If you want to work in Mexico, you will need to get a work permit. This will be a two-step process. If you’re already in Mexico without a visa and you’ve found work, you will need to leave Mexico to get your Temporary Resident Permit or Tarjeta de Residente Temporal. This can be done in your home country or another country with a Mexican consulate.
If you already have a Temporary Resident Permit
If you already have a Temporary Resident Permit and are living in Mexico, you can apply for permission to work while in Mexico.
You will fill out the INM online form here to begin the process:
You will then provide:
- your valid Tarjeta de Residente Permanente
- proof of fee payment
- a letter from your future employer indicating the job position, how long they will employ you, place of work and employer information. (If this is the first time your employer has hired a foreigner, they will need to sign up beforehand with the INM, Instituto Nacional de Migración. This is an easy, straightforward process for the employer.)
If you have an independent activity, you will also provide:
- a sworn declaration stating your occupation and where you will work
- your RFC, (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes)
You can either begin this process online and then report to the INM closest to you. Or go to the nearest INM directly. Here is the link to more information.
If you do not have a Temporary Resident Permit
If you do not have a Temporary Resident Permit, you must apply for it outside of Mexico. You cannot apply for the Temporary Resident Permit in Mexico. Your future employer will begin this process. Again, if the employer is not signed up with the INM, they will do that first. It is a simple process. The employer will provide their RFC to the INM and in some cases may be visited by the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración) to verify working conditions.
The employer applies for the visa
Your Mexican employer will then apply for your visa with the INM. This is a straightforward process for the employer. They will provide a letter stating the job position, salary, how long they will employ you, place of work and employer information.
The INM will issue a NUT, Número Único de Trámite or a number for your file. When the NUT has been authorized, the employer will let you know so that you can make an appointment at the consulate either in your home country or another country with a Mexican consulate.
Gather the required documents
You will need to gather the following documents and their copies to visit the consulate:
- your passport
- application that can be downloaded and printed here
- an ID photo measuring 32.0 milímetros x 26 milímetros y como máximo de 39.0 milímetros x 31.0 milímetros
- a copy of the NUT document
- additional documents: the letter from your employer, corresponding diplomas, resume, etc.
Make an appointment at a consulate
Then you will make an appointment at the consulate via Mexitel. You will create an account and make an appointment. Always check the website of the consulate where you will apply for any specific instructions.
A directory of consulates can be found here.
At the appointment, the consulate will attribute your visa either the same day or within three days.
Arriving in Mexico
When you arrive in Mexico, be sure the immigration officer sees your visa in your passport. And once you arrive in the country, you will need to go to the INM within 30 days of your arrival. We suggest you get there just as soon as you arrive. Many INM offices no longer accept walk-ins. Some require you to come early in the morning to acquire an appointment for the same day. Others require making an appointment online. If you are applying in a large city, you will want to check the appointment availability before you enter Mexico to be sure you can get an appointment within the required 30 days of arrival.
At the INM appointment in Mexico, you will again present the same documents you presented for the visa. You will pay a fee and the INM will process your Tarjeta de Residente Temporal with permission to work. They will guide you through this process. After supplying all of the documents and fulfilling any other requirements of the INM, you will be notified via an online portal that your card has arrived. You will go back to the INM office to sign for it.
And that’s it. You’re set for a full year. After the first year, if your conditions have not changed, you can renew your permit for 3 more years. If you change jobs, you will need to inform the INM.
Changing from temporary to permanent residency
After four years of holding a temporary card, you can change your status from temporary residency to permanent residency. You can find out how to do that in our article here about permanent residency.
You can read more about getting your temporary resident permit here as a digital nomad or a retiree.
If you’re exploring purchasing a property in Mexico on the Oaxaca Coast or in Yucatan State, get in touch. Our real estate agents have also made the move to Mexico and understand the process you’re going through.