Acquisition of Properties in Mexico

Foreigners (U.S Citizens) may lease and own real estate Mexico. However, there are several guidelines that must be taken into account before purchasing real estate:

Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution grants the Mexican Nation ownership of the land and water within the territory and provides that the Nation shall oversee the transfer of ownership rights to individuals, by creating private property.

Although Section I of the aforementioned article, grants the right to acquire the dominion of land and water only by Mexican individuals and companies, it also gives the State the power to grant the same right to foreigners, subject to the condition that these foreigners agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as Mexican nationals regarding the acquired property and not to invoke the protection of their country of origin with respect to the same. If the covenant is breached, all rights to such property shall be reverted to the Nation.

A foreign individual or company may directly own land in Mexico except in what is described by Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution as the "restricted zone." A zone within one hundred kilometers (sixty-one miles) of the international border and fifty kilometers (thirty-one miles) of the seacoast.

Foreign individuals or companies and Mexican companies 100% owned by foreigners may purchase of real estate for residential purposes within this "restricted zone" has to be through a trust fund for fifty years. In this kind of trust fund the bank will retain the property title but the foreigner is the beneficiary and may use and enjoy such premises and may sell or even inherit the rights to it. However, all operations regarding the property must be notified and approved by the bank.

Mexican companies with 100% foreign capital may own property directly in the "restricted zone" for other non-residential purposes.

There are other restrictions to be aware of when trying to acquire property for agrarian, livestock, and forestry purposes: Foreign companies cannot own property for this objective and foreign individual should observe the land sizes limitations.

The acquisition of real estate must be conducted before a public notary, judge or property registrar officer and two witnesses when its value does not exceed the equivalent of 365 times the daily minimum wage. For higher values the transaction must be conducted by a Public Notary and registered in a deed. The parties should pay taxes in a real estate purchase.

The acquisition may be done personally or through an agent with representation (power of attorney valid according to Mexican laws).

Even if there is no restriction for any migrant status to acquire property, except by transmigrates after buying property of getting rights to a property in the "restricted zone," foreigners are compelled to get a visitors visa.

A permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Flores Magon 1 anexo, Tlatelolco, Mexico, D.F.) or any of its delegations in the States of the Republic. This will be an agreement to be considered as a Mexican citizen in connection with the property, meaning that diplomatic protection from a foreign government will not be invoked, and that that the alien will submit to the jurisdiction of the Mexican courts in all cases, under the penalty of losing said property.


Land Investing for Non-Citizens - Foreign Investors