In a nutshell, six steps are now required in order to fish the waters within 12 miles of Mexico.
1. Passport: Everyone on board must carry a valid passport.
2. Mexican Fishing License: If the boat has fishing gear on board, everyone, regardless of age, must have a valid Mexican fishing license, available online at bajasursportfishing.com. A nonresident annual license is $63 USD. One-day $13, seven-day and one-month licenses are also available.
3. FMM Immigration Visa: Boat captains are required to pay 390 pesos ($21.93 USD at current exchange rate) online at banjercito.com.mx/registroEmbarques. The captain must report vessel entry and departure from Mexico by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide the list of passengers on board by filling out a form available at sportfishinginmexico.com/immigration.
4. Vessel Temporary Import Permit: The application for this 10-year permit is available online at banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos. The cost is $45 USD when paid online.
5. Institute of National Migration: Send manifest along with receipt to the Institute of National Migration. BC_ensenada@inami.gob.mx
6. Biosphere Bracelets: Mexico requires all persons fishing to have a conservation passport (Biosphere Bracelet) when fishing the Coronado Islands. They can be purchase for $5 at most tackle shops in the San Diego area such as Fisherman’s Landing, Point Loma Sportfishing, and Dana Landing Fuel Dock. Yearly bracelets can be purchased for $22 at the conservation website.
The first step is fairly straight forward. Everyone (fishing or not) on the boat must have a current passport with them. If you need to get a passport in a hurry checkout https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for a same-day process. The cost is around $110 for the application fee, $35 for execution fee, and $60 for the expedited service fee for a total of $195.
The second step is to get a Mexican fishing license. Currently, you have to get your yearly license on online at https://www.sportfishingbcs.gob.mx The cost is $63 for the year and $13 for the day. Just print is out and carry the paper with you.
The third step can be a little confusing for some people so here are the details for the FMM immigration Visa travel by boat into Mexico. If you are traveling into Mexico by boat you are required to have a nautical FMM Tourist Permit whenever you are entering Mexican territorial waters. Again, the price will be around $390 pesos per person. You will save your receipt and attach it along with the crew manifest below, and email it to email@example.com or BC_ensenada@inami.gob.mx. Both should work. Do this at least 48 hours in advance. FMM visas are good for 180 days, but are only for single entry if within 12 miles of Mexico.
Here are the processes for both FMM Tourist Permit and crew manifest.
Step 1: Select English
Step 2: Accept
For a sample of the crew manifest go here, download, and fill out the vessel and crew members’ details.
Manifest notes: Leave the “SEATRAM” and “Sea Record” blank
After editing the manifest, save it and attach it to the email with the FMM receipt.
-FMM VISA RCPT
The fourth step is to obtain a Vessel Temporary Import Permit. This process should be done at least two weeks before departure. You can apply for this permit as far out as 60 days. Here are the steps I took in order to complete this portion.
Select Within 12 miles
Select the PIT Request
Pay For Permit
Select “I Agree” And Select Next
Boat Owner Information: Fill out the form below
Vessel Information: Fill out the form below
Select the “Accept” button below
Note: Upon completion of the step a manifest will be created for you to use and submit to the Institute of National Immigration office.
The last step is to get the conservation passport or biosphere bracelet. You can get bracelet for $5 at fisherman’s landing in San Diego for the day or a yearly one for $22 at the conservation website. However, their website appears to be down often. If it does not work, try it in a different browser. Also, the website is only in Spanish so grab your phone or a Spanish speaking friend.
Mexico laws and prices may change. Please check the websites provided above for the most current updates.