Corporate Immigration Laws and Regulations Report 2023 Mexico

Note published on june 23, on ICLG, section Practice Areas / Corporate Immigration / Mexico by Edgar Mayorga Compean


1. Introduction

1.1 What are the main sources of immigration law in your jurisdiction?

Mexico’s legal system is based on civil law. The Mexican Immigration Law (Law) is federal in nature and applies throughout the country to entities operational therein. It establishes the rights and obligations of foreigners and the various degrees of immigration rules permitting foreigners to enter Mexico for the purpose described in the respective immigration conditions.

The Law is enforced by the Migratory Law Regulations, the Guidelines for Immigration Procedures, the General Guidelines for the issue of Mexican visas by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Law of Administrative Procedures.

1.2 What authorities administer the corporate immigration system in your jurisdiction?

The authorities that administer the corporate immigration system are the Ministry of Interior, the National Institute of Migration (INM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The principal activities of these authorities are as follows:

  • The Ministry of Interior is responsible for formulating and conducting immigration and humanitarian policies, as well as monitoring borders and entry points into Mexico by land, sea or air, guaranteeing in terms of law freedom of transit in coordination with other federal authorities.
  • The INM is the only authority that may grant employment authorisations and is responsible for the execution, control and supervision of all acts related to corporate immigration permits.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its different consulars, provides assistance to the INM in the receipt, processing and granting of visa applications in accordance with the Law.

1.3 Is your jurisdiction part of a multilateral agreement between countries (EU/NAFTA/MERCOSUR) which facilitates the movement of people between countries for employment purposes?

Mexico has signed different free trade agreements facilitating the temporary entry of business persons to conduct non-remunerated activities in Mexico for a maximum period of 180 days without requiring an employment permit for Mexico.

The hiring of any new foreign employee must be requested through an admission permit, since the new Rules for Immigration Procedures do not permit the change of visitor condition (those entering the country as visitors/tourists or business people cannot be granted works permits as Temporary Residents with paid activities unless the foreigner has a link with a national person).

2. Business Visitors

2.1 Can business visitors enter your jurisdiction under a relevant visa waiver programme?

Yes, business visitors must bring documents to prove the reason for their visit (invitation letter issued by a Mexican company). This year, Mexico implements the Digital Multiple Immigration Form (FMMD) in which Mexican immigration officers will register the purpose of entry into Mexico. They will be interviewed by an immigration officer and must bring the documents to evidence the purpose of their trip into Mexico as business visitors without an income.

According to the current immigration rules, there are certain nationalities that may be eligible for the business visitor category upon showing his/her passport at a port of entry into Mexico. The following link provides the list of nationalities that do or do not require a Mexican visa to enter into Mexico: [Hyperlink]

Nationals from different countries are exempted from a visa requirement under the following circumstances:

  1. The foreign national has a document proving lawful permanent residence in Canada, the United States of America, Japan, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, any of the countries that make up the Schengen Area or a country member of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia and Peru).
  2. The foreign national is a holder of a valid US visa.
  3. The foreign national is a holder of an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) visa under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) regime.

2.2 What is the maximum period for which business visitors can enter your jurisdiction?

The Law establishes that a business visitor is authorised to transit and be in the country for a fixed period of 180 days without authorisation to receive an income in Mexico.

2.3 What activities are business visitors able to undertake?

Foreigners may be eligible for business visitor entry if they will participate in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the country that they are visiting, including but not limited to: consulting with business associates; travelling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific duties; settling an estate; negotiating a contract; participating in short-term training; transiting through to a foreign country; or with the intention to remain on the foreign payroll of the company in their home country.

2.4 Are there any special visitor categories which will enable business visitors to undertake work or provide services for a temporary period?

No, business travellers enter into Mexico with the immigration condition as visitors. For business people or technicians who travel to Mexico for a period of no longer than 180 days to hold business meetings or provide technical assistance to Mexican clients or to their Mexican subsidiary, on behalf of their foreign employer, such individuals must bring with them the documentation to enable them to demonstrate conclusively the reason for their trip to the country, since the immigration agent at the entry point will interview the foreigner and will check if he/she has the necessary documentation to motivate his/her visit to the country.

