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Applying for a Work Permit in Mexico

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There is no denying that Mexico is full of opportunities.  People from countries all over the world have become interested in Mexico, and for those willing to work hard, the country offers the prospect of building and maintaining a solid career in a number of different sectors.

Mexico Work Permits are a way to take advantage of such opportunities. For those who are looking to try their luck in Mexico, here is a straight-forward guide on how to obtain a Work Permit.

First, if you desire is to come to Mexico to work, then you need to seek legal advice before you begin the process of applying to the National Institute of Migration (INM) for a visa. There are specific guidelines for foreign nationals to obtain Work Permits in Mexico and submitting incorrect documents can lead to frustrating delays for you and your employer.

Importantly, you must obtain an offer of employment from a certified employer before the process can begin.  They will provide you with a Letter of Employment Offer that you will need to submit when you start your application.

Any employer who wishes to recruit workers from outside the country must be certified first by the INM. Then the employer must issue you a letter offering employment in the country before you leave your home country. At this point, the company must apply for a Work Permit on your behalf. You must then submit the following:

  • Original documents of your birth certificate, degrees and any other titles and transcripts apostilled by the State where they were issued and translated in to Spanish by an official translator.
  • A copy of a letter of intent to work for the company that will hire you.

If you intend to obtain a Work Permit as an independent worker, you can do so if your activity falls within the scope of your education and business field. If you are an artisan, you will need to prove you have the means and skills to support your own business. These two options only apply if you are a temporary resident.

In summary, here is the Work Permit process to follow:

  • You will need to receive a job offer before you can begin the process with the National Immigration Institute.
  • Organizations that intend to hire a foreign national must first register with the National Immigration Institute and be registered with S.A.T. as a company that can hire foreign employees.
  • In order to sponsor a foreign national’s visa application, the sponsoring organization must submit an application for work authorization to the Mexican immigration authorities on behalf of the foreign national.
  • Upon approval of the work authorization application, foreign nationals must appear before the Mexican consular office with jurisdiction over their place of residence to obtain the entry visa.
  • Within 30 calendar days of entry into Mexico, you must appear at a local National Immigration Institute office to be registered.
  • Work Permit applications for local hires will be subject to a quota system.

Once you or your employer submits the Work Permit application to INM, you will get a registration number, this is not a document in itself but a reference number which holds information about the job that has been offered and your personal details.

You can apply for your Work Permit three months before your job in Mexico is due to start and you should get a decision within two or three weeks, but please note that the Immigration office can be slow to make decisions and this timeline is only an estimate.

More information can be found in the Immigration section.

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