We receive about a dozen emails from readers each month who tell us that their dream is to move to Mexico but they don’t have the financial resources to do it without working.
Most of these readers are from either the U.S. or Canada and they tell us that their goal is to find a job in Mexico in the same field that they’re currently working in.
In corresponding with these readers, it’s clear that they share a common belief that once they get their Mexican immigration paperwork in order, they’ll be able to compete on a level playing field for jobs, even against Mexican citizens.
What they don’t know — at least until we tell them — is that there’s a federal law in Mexico that could put them at a big disadvantage in the job hunt.
A Look at the Law
La Ley Federal de Trabajo, or the Federal Labor Law in English, is a 236-page document that requires employers to give preferential treatment to Mexicans.
Here are some key points from the law:
- In every business or establishment, at least 90% of the workers must be Mexican.
- In the technical and professional categories, all of the workers should be Mexican. Unless, there aren’t any Mexicans available with that specialty, in which case, the boss can temporarily hire foreign workers in a percentage that doesn’t exceed 10% of workers with that specialty. The foreign workers must then train Mexican workers in that specialty to replace them.
- Medical doctors who work for companies must be Mexican.
- The provisions above do not apply to directors, administrators or general managers.
- Once hired, employers are required to select Mexicans over non-Mexicans for positions and promotions when they are similarly qualified.
Note- “Mexican” includes naturalized citizens
Let’s Wrap This Up
Although I didn’t list them in the previous section, there are chapters of the law that completely exclude foreigners from certain jobs. The most notable deals with jobs in the aviation industry.
If you want to learn more about that, check out Why Many Aviation Jobs in Mexico Are Off-Limits to Foreigners.
As a retiree, this law doesn’t affect me at all, but I did find it interesting how much it differs from employment laws in the U.S.
I plan on doing additional articles about working in Mexico, including one about the requirements to get a work visa. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, be sure to subscribe below.