Many companies in the US and beyond also have locations in Mexico or want to outsource some of their operations and labor to the country. If you’re considering hiring employees to work in Mexico, you need to know how to get a work visa. Following the right process will ensure that your employees stay compliant and can be productive from the start.
Types of Work Visas in Mexico
The National Institute of Immigration oversees all immigration in Mexico and issues work visas. Any foreigner who wants to work in the country must obtain a visa. For example, those working for Mexican companies need a residency visa with permission to work. Individuals working for a foreign company in Mexico for less than six months can instead get a visitor’s visa with permission to work.
Mexico has three different visas:
- Tourist visa: Individuals with a tourist visa can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days for anything besides lucrative activities such as paid employment.
- Temporary resident visa: This visa is for foreign nationals who want to live in Mexico for more than 180 days. In addition to the Mexico work permit, people with a temporary resident visa can live and work in the country for up to four years with a Mexico work visa.
- Permanent resident visa: Foreigners looking to live and work in Mexico permanently need a permanent resident visa. People with close family ties in the country or those who have lived in Mexico for a long time can also apply for the permanent resident visa.
Requirements to Obtain Mexico Work Visas
Most employees accepting a position with your location in Mexico will need a permanent resident visa known as the Visa de Residencia Permanente. However, not all employees will meet the requirements, as they need to have family connections in the country, sufficient monthly income, or four years of regular status as a temporary resident. It may be wise for companies to apply for a temporary resident permit for employees who have been invited to Mexico to work or have real estate or close family ties in the country.
While some of the requirements differ between the two options, some common documents required include the following:
- Visa application form
- Valid passport
- Copy of migratory document
- Photo ID
- Invitation from a public or private institution
- Proof of finances, education, employment, and relationship with a Mexican citizen
Foreign nationals looking to work in Mexico for more than six months need a temporary resident visa with approval to work. This setup requires you, as the employer, to apply at the Mexican Institute of Immigration. If approved, the employee must apply for the relevant visa at the Mexican consulate in the applicant’s resident company. Once you or the employee receives word that the visa application is accepted, the employee must visit the consulate to get the necessary visa within 15 days.
This entire procedure gives employees a temporary resident visa, along with permission to work, that’s valid for 180 days. After arriving in Mexico, the employee has 30 days to register with their local immigration office and receive a temporary resident card, which is valid for up to four years. After the card expires, the individual has to either obtain a permanent resident visa or move from Mexico.
Other Important Considerations
While it’s possible to convert a temporary resident visa into a permanent resident visa, foreigners with a visitor status cannot convert it to work status. Individuals who have a company they want to work for in Mexico can apply for a work permit and stay in the country until they get the permit at the consulate of their home country. They must leave Mexico to collect the permit, and they can then apply for a residence visa.
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