2.5 Can business visitors receive short-term training?

Yes, business visitors are permitted to stay in the country for short-term training. Since the current immigration law does not contemplate a minimum length of stay, the foreigner will be able to stay for a specific period of time in the country. The Mexican immigration agent will authorise the length of stay at the INM system and the business visitor will need to print the FMMD duly authorised at the port of entry into Mexico.

3. Immigration Compliance and Illegal Working

3.1 Do the national authorities in your jurisdiction operate a system of compliance inspections of employers who regularly employ foreign nationals?

Yes, the INM has total discretion to inspect companies to certify that the information provided for the immigration permits is appropriate and that the company exists and is operational.

The INM shall verify that the foreign persons who are in the national territory comply with the obligations set forth in the laws. The immigration authorities will substantiate the corresponding procedures and apply the sanctions, without prejudice, to the provisions of other federal regulations, observing at all times a respect for human rights.

3.2 What are the rules on the prevention of illegal working?

This administration has implemented a new immigration policy based on two pillars: the defence of immigrants’ rights; and the promotion of economic development from a humanitarian perspective, in order to address the causes of immigration.

Mexico has granted legal status to some foreigners who entered illegally at the southern border to document their entry and facilitate their incorporation to the labour market. This is offering immigrants better protection of their human rights.

This new stage will work with the following premises: regular, orderly and safe migration with respect for human rights; assisted return of immigrants, with a human rights-focused approach; coordination with international agencies; and transparent efforts and the fight against corruption.

3.3 What are the penalties for organisations found to be employing foreign nationals without permission to work?

The INM offices will impose penalties for organisations found employing foreign nationals without the proper immigration permit, within the limits indicated for each infraction, based on its severity and the degree of responsibility of the offender, taking into account the following aspects:

  • the socio-economic circumstances of the offender;
  • the external conditions, the background of the offender and the means of execution;
  • whether there has been a recurrence in the breach of obligations;
  • the amount of the benefit, profit, loss or damage derived from the breach of obligations; and
  • the hierarchical level of the offender and his/her seniority in the service.

4. Corporate Immigration – General

4.1 Is there a system for registration of employers who wish to hire foreign nationals?

The immigration legislation binds companies to obtain a certificate of registration as an employer with the INM (basic record), an essential requirement to apply for a work permit for foreign staff to work in Mexico.

Mexican companies who hire foreign staff must be registered before the Mexican Tax authority and must also provide a copy of the registration before the Public Registry of Commerce and fulfil the requirements of the Law.

The following documents are necessary:

  1. Payment of government fees.
  2. List of all company employees including name, nationality and job title in Spanish.
  3. An original copy of the Mexican company’s proof of address, which must coincide with the fiscal address of the company, with the name of the Mexican company (the document must not exceed 30 days of being issued).
  4. Copy of the Tax ID and proof of the current tax situation of the Mexican company (“constancia de situation fiscal”) and the latest tax return payments.
  5. A certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the Mexican company and a certified copy of the power of attorney of the legal representative and his/her Tax ID.

4.2 Do employers who hire foreign nationals have ongoing duties to ensure immigration compliance?

Employers must annually update the latest tax return payments of the Mexican company. Companies are required to submit their annual tax return payments for the previous fiscal year during the month of March of each year; that is, during the following 30 calendar days, an effect of maintaining the validity of this registry of the company, to avoid the delay on the resolutions of the immigration cases at the INM.

Moreover, in the case where the Mexican company has a change of name of the legal representatives or any change of tax domicile of the company, the company must update the information at the INM within the 30-day period.

4.3 Are employers who hire foreign nationals required to show a commitment to train or up-skill local workers?

There are no provisions for foreigners to train or up-skill local workers.

The Federal Labor Law (FLL) indicates that employers are obliged to provide all workers with training that allows them to raise their level of life, labour competence and productivity.

