In 2012 Mexico passed a law requiring a tourist visa for any visitors to Mexico’s border cities, within 25 miles of the border, for longer than seven days. The Visas cost around $23 USD and are good for 180 days.
Since the law has passed, thousands of visitors to areas like Tijuana and the Baja area have been charged the fee but the law hasn’t been fully enforced in some cases.
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“The only thing that changed in Otay is that inspections are more rigorous, but the law has always existed,” says Rodulfo Figueroa Pacheco, delegate for Mexico’s National Migration Institute. “We’re not doing anything new. We’ve been charging thousands of travelers at the border for the past year and a half.”
The delegate reminds businesses that this will does not affect short-term visitors such as daily visitors or weekend stays, which makes up over 90% of the visitors in the 25 mile buffer zone, and shouldn’t cause a negative economic impact to businesses in the zone.
The delegate said that the misinformation is worrisome and can really affect the border cities, so it’s important that people understand this is only for visitors staying longer than seven days in the 25 mile open zone from the US Border.