This is part two of my series on the new Mexican Migratory Law; it deals with the classification of TEMPORARY RESIDENT.

The previous article dealt with the classification of VISITOR as explained in the first part of Article 52 of the new Mexican Migratory Law and the following article will deal with the classification of PERMANENT RESIDENT.  The series will also include information about the way the law is going to treat the old migratory documents in regards to the new migratory documents, and the procedures for obtaining the migratory permits when the regulations to the new law are published.

The new classification of Temporary Resident is equivalent to the old Inmigrante status, but will include some foreigners who previously fell into the category of No-Inmigrante and will exclude some foreigners who previously were classified as Inmigrante.  The section of the law that follows explains, the figure of Temporary Resident:

          Article 52. …

         VII. TEMPORARY RESIDENT. (This condition) authorizes the foreigner to remain in the country for a period no longer than four years, with the possibility to obtain permission to work in exchange for a remuneration in the country, subject to an employment offer, with the right to enter and exit the national territory as many times as he/she desires and with the right to preserve the family unit, whereby he/she may enter with or solicit after the entrance of the below listed persons, who may reside regularly in national territory for the time that the temporary resident permission is valid:

This first paragraph is the most important part of the section of the law that talks about the classification of TEMPORARY RESIDENT, the description.  It mentions the basic ingredients of the category TEMPORARY RESIDENT:

i.  It only mentions that the TEMPORARY RESIDENT may remain in the country for no longer than four years. In the previous law in this description of the status, the law specifically mentioned that the document would be renewed annually.  This might give hope to those who receive this document that it will truly be a document that is valid for four years, though the length of validity of the document will most likely be left to the criteria of the Migratory Institute.

ii.  It mentions that the TEMPORARY RESIDENT has the possibility of employment while in the country.

iii.  It mentions that they may enter and exit freely.

iv.  It mentions that TEMPORARY RESIDENTS, while their migratory status is valid, may bring the following family members to live with them:

          a) Children of the temporary resident and the children of their spouse or concubine, as long as they are children or adolescents and have not contracted matrimony, or are under the custody or guardianship of (the spouse or concubine);

          b) Spouse,

          c) Concubine or equivalent figure, accrediting that said situation conforms to the legal hypotheses signaled in Mexican legislation, and

          d) Father or mother of a temporary resident.

          The persons referred to in the previous paragraphs will be authorized to reside regularly in national territory under the condition of temporary resident, with the possibility of obtaining a permission to work in exchange for remuneration in the country, subject to an employment offer, and with the right to enter and exit national territory as many times as they desire.

         In the case that a temporary resident receives an employment offer, he will be granted permission to work in exchange for remuneration, in the activity related to the said employment offer.

-Concubine, or common law spouse, is the person who, having no impediments for marriage, lives with someone for a certain amount of time or who has children with someone when they are not legally married, and therefore by virtue of this figure possesses many of the same rights and obligations as a spouse.  The time period required to obtain this legal protection varies from state to state.

-As with many previous migratory documents that allowed the foreigner to work, the authorized activity will be specific to the job offer, not a broad offer to do whatever the foreigner decides.

          The foreigners who are granted the condition of temporary resident may introduce (import) their personal properties, in manner determined by the applicable legislation.

This paragraph talks about the famous Menaje de Casa, the load of household goods, clothing and other items for personal use that are allowed under current customs law.  Under the same legislation, foreigners who possess No-Inmigrante and some Inmigrante statuses are also allowed to temporarily import foreign-plated vehicles; it will be interesting to see how the change in this law affects the application of the customs law.

Temporary importation means that anyone importing items in this manner agrees to remove that item from Mexican territory when their migratory status expires. For example: John Doe is coming to Mexico for labor purposes under the modality of Temporary Resident, he will be able to bring his car and his household goods with him, however, when his permit expires he will have to exit the Mexican territory with his goods: He can not sell, give away or abandon the imported items, unless they where destroyed, robbed or consumed according to the nature of the item.

The rest of Article 52 deals with the conditions of Temporary Resident Student, which is fairly self-explanatory and not entirely relevant to the audience of this piece, and the condition of Permanent Resident, which will be explained further in the next installment of this series.

