Migration from China to Mexico Doubled in 2023

In the last few years, Mexico has seen a significant increase in the number of Chinese citizens seeking residency. With a diverse culture, vibrant economy, and welcoming immigration policies, Mexico is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for people from all over the world, including China. Here’s a closer look at the trend, with the latest official data from the government of Mexico.

Chinese Citizens are Flocking to Mexico in Record Numbers

The migration of Chinese citizens to Mexico has been on the rise, with a notable uptick in recent years. While 2019 saw 1,948 Chinese nationals moving to Mexico, there was a dip in 2020 due to the pandemic, with only 967 temporary resident visas granted. However, numbers quickly rebounded to 2,062 in 2021 and 2,471 in 2022. Last year, 2023 marked a significant surge with 5,018 visas granted to Chinese citizens, a 100% year-over-year increase that highlighted Mexico’s growing global appeal.

migration from china to mexico


China is now the Third most Common Origin Country for Migrants to Mexico

About 10,800 American citizens received temporary visas in Mexico last year, by far the largest number of expats from any other country to Mexico. Migrants from Columbia were the second largest group in 2023 with 6,734 newly-recorded residents. China is now third on that list of countries, up from sixth in 2022 with 5,018 visas granted to Chinese nationals in 2023

Most common origin country of people granted temporary residency visas in Mexico (2023):


Source: Gobierno de Mexico (Updated February 2024, Table 2.2.1)


Seeking Economic Opportunity and Affordability

One of the reasons Chinese nationals are flocking to Mexico is likely the country’s strong economy. We recently asked American expats in Mexico what their top reasons for moving were and 80% noted cost of living concerns.

The cost of living in Mexico is relatively low compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive destination for Chinese nationals seeking a more affordable lifestyle. Housing, healthcare, and daily expenses are all more budget-friendly, without compromising on quality.

With Mexico’s free trade agreements and a strategic location as a gateway to the Americas, the country provides numerous business opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies looking to expand internationally.


A Welcoming Environment & Culture in Mexico

Mexico’s temporary resident visa program is a key factor in the influx of Chinese nationals. The program allows individuals to live in Mexico for a year, with the possibility of renewal for up to four years. This visa is particularly appealing for those looking to test the waters before committing to permanent relocation.

Photo by Eliseo Madrino of El Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia, CDMX

Mexico is known for its warm hospitality and diverse cultural landscape, which is inviting for expatriates and immigrants arriving from any country. Chinese nationals may find it easier to integrate into Mexican society, which is generally open and accepting of different cultures.

With the upward trend in temporary resident visas granted to Chinese citizens, it is likely that Mexico will continue to see growth in its Chinese expatriate population. This demographic shift presents new opportunities for cultural exchange and economic collaboration between Mexico and China.

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