How to apply for refuge in Mexico

The Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR) is the body in charge of dealing with requests from foreigners seeking protection from the Government of Mexico so as not to be returned to the country where their life, security, freedom or integrity are at risk.

How to apply for refuge in Mexico
How to apply for refuge in Mexico

Who is entitled to apply for refugee status in Mexico

Foreigners who are in Mexico and in any of the following cases may apply for refugee status:

That due to well-founded fears of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, gender, belonging to a certain social group or political opinions, is outside the country of their nationality and can not or, because of such fears, does not want to take refuge to the protection of such a country; or that, having no nationality and being, as a result of such events, outside the country where he previously had habitual residence, he can not or, because of such fears, does not want to return to it;

That he has fled his country of origin because his life, security or freedom have been threatened by widespread violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order;

That due to circumstances that have arisen in their country of origin or as a result of activities carried out, during their stay in national territory, they have well-founded fears of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, gender, belonging to a certain social group or opinions Policies, or their life, security or freedom could be threatened by widespread violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order.

Where does one apply for refugee status in Mexico

The foreigner must appear personally or through a legal representative at the General Coordination offices of the COMAR Mexican Refugee Assistance Commission, during the hours of service to the public, from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.:

Central offices in Mexico City: Versailles No. 49, 1st, 4th and 5th floors. Colonia Juárez, Delegation Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06600, Mexico City. Telephone: (55) 52 09 88 00 Ext. 30133.

Delegation in Veracruz: Immigration Station of INM (interior), Carretera Costera del Gofo 180, Km. 221, C.P. 96000, Acayucan, Veracruz. Phone: (924) 24 791 91.

Delegation in Chiapas: 8a. South Avenue No. 39 corner with 4th. Poniente, Col. Centro, C.P. 30700, Tapachula, Chiapas. Phone: (962) 64 25 31 18 and 19.

Representation Tabasco: Calle 22 No. 404, corner of street 25, Col. Centro, C.P. 86900. Tenosique, Tabasco

The foreigner can also appear personally in the offices of the National Institute of Migration INM at the national level, to request the recognition of the refugee status, or fill in online the form that can be found in the following application link. The INM must send the request to the General Coordination of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid within 72 hours counted from its reception.

What is the procedure to be recognized as a refugee in Mexico

All foreigners in the national territory have the right to apply for refugee status, which must be submitted to the COMAR Mexican Refugee Assistance Commission or the National Immigration Institute INM, within 30 days of entering the national territory.

The procedure lasts 45 business days, a period in which confidentiality, non-discrimination, and non-return to the country of origin or habitual residence where their life, security or freedom are threatened are guaranteed.

As part of the procedure, the applicant must fill in his handwriting before an authority, an information form in which he must provide personal data and the facts for which he emigrated from his country of origin or habitual residence. Applicants for recognition of refugee status have the right to legal representation.

The applicant to be interviewed must narrate the events that led to their departure from their country of origin or habitual residence, as well as provide evidence to support their statements. If required, assistance is provided by a translator or interpreter of their native language or their understanding.

Throughout the procedure for recognition of refugee status, respect for the human rights of applicants and refugees is guaranteed.

Upon granting the recognition of refugee status by COMAR, the right to access permanent residence in Mexico is obtained.

Recognized refugees in Mexico can request authorization for their family members to enter the country.

What are the requirements and steps when applying for refugee status in Mexico

Request:

The applicant must:

To be in national territory;

Apply for refugee status verbally or in writing (regardless of language) within a period of 30 working days from the day after you entered the country, or where appropriate, one in which it was physically possible present it;

Provide identification data and elements to support your request;

In case the request is presented by a legal representative or interposed person, the applicant must ratify it personally;

This procedure is free.

Interview:

The COMAR interview you to know the reasons why you left your country, stating the reasons why you do not want or can return. It is important to give as many details as possible.

The interview must be done individually. You can also choose if you are interviewed by a man or a woman. Also, if you do not speak Spanish, you have the right to an interpreter or translator during the process.

