IMMIGRATION LAW PRACTICE

Globo - Derecho Migratorio

VGA provides its services in the immigration practice to national and international companies that require hiring expats to settle and carry out their work in Mexico.

Likewise, VGA offers its services to individuals who require advice to be able to reside in the country, temporarily or permanently, or even to acquire Mexican nationality.

The practice of our team of immigration law, goes from obtaining the Employer Registration Certificate before the National Institute of Migration (INM), through obtaining visas and the Temporary or Permanent Residence Card for the employees of our clients, as well as of their relatives; bringing in the families of employees in order to maintain family unity; the change of condition of stay, according to the need of the foreigner demands it; as well as in the preparation of the documentation required for the presentation, processing and obtaining of various permits required for the legal stay of expats in the country, among others process.

For this reason, we allow ourselves to expose in a clearer and more precise way the various procedures in which our team of lawyers assists both expats and companies.

Employer Registration Certificate

The Employer Registration Certificate is an essential document for those individuals and companies who wish to hire foreign national staff.

It is important to mention that there are two meanings regarding the hiring of expats, it could either be through a job offer to an expat who resides in any other country; or to hire foreigners who already reside in Mexico and have the appropriate immigration status to be able to be subject to employment contract.

In the first case, the Employer Registration Certificate it is an essential requirement to start the Work Permit Visa process. Without said requirement the process would be rejected and therefore the Visa would not be granted.

In the second case, it is possible that the company hires an expat who already has a work permit and who is already residing in Mexico, and that company does not have the Employer Registration Certificate. However, the company must obtain the Certificate as soon as possible, since in order for the expat to carry out the renewal of his/her immigration document, he/she must have a certificate of work continuity issued by a company that has the Employer Registration Certificate.

It is important to mention that the National Institute of Migration has the power to make immigration verification visits to employers to corroborate that they are legally established. During verification visits, the INM will request the information/documentation it deems pertinent to confirm the existence of the source of employment and the veracity of the information presented above.

The fact that the Employer Registration Certificate has been obtained does not mean that this document issued by the INM is permanent, this is because there are situations for which an update must be carried out, which are:

  • By Annual Tax Declaration. This update should be carried out every year, preferably before the end of May. With this update, the INM will be able to confirm that the company continues operating properly, since tax documentation must be submitted to help to verify that the employer is complying with its tax obligations.
  • By change or addition of address. Whether the employer has moved its operation to a different address or has opened a branch office in which foreign personnel will be performing their functions.
  • By change of Legal Representative. When the person who has been recognized as the legal representative of the company no longer has the power that had been granted for said purposes, or simply because within its functions the representation of the company before the INM is no longer contemplated, it must be updated the Certificate in order to notify said change to the INM.

Obtaining Visa

The immigration services that VGA provides are corporate immigration law services, therefore they are totally focused on satisfying the needs that employers and expats that will work in Mexico.

We understand that that companies need to have their work team as soon as possible, and that their expats need to have their family with them, if applicable, therefore we are focused on obtaining the type of visa necessary as quickly and expeditiously as possible so that both are possible.

  • Work Permit Visa ​ . This type of visa is authorized and processed through the National Institute of Migration, for which it is initiated within the national territory and is precisely requested by the employer who wishes to bring an expat that allows them to carry out the company’s business purpose

Sports. We understand the need that clubs, athletes, managers and coaching staff have to obtain the visa as immediately as possible, as we understand that the times that the draft allows, as well as the various federations and/or associations for the registration of the athletes are very short, therefore we have tools that allow us to generate documentation and start processes as soon as possible. Our constant monitoring and good relationship with the immigration authorities have allowed us to obtain prompt resolutions.

  • Family Unit Visa. We know that tranquility is one of the most important elements for the best personal and professional performance in any person, therefore the family unit for expats turns out to be one of the most important questions for them to decide whether or not to come to work in Mexico. From this perspective, we work to ensure that expats who come to Mexico know that they will have the presence of their relatives, whether we obtain their Visa for Family Unity or carry out the Change of Stay Condition so that they can be in the country for a period longer than 180 days and they do not have to leave the national territory.

