The Rights of Foreigners to Acquire Private Property

The Rights of Foreigners to Acquire Private Property

By Ángel Marín Díaz


We welcome Angel Marin Diaz with 21 years experience as President and CEO of Inmtec Legal Services with offices in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende


Let’s start by clarifying, who is a foreigner in Mexico. Well, they are all the people who were not born in the country, and those who have not obtained Mexican nationality through the legal naturalization process. 


But despite not being considered a national residing in the country as a Mexican citizen they enjoy all the rights that the political constitution and human rights grant to anyone who is within the country, one of them being the power to acquire private property in national territory.


First you must meet some requirements. So what are the requirements to buy a property? You should know that, to acquire a property in the country, you have to obtain permission from the authority that oversees the relationship between a foreign country and Mexico concerning the rights of foreign people in the country, which in this case is the Secretary of External Relations. 


The requirements that the Secretary of Foreign Relations places on foreigners to have permission to acquire real estate are: submit notification to this authority stating the intention to acquire a property; present an agreement by which the buyer must renounce the purchase of properties within the restricted zone; prove your legal stay in the country with the FM2 or FM3 immigration form; and attach to said request a document describing the measurements and boundaries of the property one plans to buy. 


You may ask if I want to buy a property in Mexico why can’t I do it anywhere in the country? The reasons are historical. In order to avoid confusing the national borders with those of adjacent countries, the political constitution of Mexico prohibits foreigners from acquiring property along all borders and seas. This area is called “the restricted zone” and outside of its limits any migrant can buy property within the country. The permit that we have been talking about must be processed in person and directly at the Secretary of Foreign Relations which is domiciled in Mexico City, but it can also be done by your legal representative with the due power of attorney presenting him/herself with all your documents.  The process normally takes five days although during covid I have heard of some Notaries waiting up to five weeks to receive said permission.


Once all the paperwork is gathered and sent to the Secretary of Exterior Relations many Notarios will allow a closing to take place while the permit is being processed. If the purchase is being made by a married couple or by more than one individual a permit must be solicited for each visitor whose name will appear on the deed.


For more specific information on the matter, as well as all Legal and Notarial Services including residential and commercial closings, please contact the author:


Ángel Marin Díaz at: 415-121-9005