Mexico isn’t only a popular destination for American tourists but also a place worth considering for a long-term stay. If you are already working remotely or have some online income, relocating to Mexico won’t be difficult at all!
You can work remotely for a US company from Mexico. Remote workers can also avoid paying taxes in Mexico by working for a foreign company and having all their income sources come from abroad. Additionally, they must receive payments to either a US bank account or another foreign account.
Some governments including Mexico are adapting to a wave of new remote workers. Especially for American workers working remotely, leaving the US may be very appealing. So how can you work remotely for a US company and live in Mexico? Is that even an option?
Remote workers in Mexico
Mexico is a true paradise for digital nomads, remote workers, and anyone willing to escape their country. Indeed, the country had already been a choice for location-independent professionals for many years.
Some cities like Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City became hubs for remote workers due to their affordable cost of living and international communities. Why spend $2,000 on an apartment in the US when you can live a comfortable life on just $1,000 a month in Mexico? And with Mexico’s beautiful beaches and quaint seaside towns, it can be much more fun to spend free time in Mexico than in the US.
During the pandemic, many professionals from around the world got the opportunity to work remotely, allowing them to be more flexible and move to other countries.
Besides that Mexico even offers long-term residence options to tourists and other foreigners like remote workers, expats, and digital nomads, making your relocation an easier experience.
The main advantages of working remotely in Mexico include:
- A lower cost of living
- All-year-round summer weather
- A great lifestyle
- Being in US business hours
Working remotely in Mexico for a US company
Assuming that you are US citizens working for a US-based company from Mexico, it’s possible to live in Mexico and work remotely. In fact, this is the most common way of people moving to this sunny country.
The best thing about working for a US company in Mexico is that you don’t have to pay taxes to Mexico. As a US citizen, you will continue to pay your taxes to the US as usual, assuming you are doing everything right (Read more about paying taxes while working remotely in Mexico later in the article).
Nonetheless, some US employers might not authorize remote work from another country for employees. Big companies are often very restrictive about work being performed outside the USA. They don’t want to have complications with taxes or social security benefits for their workers.
Hence the only problem in working for a US company in Mexico might lie in the company itself and not in Mexico and its regulations. Some firms simply don’t want to take risk of you breaking any foreign jurisdictions by working remotely. Nevertheless, working remotely during the tourist visa period (180 days) shouldn’t cause any trouble to you and your employer.
If you are looking for a remote job, apply with us! We currently have many employees working in Mexico and other countries such as Serbia, Thailand, and South Africa.
Overall, working for a US company and living in Mexico is easy. In fact, you can go to Mexico as a tourist for up to 180-days and work remotely. You don’t have to deal with Mexican authorities regarding taxes or banking issues if you receive all work-related payments through a US banking account.
The best way to work remotely for a US company from Mexico
A U.S. company employing you remotely would legally become an employer in the jurisdiction (Mexico) where you are performing work. Most likely they would not want that liability and regulatory compliance cost.
The best way to solve this issue is to become an independent contractor. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for your own tax payments and tax compliance.
Being self employed means you have to be registered as a business or sole proprietor in Mexico or the US. Then the US company will hire you as a consultant, where your duties are the exact same as a full-time position and you used to do before moving to Mexico.
If you are a US citizen you will pay taxes in the US or Mexico (if registering as self-employed there). Before organizing anything, talk to your US employer and ask if they support this kind of arrangement.
This option is intended for long-term plans if you are moving to Mexico for a year or longer.
Residence and work permit for remote workers in Mexico
To live and work remotely from Mexico in the long term you will need to apply for a residence permit. Luckily, this can be done quite easily in Mexico. The country has special residency options available for foreign remote workers.
You don’t even need to apply for a work permit, as long as the company is based abroad and you receive income to a non-Mexican banking account.
However, a work permit will be necessary for the following conditions:
- Performing some paid activity for a Mexican company.
- Registering as self-employed in Mexico.
- Having Mexican clients.
- Getting paid in Mexico with a paycheck drawn from a Mexican bank.
A stay for up to 180 days is possible in Mexico, and anything longer will require one to do a border run or apply for a residency.
Tourist visa or visitor permit?
