Essential Employment Paperwork in Mexico




Before flying in to the infamous home of colourful sombrero, foreign nationals must first obtain the necessary employment paperwork. Mexico classifies expatriates based on two categories whether they will need a visa or not. The classifications are the free and the restricted nationalities. 

Expats who fall under the category of free nationalities can enter without a visa and stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. They only need to fill up the Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) form which will be handed out by the airline or at the port of entry upon their arrival. Those who are from countries that are considered as restricted nationalities are required to obtain a visa which will allow them to stay for 180 days. Foreign nationals who wish to work in Mexico for more than six months need to secure a work permit and a visa. 

Work Permit 

A firm employment contract or job offer is an essential requirement when applying for a Mexican work permit. The expatriate’s future employer must send an application to the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) who will process the request and make a decision within 20 business days. Once the application has been approved by the INM, the expat must go to the Mexican Consulate/Embassy in his home country (within 15 days) to undergo an interview and collect the work permit. 

Visa de Residente Temporal (Temporary Resident Visa) 

Expats who have been granted with a work permit should apply for a temporary resident visa in the Consular of Mexico in their countries of origin. The documents that the applicant must bring are listed below: 

  • Passport
  • Copy of the Passport data page
  • Several passport-sized photos
  • Document certifying the purpose of visit to Mexico (employment contract or work permit)
  • Duly signed and completed visa application form
  • Proof that visa processing fee/s has been paid 

Upon arrival in Mexico, the expat must register with the local immigration office no more within one month or 30 days to obtain their temporary resident card. They will be issued with a plastic temporary resident card which is valid for four years and after its expiry, the holder has an option to either apply for a permanent residency or leave the country.