IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Officials have announced that the Ministry of the Interior and all of its subsidiary agencies, including the National Institute of Migration, will remain closed until Oct. 2 after Mexico was struck with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake last week.

What does the change mean? Immigration services, including the processing of work permits, visas and exit permits, will be delayed. Authorities will extend deadlines for those who miss them because of the closures. Offices are scheduled to reopen Oct. 2.

  • Implementation time frame: Between now and Oct. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, visas and exit permits and all other services handled by the Ministry of Interior or its subsidiary agencies.
  • Who is affected: Anyone in need of any of the services listed above.
  • Impact on processing times: The closures will delay processing. Applicants should expect that applications will be backlogged when offices do reopen next week.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust timelines and start dates to account for the delays.

Background: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck about 80 miles from Mexico City Sept. 19. The devastating quake left hundreds dead and caused significant damage in Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and other areas. Government offices remained closed last week, with many of them redirecting their resources toward recovery efforts. Offices were initially expected to reopen this week, but authorities subsequently decided to keep Ministry of the Interior offices closed this week as well.

BAL Analysis: Those in need of Institute of Migration services should expect processing delays. However, while the announcement appears that it would apply to all Ministry of Interior offices, some offices in areas less impacted by the quake are reportedly open and processing applications as they normally would. Emergency processing may be available in certain cases.