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Work permit in Mexico

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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249
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EOR in 
Mexico
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed monthly)
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Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

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If your company is hiring talent in Latin America, you may want to hire employees in Mexico. Recent changes in Mexico immigration law have allowed US citizens to be eligible for work permits that are valid for four years without the requirement to renew the permit annually, making this country a potentially attractive destination choice for remote workers and digital nomads.

Internationally expanding companies may consider hiring remote employees who live in Mexico or employees who are traveling to countries like Mexico to take advantage of their remote work visas. Employees and digital nomads need a Mexico work permit for working there legally.

This article will outline:

  • Types of Mexico work visas
  • Mexico immigration laws
  • Permanent and temporary residency
  • Mexico visa requirements
  • How to apply for Mexico work visas

Additionally, by the end of the article, you’ll learn how to employ remote employees and contractors without needing to establish a local legal entity in Mexico with the help of an employer of record (EOR) such as Skuad. An EOR can help you onboard remote workers, process payroll, assist in the Mexico work permit applications, and provide your company with everything else you need to build your globally distributed teams.

Types of Mexico work visas and permits

There are different ways to travel while working remotely. But the first step to working or hiring talent in Mexico is to get a Mexico work visa.

Individuals seeking to work in Mexico must first be approved for a residency permit, which does not necessarily include work privileges by default. Residents must seek approval for work privileges — also known as remunerated activities — once they have residency to be able to work in the country.

Permanent Resident visa

Any employee considering relocating to Mexico permanently will need to be a Permanent Resident (Residente Permanente).

Benefits of the Permanent Resident status:

  • There is no need to get a Mexico work permit to work.
  • A Permanent Resident can enter and leave the country at will.
  • This residency status provides the holder the same rights as a citizen, except the right to vote.
  • The application is a one-time process, and the status is indefinite.

Temporary Resident visa

To work and stay in the country for longer than 180 days but for under four years, visitors will need to get approved for temporary residency (Residente Temporal) with permission to work.

The Temporary Resident visa must be exchanged for a Temporary Resident card within the first 30 calendar days after arrival in the country at the National Migration Institute (INM).

Temporary Resident cards have a validity of one year and can be renewed for a maximum of four years. After four years, the individual must apply for permanent residency status.

Tourist visa

Individuals wishing to enter Mexico for tourist activities would need a Tourist Visa unless they are from a list of countries that do not require a visa to enter the country, including countries that are a part of the European Union (EU) and the United States. Visitors from those countries can visit Mexico for up to 180 days without a visa.

Visitors from countries that are not on that list must get a Tourist Visa. All visitors must obtain a Tourist Visa card called the Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) for entering the country for tourism purposes. Visa-exempt visitors do not have to get the card at an embassy, unlike individuals who are required to get a visa from their embassy.

The tourist visa allows for visits for up to 180 days for non-lucrative activities. That means that visitors cannot participate in paid employment with a tourist visa. Permission to work in the country is separate from permission to enter the country.

Individuals wishing to live and work in Mexico would need to apply for a visitor’s permit to perform remunerated activities, a Temporary Resident visa with work permissions or a Permanent Resident visa.

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Mexico visa requirements

If your company plans to expand globally or hire talent in Mexico, here are the requirements for a Mexico work visa for each of your employees who will be living and working in Mexico.

Permanent Resident visa

To be eligible for the Permanent resident visa, applicants must fulfill one of the following requirements. The applicant must:

  • Have family connections in Mexico or must have had four years of employment already with the temporary resident visa,
  • Have a Temporary Resident status for at least four consecutive years,
  • Have a Temporary Resident status for at least two consecutive years if the Temporary Visa was issued to the employee by marriage to a citizen of Mexico or a foreign permanent resident,
  • Apply for retirement status with sufficient income to support themselves,
  • Be approved for residency through political asylum, and
  • Meet a minimum score under a points system.

Temporary Resident visa

An employer must apply for a Temporary Resident visa on behalf of their employee. The employer must inform the employee that they have applied for the visa so that the employee can make an appointment for a consular interview at the Mexican embassy or consular office located in the employee’s country. Employees can apply for the appointment themselves online.

During the interview, the applicant must present documents including:

  • Visa application form for the consular office, which can be found in the consular office or on the website of the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE),
  • Photocopy of the authorization letter from the INM,
  • Valid passport or travel documents with a legible copy,
  • Personal data and reason for travel, and
  • Full-face color photo without glasses on a white background.

Tourist visa

It is easy to get a Tourist Visa to visit Mexico by contacting a Mexican embassy and applying in person. However, if the tourist wishes to work in Mexico, there is no mechanism to convert the Tourist Visa to a Temporary Resident with work permissions. In this case, the individual who was already visiting Mexico and wishing to work would need to leave Mexico and apply for a Temporary Resident visa at their local embassy.

The Application process for Mexico work visas and permits

Permanent Resident visa

To apply for a Permanent Resident visa, the applicant must fulfill the requirements listed above. The applicant must apply in person at the INM upon arrival in Mexico or at a Mexican embassy beforehand. Within 30 days of arrival, the Permanent Resident visa must be converted to a Permanent Resident card.

Temporary Resident visa

Employers apply for a temporary residency visa to the INM on behalf of their employees. Once the application is approved, the applicant requests an interview at their local Mexican embassy. To request an interview, individuals can print out the application form.

