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Which is better – emigration to the UAE or Mexico?

Что лучше – эмиграция в ОАЭ или Мексику?

Today, many leave Russia, choosing for this a prosperous Europe, or the hospitable Baltic States. Few seek to leave for the USA, Australia or Canada. Other ambiguous destinations are the Arab Emirates and Mexico, very few people consider these states as permanent residence and very wrongly. These are completely different territories in all respects, there is something attractive in each of the countries. But here’s what is better for emigration to the UAE or Mexico, this is what we will try to figure out in the article.

Emigration to the UAE

For several decades, the whole world has been watching with bated breath how the once lifeless desert grows and develops. From the moment of the first oil well until today, the Arab Emirates has changed beyond recognition, becoming a prosperous, beautiful, attractive state for living and recreation. It is easy to meet diverse tourists here, and some come here not for recreation, but to earn money or to study. The standard of living in the country is very high and the authorities are not going to stop there. But are they waiting in this oasis for those who are going to settle in it?

Pros and cons of emigration to the UAE

UAE residents

Immediately you need to understand that there is no residence permit in the Emirates, a resident visa is all that a foreign citizen can count on in the Emirates. He will never receive a passport from the state, even if he lives in the territory for decades. A guest in the country remains a guest forever, but no one forbids living on its territory, the main thing is to follow the rules, laws and renew the visa on time. Of the advantages of obtaining a visa to the UAE , you need to indicate:

  • russians are treated with respect;
  • it is easy to get a resident visa;
  • medicine is at a very high level;
  • you do not need to pay tax to get a visa;
  • there is a lot of entertainment in the country;
  • you can quickly and inexpensively (about 6 thousand dollars) open your own company;
  • issued immediately for the whole family;
  • property or business owners get residency faster;
  • decent salaries;
  • free movement in the Persian Gulf states;
  • it is not necessary to know the local and even English language;
  • there is no crime and corruption;
  • easy to open a bank account;
  • warm climate;
  • beautiful architecture;
  • high level of education;
  • official job with a high salary.

Among the large number of positive aspects there are also disadvantages:

  • it is impossible to become a full citizen;
  • public transport is very poorly developed, you need your own car;
  • very hot all year round;
  • traffic jams on the roads;
  • drivers are reckless on the roads, do not recognize the rules;
  • there is no usual postal system;
  • there is almost no greenery (what there is is grown artificially);
  • rather high prices;
  • work schedules for visitors are far from ideal;
  • negligent attitude to the environment;
  • queues for medical services;
  • few professional educational institutions.

There are a lot of disadvantages and some very significant ones. For some people, especially if there are children, these disadvantages can become a serious obstacle to moving.

Available ways to move

Nevertheless, there are quite a lot of advantages of moving to the UAE and some even cover the disadvantages that foreigners who decide to settle in the country for a long time may face. There are several legal and affordable ways to do this.


Marriage in the UAE

Many girls dream of marrying a rich Arab. Religion does not prohibit Muslim men from marrying girls of another faith, so this option can be considered a completely legal way to get a resident visa in the Emirates. At the same time, only a really wealthy Arab will decide to take a foreign woman as a wife, because after marriage he will lose many state privileges. However, in return, the young couple will be offered a free plot of land or a loan without interest for the selected amount.

A child born in such a marriage receives citizenship without hindrance, but the wife of a Muslim man can not count on such leniency earlier than after 15 years of marriage together. In addition, polygamy is allowed in the country (no more than 4 wives), it is possible that one day another stranger with equal rights will settle in a common house, which is not acceptable for every Slavic woman.

In 90% of cases, the local legislation will protect the spouse, and in case of divorce, custody of the children will certainly go to him. The mother may not even dream of taking her child out of the country, so many former Arab wives are forced to live in the country just to be able to see their child.

If the option of obtaining a resident visa through marriage looks quite real for girls, then a foreign man will not be able to get the right to legally reside in the country by marrying a Muslim woman. First of all, religion does not allow this, and given the attitude towards it, it is unlikely that at least one woman will decide to take such a step, even being madly in love. But if this still happens and a foreigner manages to marry a Muslim woman, then the Naturalization Department will not give her such permission, and without it, marriage is impossible. In case of violation of the prescription, a woman may lose her citizenship without the right to restore it ever.

