Connecticut, US

Sep 11 2019

Immigration Processing Delays in Monterrey Resulting in Travel Restrictions

Mexico

At a Glance

  • Immigration authorities in Monterrey, Nuevo León are experiencing further delays in issuing some residence approvals and Residence Cards while they finalize the administrative transition to the office’s newly-appointed head immigration official in Monterrey.

  • Foreign nationals with residence applications that were approved but not signed by the former immigration head’s team can expect delays in obtaining their Residence Cards while immigration authorities re-issue approval notices and the new immigration head’s team signs them.

  • Affected foreign nationals with approved Residence Cards which have not yet been issued may face travel restrictions until they receive their Residence Cards, since Exit Permits, which are issued to foreign nationals with pending immigration applications in order to travel, are generally not issued after an application is approved in the system.

  • Foreign nationals and their employers can also expect continued processing delays of several months for new temporary residence visas, permanent residence applications, renewals, post-arrival registrations and corporate registrations filed in the city of Monterrey and possibly across the state.

  • Fragomen will contact affected clients with case-by-case advice.

     


The situation

Immigration authorities in Monterrey are experiencing delays in issuing some residence approvals while they finalize the administrative transition to the office’s newly-appointed head immigration official, resulting in travel restrictions for some foreign nationals with pending applications.

Impact

  • Approvals without signature. Foreign nationals with residence applications that were approved but not signed by the former immigration head’s team can expect delays in obtaining their Residence Cards while immigration authorities re-issue approval notices and the new head immigration official approves them. The extent of the delays is still uncertain.

  • Travel restrictions. Affected foreign nationals with approved Residence Cards which have not yet been issued may face travel restrictions until they receive their Residence Cards, since Exit Permits, which are issued to foreign nationals with pending immigration applications in order to travel, are generally not issued after an application is approved in the system.

  • General processing delays. Foreign nationals and their employers can also expect continued lengthy processing of several months for new temporary residence visas, permanent residence applications, renewals, post-arrival registrations and corporate registrations filed in the city of Monterrey and possibly across Nuevo Leon. Foreign nationals and their employers should continue to work with their immigration providers to develop strategies for mitigating delays.

 

Background

The Monterrey branch of the National Institute of Mexico (INM) is one of the largest after the Mexico City office. Employers and foreign nationals began seeing immigration processing delays in Monterrey, as well as other major cities in Mexico in 2018 due to the resignation of numerous officials. Due to further restricting of personnel within the INM this year, foreign nationals are continuing to experience delays. In July 2019, the head immigration officer in Monterrey, Gabriela Zamora, resigned and was replaced by Daniel Torres Cantú.

Looking ahead

The Mexican government continues to focus its efforts on controlling irregular migration in response to ongoing negotiations with the United States on increased border enforcement. As a result, Fragomen expects that more administrative agencies in Mexico will be undergoing restructuring, likely causing further immigration processing delays, potentially new immigration criteria, and other related factors.

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.