Immigration Requirements and instructions for your trip to Riviera Maya Mexico
Updated February 12, 2024 - The Visitax has been around for about 3 years but was poorly communicated or collected. Mexico is getting more serious about this and will be taking steps to charge a penalty if you don't pay it. The charge is around $15 USD for each person, including children. THERE ARE MANY SCAMMER WEBSITES. Be sure you are using the right one.
You can now pay VISITAX in $USD or $CDN effective February 1st, 2024. Travelkore is the most affordable and only source of VISITAX QR codes using North American & European Credit Card Processing and Data Privacy Standards. Here's more information about it. The link to Travelkore is included. You might as well pay it in advance and save yourself a delay.
Tourists no longer need to complete the FMM. The immigration officer will stamp your passport and that's all!
Citizens of the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and most EU countries do not need visas to enter Mexico as tourists for less than 180 days. Other Europeans can stay for 90 days. Non-US citizens travelling via the US, however, may need a US visa.
- All visitors must have a valid passport for entry into Mexico. It is preferable to have at least six months before the passport expires but Mexico doesn't require it. You must also have a blank page in your passport. Here are the details from the US State dept.Passport requirements
- The US Passport card is not acceptable for air travel; you must have a passport. It should not be confused with the Mexican Tourist Card.
Specific forms and instructions
Cancun International is part of a pilot program to permanently eliminate the use of the paper FMM.
As of August 19, the National Migration Institute (INM) is including Cancun as one of the five airports in Mexico to test its elimination. According to Sergio González Rubiera, president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV) in Quintana Roo, the program will reduce wait times from hours to minutes.
The new system will reduce wait times from two-plus hours to around 20 minutes he said. He also clarified that the stamping does not apply to all nationalities. Tourists arriving from Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and Brazil will be the exception since visitors from Brazil, for example, are only granted 30-day visas.
There will be some other exceptions as well. Travelers arriving under special circumstances such as with work visas or student visas, will have to use the electronic FMM.
González Rubiera said that INM officials have already been trained on using the new paperless system. He said that the Cancun airport will join four others around the country in the program. The other Mexico airports with the paperless FMM system are AIFA of Santa Lucia, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and San José del Cabo.
González Rubiera explained that the new program was put into effect after continued requests by the Mexican Caribbean Tourism Business sector to reduce INM airport wait times for tourists.
Customs - If you get stopped
-- When you enter Mexico, Customs officials will be tolerant if you are not carrying illegal drugs or firearms. Tourists are allowed to bring in their personal effects duty-free. The underlying guideline is: Don't bring anything that looks as if it's meant to be resold in Mexico. Those entering Mexico by air or sea can bring in gifts worth a value of up to $300 duty-free, except alcohol or tobacco products. Travelers bringing in goods beyond their personal effects worth $300.00 or more must declare those goods with Mexican customs (SAT) or risk having them confiscated. This also applies to used goods and clothing, including items for donation.
- As a rule of thumb you are allowed to bring into Mexico whatever you need for the time period you will be staying in Mexico. You are not allowed to bring food, fruits and/or products that are not commercially packed and sealed. And if you are bringing food or products, they are only allowed if you need them because of a special diet or for medical reasons.
- The same rule applies to medicine. You are allowed to bring enough medicine for the time period you will be in Mexico. If you are bringing an unusual quantity of medicine please bring a doctor's prescription just in case you need to prove the medicine is for your own consumption.
- After you clear immigration you will collect your luggage and head towards the exit. A Customs officer may ask if you have any alcohol or tobacco. All I can say is, answer honestly. There is a 10-pack duty-free limit on cigarettes.They may inspect your baggage at their own discretion.
- The current limits for adults aged 18+ are three liters of liquor or beer and six liters of wine. If you have more than this quantity you must declare it and pay any duties.
Educate yourself on what is permitted and what is prohibited. And be honest.
COMMONLY PROHIBITED ITEMS THAT CARRY SEVERE CONSEQUENCES
In addition to firearms and illegal drugs, Mexico also prohibits the import of:
- Money and securities
- Pornographic items
- Explosives and other dangerous goods
- Electronic Cigars and/or Cigarettes
- Vaporizing Devices
- Liquids or solutions used on the above items and their parts
- Certain medicines, including first aid kits
– This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as inhalers and allergy/sinus medication. The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico specifically advises against bringing products that contain stimulants (for example, medicine that includes pseudoephedrine, which is a controlled substance, or codeine).
For more information about airport procedures at Cancun including which terminal each airline operates from and transportation options, check out our blog below.
Now that wasn't so bad, was it? Go get your transportation and on with your vacation.