Arizonans aren’t just visiting Mexico — visa applications more than double since 2019

Mar 3, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Photo by Ann Summa/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Ann Summa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ann Summa/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Mexico is no longer just a top tourist destination for Arizonans – many are also now moving there citing rising inflation and the high cost of living in the United States.

The Mexican consulate in Phoenix reported a spike in the number of visa applications from Arizonans who want to live in Mexico temporarily or permanently.

“In 2019, the number of visas that were issued by this particular consulate was about 600 to 700 in a year,” Jorge Mendoza Yescas, consul general of Mexico in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3FM. “Now we have almost 2,000 in a year.”

Additional staff recently had to be hired to handle the influx of applications, which are mainly coming from retirees and young people who work remotely and are known as digital nomads.

“There are many factors that they take into consideration,” Mendoza Yescas said. “Of course, the inflation rate here in the U.S. Rents are cheaper in Mexico. There’s a lot of things that are cheaper in Mexico.”

Some of the top urban areas that visa holders say they’re moving to include Mexico City, Guanajuato and Yucatan. Popular beach destinations like Riviera Nayarit, which encompasses nearly two dozen coastal towns including Puerto Vallarta, are also drawing a lot of the visa holders.

“And, of course, there a lot of people from Arizona who want to have a home and pay less taxes in Rocky Point and San Carlos,” Mendoza Yescas said.

The increase in new residents in some areas is driving up rent prices for locals. Still, Mendoza Yescas said he believes the local economies benefit from having these new residents.

“This is also, from my perspective, proof that Mexico has safe places for anyone who wants to live there,” he added.

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Arizonans aren’t just visiting Mexico — visa applications more than double since 2019