New regulations ease entry requirements for some visa-required nationals

  • Mexico
  • 05/17/2016
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP.

What is the change? Mexico has published new regulations that allow visa-required nationals to enter the country without a Mexican visa if they have a valid visa to enter Canada, Japan, the Schengen Area or the United Kingdom. Permanent residents of Chile, Colombia or Peru (the Pacific Alliance member countries) will also be permitted to enter without a Mexican visa. A pre-existing regulation allows U.S. visa holders to enter without a Mexican visa as well.

What does the change mean? Visa-required nationals who hold a valid Canadian, Japanese, Schengen, U.K. or U.S. visa, or Chilean, Colombian or Peruvian permanent residence, will be able to enter Mexico without obtaining a Mexican visa for business, tourism or transit for up to 180 days.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business, tourism and transit visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa-required nationals who hold a valid Canadian, Japanese, Schengen or U.K. visa, or Chilean, Colombian or Peruvian permanent residence.
  • Impact on processing times: No significant impact is expected, but demand for Mexican visas could be eased since more visa-required nationals will be eligible to enter the country without obtaining a Mexican visa.
  • Business impact: The change will save affected business travelers time when traveling to Mexico.

Background: The new regulations were published today in the Official Gazette and take effect immediately. The regulations build on pre-existing policies that allow visa-free entry to visa-required nationals who have a valid U.S. visa or permanent residence in Canada, Japan, a Schengen Area country, the U.K. or the U.S. The changes do not affect visa-waived nationals.

BAL Analysis: The new program will make it easier for a number of visa-required nationals to enter Mexico for business, tourism or transit, but it is not available for stays of more than 180 days nor to visa-required nationals conducting work activities in Mexico.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Mexico. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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