Mexican Law That Makes it Harder for Foreigners to Get a Job



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:

Article 7

  • 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.

Article 154

  • Once hired, employers are required to select Mexicans over non-Mexicans for positions and promotions when they are similarly qualified.

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.


Two Expats Mexico

I’m Paul (hence the nickname Qroo Paul) and I write all of the posts on this site. Linda, my wonderful wife of over 18 years, does all of the editing. We debuted this blog in May of 2016.

A little background about us. Linda and I are from Florida where I worked as a deputy sheriff and she worked as a director for a children’s advocacy center handling child abuse cases. In August of 2015, I retired at the rank of lieutenant after 25 years of service. Linda wasn’t eligible for retirement, but we decided to move to the Riviera Maya in Mexico anyway.

Once we were in Mexico, we knew right away that we had made the right choice. Our enthusiasm for Mexico and the lifestyle here was evident in our frequent Facebook posts. We shared our adventures as well as countless pictures of beautiful beaches and awesome beach bars.

Some of our friends jokingly threatened to unfriend us, while others started asking serious questions about living here. I found myself answering dozens of private messages about the cost of living here, healthcare, banking, immigration etc. I decided it would be easier to create a site where I could post all of the information in one place, and the blog was born.

Even though the blog was only intended to be read by friends and family members, other people have managed to find it. To date, our articles have been viewed almost three million times and many of them have appeared in various newspapers across Mexico.

We’re not really sure why our little hobby blog has gotten so much attention. It certainly isn’t for my writing ability. Perhaps people just enjoy looking at our photos.

Anyway, you’re welcome to check it out. If you like what you see, feel free to share our articles with your friends.

The Mazatlan Post