Connecticut, US

May 13 2019

Corporate Registration Delays Worsen

Mexico

At a Glance

  • Processing delays for annual Corporate Registration Certificate updates have worsened recently, causing extreme delays in other immigration processes. In particular, new work permit applications, residence permit renewals and other applications that require the employer to hold an updated registration are now taking several additional weeks and even months in some cases to process.
  • Employers with pending work permit applications that would be filed between now and mid-2019 will need to plan ahead for separate government-related processing delays.
  • Employers of foreign employees with residence permits expiring between now and mid-year should also work with their immigration providers to develop strategies for mitigating these delays to avoid employees losing their immigration status.

The situation

New work permit applications, residence permit renewals and other immigration processes that require employers in Mexico to have an updated Corporate Registration Certificate are now taking several additional weeks and in some extreme cases even months to process.  Also, as a result of the National Immigration Institute’s (INM) inconsistent practices, employers are experiencing further delays with their visa applications.

Background

  • Resigning officials brought delays. Employers and foreign nationals began seeing delays in immigration processing last year as officials resigned their posts to campaign in federal elections that ultimately resulted in the election of a new government. The transition to a new administration brought further turn-over in senior-level immigration officials, which worsened delays.  A lack of communication within the INM has worsened the delays.
  • Personal appearance requirement brought delays. In January 2019, the new government instituted a personal appearance requirement for companies updating their Corporate Registration Certificates, a process each company must complete annually or every time they alter the corporate structure of their legal entity in Mexico in order to sponsor foreign nationals for new and renewed residence permits. This requirement has pushed processing times for these updates for several additional weeks beyond typical processing times.

 

A closer look

Delays with the Corporate Registration Certificate updating process are preventing employers from using express counters for immigration applications (since employers must have an updated Certificate to use such counters). Therefore, such employers are being forced to instead use the regular processing counter services for immigration filings, which takes much longer than the express counter processing.

Impact

To avoid unnecessary delays, employers should:

  • file their Corporate Registration Certificate update as soon as possible;
  • file initial work permit applications as early as possible;
  • work with their immigration providers now to develop strategies for mitigating delays to avoid losing immigration status for employees with residence permits expiring through mid-2019.

 

Looking ahead

  • Onsite inspections will continue and will likely increase. Since March 2019, the Immigration offices in Mexico have increased the number of unannounced site visits to employers. As previously reported by Fragomen, employers must work with their immigration counsel to prepare for such visits. 
  • Tax return season means further delays. Immigration processing delays have worsened over the past month as Mexico’s corporate tax filing season ended on March 31, and there was a rush of corporate Registration Certificate filings.  
  • Improvements likely ahead. As the new government settles into power, the bureaucratic challenges described above will likely decrease. Through its membership in various local bar and immigration industry organizations, Fragomen has been actively reaching out to government officials to raise awareness of how these delays impact the business community and foreign workers.

 

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to mexicocityinfo@fragomen.com.