Migration in Mexico requires a VISA (except for tourism for some foreigners, traveling less than 180 days).
Article 52 of the Migration Act of Mexico (hereinafter “MAM“) provides that foreigners can stay in Mexico in the status of:
- Visitor for a residence period of less than 180 days;
- Temporary resident to stay for longer than 180 days until 4 years; and
- Permanent Resident to stay for and indefinitely period. The permanent resident status requires the temporary resident status during 4 years.
These residence conditions can be given for various reasons (family reunification, job offer, investment, adoption, education, travel, humanitarian reasons, asylum ….).
Various VISAS allow the applicant to perform an economic activity in Mexico, such as the following:
- The visitor VISA to perform remunerated activities for less than 180 days (especially used in case of: board meeting, temporary work, liberal profession);
- Border worker VISA;
- The VISA for job offer; and
- The investor‘s VISA.
This article aims to study the characteristics of the VISA for job offer and the investor’s VISA. These VISAS permits to obtain the temporary residence in Mexico for any person from a foreign country for economic reasons.
The job offer VISA and investor’s VISA have their own characteristics (II) although they grant common benefits (I).
I. The common regime of the job offer and investor‘s VISAS
These common characteristics concerns in a more general way to all temporary residence VISAS.
Temporary residency VISAS are issued for a period of one to four years and may be renewed within 30 days before the expiration date (for a maximum total duration of 4 years).
After 4 years of staying as a temporary resident in Mexico, the VISA holder can apply for obtaining permanent resident status.
Procedure to obtain the VISA
Article 41 of MAM states that VISA applications are introduced before a Mexican consular office and, as a consequence, these applications can’t be held directly in Mexico before the National Institute of Migration (hereinafter the “NIM” ).
As an illustration, a French citizen in Mexico without VISA (tourist staying for less than 180 days) who wish to obtain a job offer VISA would have to leave Mexico territory in order to introduce the VISA application within a Mexican consular office (not necessary a consular office located in his home country).
As an exception of the previously mentioned rule, the same article states that for family reunification purposes, the application for the VISA for job offer may be filled directly in front of the NIM in Mexico.
After the application before a consular office, the applicant will receive a migration document and will have visit Mexico within 6 months after the issuance of the document. Once in Mexico, the applicant will have 30 days to get before the NIM his temporary resident card which attests a regular migratory situation.
Family and departure of the territory
Article 52 VII of the MAM establishes, that the migrant wife or partner, his children and his parents could migrate into Mexico, during the period of validity of his or her VISA, as temporary residents with the possibility to obtain a work permit.
The temporary status VISA allows the holder to freely enter and departure the territory.
Article 63 of the MAM provides that foreigners are obliged to communicate to the NIM any change about civil status, nationality, domicile or workplace within 90 days after such change.
II. Specific characteristics of the job offer and investor‘s VISAS
1. The VISA for job offer
The VISA for job offer allows the holder to carry out a remunerated activity in Mexico.
The Employer shall be a Mexican company. Thus, foreign companies wishing to establish a company in Mexico and sending foreign staff must first incorporate the company (the incorporation of a company in Mexico is open to foreigners in most of the business areas. For more information: http://tmclegal.com/la-inversion-extranjera-en-mexico-en-camino-a-muchas-y-mejores-oportunidades/?lang=eng) and then, hire the foreign staff through the Mexican company.
The employer must be registered as such before the NIM in order to be able to hire foreigners.
The company making a job offer shall indicate the following elements:
Position, contract term, remuneration, workplace and the registration of the employer before the NIM.
2. The investor‘s VISA
This VISA allows the temporary residence in Mexico to the person who invested in the following areas:
- Participation in the capital stock of Mexican companies;
- Fixed assets or capital assets for economic or entrepreneurial purposes; and
- The development of economic and business activities in the national territory which are job-creating.
The minimum investment amount required for the grant of the VISA varies according to the consular offices.
Contrary to the VISA for job offer, the investor‘s VISA does not allowed his titular to carry out a subordinated activity which is remunerated in Mexico.
In order to conclude, if these two VISAS correspond to different purposes, they grant various common benefits.
These temporary residence VISAS may become permanent residence VISAS, after 4 years. It is recommended to be duly diligent with the renewal procedure of the VISA in order to not be deprived of the prior benefit and have to restart the migration process from the very beginning.
TMC Legal advice and accompanies its clients in all their migration process before the consular offices and the National Migration Institute of Mexico.
 Migration Act of Mexico, title IV, Chapter 2, Article 52.
 Regulation of the Migration Act of Mexico, Article 156.
 Regulation of the Migration Act of Mexico, Article 157.
 Migration Act of Mexico, title IV, Chapter 1, Article 41.
 Migration Act of Mexico, title IV, Chapter 2, Article 59.
 Ibid., footnote 3.
 Regulation of the Migration Act of Mexico, Article 115.
 Ibid., footnote 9.
 Regulation of the Migration Act of Mexico, Article 107.