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Scientific Research Requirements
June 25, 2021

In addition to the required application forms, scientists must submit the supplemental information described below.

  1. Detailed research prospectus, including:
    • Name of chief scientist and related inseebstitutions;
    • Dates of research period; to avoid confusion, please ensure the dates cover the entire period of the project. In addition, be sure to include the same dates on all paperwork submitted (forms, letters, etc.)
    • Purpose and objectives of the research;
    • Detailed list of all scientific equipment to be used;
    • Detailed list of names (common and scientific) of species to be collected (if any) and the estimated number of each.  If you do not know what species will be found, or you are planning to collect undescribed species, please make a note of this fact and include your rationale and objectives for collecting such specimens;
    • Methodology for collection and transportation of samples and specimens;
    • Indication of the physical form in which data will be collected, stored and evaluated, and where the data will be available;
    • Chart of the proposed research area;
    • Indication of research funding sources;
    • Links (if any) with other past or present research projects. If the research is part of a larger project with components outside of Mexico, this should also be mentioned.
  2. A detailed written summary of the project in Spanish, including all relevant data such as goals and objectives, methodology, justification for samples to be collected, collaborative efforts with Mexico, etc.
  3. Brief summary (2-3 paragraphs maximum) of the project in English describing the purpose of the project, its short and long term goals, and the nature of the collaboration with Mexican institutions or scientists.
  4. Curriculum vitae (CV), 2 passport-sized photographs, and a copy of the chief scientist’s passport. If applicable, the co-chief scientist should submit these materials as well.
  5. A short CV of all additional participants (U.S., Mexican, etc.)
  6. A detailed list of all participants, including name, citizenship, academic specialty, institution, and a brief description of each person’s participation in the proposed project.
  7. A formal letter of endorsement from the head of your institution.
  8. A formal letter from the chief scientist committing not to use harmful methodologies that may be detrimental to the ecosystem and/or wildlife of the proposed research site.
  9. A formal letter of endorsement from the head of the Mexican counterpart’s institution decribing their proposed participation in the research. Please note that the Government of Mexico expects the applicant to pay all travel expenses for at least one Mexican government participant.
  10. A letter from your Mexican counterpart’s institution expressing their agreement to receive the partial collection and commit to safeguard such samples as required for research where specimens or samples are collected.
  11. Appropriate fees. If specimens are to be collected, scientists must pay a collection fee which is required by Mexican law. This fee is currently $ 16,050.00 Mexican pesos (this amount increases yearly). It must be paid with a cashier’s check payable to: TESORERIA DE LA FEDERACION. Alternatively, checks for an equivalent amount in dollars may be submitted. Only scientists working under formal joint agreements with a Mexican government or private institution, or with a Mexican scientist certified by Mexico’s National Researchers System (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores – SNI), will be exempted from paying this fee. Applicants who fall under this category must inform the Embassy when they submit their application materials.
  12. The Mexican government requires all foreign scientists and collaborators who come to Mexico to conduct research activities to obtain a Mexican visa (visa de cooperante). Please provide a list of all foreign participants (U.S. and any other countries), including passport number and type, nationality, and indicate which Mexican consulate each participant will visit to apply for their visa. Please fill out this document with the final list of participants and send it to the U.S. Embassy at least five weeks before the starting date of the research. The visa application process can be done at any Mexican consulate (https://directorio.sre.gob.mx/index.php/embajadas-de-mexico-en-el-exterior). Applicants must have received authorization from the Mexican government to conduct their research before applying for the visa.

Requirements to apply for a “visa de cooperante”:

  • Completed visa application form (PDF, 518 KB)
  • Passport (regular passport), valid for at least six months. Original and a copy of the bio page and last page as well as copies of the pages with visas and stamps.
  • One passport-sized photograph (1.5” x 1.75”), color, white background, without glasses

Note: Visas (visas de cooperante) can be issued for 180 days only.

NOTE: Letters must be addressed to the Secretariat of Foreign Relations not to the Embassy.

Submission of Applications

For marine research, applicants should submit their completed applications to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Oceans Affairs via the Research Application Tracking System: https://ratsportal.state.gov/.  For further information please check the following links:

Research permits are granted on the condition that scientists submit their research reports in accordance with the deadlines stipulated in the research permit authorization. This includes: Seven hard copies as well as an electronic version (Seven USBs, CDs or DVDs containing the reports) of their preliminary and final research report, and a detailed report in digital format of their scientific activities (in English and Spanish). Scientists are also required to submit copies of all papers and published materials (including photographs, posters, videos, etc.) resulting from the research. This information can be submitted on USB,CD and/or DVD. As with the research permit application, this material must also be submitted through the U.S. Embassy. Failure to provide these reports may result in the denial of future requests for the scientist and/or for their institutions.

In addition to all the requirements listed above, projects that involve the use of a research vessel should also include the following:

  • Name of the vessel owner and operator;
  • Physical description of the vessel (gross tonnage, length, draft, etc.);
  • Name of the vessel’s captain;
  • Number and names of crew members and scientific staff on board;
  • Identification of other persons on board not related to the scientific party or the ship’s crew and purpose for their participation (photographers, journalists, observers, etc.);
  • Vessel’s radio call sign and monitored emergency frequencies. Indication of the number of berths available for Mexican participants (the Mexican government requires space for at least one Mexican participant);
  • Dates, places, and purpose for proposed port calls, if any.
  • Additional documents required by the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT)
  • ) Crew’s insurance policy.
  • ii) Travelers’ insurance policies (for each scientists a/o participants).
  • iii) Certificate of Liability Insurance (Pandi / P & I)
  • iv) Certificate of Inspection or Certificate of Maritime Safety, inspection certificates for life-rafts and firefighting equipment.
  • v) Certificate of Registration or Tuition (matrícula)
  • vi) International Tonnage Certificate (1969)
  • vii) International Freeboard Certificate (1966). (If the boat is greater than 24 meters in length).
  • viii) Certificate of Classification.
  • ix) International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (if the boat is greater than 400 units of gross tonnage).
  • x) International Certificate of Security Management (ISM) (if greater than 500 units of gross tonnage).
  • xi) International Ship Security Certificate (if greater than 500 units of gross tonnage)
  • xii) Electric Radio Safety Certificate (if greater than 300 units of gross tonnage).
  • xiii) A document listing the crew, their nationalities, and skills gained through training certifications or real-world experience. For aerial research, applicants should submit their completed applications to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Science and Advanced Technology:

U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Tel: (202) 202-647-2392
Fax: (202) 647-1106

In addition to the requirements listed, applications should include also a complete description of the aircraft and related information, including:

  • Flight tracks;
  • Map showing the coordinates of the entry and exit points.
  • Copy of the pilot’s license;
  • Copy of the aircraft’s registration;
  • Copy of the aircraft’s Certificate of Airworthiness; and,
  • Copy of the aircraft’s insurance policy, or letter from its owner committing to cover any expenses that may result in case of an accident.

For general research, applicants should submit their completed applications to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

By email: MexicoSciencePermits@state.gov or by air-courier (DHL, FedEx, etc.) directly to the Embassy at:

Graciela Alvarez a/o Rosa Vazquez
Economic Section
U.S. Embassy, Mexico City
Reforma 305, Col. Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, CDMX
Fax: (5255) 5080-2359