Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Documents Required for Travel and Entry to Mexico

A reminder about the documentation that is required for travel and entry to Mexico whether you are visiting or resident here

Travel Documents

We have been receiving emails from readers asking about acceptable documentation required for entry to Mexico.  This article summarizes the rules and provides links to additional helpful information.

Arrivals to Mexico by air

If you are visiting Mexico and arriving by airplane, you must carry a current passport.  Note that Passport Cards are not valid for air travel.  We also recommend that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in Mexico.  If your passport is expired the airlines will not allow you to board the aircraft.

Arrivals to Mexico by land:

If you are visiting Mexico by land (crossing the border from the US into Mexico) you can use a passport or, if you’re a US citizen, a Passport Card.

Legal residents of Mexico

If you are a legal foreign resident of Mexico, you will need your current passport and residency card (or visa sticker) to enter Mexico.  See also: Procedures for entering and leaving Mexico and Expiring and expired residency permits

If you arrive in Mexico with a recently-issued residency visa sticker, you will need to exchange this sticker for a residency card within 30 calendar days of your arrival to Mexico.

Further information

Additional information about arriving to and leaving Mexico that you may find helpful:

Entering or returning to the USA from Mexico

If you are entering or returning to the USA from Mexico, you will need a form of documentation described on this page of the CBP website.  If you are not an American or Canadian citizen, you will require a valid passport and a visa or visa waiver (ESTA) or ‘green card’ (legal residency card) to enter the USA from Mexico.

Mexico visa requirements

Many people don’t need to pre-apply for a visa to visit Mexico, but some do.  Read Do I need a visa to visit Mexico? for details.

Entry procedures at the Mexican border

To learn about the procedures at the Mexican border see Procedures for entering and leaving Mexico

Obtaining legal residency in Mexico

For information about long-term residency, including permits for living, retirement, and working in Mexico, see our article about the principal routes to obtain residency in Mexico.

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