News from Mexico
On January 29, 2010, Mexico’s National Migration Institute published its Manual of Criteria and Migration Procedures (“Manual de Criterios y Trámites Migratorios del Instituto Nacional de Migración” or “Manual”). The Manual will be enforced as of May 1, 2010, throughout the 32 delegations of the National Migration Institute across the country.
The intention of the National Migration Institute is to clarify, streamline, and simplify processing requirements for each immigration category. Applications currently being processed and those filed before May 1, 2010, will be analyzed and processed based on current policies, practices, and procedures.
Some of the most relevant aspects of the Manual include:
- All migratory forms for tourists, business visitors, and technical visitors with lucrative activities, who intend to stay in Mexico for up to 180 days, will be replaced by a single “FMM” (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) form. The FMM will serve as evidence of the foreign national’s immigration status while in Mexico;
- The business visitor criteria are clearly defined. The new FMM form has an option for choosing the purpose of the visit as business (negocios), for which once the foreign national enters Mexico, the immigration officer will grant a 180-day stay.
- There are three options that the immigration officer might mark that will grant the foreign national 180 days: (a) Business (Visitante Persona de Negocios), (b) Visitor with Lucrative Activities (Visitante con Actividades Lucrativas), and (c) Visitor with Non-Lucrative Activities (Visitante con Actividades No Lucrativas). Any of these allow the foreign national to visit Mexico for business, either for working purposes or only for meetings.
- If the purpose of the business visit will extend the stay beyond 180 days, the foreign national will have to file for a change of immigration status to obtain the corresponding FM3.
- The ABTC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business travel card) criteria are clearly defined.
- In the following weeks, the National Migration Institute will publish the formats of the new migration cards that will replace the FM2 and FM3 booklets. Changes of activity, domicile, marital status, and similar information will no longer have to be annotated on the migratory document, thereby allowing a foreign national to travel in and out of Mexico while a change of status/conditions application is in process without having to request an exit and re-entry permit.
- Consular posts will no longer issue FM2 or FM3 booklets. Instead, the consular post will place a visa sticker on the foreign national’s passport, upon receipt of the petition’s approval from the National Migration Institute. The sticker will allow entry into Mexico within 365 days of issuance. Upon entry, the foreign national must obtain the new FM2 or FM3 migration card within 30 days.