4.4 Are employers who hire foreign nationals required to pay government charges and fees which contribute towards the training or up-skilling of local workers?

The employers are not required to pay government charges and fees which contribute towards the training or up-skilling of local workers.

4.5 Do the immigration authorities undertake routine inspections of employers who sponsor foreign nationals, to verify immigration compliance?

Yes. The verification visit procedure will be subject to the following:

The immigration authority must issue an agreement by which it establishes and motivates the origin of the verification visit.

In any verification visit, the INM officer will grant a commission document to the public officer who is designated to execute the procedure, which will state the purpose of the verification act, the place where it will be carried out, the name of the person to whom it is directed, the object of the visit, the scope that it should have, the legal provisions that support it, and the name, signature and position of the officer who authorises said visit and who will carry it out.

During the discharge of the verification visit, the immigration authority may require the proper documents for the discharge of the diligence, stating this in the record.

4.6 Do the immigration authorities maintain a list of skilled occupations which may be filled by foreign nationals?

No; according to the Law, any applications for visa authorisation or condition of immigration stay, provided that the reason for the request is for an offer of employment, will be governed by the quota system. In cases where quotas are not determined, the visa authorisation or condition of stay for a job offer will depend on the existence of said offer. We are awaiting the official publication to implement these immigration rules for a quota system in Mexico.

To obtain any work permit as a Temporary Resident, the position must be classified according to the National Classification System for Occupations (SINCO) and a brief description must be provided of the activities to be carried out in Mexico in accordance with the position at the Mexican company.

4.7 Is there a recognition that some occupations may be in short supply and do special exemptions apply to certain sectors and occupations?

According to the Law, the quota system will be established under the following criteria:

  1. occupational groups provided for in the SINCO or that which in time replaces it;
  2. specific geographic regions;
  3. immigration conditions of legal stay; or
  4. a combination of these criteria.

In the case that the position is not regulated at the SINCO, there are general items that may be used to classified the position.

4.8 Are there annual quotas for different types of employment-related work permits or visas?

The quotas will be established by the Ministry of Interior through general administrative provisions that will be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and will be valid for one year from their publication. Additionally, administrative provisions may be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation to fill vacancies of difficult coverage that must be filled within six months. We are currently waiting for the official publication to implement this new system in Mexico that is regulated by the Law.

4.9 Are there restrictions on the number of foreign workers an employer may sponsor, in relation to a maximum percentage of foreign workers in the employer’s workforce?

According to Article 7 of the FLL, every company must employ Mexican workers for 90% of its workforce, at least. In the technical and professional categories, workers must be Mexican, unless they are in a specific specialty, in which case the employer may temporarily employ foreign workers, in a proportion not exceeding 10% of those in the specialty.

4.10 Are employees who are sponsored to work in your jurisdiction required to demonstrate language proficiency?

According to the current immigration rules and provisions, employees are not required to speak Spanish for the position for which they will be hired in Mexico.

4.11 Are employees who are sponsored to work in your jurisdiction required to undergo medical examinations before being admitted?

The employee is not required to undergo any medical examination and there are no mandatory vaccines that the employee must obtain before being admitted. The Mexican government recommends being vaccinated against Tetanus-diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Typhoid fever before travelling to Mexico.

Employers have the authority to require any medical exam for their employees (avoiding discriminatory practices).

4.12 Are employees who are sponsored to work in your jurisdiction required to have medical insurance or are they entitled to any free public medical services?

For the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), companies, when it is necessary to hire one or more workers, acquire obligations including, among others, those established by the Social Security Law (LSS), since there is the possibility of suffering some type of accident, thus, based on article 15 of the law, social security must be granted.

In the event that foreigners are paid by a sponsor company, they must also receive such social security, since they are providing their services at the facilities of the Mexican company and could suffer a job risk.

Independently and without obligation from the Mexican government, employers may contract medical expenses insurance, in order to access private hospitals.

