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From small surfer towns like Sayulita and Puerto Escondido to bustling metropolitan cities like Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico has something for everyone. With fantastic weather, a vibrant culture, and a growing infrastructure to support remote workers, it’s no wonder that digital nomads are flocking to Mexico. 

Some may think the only way they can stay and work in Mexico is by getting a Mexican visa, like Mexico’s tourist card, or permanent residency.

However, to encourage remote work in Mexico, the country has joined a long list of countries and launched a visa geared towards remote workers. 

Mexico’s digital nomad visa, officially known as the Temporary Resident Visa, makes it easy for foreigners to complete their remote work in Mexico and enjoy everything the country offers.

Read on to learn more about the process of applying for Mexico’s digital nomad visa, how employers can remain compliant, and what remote work in Mexico is like.

What is a Mexico Digital Nomad Visa?

Digital nomads can work from anywhere in the world. They rely on technology to execute their projects. Those working as digital nomads must have a strong internet connection and strong project management and organizational skills to be successful in their roles. 

More and more people are adopting the digital nomad lifestyle. And as a result, many countries are offering visas targeted towards them. Digital nomad visas allow remote workers to stay in a country for an extended period of time — usually a year — while earning their regular salary from their home country.  

A digital nomad visa allows remote workers to establish a base in a certain country rather than being on the move every couple of months. 

Why Nomads are Flocking to Mexico

There are many reasons why digital nomads are heading to Mexico. For one, Mexico has a lower cost of living than the United States, Canada, and most of Europe, so it’s easy to save money there or indulge in lavish experiences. 

Mexico also has the infrastructure to support an influx of remote workers. The country has long been a resort destination, and many cities and towns along the coast have strong internet, accommodation options, and high levels of development. 

And, of course, Mexico’s weather, natural beauty, and rich culture make it an incredible place to live and enjoy everyday life.

Digital Nomad Hubs

There are strong digital nomad and expat communities across Mexico, where remote workers can find everything they need to enjoy their time and maximize productivity. 

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen (PDC) is well populated by holiday-goers every winter — with numerous all-inclusive resorts on the outskirts of the city and the famous Quinta Avenida in the center, PDC attracts all sorts of tourists. The city’s strong infrastructure, such as high-speed internet and modern accommodations, have also made it a digital nomad hotspot. With many cafes welcoming remote workers in Mexico, coworking spaces, like NEST, allow workers to collaborate and network. 


Sayulita is new to the digital nomad scene, but it’s certainly developed. Sayulita is a quiet surf town in Nayarit, about an hour from Puerto Vallarta, with coworking offices, coliving spaces, and an abundance of culture. Sayulita was named a pueblo magico by the Mexican government. This term is exclusively used for enchanting towns in Mexico that provide visitors with a magical experience due to their natural beauty, history, and culture.

Puerto Vallarta

The digital nomad and expat scene in Puerto Vallarta is alive and well. Puerto Vallarta has long been a destination for tourists from the United States and Canada for winter holidays. Still, now, it’s becoming a hotspot for both tourists and remote workers in Mexico. The cost of living, especially regarding accommodation, in Puerto Vallarta is low, making it incredibly attractive for budget-conscious remote workers.

Mexico City

Mexico City (CDMX) has a massive expat and digital nomad community. La Condesa, one of the more popular neighbourhoods in CDMX, has over ten co-living spaces alone, such as Outsite and Casa Amatlán. Many people choose CDMX to introduce themselves to Mexican culture and experience everything this iconic city offers. 

About Mexico’s digital nomad visa

Mexico’s digital nomad visa, officially known as the Temporary Resident Visa, aims to provide nomadic remote workers with the opportunity to live in the country for up to a year with the possibility to extend their stay up to four years. After four years, if those on the visa enjoy their experience of remote work in Mexico, they can become a permanent resident.

Those who wish to obtain this visa are not permitted to work or receive income from Mexican employers — making this visa a top choice among remote employees and independent contractors who work with international organizations and employers. 