Purchase of real estate

Purchase of real estate

If there are a couple of hundred thousand dollars available in the bank account, then you can try to get a visa through the purchase of real estate. After the acquisition of such property worth at least 270 thousand. $ a foreign citizen can expect to receive a visa for three years. This is only residency, you can not count on obtaining permanent residence, the visa will have to be constantly extended in order to live in the country permanently.

More expensive real estate will make it possible to move your whole family to the country. Moreover, this right is available only to men, women will not be able to do so. This method does not give the right to work in the country, but only to open a bank account, with money from which a foreign citizen should exist.

Real estate purchased in the UAE can be used at the discretion of the owner. He can live there personally, or he can rent to tourists or foreign workers (depending on the class of housing). The purchase of real estate directly from the developer has an important feature – he must have a special permit giving the right to sell housing to foreigners. If the transaction takes place without this permission, the owner risks losing his purchase or running into large fines.


Business in the UAE

The most popular way to get residency in the Emirates is to open your own business in the country. The country is located in a free economic zone and has favorable conditions for the development of its company. There are practically no tax obligations, the state supports entrepreneurs in every possible way.

To obtain residency in this area, an investor must invest at least 19 thousand dollars in the company. He retains the right to work at the enterprise where the funds were invested. After that, the whole family can also be transported to the country. This method will provide income to the entrepreneur and a comfortable old age.

Starting a business or investing in it requires knowledge of many legal norms of the state. To do this, it is best to hire local specialists. Savings at this stage may result in additional costs or even the loss of the company in the future.


Study in the UAE

After studying at universities in the UAE, you can get a bachelor’s, master’s and Doctor of Sciences degree. Diplomas of this country are valued all over the world, because education is considered to be of high quality and not everyone can afford it. Only those who speak English well and have an IELTS or TOEFL certificate can use this method of emigration.

Having a student visa in the country, it is impossible to get a job, so you need to take care of providing yourself in another way. A foreign student must have funds for living on his account. Also, universities require payment of an annual course in advance. The price tag here starts from 20 thousand dollars. After graduation and receiving a diploma, you can try your luck in employment both in the country and in another state – UAE diplomas are appreciated everywhere.


Work in the UAE

There are a lot of people who came to the country solely to earn money. Here you can meet citizens of India, Lebanon, Pakistan and even Russia. To get a job in the Emirates, it is enough for a foreign citizen to submit a questionnaire on the chosen specialty and wait for an invitation to work. It is noteworthy that, subject to admission, all costs are borne by the employer. He can also approve the flight of the whole family of the applicant, and also pay the costs of it.

Most often, the contract is concluded for a year, but in most cases the contract is extended if the employee does not cause problems and regularly performs all his work duties. Working conditions in the country for visitors are also very comfortable. The employer not only pays a good salary, but also provides housing, medical care, and sometimes even food.

Of course, a visitor should not count on a high and prestigious position, only locals work for such people. For foreign citizens, simpler directions from the service sector are offered, namely:

  • hotel business;
  • trade;
  • catering.

Russians are often hired because of the abundance of tourists from Russia. So the locals are trying to simplify communication between vacationers, to make their pastime in the country more comfortable and not burdensome. Also, Russians have a European look, which is very attractive to Arabs, because real Europeans need to pay more, and the desire to go to work in the Emirates is not much among European residents.

90% of organizations, hiring a foreign employee, will pay him the costs of paperwork, flight (sometimes all family members), health insurance, housing. Most often, those who come to work in a few years go back to their homeland. The harsh climate and the inability to obtain citizenship are affected. However, some find higher-ranking positions with high earnings and stay for a long time.

В среднем простой дворник в ОАЭ получает около 1,5 тыс. долларов, на должности учителя можно заработать 2 тыс., устроившись администратором в кафе можно спокойно получать около 4 тыс. Для русских зарплаты достаточно достойные, поэтому недостатка в желающих отправится на заработки в Эмиратах нет.

