December 2012

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Mexico. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

  • Attending business meetings or discussions;
  • Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Mexico;
  • Attending conferences, seminars or “fact-finding” meetings;
  • Short-term technical duties (e.g., installation/implementation of machinery);
  • After-sales services.

Types of Business Visas –The following persons having valid status in their country of residence do not require an entry visa to enter Mexico and may apply for an “FMM” entry card at the Mexican port of entry for the purposes of business, tourism or transit:  Any national holding a valid US visa; any national holding valid Permanent Residence status in Canada, Japan, UK, US or any Schengen-member country. Mexican immigration law also extends FMM privileges to many foreign nationals, such as Canadian, European and European Economic Area (EEA), Swiss and U.S. citizens.

The two, primary types of business status are as follows:

  1. Visitante sin permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas (Visitor Not Authorized to Conduct Lucrative Activities) – Visitor remains on home company payroll (i.e., a traditional business visitor)
  2. Visitante con permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas (Visitor Authorized to Conduct Lucrative Activities) – Visitor is paid a professional fee or is paid from Mexican payroll (this status will require prior work authorization from the INM.)

For those nationals who do not qualify for FMM entry, in most cases, application for a “Visa Consular” should be lodged in person with the Mexican consular post closest to the applicant’s place of legal residence.

Basic Requirements –

For “Visitante sin permiso para realizar actividades remuneradas

  1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not paid from a Mexican source;
  2. Passport valid for at least six months;
  3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Mexico;
  4. No intention to permanently reside in Mexico;
  5. A ticket for onward travel from Mexico;
  6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Mexico for up to 180 days during the visa validity period.  Visitor status may be extended on a highly-discretionary basis with the local INM.

Typical Documents Required –
All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

  • a valid Canadian or U.S. passport or other authorized travel document;
  • for non-Canadian/U.S. foreign nationals entering as visa-exempt FMM holders, valid passports affixed with valid visas or permanent residence documentation from a qualified country of residence (listed above); or,
  • a valid passport affixed with a visa or authority to enter Mexico.