Where do foreigners come from and where do they live in Mexico?

Due to its location, which connects the south of the American Continent with the United States, Mexico is a transit country for foreigners, but it has also become a place of residence for hundreds of thousands who decided to make a life in Mexico.

According to figures from the National Institute of Migration (INM), corresponding to last year, more than 605,000 people of 199 different nationalities have some type of permit to reside temporarily or permanently in Mexico, either for reasons of work, study, humanitarian, or for having formed a family with a Mexican, among others.

The information, obtained via the transparency law, reveals that the majority of foreigners who live formally in Mexico come from the United States, Venezuela, Honduras, Cuba, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, China, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Haiti, Japan, Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Peru, and Chile.

However, there are also those from India, Ukraine, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Serbia, Iraq, Nepal, and up to twenty North Korean citizens.

Although these people have dispersed throughout the country, there are certain places where the majority congregate, thus forming communities of different nationalities.

The Americans, for example, are mainly concentrated in Chapala and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; Los Cabos, BCS; San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato; and Puerto Peñasco, in Sonora. Canadians share their taste for Chapala, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, although other groups have chosen to live in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit, and Mazatlán, Sinaloa.

The Chinese are well known for their historical presence in northern Baja California, however, they also live in the country’s capital. The INM has registered more Chinese living legally in the Cuauhtémoc district in Mexico City than in Mexicali, where the famous neighborhood of La Chinesca is located.

The majority of Central Americans who have permission to live in Mexico prefer the southeast as their place of residence, very close to their native countries. They live mainly in the municipalities of Tapachula and Suchiate, in Chiapas. Still, others live in Tijuana, probably because they cannot cross into the United States.

But there are also Honduran communities in Saltillo, Coahuila, and in the Iztacalco district in Mexico City, Salvadorans in Guadalajara, and Guatemalans in Cancún.

In regards to Cancun, people of different nationalities have this tourist site located in Quintana Roo as their main destination. This is the case for the Cubans, the Russians, and the Ukrainians. In this place, there is also a concentration of Spaniards, Argentines, and Italians.

Other regions have become a magnet for foreigners due to the companies that settle in those places. For example, most Germans living in Mexico are located in San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, an hour’s drive from the Audi plant, a German car manufacturer.

Something similar happens with the Korean community living in Apodaca and Monterrey, in Nuevo León, half an hour from the plant where Kia cars are manufactured; that of Japanese in Aguascalientes, where the Nissan plant is located, and also in the state of Guanajuato, where Honda, Mazda, and Toyota are manufactured.

Another case is that of the community of people from India, which is mainly concentrated in Zapopan and Guadalajara, Jalisco, attracted by the high-tech industry that is developing in that region.

According to the data, 55 percent of foreigners with permission to live in Mexico are men and 45 percent are women. In terms of age, half are in the range of 25 to 44 years, while a fifth are adults over 55 years of age.

Likewise, 63 percent have a permanent residence card, 25 percent have a temporary residence card, 10 percent have a visitor’s card for humanitarian reasons, and five percent have a student card. There are also 34 people who have a visitor’s card for adoption purposes.

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