The applicant must attend the interviews indicated by the General Coordination of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance; must:

Provide information about your personal background, which may be verified with the competent authorities;

Provide truthful information about the reasons why you left your country of origin or habitual residence and if, where appropriate, comes from a third country;

Provide evidence or, if appropriate, satisfactorily explain the lack thereof;

Relate the circumstances of the reasons invoked in support of your request,

Provide any other information that the interviewer deems necessary to clarify the existence of well-founded fears or threats against them.

Answer:

Once the request for refuge is admitted by the COMAR, the applicant is given a Proof of Proof with the data and photograph, which proves that you are in procedure and can not be returned to your country.

The procedure starts from the date that appears in the record. The Proof of Procedure is valid for 45 business days (from Monday to Friday) which is the maximum response time, counted from the admission of the application.

It is 45 working days to make a decision, plus 10 days to report the result. In some cases, COMAR may extend the term for another 45 business days.

The COMAR will issue a reasoned and motivated resolution regarding the recognition or not of refugee status as well as the granting of complementary protection.

During the resolution wait:

During the waiting period, the applicant can go to the National Immigration Institute INM to request a visitor's card for humanitarian reasons that have a validity of 1 year, as stated in article 52 of the Migration Law, which offers a Regular stay in the country and allows you to work during the procedure. This procedure is free.

You must remain in the State (the state) where you submitted your application. and go weekly to the offices of COMAR or the INM where you submitted your application to sign a certificate that you remain in the State.

After receiving the answer:

If the resolution is positive: in coordination with the COMAR, you will have to go to the National Institute of Migration (INM) to process your permanent residence in Mexico as a refugee.

All of your relatives included in the application will be recognized as refugees.

If the resolution is negative: you have the right to file an appeal within 15 business days (Monday to Friday, excluding holidays in Mexico) following the notification.

Subsequently, COMAR will review your case for the second time. This can take up to 90 calendar days (Monday to Sunday). If you do not have a free lawyer, you can go to any office of the Federal Institute of the Public Defender.

If COMAR denies your case for the second time, you have the right to receive support from a lawyer to continue with your appeal before a judge.

If you do not want a second review of your case, you could return to your country.

See the video guide of the shelter application process at COMAR:

What type of assistance does the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid provide to applicants for refugee status

The Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid COMAR offers Institutional Assistance to applicants for refugee status in Mexico, managing services that meet the temporary needs presented by applicants, from the beginning of the refugee recognition procedure, or until achieving integration.

COMAR establishes collaborative relationships with government agencies, international organizations, civil society organizations, and in general, with any institution that directly provides support or services to the population it serves, all related to institutional assistance actions.

This management begins with the identification of the needs of the people, and thus with the participation of the applicant, a care plan is prepared to be followed temporarily or even in order to achieve integration into Mexican society. Once these care needs have been identified, COMAR establishes contact with the dependencies and institutions, in order to be served and provide them with services.

So users go directly to the institutions to perform the procedures to receive services, if there is any problem, COMAR staff can intervene in order to guide and support.

The Institutional Assistance of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance COMAR focuses on support for applicants for refugee status, mainly in the following areas:

Migratory Procedures. Although it is mainly aimed at obtaining migratory documentation that allows verifying a regular stay in Mexico, it is also supported by the notice for change of address, document replacement, among others.

Social care. Aimed at obtaining services related to subsistence, food and temporary accommodation.

Management of care in public hospitals and affiliation to services provided by the State.

Education. Admission to public schools and revalidation of studies, as well as technical training for employment.

Family Reunification. Support for the admission to the country of relatives of the refugee, when the family bond, solvency and economic dependence of the family members are proved.

Naturalization. Guidance and support in processing the procedure before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Other Procedures such as the obtaining of Identity Document and Travel, in case of not having access to the State's passport of which one is national.

These actions are managed in favor of all applicants for refugee status: refugees and beneficiaries of complementary protection who so request, including unaccompanied children and adolescents.

What are the rights and obligations of refugees in Mexico

Refugees have several rights, including:

To a permanent residence in Mexico

To work on a regular basis.

To receive health services, through Seguro Popular.

To receive education and, where appropriate, recognition of their studies.

To move freely through Mexican territory.

To have an identity document issued by the government of Mexico.

To request family reunification.

To apply for Mexican citizenship (naturalization) once you have two (2) years of residence in Mexico and have not left the country for a period of more than six months

They also have obligations, and among them:

Respect the Constitution, laws, and regulations of Mexico.

