New Immigration Procedures to Obtain Work Visas for Foreign Nationals Working in Mexico

by Littler
Contact

In November 2012, Mexico's National Migration Institute ("INM" for "Instituto Nacional de Migración") issued new regulations and guidance to implement immigration laws that were enacted in May 2011.  These regulations significantly impact employers that currently employ foreign nationals or that intend to sponsor a foreign worker for a work visa and/or residency in Mexico. 

Under the regulations, foreign nationals who intend to work in Mexico must follow new procedures for obtaining a temporary resident card with work authorization (formerly known as "FM3"). The old scheme allowed foreign nationals traveling with the intention to work in Mexico to enter as visitors and apply for an FM3 while physically present in Mexico. This procedure typically allowed companies to undertake an expeditious transfer of employees across international borders. Under the new procedures, however, foreign nationals need to follow a three-step application process to obtain an employer-sponsored temporary resident card with work authorization. As the application must be approved prior to an employee's travel to Mexico, companies no longer have the ability to quickly transfer foreign nationals across international borders to work in Mexico. 

The complexity of the procedure will depend on the foreign worker's nationality. Mexico's immigration laws categorize foreign nationals as either "unrestricted" or "restricted." Unrestricted nationals – citizens of countries like the United States, Canada, and most European Union countries – may perform work-like activities in Mexico for up to 180 days without obtaining work authorization as long as they are not being remunerated by a Mexican entity. Restricted nationals – citizens from China, Russia, India, various Latin American countries, and other restricted countries – must obtain authorization in advance before traveling to Mexico for any purpose, including business or pleasure. However, all foreign nationals who perform work-like activities in Mexico for a period exceeding 180 days or are paid by a Mexican entity must obtain a temporary resident visa in advance, through the above-mentioned three-step process, in order to obtain the temporary resident card.1

The new regulations established a less complex procedure for dependents of non-Mexican employees. Family members from unrestricted countries are admitted in Mexico with FMM ("Forma Migratoria Múltiple") status, which is a temporary tourist/business visa without work authorization.  Family members from restricted countries must apply for this visa at a Mexican consulate. Once in Mexico, dependents can obtain a change of status to resident as long as their sponsor (spouse, child, or parent) is a Mexican citizen or holds a temporary or permanent resident card. 

Additionally, under the new procedures, all companies employing a foreign national or sponsoring an employment-based temporary residency must be registered with the INM to obtain an Employer Registration Certificate ("Constancia de Inscripción de Empleador"). Such companies are required to provide a list of all employees (including foreign nationals) rendering services in Mexico. Further, these companies are now required to present an Employer Registration Certificate with any immigration application or dealings with immigration authorities. 

Additional Considerations for Employers

Despite publication of the new immigration regulations and guidance, immigration officers at regional and field offices are still being trained on their implementation. Accordingly, the law is not being uniformly applied, and employers are experiencing significant application processing delays. 

This article provides an abridged summary of the new procedures for obtaining work visas for foreign nationals in Mexico. Before moving employees across international borders to work in Mexico, employers are advised to seek immigration counsel for a comprehensive account of all of the potential immigration obligations and consequences relative to filing an employer-sponsored immigration application. 

Littler attorneys specialize in corporate immigration and will keep clients abreast of important changes to Mexico's laws that may impact clients' operations.

Written by:

Littler
Contact
more
less

Littler on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!