Illegal expats in Mexico given amnesty period to become legal

Illegal foreigners residing in Mexico past the usual six-month visa are being given an opportunity to become legal with the assurance that no illegal foreigners will be arrested due to their irregular status.

As of December 14, 2014, foreigners who are currently residing in Mexico can take advantage of a program from President Peña Nieto where illegal immigrants can head down to their local INM office and apply for residency.

The program, which begins January 13, 2015 and runs until December 18, 2015, was published on SEGOB’s website, Programa Temporal de Regularizacion Migratoria.

While the program does not make mention of paying fines or having to show the normal income statements to qualify for residency, there is a complete list of document requirements that include an original and a photocopy of:

  • Immigration form
  • Request letter
  • Passport
  • Immigration document (in the event the person had one)

One of the following documents that proves their residence in the country:

  1. Airline tickets
  2. Passport with entry stamp
  3. Immigration document (in case the person was regular in Mexico)
  4. Utility bills (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility)
  5. Medical file, school records or rental contracts
  6. Any other document issued by a public agency that shows the requestor has resided in Mexico or
  7. Declaration signed by two people who know the person and state they have lived in the country for the time required.
  • The documents can be in the name of the person or their children, partner or spousal figure.
  • Documents that prove their current residence (light, water, phone, internet, TV, gas or any other utility).
  • Payment of regularization fees
  • Copies of ID of people authorized to present papers.

In English, the program details translate as follows:

The present program applies to foreigners who entered Mexico before November 9, 2012 and on January 13, 2015 (for people who) find themselves living in the country with an irregular immigration status.

The above applies when a foreigner does not fall into one of the following situations:Have a pending immigration request except those expressly canceled in order to participate in this program.

Are in the process of an assisted return procedure or deportation
Given false information or false documents to Immigration or authentic documents obtained fraudulently.
People deported with reentry restrictions
People with pending criminal charges or a criminal record
People who compromise national security due to past criminal records
People subject to express prohibitions dictated by a competent authority
Having not complied with a deportation order during the program period
Having an irregular immigration status after January 13, 2015
(or) Anything else covered by the Immigration law and its regulations. In the cases of V and VI the authority will weigh the corresponding resolution attending to the principles of social redapatation, as well as those relative to family reunification.

The procedure for the person requesting the regularization of their immigration status will need to:

Present their documents at INM where they will have a hearing on the spot or set the date for a future hearing. If setting a date, the date shall not be more than 10 business days after the papers are turned in.

INM will make a written record of the hearing and go over all the paperwork presented that validates what needed.

Immigration then has 30 days to give a response. If the response is positive then they can issue a temporary resident document good for four years.

Once the person has the document, they may request work permission as well as documents for family members.

For the issuance of the document the person will need the positive resolution, 2 copies of the format basico, 3 photos, and payment of fees.