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Formalities for Mexico
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
 
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People from all countries need to have a passport valid at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country

Formal procedures

Every traveler going to Mexico is required to possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country.

Every visitor is required to get a tourist card from the Mexican State. It will be given to you upon arrival; it is free and is valid for 90 or 180 days depending on your nationality.

From January 23, 2007, Americans need a passport to travel by air to Mexico and by 01st of June, 2009, they will need a passport to travel to Mexico by air as well by land or sea (including ferries).

Legislation can change; so always double check with your Consulate or Embassy when planning your trip.

People from all other countries need to have a passport valid at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country.
People from Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Luxemburg, Nederland, United Kingdom, Switzerland and most of the European countries, do not need a visa as tourists. The list of countries needing visas changes regularly; inquire with the embassy or with the Mexican consulate of your residence well before your trip or look at the website : www.inami.gob.mx .This site is in several languages.

to establish an american passport.

Since March 01, 2010, Canadians need a passport to travel to Mexico by air as well by land or sea (including ferries).

pink flamingos in Yucatán
     Right picture : pink flamingos in Yucatán

Nationalities from other countries, who are permanent residents in the USA, are required to present their passport as well as their resident card.


Travelers who cross the USA (even in transit) to/from Mexico or those who visit Mexico after a stop in the USA, are required to obey the new laws concerning American visas and passports (electronic/biometric passports).

Formalities concerning minors :
A minor needs a passport.
If both parents do not escort a minor child, a notarized consent form from the absent parent is required. A similar consent form from both parents must accompany the child traveling alone or escorted by a non-parent. Contact a Mexican consulate to know what you need to do in your situation.

Mexicans with double nationality are required to present the documents of both nationalities. They should introduce themselves as a Mexican national when entering or leaving the country.

TOURIST CARD (Forma migratoria para tourista FMT)
This is a tourist visa for people traveling to Mexico. Although this visa can potentially be valid for 180 days, it is at the discretion of the immigration officer. The time period is directly related to the purpose of your journey. Usually the visa is approved for a maximum period of 90 days (if you arrive by plane for a vacation), after which it can be renewed for an additional 90 days at any Mexican Immigration office. If you are crossing the border in a car, you can request the full 180 days. There is no guarantee that the full 180 days will be given. Don’t lose it. You need to present it when leaving the country. No remunerative or volunteer activity is allowed with this visa. People wishing to go to Mexico upon an O.N.G need to ask the Mexican Embassy for a visa.
Be aware of the length of time it takes for obtaining a visa. Upon arrival, you need to fill out a document called F.M.E. This document needs to be approved by the Immigration authority when entering the country and is renewable only once (90 days). The document is required upon leaving as well as the tourist card.


patio of a bed and breakfast in Mexico

Left picture : patio of a bed and breakfast in Mexico

No remunerative or volunteer activity is allowed with this visa. People wishing to go to Mexico upon an O.N.G need to ask the Mexican Embassy for a visa. Be aware of the length of time it takes for obtaining a visa. Upon arrival, you need to fill out a document called F.M.E. This document needs to be approved by the Immigration authority when entering the country and is renewable only once (90 days). The document is required upon leaving as well as the tourist card.



Renewal or loss of documents

ceramics of Mexico If the tourist card is issued for less than 180 days, you can have it renewed free of charge until you reach 180 days. If you need more days, you can go to an I.N.M   office; there are many offices which are listed in the website www.inami.gob.mx (under the title "Directorio"). Renewal will cost you 250 Mexican pesos and should take between half an hour and 3 hours to get it, depending on the offices. You will need your passport, your tourist card, your airline ticket and proof that you have enough money (an international credit card or travelers checks should work).

The I.N.M office will renew your document only a few days before it will expire. Don’t go too soon.

If you loose your card, report it immediately to the nearest Mexican Immigration Office and be prepared to show proof of citizenship, as well as your airline ticket if you came to Mexico by plane. Then, go the I.N.M to obtain a duplicate of your lost card for a small fee.


     Right picture : ceramics of Mexico

Protecting your documents

Before leaving home, it is a good idea to make copies of all your documents (Passport, credit cards, traveler check numbers, insurance policy number, airline and/or bus tickets, driver’s license, etc.). In case they are lost, it will be easier to replace them.

Immigration service (migración) : calle Homero 1832 - Polanco by the Periférico, 55 53 87 24 00 in Mexico City (open in the morning only) - www.inami.gob.mx.




Going to Belize or Guatemala

Europeans need only a passport to go to these countries. Nationals from Switzerland need a visa as well as a passport.



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