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Pay up, gringo!

New entry fee imposed to enter Mexico

Sign at Otay Mesa crossing
Sign at Otay Mesa crossing

Beginning on November 1, U.S. citizens planning to stay for more than seven days in Mexico must pay a $23.50 entry fee if crossing at the Otay Mesa port of entry, according to multiple accounts in Baja newspapers.

The 306 peso fee applies only to foreigners who plan to stay more than 7 days but less than 180 days. For tourists staying longer than 180 days, other visas are available from the Mexican government. For those staying less than seven days, no visa is required.

It remained unclear exactly what effect the new rule would have on the estimated 300,000 U.S. citizens currently living in Baja California.

The program will be tested at Otay Mesa, then expanded to all border crossings along the northern border, authorities said. The entry lines in Otay have already been marked to identify them.

“This is more of a security measure,” an unidentified Mexican customs agent told El Mexicano. “It's like saying to visitors: 'We don't want to bother you and we aren't going to block your passage but we want to know who you are and where you are going.'”

For Americans who want to reside in Mexico on a permanent basis, there are other types of permissions available from Mexican consulates.

Immigration officials emphasized that Americans who plan to come to Mexico for a few hours, overnight, or for the weekend would not be affected by the new rule.

There was no indication of when the program would be expanded to other border crossings in Baja California.

UPDATE 11/19 6:50 a.m.

On November 18, Mexican authorities discontinued the requirements for crossing at Otay Mesa due to protests among business and political leaders.

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Sign at Otay Mesa crossing
Sign at Otay Mesa crossing

Beginning on November 1, U.S. citizens planning to stay for more than seven days in Mexico must pay a $23.50 entry fee if crossing at the Otay Mesa port of entry, according to multiple accounts in Baja newspapers.

The 306 peso fee applies only to foreigners who plan to stay more than 7 days but less than 180 days. For tourists staying longer than 180 days, other visas are available from the Mexican government. For those staying less than seven days, no visa is required.

It remained unclear exactly what effect the new rule would have on the estimated 300,000 U.S. citizens currently living in Baja California.

The program will be tested at Otay Mesa, then expanded to all border crossings along the northern border, authorities said. The entry lines in Otay have already been marked to identify them.

“This is more of a security measure,” an unidentified Mexican customs agent told El Mexicano. “It's like saying to visitors: 'We don't want to bother you and we aren't going to block your passage but we want to know who you are and where you are going.'”

For Americans who want to reside in Mexico on a permanent basis, there are other types of permissions available from Mexican consulates.

Immigration officials emphasized that Americans who plan to come to Mexico for a few hours, overnight, or for the weekend would not be affected by the new rule.

There was no indication of when the program would be expanded to other border crossings in Baja California.

UPDATE 11/19 6:50 a.m.

On November 18, Mexican authorities discontinued the requirements for crossing at Otay Mesa due to protests among business and political leaders.

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Comments
8

I wouldn't spend 10 minutes across the border, let alone days or weeks! There's no good reason to go there.

Nov. 15, 2014

Hear, hear. Oh, and this is a "security measure?" A security check might warrant a fee of $5. No, they want the revenue. Just like any government, they'll legally pick your pocket whenever/wherever the opportunity exists. Just one more reason to avoid visiting Mexico.

Nov. 15, 2014

If you want to go to "Mexico" and don't want to cross the border just go to San Y Skidrow (San Ysidro)

Nov. 16, 2014

DWBAT...Dude, as a writer for The Reader, have you not read any of the fantastic articles the mag has been printing about the amazing things you can see, eat and do south of the border! Let me change your mind! La Sirena Sightseeing!

None

Nov. 17, 2014

San Ysidro is our city in San Diego Alex. Don't be cockamamie. You cross the line.

Nov. 16, 2014

I flagged but not on purpose. So forget it, I'm not your mother. San Diego belonged to Mexico between 1821-1850, Originally to Kumeyaay Indians. Border areas are now our responsibility under law. I love this town.

Nov. 16, 2014

Perhaps an exit fee, like Canada has, would be more appropriate. They could charge more too.

Nov. 16, 2014

Can we charge Mexican citizens who come here to stay? Oh, no, that would be terrible and racist!

Nov. 17, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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