More Americans than ever are crossing the southern border to live in Mexico, according to data released by Mexico’s Interior Ministry.
The data shows that 8,412 U.S. citizens were issued temporary resident visas in the first nine months of the year, an 85% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
The figure is the highest since the Mexican government started tracking the statistic in 2010, according to Mexico News Daily.
The data shows that 1,619 Americans granted temporary residency this year – 19% of the total – live in Mexico City.
The number of Americans granted permanent residence in Mexico has also gone up in 2022, according to the data. In all, 5,418 Americans were granted permanent residency status, a 48% increase from 2019.
There are several ways foreigners can qualify for permanent residency in Mexico, including by meeting income requirements, having an employer who sponsors their visa, and having family ties.
Many newcomers from the U.S. to Mexico are remote workers for U.S. companies that are free to choose where they live. The workers can get more for the U.S. dollar in Mexico.
Mexico City officials are welcoming the foreigners, with Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum striking an agreement with Airbnb to encourage the situation. The mayor asserted that the mainly young remote workers would benefit parts of the city that are typically not tourist destinations.
But some locals are expressing concerns that the influx of foreigners will exacerbate inflation and deepen the divide between the rich and poor.
One response to Mexico City’s agreement with Airbnb was a social media post that advised the “digital nomads” that “Mexico is not cheap when you make pesos.”
“Your Instagram-worthy lifestyle is ruining our home,” read the Instagram post, which attracted over 3,500 likes. “Stop colonizing Mexico City.”
The number of Americans living in Mexico could be higher since the figures mentioned above do not take into account Americans who entered the country as tourists but have essentially settled in the country.
Typically, Mexico grants tourist visas for six months. Many Americans stay in the country for six consecutive months and will extend their visa by going back to the U.S for a few days and then returning to Mexico on a new tourist visa.
In addition to Americans, foreigners from many other countries have recently flocked to Mexico.
Mexican government data shows that the number of Canadians granted temporary residency in the first nine months of this year went up to 2,042, an increase of 137% compared to 2019.
More than 1,000 citizens from many other countries received temporary residency permits between January and September. Those counties include Spain, France, Germany, China, India, Japan, and numerous Latin American nations, such as Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba.
Still, none of those countries compete with the United States in terms of the total number of citizens residing in Mexico. The U.S. Department of State said last month that “an estimated 1.6 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico,” more than double the nearly 800,000 estimated in the 2020 Mexico Census data.