If you are planning on visiting our southern neighbor, you will need to find out if a Mexico travel visa is needed. Mexico has long been a favorite destination for travelers and having all the proper paperwork upon entry will prevent unnecessary delays. Many countries have different entrance requirements depending on the nationality of the person seeking entrance.
U.S. citizens who are visiting Mexico in a tourist status are not required to obtain a visa if their stay is for 72 hours or less. This applies to an area of the country called the "border zone". This border zone covers an area between 12 and 18 miles from the United States border.
However, if your travel plans will take you beyond that area, you'll need to apply for a , which is also called a "FMT" card. The card is good for a maximum 180 day visit and can be purchased at a number of locations such as Mexican tourist offices, boarder crossings, airports within Mexico and Mexican consulate offices.
Air travelers to areas outside the border zone also must obtain a tourist card. In most cases, the cost for the card is included in the airline ticket price. You'll see this fee, approximately $20.00, listed as a surcharge on your ticket stub. The Mexican Tourism Ministry uses the money for promoting and advertising tourism to Mexico.
The FMT form must be completed before entering Mexico. Air travelers can pick up a form at the airport check-in counter. If none is available at your departure airport, be sure to get one as soon as you land. The form is relatively simply to complete. It asks for information on your identity, your current permanent address, your passport number and expiration date and the title of your occupation.
Need a visa?
Having all your documentation ready and complete when you arrive in Mexico will make your entry go smoothly. Besides your FMT form, you'll need to have your passport handy as well as a completed Customs Declaration form. The immigration officer will look over your documents and annotate the number of days you intend to stay. Your tourist card will be stamped and returned to you before you prepare to enter the line for customs inspection.
Treat your FMT tourist card with as much care as you do your passport as it serves as your exit permit. Not having the card with you when you leave Mexico will mean an added delay as you must reapply for an FMT card and pay a fee, which is typically twice the entry cost. If you notice your card is missing before your departure date, visit the nearest Immigration Office for assistance.
Visiting Mexico can be a wonderful travel experience and knowing all the facts concerning a Mexico travel visa will ensure your trip goes smoothly. Always check the web site of the U.S. Department of State for any recent notices for U.S. citizens who plan to travel to Mexico to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit.
Visit often to learn more information from our updated Mexico Travel Visa.