Given that people are sometimes being told that they can overstay their visas and simply “pay a fine”, please take note:
German tourists winds up in a Mexican INM detention center for six days because his tourist visa was expired.
“SPREAD THE WORD to everyone you know who is traveling in Mexico right now! They are giving out short-term visas and imprisoning everybody who they catch for an undisclosed time. I got lucky because my embassy acted quickly, others stay in there for 2 weeks to 8 months. They are lying and trying to keep you locked in as long as possible. No real food, no water, no communication, false claims, and really really bad treatment. Be safe people”
The periods of time in which visa violations remain deprived of liberty must also be taken into account. The Immigration Law establishes that foreigners may not stay for more than 15 business days in a migration station, and establishes the following exceptions, allowing the period to be extended up to 60 business days in the following cases:
• That there is no reliable information about their identity and/or nationality, or there is difficulty in obtaining identity and travel documents;
• That the consulates or consular sections of the country of origin or residence require more time to issue identity and travel documents;
• That there is an impediment to its transit through third countries or an obstacle to establishing the travel itinerary to the final destination;
• That there is a medically accredited physical or mental illness or disability that makes it impossible for the presented migrant to travel.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.
Persons violating Mexican laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Mexico are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. If you break local laws in Mexico, your U.S. citizenship will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is illegal wherever you go. If arrested in Mexico, a U.S. citizen must go through the foreign legal process including possible charge or indictment, prosecution, possible conviction and sentencing, and any appeals process.
Avoid getting arrested overseas by:
- Understanding that you are subject to the local laws and regulations while visiting or living in the country and that you must follow them.
- Learning about how the laws in the United States might be different from the laws in Mexico. We provide some information for each country on our Country Specific pages .