Obtaining a Work Permit

This immigration process is intended for those who have Temporary Residence, but without permission to carry out paid activities and who wish to work. It generally happens that the expat has obtained his/her Temporary Residence through the Family Unit, which does not grant permission to work.

In order for the expat to obtain his/her Work Permit, he/she must have an offer issued by an employer that has the Employer Registration Certificate or state that he/she will be working independently, for which he/she must be registered in the Federal Taxpayer Registry.

Renewals

In the case of the renewal of the immigration document, it can sometimes be complex, given that if information were to appear other than what the INM has registered in its system, and that at the time there should have been a notification, but that for whatever reason it was not carried out, it could cause that the authority will request additional information/documentation and that will delay the issuance of the new document or, the process could be dismissed and, as a consequence, the expat will be on an irregular situation.

Our tools and databases that we are constantly updating have allowed us to maintain a hegemony of prompt and smooth issuance of immigration documents of foreigners.

Changes in condition of stay

There are cases where expats may be subject to request a change in the condition of their stay, that is, they cease to be Visitors to be Temporary or Permanent Residents, or in the case cease to be Temporary Residents to be Permanent Residents.

  • From Resident to Permanent Resident. This case happens when the foreigner who is providing his/her services in Mexico has completed four years of living in Mexico as a Temporary Resident uninterruptedly, and therefore would be in a position to obtain his/her Permanent Residence through the Points System that the Migration Law foresees.
  • To Temporary Resident or Permanent Resident per Family Unit. It is a process intended for those expats who are in Mexican territory as visitors or temporary residents, and who due to a family bond (with a Mexican or with a Permanent Resident) require to change their condition of stay.

Notifications

In order to have a proper identification and control over of the expats, the Immigration Law foresees that the INM must have an updated database, therefore there are five issues that, if modified, must be notified by the expat to the INM.

These notifications must be made within the period of 90 calendar days after the change has occurred, otherwise the foreigner would be fined for the late report. The changes that should be notified are in:

  • Marital status. Whether, by marriage, divorce, or widowhood, the expat’s marital status changes.
  • ​ Nationality. When by any means the expat has a change of nationality.
  • Name
  • Address. It is common that for comfort reasons; or because of a change of place of work, the expat moves from his/her habitual domicile, he/she would have to carry out the respective notification.
  • Workplace. Whether the foreigner stops working for one company and starts working for another, or if he/she changes his/her position within the same company, he/she must notify the INM of this situation within the next 90 calendar days.

Exit and Return Permits

Whether the expat needs to travel for business or pleasure and does not have their immigration document that identifies them because they are in the process of Renewal or Exchange, they must request an Exit and Return Permit if they want to leave the country and return without losing their immigration status.

The application process for the Exit and Return Permit is not a process that can be requested or carried out by the foreigner who is in an irregular situation or who has initiated a regularization process.

The Exit and Return Permit is granted for up to 60 calendar days.

Replacement of Immigration Document

So whether the expat lost his/her immigration document or that he/she has been the victim of a robbery, he/she must initiate a process of Replacement of the Immigration Document, for which he/she must make the corresponding report before the competent authorities.

The expat will be summoned to attend a diligence in which he/she will be questioned about the loss of the document, and a record will be drawn up.

In the event that the expat has lost or has also been robbed of his/her passport, he/she must first request the replacement of the passport at his/her Consulate or Embassy, in order to have the identity document that allows him/her to start the Replacement process. Otherwise, it will not be possible to start it.

Regularization

Sometimes issues can arise that lead the expat to have an expired document and therefore cannot carry out the respective renewal of the document and that put the expat in an irregular situation.

Being into a situation of irregularity implies that the expat loses the antecedent of years that until the moment of the irregularity he/she had accumulated, so in the case of Temporary Residents they would have to live another four years in national territory to be able to request their Permanent Residence. For this reason, we understand how important it is for both expats and companies that immigration services are carried out with full diligence and due care to prevent this from happening.

VGA’s commitment is to carry out immigration processes in a timely manner, with full diligence and to avoid complications whether for the expat, his/her family or employers.

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