Moving to Mexico city is very appealing to many people looking to relocate. Surrounded by crystal clear seas and picturesque mountains of the Valley, Mexico City is known for its vibrant culture, cuisine and history. Once home to the Mayans and Aztecs, Mexico City now represents the largest metropolitan area in the Western hemisphere with around 25 million people living here. With so much to see and do, here are some top tips to help you make the most of the city.
Embark on a food tour of the city
Mexico is the homeland of tortilla chips, burritos and chimichangas, and although you can venture to a Mexican restaurant on the British high street, nothing is the same as the real deal. Moving to Mexico city you will come across a variety of street vendors and local food markets which will send your taste buds into frenzy. If you need a little helping hand on where to eat, book a popular food tour which will take you to all of the best eat-outs in the city.
Like many destinations, it’s important to drink bottled water as opposed to water from the tap. We advise that you don’t eat food purchased from street vendors and avoid dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized. But don’t let that put you off as the restaurants of Mexico City have a fantastic selection of food on offer and you can always wash it down with a margarita or two.
Swot up on your Spanish
When moving to Mexico city think about learning basic Spanish. Spanish is the most common language used in Mexico City, although most fine-dining restaurants and other similar public places will speak English or have a bilingual representative. It may be confusing, but many residents speak ‘Spanglish’: a hybrid of Spanish and English.
It’s common courtesy to be polite, and important to say “por favor” (please) and “gracias” (thanks) during your conversations. It’s also essential to address people by their correct titles, such as “Señor”, “Señora” and “Señorita”.
When you meet a local for the first time, don’t be alarmed if you are greeted with a hug. This is a way of welcoming you and saying hello. It’s also important to note that Mexican men are warm and friendly and may initiate friendly physical contact – which is nothing to be worried about.
Moving to Mexico city remember to pick up your pesos
The currency in Mexico is the peso, with one peso equivalent to 100 cents. With many of the various coin denominations appearing very similar, it’s worth checking very closely before you hand them over.
All commercial banks will exchange traveller’s cheques and foreign currencies for a nominal fee, but for a longer stay opening a bank account is advisable. You must present your immigration documents and a photo ID for a regular account, and FM3 immigration form for a checking account. Keeping abreast of your FM2/3 forms is vital – you’ll find you’ll need these for a variety of larger purchases, from houses to cars, or any other item with requires a credit history check.
Visas are vital
A vital component of any foreign travel, visas are important to understand. To obtain a Mexican visa of any kind, you are required to contact the embassy of Mexico in your country of origin. A visitor visa is granted for a maximum of 180 days if the visitor does not have a restricted nationality, whilst those with a restricted nationality can remain in the district for 90 days.
Those considering moving to Mexico city must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa. The Temporary Resident Visa cannot be issued in Mexico, unless you are exchanging an existing FM3 visa. There are two exceptions to this – if you have close family in Mexico or if you apply for residency on humanitarian grounds, then you are able to change your status from visitor to resident. In the event that the spouse wishes to work, a Temporary Resident with Work Permit is required along with support from the hiring company.
If you would like to find out more about moving to Mexico city click here to read our settling in tips.