DEFINITION OF STUDENT VISA
It is a lawful status that Mexico grants to foreigners who wish to participate in the Mexican education system in an institution incorporated into the Secretariat of Public Education. This residence allows an undefined stay in Mexico until concluding the relevant studies or until there is no letter of acceptance or continuity by the educational institution, and it must be annually renewed.
Notice that all Temporary Student Residents must acknowledge that their card does not acquire residency rights, which also does not allow them to Naturalize or to get a Permanent Residence with the same status. You also must know that the law does not support getting a work permit as an independent.
Temporary Student Residents have the following rights:
To get a CURP (In English, Unique Population Registry Code)
If an educational institution allows it, to get a work permit if it does not interfere with his or her studies
Change status for a familiar unit.
Change status if a company registered at the NIM offers him or her a formal employment.
Grant a residence by familiar unit.
The applicable Regulation for this Visa is supported on sections II and III; 21, sections I, III, and IV; 35 and 37, section II; 39, 40, section V; 41, 43, 52, section VIII, 126, 127, 129, and 130 of Migratory Act, and articles 1, 2, 102, 108, 111, and 112 of the Regulation, and on Procedure 6 of General Guidelines to Grant Visas that the Ministry of Interior and Secretariat of Foreign Affairs issue.
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WHY STUDY IN MEXICO?
One of the main reasons a migrant trip to Mexico is to study. This country offers a wide education offer of high quality. Therefore, Mexico is one of the most convenient countries in Latin America to pursue any higher-level studies: Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate.
Hereunder we list the best universities, private and public, of Mexico members of the national education system.
Universidad Autónoma de México http://english.unam.mx/
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) https://tec.mx/en
Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) https://www.ipn.mx/ingles/
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) https://www.uam.mx/lang/eng/index.html
El Colegio de México (COLMEX) https://www.colmex.mx/en
La Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG) https://www.udg.mx/en
Universidad de las Américas de Puebla (UDLAP) https://www.udlap.mx/web/en/
Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) https://www.buap.mx/#
Universidad de Chapingo (UdeCh) https://www.chapingo.mx/
Universidad Iberoamericana (UI) https://ibero.mx/about-ibero
If you want to study in any of them, click on their website and request information.
HUMAN RIGHT TO EDUCATION
The right to study is an international human right. It is on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that reads:
1. Everyone has the right to education…”
This human right is included on the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico, mainly in its article 3 that reads:
Everyone has the right to education…”
Remember that one of the main axes that regulate the structure and functionality of any modern legal system, as the Mexican system, is the supremacy of the constitution. Mexico follows this established constitutional principle in accordance with Article 133 of the Magna Carta, which is attuned with international legal standards. Therefore, education must be guaranteed for everyone within the Mexican territory, including foreigners.
We must consider that here guarantee is, of course, subject to sociological, economic, and even political conditions. Therefore, in another article, we could focus on groups of vulnerable migrants: boys, girls, teenagers, unaccompanied minor, refugees, displaced persons, political asylum, etc. However, in this article, we will focus on those migrants who, as foreigners, are required to follow the secondary legislation to fulfill their constitutional guarantee to respect their human right to education.
But what is the meaning of all this? It means that even if it is true that the right to education is an increased-category human right, its practice is not a priori. Of course, human rights are not a third judgment, but this does not mean that there will not be proceedings and mechanisms to enforce them. So, to enforce this right on migrants, as well as the mentioned supreme laws, we must take into account: the Migratory Act and its Regulation, the Guidelines for proceedings and Migration Proceedings, and the General Guidelines to issue Visas that the Secretariat of Interior and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.
From the articles that work as leading axes on Migration law in Mexico, meaning the first articles of the Migratory Act, the importance of the human right to education is established. We can read the following on article one:
“Recognition of the rights immigrants acquires, whereas foreigners with family, labor, and business ties to Mexico generate a series of rights and commitments as of the time in which they begin their day-to-day lives in Mexico, even if they have fallen into irregular migratory status for administrative reasons and provided they have complied with applicable law.”
Of course, education can turn into acquired rights.
CAUSE OF ACTION OF A TEMPORARY STUDENT RESIDENT
In other articles, the Law establishes a type of lawful status that a foreigner can have in Mexico if the main scenario to stay on this territory is education.
“Article 40. Foreigners attempting to enter Mexico must provide one of the following validly-issued and current visa types:
V. Visa for temporary student residency, which authorizes the foreigner to appear at any place allocated to international human transit and request entry into Mexico in order to remain throughout the time in which courses, studies, research projects, or education verified to take place in educational institutions that pertain to the national education system lasts and to carry out lucrative activities in accordance with Article 52, section VIII of this Law.”
This Article is the operating base of this right; this means that you can get a Visa to enter Mexico in an authorized way to study. The Article refers to the place amide for human transit, which can be objectionable and vague, as we normally consider these places the airports and land borders. However, later, we will see that the Visa is requested and issued by an embassy on its consular section. The type of studies the applicant wants to study must be part of the educational institutions, public and private, study plans that are part of the national education system. It also allows the application of this type of Visa carries out remunerated activities in Mexico, that is, to work.
