Guadalajara has the second largest metropolitan area in Mexico and it is the capital city of the region of Jalisco. As the cultural hub of Mexico, Guadalajara has a population of more than 1.5 million inhabitants, and is home to some striking architecture.
Combining the traditional streets with the modern and fast-paced city life, Guadalajara has formed a fascinating contrast. For expats wanting to move to Guadalajara, the city is developing at a fast rate, thanks to the manufacturing industry in the area surrounding the city.
The Mexican way of life is synonymous with fun, and you will never struggle to find a lively bar, some surprising street food, or wide varieties of tequila anywhere in this buzzing city.
The climate in Guadalajara is subtropical, which is distinguished by hot rainy summers and dry but still warm winters. Temperatures are at their highest in May and June, and the highest amount of rainfall follows this from June through to September, and with this comes the highest levels of humidity. Throughout the rainy season, storms occur quite frequently, bringing thunder, lighting and hail to the city, and it is best to be prepared for the rain and stormy conditions throughout these months. The temperatures in the city centre are higher than the surrounding area, but snowfall is very rare, having last been recorded in 1997, even though the city is located at a relatively high altitude. However, this altitude can bring cool breezes to make the summers more bearable and also the make the winters feel cooler than they are.
Some nationalities do not need a visa to enter into Mexico and the complete list is available on the website of the Immigration Authorities; foreigners resident in these countries can enter Mexico for up to 180 days for tourism and business reasons. All the nationalities not included in the aforementioned list must apply for a visa. Expats who wish to remain in Mexico after this period has concluded will need to apply for either a temporary or a permanent residency visa.
The temporary visa is intended for those who want to stay in Mexico for longer than six months, but less than four years. This visa can be issued for varying amounts of time, and allows the person issued to exit and enter the country at will.
Permanent residency visas are issued to those who wish to seek permanent residency and perhaps eventually Mexican citizenship. To apply for a permanent residency visa, a person must: have family in Mexico, prove they can financially maintain themselves, qualify under the Points System, or be granted residency on humanitarian grounds.
The easiest way for any prospective expats to gain a visa is therefore to first apply for a temporary visa, as once you have four years of living in Mexico under one of these, you can then qualify for a permanent visa.