For a long time, it was illegal for people who weren't Mexican citizens to buy real estate in Mexico, although there were some elaborate devices that could be used to circumvent that rule.

I have been told that in recent years, this rule has changed, at least in some circumstances, to allow people who aren't Mexican citizens to buy real property in Mexico.

When did this change in the law take place? What are the rules regarding foreign ownership of real estate in Mexico now? Did any other rules regarding the rights of foreigners to participate in the Mexican economy change at the same time? Is this decided on a state by state basis in Mexico, or is this based upon national law?

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The current law in Mexico is that noncitizens are not allowed to buy property in the restricted zone, but they are allowed to buy property in the interior. The following two sites give details. Of course an expert in Mexican law should be consulted first. This appears to be subject to Mexican federal law.

Foreign Ownership of Property in Mexico has a copyright date of 2002-2017 so it seems to be up to date and discusses the arrangements required to get a long term lease within the restricted zone.

The Mexican Constitution regulates the ownership of land and declares that ...within a zone of 100 kilometers from the border or 50 kilometers from the coast, a foreigner cannot acquire the direct ownership of the land. These areas are known as Restricted or Prohibited Zones. However, the latest Mexican Foreign Investment Law, which was ratified on December 28, 1993, allows a foreigner or foreign corporation to obtain the rights of ownership through a fiduciary trust known as Fidelicomiso, the equivalent of a US beneficiary trust.


Yes, Americans and other foreigners may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot own property outright within the restricted zone. Instead, a real estate trust must be set up to hold title for the foreigner. Since foreigners are not able to enter into contracts in buy real estate, they must have a bank act on their behalf, much as a trust is use to hold property for minors because they also can not contract. The following is a brief outline of the law regarding such trust, known as "fideicomisos", but potential buyers should always get advice and have all real estate transactions overview by a licensed Mexican attorney.

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