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How to Get a Mexico Work Visa & Work Permit: Requirements & Procedure

Are you considering working in Mexico? With its rich culture, growing economy, and vibrant lifestyle, it’s no wonder many people are attracted to the opportunity. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of obtaining a Mexico work visa, covering various options, eligibility criteria, and key considerations for living and working in this beautiful country.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Mexico’s work visa options, including Temporary Resident Visa, Permanent Resident Visa and Visitor Visa with Work Authorization.
  • Eligibility criteria for a Mexico work visa includes proof of employment offer from Mexican employer, financial stability and family ties to citizen or resident.
  • Comply with reporting regulations for legal employment in the country. Network and learn about local customs to ensure smooth transition.

Understanding Mexico’s Work Visa Options

Understanding the myriad of work visas available in Mexico removes some of the challenges, paving the way for a successful transition.

Mexico offers three main types of Mexico work permit: Temporary Resident Visa, Permanent Resident Visa, and Visitor Visa with Work Authorization.

Temporary Resident Visa

Temporary Resident Visa allows non-Mexican citizens to live and work in Mexico for up to four years, with the possibility of extension. When applying for temporary resident visas, you’ll need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources or steady income. Obtaining a temporary residence permit is an essential step for those looking to work in Mexico long-term.

The application process for a Mexican visa, especially for those who held a former Mexican visa, entails reaching out to the Mexican embassy or consulate, securing the required documents, and paying the estimated $36 visa fee. Processing periods fluctuate and could take from one week to a month, contingent on the embassy of application.

Permanent Resident Visa

The Permanent Resident Visa grants indefinite stay and work rights in Mexico. To qualify, you’ll need to have close family ties to the country or demonstrate financial means.

If you have been a resident of Mexico for four years on a temporary-basis, you can apply to obtain permanent residency. The process requires conversion of your Temporary Resident Visa card. The fees for this conversion consist of 1,325 MXN (60 USD) for the application and 5,206 MXN (240 USD) for the Residente Permanente card.

Visitor Visa with Work Authorization

For those seeking short-term employment in Mexico, the Visitor Visa with Work Authorization is a viable option. This valid visa permits work for up to 180 days, but it cannot be renewed. To obtain this visa, you must fulfill specific criteria and apply at a Mexican Consulate or embassy following approval from the National Immigration Institute.

This visa allows foreign nationals to apply for a temporary and remunerated employment in Mexico, including roles in tourism, hospitality, language teaching, and other short-term job opportunities. It is important to note that this is not a non working tourist visa, as it permits temporary employment.

Eligibility Criteria for Mexico Work Visas

Eligibility for a Mexico work visa demands the fulfillment of certain prerequisites. A job offer in the country—be it from a long-term agreement with a Mexican employer, investments in Mexico, or an invitation from a Mexican company—is required.

Financial stability is also a crucial factor, as you’ll need to provide proof of sufficient income and investments. Family connections can also play a role in your eligibility, as being married to a Mexican citizen or having close family ties to a Mexican citizen or legal permanent resident may qualify you for a work visa.

Application Process for Mexico Work Visas

The application process for Mexico work visas involves several steps, including:

  • The employer’s role in obtaining a work permit
  • Applying at a Mexican consulate or embassy
  • Obtaining a temporary residence card in Mexico, if applicable.

We delve more into these steps in the ensuing subsections.

Employer’s Role in Work Visa Application

Before you can apply for a work visa, your employer in Mexico must acquire a Work Permit from the National Immigration Institute. This process typically takes between 30-45 days for approval.

Once the work permit is approved, both you and your employer will receive a letter, and you can proceed with your work visa application.

Applying at a Mexican Consulate or Embassy

Once your employer has obtained the work permit, you’ll need to apply for your work visa at a Mexican consulate or embassy. The documents and fees required for your application may differ based on your country and visa type.

For a Permanent Resident Visa application, you may need to provide documents such as a completed and signed Mexico Visa Application Form, a valid passport, proof of financial means, and more. It’s important to consult the official Mexican Consulate website or immigration authorities for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the application process.

Obtaining a Temporary Residence Card in Mexico

Upon obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa, securing a Temporary Residence Card within 30 days of arrival in Mexico is compulsory. To do this, you’ll need to provide various documents, such as:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of address in Mexico
  • Completed application form
  • Passport-sized photos

The process is overseen by the Mexican Immigration Office, also known as the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), which handles immigration matters in Mexico.

