Reform to the Regulation of Migration Fees in Guatemala

Picture of Diego Hernández

Diego Hernández

The Guatemalan Institute of Migration, to establish fees for each of the services it provides and its sub-directories, within its legal framework, has the Authority Agreement No. IGM-029-2023, which regulates the Regulation of Fees for Migration Services of the Guatemalan Institute of Migration.

Recently, in the official newspaper of Central America, Agreement IGM No. 57-2023 was published, consisting of 2 articles. This agreement reformed the previous one by adding two sub-items to its art. 3, specifically in numeral 4.2, which establishes the documents that can be requested from the Subdirectorate of Migration Control. Next, we will analyze these sub-items by explaining what they consist of and the important considerations to consider. 

  • Sub-item 4.2.12

This legal provision consists of imposing a fine of USD 3,000 due to the rejection of entry of foreigners into the country for failing to comply with entry requirements. However, this fine is not imposed on the foreigner in question but on the airline that provided its air transport service.

The purpose of this provision is to hold airlines accountable for not being diligent when verifying that passengers comply with the requirements for entry into Guatemala, and yet still sell flight tickets. Some examples of reasons for rejection when entering the country by foreigners could be:

    1. A foreigner coming from a category B or C country without a consulted or consular visa.
    2. A foreigner without valid travel documents or who fails to prove the documents justifying their stay or residence in the country, according to their immigration category.

It is also important to consider the following:

    1. The fine of USD 3,000 is imposed for each passenger.
    2. The payment period is no more than 3 days from the notification of the Immigration Control resolution. After this time, it will be considered non-compliance.
    3. Foreigners must enter through any of the international airports in the country.
  • Sub-item 4.2.13

This provision complements the previous sub-item. It derives from art. 213 of the Migration Code, which deals with the obligation of companies, businesses, or international transportation agencies to bear any expenses incurred for rejecting the entry of crew members due to lack of entry and stay requirements in the national territory established by immigration laws.

The sub-item refers to, if not complying with the payment of USD 3,000 within the stipulated period, the Subdirectorate of Migration Control is empowered to charge an additional amount of USD 10,000 for each passenger who has been rejected for entry. This is without excluding the expenses that may arise from their stay in the national territory, as well as their transportation. It reiterates that this item must be covered by the companies, businesses, or international air transport agencies that provide services to passengers.

It is worth noting that this provision does not indicate the deadline for making effective payment of this additional item, and likewise specifies that the passenger must not only comply with all entry requirements but also with stay requirements in the country.

This agreement was approved by the Migration Authority through the National Migration Authority Agreement No. AMN 010-2023. It establishes that it will come into effect 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette. Considering that the publication of Agreement IGM No. 57-2023 was made on Friday, January 5, 2023, it will begin to take effect on February 16, 2024.

For more information, contact: dahernadez@consortiumlegal.com