4.13 Does the work permit system allow employees who hold work permits to be seconded to a client site?

Yes, foreign employees may only carry out the activities expressly authorised in their immigration document or FMMD. If the foreign employee will visit the client site, it will be convenient to show his/her immigration document to evidence his/her legal stay in Mexico.

4.14 Does the work permit system require the sponsoring employer to have a physical office space at which employees are required to be physically present?

Yes, since the employee will be hired by a Mexican employer, the employer is required to have a registration with the INM. In order to carry out such registration, the employer will have to evidence its domicile in Mexico for which it will require a physical space.

It is not a requirement for the employee to be present at such domicile, since he/she can work from home or in another location; however, the sponsoring employer is required to evidence its domicile.

4.15 Does the work permit system allow employees who hold work permits to work remotely including work from home?

Yes, the employment relationship will be governed by Mexican law, specifically by the FLL, which allows for remote working (the law defines this modality as “teleworking”).

Teleworking was included in the FLL as a possibility to work from home. This modality must be agreed by both parties – employer and employee – and there are several obligations that must be fulfilled by both. The most important aspect is that the employer must provide the necessary tools to work from home and pay the corresponding expenses for telecommunication services and electricity.

The employee has the right to digital disconnection, which means that the employee has the right to not attend calls, messages or meetings outside of his/her work shift or during his/her rest days. Likewise, the employee and the employer will have the right to, at any moment, revoke this modality and return to work at the workplace, unless there is a force majeure motive that requires working from home (for example, the health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

5. Non-Sponsored Highly Skilled, Exceptional or Extraordinary Talent Visas

5.1 Is there an immigration category which covers highly skilled individuals (including those who are not sponsored by a company)?

The points system for foreigners to acquire permanent residence will establish selection criteria to attract foreign investors or those with highly qualified skills in areas such as science, technology, sports, humanities and arts, or those who will strengthen and promote development and competitiveness in the national territory.

We are awaiting the official publication to implement this new system in Mexico.

5.2 Is there an immigration category which allows those with exceptional or extraordinary talent in their specialist field to obtain a work visa?

No, we have three immigration categories. The most common immigration category to obtain a work visa is as Temporary Resident. Please also refer to our answer to question 5.1.

6. Remote Working Visas

6.1 Is there a visa category which allows employees of overseas companies who remain employed outside your jurisdiction to work remotely in your jurisdiction without the need to obtain a standard work permit?

There are no specific visa categories or regulations for cases like this; however, due to the Mexican legal provisions applying within the Mexican territory, if the services are rendered in Mexico, Mexican laws may be applicable and the Mexican authorities may have jurisdiction over such services, which could generate the risk that the foreign employer must fulfil all the legal obligations derived from the employment relationship, including payment of salaries and benefits, payment of tax and social security contributions, among others. This risk is minimal and could arise in cases where there is conflict with the employee as in cases of termination of the employment relationship, since in Mexico there is no employment at will.

6.2 To what extent do your visitor rules explicitly permit temporary remote working, for example where the employee of a foreign company cannot leave your territory due to health or other emergencies?

There is no specific regulation for cases like this. The Mexican immigration authority has implemented a programme to grant humanitarian visas for cases where the employee of a foreign company cannot leave Mexico due to the latest health contingency as well as granting those employees the immigration category of visitors for humanitarian reasons.

7. Investment or Establishment Work Permits

7.1 Is there an immigration category which permits employees to be authorised to work based on investment into, or setting up a subsidiary or corporate presence in, your jurisdiction?

The Temporary Resident immigration condition applies to foreigners who intend to stay in the country for a maximum period of four years, receiving their pay in Mexico or abroad.

These immigration permits to engage in lucrative activities in Mexico are granted by the INM.

The Mexican Consulate is authorised to grant Temporary Resident visas without income activities in Mexico. The application must be requested by the foreign nationals on the grounds of an invitation by a Mexican legal entity (private or public), investors’ real estate ownership, retirement, the preservation of a family unit, pursuing studies as a student, or humanitarian reasons. The issuance of this kind of visa is at the total discretion of the Mexican Consulate according to the faculties duly granted and after complying with the requirements and rules provided by the Guidelines for Immigration Procedures.

