Mexico Relocation: What You Need to Know
Posted by: Carla DaSilva, Manager, Supply Chain Management
Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America (behind Brazil) and has become increasingly dominated by private sector businesses, focused on a mix of industry and agriculture. The country has seen expanded competition in many industries which has opened up new job opportunities for expats.
Our latest Relocation Country Guide on Mexico, produced in conjunction with Cartus’ destination service providers, LARM Mexico and Dwellworks Mexico, takes a look at the opportunities available to expats and offers best practice advice on how to overcome challenges.
What International Assignees Need To Know When Relocating to Mexico
Most expatriates are headed to Mexico City, where the real estate market is among the most expensive in Latin America. In Mexico, a guarantor is required for leases, and the typical practice is to have the local corporation cosign as the guarantor. Another option is an insurance bond; typically 25% of the lease, paid by the tenant.
Top Tip! Due to the fast moving market, landlords often have multiple offers to consider at the same time. In those situations, their choice of tenant is not always based on price or employment status, and it is not unusual for landlords to want to personally interview tenants prior to committing to a lease agreement.
Building relationships is a key part of Mexican culture. Making small talk is common before getting down to business, as Mexicans see this as vital to creating a bond between parties before the business meeting takes place. Face-to-face meetings are considered much more productive than phone conference meetings. Mexico can also be hierarchical, so expats need to be prepared for the fact that business deals are typically made at the highest levels.
Top Tip! It is recommended that assignees learn at least some Spanish to help their adjustment and relationship building in both personal and business settings.
Mexico offers a mix of public schools and private schools, as well as a vast variety of bilingual and religious schools. Advance planning and application is strongly recommended, and whenever possible, apply online even in advance of any upcoming trips to the area. Be prepared to talk to schools directly regarding individual student applications, as some schools will only talk to parents and guardians (no 3rd parties such as employer or service providers). It is important to note that most international schools have waiting lists.
Top Tip! Apply to more than one school and be prepared to make decisions on short notice—admittance is on a rolling basis and availability is subject to frequent changes.