Saturday, March 27, 2010

How to get an FM3 (or Mexican work visa)

One of the questions I am asked most often by people looking to open businesses or work in Mexico is "How do I get an FM3?". The FM3 is similar to a H1-B visa in the United States. It gives you the legal right to live and work in the country.

Check out my simplified article on how to get your FM3

I've had experience getting an FM3 on both sides of the border, and for some reason getting your FM3 at the Mexican consulate (locations in several big cities) seems to be easier.

If you are already in Mexico, your best bet is to go to the Instituto Nacional de Migracion in Mexico City with all of your paperwork:

Visa application (can be downloaded online)
5 passport sized photos (no earrings, hair must be down, no glasses, 3 frontal, 2 profile)
Copy of every single page of your passport
A letter, on company letterhead, from the company you will be working for stating your position, your salary, and the fact that they will be financially responsible for you during your stay in Mexico
Receipt of payment of fee (check with INM for costs)

The FM3 should be issued within 35 days.

If you don't speak Spanish that well, or you would just rather have someone else handle it, I recommend hiring a qualified lawyer. They will explain the process and take care of all of the paperwork and headaches so that you don't have to.

If you are in Mexico City, I highly recommend the law firm of Becker and Becker. Their staff is bilingual and very well versed in Mexican immigration law.

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