The US and Mexico have been working for several years to modify and upgrade the crossing points in to Tijuana for several years. The US has fully rebuilt the San Ysidro crossing going North to the US and continues to expand with additional auto lanes and streamlined pedestrian crossing.
Likewise in Mexico the El Chaparral crossing has created numerous additional auto lanes but not so much for pedestrians until now. The new Puerta Este for pedestrian crossers looks much more like you are arriving at an airport than any pedestrian facility seen before at a US border crossing.
For the most part the crossing is simple and crossers may be requested to push a button that will give a green light or red light. The green light means go on your way while the red light means you will be asked a few simple questions such as how long are you visiting Mexico, where you will visit and if you have anything to declare. The majority of people passing through the facility will have little scrutiny.
What is true, no matter if you are crossing by vehicle or on foot in to Mexico that there is much more scrutiny than ever before. The number of Customs Officials has increased dramatically. Click here to view a previous post regarding visa requirements to visit Tijuana.
Full story at San Diego Union Tribune.
Question: Do I need a visa to visit Baja California
Answer: No, or perhaps Yes.
Answer – No:
If you are going to be within 20km (13mi) of the border and/or for less than 72 hours. There is an exception to the 20km rule that applies when you are traveling within a designated tourist corridor listed below such as Tijuana to Ensenada, Mexicali, or Sonoyta to Puerto Penasco.
There is some disagreement if Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe are part of the tourist zone. What is very clear is that there are immigration check points south of Ensenada and tourists found without proper paperwork will be sent back to the immigration (INM) office in Ensenada or may be detained.
Answer – Yes:
Anything other than what is listed above.
Visa form FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple) is required if you are a non-Mexican citizen and you will be traveling in Baja for longer than 72 hours and/or will be traveling outside of the border region or tourist corridor area.
If crossing on foot or by car via San Ysidro stop at the INM office at the El Caparral point of entry. If you are staying for less than 7-days be sure to mention that as there will be no fee for the visa. If staying more than 7-days the multiple entry visa fee will vary between $25-$40 USD depending on the exchange rate. Always ask for the full 180 day visa period as it will allow you to leave Mexico and reenter multiple times.
You will need your passport to apply for the visa. Be sure to return your visa before exiting Mexico for the final time.
During November 2012, the immigration policy of Mexico underwent significant changes. The requirements for foreigners to gain legal residence or citizenship in Mexico were expanded and the fees were increased. Among the changes the familiar visa names FM-T, FM-2, FM-3, were changed.
For more information see the article at Mexperience.com
A new study released this month by the Organization of American States (OAS) reported that the documented, foreign-born population in Mexico increased 45 percent from 2005 to 2010, reaching 850,000 people. In terms of the national origin breakdown of new immigrants in the three-year period from 2007 to 2010, the study found that most came from the U.S. (10,472).
Full article at Frontera NorteSur