In which cases can the applicant be denied refugee status in Mexico

Refugee status in Mexico will not be approved when the applicant is in one of the following cases:

If the person has committed a crime against peace, the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

If the person committed an offense classified as serious outside the national territory.

If the person has committed acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Difference between asylum application and refugee application in Mexico

The refugee claim is constantly confused with the asylum application despite its substantive differences.

Asylum is a discretionary power of the State to admit a foreigner in its territory and act as its protector, considering that the individual, due to his public profile, is subject to political persecution. That it is granted only in cases of urgency, that is, when the individual is effectively persecuted and his life, liberty or security is in danger, for political crimes, or common crimes for political purposes.

There are two types of asylums; the diplomatic asylum that can be requested by the individual in the seat of an Embassy and the territorial asylum when the persecuted person enters the territory of Mexico and requests the protection of the State.

Upon granting asylum to the applicant, the country of origin will be informed immediately.

The refuge is a human right, which is carried out in accordance with internationally recognized standards. And refugee status is recognized when there are well-founded fears of persecution, insecurity, lack of freedom or integrity. And the reasons for the persecution can be motivated by their race, religion, belonging to a certain social group, political opinions, gender, generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed the public order.

The applicant must necessarily be in the territory of the State that would recognize refugee status.

Once the applicant submits the application for refugee recognition, no information can be provided to the country of origin.

Other contacts, where to receive information to apply for refugee status in Mexico

Without Borders

Puebla 153, Colonia Roma. Telephones (55) 5514-1519 and 5514-1521

House Space for Refugees

Ramón López Velarde Park, between Orizaba and Antonio M. Anza, Colonia Roma Sur. Telephone (55) 5584-9892

Casa del Migrante - Albergue Belén

Hidalgo Avenue s / n Colonia San Antonio Cahoacán, Tapachula, Chiapas

Telephone (962) 625-4812

Office of the UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) in Mexico

Telephones: (55) 5263-9864 / (55) 5263-9858

Email: mexme@unhcr.org

UNHCR Office in Tapachula

Phone: (962) 642-5198 / 642-5199

Email: mexta@unhcr.org

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. Las Margaritas City Council, Chiapas

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.-05: 00 p.m.

Address: 3rd Street North Poniente s / n, Ejido Nuevo Huixtán, Las Margaritas, Chiapas C.P. 30187

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. Arriaga City Council, Chiapas

Phone: (+52) (966) 665 62 94

Address: 18 Norte Ave. Ferrocarril, Arriaga, Chiapas C.P. 30450

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.-05: 00 p.m.

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. Suchiate City Hall, Chiapas

Telephone: (+52) (962) 698 00 30 / (962) 698 01 65 Ext. 116

Address: Av. Central Norte s / n Edif. Presidência Municipal Ground Floor, Ciudad Hidalgo, Municipality of Suchiate, Chiapas C.P. 30840

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.-05: 00 p.m.

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. City Hall of Palenque, Chiapas

Phone: (+52) (916) 112 30 75

Address: Antigua Casa de la Cultura, Central Park, between Av. Miguel Hidalgo and November 20, Palenque, Chiapas, C.P. 299960

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.-05: 00 p.m.

Directorate of Migration and International Policy of the H. Ayuntamiento de Tapachula

Address: Central Poniente Street, between 2nd and 4th South, Number 14, Soconusco Building, 1st Floor, "D" door, Colonia Centro C.P. 30700, Tapachula, Chiapas

From Monday to Friday from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. Huixtla City Council

Phone: (+52) 9641009132

Address: Iturbide Poniente Street S / N between Avenida Independencia and Galeana Sur, Huixtla, Chiapas, C.P.30640

From Monday to Friday from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

Directorate of the International Organization for Migration IOM for Attention to Migrants and Refugees, H. Ayuntamiento de Motozintla, Chiapas

Address: Av. Central Norte No. 100 B between Central Poniente Street and 2nd Poniente Street, Motozintla, Chiapas C.P. 30900

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m.-05: 00 p.m.

Sources:

https://www.gob.mx/comar

https://www.acnur.org/

https://www.programamesoamerica.iom.int/es/

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