In an effort to expedite visa processing for business travelers from Mexico, the U.S. State Department announced this month the expansion of its Business Facilitation Program (“BFP”) to all U.S. Consulates and Embassies in Mexico. To qualify for the program, participating employers in Mexico must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be a branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of a U.S. company; or
- Have at least 100 employees in Mexico; or
- For companies with fewer than 100 employees, obtain a recommendation letter from the Mexico City American Chamber of Commerce ("AmCham"), Camara de Comercio de Mexico ("CANACO"), or Asociación Nacional de Importadores y Exportadores de la República Mexicana ("ANIERM") certifying that the company has been a member in good standing and paid its dues to the organization for at least 3 years.
To apply for membership in the BFP, companies must complete a 2-page questionnaire, identity 2-4 authorized company signatories, and provide corporate documentation describing the company and its U.S. branch, affiliate, subsidiary, or U.S. clients. Upon review of the application by the U.S. Consulate or Embassy, the company may be asked to provide additional documentation or to schedule a meeting with the reviewing officer before the application is approved.
Once the company has registered successfully with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in Mexico, company representatives can schedule appointments and complete visa applications on behalf of their employees who then will receive expedited treatment of their visa applications. Participating BFP companies are expected to track and monitor employees who travel on business under the program and may be audited for compliance with program requirements.
While eligible employees must be employees of BFP participating companies, the U.S. Consulate or Embassy may consider contractors on a case-by-case basis. Spouses and children of eligible employees also may obtain dependent visas under this program.