Seeking Asylum, Relocating to Mexico Using Retirement Funds, and Opening a Bank Account

Deborah and Tony from Canada: 

Dear Angel, we are Canadian citizens and would like to relocate to Mexico, but we have a major dilemma. Under Canadian law, we, as non-vaccinated retirees, are not allowed to board passenger flights or other public transportation in Canada, so even though Mexico does not require proof of vaccination to enter the country, airlines like Aeromexico will not even sell us tickets to fly to Mexico. We have considered buying a home in Mexico sight unseen and then going to the Mexican Consulate to get our permanent residency—and then return to claim asylum. I guess our question is whether it’s even possible to purchase as Canadians and to purchase remotely, and what about residency and asylum? Thank you, Angel, and God bless.


Hello, Deborah and Tony. Yes, this is possible, and the process you spell out is the best possible way to achieve the results you are seeking. While it is not necessary to purchase a property or have residency to apply for asylum, let’s face it; these are mitigating factors in your favor that would show direct ties to our Mexican community and help achieve positive results. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you may have along the way. Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavor! Please keep us posted!

Randy from Sacramento, California:

Hi, Angel. I am looking to relocate to Mexico and wanted to know if you can tell me anything about using my retirement funds to purchase either in the interior or in the restricted beach zones (and if there are any differences in the requirements of the two areas). Gracias!


Hi, Randy. Thank you for your question. This is a very interesting topic. There are many, many factors to consider, so I will try to be as direct and clear as possible without knowing if you have a 401k, a self-directed IRA, a ROTH account, etc.

Retirement and pension funds can be used for purchasing in Mexico in both the interior and the beach areas through trusts or an LLC. The area in which we have historically encountered problems is not on the Mexican side of the transaction but rather with the administrators of the pension fund or retirement portfolio. Often the simple solution is to ask for the ability to self-direct your funds and receive a checkbook tied to your investment resources. 

Once you have the ability to direct your own money, there are a number of potential restrictions that each individual portfolio can put in place, ranging from the percentage of your portfolio that can be used and/or the designated use of the funds. I highly recommend that you contact your portfolio manager for more information on specific benefits/restrictions before entering into a purchase agreement.

In the majority of these types of investments, there are substantial tax benefits to using retirement funds for purchasing in Mexico.

Carol from Southern California:

Hi, Angel. The last time I was in the Baja I wanted to open a bank account to have in place for a future purchase or even just to avoid ATM fees from my American cards and exchange rate differences, etc. I tried at two different banks, and neither would allow me to open an account even though I had my visa. Why?


Dear, Carol. I am sorry for your inconvenience. The “visa” is a tourist visa that allows you to experience Mexico as a tourist, while allowing you a determined amount of time in the country. Generally, tourist activities include things like eating out, shopping, tours, etc. They also include exchanging currency and withdrawing currency from your debit or credit cards, but don’t include banking activities like setting up checking accounts, saving accounts, and debit/credit cards.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home in Mexico, I would recommend that you start with a temporary resident permit, which will allow you easy access into and out of Mexico, extended stays in Mexico, and give you the right to open a bank account, investment account, or both.

Many people find that they can have a portion of their assets working harder for them in Mexico with zero risk and at higher returns (generally 5-8% annualized) than they can receive at home! Best regards, Angel.

1 Comment

  • alan

    In regards to opening a bank account in Mexico.
    I have an address in Mexico and a temporary Resident card valid for five years.
    I tried different banks in Mexico and none would let me open an account without a permanent resident card.
    I did hear that some cities like San Miguel Allende and Puerto Vallarta are easier to obtain an account.
    What is your view on this?
    Thank You

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