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FAQ Mexico Real Estate general questions

FAQ: GENERAL QUESTIONSfaq icon

Foreigners

 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.

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 2. How long can a foreigner reside in Mexico per year?

When you arrive to Mexico, a tourist visa is issued. The maximum amount of period on these visas are 6 months. These can be updated at the local migration offices. You also have the option to apply for a FM3, which has 12 month periods of validity. FM3s can be obtained if you are a property owner, or if your employer is a Mexican Corporation and for several other special cases.

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 3. Can I as a Mexican Foreigner, purchase property within the restricted zone under a Mexican corporation entity?

It depends, if you want to acquire for residence purposes you need to acquire with a bank trust. If you want to acquire for commercial purposes you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain procedures and requirements. If you want to acquire for other purposes other than residential, you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain requirements and procedures.

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   4. What is an FMT?

Is the tourist visa that is obtained when first entering into Mexico. These can continually be renewed by simply leaving Mexico within the allotted six month period, and then reentering.

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 5. What is an FM3?

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 and FM-3 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. FM-3 "Rentista" status is available to anyone with a monthly income (from investments, social security or other retirement) of less than $1,000 USD plus under $500 USD for each dependent. If one owns property in Mexico, the amount of income required is reduced by nearly one-half.

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 6. What is an FM2?

Is a document for a person who intends to permanently reside in Mexico, with qualifications only slightly more stringent than FM-3 status. After five years of successfully meeting the requirements of FM-2 (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.

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The Seller

 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.

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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.

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 9. Can I own property near or in front of the ocean?

Yes, laws pased 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.

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10. Do I need an FM-3 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 (i.e., campo�s), you are no longer a "tourist" and therefore, are invited to apply for an FM-3. But in order to acquire property, it is not necessary to possess an FM3.

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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.

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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.

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