According to Mexican government regulations, as of March, 2010, all U.S. citizens must show a valid passport, book or card, to enter Mexican territory, by any means of transportation, beyond the border zone (20 kilometers, 13 miles, from the border); no exceptions are made for children. No visa or tourist card is required for stays of less than 72 hours within the border zone.
When traveling beyond the border zone, or when entering the country by air, U.S. citizens are required to pay a fee to obtain a tourist card (FM-T), which is available at border crossings, Mexican tourist offices and airports, within the border zone. Major airlines will provide this form during your trip. You must include the following information on the form: number of days you will be in the country, passport number, destination, city of origin and other related information.
Business travelers must complete and file form FM-N 30 DAYS, which authorizes them to perform business activities, but not to accept employment, for a period of 30 days. Entering the country for other purposes, besides tourism and business, or for stays of more than 180 days, requires a visa and a valid U.S. passport.
U.S. citizens who plan to work or live in Mexico, must request the corresponding Mexican visa at a Mexican Embassy or any Mexican consulate in the United States of America.
All U.S. citizens 16 years old or older must show either a U.S. passport, in a book or a card form, in order to re-enter the country by land or by sea. Children under the age of 16 can re-enter the United States by land with a legal document (naturalization certificate or birth certificate).
Upon entering the United States by air, all citizens, regardless of their age, must show a U.S. passport in book format. A U.S. passport in a card format is not valid for entering the United States by air.
To enter Mexico, all tourists need to have a permit called Customs Form for Tourists, which is valid for 180 days. This document is available at airline offices, travel agencies or Mexican ports of entry. Each passenger must be provided with one.
As of 1999, a Non-immigrant Tax (DNI) is charged in Mexico, which is intended to promote tourism and improving immigration services. This tax must be paid upon leaving the country. Its cost is about $48USD and it is updated anually. For more information, visit the National Immigration Institute’s webpage at http://www.inm.gob.mx.
Additional to personal belongs; all passangers entering Mexico can carry a maximum of $300.00 dlls of merchandise, otherwise they will have to pay an extra charge. All baggage is reviewed by the Mexican Customs authorities.
Information and emergency contacts from some Mexican organizations that can help you while you travel.
Secretaría de Turismo
From México City and metropolitan area: 553 002 6300
Toll free: 01 800 903 92 00
Toll free from United States of America: 1 (800) 482 9832
Embajada de Estados Unidos en México
Reforma 305, col. Cuauhtémoc, del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500
Inside Mexican republic : 55 5080 2000
From USA: 011 52 55 5080 2000
If you are an American Citizen and you are in an emergency situation, please dial the following numbers:
(From USA ) 011 52 55 5080 2000
(From México) 55 5080 2000
For further information, check out the directory of embassies and consulates online: