For businesses that are looking to expand or have already started operations in Mexico, there are some complexities surrounding the process of hiring foreign employees.

The Federal Labor Law in Mexico requires at least 90 percent of an employer's workforce be Mexican nationals, only allowing only 10% as foreigners. Businesses in Mexico must understand the rules surrounding the visa process in order to be compliant.

Visas in Mexico

For a foreigner to work in Mexico, a visa must be obtained through the National Institute of Migration. There are two types of visas, a temporary visitor with permission to perform paid activities or a temporary resident which can be acquired through a job offer. The procedure to obtain these permits requires that foreigners have a legal residence in Mexico. This means that the person has registered their income with customs control, has an offer of employment by a company established in the country and meets various other requirements.

Businesses who intend to hire a foreigner to work in Mexico must first have the Employer's Certificate of Registration (Regulation of the Migration Law, Article 166), issued by the National Institute of Migration. This document enables the company to hire foreigners who have received a job offer. This certificate is valid for one year and the process takes about one month to complete.

Businesses will have to submit the following to the Federal Taxpayers Registry:

  • certificate of registration;
  • certificate of Incorporation of the company;
  • the proxy and an ID of the legal representative;
  • proof of address of the legal person;
  • proof of registration; and
  • a list of the employees including their nationality and social security numbers.

The work visa provided by the National Institute of Migration grants the foreigner a Unique Population Registry Code (CURP, in Spanish), which is an essential requirement in order to register before the Federal Taxpayers Registry. The company will then register at the Mexican Institute of Social Security which will allow the foreigner to open a bank account.

Refugees as workers

People that are in the country for humanitarian reasons may have more rights than tourists but still need to obtain authorization from the National Institute of Migration to work in Mexico. They must also submit an offer of employment by a company that has a current Employer Registration Certificate.

A foreigner in the country has the rights granted to him by his or her residence status and all human rights. If he or she does not have temporary visitor status with permission to work or temporary resident status through a job offer, he or she will be in breach of the law and may be subject to administrative sanctions or, where appropriate, deportation.

A person without authorization to work in Mexico cannot be registered as an employee by a company and will experience legal and social situations that will complicate his or her residency in the country.

TMF Mexico can help your business

TMF Mexico can help you with all aspects of starting a business and hiring employees, both local and foreign. We know how to help you avoid the bureaucratic burden of the incorporation process and can provide administrative support to companies, such as the incorporation of an entity, administrative legal compliance, representation and domiciliation services, HR and payroll services and accounting and tax compliance services.

Do you have plans to expand to Mexico? Contact us to learn how we can help you with your business and compliance operations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.