Expats in Mexico choose to stay amid COVID-19 (Video)

As COVID-19 puts an end to travel plans around the world, many were left stranded as they were forced to return to their home countries.

In Mexico, the same is still happening, as expat residents of the country are faced with a tough decision.

Expats in Mexico are happy where they are despite the virus

Expats in Mexico are staying put simply because it’s their home.

As border restrictions were unveiled last week in all EU member states, Canada, the USA, and the UK, the official word went out to all expats in Mexico to return to the home country if at all possible. Given the crowds jamming the country’s airports, it seemed as if the majority paid heed to the advice, but an equal number were determined to wait out the storm in their preferred location.

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The country is a multicultural mix of locals and expats from across the world, many of whom decided to stay where they’d made their new lives. Residents who ignored the advice to leave are mostly year-round long-stayers with seven years or more under their belts, none of whom gave leaving a second thought. The main reason was that Mexico is now their home from home, with strong personal ties as well as professional and familial responsibilities. In addition, most seem to have had no economic, emotional or physical support back in the home country.

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Another reason why a good number decided not to leave is that they’d find it almost impossible to make ends meet or buy a home in their country of origin, due mostly to soaring inflation. One of the most attractive aspects of Mexico as a retirement haven is its reasonable cost of living, with the second most attractive its affordable healthcare. Of those who left after heeding their government’s advice, Canadians formed a large group mostly because of their access to state healthcare. Subsequently, airfares to Canadian destinations doubled and tripled in no time.

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A further issue for many was that the home country had its own problems with the pandemic, meaning they’d be at the same risk wherever they settled, with US expats, in particular, expressing their concern about their government’s handling of the crisis. Others weren’t too happy about the Mexican government’s take on the virus but decided they were still better off by staying put.

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One unintended consequence of last week’s calls to repatriate was a rush by US citizens and other would-be expatriates who’d been considering emigrating to Mexico to head for the border and get in as fast as possible. Overall, it seems that emigrating to Mexico has been stimulated in a manner not expected by governments who urged their citizens to come back home.

Source: america.cgtn.com, emigrate.co.uk

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