MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Brazilian officials voiced concerns on Thursday over a bureaucratic impasse frustrating the plans of hundreds of Brazilians trying to travel to Mexico.
Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that hundreds of Brazilians are unable to process a required electronic authorization to enter Mexico and that it has been following the issue “with concern.”
The ministry added in a statement that it had requested urgent measures from Mexico’s Foreign Affairs and Tourism ministry and National Institute of Migration (INM) to resolve the issue with the website that processes the authorization.
Mexico ended a visa-waiver program for Brazilians in December 2021 but Brazil natives traveling by air can enter Mexico if they submit a so-called electronic authorization form 30 days before traveling.
About 200 people had trouble submitting the form as of last week, according to news outlet GZH.
Mexico’s consulate in Sao Paulo, whose Facebook page has been flooded with complaints, said in an email to Reuters that it does not take part in the electronic authorization process, noting that the service is provided by the National Institute of Migration (INM).
“The INM’s electronic authorization system continues to face problems. So far, there is no estimate of when it will return to normal,” the consulate said, adding that those who need the authorization should try again or to make an appointment with the consulate to apply for a visa.
“I’m a step away from losing almost 10,000 reais ($2,042) and seeing my dreams turn into a nightmare,” one person wrote on Facebook, while GZH quoted a couple saying they missed their flight for a five-day trip due to the issue.
On the INM website, most applications have been met with a message saying the authorization “could not be processed.”
“If you want to travel to Mexico you can go to a Mexican consulate to obtain a visa,” the message said.
Neither Mexico’s INM nor foreign affairs and tourism ministries immediately responded to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Carolina Pulice, Gabriel Araujo and Kylie Madry; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle)