The constant flow of migrants over the southern U.S. border dominates the news, but the Mexican government says it is seeing an uptick in Americans heading down to live in Mexico.
The interior ministry said it issued over 8,000 temporary resident visas in the first nine months of this year, an 85% increase compared with the same period in 2019, according to Mexico News Daily.
It is the highest figure since the statistics started being compiled in 2010. The recent increase coincides with the pandemic-related shakeup in how people live and work, with some people able to work remotely and live where they choose.
The new report said 1,619 Americans, or roughly one in five of those who gained residency status, are living in Mexico City. A slightly lower share chose the Jalisco region, home to Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and Chapala.
Quintana Roo, which contains Cancun, and parts of Baja California and the Yucatan were also popular destinations.
The number of U.S. citizens who obtained permanent residency in the first nine months of this year also increased to 5,418, or up 48% from 2019.
Foreigners can obtain residency by satisfying income requirements or having an employer-sponsor or family ties to the country, the report said.
The new statistics do not account for another large set of Americans who are living in Mexico on tourist visas that typically let them stay up to six months. Some Mexicans have complained that “digital nomads” from the north are upending their neighborhoods and pushing up rent prices.