Immigrating From Mexico? You'll Now Need a Police Certificate

When applying for a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence) through an overseas consulate, it is customary in most cases for the applicant to be required to submit police certificates from the local authorities. Up to now, however, applicants from Mexico did not have to do this. The reason was that Mexico was among the countries where police certificates were not widely available (as listed as what's called the "reciprocity schedule.")

According to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), however, that has changed. Mexican police have confirmed that such certificates are available to any Mexican citizen or foreign national who is 18 years of age or older. Therefore, the DOS has revised the reciprocity schedule for Mexico.

The National Visa Center (NVC) will, from now on, require applicants for an immigrant visa (lawful permanent residence) to obtain a police clearance as a condition to approval of their application.

You will need to obtain this certificate if you are either Mexican or from some other country, are age 18 or over, AND you have resided (lived) in Mexico for more than six months since turning 18.

If your case was already in process at the NVC when the reciprocity section was updated, NVC will go ahead and schedule an appointment without requesting the Mexican police certificate—but, it will send you a letter telling you to bring the appropriate police certificate at the time of interview. And even if your case got through the NVC before the reciprocity schedule was updated, the consular officer at your visa interview may request a police certificate from you.

Learn more about consular processing procedures.

Effective date: March 6, 2017