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 Mexican Legal System: Immigration

Q: What happens if a foreigner is married to a Mexican?

A: The Mexican citizen must obtain for the foreigner a resident alien document in order to reside in Mexico as the economic responsibility of the Mexican citizen.

Q: I was born in Mexico but became a U.S.citizen. Can I live in Mexico?

A: Only if you get the necessary permits from the Department of the Interior of Mexico because you are considered a foreigner with no special privileges.

Q: What are the principle categories under which foreigners may live in Mexico?

A: There are two main classes. Non-resident Alien and Resident Alien. The first is considered temporary and produces no permanent residency rights. The second class assumes a desire for permanent residency, and after five years. the foreigner is granted permanent right as a Legal Resident Alien.

Non-resident aliens are:

  • Tourist, a temporary visitor, who can have e permit for up to six moths.
  • Trans-migrant in transit to another country; in special cues, one can remain in Mexico up to thirty days.
  • Visitor, a person who comes to practice some lucrative or non-lucrative activity for up to six moths; this period can be extended once if the visitor is engaged in any lucrative activity. If he is living on this income from abroad, or deposits brought from abroad, or if he is an artist, a scientist, a technician, an athlete.
  • Advisor - an advisor can stay up to six moths, granted in order to attend meetings of stock holders as an advisor or stock holder; he may have multiple entries into Mexico but may not stay longer than thirty days in the country.

  • Political refugee
  • Student
  • Distinguished visitor
Resident aliens are foreigners who come to Mexico to grow roots, intending to become a permanent resident and obtain the status of Legal Resident Alien. Q: What kinds of resident aliens are there? A: Resident aliens are:
  • ANNUITANT. The person who has decided to come to Mexico in order to live off his resources brought in from abroad; from the interests accrued on the investment of his capital in certificates, securities, and State bonds or of the National Credit Institutions, or in others which the State Department may determine. The State Department can eventually allow persons who fit in this immigration category to engage in activities that are profitably paid.
  • INVESTOR. The foreigner who enters the national territory in order to invest his capital in industry, in accordance with the laws of the country, for as long as the investment contributes to the social and financial development of the country.
  • PROFESSIONAL MAN. This immigration category covers the alien who enters the national territory only in exceptional cases and prior registration of the academic title degree with the Department of Public Education. These exceptional cases are left to the criteria and discretion of the State Department, since they are not pre-determined by the Law nor by any Regulations.
  • POSITION OF TRUST. Is held by the alien who enters national territory in order to be a Director or to assume other posts of complete trust in business firms or in institutions established inside the Republic of Mexico, as long as - in the judgment of the State Department - there is no doubling positions and that the respective service does Indeed merit and require entrance into the country.
  • THE SCIENTIST. According to law, he's the alien who enters the Country in order to direct or carry out scientific investigations, to spread and divulge his scientific knowledge, to prepare researchers, or to undertake teaching work. The State Department takes into consideration the information which, in that respect, it is provided by the Institutions which it may deem fit and proper to consult.
  • THE TECHNICIAN. The alien who Comes into the Country in order to Carry out an investigation applied within the production process, or to engage in specialized or technical functions which - on the judgment of the State Department - cannot be provided by the residents of the Country.
  • THE FAMILY MEMBERS. In this case, it's a matter of aliens who enter the Country in order to live under the financial dependence of their spouse or of a blood relative.

The following information is provided as a general and informative background to Mexico, and should not be considered legal advice or your sole source of information. Wherever possible you are encouraged to utilize the services of a professional, such as listed below.

Information provided by the Law Offices of Jaime B. Berger Stender,
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

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