Work Permits in Mexico

Understand the legal requirements for working in Mexico and find out how to apply for a work visa for Mexico...

Foreigners may enter Mexico on a visitor's visa for a maximum period of 180 days. Most visitors do not require a visa for Mexico and only need to fill in an immigration form (FMM) on arrival. Citizens from certain countries will need to obtain an Entry Permit (permiso de internación) before traveling to the country.

The immigration form (Forma Migratoria Múltiple – FMM) is generally given out by the airline if arriving by air, or at the port of entry. This must be filled in on arrival.

Work Visas

The overseeing authority for all immigration issues in Mexico and responsible for issuing work visas is the National Institute of Immigration (Instituto Nacional de Migración - INM)

Any foreigner planning to work in Mexico must obtain a visa. People working for Mexican companies require a residency visa with permission to work. Individuals working for and receiving salary from a foreign company in Mexico for less than six months may do so with a visitor’s visa with permission to work.

Application procedure

Foreign nationals wanting to work in Mexico for more than six months must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, with permission to work. In the first instance, an application must be made by the Mexican company or institution at the Mexican Institute of Immigration. If approved, applications for the relevant visa are then applied for by the foreign national at the Mexican consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.

Once notified by the INM that an application is successful, the applicant has 15 days to visit the consulate in order to obtain the necessary visa.

The applicant must bring a valid passport, with copies of the holder’s personal details page and photograph page, visa application, and one recent passport photograph. There is a fee for processing the visa.

Exceptionally, if the person receives a job offer while in Mexico, the application for the temporary resident visa with permission to work can be made at the Immigration Office within Mexico.

This procedure processes and approves the application for a temporary resident visa with permission to work (Visa de Residente Temporal), valid for 180 days. Once in Mexico, the person must register with their local immigration office within 30 days to obtain the temporary resident card. The plastic residency card is valid for up to four years. After four years the visa holder must either apply for a permanent resident visa or leave the country.

  • Further information about obtaining a work visa is available in Spanish from the National Institute of Immigration website

Visitor Visa with Permission to Work

Anyone coming to work in Mexico for less than six months needs to apply for a visitor visa with permission to engage in lucrative activities. It is only granted to people visiting the country for less than six months who will not be receiving payment from a Mexican business.

The individual or the company must be able to prove that the company is registered with the INM (constancia de inscripción de empleador) and the company must provide a letter with the foreigner’s name, nationality, job description and duration, salary, and the address of the workplace, and must acknowledge financing of the foreigner’s travel expenses.

The applicant must apply for this visa at the Mexican Consulate in their place of residence, with a valid passport, with photocopies of the holder’s personal details page and photograph page, visa application, and one recent passport photograph. There is a fee for processing the visa.