How To Get A Job In Mexico: Requirements And Expectations

One of my best friends has lived and worked in Mexico on and off for a few years now and he loves it. So, naturally I was curious how you’d get a job in Mexico. After interviewing him, here is what I discovered.


Requirements To Get A Job In Mexico As A U.S. Citizen

To get a job in Mexico as a foreigner, you must have either a temporary or permanent resident visa in addition to a Mexican work visa. The entire process can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days. With both of these documents; you can live and work in Mexico for up to 4 years; at which point you would need to apply for a permanent residency.

How To Apply For A Mexico Work Permit

To apply for a Mexico Work Visa, your employer must obtain a Work Permit on your behalf from the National Immigration Institute. Within 15-30 days of receiving your work permit, you must apply for your temporary Mexico resident visa.


Follow these steps to obtain a Mexican work permit:

Step 1: Find an employer in Mexico

Step 2: The employer obtains your work permit for you

Step 3: Within 15-30 days of receiving your work permit, you must apply for your temporary resident visa

Step 4: When you arrive in Mexico, you must exchange your temporary resident visa for your temporary resident card

When your employer applies for your work permit, they must submit the following documents at the National Immigration Institute:

  • Mexico Work Permit Request Form
  • Original job offer stating the full details of the job: your salary, the duration of your work, your position, and the company’s address (the letter must be written on the company’s letterhead)
  • Full photocopy of your passport
  • Your original diplomas, transcripts, and other certifications (notarized)
  • Your CV
  • Documents related to the company that’s hiring you, such as:
    • The Articles of Incorporation
    • List of the employees and their nationalities
    • Proof the company’s paid the due taxes
  • Documents regarding your financial status (bank statements, pay stubs)

If your Mexico work permit is approved, you will receive your Unique Processing Number (NUT). You must provide this number when you apply for your temporary resident visa at a Mexican consulate of your choice. Once you schedule the appointment, you only have 10 days for the interview and the issuance of your visa.


How To Apply For A Mexican Temporary Resident Visa

A Mexican temporary resident visa is for anyone who desires to reside in Mexico for at least 180 days, but no more than 4 years. Here is what you will need to apply for your temporary residence visa:

  • Passport with minimum validity of 6 months (original and copy)
  • Passport-size photo (32mm x 26mm) frontal view, in color, white background
  • Proof of income (last 12 months)
  • Proof of net worth
  • Bank statements (last 12 months)

Once you have gathered all the appropriate documents that are needed to apply for your temporary resident visa, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Contact a Mexican embassy or consulate to set up your appointment: Click to view a List of Mexican Consulates Near You

Step 2: Print and fill out the Visa Application Form (one page, double sided, properly filled out and completed.)

Step 3: Submit you application and pay the visa fee (only cash or money order $40) when you arrive at the consulate for you appointment.

Step 4: In conjunction with the requested conditions of stay, you must submit an additional requirement of one of the following assumptions:

  • Proof of property in the country where the visa is requested
  • Economic solvency (most common choice)
  • Invitation by a Mexican institution
  • Scientific or educational research for work in Mexico
  • Study in Mexico
  • Relative of a Mexican national or resident in Mexico
  • Frequent traveler
  • Visitors in an adoption process
  • Employee representative directed to give advice to a Mexican company
  • Investor
  • Owner of property in Mexico
  • All the assumptions designated by law
    View Details Here

Step 5: Patiently wait for your visa to be processed (1 week to 1 month)

Step 6: If approved for your temporary resident visa, you must travel to Mexico within 180 days after receiving it in order to exchange it for your temporary Mexico resident card. NOTE: Once you arrive in Mexico with your temporary resident visa, you only have 30 days to exchange it for your card.


Exchanging Your Temporary Resident Visa For Your Temporary Resident Card

When you arrive in Mexico after receiving your temporary resident visa, you have 30 days to apply for the exchange for your temporary resident card. You can get your temporary resident card at the National Immigration Institute in Mexico.

When you apply for your card, make sure to have the following items with you:

  • Resident card request form (download from Immigration Office website)
  • Your passport with the temporary resident visa attached
  • The Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) you receive at the airport or, download here
  • Payment for your card (ranges from 3,000 MXN to 7,000 MXN)
  • A cover letter for the Temporary Resident Card addressed to the Instituto Nacional de Migración

After you receive your temporary resident card, it will be valid for one year. After the one year is up, you may renew your card for an additional 1 to 3 years; for a total of 4 years. After 4 years, you would need to apply for your permanent resident card.