To receive a Temporary Resident card, there are a set of documents that must be included with the application:

  • Form to request immigration stay procedure,
  • Current and valid passport or identity and travel document,
  • Valid visa issued by the Consular Offices of Mexico,
  • Proof of payment,
  • Three photographs: two from the front and one in profile,
  • Proof of economic solvency, and
  • Invitation from an organization or a public or private institution.

Visitors holding a Temporary Resident visa must exchange the visa for a Temporary Resident card within 30 days. In addition to the documents necessary, which are listed in the previous sections, applicants must pay a fee. The fee for Temporary Residents is MXN 5,108.

The application form to receive the residency card can be found online, printed, and filled out. The form can be taken and submitted in person.

Tourist visa

To apply for a Tourist visa, applications can be submitted at a Mexican embassy. Certain documents will be required to submit along with the applications, such as:

  • Passport or travel documents,
  • Recent color photo,
  • Return travel ticket,
  • Proof of financial means to cover the visit’s duration,
  • Proof of accommodation,
  • Employment status, including a letter from the employer,
  • Cover letter to the Mexican embassy including the reason for travel and dates of the trip, and
  • Visa fee.

The applicant can submit the application at the embassy, pay the fee, and wait for the approval and delivery of the documents.

Application processing time

Assuming a satisfactory interview at the embassy, the application processing time for a visa should not take longer than 10 business days from the day the interview was held.

While the whole process might be time-consuming, you can ramp up your hiring in Mexico with an EOR like Skuad.

Planning to hire or work in Mexico? Here’s how Skuad can help

Skuad can help your company hire a remote team in Mexico. Normally, before hiring internationally, you would need to establish a legal entity in the countries you hire in. But when working with an EOR, your business won't have to invest the considerable time and money necessary to establish a local legal entity in Mexico or any other nation we can help you hire in.

Skuad can help you hire in more than 160 countries and pay your employees in more than 100 local currencies because it has legal entities in all those countries.

Partnering with an EOR to hire in Mexico can help you:

  • Onboard new hires,
  • Draft legally compliant contracts and hire employees on your behalf,
  • Process payroll and payroll taxes,
  • Ensure Mexico immigration requirements are met
  • Take care of compliance with local employment and Mexico immigration laws, and
  • Ensure your employees have Mexico work permits and Mexico work visas.

Skuad can be your EOR and help you hire internationally. So, you can concentrate on your company’s core business strategies. Contact us today for a demo.

FAQs

How long does it take to get a work permit in Mexico?

To work in Mexico, you first need to be approved for temporary residence. The time it takes to get issued a Temporary Resident Visa (Residente Temporal) is usually about ten days after your successful interview at your local Mexican consulate office.

You, then, have 30 days to convert your Temporary Resident visa to a Temporary Resident card.

To receive your Temporary Resident card, you would need to apply along with the following documents:

  • Form to request immigration stay procedure,
  • Current and valid passport or identity and travel document,
  • Valid visa issued by the Consular Offices of Mexico,
  • Proof of payment,
  • Three photographs: two from the front and one in profile,
  • Proof of economic solvency, and
  • An invitation from an organization or a public or private institution.

Can an American get a work permit in Mexico?

American citizens are welcome to move or travel to Mexico and get permission to work. The process for getting a work permit for an American is the same as for citizens of other countries. Applications for temporary residence can be submitted at a Mexican embassy in the United States. Aside from the embassy in Washington, DC, there are several Mexican Consulate and Mexican Consulate-General offices around the country.

On behalf of their employees, employers apply for a temporary residency visa to the National Migration Institute (INM). After the employer requests temporary residence status for you and the application is accepted by the INM, you can then schedule an interview at your local Mexican consulate office. Choose the consulate office nearest to you. Print the application form and request an interview.

Do I need a permit to work in Mexico?

You need permission to work in Mexico. This is acquired in the form of temporary residence with working privileges. If you use a Tourist Visa to take a trip to Mexico, you cannot work remotely for an employer. Furthermore, if you enter the country on a Tourist Visa and then decide to stay and work, you would need to leave the country to apply at the Mexican embassy or consulate office of your home country to apply for temporary residence.

Therefore, you should consider applying for temporary or permanent residence before you visit Mexico. That way, you can get started working right away when you arrive in Mexico.

Can I work in Mexico without being a citizen?

The process of getting to work in Mexico involves becoming a temporary or permanent resident (Residente Permanente). If you become a permanent resident, you would have all the rights of a citizen of Mexico except for the right to vote. You also wouldn’t need to get a separate work permit, if you were a permanent resident.

Becoming a permanent resident is more difficult, however. To become a permanent resident, you would need to fulfill certain requirements such as having family connections in Mexico or having a temporary residence status for at least four consecutive years.

To work in Mexico without immediately qualifying for permanent residence, you can apply for temporary residence with work privileges.

How long can I stay in Mexico as a US citizen?

Temporary residence allows US citizens to stay in Mexico for one year. This is extendable annually to a maximum of four years. After four years, you can apply for a Permanent Resident card. If approved, permanent residence status is indefinite.

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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EOR in 
Mexico
Monthly
best value
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed annually)
G2 badge
limited-offer-banner
EOR in 
Mexico
Monthly
$
299
/month
(billed annually)
Annually
Pay monthly at a discounted rate with a 12-month commitment
$
249
/month
(billed monthly)
G2 badge

Employ contractors and employees in 160+ countries

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Table of Content

Building a remote team?

Employ exceptional talent, anywhere, anytime!

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