Before setting out on a journey, Mexico business travelers will be well served to take certain important considerations into account.
Planning on making a business trip to Mexico?
As one of the closest economic partners with the US, Mexico is a top destination for personnel from the US companies. Here are the basics of what Mexico business travelers need to know:
Embassies and General Info
For a list of embassies and consulates, as well as useful information for planning your trip, consult the Mexico Country Specific Information Sheet available on the State Department’s website. This sheet provides not only information on the locations in country US embassies, but also information on topics such as immigration practices and regulations, regional security conditions, currency issues, etc.
Entry Requirements for Mexico business travelers
All US citizens visiting Mexico are required to carry a valid US passport in order to cross the border. This is regardless of the mode of transportation. If staying less than 72 hours, novisa is needed. Business travelers are required to file Form FM-N, which authorizes the visitor to stay in country for 30 days of business activities that do not include actual employment. US citizens who plan to stay in Mexico for an indefinite period must apply for the appropriate visa at the Mexican Embassy. The FM3 visa For general business is a multiple-entry migratory document that can be issued for up to a year.
Expedited Border Crossing
Crossing back over the US border can be extremely time consuming for Mexico business travelers. Persons that do so often can reduce inspection times down to as little as 10 seconds by taking advantage of the SENTRI pass. Participation in the SENTRI program is available to low-risk applicants. Approved travelers are issued an RFID-equipped ID card after undergoing a thorough background check, two-hand fingerprinting, and a personal interview with a CBP Officer. Mexico business travelers may apply at the GOES website, and must present the following to complete the application and interview process:
- Required application fee
- Original US citizenship or immigration authorization documentation
- A valid driver’s license or state ID
- Vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance
- Notarized authorization to operate any vehicles not registered in the name of the applicant
- Evidence of residence, such as receipts for rent or mortgage payments, etc.
- Evidence of financial viability or employment (tax returns, business license, payroll stub, etc.)
America may be a credit-card country. Mexico is, increasingly more so, but to a lesser degree. When conducting business in the country, Mexico business travelers should be sure to have some cash on hand for day-to-day transactions in the event that a credit is not an option. Avoid ATMs unless they are inside a bank, as some Mexican banks may not have the same level of security as their US counterparts American. If at all possible, Mexico business travelers are advised to conduct currency exchanges prior to departure, since exchange rates are often not as favorable as those offered at airports.
The country has excellent and inexpensive public transportation in the major cities frequented by Mexico business travelers. Research transportation options are before setting out. Free smartphone apps like Via MX Free or Metro Mexico DF can help visitors to chart the best course for their travels. If travel by taxi is required, Mexico business travelers can utilize a free service called Taxiaviso, which anyone can access for free, in order to verify that a cab is “official.” It is, however, a Spanish language service.