Mexico: a new refuge for asylum seekers?

Who can apply?

Anyone, due to well-founded fears of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, gender, belonging to a certain social group or political opinions, could be recognized as a refugee in Mexico under the law of Refugees, Complementary Protection, and Political Asylum, including people who have fled their country of origin, because their life, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order.

How to seek asylum in Mexico?

If your life is in danger in your home country, you can apply at one of the 9 COMAR offices around the country or at the Immigration Regulation of the National Institute of Immigration (Instituto Nacional de Migración — INM) within 30 business days following your arrival to Mexico. But in reality, the start date can be the date you knew about COMAR or the asylum process. An exception applies if it was materially impossible for you to submit an application, but you would have to prove it.

  1. You are recognized as a refugee in Mexico and are eligible for Permanent Residency;
  2. You are given “Complementary Protection” and are entitled to apply for Permanent Residency;
  3. Your petition is denied and you have the right to appeal the decision within 15 business days, starting the date of the notification.

Which organizations can assist you?

As a legal advisor for a Civil Society Organization, I did not have special access. In fact, when you look at the website of COMAR they explicitly tell you that you do not need the assistance of a lawyer to apply for asylum to prevent scams.

Learn More About Seeking Asylum in Mexico

Alicia Marie Salhi is a French citizen and cross border Immigration Lawyer. Admitted to the Paris Bar, though her immigration law experience widely covers the U.S. and Mexico.

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