9 November 2018

MEXICO: Processing delays due to new government

Whilst Mexico is preparing to transition to a new government, immigration application processing is expected to suffer delays, further exacerbated by national holiday closures. 

The extent of the processing delays depends on how quick the government can transition and whether there are new application criteria’s introduced. Approvals are expected to be delayed several weeks or months into the first quarter of 2019.

What applications are affected by the delays?

   •  Permanent residence
   •  Work permit
   •  Corporate registration applications
   •  Legalization requests
   •  Document procurement requests
   •  Renewal applications
   •  Changes of status to permanent residence

The National Migration Institute (INM) will still accept applications and documents during the government changeover but may not process such applications until mid-January. The INM will not accept applications or documents during the holiday period (anticipated to be mid-December through early-January, but check these closer to the period). All government agencies are closed during the holiday period.  

What else will be impacted by the transition?

   •  Travel – Any foreign nationals who have their Mexican residence cards held by the INM as part of an application process may not be able to travel until their application has been approved.

   •  Re-entry permits - Foreign nationals, whose applications to leave Mexico and re-enter during the holiday closure period are pending, should apply for an exit/re-entry permit as soon as possible. This permit needs to be shown to the port-of-entry/exit officials as proof of status, while their other immigration application is pending. Foreign nationals must process their exit/re-entry permit only after the main application has been submitted. Those who seek to depart Mexico without an exit/re-entry permit will be barred from entering, or could have their permanent residence card cancelled.

How Does This Affect the Client?

Employers should factor in delays to the immigration application processing and therefore expect a later approval date. Employers should also advise employees of travel restrictions within Mexico if any immigration applications are being processed and the consequences (if any) this may have on business projects.

The new president is expected to decentralize the government and relocate some of the administration to other Mexican states, meaning that there may be changes ahead for policies. We will keep you updated.


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