As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Visas for Mexico are issued by location. To obtain a Mexican visa of any kind, you are required to contact the consulate or embassy of Mexico in your country of origin. Note: U.S. passport holders do not need a tourist visa to enter Mexico for 90 days or less.
What kinds of visas are available?
FMT—Tourist Visa for Mexico:
A visitor visa, either for tourism or business, is granted for a maximum of 180 days if the visitor does not have a restricted nationality.
In some cases, when the nationality is restricted, visitors will be given permission to enter the country for a maximum of 90 days when entering the country on business.
Temporary Resident Visa
A person who chooses to live in Mexico for more than 180 days must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa. The Temporary Resident Visa cannot be issued in Mexico, unless you are exchanging an existing FM3 visa. There are only two exceptions to this if you currently hold a Visitor's Visa and want a residency visa: 1) if you have close family in Mexico (parents, spouse or children) or 2) if you apply for residency on humanitarian grounds, then you are able to change your status from visitor to resident.
The Temporary Visa itself is not issued by foreign consulates. Instead, they process and pre-approve the application, and then when you arrive in Mexico, you will have to register at your local immigration office and acquire the visa itself (a plastic card) in Mexico.
On the application, one must specify the reasons for their stay in Mexico, which may include:
A marital or common-law link to a Mexican citizen or a person who holds a Temporary or
Permanent Residency status
- Job offer
- Independent worker who is registered in the federal tax registry in Mexico
- Invitation by a government or private institution to participate in a non-lucrative activity
- Economically independent
- Temporary Resident studies
For a working visa:
- You need a permit issued by the home office (Interior Ministry). One will have to meet certain requirements, which can be obtained from the Embassy of Mexico.
- According to Mexican law, foreigners may only perform those activities expressly authorized by the Ministry. You are allowed to perform any activity as long as it is legal and honest.
What is required to obtain these visas?
You will be asked to provide certain information, such as your full name, place and date of birth, gender, destination, reason for your visit, etc.
If you would like to request an extension to your FMT, you will need the following documents:
- Your passport and a photocopy
- A copy of the original FMT
- A letter requesting the extension of validity
Work Permit with Temporary Residence
As a Work Permit holder, you may be authorized to perform several activities, which require the following documentation:
- Original passport and a photocopy
- Original birth certificate
- All requested documents must be authorized at the Mexican consulate and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (e.g., CV or resume, graduate certificate (diploma), school certificate, bank statement, etc.)
Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
In the event that the spouse wishes to work, a Temporary Resident with Work Permit is required along with support from the hiring company.
What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
The only identification that is considered an official ID is the photo-credential awarded by the INM. This credential can be used to get a driver’s license, open a bank account, obtain a tax card, etc.
It is NOT recommended that you keep your passport with you at all times. If it is lost or stolen, getting a duplicate can be a lengthy and complex process.
Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
You must apply for registration with the SAT (which is the office that regulates the collection of taxes) in order to get onto your company’s payroll. It is also advisable to obtain a driver's license on arrival in Mexico once you have the Temporary Resident Permit.
What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
Among the prohibited items are:
- Live animals (unless you have all the required permits to import)
- Firearms (unless you have all the required documentation and permits to import)
- Live plants
Note: New items, such as cameras, toys, tobacco and liquor, might be inspected upon your arrival and tax may be charged.
Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- You are not allowed to work in Mexico if you are using a tourist visa.
- Certain nationalities have restricted entry into the country. In such cases, you must be invited by a family member, a friend or your company. Note: This changes every year, but some countries with restricted entry currently include Cuba, Colombia, Nigeria, Argentina, Russia and North Korea.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.