Emigration to Mexico

They often look at Mexico when they want to move to the States in the future, and there are no other real ways to do this. However, you should not discount the colorful state, because it is not only its neighborhood that can interest potential emigrants. Mexico has a rich history, its own unique culture and many other advantages. But about everything in order.

Pros and cons of emigrating to Mexico


Those who visited the capital of the state of Mexico, the party center of Cancun or the ancient city of Teotihuacan could certainly appreciate the history of the country and its amazing diversity. However, there are many other advantages for a visitor in the country:

  • pleasant, warm climate;
  • developing economy;
  • cost of living is not high;
  • national flavor;
  • Mexican citizenship is valued in many countries.

Aiming to move to Mexico, you can count on a warm welcome from the point of view of the climate. Here, almost all year round, you can swim in the ocean, walk in shorts and eat fresh fruit. If you want to take a break from the tropics, it’s enough to move to the central part of the country, where it will already be much cooler.

We must not forget that Mexico is actively developing its economy and is no longer perceived as a dysfunctional country. Oil supplies to the USA, Colombia, Canada, Germany, and China have been established here. Gold and other metals are actively mined in the country. The economy has started to improve rapidly and the state contributes to this in every possible way.

Despite the improvements in the economy, the local population has not yet managed to get rich and half of the residents are forced to exist on only $ 200 a month. The class division is striking here. Due to this state of affairs, food and housing prices in the country are low.

A residence permit in Mexico has many advantages, but there are also disadvantages of such immigration, because the state has just embarked on the path of its development. The main negative points that Russians will have to face:

  • low wages and high cost of buying a home;
  • road condition;
  • mobile communication;
  • low level of medicine;
  • education system;
  • drug trafficking is flourishing;
  • kidnappings are frequent.

Some disadvantages can hardly be called a slight inconvenience. You can put up with poor-quality roads, if they are unacceptable for a Russian person, then at least they are quite familiar. Poor mobile communication, which affects the quality of the Internet, can become an obstacle for freelancers who are used to doing their business remotely.

And if you can somehow put up with salaries of $ 500 and housing prices of $ 90 thousand, then drug trafficking and thriving kidnapping make Mexico an undesirable country for many Russians. Drug cartels pay a share to the state treasury (as expected) so there is practically no trust in the local government. This also applies to kidnapping. Often the organs are in the share, so the relatives of the abducted people are forced to give ransom to criminals. The low level of education and not developed medicine in the country (which in many respects is even worse than Russia) will be the cherry on the cake of the disadvantages of moving to Mexico.

Perhaps, it is possible to consider the state as a candidate for obtaining a residence permit only if the resident has a good third-party income and will live in one of the largest cities in the country. They have decent paid hospitals, educational institutions, a higher standard of living and crime is not as pronounced as on the periphery.

How to get a residence permit

Real estate in Mexico

If, despite everything, you still firmly decided to get a residence permit in Mexico, then it will be necessary to go through a thorny path consisting of several stages. First of all, you need to get a temporary residence permit through a study, work visa, marriage, business opening and other means. It is worth remembering that unemployment and poverty in Mexico are at a very high level, so only those Russians who already have their own capital and can support the country’s economy can count on obtaining a residence permit.

Realizing that there are grounds for obtaining a residence permit, you need to contact the embassy of the country in your home state. Next , the algorithm is as follows:

  • submission of a standard package of documents for a visa (Rentista is more often approved, therefore it is recommended to apply for it);
  • passing an interview and documenting one’s own solvency;
  • obtaining a visa for 180 days, subject to a positive decision;
  • contacting the Migration Service of Mexico to obtain a temporary residence card.

To confirm that there is enough money for living in Mexico, you can provide proof of income outside the country. On average, a resident applying for a residence permit should have an income of $ 1,500. For example, real estate will be rented at home, the candidate is an investor and receives dividends from his investments, has his own profitable business, remote work or a decent pension. Almost no attention is paid to the source of income, the main thing is that there is money. Thus, the state ensures that there is no growth of unemployed, low-income citizens.


To apply for a residence permit, you will need the following set of documents:

  • 3×4 photos;
  • passport and copies of the main pages;
  • residence passport and copies of the main pages;
  • questionnaire in English or Spanish;
  • proof of legal income;
  • other additional information on request.

