How To Open A Mexican Bank Account As A Foreign/Natural Citizen

mexican credit card
  • Yes, you can open a Mexican bank account as a foreign/natural Mexican citizen- even as a tourist
  • You’ll need a valid passport, a Valid resident visa in Mexico (card) for the larger banks like BBVA Bancomer, Citibanamex, Banorte, and Santander
  • You will need a valid tourist card in Mexico if you’re going to use Banco Azteca and Intercam
  • You’ll also need proof of billing like water or electricity- tourist visa holder’s will need this proof from your home country (it has to be under your name)
  • However, if you’re a resident in Mexico, you can get your landlord to provide it and it doesn’t matter if it’s under your name or not
  • This article has a ton of great information about the process
  • Check out this video for a detailed walkthrough:

Opening a bank account as an expat in a foreign country can range in difficulty, from easy all the way to next to impossible.

One of the most common countries to be inquired about is Mexico.

Fortunately, with the correct information on hand and closely followed, having a checking and savings set up in the country as a foreigner does not take much time or effort.

Read on and learn how to open a Mexican bank account.

The Steps to Open a Mexican Bank Account

While some banks may need to add an extra step or two. What follows is the general steps to follow to get approved for your banking in this remarkable country.

Step 1: Assemble the Required Documents and Deposit

To prevent money laundering, Mexico expects you to prove who you are. Most banks also require a small deposit (in the neighborhood of $50).

Here’s what you will need:

Your passport.

A document from the last 90 days that shows both your name and where you are staying (like a utility bill).

Evidence you are legally in the country, in the form of a VISA or residence permit.

Step 2: Go to the Bank

Let the staff know you are there to open an account, and give them your documents.

You will also be asked some general questions. Be sure to be polite.

There is a chance you will also have to bring a letter from a friend, neighbor, or your landlord who can vouch for you as a trustworthy person. It is wise to bring one of these along just in case.

If you were wondering, opening an account strictly online is not readily available in Mexico, especially for expats. So relax and enjoy the process as much as possible.

Step 3: Wait Patiently

If you are not told immediately if approved, they may give you a call later in the day or the following day.

How Long Does it Take to Open a Bank Account in Mexico?

There are many variables when trying to answer this question. They include the bank you chose to open the account for. Some are much quicker than others. And you will also be affected by how busy your branch is, and if you choose to also have online access.

At the longest, you should not expect to wait more than three business days to be able to pick up your new Mexican debit card.

Happy Mexican banking!

How to Open a Mexican Bank Account as a Foreign/Natural Citizen

If you plan to stay in Mexico temporarily as a foreigner for a long time or unforeseeable future you need money for sustenance.

For an easier transition, you need to transfer money from your country into Mexico and use it for your basic needs and other routines.

Therefore, it would be critical and legit to open a Mexican bank account to help you navigate the tax system and have your finances under control.

Anyone can successfully open a Mexican bank account provided you have the right documents as a natural citizen and depending on your visa as a foreigner or expatriate.

For more details, continue reading this article as we have provided a step-by-step guide to help you open a Mexican bank account and tips on how to operate it.

Things to Consider Before Opening a Mexican Bank Account as Non-Resident

As a non-resident in Mexico, it would be helpful to consider critical factors before opening a Mexican bank account.

These elements are essential to help you avoid unexpected complications regarding tax legal issues. In addition, you should seek a bank that offers the best transfer fees option because it might be quite high in Mexico in comparison with your home bank.

For that reason, you should check if the bank offers:

  • Quality customer support.
  • Online services.
  • English translator for an easy transition if you do not speak Spanish.
  • It allows you to make an appointment.
  • It adheres to international regulations.
  • It has a solid capital base.
  • It allows you to easily access, move and manage finances between your home bank account and Mexican bank account.

