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Airport Entry

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Whether you have planned to spend a relaxing holiday in Mexico, or you consider to travel to Mexico for work, to establish a new business or even start a new life, there are airport entry requirements you need to be fully aware of in advance. Here are all the main passport requirements for Mexico, as well as other types of documents you need to carry with you before or during your trip to the country.

In March 2010, the Mexican government released a new regulation for all US citizens who plan to visit Mexico. According to this new rule, all US citizens are obliged to possess and show a valid passport, in a card or a book format, to enter Mexico. It will ensure you a faultless entry to the country – regardless the means of transportation you use. This Mexico entry requirement refers to the territory beyond the border zone, which is 20 kilometers or 13 miles from the border. Keep in mind that this rule is strict to all US citizens, including children.

If you plan to stay in the border zone for up to 72 hours, you are not obliged to provide or show any tourist card or a visa.

In case you plan to travel to Mexico beyond the border zone by plane, as US citizens, you will be charged a fee for obtaining a tourist card also called FM-T. You can find it at the border posts, airports within the border zone and during the flight, if you use a major airline, as well as at the official Mexican tourist offices. Note that you will need to fill the FM-T card on your own with the following data:

  • Duration of your stay in Mexico in days
  • A valid passport number
  • The concrete place you go to
  • City of origin
  • Other relevant information may also be necessary.

People who travel to Mexico for business fill a different tourist card– FM-N 30 DAYS. It is a specially tailored card that allows you to remain in Mexico for up to 30 days and to perform business activities without accepting employment.

It is important to know that If you plan to travel to Mexico for a different reason than tourism or business OR you plan to stay more than 180 days, you need to have both - a valid US passport and a visa.

For those who plan to live or work in Mexico, the corresponding visa can be requested from the Mexican Embassy located on 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. The telephone number of the Embassy is (202) 736-1000. There is also another option for Mexican visa acceptance – in all Mexican consulates in the United States.

To return to USA from Mexico by land or by sea, US citizens above 16-year old age must show a valid passport, in a book or a card format. For children under 16-year old age naturalization certificate or birth certificate is necessary for them in order to re-enter the United States by land.

Citizens who want to enter the USA from Mexico by air – no matter what age they are – are required to show a valid USA passport in book format. Keep in mind that passports in card format are not accepted in this case.

Enjoy your vacation in Mexico!