Working in Cancún?

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Working in Cancún

Cancún’s leading industry is definitely tourism, but the city can offer many diverse opportunities in other fields, all positively affected by the strong touristic sector. Check out some more useful information and expat advice in our expat guide!

Local Economy

Cancún's local economy is based heavily around the services sector, as travel and tourism are the city's main sources of income. Cancún has long been a popular tourist resort, first with travelers from the USA, and now with people from all over the world. In fact, Cancún is now Mexico's leading tourist resort, and as a result has the strongest economy of all the Mexican coastal cities. This means that most of the people working in Cancún are employed in the service sector, primarily in hospitality roles in hotels, bars, restaurants, or tourist attractions. Another major employer in the city is Cancún International Airport, which is the largest international airport in the region. The booming tourist sector has also had a positive effect on the construction industry, which is the city's second largest sector in terms of economic output. Expatriates working in Cancún tend to be employed in senior or management roles in hospitality or construction. There is also an increasing call for English teachers in the city.

Work Permits for Cancún

Expatriates wanting to work in Cancún will need a work permit in order to do so. Gaining a permit work in Cancún can be difficult, as due to high unemployment, the Mexican government has put in place strict rules regarding the employment of foreigners. In order to apply for a work permit, you must have already secured work in Cancún, and your prospective employer must be able to confirm that no Mexican is able to fill the role you will be taking. As a result, it can be hard to obtain a work permit for non-specialized roles, but there are many expatriates working in Cancún in technical or management positions. Work permits for Cancún are usually temporary, and may be tied to the length of your employment contract. For more information about how to apply for a permit to work in Cancún, you should contact your local Mexican embassy or consulate.

Income Taxation in Cancún

Expatriates working in Cancún will be required by law to pay income tax on their earnings. The income taxation system in Mexico distinguishes between residents and non-residents on the basis of whether or not your primary home is based in Mexico. If you classify as a resident, you will be required to pay income tax at Mexican rates on your worldwide income; as a non-resident, you will only pay tax at Mexican rates on your Mexican income. Mexico has a progressive, sliding scale system, which means that your total income for the fiscal year will determine how much income tax you will be required to pay. The income taxation rates for expatriates living in Cancún in 2014 were as follows:

  • 1 to 5,953 MXN — 1.92%
  • 5,954 to 50,525 MXN — 6.4%
  • 50,526 to 88,793 MXN — 10.88%
  • 88,794 to 103,218 MXN — 16%
  • 103,219 to 123,580 MXN — 17.92%
  • 123,581 to 249,243 MXN — 21.36%
  • 249,244 to 342,842 MXN — 23.52%
  • 342,843 MXN and over — 30%

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