Mexico’s digital nomad visa allows recipients to open a Mexican bank account, buy a car, and travel in and out of the country without any restrictions. This means there is no minimum time that visa holders have to stay in Mexico. For example, remote workers who have family based in Canada can visit family for any period of time and re-enter Mexico with this visa without any issues. 

Tax considerations

One important thing to note about this visa is that dealing with taxes is relatively easy for employers and employees. To prevent double taxation, those who make over 51% of their income outside of Mexico are not required to pay taxes. 

Essentially, because individuals with this visa are only allowed to receive foreign income and are forbidden from working for Mexican employers, they will not pay any taxes in Mexico.

Applying for Mexico’s Digital Nomad Visa

Getting a Mexican visa is relatively easy when all the requirements are met — and the same goes for this temporary residence visa. You'll likely need to go to your local Mexican embassy or Mexican consulate to apply.

But, how does one exactly obtain this visa?


To be eligible for Mexico’s digital nomad visa, applicants must meet only one of the following requirements:

  • Have a bank balance of USD 43,000 over the past 12 months.
  • Have a foreign income source of USD 2,600 per month in the last six months. 
  • Own a Mexican property that’s worth at least USD 346,000.

Unlike other countries, including those in Central America, that offer digital nomad visas, Mexico’s eligibility requirements make it relatively straightforward. Remote workers just need to prove that they have a stable income.

Application and process

Those who wish to apply for Mexico’s digital nomad visa must leave the country and apply from their country of origin. When applying, they must submit the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Color photograph with a visible face, no glasses, and on a white background
  • One page, double-sided, signed Visa application form, filled out in English and Spanish
  • Proof of income from bank statements or payslips
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Clean criminal background check
  • Proof of visa payment

Once these documents have been submitted and the visa has been approved, applicants have 30 days to enter Mexico and obtain the Temporary Resident Permit card. It can be obtained by making an appointment at the National Migration Institute with Mexican immigration authorities; this can sometimes cost as much as USD 350. 

This residence card allows digital nomads to legally reside in Mexico for a year and work for organizations abroad. 

Other Mexico visa options

Getting a Mexican visa isn’t limited to just the digital nomad visa. For those interested in spending time in Mexico, or want to put down roots and settle in Mexico, there are other visa options available. Check with your local Mexican authorities for the best option for you. 

Tourist visa

The Mexico tourist card — Forma Migratoria Múltiple, FMM — is a permit that every foreign national must obtain before they enter Mexico. It states the amount of time you can spend in the country, which is either 90 days or 180 days, and you must depart before those days are up. Mexico’s tourist card is a permit showing that you reside in Mexico as a tourist and are forbidden from working for a Mexican employer. 

Mexico’s tourist card can be obtained in two ways:

  • Upon arrival at a Mexican point of entry
  • Online, up to seven days before you intend to enter Mexico

Unlike the digital nomad visa, Mexico’s tourist card is a single-entry visa. If you plan to leave Mexico and return within the 90 or 180 days you were initially granted, you must get a new FMM upon entry.

The tourist card is geared towards those who wish to visit Mexico as a tourist; they are not permitted to open a bank account, invest in property, or work for employers.

Permanent resident visa

Mexico’s permanent resident visa is designed for those who wish to live in Mexico indefinitely. This visa is ideal for retirees, people with Mexican family members, or individuals who have held Mexico’s digital nomad visa for four years and now want to become a permanent resident.

Once someone becomes a permanent resident of Mexico, they will be required to adhere to Mexican laws and regulations. This is also applicable for employers! International employers who have a remote worker in Mexico as a permanent resident must figure out a way to legally employ them. This can be done in three primary ways:

  • Converting them from a full-time employee to an independent contractor
  • Setting up a foreign subsidiary in Mexico
  • Partnering with an Employer of Record

Employers will need to adhere to local labor laws in Mexico. These labor laws include but are not limited to, annual leave policies, social security contributions, maternity leave, mandatory bonuses, and payroll compliance. Fortunately, an Employer of Record (EOR) like Borderless allows organizations to manage and securely pay their remote workers in Mexico compliantly and easily. 

