Living & Lifestyle in Mexico

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Guide to Working and Self Employment in Mexico

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Working in Mexico: Q&A

Working in Mexico

Welcome to the Q&A page about Working in Mexico.


Listed below is a list of questions and answers people most frequently ask in relation to actively working in Mexico.

For detailed information about the economy, qualifications, finding work, self employment and employment conditions in Mexico, also see: Finding Jobs and Working in Mexico.

Also See: Self Employment in Mexico

Is it legal for a foreigner to work in Mexico?

Yes, provided that you have the right permit.

Permits are gained from the Mexican Government and are issued to people who are sponsored by companies in Mexico (or foreign companies with Mexican operations / subsidiaries), or by people with specific skills required in Mexico. You can enter Mexico to work for a foreign company provided that you do not receive any remuneration directly from a Mexican company or subsidiary.

Permits can also be arranged for investors (i.e. setting up your own company), but you'll need to invest 40,000 times the daily minimum salary* in order to qualify. Casual investors (for example, buying stocks on the Mexican Stock Exchange) can also get resident permits, although as with direct investment, you will need to invest the same amount as above.

*Multiples liable to change without notice

These mechanisms are in place to ensure that you will not be: a) taking jobs that Mexican nationals could otherwise have and/or; b) ensure that if you don't have an immediate income, you have the means to support yourself without relying on the Mexican State in any way.

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What kind of work can foreigners do?

The kind of work you do will depend on your circumstances. If you are an employee of one of the many large multi-national corporations that have offices or manufacturing facilities in Mexico, you may be assigned to the country for a specified period of time, to report to the local management and carry out duties according to your specialist knowledge. In such circumstances, your company will normally take care of all the necessary legal paperwork and the logistics of the move to Mexico. You show up at the office with a brief and work at what it is you do best.

Some foreigners decide to move to Mexico and set up a small business there: perhaps a bar or a restaurant. Some people sell consulting services, either in business development, and especially in IT and Internet related fields.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a popular work placement. You will need to hold the TEFL certificate (as a minimum) and with it, you'll have a chance to work in one of the many private schools and language centers based in Mexico. Learning English is an absolute requirement for Mexicans who want a professional qualification. Most private schools teach at least half of their lessons (including math and sciences) in English.

Those with specialist skills and experience, plus the relevant qualifications are more likely to succeed in finding work than those who just show up in the hope of 'casual' work in Mexico.

Some foreigners go to Mexico to take part in community and social projects. By doing so, they help local people by sharing their knowledge and experience, while gaining unique and authentic access to the local ways of life, culture and language.

Also See: Finding Jobs and Working in Mexico

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Do I have to reside in Mexico to work there?

Not necessarily; this will depend on your circumstances and work requirements.

If the work you plan to undertake will only take a few days or weeks, then you can use the business section of the tourist card (see Immigration Page) and enter into Mexico without the need to complete additional paperwork and pay special business visitor permit fees. There's more about this here on the Immigration Page.

If your work requires you to be in Mexico several months or years, then you will need to consider a more permanent living arrangement. Further information about the migratory requirements of this are available in the Immigration Page, and if you want to discover what living is likely to be like, connect to the Living in Mexico Guide. Read our extensive guides to renting and buying real estate in Mexico in the Property guides.

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What Permits do I need to legally work in Mexico?

There are various different kinds of work permits available, depending on how long you want to stay and for what purpose. Connect to the Immigration Guide for more details about the various permits.

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If I need to live in Mexico, what do I have to do to get a permit?

Moving to Mexico from Western Europe, or the US/Canada will be quite a complex logistical task, and forward planning is essential, especially if you're working there, and have a family to take with you. Connect to the Living in Mexico Guide for more details.

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Where can I get more advice about doing business in Mexico?

Connect to the Mexperience Business Center for lots of information and advice about doing better business in Mexico.

Also See: Finding Jobs and Working in Mexico (Self Employment Section)

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