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Red Tape and Visas in Mexico

Several visitors to Mexico will arrive at an Airport, frequently Mexico City's International Airport, Benito Juarez or an airport at one of Mexico's major tourist areas; if the airline does not offer the permit forms to you, you can get one at airports in Mexico, you will need to have your documentation ready:

  • FMT (Tourist / Business Trip Permit) from the airline or at the local port of entry, or other Entry Permit.
  • A valid Passport for at least 6 months.
  • Customs Declaration Form.

For all visitors to Mexico is necessary to present an evidence of citizenship, for instance: an official passport, an original certificate of birth with a raised seal, or naturalization papers. If you use a certificate of birth, you should also present current photo identification, for example: an official ID (a state or military issued ID), a driving license.

Make sure that you are carrying these requisites, because some documents like driving license or voter registration cards are not sufficient to prove citizenship for readmission into the United States.

Of course, you have to put your passport in a safe place, however, if you lose it, go or call the nearby consulate of your native country without delay for a replacement.

The Mexican Tourist Permit

The equivalent of a tourist Visa is The Mexican Tourist Permit, commonly known as the "FMT"; it is very easy to fill out, and you can get one gratuitous in airlines and ports of entry, next proof of nationality is accepted.

You have to know, that the FMT is more important than a passport, certainly, you have to put it in a safe place, if you lose it, most probable you have some problem to leave until you get a replacement.

If you misplace your tourist permit, you have to go the local Immigration Office (Oficina de INM - Instituto Nacional de Migracion), fill some forms, and go to the local bank to pay and return with a receipt.

The FMT authorizes visitors to stay in Mexico for a limit period of 180 days, if the officials do not ask you the time of you visit, you have to indicate the period that you plan to stay.


If you plan to travel with someone with under age 18, you have to get a notarized letter from the absent parent(s) authorizing the travel; this authorization must include the name of the parent, the name of the child, the name of anyone traveling with the child, and the notarized signature.

On the other hand, if you want to visit Baja California, make certain of the laws, because they have changed, it is allowed FMTs for a maximum of 180 days per year, with a maximum of 30 days per visit. This determination is to encourage ordinary tralllevers, or those who spend longer periods in Mexico.

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