Mexico has enacted a law reforming the Mexican immigration system to allow foreign nationals who are criminally charged to move forward with immigration proceedings unless they are found guilty. Previously, visa applications in Mexico were rejected if the applicant had been charged with certain crimes.

Key Points:

  • On Jan. 7, a decree requiring Mexico to respect the right to the presumption of innocence became law. As part of the decree, presumption of innocence cannot be denied to foreign nationals who are “subject to criminal proceedings” unless and until they are convicted.
  • Under the previous law, visa applicants were rejected if they were subject to criminal proceedings from crimes deemed to place the nation or public security in danger.
  • Under the current law, visa applications will not be held or denied because of criminal proceedings. Until the applicant is convicted, applicants will have their visas approved if all requirements are met.

Analysis & Comments: The new law means that some visa applicants who previously would have had their applications rejected will be able to move forward in the application process. Their visas will only be jeopardized if they are convicted of certain crimes, rather than just being subject to criminal proceedings.

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