Are you planning a trip to Mexico as a tourist for fewer than 180 days? If so, inform yourself and  prepare well in advance regarding the documents required to enter Mexico, and other necessities.

As a tourist entering the country, the maximum stay is 180 days. While in the past this was the standard length of stay granted, that has changed in recent years. Mexican immigration authorities have become more demanding and less flexible. So, now it is more common to be granted a tourist visa for the exact length of your planned stay. For example, if you visit Mexico on vacation for two weeks, you will get a two-week visa. If you are traveling around Mexico for three months, you will get a 90-day visa. However, even that is not always guaranteed. You must satisfy the immigration agents’ requirements too. The best way to do this is to have the following documentation ready for your arrival.

Documents required to enter Mexico


Valid passport: while some countries require a passport with at least six months’ validity left, Mexico does not. The requirement is simply that the passport is valid during your travel dates to and from Mexico.


Visa: Citizens from many countries do not need a visa to visit Mexico. Read more about visa requirements for entering Mexico in our article: Which Countries Need a Visa to Enter Mexico?

Return/onward journey

Proof of return or onward journey: It is likely that as a tourist you will be asked to provide proof of your return or onward journey. This can be a plane or bus ticket, for example. This may even be a requirement to board the plane in the airport you are departing from to travel to Mexico. If you are unsure of your departure date and wish to remain flexible, there are some options. One can buy an airline ticket immediately before traveling and obtain a refund by canceling it within 24 hours of purchase, after arrival in Mexico. Others often buy a cheap ticket out of the country and simply do not use it. If you wish to stay in Mexico for more than 180 days, apply for residency.


Proof of accommodation: if you are a tourist, you may be asked to provide the details of your accommodation, whether it is a hotel, AirBNB or friend’s address. The same applies if you enter as a student, you can provide details of your school or course. These details include contact person, phone number and address. 

Immigration information

Previously, when traveling to Mexico, tourists and residents filled out a paper FMM provided by airlines (Forma Migratoria Multiple) for submission upon arrival. This practice generally no longer exists for arrival by air. Instead, it is done digitally; use this link ( to register your details and obtain a QR code for immigration. If you are entering via a land border you will still receive a paper form.

Cancun and Mexico City have also introduced an electronic immigration system for some countries upon arrival. This, however, is not yet in place throughout the country. If you are entering Mexico as a resident or with a resident visa for canje, do not use these machines.

Just in case …

While not necessarily requirements for tourists, immigration agents may ask you to prove economic solvency. This could be a bank statement or access to cash that covers your expenses during your stay. Agents might also ask for proof of travel insurance. If you are traveling with medication, remember to bring prescriptions too. 

When traveling we want our journey and plans to go as smoothly as possible. Therefore, to be on the safe side it is best to have all documentation which backs up your proposed travel plans ready for presentation. We recommend that you make paper copies too in case you can’t use your phone or don’t have wifi. 

For queries about staying in Mexico for more than 180 days as a resident, contact us: