Restrictions on Third-Country National Visa Processing In Mexico

The U.S. Consular Mission in Mexico has made it more difficult for Third Country Nationals (TCNs) who are not residents of Mexico to obtain nonimmigrant visas in Mexico.  In particular, it will bar F-1 students who changed status to H-1B from obtaining an initial H-1B visa there.  The following are the specific guidelines for processing of third country national nonimmigrant visas, which can be found at the US Consular Mission in Mexico’s website.

Third Country Nationals

*Visas for Non Mexican Nationals (“third country nationals” – TCNs) Who Live in the United States and Who Wish to Apply for Visas in Mexico

Third Country Nationals residing in the United States who wish to apply for a visa in Mexico may make their interview appointment at any of the ten posts comprising Mission Mexico on-line at on “English” if necessary) or by phone at 1-900-476-1212.  Appointment numbers are limited and may be unavailable at some posts because of other demands so flexibility in where you wish to apply is helpful.

Who Can Apply in Mexico

  • Applicants seeking to renew their visa in any category except B1/2 (tourist/business), if the initial visa was issued in the applicant’s country of former residence.
  • Applicants seeking to renew their visa in any category except B1/2 (tourist/business), if the initial visa was issued in the applicant’s country of former residence, and a subsequent visa by a consular post in Mexico.

Notice:  Certain visa applicants may be subject to additional administrative processing.  This administrative processing may last weeks, thus delaying visa delivery and the applicant’s return to the United States.  Every effort will be made to expedite these procedures; however, it is not possible to guarantee completion of this process by a particular date.

Who Cannot Apply in Mexico:

  • Applicants for B1/2 visas, including renewals are not accepted from third country nationals who are not resident in Mexico.
  • Applicants who entered the U.S. with a visa issued in their home country and changed status with Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. who seek a new visa in the new visa category
  • Applicants who entered the United States in one visa category and are seeking to re-enter the U.S. in a different visa category.
  • Applicants who have been out of status in the U.S. having violated the terms of their visas or having overstayed the validity indicated on their I-94s.
  • Applicants who entered the U.S. under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Applicants who obtained their current visa in a country other than that of their legal residence.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  If you were informed when you obtained the original visa in your home country that you are subject to National Security Entry Exit Registrations (NSEERs) or are a national of North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan or Iran, you are not eligible to renew your visa in Mexico.

*TCN Visa Renewals Before deciding to apply at a consular section in Mexico, third country nationals should keep in mind that traveling to the country may require the appropriate Mexican visa from a Mexico’s embassy or consulate before making the trip. Potential applicants should be sure they have a visa, if necessary, and are prepared to wait several days in Mexico while their visa is being processed.