Business travel to Mexico basics
Manufacturing personnel planning to engage in business travel to Mexico should have an understanding of the immigration rules and regulations that govern their visit(s).
Business travel to Mexico requires one of two principal documents:
- FMM – Forma Migratoria Multiple (Multiple Migratory Form)
- DRT – Derecho de Residencia Temporal (Right of Temporary Residence)
Before obtaining and commencing to fill out Mexican migratory paperwork, it is advisable to visit the Mexican National Institute of Immigration‘s website. It provides information that enables individuals to determine whether or not a visa will be required for their business travel to Mexico. Reviewing this information is important. For instance, a US citizen preparing to visit Mexico for commercial purposes will not need to obtain a visa to accompany his or her passport, if he or she plans to obtain an FMM (Multiple Migratory Form). For example, citizens from countries such as Afghanistan, China, Cuba, India, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia and others that are listed by the Mexican government as requiring visas face stringent requirements when making application.
FMM – Forma Migratoria Multiple (Multiple Migratory Form)
It is recommended that the FMM be obtained in cases in which business travel to Mexico will be sporadic, and will be primarily of short duration of one to seven days. There is no cost for obtaining this document, if travel is limited to one week. Stays of more than seven days, require the payment of a fee. Information regarding cost can be acquired from the immigration personnel at the site at which the immigration documents are filed. Payments can be made at that locale, as well.
When requesting an Multiple Migratory Form, those visiting Mexico to conduct commercial activities must declare this fact. This is because there is an alternate version of the FMM that is granted to tourists, which is not acceptable to Mexican immigration authorities for business use. The maximum time frame for which an FMM is valid and can be utilized for multiple entries into Mexico for business purposes is 180 days. After that period, individuals that make sporadic trips to Mexico for business reasons are required reapply to obtain a new document. When an FMM is first issued, the traveler’s passport is date stamped. This is so that the date after which the businessman or woman’s expired FMM should be returned to Mexican immigration authorities is evident. When the FMM that is no longer valid, and is returned to Mexican authorities, the passport of the holder of newly invalid FMM is stamped “exit.”
Closing out an FMM with immigration authorities after it has expired is important. Failure to do so can create difficulties for those planning further business travel to Mexico such that may include the levying of fines by the National Institute of Immigration, or delays in receiving a new and valid FMM.
DRT – Derecho de Residencia Temporal (Right of Temporary Residence)
The DRT was formerly referred to as the FM3. The first step to acquiring the Right of Temporary Residence document is for the executive planning extended business travel to Mexico, or temporary residence in country, to visit the Mexican consulate that is closest to his or her place of residence.
In order to apply for the DRT, foreign applicants must provide consular officials with:
- An original passport, as well as a copy. The copy must include the main page showing photo, as well as pages that contain visa stamps from previous business trips to Mexico;
- Two passport photos taken with a white background. Applicants should not wear eyeglasses when being photographed;
- A letter of invitation from the business at which the applicant will be employed;
- A letter from the applicant’s employer in the United States, or in another country of origin (if applicable).
There is a fee collected by Mexico’s immigration authorities for the issuance of DRT. At present, a DRT which is valid for a period of up to one year can be obtained for MXN $3,243.00. As of the exchange rate applicable on July 24, 2014, this amount is the approximate equivalent of US $250.00
The Tecma Group of Companies provides assistance to personnel from manufacturing companies operating under its Mexico Shelter Manufacturing Partnership (MSMP). Individuals seeking more detailed information on this topic are invited to indicate their need for assistance by filling out the corporate website contact form.