Government

Only a decade ago, bureaucracy was the rule at every governmental office, and any procedure or formality was affected by the lack of agility and efficiency. However, Mexican government has tried very hard to improve transparency and efficiency in official dependencies. Nowadays, it is possible to inquire about the requirements needed to process the majority of governmental formalities by phone or on-line. In addition, customer service centers, both actual and virtual, have been established in every governmental office or department. Even so, working hours in these dependencies are usually fewer than those found in the private sector, and it is advised to have the schedule of festivities at hand since they are of course observed without a miss by public employees. Foreign tourists visiting the country are advised to learn in good time if they are required a special pass or visa to be granted entry into Mexico. If a visa is not required, visitors must carry their passport, which has to be valid for at least three months, or a valid official identification that contains a photograph, as well as the immigration form called Folleto de Migracion Turistica. This form has no cost, and can be obtained at travel agencies or during the trip to Mexican territory. In general, tourists are allowed in the country from 90 to 180 days, depending on their nationality. If a visitor wishes to stay in the country for a longer period or has the intention to apply for a student or a working visa, he can be informed of the required procedures at the local immigration offices. As of 2007, these are some of the nationalities that require a visa to visit Mexico: Afghanistan, Albania, Brazil, Algeria, Armenia, Bolivia, Cuba, the Philippines, India, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa and Thailand, among others. For further information, contact the immigration office called the Instituto Nacional de Migración de Mexico, or visit its web site at: www.inami.gob.mx