Connecticut, US

Oct 25 2018

Government Transition and Upcoming Processing Delays


The situation

Mexican immigration application processing is expected to be delayed due to a transition to a new government, preparations for which will start by mid-November. Delays are expected to be further exacerbated due to national holiday closures. This will result in approval delays that could extend for several weeks or months into the first quarter of 2019, depending on how fast the new Mexican government finalizes the transition to new senior government officials and their related administrative branches.

A closer look

  • Government changeover. Though the National Migration Institute (INM) will accept applications and documents during the government changeover, the extent of related processing delays will depend on government responsibility transitions, potentially new application criteria and other related factors.
  • Holiday closures. INM will not accept applications or documents during the holiday period, for which the dates are announced much closer to the actual closure period, but are anticipated to be mid-December through early-January. All government agencies are closed during the holiday period.  


  • Immigration applications delays. Permanent residence, work permit, corporate registration applications, legalization requests, document procurement requests, renewal applications and changes of status to permanent residence will be accepted during the government changeover period (but not during the holiday closure period). However, INM may not process such applications until mid-January. Foreign nationals who will be filing immigration applications for which authorities will retain their residence card should be aware that although INM may accept their applications during the government changeover, processing may be delayed depending on how long it takes for new government officials to take office.
  • Impact on travel. Foreign nationals whose Mexican residence cards are being held by the INM as part of an application process may not be able to travel until their application is approved.
  • Re-entry permits. Foreign nationals with pending applications seeking to leave Mexico and re-enter during the holiday closure period should apply for an exit/re-entry permit as soon as possible. Such a permit serves as proof of status for port-of-entry/exit officials while another immigration application is pending. Therefore, the exit/re-entry permit can only be processed after the main application has been submitted. Those who seek to depart Mexico without an exit/re-entry permit will be barred from entering or could have their permanent residence card cancelled.


The Mexican government is undergoing a year of significant changes that began in March, when many government officials left office to campaign in preparation for the presidential elections that took place in June 2018.

Looking ahead

Historically, government transitions lead to immigration policy changes, especially when the political party changes. Since the new president is expected to decentralize the government and relocate some of the administration to other Mexican states, many of Mexico’s national policies across various governmental institutions may change.

Fragomen is contacting affected clients and foreign nationals to advise on the consequences of the delays and will report on any future relevant changes in Mexico.

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 [email protected].