Virginia, US

Dec 04 2018

Issues Arising from New Police Clearance Policy

Mexico

The situation
As of September 2018, the Federal Police in Mexico is only issuing police clearances to applicants who can obtain a letter from the consulate of their destination country stating that the applicant needs this document for their immigration process. They are also requiring applicants to request a police clearance in person at the Federal Police offices.  Although the National Security Commission published this new policy in an official communication, the policy has not been directly communicated to consular posts in Mexico.


A closer look
The new policy has affected steps in immigration processes as follows:

  • Obtaining letters. Applicants are seeing varied outcomes when attempting to obtain a letter for the Federal Police explaining why they need a police clearance. Some consulates are issuing the letters immediately upon request (including Argentina and Panama); other consulates (including Brazil and Spain) have refused to issue the letters but have deliniated alternative acceptable documents; while other consulates (including Venezuela, Switzerland and Costa Rica) are refusing to issue the letters since they did not receive direct communication from Mexican authorities regarding this new policy.
    • Impact. Foreign nationals whose consular posts are not issuing the required document may be stalled at the police clearance stage of their immigration process.  Foreign nationals who can obtain the letters or alternative documents acceptable to the Federal Police may see delays in their immigration process, but they should be able to move ahead with obtaining their visas.
    • Costa Rica issue. Additionally, due to the new government in Costa Rica, there is currently a vacancy in the General Consul position, so there is no one in a position of authority to decide on issuing the letters or issuing alternative acceptable documents.
  • In-person application. The new policy requires applicants to appear in person at the Federal Police offices to request a police clearance. Previously, third parties were allowed to appear if they presented a Power of Attorney. 
    • Impact. This new requirement may disrupt travel and foreign nationals should plan their travel accordingly.
  • Unaffected applicants. Mexican and foreign nationals who are residing abroad who need to obtain Mexican police clearances are not affected by the new policy as they can obtain a consular letter at a Mexican consulate.

 

Background
Many countries require foreign nationals seeking to obtain work and residence visas to provide legalized police clearances from their country of origin or from countries where they have held legal residence to ensure that the foreign national does not have a criminal history.


Looking ahead
Fragomen is working closely with clients to analyze and provide guidance on all affected cases and will provide updates on the situation as they become available.


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.