Foreigners, family dependants, retired persons and/or pensioners, those seeking employment or to hold positions of trust, who would like to live in Mexico on a permanent basis, must obtain a permit from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, National Institute of Migration (Secretaría de Gobernación, Instituto Nacional de Migración, Dirección de Inmigrantes e Inmigrados) located at: Ejército nacional #862, Col. Los Morales /Sección Palmas México, D.F. 11540. To acquire this permit outside of Mexico City, applications must be submitted through the regional offices of the Ministry of the Interior. It is possible to obtain information for the proper FM-2 migratory form through any of our consulates in Canada.

Because a variety of documents must accompany the application, all foreign documents must be legalized by the Mexican Consulate, and be accompanied by their official translation into Spanish by a certified translator.F It is advisable to contact the Mexican Consulate before sending the application in order to ensure that all of the requirements have been met. Please be advised that the Consulate does not provide translation services.

Immigrant migratory status may be granted to individuals who would like to become a permanent resident of Mexico in the future. This status is valid for a maximum of one year, and may subsequently be extended on a yearly basis for up to five years, provided that the conditions under which they were originally admitted have not changed. After five years of residence they may apply for permanent resident status (inmigrado).

Immigrants who would like to change their migratory status to that of permanent resident may not be outside of Mexico for periods of time that, totalled, exceed eighteen months over five years. Immigrants who remain outside of Mexico for more than two consecutive years will loose their migratory status, unless they are granted an exception by the Mexican Ministry of the Interior.

  • Employment

The Mexican Embassy does not offer any assistance in obtaining employment in Mexico. Individuals must conduct their own research (possibilities include contacting head-hunters, transferring to the Mexican branch of a Canadian company doing business in Mexico, or contacting Mexican companies directly).

However, please consider that Mexican Immigration Regulations limit the job categories to which foreigners may apply.

Therefore, permits are restricted to certain positions experiencing shortages in the labour force. The company interested in contracting the job-seeker’s services must obtain the proper permit through the National Institute of Migration.

  • Position of trust

A Mexican company or commercial entity already operating in Mexico may file an application for an entry permit on behalf of the prospective employee.

The company must prove to the Mexican migration authorities that its size and financial capacity merit the employment of the foreigner as its president, treasurer, general manager, etc., and that it has complied with the ratio of ninety percent Mexican employees to ten percent foreigners.

Mexican Consulates do not assist foreigners in contacting companies in Mexico for this purpose.

  • Professionals

Certain professionals, such as lawyers, medical doctors, engineers, etc., may be granted entry permits as immigrants in exceptional cases, provided they present evidence that their academic degree or diploma has been registered and a licence to practice in Mexico has been issued.

Professors who are authorities in their field and who will not replace Mexican experts may qualify for an entry permit, provided that certification from the Mexican Ministry of Education has been issued to that effect, and that the application is filed by an official or private institution of higher education in Mexico.

  • Technicians

An established company or business enterprise must request entry for technicians. The company must submit evidence that their services are needed because Mexican or foreign technicians already employed cannot provide the company with the specialized services required by said company.

The foreign specialist will be required to train a minimum of three Mexican employees in his/her speciality.

  • Family dependants

Spouses or close relatives of a Mexican citizen or a foreigner already admitted as an immigrant may request an entry permit by proving their relationship to the spouse or relative to the Mexican migration authorities.

Spouses or relatives already in Mexico must submit evidence of sufficient financial resources to support the incoming relative, since they are only permitted to work in Mexico in exceptional cases.

Children and siblings of the applicant must be minors, adults with disabilities, or registered students.

  • Investors

Persons who qualify for this category are foreigners who wish to invest capital in Mexican industrial plants or enterprises needed by Mexico, and they are subject to the limitations stipulated by the laws and regulations of foreign investments.

The minimum amount of investment in Mexico City and the surrounding areas is the equivalent to 26,000 times the current, daily minimum wage in Mexico City, which is approximately $43.00 pesos.

This amount may vary or may be increased according to the dollar-peso exchange rate. In order to obtain a permit, the applicant must submit the following documents: a deposit receipt from the Mexican Development Bank (Nacional Financiera S.N.C.) to guarantee that the investment will be made within the time limit specified by the National Institution of Migration, under penalty of forfeiture; a certified copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation; a certificate from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which the corporate name and address have been registered for consideration; a photocopy of its last tax return; and the registry certificate from the National Registry of Foreign Investment at the Chamber Association or the corresponding entity.

Because of legal complexities involved in the process, it is foreigners are strongly advised to secure the counsel of an experienced Mexican attorney.

  • Retirees

Foreigners who receive a pension from a foreign government or another form of income on a permanent basis, whether it be from investments abroad or in Mexico, may qualify for an immigrant entry permit. Income from abroad is not taxed. Income earned in Mexico is subject to taxation. Some persons prefer to deposit or to purchase certificates of deposit at a Mexican bank or at Nacional Financiera, S.N.C. for an amount that renders sufficient interest to cover living expenses and support family dependants. As a general rule, pensioners (rentistas) are not permitted to work in Mexico. See temporary retirees

Note: When the immigration visa permit allows the foreigner to receive remuneration from sources in Mexico, he/she is subject to all Mexican taxes, including social security, and has the same rights and obligations under the Federal Labour Law as a Mexican citizen. The Mexico-Canada Tax Convention should be taken into account.