The rising cost of living in San Diego is pushing more and more people to Tijuana. The Mexican Consulate says dozens of San Diegans begin the moving process every day. It’s not just Mexican nationals, but also people born in the United States
“We will receive them with open arms,” said Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico’s consul general here in San Diego. “Not just in Tijuana, but in Mexicali, Ensenada, or outside of Baja California.”
This can be tempting, especially for people who work remotely or don’t mind commuting. But it’s not as simple as loading up your car and heading south. If you don’t do a little homework ahead of time, you might have trouble bringing your stuff.
“For them, Mexican law provides tax exemption,” Gutierrez said. “It’s so they don’t have to pay customs tax for every item they bring into Mexico.”
The tax exemption is officially called the Household Goods Import Certificate. For Mexican nationals or those with dual nationality, the certificate costs $126. If you do not have dual nationality, it will cost you a little more.
First, you will need to apply for legal residency in Mexico, which may take a few days. Then you will have to pay the $169 fee for the certificate that allows you to move your stuff.
There are also certain requirements to ensure that people do not take advantage of the import tax exemption.
“You will need to prove that you have lived in the United States for more than six months,” Gutierrez said. “Besides, the stuff you’re taking is over six months old.”
This goes for furniture, clothing and other household items, even work-related tools. Once you have that squared, you’re pretty much ready to make your choice.
When it comes to your car, the process is a bit more complicated. You should contact the Mexican consulate and customs to find the best way to get this across the border.
“I want to tell anyone who is thinking of doing this that Mexico is a plural society like the United States,” Gutierrez said. “We are welcoming people and you will have a great time living in Mexico.”