The description of TEMPORARY RESIDENT laid out in the previous section does not talk about the process of obtaining Temporary Residency, except in cases where the foreigner has a relationship with other Temporary Residents.  Following the humanitarian tendency that spurred the generation of this law, one of the new considerations that are included in the Ley de Migración is the preservation of the family unit, which is regulated as follows:

          Article 56.  Mexicans have a right to the preservation of the family unit whereby they may enter the country with or solicit the entrance (into the country) of the following people:

          I.  Father or mother;

         II. Spouse, to whom will be granted the condition of Temporary Resident for two years, after which he/she may obtain the condition of Permanent Resident, as long as the marital bond still exists;

This is one way to obtain Temporary Residency, it is similar to the status of Inmigrante Familiar. Below is another method of obtaining Temporary Residency; this method was not recognized in the previous migratory legislation and shows the progressive nature of this law: the marriage rate in Mexico has dropped by 25% in the last ten years.

          III. Concubine, accrediting said legal situation in accordance with the hypotheses signaled in the Mexican civil legislation, to whom will be granted the condition of Temporary Resident for two years, after which he/she may obtain the condition of Permanent Resident, as long as the concubinage still exists;

This fraction refers to children of naturalized Mexican citizens who were born outside of Mexico.

          IV. Foreign born children, when in accordance with article 30 of the Constitution they are not Mexican citizens;

          V. Children of the foreign spouse or concubine, as long as they are (under 18)* and have not been married, or are under (the Mexican’s) legal guardianship;

         VI.  Siblings, as long as they are  (under 18)* and have not been married, or are under (the Mexican’s) legal guardianship.

*The actual words used in this subsection are “niña, niño o adolecente”, which translate to “girl child, boy child or adolescent.”  This wording is found commonly in much of the newer Mexican legislation, which has in recent years experienced a very humanistic trend.  The wording (under 18) was substituted for aesthetic purposes, but it might be important to know the original wording in this case.

The following part of the law is important, in the view of the author, because it is the first place that the process of obtaining any migratory condition is discussed:

          Article 58.  Foreigners are entitled to have the migratory authority issue the documentation that accredits their migratory situation once all the established prerequisites in this law and its regulations are fulfilled. When the documentation that the migratory authority issues does not contain a photograph, the foreigner must additionally exhibit his passport or valid travel and identity document.

In the opinion of the author, articles 59 and 53 should be read together, because they point out an important point in this law that needs to be interpreted both articles:

          Article 53. Visitors, with the exception of those for humanitarian reasons and those who have a bond with a Mexican or with a foreigner with legal residence in Mexico, cannot change their (migratory status) and will have to exit the country at the conclusion of their authorized visit.

          Article 59.  Temporary and Permanent Residents, with the exception of those who solicit political asylum, refugee status or designation of Stateless Person, will have a period of thirty days from their entrance into national territory to solicit, from the Institute, the corresponding residence card, which will be valid for the authorized period.  With this card, (the foreigner) will accredit their migratory situation in national territory, while it is valid.

          Those who solicit political asylum, refugee status or designation of Stateless Person, or who are issued complementary protection, will obtain their residency card at the conclusion of the corresponding procedure.

          Once obtained the residence card, Temporary and Permanent Residents will have the right to obtain, from the Ministry of Government, their CURP (Unique Population Registry Number).

          The prerequisites and procedures to obtain the corresponding residence card will be established in the Reglamento.

This combination of articles exposes one of the less friendly aspects of the new law:  People entering as visitors will stay visitors, if anyone wishes to enter the country as a resident they will need to declare that they are entering the country as a resident at their point of entry, and will then have thirty days to present themselves to the migration office closest to where they will be residing, to actually solicit the corresponding migratory document.  Previously, visitors (tourists) who decided that they wanted to stay in Mexico could just apply for a change of migratory status once inside the country.

The new law makes the migratory process easier and more secure for the immigrants who are fleeing their country of origin or are just passing through Mexican territory, but the law also seems to make some of the migratory processes more difficult for those of us who wish to live in Mexico.  As mentioned the last paragraph of the above article, a lot depends on the regulations (Reglamento), which should be published before November 25, 2011.