Mexico, like the rest of the world, is currently in the grips of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have been considering immigrating to Mexico, you might feel lost now as to your next steps. In this article we offer some advice on how to deal with the situation.
COVID-19 and Mexico
At the time of writing, there are 3441 confirmed cases in Mexico and 194 deaths. Mexico is currently in phase two of the pandemic and a health emergency has been declared. Social distancing is now in force. Public places such as shopping malls, parks and beaches are closed and police are enforcing the closures. Many businesses have shut down as a preventative measure, while others have been forced to do so due to lack of customers. Where possible, people are working from home. Food distribution initiatives have begun to help those in economical difficulty, as many people in Mexico live day-to-day on their earnings. On the Riviera Maya, most people are already staying at home. There is little traffic and streets are empty. Given the rising numbers of cases, the country is expected to enter into phase three mid-April implying a general lockdown.
Don’t Travel to Mexico Now
Needless to say, it is not advisable to travel to Mexico at this time, especially for immigration purposes. Government services are operating limitedly. If you have already initiated an immigration procedure, await further information from your local office. Expect procedures to resume normally only after the country flattens the curve and eventual lockdown measures have been lifted.
What You Can Do Now to Advance Your Mexican Dream
There are, however, some things you can do to help advance your Mexican immigration plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do your research on Mexico: where you want to live, what you want to do there, what kind of properties and lifestyle to expect. That way you will be prepared to take action as soon as things return to a new ‘normal’. The Immigration to Mexico blog is a great place to start.
Get your paperwork in order: whether you are already in Mexico or waiting to travel here – the immigration paperwork trail is still long. Use this time to make sure you have all your documents ready, printed and copied. Get your photos; find out how much money you need to pay in fees. Get your local consulate and immigration contacts and appointments in order. You can then hit the ground running as soon as activity resumes.
Study the property market: due to the economic crisis the pandemic is generating, the real estate and property rental market is suffering. Air BnB properties are empty and some estate agents have already shut shop. This indicates that we will move into a buyer and renters market. Therefore, be ready to look out for opportunities post-coronavirus.
Watch the exchange rate: the Mexican peso has dropped in value against the dollar since the outbreak. The current exchange rate (23.80 – $1 USD) is in favor of those buying pesos at the moment. On February 10, it was (18.58 – $1 USD). It will likely continue to fluctuate. So, if you can spare some cash during this difficult time, you might consider investing in pesos. Your future self will thank you.
Start learning Spanish: While you can get by speaking English in Mexico, life will be much easier if you speak Spanish. Use this quarantine to learn a new skill and advance your plan to move to Mexico.
Donate to a Mexican charity: share some of what you just saved with the fluctuating exchange rate, with your neighbours-to-be. If you want to move to Mexico, do understand that there is a lot of poverty in the country. This will be further exacerbated by the pandemic and recovery will be slow. Support your future home by donating to a Mexican charity or organization.