The above factors are critical if you are seeking for smooth banking transition as a non-resident. But if you are either a natural citizen or a foreigner, you should also check the following if the bank suits your needs:

  • Banks charges and interest rates.
  • Minimum deposit requirement.
  • Mobile banking.
  • Bank reviews.
  • If it offers notification for every transaction.
  • Availability of their ATMs convenient to your location.
  • Withdrawal limits include applicable free withdrawals and the number of ATMs you can use for free.

What does a Non-Resident need to open a Bank Account in Mexico?

As a non-resident no matter where you are from, you need to have three copies of the following documents to open a Mexican bank account;

  • Valid Passport as proof of your identification.
  • FMM Visa or tourist card as proof of legal entry into Mexico.
  • Utility bills dated within the last three months to serve as a proof letter of residence/address.
  • Plastic immigration card.
  • Foreign tax ID.
  • Proof of address from your home country.
  • 5000 MXN deposit for opening and activating the bank account.

However, for natural citizens you will need the following documents;

  • An email account.
  • A mobile phone number.
  • A Mexican tax ID or social security number.
  • Proof of address in Mexico such as utility bill less than three months.
  • Holding deposit of 1000 MXN {$ 50}, but many banks will require a minimum of 800 MXN for natural citizens.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Open a Mexican Bank Account

To open a bank account in Mexico you should follow the following guide; they include;

Step 1: Gather the above-required documents and make sure they are valid.

Step 2: Visit the branch of your bank choice in the town or city you are in Mexico.

Step 3: Provide the original and the copies of the above-mentioned documents to the bank manager or the teller available.

Step 4: Fill out the registration forms including signing a paper/form that proves you pay taxes in your home country. The registration form will also ask for references; therefore, ensure to go with a friend or friends living in Mexico.

Step 5: Wait for the bank to review and verify your registration and documents. This might take 3-7 working days.

Step 6: Once your registration and documents have been verified, the bank will call you to visit their branch to collect your bank card. Make sure they assist you in activating your bank card pin and for the online transaction. You can also ask them to help you set up online banking services.

Step 7: Find or choose a home bank that will handle the money transfer process to Mexico in real time with lower fees and higher conversion rates to the Mexican peso. Besides, it would be best if your home bank allows you to manage different currencies and doesn’t charge ATM fees all over the world.

Why Mexico?

mexico scene

When looking at factors like crime and danger, Mexico doesn’t score well compared to most other nations. What many don’t understand is that it is a large country, and much, or most, of it is safe, especially for foreigners.

Mexicans also tend to be warm, friendly, and quite family-focused. The country’s native food, music, and culture are also things many foreigners find compelling.

However, when considering “Why move to Mexico?”, one of two factors usually prevails. The first is ex-pats who have some sort of Mexican heritage themselves, and see it as a kind of return home.

The second is those who want the lower rent and expenses of a foreign nation, but would rather live close to the United States, rather than somewhere much more distant like Brazil.

All of these are good reasons to move to Mexico. And when living there, many people would say having banking is a must for both safety and convenience.

Which Bank?

There is no shortage of choices in the country. They can vary greatly in what they offer, and also in how difficult it is to open an account.

This makes it a great idea to have in mind what features you are looking for.

Also, we would recommend keeping these factors in mind. Be sure to explore these issues with the staff or explore their website to learn more before committing the time to open an account.

It should be easy to access your money even when outside of Mexico. You should be able to easily transfer your money from your new account to any accounts you may have in the United States or elsewhere.

Be sure the bank follows international banking rules and regulations.

The bank is doing well financially.

When you visit, they have enthusiastic customer service. If you don’t speak Spanish, having someone on their team who can speak English would be a big plus too.

The thought you put into the bank you choose will be rewarded. It is an important decision.


Whether you are a foreigner or a Mexican citizen, it is critical to consider safety concerns regarding your money and finances while in Mexico. Therefore, always keep your bank card information safe by

  • When paying bills make sure you discreetly enter your PIN.
  • When doing banking activities avoid using public Wi-Fi.
  • Always destroy unwanted financial records.
  • Don’t share your credentials with scammers.
  • When you lose your bank card, report to the bank ASAP.
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