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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Visas Now Needed to fish in Mexico

Here's some info I thought I should pass along to you all. just talked to Troy Williams at Mex Tour Assist. He had more insight into the new Visa process that all anglers fishing in Mexican waters will have to adhere to with the new year.

MX Tour Assist is a 3rd party company that is Mexican owned, outside of the Mexican government. Troy Williams is an American who works for the company, essentially serving as a liaison. Mex Tour Assist was set up to help assist with the visas that will new be required for all anglers visiting Mexican waters as of Jan. 1. On May 25, 2011 a new immigration law in Mexico was enacted by INAMI (Mexico’s Immigration Department).

All anglers will need a FMN Visa while fishing. All foreigners entering Mexican Waters, which include Mexican territorial waters, and contiguous waters within 24 miles must have a visa.

San Diego Landings will be able to issue the visas to sportboats. While it has yet to be confirmed, sources close to WON said the all four landings and Dana Landing will issue the visas to private boaters. The official word is expected on Thursday. Visas will have to be returned to the place of issue within 24 hours of returning to the U.S.

Here is how the pricing will work out. Prices are set to the pesos, and will be adjusted on the first of every month. Visas will be issued per trip, with three tiers: one- to three-day trips, four- to nine-day trips, and trips from 10 to 30 days.

As of January 1 the costs will be, per person:
Three days or less: $28.00
Four to nine days: $33.06
10 plus days: $38.06

As of February 1, the costs will be, per person:
Three days or less: $33.06
Four to nine days: $38.06
10 plus days: $43.06

Crewmembers will have to have a FM3 work visa, which can be obtained through Mex Tour Assist for $250.00.

“A FM3 trumps a FMN visa,” said Williams, so anyone with a FM3 (which is good for one year) will not need a FMN. Anyone getting a FM3 will need a sponsor, which Mex Tour Assist can be for crewmembers.

The visas are going to hit the ¾-day and overnight fleet the hardest, what with $28.06 being added to ticket prices in January and $33.00 being added on come Feb. 1.

Mexican permits/license will still be needed, as license and permits are a separate (CONPESCA) branch of Mexican government from immigration (INAMI).

Long range boats will no longer have to check into Ensenada to fish Guadalupe Island. Nor will tourists’ cards be needed for anglers taking flights home from Cabo.

More details are expecting in the coming days.

Here is the release from Mex Tour Assist.

On May 25, 2011 a new immigration law in Mexico was enacted “in order to create in our country a framework of guarantees to protect the rights of the individuals in our country, facilitate and manage the migratory flows to and from Mexico, favoring the protection and respect of human rights of Mexicans and foreigners, regardless their origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age and immigration status.” Source INAMI (Mexico’s Immigration Department).

INAMI has informed us that Articles 33, 44, 46, 50, 153, and 154 of the new immigration law require that all foreigners entering Mexican territory which includes Mexican territorial waters and contiguous waters (24 miles) from shore must have a Visa.

There are two primary options provided by INAMI that allow anglers to apply for a Mexican Visa if they intend to enter the Territorial Waters of Mexico:

• Boaters can appear at the Mexican land border points of entry and obtain a Visa through an INAMI designated facility.

• Boaters may report to the Port of Ensenada point of entry and contact the IMANI Office at the Port to obtain a Visa.

A third new option for the SAC member vessels is to obtain a Visa through a program sanctioned by INAMI.This program will permit the application process to be administered through a company approved by INAMI. This company is currently working with the sportfishing landings in San Diego to establish the required infrastructure.Once the process is “live” the feasibility of opening it up to the general boating public will be evaluated by the San Diego Landings.

The facts:
•All US or International tourists travelling to Mexico must have Visa to enter Mexico. This is called an FMM permit. This permit must go through a different process depending on whether one is entering by land or by sea.
• INAMI has authorized a 3rd party organization to initiate the water entry Visa process at the 5 San Diego landings for tourists with passage on any SAC member vessel.
•The SAC landings will only be facilitating the Visa.All other Visa’s must be obtained in Mexico.
• The cost of the Visa will vary depending on the length of the trip and the value of the Peso
• INAMI will monitor the border and execute random inspections of all vessels crossing into Mexican territorial waters, including monitoring the private marine recreational sector
• If you are boarded by INAMI, they will ask you for a National ID and your Mexican Visa
• The Visa must be processed and paid for ahead of time
• All FMM Visas are to be returned within 24hrs upon return to the U.S.
• Vessels traveling through the territorial waters of Mexico, not engaging in activities, but seeking only “innocent passage” while enroute to international waters, will not be required to have a Visa.
•Crew members will be required to have a FM3 which can be obtained through the 3rd party company or in a INAMI office

The Visa Applications may be made through the following locations:

Fisherman’s Landing
2838 Garrison Street
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 221-8500

H&M Sportfishing
2803 Emerson Street
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 222-1144

Point Loma Sportfishing
1403 Scott Street
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 223-1627

Seaforth Sportfishing
1717 Quivira Road
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 224-3383

Dana Landing
2580 Ingraham Street
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 226-2929

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