Foreign travel advice

Mexico

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Mexico

The Mexican government has confirmed that the land border between the US and Mexico will remain closed to all non-essential traffic until 21 October. This is reviewed on a monthly basis. This closure applies primarily to tourism and recreational travel. Cargo, trade and healthcare workers will still be able to cross the border. Check with your closest US Embassy/Consulate before attempting to cross the border.

Testing / screening on arrival

If you present symptoms upon arrival at an airport in Mexico, you should ask for the International Health Team (“Sanidad Internacional”).

Entry from Guatemala

There have been reports of disruptions and tensions at the Mexico-Guatemala border. Periodic closures are possible and you should check with local authorities before attempting to cross the land border.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

If you’re visiting Mexico as a tourist you don’t need a visa, but you’ll need to complete an immigration form and have this with you when you enter and leave Mexico.

You can get an immigration form either when you arrive (forms are available at border crossings or on-board flights to Mexico) or online in advance from the National Institute of Immigration website. Due to the requirements of the online system, the advance option is only possible if your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your intended date of entry to Mexico.

You need an immigration form to leave the country. If you lose your immigration form you can get it replaced at the immigration office at any international airport in Mexico. The cost of a replacement is $500 Mexican Pesos, which is payable at a bank.

There have been reports of bogus immigration officers operating within international airports. You should always refuse offers of help and head directly to the immigration office.

If you’re crossing the border into Mexico from the US, there won’t be an immigration officer at the port of entry, but you’ll need to identify the nearest immigration office and clear your immigration status before you continue your journey into Mexico. The immigration office can usually be found close to the border area, and customs officials at the border should be able to tell you where to find it. If you fail to clear immigration at this point, it is often more complicated to do so once you have left the border area.

Employment, voluntary work, research and eco activities

Tourists are not allowed to undertake voluntary (including human rights) work, or activity, or any form of paid employment. If you wish to carry out this type of work, you must get the correct visa from the Mexican Embassy before you travel.

You may need a visa to undertake certain adventure or eco-tourism activities like caving, potholing or entomology, especially if they involve any scientific or technological research. The Mexican authorities may define scientific or technological research activities far more broadly than other countries. If you’re in any doubt, check with the Mexican Embassy in London well in advance of your visit and ask for written confirmation if necessary.

It is no longer possible to switch immigration status in-country. You can’t enter Mexico on a tourist visa and then change it for a work visa. You must apply at the Mexican Consulate of your normal place of residence in plenty of time before you are due to travel.

Proof of accommodation and onward travel

Immigration officials at the port of entry may ask to see proof of your departure plans from Mexico before allowing you entry to the country. They can also ask to see proof of your booked accommodation, as well as funds to cover your intended stay while in Mexico.

If you have been invited to stay in someone’s home, immigration officials may also ask for a “letter of invitation” from the person you are visiting. This should include as much information as possible, including the host and traveller’s full names and contact details, address while in Mexico and reason for visit.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Mexico.

Customs and border control

You must fill in an online form prior to travelling to Mexico if you have any goods to declare. If you do not declare goods, these may be seized and you may be fined. For information on restricted goods and how to declare goods, you should read the guidance from the Mexican government

Travelling with children

The Mexican authorities have suspended the rules which came into effect in May 2011 requiring children under 18 years of age travelling alone, or accompanied by an adult who is not the parent or legal guardian, to apply for a special permit to leave the country. These rules now only apply to Mexican nationals or foreigners with dual Mexican nationality. The accompanying adult may, however, be asked to provide evidence of his or her relationship with the child.

Although there is currently no specific requirement for authorisation by an absent parent, single parents who are not, or who appear not to be, the child’s parent (eg if they have a different family name) may be asked to show evidence of their relationship with the child and the reason why they are travelling with the child. This evidence could include a birth or adoption certificate, divorce or marriage certificates, or a Parental Responsibility Order.

Travelling to Mexico via the US

If you’re travelling to Mexico via the US, even if you’re only transiting, check the US entry requirements with the US Embassy in London. If you don’t have the correct authorisation you will not be allowed to travel to or transit through the US.

Further information can be found on travel advice for the USA.

Departure tax

You may need to pay a departure tax when leaving Mexico by air or land. The cost can vary and some airports or border crossings only accept payment in cash. Most airlines include the cost within the ticket price. If in doubt, check with your airline or tour operator.

Importing meat or dairy products

You can’t bring meat or dairy products into Mexico from the EU.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Mexico and are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Mexico.