What is the change? The Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) is remodeling its regional office in Mexico City, resulting in reduced office space and staffing and longer wait times. The remodel is related to the INM’s plans to shift all visa and permit processing in Mexico City to the city’s regional office rather than the national headquarters.

What does the change mean? Applicants should expect delays when making in-person appearances for appointments at the INM regional office in Mexico City. Demand for immigration services remains high not just in Mexico City, but throughout the country. Employers should continue to plan ahead, submit applications as early as possible and work closely with their immigration provider if they have questions about pending applications.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for visas or permits in Mexico City.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times continue to be significantly longer than normal. Specific processing times vary depending on the type of visa or permit and the region.

Background: Mexico City has two INM offices, the INM’s national headquarters and a regional office serving the federal district. (All 31 Mexican states also have regional offices.) This past summer, authorities announced plans to move all visa and permit processing in Mexico City to the regional office. Although that plan was postponed this month, construction has now begun. About 30-40 percent of the office is under construction, leading to reduced space, lower staffing, and wait times that, depending on the situation, can be two or three times longer than normal.

Analysis & Comments: Mexico has been grappling with processing delays for months now, largely because of changes in personnel and increased migration from Central America. The work underway at the INM’s regional office in Mexico City is leading to longer wait times for appointments and could exacerbate processing delays. Employers should continue to plan ahead and submit applications as early as possible. In some cases, employers may need to adjust employee start dates because of delays.

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