Top tips for moving to Mexico city
February 2, 2016
Mexico City is recognized for its exciting culture, gastronomy and wide history. Home to the Mayans and Aztecs once, it now represents the biggest metropolitan area in the Western hemisphere with approximately 25 million people living there. With so much things to visit and do, here are some guidelines to help you make the most of the city on your arrival.
Get use to the currency
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 closely before you hand them over.
All banks will exchange traveller’s cheques and foreign currencies for a nominal fee, but it is wise for a longer stay opening a local bank account. You need to show your immigration documents and a photo ID for a regular account, and immigration form FM3 for a checking account. Don’t forget that your FM2/3 forms are essential –you’ll need these for a variety of purchases, such as houses , cars, or any other thing with requires a credit history check.
Visas are mandatory
To obtain a visa for Mexico, you are required to contact the embassy of Mexico in your home country. 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 stay in the district for 90 days only.
Those expats thinking of a longer relocation should get a Temporary Resident Visa. This Visa cannot be issued in Mexico, unless you are exchanging an existing FM3 visa. Although there exist two exceptions: if you have near family in Mexico or if you apply for residency for humanitarian purposes.
Plan a gastronomy tour
Mexico is the home of tacos, tortilla chips and burritos, but it has much more delicious things to offer, and although you can venture to a Mexican restaurant on any other street in the world, nothing is the same as the real experience. If you don’t know where to start, embarking on a popular food tour which will take you to all of the best eat-outs in the city could be a good idea.
Like many other places, it’s important to drink bottled water as opposed to water from the tap. It would be better if you don’t eat food acquired from street vendors and avoid dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized. But don’t be worried as the restaurants of Mexico City have a incredible selection of food on offer and you can always wash it down with a margarita or two.
Refresh your Spanish
Spanish is the official language in Mexico City, although most fine-dining restaurants and some public places will speak also English or have a bilingual representative. It may be strange, but many residents speak ‘Spanglish’, a local language, a mix between Spanish and English.
The first time you meet a local for don’t be alarmed if you are greeted with a hug. This is a friendly mode of welcoming you and saying hello. It’s also important to note that Mexicans are warm and sociable and may initiate friendly physical contact – which is something very normal.