On January 5 2016, the Ministry of Interior announced through the publication within the Federal Official Gazette, the Agreement by virtue of which the provisions of the Procedures and Guidelines for immigration proceedings are supplemented and amended, with regards to the obtaining of the Travel Card for Business Visitors (ABTC for its acronym in English) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC for its acronym in English).
APEC has among other objectives, facilitating mobility and movement of business people in the participating economies and reaffirm free trade and encourage investment between the countries that comprise it, in addition to the design of mechanisms for investment and facilitating the international mobility of people in the economies that conform the region, namely: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Korea, USA, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Vietnam
Another relevant aspect comes from the creation of the Business People Mobility Group (BMG, for its acronym in English), by which the criteria and scheme for the Travel Card ABTC were established for business people. It is noteworthy that the BMG agreed to the extension of the term of the ABTC card from three years to five years.
The ABTC card allows its holders to travel to the countries of APEC, and enter the territories for preferential lanes of the main international airports, without further process a business visa.
As an exception, both the United States and Canada, which are engaged as temporary members of APEC, allow preferential entry, after processing a conventional visa at their consular representations.
The application and processing of the ABTC card is responsibility of the National Institute of Migration, with the intervention of the Ministry of Economy; the latter is responsible for determining the status of business person of the applicant.
The ABTC may be issued to a Mexican individual who has the quality of a business person and in such capacity, is seeking access to the economies of the APEC region, under any of the following cases:
Be owner of a Micro, Small, Medium or Large company established in Mexico;
As employee of a company established in Mexico or any subsidiary in APEC economies;
As employee of a foreign company established in Mexico with a middle or senior position;
As an individual with business activities, and;
As official from the Mexican government and in such capacity, being involved in the official acts of the APEC.
The procedure for the obtaining of the ABTC card has the following modalities:
Permanent ABTC;
Provisional ABTC, and;
Replacement of ABTC.
Both the Permanent and the Provisional ABTC will have a maximum term of five years, in line with the expiration date of the passport.
Final ABTC will be authorized to those individuals who are considered as business people, for all economies that conform APEC, while the Provisional ABTC is authorized to individuals who were approved by at least one of the participating economies.
The Agreement, by virtue of which the provisions of the Procedures and Guidelines for immigration proceedings are supplemented and amended, came into force on the day of its publication, which is in turn included in the amendment to Chapter XI of the Procedures and Guidelines for immigration proceedings.
To read the full text of the agreement, please enter the following link:
The partners and lawyers of the Immigration area are at your disposal to answer any questions regarding the mentioned amendment.


Alejandro Barrera Fernandez (Mexico City) barrera@basham.com.mx
Margarita Ortiz Hernandez Magro (Mexico City) mortiz@basham.com.mx

Mexico City, January 15th, 2016.