Hi, this is really something to get as an email!
I don't think it has anything to do with current politics or the president...more that they have decided to demand the $500 surcharge across the board when any "outside" photographer is used at the resort, regardless of nationality.
It is not legal to work in Mexico after entering the country on a tourist visa, a work visa is necessary to legally work in Mexico. I think that is the case in just about any other country as well.
As my amigo Paul said, those of us who are foreigners or "extranjeros" (I always like that word because is so similar to "extra±o¨ or strange, which is how it can make you feel to live in a foreign country...like you are the strange one!
) need special working papers called the FM3 or to obtain Mexican citizenship. You need to qualify and the process takes some time and money. There are also temporary work visas that are obtained through the embassies and consulates outside Mexico for those that do not plan to reside permanently in Mexico, they can get it for just the particular job they are coming to do. Countries need to control (or attempt to control) and protect their own economies and the local workers who could be doing those jobs. Its a fact that when you hire a resident there is a trickle down effect to the local economy.
Can "traveling" photographers get away with working on a tourist visa? Probably, at least initially. If the photographer regularly works in a country where they have no work permit I would think that is not a responsible business practice (apart from being illegal), because if they were to be caught and not allowed to return they would not be able to honor commitments to their clients. I would think that it would be wise of the potential client to ask the photographer who advertises as a ¨Mexico wedding photographer¨ about whether or not they are able to legally work in that country and then assess the risk for themselves.
That said, as a one time thing,
if one of my BDW friends would like to invite me to be a guest at her wedding in Italy or Greece I promise to be the guest who takes the most amazing pictures ever!
Good luck MrsV, I hope this gets worked out with the least amount of stress possible.
ETA to clarify after reading the last posts, IMO it might be be wise to check with the consulate or embassy for clarification of the Nafta visa and whether it applies to the particular case. I think it is more for employees of businesses that have permits to do business in Mexico, ie Costco managers, etc. As independent wedding photographers we are business owners and our couples are our clients, not our employers I believe. But really for a sporadic thing I don't think there could possibly be a problem! For sure I don't want to worry any brides, you all have enough on your plates!