8. Temporary Work Permits

8.1 Is there an immigration category permitting the hiring of temporary workers for exchanges, career development, internships or other non-economic purposes?

Yes, the Temporary Resident student immigration condition allows the foreign nationals to remain in Mexico for the duration of their studies, internship or exchange without income activities in Mexico.

This visa must be requested prior to his/her entry into Mexico at any Mexican Consulate abroad and the foreign national must provide the letter of invitation or acceptance of the corresponding educational institution or from a Mexican entity. His/her immigration condition may be renewed annually.

The INM may authorise the foreign national to carry out lucrative activities if there is a letter of agreement from the corresponding educational institution and it will be subject to a job offer in activities related to the subject of their studies.

The student Temporary Resident will have the right to enter and leave the national territory as many times as they wish and will also have the right to preservation of the family unit.

8.2 Are there sector-specific temporary work permit categories which enable foreign workers to perform short-term temporary work?

According to Article 35 of the FLL, work relationships can be for a specific job or time period, a season or indefinite time and, where appropriate, may be subject to testing or initial training.

9. Group or Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits

9.1 Does a specific immigration category exist for inter-company transfers within international groups of companies?

No, there is no specific category. The proper immigration condition to obtain for the employee to be assigned as an inter-company transfer will depend on the term of his/her assignment to Mexico and if he/she will remain on the foreign payroll or if he/she will be transferred to the Mexican company as a local worker.

9.2 What conditions must an employing company or organisation fulfil in order to qualify as part of a group of companies?

The issuance of a mandate letter will be essential in order to know the terms of the assignment and thus determine the proper immigration condition that the employees must have.

9.3 What conditions must the employer fulfil in order to obtain a work permit for an intra-company group employee?

If the employee will be paid by a company abroad and will carry out activities in a Mexican company, he/she must obtain the status of Temporary Resident without paid activities.

9.4 What is the process for obtaining a work permit for an intra-company group employee?

The employee must apply for a work permit with the immigration authorities, indicating that it will be paid in the country. The company must subsequently confirm that the work will be paid in Mexico through a letter signed by the legal representative.

9.5 What is the process for the employee to obtain a visa under the intra-company group transfer category?

The employee should request an interview at the Mexican Consulate in the country of his/her choice, complying with the proper documents for the issuance of his/her Mexican visa either as an employee of the foreign company or as an employee of the Mexican company.

9.6 How long does the process of obtaining the work permit and initial visa take?

The process and timing to obtain a work visa is as follows:

  • Entry Permit application filed at INM in Mexico (five to 10 business days).
  • Filing of visa application at the Mexican Consulate (depending on the human and technical resources of each Consulate, this varies from five to 10 business days, but could take longer if an appointment is necessary).
  • Consular visa collection (one to three days).
  • Entry to Mexico (one day).
  • Filing of Temporary Resident Card application at INM. (Note: this may vary considerably, depending on the specific location where the assignee will arrive in Mexico and the corresponding regional office of the INM.)

9.7 Is there a maximum period of validity for initial intra company transfer visas, can they be extended and is there a maximum period of stay in this category?

Please refer to our answer to question 9.6.

The extension of the Temporary Resident Cards may be requested for one, two or for a maximum period of three years. Holders of the Temporary Resident Card are authorised to live in Mexico for a maximum period of four years.

9.8 Can employees coming under the intra-company route transfer to a permanent stay visa route and apply for permanent residence?

Yes, after living in Mexico for four consecutive years under the Temporary Resident immigration condition, permanent residence can be requested.

The application must be requested 30 days before the expiration date of his/her Temporary Resident Card, and the foreigner must be in Mexico to submit the application before the INM offices.

9.9 What are the main government fees associated with this type of visa?

The payments of government immigration fees for specific immigration procedures for foreigners with the temporary or permanent resident immigration condition in Mexico are regulated by the Federal Law of Government Fees (LFD).

