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My nomadic sister is visiting me in Mexico City for a couple of weeks. Her normal mode of travel involves busking (playing music and/or singing in the streets) for money. She wants to do this in Mexico City. Can she do this with a standard tourist visa? Are there any other legal restrictions on this? Is a permit needed? Are there any places where it's not permitted?

Note: I realize Mexicans do this all the time, and I would be surprised if they all have permits, but I would not be surprised if they pay off an enforcement officer if they are ever challenged. As my sister doesn't speak Spanish, this could be a complicated matter, so naturally she prefers to operate above board if possible.

  • Not sure this is on-topic here.. – Nean Der Thal Jun 4 '14 at 21:38
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    @MeNoTalk: At minimum, whether it's permitted on a tourist visa should be on-topic (and I have now explicitly spelled out that question). – Flimzy Jun 4 '14 at 22:10
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    I think this is a great question and absolutely on-topic. I've met a few people busking around the world and wish I could do it one day. I have to say I've seen the Aztec dancers in and behind the Zocalo getting hassled by the police multiple times while they're busking. Though there is a possibility that some people might operate on a blurry line between busking and scamming none of these guys ever tried to scam me. Haven't been there for a few years now though. – hippietrail Jun 5 '14 at 0:46
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A recent report compared busking in cities around the world, finding Dublin to be the most receptive to buskers.

Mexico City, however, not so much:

Mexico City was named the least encouraging city in the report, where busking is illegal and could lead to imprisonment.

So based on that, I'd very much recommend that they do NOT attempt busking in Mexico.

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