How to Obtain a Mexican Work Visa

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Obtaining a work visa to work in Mexico, as in many countries, can be a long and arduous process. If you must apply for a visa, you must follow several steps, but first find out if it's necessary to apply. Not everyone who works in Mexico needs a work visa. Those sent to the country for a few weeks or months should be able to get by with a visitor's visa. Work visas are issued to those who need to work and live in Mexico for an extended period.

A request and application form for a FM-3 permit, which allows a non-Mexican to work in Mexico, must be submitted by the employer to the National Immigration Institute. All appropriate forms regarding the employer must be submitted with the application. These include proof that the company is registered in Mexico and that the company has no tax debts. The corporate office, whether in Mexico or outside the country, must send a letter written in Spanish that identifies the open position, describes its duties and details the location of employment. The employee must provide proof of employment, bank statements proving payroll entries, and documents such as resume, birth certificate, marriage certificate, school transcripts and graduation certificates.

After the National Immigration Institute approves the initial application, the employee must contact the Mexican consulate to submit passports and passport photos for himself and any relatives who will live with him in Mexico; a letter verifying the work visa application was approved; an application for an entrance visa to Mexico and all appropriate fees.

Notify the National Immigration Institute after your relatives join you so the organization can list them on the National Registry of Foreigners. You have 30 days after moving to get this done.

Tips & Warnings

  • The initial application can take up to 90 days for approval. Once approved and submitted to the consulate, the permit can take up to a week to be processed. FM-3 work permits may be extended annually up to 5 years. If you need to stay in the country longer, you will need to apply for a FM-2 work visa, which is permanent.

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