What is the change? Companies in Mexico, particularly those employing a large number of foreign nationals, have been subject to recent compliance visits by immigration authorities.

What does the change mean? Employers should maintain the following documentation on file: (1) A list of foreign employees including full names, nationality and immigration status; (2) A copy of the company’s registration certificate that is required to sponsor foreign employees; (3) Personnel files for all foreign employees, including copies of passport pages and temporary or permanent residence cards.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, temporary residence cards, permanent residence cards.
  • Who is affected: Mexican companies employing foreign employees.
  • Business impact: Employers should be aware that inspections may take place without notice and should therefore always have appropriate documentation in order.
  • Next steps: Companies should review their compliance policies and make sure they have a legal representative to receive inspectors and relevant immigration and business documents on hand.

Background: The inspections are not new, as the National Migration Institute (INM) is authorized by law to visit employers to verify the status of foreign employees. The INM may carry out inspections if it seeks to confirm information a company provided, if it suspects a company is employing foreign workers without proper documents, or if it wants to gather information to prevent immigration violations.

Inspectors may visit without notice and photograph the business premises, and then ask for a legal representative of the company and proceed to conduct the inspection on the spot or make an appointment to inspect, usually within 24 hours.

INM inspectors should appear in uniform, identify themselves and present IDs along with a notice of inspection containing the Ministry of Interior seal that states the purpose of the visit, the employer’s address and the legal grounds for the inspection. After an inspection, the employer should receive an official memo from the INM stating the outcome of the visit, which must be signed by the INM official, the company’s representative and any witnesses.

BAL Analysis: The inspections do not appear to have increased in frequency across the board, but INM has recently focused on employers who rely heavily on foreign workers or who are noncompliant with immigration regulations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Mexico. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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