Can I work in Mexico? Do I need a visa? What are the conditions applied? Find the answers to your queries in this article.
Foreigners who wish to work in Mexico have to obtain necessary authorizations. Note that those who are in the country with a tourist visa are not allowed to work and to be remunerated for any activity. Thus, you are advised to inquire on the different types of visas which are available in Mexico and on conditions that apply before starting your job search.
Types of visas
There are two types of work visas in Mexico: the FM2 and the FM3. Both have to be requested from the Mexican Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The FM2 and FM3 visas have a year validity and can be renewed four times. Once this period has expired, you may apply for naturalization if you wish to live in Mexico longer or indefinitely.
The FM2 visa can be renewed for four additional years after you have obtained it. Permanent residency may be granted after the 5th year. You will then be legally considered as a Mexican citizen. Note that you are allowed to leave the country for 18 months and come back during these 5 years. But if you stay away for a longer period, permanent residency might be denied to you.
On the other hand, you will be eligible to the FM3 visa only if your expertise is not available locally, that is, the job you are occupying cannot be filled in by a Mexican citizen. The Migration department is the only authority which can decide if you are eligible to this visa. However, your employer may modify your post title to be able to hire you.
Obtaining a FM3 visa may be easier for foreigners which have been transferred to their firm's Mexican branch.
Tourist to work visa transition
You can still apply for a work visa after your 180 days tourist visa has expired. However, you must have the required qualifications and skills, as well as a job offer in Mexico. Certain conditions may apply.
Foreign entrepreneurs who wish to set up a business in Mexico may also apply for a FM2 or FM3 visa. But to be eligible to a FM3 visa, you will have to invest at least 1,500 pesos in a Mexican industry, business or service.
You will not need any particular work visa to make a business trip to Mexico. Citizens coming from visa exempt countries only have to produce a passport which is valid for at least six months. They will also have to fill in the Multiple Migration Form which is available with their airline company and at airport immigration desks. Documents to be produced are:
- a duly filled and signed visa application form
- your passport
- copies of your passport's first pages
- a recent passport size identity photo.
Other documents may also be requested, according to your country of origin. It is recommended that you inquire on these with Mexican authorities in your home country.
National Migration Institute of Mexico www.inm.gob.mx
Visa request form www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/Solicitud_de_Autorizacion_Visas
Documents to be produced by a temporary resident www.inm.gob.mx/static/Tramites_2013/permanecer_mexico