Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 08:37 am
A work visa in Mexico is not hard to obtain. However, the process may not be obvious and can get a little bureaucratic. This article will give you a complete overview of your options for a work visa in Mexico.
First, let us get something straight. A Mexican work visa functions a little differently than in other countries. When discussing a “visa,” we refer to the document that allows you to enter and stay in the country for a period of time. A visa is linked to your migration status in Mexico. You can get an “add-on” to work in the country for each migration status.
According to Mexican immigration laws, foreigners can have two different migration statuses in Mexico:
- Non-Immigrant. Or visitors. If you plan to stay in the country for less than 180 days and want to work, you need a visitor visa with a work permit add-on.
- Immigrant. Immigrants are considered residents. You can be a temporary or permanent resident depending on the time you will stay. Both options have a Mexican work visa add-on.
About 98% of our clients want a work visa linked to temporary or permanent residency status in Mexico. But in some cases, e.g., artists and highly specialized professionals need to visit Mexico temporarily and work here. The important thing is that you will first need to obtain your visa as a visitor or resident (temporary or permanent), and then you can apply for your work permit.
Furthermore, there are two ways a person can work in Mexico; working for a company as an employee or working independently as a freelancer.
A Work Visa In Mexico As An Employee
If you get a job offer from a Mexican company, you can get a Mexican work visa. But that company needs to comply with a few requirements.
Theoretically, a Mexican person working as a sole proprietor could issue a job offer for you. However, it is not as easy as asking your Mexican friend to send you a job offer. For someone to issue a job offer to a foreigner, he needs to have what the National Migration Institute refers to as an ongoing operation. This means having an office, contracts, proof of address, invoices, etc.
The Mexican consulates pay close attention to these job offers because they look suspicious. So, the best advice we can give you is not to try to outsmart the immigration authorities; they have set up a series of controls throughout the years to avoid most of the scams. They will notice if the company issuing you a job offer has no real operation if it was created solely for that purpose.
How does it work?
Getting a Mexican work visa through a job offer begins in Mexico. Essentially it is a Mexican company trying to bring a foreigner from abroad because this foreigner has some specific expertise that they cannot find in Mexico. The company issues a job offer to this foreign person, who then goes to a Mexican consulate in his country to be interviewed. This way, the immigration authorities can make sure everything is in order. If everything goes right in that interview, they will stamp your passport. Once you get to Mexico, you must go to the National Migration Institute, pay your Mexican visa fee, and they will give you your Mexican work visa card.
One of the most recurrent questions we get asked by our clients is if they can go to do this interview in Mexico. The answer is NO. Then, they usually ask us if they can go to a country nearby, like Guatemala, and the answer is also no. You must go to a Mexican consulate in your country of origin, or if you go to a different country, you must prove you are a resident of that country.
A Work Visa In Mexico As A Freelancer
When a Mexican company offers you a job, you will have a migration status of either visitor or temporary resident, depending on when you stay in the country. However, if you are already a Mexican resident, temporary or permanent, you can apply for a work permit add-on to work independently as a freelancer. The following are the steps to obtain your Mexican work visa as a freelancer.
- Make an appointment at the Mexican Tax Authorities and apply for your Mexican tax I.D. (RFC)
- Make an appointment at the National Migration Institute and apply for a work permit.
Foreigners can get a Mexican work visa in two ways: a job offer from a Mexican company or a residency visa in Mexico.
For a Mexican company to hire a foreigner, it must register at the National Migration Institute and prove that it has a real operation. Also, the foreigner cannot have the consular interview in Mexico; they must go to a consulate in their country of origin.
Mexican residents can apply for a work permit by obtaining their Mexican tax I.D. and then simply applying. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of our account executives so we can guide you through the process.