at the Notary’s office 

8. How long can a foreigner stay in Mexico?

When foreigners arrive in Mexico they are automatically given a Tourist Visa, valid for up to 6 months. You will need to show it to the Notario when you close on your real estate transaction.

9. What is an FM3?

An FM3 Visa is an immigration document for those who plan to spend more than 6 consecutive months in Mexico. There are several categories for this Visa depending on whether the foreigner will be working, participating in other economic activities, retiring with income from abroad, etc. in Mexico.

10. Do I need an FM3 to buy property in Mexico?

No, anyone in Mexico on a tourist visa may buy any property. However, if you buy a property you are no longer a “tourist” and therefore you are invited to apply for an FM3.

11. What is an FM2?

An FM2 document is a permanent residence visa provided to foreigners that plan to spend extended periods of time in Mexico and make it their permanent residence. You may or may not qualify for an FM2 Visa depending on how many years you have spent in Mexico and your particular reasons for immigration.