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Mexico Visa Considerations For Living In Lake Chapala

What are the things you need to know when you finally decide you want to make the move to Lake Chapala? How is it different from moving to another town or city in the country you live in?

As you will see, a lot will depend on whether you are moving down on a Visitor visa, or have applied for and received a temporary (Temporal) or permanent (Permanente) visa.

Find out here what you need to know before you make the move so that you are as prepared as possible.

Establishing Proof of Residency – This is really important for almost anything you do in Mexico! “Prueba de Domocilio” or Proof of Residency is tied explicitly with your CFE (electrical) bill and/or your Telmex (telephone) bill. You must get your name on one of these documents in order to do just about anything in Mexico. So if given the opportunity (better yet, insist upon it), work with your landlord to have one of these important documents changed to your name. The rest becomes easier after that.

Banking – One of the most important things to consider. As a visitor, you are not allowed to open a bank account. So how do you get your money? ATMs's are widely available so your best bet is to have a debit card on your bank account back home and just draw money out as you need it. This can get a bit cumbersome when you require large sums of money, but doable. Temporary or Permanent visa visa holders can easily open a bank account with your passport, visa, and “Prueba de Domocilio”.

Car – As a person on a Visitor visa, you are not able to purchase a car in the state of Jalisco. Temporary or Permanent Visa holders can purchase a car with the following documents.

  1. Photo ID. This needs to be your passport

  2. Immigration Visa

a) Temporary Visa – With proof of Address “Prueba de Domocilio” in buyers name (official receipt CFE, Telmex, Telcel, Mexican Bank statement)

(note: Jalisco will not accept a rental agreement with a Temporary Visa as Proof of Residence)

b) Permanent Visa – With proof of address in buyers name “Pueba de Domocilio”, or a rental agreement with proof of address in home owners name (in this case, must provide photo ID of home owner)

  1. Proof of address in buyers name “Prueba de Domocilio” - CFE, Telmex or Mexican Bank Statement showing full address and no older than 60 days

  2. CURP. This number is issued by immigration and is found on your Temporary or Permanent Visa card

  3. RFC – This is a tax number issued by SAT (Servicio de Administration Tributaria) and is easily obtained through various agencies such as your insurance agent, car vendor, state automobile administration office, or lawyer.

  4. Email address

  5. Telephone number

(the above information supplied compliments of S&S Auto)

Real Estate - Good news! There is no problem buying real estate on a Visitor Visa or with a Temporary or Permanent Visa. For more information on the complete buying process in Lake Chapala, see my blog “Buying Property in Lake Chapala”

Renting – As a renter, there are no differences as to your visa status. Renting is usually easy and very similar to renting north of the border where you need to place down first and last months deposit and damage deposit.

Health Care – Fortunately, health care in Mexico is inexpensive and of good quality. Whatever your residency status, you can access the health facilities at minimal cost in Lake Chapala or go to Guadalajara for more serious issues.

Prescription Drugs – Prescription drugs are easy to get in Mexico. You can bring your bottle to show the pharmacist, have it written down on a piece of paper or just have a picture of it on you phone. The pharmacist just wants to know the drugs name and dosage. Most drugs do not need a prescription so a doctors visit is usually unnecessary.

If you would like information on other things regarding your research and/or future move to the Lake Chapala area, contact me. I am here to help. Thanks for reading!


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