Campaign launched in Mexico to strengthen labor rights and regularization of Guatemalan migrants

Guatemala, Mexico
22 February, 2022


Government institutions in Mexico and Guatemala presented a campaign conducted in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to boost the use of the Border Worker Visitor Card (TVTF), which has served to regularize more than 50,000 Guatemalans in southern Mexico since 2016, but whose use has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic years.


 "The card has very beneficial aspects, of which I highlight that it allows cross-border workers to better know their rights, and that it puts a means of ethical recruitment within the reach of individual employers and entrepreneurs," said Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Mexico Chief of Mission.


The card allows Guatemalan migrants to work in the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo and Tabasco, all border states in southern Mexico. The card provides authorization to perform paid activities, enter and leave these states and enjoy labor rights granted by Mexico's Federal Labor Law, such as an eight-hour workday, overtime pay, medical services, vocational training, union membership and protection against sexual, physical and psychological harassment.


Launched in 2011 by the National Migration Institute (INM), between 10,000 and 15,000 people from Guatemala applied for it each year between 2016 and 2019. However, applications for the document gradually declined and in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic, fell to a low of 3,673. The impact of the pandemic has affected numerous countries around the world, including the Mexico-Guatemala corridor, as noted by the International Labor Organization (ILO).


Last November the campaign "For the labor rights of Guatemalan migrant border workers" was socialized in the departments of San Marcos, Quiché and Quetzaltenango and included printed materials, radio spots and four animated videos, all in Mayan languages (Mam, Quiché and Kaqchikel) and Spanish.


The four animated videos presented today in Tabasco explain the benefits of having the TVTF, issued at a cost of 476 Mexican pesos (US$23), valid for one year and that can be processed at INM facilities.


"The impact of this campaign has allowed us to inform and generate greater certainty to Guatemalan workers about both the requirements and the benefits granted by the TVTF, within the framework of a safe, orderly and humane migration, recognizing them as generators of development, aimed at facilitating hiring processes and allowing them to enjoy the labor rights provided by the Federal Labor Law in Mexico," shared Antonio Andrés Vidal, General Director of Regulation and Migration Records of the INM.


This organization has a hotline at the Migratory Attention Center of the National Institute of Migration of Mexico, which can be reached at 800 00 46 264.


Guatemalan officials were in Villahermosa today accompanying their counterparts from the Mexican Ministries of Foreign Affairs (SRE) and Labor and Social Security (STPS), and pointed out that this instrument promotes safe, orderly and regular migration in the Mexican Southeast. "Informing the population about the TVTF and socializing it in a coordinated manner in both countries is a strategy to contribute to reducing irregular migration and promoting formal and dignified work," said Guatemala's Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Employment, Geovanna Salazar, in a message.


The Guatemalan Migration Institute also joined the event: "We join the effort to promote the use of this tool, which seeks to motivate Guatemalan border migrant workers to obtain more alternatives that allow entry, transit, stay and exit in accordance with the laws of both countries," said Wuelmer Gómez, Deputy Director General of the IGM.


This initiative is supported by IOM under the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the U.S. Department of State. For more information, please contact Alberto Cabezas, IOM Mexico National Communications Officer, at, or by phone: +52 55 45 4525 8361.