As a foreigner in Mexico you have the same rights to open a bank account as a Mexican. If you are living in Mexico legally, and you hold either the visa “residente temporal” or the visa “residente permanente” you will not have a problem. As a tourist you will not be able to open a bank account in Mexico.

The five big main banks in Mexico are: Banorte, Bancomer, Banamex, Scotiabank and Santander. The requirements to open a bank account are the same for all five.

You will need to present your visa when you open your bank account. The visa “residente temporal” gives you permission to be in the country for a period of up to four years, where as the visa “residente permanente” gives you permission to be in the country on a more permanent basis.

You will need to show a statement from the light company, the telephone company (either fixed line or mobile contract), sky, the water company or a tax return, all which show your address. This will be enough proof for the bank to show them that you are living where you say you are.

Depending on the type of account that you wish to open, you will be required to deposit a minimum of between $1000 and $10,000 Mexican pesos. Also depending on the type of account, you may be required to deposit a minimum sum every month so as not to have the account closed or not to accumulate bank charges.

Very few foreigners will be offered any type of credit on their new account, such as a credit card, an overdraft, or a loan. Usually the type of account available to foreigners will be a savings account with either a debit card or cheque book. Bank accounts in Mexico are available in either Mexican pesos or US dollars.

Keep in mind that if you do not speak Spanish you will need to take someone along with you who can, as very few Mexican bank clerks speak sufficient English. All the bank forms will be in Spanish, however most of the form filling will be done by the bank clerk on his or her computer. You will be required to check that all the details are correct on the contract before you sign it.

Take all original documents with you for the account opening process as copies will not be accepted!