Assessing travel and visa obligations in Mexico

When traveling to Mexico, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if work authorization will be required. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Mexico, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Buy goods for sale outside the country
  • Tour a company facility
  • Attend a training session


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Mexico?

Nationals of the European Union, the United States and many other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa to enter and conduct business activities in Mexico for a limited duration. Additionally, foreign nationals who have permanent residence or a valid visa to enter Canada, Japan, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom or the United States, and permanent residents of the Pacific Alliance member countries (Chile, Colombia and Peru) are permitted to enter Mexico to conduct business activities without a visa.

Foreign nationals who are not eligible to enter Mexico on visa-waivered status must obtain a Visitor Visa for Non-Remunerated Activities from a Mexican Embassy or Consulate prior to travel. Please obtain an individual assessment before traveling to determine your eligibility for a visa waiver or a Visitor Visa.

Mexico is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and foreign nationals in possession of a valid APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) endorsed with “Valid for travel to MEX” are eligible to enter Mexico on visa-waivered status.

Nationals of Russia and Ukraine are eligible to apply for an E-Visa through the Electronic Authorization System, which is limited to air travel. Please consult with your immigration provider for more information.

Working in Mexico

What types of activities require work authorization?

Business visitors may be eligible to engage in professional activities in Mexico without obtaining work or residence authorization, as long as the activities are not remunerated in Mexico. Foreign nationals are advised to consult with their immigration counsel prior to travel to verify that their activities are permitted without obtaining work authorization.


If I am traveling to Mexico for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Mexico. The most common types of work authorization for Mexico are:

  • Visitor Visa for Remunerated Activities and Work Permit (short-term work authorization for local hires)
  • Temporary Residence Visa for Non-Remunerated Activities (long-term work authorization for those on foreign payroll)
  • Temporary Residence Visa for Remunerated Activities and Work Permit (long-term work authorization for those on local payroll)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

There are no long-term exemptions to work authorization requirements in Mexico.

What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.