On May 25, 2011, a revised Mexico Immigration Law (Ley de Migracion, or LM in Spanish) was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación, or DOF in Spanish) and with such Law, the General Law of Population (Ley General de Población in Spanish) ceased being the regulatory legal instrument for migration in Mexico.
Mexico Immigration Law – Status for Mexico Visitors and Residents
The new Mexico immigration statuses that allow foreigners to stay in the country for visiting are:
A) Visitors - This Mexico Immigration Law status includes the following categories:
- Visitor without permission to perform remunerated activities.
- Visitor with permission to perform remunerated activities.
- Regional Visitor.
- Cross-Border Worker Visitor.
- Visitor for humanitarian reasons.
- Visitor for purposes of adoption.
B) Residents - This Mexico Immigration Law status includes the following categories:
- Temporary Resident.
- Temporary resident student.
- Permanent Resident
Mexico Immigration Law – Status Differences
1. Status for Visitor Visa without permission to perform remunerated activities: The foreigner is authorized to travel throughout the Mexican national territory or remain in the country for an uninterrupted period not to exceed 180 days from the date of entry, without permission to perform remunerable activities (to receive compensation or pay of any kind).
2. Status for Visitor Visa with permission to preform remunerated activities: The foreigner is authorized to remain in the country of Mexico for an uninterrupted period not to exceed 180 days from the date of entry and has permission to perform remunerated activities (to receive compensation or pay of any kind). The Visa with permission to perform remuneration activities applies to those foreigners who:
a) Have an offer of employment in Mexico.
b) Have an invitation from any authority or academic, artistic, sporting or cultural institution from which they will receive remuneration in Mexico.
c) Come to Mexico to engage in a remunerated seasonal activity by virtue of inter-institutional agreements entered into with foreign entities.
Mexico Immigration Law – Regional Visitor
Foreign nationals or residents of neighboring countries of Mexico are authorized to enter Mexico border regions with a right to enter and exit as often as desired, under the following conditions:
a) The length of their stay in the country does not exceed three (3) days
b) They shall not be permitted to receive remuneration in the country
Mexico Immigration Law – Cross Border Worker Visitor
The foreigner who is a national of countries sharing territorial limits with the United Mexican States is authorized to remain in the federal entities (the 32 states and 1 federal district of the Mexican federation) as determined by the Ministry of the Interior for up to one year.The following rules of the Mexico Immigration Law apply for the Cross Border Worker Visitor:
a) Shall have permission to work in the activity related to the extended offer of employment in exchange for remuneration in the country and
b) Shall have the right to enter and exit national territory as often as desired.
Mexico Immigration Law - Visitor for Humanitarian Reasons
Foreigners in Mexico who find themselves in any of the following circumstances shall be authorized this status which allows them to stay in the country:
a) Being an injured party, victim of or witness to any crime committed in national territory. The injured party or victim shall be deemed to be that person who is the passive subject of criminal conduct, regardless of whether the perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted, and irrespective of the family relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.
(i) Such injured party, victim or witness shall be authorized to remain in the country until the trial/case has concluded, after which they should either leave the country or request a new status allowing them to stay;
(ii) Such injured party, victim or witness shall have the right to enter and exit as often as desired; and
(iii) Such injured party, victim or witness shall have permission to work in exchange for remuneration in the country.
(iv) Upon expiration of the immigration status of such injured party, victim or witness, he/she may request the status of Permanente Resident.
b) Be an unaccompanied migrant child or adolescent, who shall be provisionally documented with the status of Visitor for Humanitarian Reasons while the Ministry of the Interior provides legal or humanitarian, permanent or temporary, alternatives for assisted return. The Regulations establish the procedure to be followed in the determination of the best interests of the unaccompanied migrant child or adolescent.
c) Be an applicant for either political asylum, recognition of refugee status, or additional protection of the Mexican State, pending resolution of his/her migratory status. If the application is approved, he/she shall be granted permission to stay under the status of permanent resident.
d) A foreigner who does not fall into one of the cases outlined in the foregoing subparagraphs a), b), or c), however, a humanitarian cause or public interest does exist which makes his/her admission into the country or regularizing their migratory status in the country necessary, in which case permission to work in exchange for remuneration shall also be granted.
Mexico Immigration Law – Visitor for Purpose of Adoption
A foreigner who is connected to an adoption process in the United Mexican States is authorized, by Mexico Immigration Law, to remain in the country until a final resolution is reached and, where applicable, the new birth certificate of the adopted child or adolescent has been recorded in the Office of Vital Records, and the respective passport and all necessary paperwork have been issued in order to ensure the exit of the adopted child or adolescent from the country.Condition: This authorization of Mexico Immigration Law shall only proceed with citizens of those countries that have executed an agreement on the matter with the United Mexican States.
Mexico Immigration Law for Residents
Mexico Immigration Law – Temporary Resident Visa
a) Authorizes the foreigner to remain in the country for a period not to exceed four (4) years.
b) Allows the possibility of obtaining permission to work in exchange for remuneration in the country, subject to an offer of employment and that the work be in the activity related to said offer of employment.
c) Entitles the foreigner to enter and exit the national territory as often as desired.
d) Entitles the foreigner to bring in (import) personal property from abroad, in the manner and under the terms as determined by governing legislation.
e) Grants the right to preservation of the family unit. The right to Family Unity is the power and authority to request entering the country with or subsequently request the admission into the country of:
(i) The children of the temporary resident and children of the spouse, concubine or common-law spouse, provided they are children and adolescents and have not been married, or are under the guardianship or custody of the spouse or concubine;
(iii) Concubine, common-law spouse, or the equivalent figure, certifying said legal status in accordance with the cases specified in Mexican legislation; and
(iv) Parent of a temporary resident.Foreigners referred to in the previous numerals (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), may:
A) Reside regularly in national territory for the duration of the temporary resident permit
B) Obtain permission to work in exchange for remuneration in the country subject to an offer of employment
C) Enter and exit national territory as often as desired.
Mexico Immigration Law – Temporary Resident Student Visa
a) Authorizes the foreigner to remain in national territory for the duration of courses, studies, research projects or training that evidence that he/she will take said courses, studies, research project or training in educational institutions belonging to the national educational system, and shall remain in said national territory until attaining a Certificate, Certification or Record (of Courses taken), Diploma, Title or corresponding Academic Degree;The authorization, through Mexico Immigration Law, allowing the student to stay in the country is subject to:
- Submission by the foreign student of a letter of invitation or acceptance from the corresponding educational institution, and
- The authorization (Visa) should be renewed annually, and the foreign student shall evidence for that purpose that the conditions required for the issuance of the initial permit still subsist.
b) Grants the right to enter and exit as often as desired;
c) The foreign student shall be allowed to perform remunerated activities when said activities deal with advanced level , post-graduate or investigative studies provided that:
- There is a Letter of Conformity from the educational institution concerned, and
- There is a job offer to work in activities related to the subject matter of their studies.
d) The foreign student shall have the right to enter and exit national territory as often as desired.
e) The foreign student shall have the right to the preservation of the Family Unit.
Mexico Immigration Law – Permanent Resident Visa
This classification o Mexico Immigration Law authorizes the foreigner to remain for an indefinite length of time in national territory. The status of permanent resident shall be granted to the foreigner in any of the following circumstances:
a) By reason of political asylum, recognition of refugee status and additional protection or being determined a stateless person, providing the requirements established in this Law, its Regulations and all other governing legal provisions have been met;
b) By right of preservation of the family unit so they may enter with or subsequently request the entry of the following persons, same who may reside in national territory under the same status that allows said foreigner to stay in the county, and with the official rights or privileges this Visa grants:
(i) Parent of the permanent resident;
(ii) Spouse, who will be granted the status of temporary resident allowing him/her to stay in the country for two years, after which he/she may obtain the status of permanent resident that allows him/her to stay in the country, provided that the marriage bond subsists;
(iii) Concubine, common-law spouse, or equivalent figure who will be granted the status of resident temporary allowing him/her to stay in the country for two years, after which he/she may obtain the status of permanent resident allowing him/her to stay in the country, provided the concubinage (common-law marriage or cohabitating while not married) subsists;
(iv) The children of the permanent resident and children of the spouse, concubine or common-law spouse, provided they are children and adolescents and have not been married, or are under the guardianship or custody of such spouse of concubine, and
(v) Siblings of the permanent resident provided that they are children and adolescents and have not been married, or under legal representation by said permanent resident.
c) Those who are retired or pensioned, receiving an income from a foreign government or international organization, or from a private company for services rendered abroad, said income allowing them to live in the country;
d) By decision of the Institute, pursuant to the points system established for that purpose by general administration provisions to be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación);
e) Because four years have passed since the foreigner obtained a temporary residence permit;
f) By having children of Mexican nationality by birth, and
g) By being a direct ancestor or descendant (parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, etc.) and up to a second degree relative (cousin) of a Mexican by birth.
Mexico Immigration Law- Conclusion
The prior system of FMM’s (tourist cards), FM3’s, FM2’s (temporary and permanent resident) and Inmigrados is going by the wayside, at least in name. The old system, regulated by the “General Law of Population” had a total of 34 migratory modules, but under the new system, per the new immigration law, there will be nine types of immigration “conditions”… yet, because the government has not issued the publication of the Regulations (which will define how to implement the new system), the FMM, FM2 and FM3 system will still be in effect … everyone just needs to basically know that the Visas will no longer be referred to as such.
The revised Mexico Immigration Law is not currently being fully implemented and the Mexico immigration forms mentioned in this article will take effect once the revised Regulations of the Mexico Immigration Law have been published, pursuant to Transitory Article Second of the LM (Ley de Migracion).The Regulations of the revised Mexico Immigration Law were to be published eighty days subsequent to the publication of the LM; the deadline was this past November 2011.Until such time that the Federal Government publishes the revised Regulations of the LM, the National Migration Institute shall implement the LM insofar as there is no conflict with the General Law of Population (Ley General de Población) and its Regulation.
We will keep a watchful eye out for the publication date of the Regulation in order to be able to publish a more detailed article on the topic of new laws and forms for the revised Mexico Immigration Law.
Source: Ley de Migracion, mexicolivingnow.com