The following are the rates approved in Mexican currency by the LFD, which were published by the Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB) to pay the government immigration fees (Mexican pesos):

  • Temporary Resident – one year: $5,108.
  • Temporary Resident – two years: $7,654.
  • Temporary Resident – three years: $9,693.
  • Temporary Resident – four years: $11,488.
  • Permanent Resident: $6,226.
  • Change of immigration condition for study and reception: $1,514.
  • US Consular fee: U$51.

These fees are updated every year on January 1st.

10. New Hire Work Permits

10.1 What is the main immigration category used for employers who wish to obtain work permits for new hires?

The main immigration category to obtain work permits (new hire) as employees of a Mexican company is the Temporary Resident immigration condition.

Please refer to our answer to question 9.4.

It is essential to know the position and the activities to be carried out in Mexico in order to classify the position according to the SINCO.

10.2 Is there a requirement for labour market testing, to demonstrate that there are no suitable resident workers, before a work permit can be issued to new hires?

No, one must comply with the immigration provisions to request the legal permit as Temporary Residents.

10.3 Are there any exemptions to carrying out a resident labour market test?

No, there are no legal provisions to carry out a labour market test.

10.4 What is the process for employers obtaining a work permit for a new hire?

The company that decides to hire a foreigner must apply for a job offer visa at the INM in Mexico; the company must have a valid company certificate (“constancia de empleador”). As soon as the permit to work is approved, the INM will issue an official communication with which the foreigner must confirm what the company has stated. The foreigner must subsequently request an appointment at the Mexican Consulate of his/her choice, and at the appointment, provided the Mexican Consulate considers everything to be in order, it will stamp the visa in his/her passport and the foreigner will have six months to enter the country. Upon entering the country, an FMMD must be exchanged before the INM within 30 calendar days of arrival in the country. After filing a complete application before the local INM offices, the INM offices will issue a Temporary Resident Card and a Unique Population Registration Code (CURP), which will permit the foreign employee to register before the Federal Labour and Tax authorities in Mexico.

10.5 What is the process for the employee to obtain a visa as a new hire?

The entire process could take from one to three months until the foreigner receives his/her Temporary Resident Card, due to the automatisation of the appointment system implemented at the different INM offices and Mexican Consulates.

10.6 How long does the process of obtaining the work permit and initial visa for a new hire take?

The complete immigration process is divided into three different stages: the authorisation duly granted by the INM (work permit); the issuance of the Mexican visa to be granted by the Mexican Consulate (Mexican visa); and the issuance of the Temporary Resident Card before the local immigration INM.

Please also refer to our answer to question 10.5.

10.7 How long are initial visas for new hires granted for and can they be extended?

The Temporary Resident Cards will be renewable for one, two or for a maximum period of three years. Holders of the Temporary Resident Card are authorised to live in Mexico for a maximum period of four years.

10.8 Is labour market testing required when the employee extends their residence?

No, one must evidence the permanence of the labour relation with the Mexican company in order to renew the immigration documents.

10.9 Can employees coming as new hires apply for permanent residence?

Yes, after living in Mexico for four consecutive years with the Temporary Resident immigration condition, permanent residence may be requested.

The application must be requested 30 days before the expiration date of his/her Temporary Resident Card, and the foreigner must be in Mexico to submit the application before the INM.

10.10 What are the main government fees associated with this type of visa?

Please refer to our answer to question 9.9.

11. Conditions of Stay for Work Permit Holders

11.1 What are the conditions of stay of those who obtain work permits and are resident on this basis?

There are three legal stay of immigration conditions, namely:

  • Visitor: with or without permission to have remunerated activities in the country.
  • Temporary resident: receiving their pay in Mexico or abroad. This category includes students.
  • Permanent resident: applicable to foreigners who wish to stay in Mexico indefinitely.

11.2 Are work permit holders required to register with municipal authorities or the police after their arrival?

All foreign workers who hold a temporary or permanent resident immigration card receive a CURP number with the said registration granted by the Ministry of Interior. They may be requested to register before the IMSS and before the Mexican Tax authority. There is no need to be registered with the municipal authorities or the police.

