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What Happens During An Immigration Inspection of a Business? There is a knock at the door and a white van outside and 3 to 5 uniformed immigration agents. What do you do? Why are they here at my business? Usually there are a number of reasons for which immigration will do a verification inspection at a business such as: When an employer / company requests to hire a foreigner When a employer / company has foreign workers When a employer / company files employer registration documents with immigration or updates them When a complaint is made to immigration about a employer / company. Immigration will inspect the employer facilities and fill out a report that focuses on the following points: 1) The characteristics of the property where the business is located (Type of facade, how many stories, type of gate, reference points on either side and in front). 2) Note the type of property use. (Residential home, business, offices, company, laboratory, warehouse, restaurant, residential property used as offices, others.) 3) Number of people that are physically present at the time of the verification inspection, as well as their name, nationality and official identification document being: IFE or passport (Mexicans) or immigration document (foreigners) , in the vent of the latter they will want to attach a copy of the document or reference number. 4) Request a list of Mexican and foreign workers at the company or workplace, proving the labor relationship and where proper requesting proof of payment of IMSS employer contributions. 5) Confirm if the employer / company has other duly registered branches or other offices where foreigners are working, attaching a utility bill for each location. 6) Ask the reason for why the employer / company requested to be registered with immigration, when proper listing the name, nationality and position of the person they are looking to hire as well as show that they have the knowledge and skills to work in the area. 7) Ask the owner of the business if they have ever requested a work visa for a foreigner. Many times people wonder if a person can be working at a business while their work authorization is in process and the answer is that foreigner should only be working after they have received their work authorization and not before as both the employer and employee risk sanctions if they are caught. It is best to comply with the law and not have problems. One issue we have seen is people working from their homes. If immigration comes for an inspection and you are not home, they will find a neighbor to ask and if the neighbors say that it is a residence and that there is no business there then immigration may deny your papers stating that you didn't tell the truth as their workplace inspection revealed that the place of work listed on your papers was not a real business and making false statements is a reason to deny your application. A good point is to know your neighbors and let them you know you work from home in the event that immigration comes to visit and you are not home.
Last week on Thursday, July 30, 2015 Immigration published changes to their forms that are generated online. The old forms can be used for a limited time (90 calendar days) but it is recommended to use the new forms. The forms that have been changed are for: Renewing your temporary visa within Mexico or changing from temporary to permanent Changing from tourist to temporary or permanent in Mexico Registration of Employers One big change with new forms is many ask about a prior criminal record. http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5402292&fecha=30/07/2015
Last month, June 2015, immigration circulated an internal update to their offices with changes to how they would treat renewals for people who have work permits. There was no change in the current immigration law or its regulations. This change was made at the whim of higher-ups in immigration. This change will apply to people who did not originally enter Mexico with an offer of employment work visa and will only apply to those who entered with a regular temporary visa and who later changed to a visa with permission to work. People renewing work visas obtained which were changed from temporary visas will be required to submit bank statements to prove that they either have income from outside Mexico or savings that meet the published Residente Temporal guidelines (400 times minimum wage or 28.040 pesos for income or 20,000 minimum wage or 1,402,000 pesos in assets. This makes no sense as one who is working in Mexico will not have income from another job outside Mexico. Also, the income limits are different for applications within and outside Mexico as outside the limits are less. Which income / asset standard will they apply? What is one qualified at the consulate for a lesser amount and now within the country they need to show a higher amount? To be clear, the law and procedure manual published on November 8, 2012 still states in Article 34 that for renewals one only needs to present a letter showing the person still has the same job and how long the job lasts. No other type of renewal visa asks for income documentation to be submitted. The only time a person needs to submit income documentation is if they renew late (regularizacion) or they change the condition of stay (cambio de condicion de estancia) to one where income / assets need to be proven. I am confident that we can win this on appeal or federal lawsuit but that is extra time and money and while we are on appeal they will not allow you to travel unless we file an amparo so you need to plan to be stuck in Mexico for a while. The first administrative appeal can take 4 to 6 months from the time you are denied until we receive a resolution and if we need to file a federal suit in the administrative tribunal (TFJFA) it can be another year extra until you get things back to normal. Those of you out there who are in this situation would be advised to save your money and plan accordingly so you will not have problems when it is time to renew. Lic. Spencer Richard Mc Mullen is an attorney and official court translator who has offices in Chapala and Guadalajara and specializes in immigration and administrative law and has litigated in all courts and wins his cases. Lic. Spencer may be reached at 376-765-7553 Chapala / Guadalajara (33)1592-3801 www.chapalalaw.com