The Migration Act provides for three main immigration categories, denominated conditions of stay to replace the over 30 migratory categories and modalities contemplated in the previous General Population Law.
Legal status is assigned by the immigration authorities to a foreigner depending on his or her “intention of residence” as follows:
Visitor status allows for short-term entrance into Mexico for diverse purposes such as tourism, business, transit, etc.
A Business Visitor may participate in short-term limited activities as authorized by the immigration authorities in Mexico for up to 180 days.
A Visitor Visa for Mexico may be obtained at the Mexican consulate. Some nationalities do not require a visa to enter Mexico. Additionally, some individuals may have a special condition which will permit visa-waivered entry, such as having:
While Business Visitors will be only required to fill out the FMM format that is provided either during their flight to Mexico or at the port-of-entry; the immigration officer may request for supporting documents that show the purpose of the trip on a discretionary basis, such as hotel reservation, return flight tickets, assignment letter from the employer, invitation letter from the Mexican entity they are visiting or any other supporting documentation that may be requested by the immigration officers .
This immigration status substitutes most of the former FM3 and FM2 visa categories and is appropriate for students, foreign nationals with a job offer from a Mexican entity, family dependents, etc.
The foreigner is authorized to stay within the Mexican territory for more than 180 days during a maximum 4-year period, provided that foreigner evidences the established qualifying criteria, such as:
Foreign nationals with permanent resident status may remain in Mexico indefinitely and such status allows foreigners to engage in lucrative activities in the country.
Permanent resident status can be acquired after a qualifying period of 4 years under a temporary resident status, among other assumptions contemplated in the Migration Act.