Immigration & Visas

Mexico’s Immigration Offices are Modernizing their Procedures

Changes being rolled-out across Mexico's immigration offices are making residency-related procedures quicker to process and easier to complete

Digital fingerprint scanner

Mexico’s INM (National Institute of Immigration) has been working hard to modernize the processing and issuance of Mexican residency permits and, since the autumn of 2020, significant procedural improvements are being rolled-out at local immigration offices across the country for the benefit all applicants and residency card holders.

Some of the changes are happening behind-the-scenes to streamline the processes and reduce the burden of time on staff and applicants, while other changes are readily visible when you attend an immigration office.

Here’s a summary of the most visible improvements being implemented at immigration offices across Mexico:

Shorter time scales, quicker turnaround

It used to be necessary to wait weeks, or even months (in some districts) for residency visa stickers to be exchanged for residency cards.  Most local immigration offices are now issuing residency cards on the same day that the application is processed, or at the latest within a handful of days afterward.  This has also reduced the number of return visits required to the local immigration offices.

Printed photographs no longer required

The requirement to take printed photographs with you when you process your residency application in Mexico has been dispensed with.  The local INM offices now have digital cameras installed at the counters and they will use these to take your photo when you attend the local office to process your residency application.

Digital fingerprint readers

Your fingerprints are taken just before a residency card is issued. The old procedure of inking each of your fingers and thumbs and placing prints inside labelled boxes on a paper form have also been dispensed with.  Local immigration offices now use a digital readers instead, which capture the prints on your fingers and store these electronically.

Mexican consulates abroad

Mexican consulates abroad have been using digital cameras and fingerprint readers for the initial visa application process for some while now, and the recent changes being rolled-out across local immigration offices in Mexico are delivering a significant improvement in service levels which also require fewer visits to the immigration office as part of each residency applicant’s routine.

Get assistance with your residency application or renewal

If you need personal assistance to help you prepare your application (for example, completing the application forms, writing the covering letter, etc.), deal with renewal procedures, or advice with troubleshooting or regularization procedures, consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance service.

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  1. Lynette Bailey says

    Would be helpful if right here you would guide folks to a link for downloading the required forms to renew their visa temporal. I can’t find where to access these documents, Gracias!

  2. Art says

    Any update on which offices the new equipment has been rolled out to? Which have it and which do not?

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