Mexico Temporary residence card

Failure to obtain your Temporary Residence Card within the prescribed timeframe may lead to complications, such as being denied entry into Mexico after the initial 55-day grace period.

Fees and Processing Time for Mexico Work Visas

Fees and processing times for Mexico work visas can vary depending on your country of origin and the type of visa. For example, the fee to apply for a work permit if you have a temporary resident card in Mexico is 3,207 MXN ($150), while there is no fee for applicants with permanent residence. Processing times may also differ, so it’s best to consult the National Migration Institute (INM) or a Mexican Embassy for the most accurate information.

Living and Working in Mexico: Key Considerations

Several key considerations come to play when transitioning to living and working in Mexico. Housing, healthcare, and cultural adaptation are all important aspects to address. Mexico has a unique culture, and being aware of local customs and practices can help you integrate and feel more at home.

The cost of living in Mexico for expats may range from $600 to $2,000 per month. However, a budget of around $1,000 per month should suffice for comfortable living. Healthcare options in Mexico include both public and private services, with private healthcare offering more comprehensive coverage and shorter wait times.

Family Visas and Dependent Status

Planning to relocate to Mexico with your family necessitates the exploration of family visas and dependent status options. Family Visas in Mexico are requested through Family Unit applications, and eligibility may depend on factors such as financial means and the type of family relationship.

Unfortunately, family members cannot be included on the same work visa application, and separate Family Unit applications must be submitted from within Mexico. The fee for exchanging a Visitor’s Visa for a residential permit under the Family Unit rules is 1,365 MXN (65 USD).

Renewing and Converting Work Visas in Mexico

Maintaining your legal status in Mexico is contingent on renewing and converting work visas. If you have been a resident of Mexico for four years on a temporary-basis, you can apply to obtain permanent residency. The process requires conversion of your Temporary Resident Visa card. The process generally takes around four years of continuous residency before you can apply for the conversion.

There are no specific restrictions or special requirements for renewing a work visa in Mexico, and work permits for U.S. citizens can now be valid for up to four years, eliminating the need for annual renewal.

Losing or Damaging Your Mexican Work Visa or Resident Card

In the event of loss or damage to your Mexican work visa or resident card, prompt action is required. Report the loss or damage to the local police, obtain a report number, and contact the nearest Mexican consulate or the local immigration office for assistance in obtaining a replacement.

If your resident card is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, report the loss to the local police and contact the nearest Mexican consulate or embassy to initiate the process of replacing your card.

Working Legally in Mexico: Compliance and Reporting Requirements

Compliance with the country’s reporting requirements is necessary for legal employment in Mexico. This includes notifying immigration authorities of any changes in your employment. Failure to adhere to these requirements may result in significant fines and penalties for both you and your employer.

By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure that your work experience in Mexico remains positive and hassle-free.

Tips for a Smooth Transition to Working in Mexico

Preparation and adaptability are essential for a smooth transition to working in Mexico. Networking with other expats through communities and organizations like InterNations and can provide valuable support and connections.

Additionally, learning about local customs, practices, and language will help you better understand your new environment and allow you to work more effectively with your Mexican colleagues. By embracing the unique aspects of Mexican culture and staying open to new experiences, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and fulfilling career in Mexico.


In conclusion, obtaining a Mexico work visa is a multi-step process that requires careful consideration of your eligibility, the type of visa you need, and the application process itself. By familiarizing yourself with the various work visa options, understanding the requirements and fees involved, and staying compliant with Mexico’s reporting requirements, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful transition to living and working in this vibrant country. Embrace the unique culture, network with other expats, and take advantage of the many opportunities Mexico has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, U.S. citizens can work in Mexico by obtaining a temporary residence visa which allows them to stay and work remotely for up to four years, with the option to apply for permanent residency after that time.

The cost to apply for a Mexican work visa depends on the type of visa and the applicant's country of origin. Those applying with a temporary resident card in Mexico will have to pay 3,207 MXN (about $150 USD), while those with a permanent residence in Mexico are exempt from this fee.

Individuals with a temporary residence permit in Mexico can apply for a work permit while they are in the country. However, anyone who does not have this type of visa will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa from outside of Mexico. After living in the country for four years, they must then apply for permanent residence.

Mexico offers three main types of work visas: Temporary Resident Visa, Permanent Resident Visa, and Visitor Visa with Work Authorization.

To be eligible for a Mexico work visa, you must have a job offer in the country, demonstrate financial stability, and provide proof of family connections.

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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