Off topic: Tips on moving to Mexico
Thread poster: Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:50
French to English
+ ...
Jul 27, 2004

Hi guys,

Just a quick one - I'm looking for any tips or hints people may have about moving to Mexico as a freelance translator. Is a move like this realistically possible?

I lived in Mexico for 7 months a few years ago, where I studided at the ISIT. This, however, was all arranged through my University in Edinburgh, so I didn't need to think too much about visas or the like.

Basically, I loved living in the DF and the way of life there, and would love to go back. I am freelancing at the minute, however, and am not sure as to whether this will hinder my application for a visa. On that note - what sort of visa do I need to get?

I know (or at least hope) that you guys are all as busy as I am, but any suggestions would be appreciated!

Best wishes from sunny (yes, sunny!) Edinburgh,

Paul ;0)


Rosa Maria Duenas Rios (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:50
Be cautious and be patient Jul 27, 2004

Hi Paul,
I was born in Mexico City, where I lived for more than 35 years. I left Mexico City in April of last year, and I currently reside in the US.

I first have to say that making a living from free-lance translation in Mexico City is not always easy. In any case, it takes years to build a solid base of clients that will provide full-time work. Many translators I know do so on a part-time basis, and have another full-time job, which is the one that really puts bread on their tables. But wait and hear from other fellow Prozians in Mexico who are full-time translators; maybe their views will be more optimistic.

As for the visa, I again regret to be of little encouragement, but what I have seen -so far- is that it can be quite difficult to obtain an FM-2 (the type of document that will allow you to live and work in Mexico with some sort of permanency) as a free-lance translator. The government will probably tell you that there are many qualified Mexican translators, and that no foreign ones are needed. Unless, of course, your translation pair is an uncommon one and a Mexican company could prove they are in dire need of your services. But then again, let's wait for other colleagues answers which might provide more insight!

When I lived in Mexico, I met a few Canadians, British and Americans that were trying to do exactly what you want to do. Most of them were barely scraping a living as English teachers, free-lance journalists, reporters, editors, and whatever job came up, and most of them were doing it "illegally" because they had no permit to work in Mexico... Nevertheless, it looked like they were having fun, and were not too worried about the implications of living on a day to day basis, and "outside" the immigration law. The ones who appeared to have it easier were those who had married a Mexican national, and for whom getting an FM-2 had been easier.

I am really sorry I cannot be more encouraging, but my comments are based on what I saw was going one during the time I lived in Mexico City, and I doubt that things have changed much. Again, maybe someone else will be able to provide a brighter view. In any case, I wish you good luck; Mexico City is, indeed, an amazing city.

[Edited at 2004-07-28 00:06]


Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:50
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Visa Jul 29, 2004

If you don't obtain a visa for long-term residence, you might simply want to consider staying for a couple of months on a tourist visa (incl. extension), then go to a nearby country (e.g. Guatemala or so) for a few months, then come back to Mexico for a few more months, and so on. I did something of this sort for a few years in South America. (For this, you should check up the rules for tourist visas: periods of validity, conditions for obtaining extensions, etc.)

Eventually you'll meet someone and get married and can get the necessary documentation that way...

There are always ways to get one's way, the important thing is to try, then one can typically handle obstacles as one comes upon them.


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