Common Mistakes to Sidestep While Hiring Staff in Mexico


Emily Martin, Corporate Recruiter.

The companies that are looking to expand their business to Mexico or the ones that have already begun operations in the country need to keep in mind that some complications are involved while hiring foreign employees in Mexico. The Mexican Federal Labor Law needs the workforce to consist of at least 90% Mexican nationals. Thereby only 10% of the jobs can be offered to foreign nationals in Mexico. Businesses operating in Mexico must understand the various rules about the visa process so that they are compliant with Mexican law.

Getting the Mexican visa

If a foreigner wishes to work in Mexico, he or she needs to obtain a visa via NIM or the National Institute of Migration. There are two kinds of visas available for Mexico. First is the temporary visitor visa with permission to conduct paid activities and the second is the temporary resident visa that may be acquired via job offers. The process involving obtaining these work permits needs the foreigner to establish a residence in Mexico. It means that this person has described his income to the authorities at the customs. He also must hold an offer of employment from a business that was established in Mexico and meets other requirements. 

Obtaining Employer Registration 

The companies looking to hire foreigners for work in the country must obtain the ECR or Employer’s Certificate of Registration under RMW (Regulations of the Migration Law Article 166) issued by NIM. This document empowers the business to hire foreign personnel with a job offer. The ECR certificate is valid for one year only and the process involved in obtaining one takes up to one month. The company has to submit these things to the Federal Taxpayers Registry,

  • Registration certificate.
  • Registration proof.
  • Certificate indicating the Incorporation of the company.
  • The proof of address of the legal person.
  • The ID and proxy of the legal representative.
  • The list of staff mentioning their nationality including social security numbers.

The work visa thus obtained from the NIM allows the foreign employee to possess a CURP also known as Unique Population Registry Code. It is an essential requirement for registration in front of the FTR or Federal Taxpayers Registry. The concerned business will now register with the Mexican Institute of Social Security. This institution allows the foreigner to open a bank account in the national banks.

Using the refugees as workers

People living in Mexico on humanitarian grounds tend to have more rights than the tourists visiting the country. However, even these people need to obtain authorization from NIM or the National Institute of Migration to work in the country. These refugees will also have to submit the offer of employment from a business that holds a current ERC. The foreigner working in Mexico has the rights that are granted to him according to his resident status in the country and he also has all the human rights. Another document that these foreign workers need is an international driving permit so they can drive around freely from one place to the other.

In case he or she doesn’t possess a temporary visitor status along with the permissions for working or he does not have a resident status acquired through job offers, it is considered a breach of law and is liable to the administrative sanctions or deportation whichever is deemed appropriate. Any person who does not possess authorization to work in the country cannot be registered as staff by a business. This person will also face social and legal situations that will place the person’s residency in the country under threat.

Other Common mistakes while hiring in Mexico

Although there are several things an employer needs to look at while hiring employees in Mexico, here are some common mistakes they need to avoid,

  • Not understanding the Mexican law about termination in the foreign jurisdiction.
  • Failing to provide mandatory benefits to the employees such as paid time off.
  • Trying to exempt the employees following home country rules.
  • Restricting employee competition.
  • Hiring unnecessary employees.

Use Mexico PEOs for your business

A Mexico PEO can help you with every aspect of starting a business and hiring staff in Mexico that can be both local and foreign. The PEOs with local experience will know about avoiding the bureaucratic burden involved in the process of incorporation of business and they can provide administrative support to businesses in the form of incorporation of the business entity, legal and administrative compliance, payroll, and HR services, and taxation and accounting solutions. If you have plans to expand your business in Mexico, get in touch with experienced PEOs who will help your business with various compliance operations.