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Huatulco Mexico Travel Alerts

Huatulco Mexico Travel Alerts - U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy or the nearest U.S. consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

For the latest entry requirements, visit the Embassy of Mexico’s website or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20006, telephone (202) 736-1600, or any Mexican consulate in the United States for the most current information.

All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to re-enter the United States. This requirement was extended to sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service, on June 1, 2009. Starting June 1, 2009, all travelers entering the U.S. by land, sea or air were required to present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s license are sufficient for re-entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements. U.S. legal permanent residents in possession of their I-551 Permanent Resident card may board flights to the United States from Mexico.

Applications for the U.S. passport card are now being accepted and have been in full production since July 2008. The card may not be used to travel by air and is available only to U.S. citizens. Further information on the Passport Card and can be found on our web site.  We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel. American citizens can visit Bureau of Consular Affairs website or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.

Minors: Mexican law requires that any non-Mexican citizen under the age of 18 departing Mexico must carry notarized written permission from any parent or guardian not traveling with the child to or from Mexico. This permission must include the name of the parent, the name of the child, the name of anyone traveling with the child, and the notarized signature(s) of the absent parent(s). The State Department recommends that the permission should include travel dates, destinations, airlines and a brief summary of the circumstances surrounding the travel. The child must be carrying the original letter not a facsimile or scanned copy – as well as proof of the parent/child relationship (usually a birth certificate or court document) and an original custody decree, if applicable.  Travelers should contact the Mexican Embassy or the nearest Mexican consulate for current information.

Mexico Tourist Travel: U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location. 
U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FM-T, available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points, Mexican tourism offices, airports within the border zone and most airlines serving Mexico. The fee for the tourist card is generally included in the price of a plane ticket for travelers arriving by air. Please note that travelers not in possession of their FM-T card at the point of exit from Mexico may face a fine from Mexican Immigration (INM).

Mexico Business Travel: Upon arrival in Mexico, business travelers must complete and submit a form (Form FM-N) authorizing the conduct of business, but not employment, for a 30-day period. Travelers entering Mexico for purposes other than tourism or business or for stays of longer than 180 days require a visa and must carry a valid U.S. passport. U.S. citizens planning to work or live in Mexico should apply for the appropriate Mexican visa at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, or at the nearest Mexican consulate in the United States.

Mexico Vehicle Permits: Tourists wishing to travel beyond the border zone with their vehicle must obtain a temporary import permit or risk having their vehicle confiscated by Mexican customs officials. At present the only exceptions to the requirement are for travel in the Baja Peninsula and in the state of Sonora, and only for vehicles entering through the Nogales port of entry. To acquire a permit, one must submit evidence of citizenship, title for the vehicle, a vehicle registration certificate, a driver's license, and a processing fee to either a Banjercito (Mexican Army Bank) branch located at a Mexican Customs (Aduanas) office at the port of entry, or at one of the Mexican consulates located in the U.S. Mexican law also requires the posting of a bond at a Banjercito office to guarantee the export of the car from Mexico within a time period determined at the time of the application. For this purpose, American Express, Visa or MasterCard credit card holders will be asked to provide credit card information; others will need to make a cash deposit of between $200 and $400, depending on the make/model/year of the vehicle. In order to recover this bond or avoid credit card charges, travelers must go to any Mexican Customs office immediately prior to departing Mexico.  Regardless of any official or unofficial advice to the contrary, vehicle permits cannot be obtained at checkpoints in the interior of Mexico.

Travelers should avoid individuals who wait outside vehicle permit offices and offer to obtain the permits without waiting in line, even if they appear to be government officials. There have been reports of fraudulent or counterfeit permits being issued adjacent to the vehicle import permit office in Nuevo Laredo and other border areas.  If the proper permit is not obtained before entering Mexico and cannot be obtained at the Banjercito branch at the port of entry, do not proceed to the interior. Travelers without the proper permit may be incarcerated, fined and/or have their vehicle seized at immigration/customs checkpoints. For further information, contact Mexican Customs about appropriate vehicle permits.

Dual Nationality: Mexican law recognizes dual nationality for Mexicans by birth, meaning those born in Mexico or born abroad to Mexican parents. U.S. citizens who are also Mexican nationals are considered by local authorities to be Mexican. Dual-nationality status could hamper U.S. Government efforts to provide consular protection. Dual nationals are subject to compulsory military service in Mexico; in addition, dual national males must register for the U.S. Selective Service upon turning 18. For more information, visit the U.S. Selective Service website. Travelers possessing both U.S. and Mexican nationalities must carry with them proof of citizenship of both countries. Under Mexican law, dual nationals entering or departing Mexico must identify themselves as Mexican.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s information on A Safe Trip Abroad.

Mexico Personal Property:  Travelers should always leave valuables and irreplaceable items in a safe place, or avoid bringing them at all. All visitors are encouraged to make use of hotel safes when available, avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry or designer clothing, and carry only the cash or credit cards that will be needed on each outing. There have been significant numbers of incidents of pickpocketing, purse snatching, and hotel-room theft. Public transportation is a particularly popular place for pickpockets. When renting a vehicle, ensure that advertisements or labels for the rental agency are not prominently displayed on the vehicle. Avoid leaving valuables such as identification, passport and irreplaceable property in rental vehicles, even when locked.

A number of Americans have been arrested for passing on counterfeit currency they had earlier received in change. If you receive what you believe to be a counterfeit bank note, bring it to the attention of Mexican law enforcement.

Mexico Personal Safety: Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times, even when in areas generally considered safe. Women traveling alone are especially vulnerable and should exercise caution, particularly at night. Victims, who have almost always been unaccompanied, have been raped, robbed of personal property, or abducted and then held while their credit cards were used at various businesses or Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). Travelers should avoid any overt displays of wealth such as showing money, wearing flashy jewelry, driving expensive automobiles, etc. U.S. citizens should be very cautious in general when using ATMs in Mexico. If an ATM must be used, it should be accessed only during the business day at large protected facilities (preferably inside commercial establishments, rather than at glass-enclosed, highly visible ATMs on streets).  U.S. and Mexican citizens are sometimes accosted on the street and forced to use their ATM cards to withdraw money from their accounts.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport in Mexico should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. If you are a victim of a crime while overseas, you should report it immediately to the nearest U.S. consular office and make a report to Mexican authorities. Do not rely on hotel/restaurant/tour company management to make the report for you. The Embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds can be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Under the best of circumstances, prosecution is very difficult (a fact some assailants appear to exploit knowingly), but no criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities.

The local local emergency line in Mexico is “066”.