Jobs Available In Mexico

The most common jobs available in Mexico are in the service industry. Waiters, plumbers, mechanics, taxi drivers, and tour guides are all common jobs in the service industry, and are all available in Mexico.

If the service industry isn’t your cup of tea, there are other industries to choose from that are often found in Mexico. Over 20% of Mexicans work in industries such as mining, manufacturing, and producing clothes. As well, about 15% of Mexicans work in agriculture where they farm corn, coffee, cotton, fruit, rice, and wheat.

If you’re looking for work in a costal city, you may also find work as a fisherman. This would be my personal choice. Who wouldn’t want to be out on the water all day fishing and enjoying life.


I must warn you though, Mexico can be a challenging place to find work for a foreigner. Most foreigners who move to Mexico do it for the lifestyle rather than a new career opportunity. Which means they are willing to accept the low working wages and long hours that are involved.


If you are not willing to accept a survival rate wage and long working hours, you are instantly put at a disadvantage. Reason being, there are thousands of Mexicans and foreigners who are willing to accept the low wages and long hours, simply for the lifestyle Mexico offers.

Just some food for thought, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from finding a job in Mexico.

High Demand Jobs In Mexico

Besides the common jobs found in Mexico, there are many jobs that are currently in high demand. The opening-up of Mexico’s economy is creating demand for experienced workers in communication, engineering, and technical sectors.

As well, Mexico is always searching for more teachers, nurses, accountants, architects, and marketing managers.

The Average Salary For A Job In Mexico

The average salary in Mexico ranges from $15,900 to $17,000 USD per year. The minimum wage in Mexico is 123.22 MXN (about $6.50) per day.

Job TitleAverage Salary
Per Month MXN
Waiter/Waitress(entry level) $5,500 – (senior level) $10,200
Plumber(entry level) $13,000 – (senior level) $21,966
Mechanic(entry level) $14,000 – (senior level) $23,700
Taxi Cab Driver(entry level) $6,200 – (senior level) $9,190
Tour Guide(entry level) $6,700 – (senior level) $10,330
Mining Helper(entry level) $8,200 – (senior level) $13,350
General Farming(entry level) $6,450 – (senior level) $9,570
Engineer(entry level) $16,330 – (senior level) $28,450
Nurse(entry level) $19,230 – (senior level) $33,580
Medical Doctor(entry level) $51,280 – (senior level) $98, 215
Salary information was collected from here.

Employment Rate In Mexico

Out of 126 million people in Mexico, 3.65% of those people are unemployed. The absence of a public unemployment benefit system is one of the main reasons Mexico’s unemployment rate is relatively low compared to other countries.

YearMexico’s Unemployment
Rate 2010 – 2020
10 year average4.70%
Information for unemployment rate is found here. 10 year average is an estimate based on the mean value of the last 10 years.

Working In Mexico For A U.S. Company

If you want to live in Mexico, but work remotely for a U.S. company and be paid in a U.S. bank account, you can do that with just a tourist permit (180 days). However, if you want to live in Mexico for longer than 180 days, you will need to obtain your temporary Mexico resident card.

This is something my friend has done on and off for years now successfully. Traveling all around Mexico and working remotely from every location. When your 180 days is up, simply leave the country, then return whenever you are ready for another 180 days. Brilliant.


Applying For Your Mexican Social Security Number

To apply for Mexican Social Security Medical Insurance, you must first obtain your Mexican Social Security Number. You can apply for you Mexican SSN online once you have your temporary Mexican resident card. You will need your Unique Population Registry Code (CURP number) and an email address to do this.


Immigration will require the following documents to apply for your CURP:

  • Original and a copy of your passport
  • Your resident card
  • The CURP request letter

You may apply for you Mexican SSN here.

Maternity Leave Benefits In Mexico

Mexico federal law states maternity leave is for 12 weeks, split into two stages. The first 6 weeks is prior to giving birth to your baby, the second 6 weeks is after you have given birth to your newborn. Generally, you can negotiate longer periods of maternity leave with your employer post pregnancy.

The Mexican Social Security Institute will pay the mother 100% of her daily salary for the 12 week maternity leave period. If your leave lasts any longer than 12 weeks, the mother will be paid 50% of her daily salary for up to 60 days.

Remember: In order to apply for maternity leave, you will need to have a Mexican SSN.

alex gomez mexico travel buddy
About the author

Alex Gomez is a professional writer, travel enthusiast, and the creator of Mexico Travel Buddy. His favorite destination is anywhere in Mexico. Having ventured to Mexico numerous times, he enjoys sharing valuable tips, tricks, and insights he's gathered along the way.

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