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM, IN MÉXICO?
It is well-defined in the following link:
The National Education System encompasses lower, upper secondary, and higher education, on-site learning on distance learning, and both.
Basic education is composed of pre-school, primary, and secondary education.
The upper secondary encompasses baccalaureate, equivalent levels, and professional education that does not require a baccalaureate or an equivalent.
Higher education is the one imparted after the baccalaureate or its equivalent. It encompasses bachelor’s, specialist, master's, or Ph.D. degrees, as well as terminal options before concluding a bachelor’s degree as a Higher University Technician. It encompasses all normal education levels and specialties.
If, as a migrant, you want to study in Mexico and want to get your lawful status, a Temporary Study Resident Card, your courses must be within this national educational system or the so-called OFFICIAL VALIDITY (RVOE) granted by the Secretariat of Public Education or state and federal universities with official validity. If the school you want to apply to does not have this validity, it would be impossible to get your visa.
PROCEEDING TO GET A STUDENT VISA AND A STUDENT RESIDENT CARD FOR MÉXICO.
We must always make this distinction: a visa is a process carried out in a consular section of a Mexican embassy abroad that lets the migrant enter the national territory with authorization provided that he or she complies with requirements. This process concludes in Mexico when the foreigner changes the Multiple Immigration Form when entering, due to the visa, for a Residence Card, in this case, a Student Card. From here, you can get a regular lawful status in this country. This process is defined on Article 110 of Migratory Act Regulation:
“Article 110. Consular offices can issue for replacement a temporary residence visa, a Temporary Student Resident visa, a permanent visa, a visitor visa to carry out adoption proceedings, and a visitor visa without a permit to carry out remunerated activities for humanitarian reasons to a foreigner who has any of the following lawful status and his or her visitor or resident card that corresponds has been stolen, lost or damaged. The proceeding will be the following:”
“A foreigner must submit the relevant application with the following documentation: a) Passport or identity and trip document valid according to international law; b) In case of theft, loss, or total damage, the filed complaint before the relevant authority where the events took place; or c) In case of partial damage, the relevant original immigration document.”
“The consular office must consult with the Institute, in no more than two business days, the source and terms in which the visa must be issued. -The response must be issued within no more than five business days…”
“Within no more than three business days, the consular office will issue a visa to a foreigner according to the Institution's instructions. In this case, the rights for the visa issuance at a consular office will be exclusively bored. The rights that the replacement of the Visitor or Resident Card generates, as the case may be, will be born directly by the Institution. Within the following thirty calendar days of their entry to national territory, the foreigner must process the Visitor or Resident Card replacement that corresponds.”
The Migratory Act defines this type of lawful status in Subsection VIII:
“VIII. TEMPORARY STUDENT RESIDENT. This visa authorizes a foreigner to remain in Mexico for the time in which the courses, studies, research projects, or education he or she provides proof that he or she will realize in educational institutions that pertain to the national education system continues until the corresponding certificate, proof of studies, diploma, degree, or academic grade is obtained. The foreigner has the right to enter and depart from Mexico as many times as he or she wishes and may carry out remunerated activities related to tertiary, postgraduate, and research studies. Student stay authorization is subject to the foreigner’s submission of the letter of invitation or acceptance from the corresponding educational institution, which must be renewed on an annual basis. Therefore, the foreigner will provide evidence for the continuation of the conditions that are required for the issuance of the initial authorization. The Institute will grant authorization to carry out remunerated activities when there is a letter of acceptance from the corresponding educational institution. This authorization is subject to a work offer for activities related to the foreigner's subject of study. Student temporary residents have the right to enter and depart from Mexico as many times as they wish. They also have the right to family preservation; therefore, they may enter with and then request the admission of the individuals indicted in the foregoing section.
TEMPORARY STUDENT RESIDENT RIGHTS
In the previous article, the rights this lawful status has are also defined:
Residency. Stay of migrant the time his or her studies last
Multiple entries and departures from Mexican territory
Opportunity to work by obtaining the National Institute of Migration authorization provided that a company hires a foreigner and grants him or her a job offer letter.
The human right to a family unit, meaning the chance to request his or her family members (father, mother, wife, common-law partner, children).
STUDENT VISA VALIDITY IN MEXICO
In Article 108 of the Migratory Act Regulation, the validity of this type of visa is determined:
“A Temporary Student Resident Visa will be issued with a validity of one hundred calendar days with one entry. A foreigner must process his or her residence card within the following thirty calendar days starting from his or her entry to national territory.”
REQUIREMENTS TO GET A STUDENT VISA
The requirements to get a student visa are precise and are determined on Proceeding 6 of the General Guidelines to Issue Visas that the Secretariat of the Interior and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs issue:
Passport or identity and trip document valid and in force according to international law, original and copy;
One passport-size photograph with visible front facial traits and without glasses, color, minimum 32.0 millimeters x 26.0 millimeters and maximum 39.0 millimeters x 31.0 millimeters with white background.