Also, students will need an invitation from the university, for employees – a contract from the employer, and businessmen will have to provide confirmation in the form of a business plan, bank statement, and entrepreneurial experience. Also suitable as a basis for obtaining a residence permit is a contract for the purchase of real estate worth from 200 thousand.

Next, you will need to pay a state fee of $ 155. If all the documents are in order, then it will take about a month and a half to get a residence permit. The document is issued for a year and it can be extended for another four. To work in the country, you will need a special permit.

Ways to obtain Mexican citizenship in 2022

Obtaining Mexican citizenship

Citizenship in Mexico cannot be issued as a second for Russians, although Mexican legislation does not prevent this. Thus, in order to obtain citizenship in Mexico, you will have to give up your native one. Not everyone will agree to this. If this fact still does not frighten, it remains to choose the direction of emigration. It can be:

  • opening your own business;
  • investing in the country’s economy;
  • an invitation to work from a local company;
  • childbirth in the country;
  • marriage with a citizen/citizen;
  • pension emigration.

Despite the not very attractive working conditions in Mexico, some specialists still express their willingness to go to this country to work. But it should be borne in mind that local companies are more likely to give Spanish-speaking foreigners, English is used by a small percentage of the population.

To find a job, you can use special websites for foreigners or involve local acquaintances in the process. Working emigration will need to be confirmed by a contract, as well as to obtain a work permit. After 4 years of work, you can apply for citizenship.

To be able to emigrate as an investor, you will need to invest at least $ 100 thousand in the economy. And here an honest investor may face corruption, which is very flourishing in Mexico. They may be required to pay extra and intentionally create obstacles in order to receive a reward for faster resolution of issues. The government allows foreigners to open their own companies, provided they hire at least 5 local staff.

Some follow a more interesting path of obtaining citizenship – childbirth. If a child is born in Mexico, he has the right to obtain local citizenship, and with him his parents. To do this, you need to prepare the necessary amount in advance (it may vary depending on the clinic), choose a medical institution and then act according to the laws of the country on obtaining citizenship.

The fastest way to get Mexican citizenship is by marrying a local resident. Marriages with Russians are rare in the country, but love knows no national obstacles. After the conclusion of a legal marriage in the country, you need to live with your companion for at least 3 years, then you can count on obtaining citizenship.

The most unobvious way of emigration is retirement. The country provides special conditions for pensioners who have an income of at least $ 1,500 per month. Americans have been using this system for a long time and have fallen in love with leaving for Mexico upon retirement. For Russians, this method is new, but it is quite simple and accessible to wealthy citizens.

Attitude of locals to immigrants

Local residents of Mexico

Some visitors are willing to put up with many shortcomings and do not stand up to the disparaging, and sometimes openly hostile attitude of the locals. In Mexico, Russians are treated very loyally, as well as to other Europeans.

It should be borne in mind that Mexicans are by nature quite short-tempered. It is recommended not to engage in an altercation with them once again, so as not to provoke the anger of the local community.

Which is better Mexico or the UAE for emigration?

Countries with different cultures, living standards, attitudes towards visitors and other minor nuances cannot be unambiguously classified as desirable or undesirable for relocation. Everyone can find something attractive and repulsive in these states. If we discard emotions and consider them exclusively objectively, we can draw the following conclusions:

  1. Climate. In Mexico, it is milder and more diverse, the UAE is a desert in which it is constantly hot.
  2. Economy. The Emirates are significantly superior to many countries, especially Mexico, in economic development.
  3. The level of medicine. Obviously, it is much more likely to die from unskilled medical care in Mexico than in the Emirates.
  4. Education. Many specialists dream of studying in Dubai, few people have an education in Mexico City on their lips.
  5. The cost of housing. Here the price tag is not pleasing in both cases.
  6. Crime and corruption. Mexico is still a definite leader in these parameters, while the UAE is set as an example to the whole world.

Considering the conclusions, we can say that the Emirates is a more favorable country for those who are used to comfort, take care of their well-being and the well-being of the family. We recommend that adventurers who want to get to know the color of this bright and ambiguous country better direct their gaze towards Mexico. In any case, what is better, emigration to the UAE or Mexico, everyone should decide for himself.

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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