Depending on your nationality, you may have to apply for a Mexican visa beforehand to enter the country. US citizens are among others who don’t need a visa for a stay up to 180 days.
You can see the exact list of people who have to apply for a Mexican visitor visa before arrival and who don’t need it at all. Generally, speaking, citizens of the US, European Union, EFTA, Canada, Australia can visit Mexico visa-free.
With a tourist visa or without (if eligible), you can stay and work remotely in the country for up to 180 days. It’s one of the longest tourist visas in the world!
You don’t need to leave the country during these 6 months and it cannot be extended or renewed. Upon its expiry, you will need to leave the country. Despite this fact, some people just do border runs and extend their stay in Mexico by exiting and reentering the country.
At the end of the tourist visa period (180 days) you could either:
- cross a land border to the U.S., Guatemala, or Belize and return with a new visa
- fly to any country and return with a new 180-day visa
- apply within Mexico for another tourist visa (temporarily available because of the pandemic)
- just overstay the visa and potentially pay a small fine
Temporary residence in Mexico for remote workers
Mexico offers a temporary resident visa intended for people who wish to stay anywhere as long as six months to four years. This type of visa is renewable and gives you a temporary residency status for at least one year. After five years of temporary residency, foreigners can apply for naturalization and citizenship.
Temporary resident visas are then further divided into:
With a temporary resident visa, you can also apply for a work permit if needed. It as well allows for unlimited entries to and exits from Mexico. You are also entitled to have a Mexican bank account, driver’s license, and many similar benefits that a Mexican national has. This residence permit is preferred by long-term remote workers, expats, and digital nomads in Mexico.
Residence permit application process
When applying for a residence permit, the Mexican government wants to see adequate funds or recurring income from a non-Mexican bank account. Hence, if you are working for a remote company, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The government wants to make sure that you’re able to support yourself without seeking local employment. Remote workers can just show their pay stubs from their current employer.
Income sources can range from employment, self-employment, pension, investments, savings, etc. This is why so many people move to Mexico, even retirees with enough financial means from savings could do so.
The main point is that the income must originate from outside of Mexico. The specific financial requirement for a temporary resident visa is to have a monthly income of $2,237 or proof of savings of a minimum of $37,289.
Keep in mind you’re not allowed to seek employment from any Mexican company with a temporary resident visa. You can however earn income from businesses based overseas. With a few exceptions, the temporary resident visa cannot be issued in Mexico, thus you must apply at a Mexican consulate outside of the country.
Documents for a Mexican temporary residence application include:
- Visa application form.
- Original valid passport or comparable travel and identity document, as well as a photocopy of the page with the photo and personal data.
- One photo, typically passport-size.
- Cash payment for visa fees.
- Financial proof including a total bank balance of more than $37,289 over the past 12 months, or a monthly income of more than $2,237 over the last six months.
How will you pay taxes while working for the US in Mexico?
US remote workers can easily avoid paying taxes in a legal way while living and working from Mexico. All American citizens are required to file a tax return in the U.S. regardless of where they live and work, no matter how long they have resided abroad.
The main rule is this:
- A remote worker, expat, or digital nomad doesn’t owe taxes to Mexico as long as the performed work is not related to any Mexican citizen or company, and income is deposited into a non-Mexican bank account.
Therefore, your banking setup is an important variable when it comes to taxes. Expats and remote workers might have to pay taxes to Mexico when getting their pay via the local bank, so try to avoid using the Mexican banking system.
As a US citizen working remotely in Mexico, we highly recommend having all of your work outside of Mexico and request all payments sent to your U.S. bank. That way, you will stay away from potential legal issues.
If you need more information on taxes while working remotely in Mexico you can get advice from SAT (the Mexican IRS).
How to get a remote job and work from Mexico?
If you want to work remotely from Mexico but don’t have a suitable job, apply for one with us! Here, at Support Adventure, we hire talented people from around the world to allow them to work from anywhere.
Support Adventure is known as the expat outsourcing company as we hire people from around the world who want to work online from anywhere. Our company is based in the UK. We mostly have positions open for help desk IT support, so if you have experience or interest in IT, don’t wait and apply for a remote job with us here!