Proof of your legal stay, original and copy, if a foreigner is not a citizen of the country where the visa is requested; and
Submit documents that prove any of the following premises: Studies: original letter of acceptance from any Institution that is part of the National Education System that you intend to attend where the following information is specified: i. Applicant’s full name; ii. Level, degree, and area that applicant aims to study; iii. Name of class in which you have been admitted; iv. Start and finish date of the program; v. Tuition amount to be paid for the entire course; and vi. School contact information.
The financial solvency to cover the tuition amount, your accommodation expenses, and your living expenses during your stay in the national territory must be proved by: i. Original and copy of documents that prove your account with employment, pension, or scholarship with monthly incomes after taxes of at least on hundred days of the current general minimum wage in Mexico City the previous three months; or ii. Original and copy of proof of investments or bank accounts with a monthly ending balance of at least one thousand days of the current general minimum wage in Mexico City the previous three months; or
If the applicant is under twenty-five years old, the applicant, his or her parents, or legal guardians can prove solvency. It can also be proved by a letter of the school that shows that he or she has been granted a scholarship or by a document from a banking or financial institution that demonstrates that he or she is being financed.
Amparo of an international Legal instrument of mobility of persons.
Original writing by which applicant submits his or her application before a Consular Office, where it indicates under which instrument he or she is applying for a Visa.
Meet all requirements disposed on the relevant international legal instrument of mobility established by immigration authorities based on applicable law; and
Pay the fee for visa issuance when applicable, according to Federal Tax Act.
From this article, two possibilities arise to get this visa: for the studies per se, as we have explained, and for being under an instrument of international mobility, as stated in the abovementioned paragraph IV.
Notice that the letter of acceptance is a critical document. It is a formal letter the principal, rectorate, or school admissions office of the Institution that accepted foreigners to study must issue. Another relevant requirement is the financial solvency of foreigner or the people on which foreigner depends on for his or her living expenses in this country.
WORK PERMIT FOR A TEMPORARY STUDENT RESIDENT
Finally, let’s check how to get a work permit for a temporary student resident. It is determined on Article 165 of Migratory Act Regulation:
Article 165. A temporary resident can get a work permit according to the following proceeding and requirements:
I. Applicant must submit the following documents:
a) Valid Immigration document that proves his or her lawful status;
b) If an applicant submits a proceeding through an attorney-in-fact, he or she must attach the document that demonstrates the power and a valid ID of the attorney-in-fact;
c) Appropriate rights payment receipt according to Federal Tax Act;
d) If he or she is a temporary student resident, letter of acceptance of appropriate school;
e) Job offer from the individual or legal entity that states the activities to carry out, proof of registration data of employer;
f) In case of independent activities, he or she must attach writing under oath in which states the occupation and the place where own activities of his or her occupation will be carried out, and a receipt of inscription to Taxpayer registry; and
g) In the case of the applicants who are older than fourteen and younger than eighteen years old, they must additionally show their permits or authorizations provided on work regulations.
II. Immigration authority can carry out a verification visit to verify the employment offer and the employer existence;
III. Before verifying the compliance with suitable requirements and lists of migration control, the Immigration authority will issue an applicable resolution.
a) A new migration document that states that a foreigner has a work permit must be issued in case of a positive resolution; or
b) The immigration authority will issue a duly founded and grounded resolution and will return a foreigner the migration document in case it is still valid so that he or she can continue with lawful status in case of a negative resolution.
If migration document is not valid anymore and foreigner did not expedite on time the renewal thereof, he or she will be granted no more than thirty days nor less than twenty calendar days to depart from national territory, to request an adjustment of his or her lawful status, or to lodge appropriate means of defense.
The Migratory act explains that there are two ways to get a work permit for temporary student residents. The first one is through a job offer letter from a company authorized by the National Institute of Migration to hire foreigners. The second one, as an independent worker, is by subscribing to the Taxpayer registry.
The Temporary Student Resident cannot have an independent work permit according to the second paragraph of Subsection VIII, Article 52 of the Migratory act, which states:
“Student stay authorization is subject to the foreigner’s submission of the letter of invitation or acceptance from the corresponding educational institution, which must be renewed on an annual basis. Therefore, the foreigner will provide evidence for the continuation of the conditions that are required for the issuance of the initial authorization. The Institute will grant authorization to carry out remunerated activities when there is a letter of acceptance from the corresponding educational institution. This authorization is subject to a work offer for activities related to the foreigner's subject of study. Student temporary residents have the right to enter and depart from Mexico as many times as they wish. They also have the right to family preservation; therefore, they may enter with and then request the admission of the individuals mentioned in the foregoing section.”
In conclusion, the Temporary Student Resident can request a work permit solely in the form of a job offer by a company with a valid and in order Certificate of Registration of the Employer.
All of the above helps us to understand the application of the law to obtain a Student Visa and, hence, a Temporary student resident card.
However, as we lawyers say, each case is specific. So, if you want to study in Mexico and have everything in order, we advise you to hire DIAM S.C. to legally carry out your whole process so that you only worry about the University you will choose.
If you want a free 20-minute consultancy, complete the following form, and in less than 48 hours, an immigration lawyer will contact you by videocall.
Lic. Ernesto Rizo
DIAM S.C. Legal Director