Working in Mexico: Q&A

Working Freelance on a project

Frequent Questions & Answers about Working in Mexico.

This guide contains a list questions and answers in relation to actively seeking work and working in Mexico…

For detailed information about the Mexican economy, work qualifications, finding work, self employment and employment conditions in Mexico connect also to our guide about Finding Jobs and Working in Mexico.

See Also: 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 meet a set of criteria required for working in Mexico. Criteria include:

  • people sponsored by companies in Mexico
  • people sponsored by foreign companies with Mexican operations or subsidiaries
  • people with specific skills required in Mexico.

You can also enter Mexico to work for a foreign company provided that you do not receive any remuneration directly from a Mexican company or its subsidiary.

Another route to obtain a work permits is by way of investing in Mexico, usually through setting up your own company here. You’ll need to invest the equivalent of 40,000 times the daily minimum salary* in order to qualify via this route. Passive investors (for example, buying stocks on the Mexican Stock Exchange) can also get resident permits via this route, 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.

Corporate Work: 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.

Self Employment: Some foreigners decide to move to Mexico and set up a small business here; 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: Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a popular work placement. If you intend to apply for jobs with local schools, you will need to hold the TEFL certificate (as a minimum) and with this, you’ll have a chance to apply for 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.

Community, Social or Religious Work: Some foreigners arrive in 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. While this type of work remains unpaid/unremunerated, foreigners can visit for up to six months without needing a work permit.

Casual Work: While some foreigners arrive in Mexico seeking casual (usually illegal) work, they usually find that the work is very poorly paid. Foreigners who have been setting up casual businesses here (e.g. at local markets or small stores) are finding it increasingly difficult to operate as the immigration service is now actively making spot-checks on foreign-run casual businesses in Mexico.

See Also: 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.

For accommodation options while you are living in Mexico, connect to our extensive guides about renting and buying real estate in Mexico in the Property guides here on Mexperience.

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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 you life’s situation to Mexico will be quite a complex logistical task, and forward planning is essential, especially if you’re planning to work here; and there is even more to consider if you have a family with children to take with you. Connect to the Living in Mexico Guide for more details and current advice.

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

This section of the Mexperience website contains a wealth of information, and you can also connect to our Mexico eBooks section, to browse books about living and working in Mexico.

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