To get the FM3 visa, which is a non-immigrant temporary resident card that lasts one year, you need a letter from the school that wants to hire you. Also the school must have some kind of permission from the government that states they can hire foreign workers. I was told that schools must have at least nine Mexican teachers for each foreigner. Unless you will be their first foreign worker (unlikely), they will know exactly what to give you. Some schools might offer to pay for the application, but in that case you will probably have to sign a one-year contract.
TEFL Mexico – What You Need for the FM3 Visa
1. Copies of every page of your passport and the original tourist paper from customs that was stamped when you arrived in Mexico (you don’t want to lose this anyway because you need it to leave the country).
2. All the documents you brought from your home that you needed to get hired – your resume, birth certificate, rent receipt, or bill, and all credentials (University degree, TESOL Certificate)- in original to show them and copies for them to keep.
3. The letter(s) from your future company.
4. 5 photos (three front and two sides) – check the website for sizes, or call the office.
5. Two payments – 500 pesos with the application and 2,000 when it’s ready.
6. Application. The website is www.inami.gob.mx. and it’s all in Spanish.
Bring all the originals and give them copies, and make sure you have backup copies at home, or better yet scan them or take digital photos, in case something gets lost. They may ask for certified copies of your degrees – apostillados – which means some company will evaluate them for you for a fee. I was asked to do this and then got out of it by handing over the originals.