Managing remote workers in Mexico

Employers need to be sure to manage their remote workers in Mexico. This can be done through open communication lines, time-tracking software, effective project management, and a remote work policy in place.

What is a remote work policy?

While remote work policies are not mandatory, they are one of the best ways to streamline remote work and manage a remote team. A remote work policy allows an employer to implement clear expectations and guidelines for their remote employees.

They also allow employers to appropriately manage risks among their remote teams. These risks may include termination laws, labor laws, or leave entitlements — depending on where the remote employee resides. A remote work policy also sets consistent standards across the organization — this way, there are no questions involved and everyone is treated fairly.

What to include in a remote work policy

Employers can include anything they see fit in their remote work policy. That being said, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

Determine employee availability

In the remote work policy, employers should outline the expectations surrounding employee availability. Setting schedules, regardless of where they’re located, allows for effective communication across all channels and ensures smooth processes for everyone involved. 

Be stingy about security measures

One of the biggest problems with remote work is dealing with security issues. Even when companies work on secure networks, security is not always guaranteed. Remote employees in Mexico need to be careful when working in public places. If employers don’t want their employees working on public Wi-Fi, then that should be clearly outlined in the remote work policy. Or, if an employee does work from a public network, require employees to use a VPN. 

Protect your remote workforce from termination

In a remote work policy, employers need to clearly state that no employee will be terminated because they are working remotely. Unfortunately, managers are sometimes uncomfortable with having remote employees simply because they cannot see what they’re up to. As a result, they can't gauge how productive employees are with their day-to-day work. This part of the policy is in place to protect remote employees from unfair termination. 

To track employee performance and guarantee productivity, managers should consider installing communication tools and project management software. 

Additional employer considerations

For organizations that employ remote workers in Mexico, there are some considerations to keep in mind. 

Embrace asynchronous communication

Employers need to be aware of any time differences with Mexico. For instance, employers in Germany need to know that the time difference between Frankfurt and Merida, a small city in the Yucatan, is seven hours. So, when your work day ends, Mexico’s is just starting. For business operations to be successful, this will require non-linear workdays or having only a few core office hours.

Co-working as a benefit

Coworking spaces are all over Mexico. Digital nomads value coworking offices; they create a community and encourage collaboration and connection among solo remote workers. In fact, WeWork encourages remote workers to collaborate. Their mission is to create a space where people can join as individuals and become part of a community.

Employers with remote workers in Mexico may consider offering coworking as a supplemental benefit. This is typically done by employers offering employees a monthly or yearly stipend to cover the costs of the coworking pass. This way, employees can choose their own local coworking space in Mexico.

Offering unlimited paid time off

Unlimited PTO has become a popular employee fringe benefit for remote workers. It’s aimed at helping employees increase their work-life balance. Also, in some ways, it’s beneficial for employers. Rather than offering the minimum amount of paid time off required by local labor laws, employers choose to offer unlimited PTO. Then, they track the amount of time an employee has taken off to ensure it’s compliant.

For unlimited paid time off to be successful, it requires flexibility and transparency from both the employer and employee. 

Manage remote workers with Borderless

When it comes to getting a Mexican visa, whether it be Mexico’s digital nomad visa, tourist card, or permanent residency, it is a straightforward process. That being said, it still requires compliance from the employer. Thankfully, Borderless is here to help. With our local legal experts in Mexico, visa and immigration support, and a global payroll platform, managing remote workers in Mexico has never been easier.

Want to know more about managing digital nomads in Mexico? Speak with us today.


Borderless does not provide legal services or legal advice to customers, contractors, employees, partners, or the general public. We are not lawyers or paralegals. Please read our full disclaimer here.

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