Social Security scheme for Mexicans abroad ¿How?

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) has established a new comprehensive Social Security scheme for Mexicans abroad.

One of the concerns for thousands of workers in Mexico is how to maintain Social Security for Mexicans abroad.

But a new measure allows the option very broadly, with a process that simplifies procedures and allows Mexicans working outside the country to join the system.

This plan, aimed at workers in family industries, self-employed and non-salaried workers, offers a voluntary incorporation to the Compulsory Regime.

In this way, despite working in another country, the Social Security option for Mexicans abroad is consolidated.


The objective of this scheme is to allow these workers to access social security and benefit their families with medical services and social benefits in Mexican territory.

It also provides the opportunity to contribute to their housing subaccount.

In addition, it covers IMSS medical care for family members of those working in the United States.

Social Security scheme for Mexicans abroad: What it Includes

Benefits for self-employed workers affiliated with the IMSS include medical, hospital, pharmaceutical and obstetric care, disability, disability and life pension, retirement fund, and social benefits such as wakes and day care.

Social Security beneficiaries for Mexicans abroad include benefits that may be provided to the spouse or common-law spouse, children, and parents of the worker.

In addition to the IMSS benefits, self-employed workers also have the right to pay contributions to the Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores (INFONAVIT), which will allow them to save and access a loan for their home, as well as the full range of products and services offered by such institution.

To become a member of the IMSS and obtain the Social Security benefit for Mexicans abroad, you must visit the page for self-employed workers by clicking here.

Additionally, this procedure can be carried out at your nearest consulate.

“It is a very good option for those of us who are outside our country”, assures Héctor Espinoza, a Mexican living in San José, about the possibility that he and other Mexican nationals abroad can join the social security system in Mexico and access benefits for themselves and their families. The list of benefits is extensive and ranges from hospital medical services, disability due to illness and retirement savings,” said Consul Alejandra Bologna.

Undoubtedly, Social Security for Mexicans abroad is a clear step of inclusion and validates the rights of citizens despite their decision to emigrate.

According to article 13, section I, of the Social Security Law, self-employed workers are considered to be subject to voluntary incorporation to the mandatory regime:

  • Attached to family industries.
  • Professionals.
  • Technicians.
  • Small merchants.
  • Craftsmen.
  • Transporters.

Other wage earners who obtain their income through personal and independent work, without having dependent workers for their development.

In other words, the main characteristic is that the activities of independent workers and professionals are carried out in full independence of labor subordination.

That they are carried out on their own initiative and on their own account.

Some numbers to consider in Mexico are that, as of the third quarter of 2023, Mexico has an Economically Active Population of 61.2 million people.

Of these, according to data from INEGI’s National Occupation and Employment Survey, as of the third quarter of 2023, there were 13 million 177 thousand 306 independent workers in Mexico, i.e., self-employed workers.

Of these, according to the latest report of the Mexican Social Security Institute in 2024, only 192 thousand workers are registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute.

At the same time, of the total economically active population in Mexico over the age of 15, Coneval recorded that in 2017 only 21.9 percent were enrolled by their employer to some social security institution (IMSS, ISSSTE, ISFAM, etc.). That is to say: only 19 million 976 thousand 691 people.

Also, according to Coneval data from the last quarter of 2023, informal workers earn, on average, 4,500 pesos per month, while a worker in the formal sector earns twice that amount.

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