12. Dependants

12.1 Who qualifies as a dependant of a person coming to work on a sponsored basis?

Foreigners with the conditions of temporary and permanent residency will have the right to preservation of the family unit, so they may enter with or subsequently request the entry of the following people:

  • Father or mother.
  • Spouse: they are considered a Temporary Resident for two years, after which they can obtain the status of permanent resident, provided the marriage bond remains.
  • Cohabiting partner: they will be granted the status of Temporary Resident for two years, after which they can obtain the status of permanent resident, provided the cohabitation subsists.
  • Children of the permanent resident and the children of the spouse or cohabiting partner, provided they have not married and are under their guardianship or custody.

12.2 Do civil/unmarried or same-sex partners qualify as family members?

Yes, there are two ways to obtain an immigration permit for a spouse or same-sex partner and their relatives.

The first is to request the Mexican visa directly at the Mexican Consulate, when the principal applicant receives his/her Mexican visa as a Temporary Resident, as his/her economic dependants prior to his/her travel to Mexico.

The other alternative is to request a change of immigration condition for the spouse or partner, when he/she arrives in Mexico. For this purpose, the marriage certificate will be necessary (duly apostilled or legalised).

For non-married couples, it is necessary to demonstrate cohabitation (“concubinato”).

This will depend on the jurisdiction where the couple has had a common residence. It is recommended for non-married partners to apply for Temporary Residency directly at the Mexican Consulate with jurisdiction over the couple’s place of residence before entering Mexico, as the Consulates are familiar with the general rules and practices that have become generally adopted through habit and common use.

12.3 Do spouses and partners have access to the labour market when they are admitted as dependants?

Spouses and partners may access the labour market after they are admitted as dependants, and they must request a work permit before the INM. Provisions must be taken to obtain the proper immigration permit authorising the spouse or same-sex partner to work in Mexico.

12.4 Do children have access to the labour market?

According to Article 123 of the Constitution, which also derives the ratification of Convention 138 on the age to enter a job, the permitted age is 18 years, so foreigners at this age are authorised to work and they will have to meet this requirement.

13. Permanent Residence

13.1 What are the conditions for obtaining permanent residence?

The status of permanent resident will be granted to a foreigner who meets any of the following assumptions:

  • For reasons of political asylum, recognition of refugee status and complementary protection or by the determination of stateless person, after fulfilling the requirements established by the legal provisions.
  • For the right to the preservation of the family unit.
  • They are retirees or pensioners who receive, from a foreign government or international organisations or private companies for services provided abroad, an income that allows them to live in Mexico.
  • By decision of the INM, according to the points system established for this purpose (pending publication).
  • After four years have passed since the foreigner obtained a permit for Temporary Residence.
  • For having children of Mexican nationality by birth.
  • For being an ascendant or descendant in a direct line to the second degree of a Mexican by birth.

Permanent residents may introduce their personal property, in the manner and terms according to the Mexican Customs Law.

Holders of the permanent resident immigration condition must inform within 90 calendar days of any changes related to his/her immigration condition.

13.2 Is it possible to switch from a temporary work visa to a work visa which leads to permanent residence?

Holders of the Temporary Resident Card are authorised to work in Mexico without any further requirements. They are obliged to notify the INM within 90 calendar days of any changes related to his/her domicile, change of employer, civil status or nationality.

14. Bars to Admission

14.1 What are the main bars to admission for work?

There are no bars to admission established by the law or by the authority. Please refer to the answer to question 13.2.

It is advisable not to have criminal records, to have a valid and current immigration document, to have the skills required to perform the job, and to have an employer with an employer record in order before the INM.

14.2 Are criminal convictions a bar to obtaining work permission or a visa?

Criminal convictions are not a bar to obtaining work permission or a visa. However, the immigration authority has the authority to review the foreigner’s criminal records or mobility restriction ordered by law enforcement agencies if he/she is listed by any international authority as a person of interest in accordance with international treaties. The authorities, at their discretion, may reject the processes and deny entry into the country to an individual with such background.

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