San Diego's rising cost of living is driving more people south to Tijuana. The Mexican Consulate says dozens of San Diegans start the moving process every day. It's not just Mexican nationals, but also people born in the U.S.
"We will receive them with open arms," said Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico's Consul General here in San Diego. "Not only in Tijuana, but in Mexicali, Ensenada, or outside of Baja California."
It can be tempting, especially for people who work remotely or don't mind a commute. But it's not as easy as just loading up your car and heading south. If you don't do a bit of work ahead of time, you might have some issues bringing your stuff.
"For them, the Mexican law has a tax exemption," said Gutierrez. "That's so they don't have to pay a customs tax for every item they are taking into Mexico."
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The tax exemption is officially called a household goods import certificate. For Mexican nationals or dual citizens, the certificate costs $126. If you're not a dual citizen, it's going to cost you a little more.
First, you'll have to apply for legal residency in Mexico which can take a few days. Then you'll have to pay the $169 fee for the certificate that allows you to move your stuff.
There are also some requirements to make sure people aren't taking advantage of the import tax waiver.
"You'll have to prove that you lived in the U.S. for more than six months," said Gutierrez. "Also, the stuff you are taking is more than six months old."
That goes for furniture, clothing, and other household items, even work-related tools. Once you have that squared away, you're pretty much ready to make your move.
When it comes to your car, the process is a bit more complicated. You should reach out to the Mexican Consulate and customs to work out the best way to bring that across the border.
"I want to tell whoever is considering doing this that Mexico is a plural society like the U.S.," said Gutierrez. "We are a welcoming people and you will have a fun and good time living in Mexico."