Do I require a Mexican Visa to visit Mexico?

According to the World Tourism Organisation, Mexico is one of the most popular countries. Even if you do not include the sun-kissed beaches, there is so much to see and do. Its natural resources, colonial cities and ancient ruins, as well as the festivals, have made it a very popular destination over the years.

You do not need a visa for Mexico if you are a citizen of the Schengen Area, UK or USA, Canada, Japan, or if your permanent residence permit is valid for one of those countries.

  • Your visit is for tourism, business or studies.
  • Your stay must not exceed 180 days
  • Mexico will not pay you any remuneration.
  • It is important to remember that it is not enough.

A valid passport was valid for more than six months. Mexican authorities require that a passport be valid for the duration in Mexico. However, the airlines and transit countries may have additional requirements.

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Types of Mexico Visas

Depending on your stay in Mexico, there are three different types of Mexican visas.

Mexico Tourist Visas: are available for short-term stays of up to 180 days. These visas are required for foreign nationals who wish to travel to Mexico for business, tourism, or any other purpose that does not require employment.

Mexico Temporary Resident Visa: this is available to foreigners who wish to reside in Mexico for more than six months, but not less than four years. The Temporary Resident Visas can then be further subdivided into:

  •  Mexico Student Visa
  •  Mexico Work Visa
  •  Mexico Family Visa

Mexico Permanent Resident Visa: is issued to foreign nationals who wish to permanently reside in Mexico. This visa is for retired people who have an independent income and will be living in Mexico permanently. Permanent residency is also available to Mexicans who have been in Mexico for less than four years and have close family ties.

Is there a Mexico Transit Visa?

Mexico does not issue transit visas. If you are changing planes at a Mexican airport and your transit time is less than 24 hours, an immigration officer will collect your passport and take you to the airport transit hall where you can wait for your connecting flight. You must have a valid Mexico Tourist Visa or a Tourist Card if you wish to enter Mexico for any reason, even transit.

Where can you apply for a Mexico visa?

A Mexican Embassy abroad can issue a visa to Mexico. If you're from Turkey or Russia, however, you might be eligible for a Mexican Tourist Visa online via the Electronic Travel Authorization (Sistema de Autorización Electrónica).

How do I apply for a Mexico Visa?

To obtain a Mexico visa, you must apply at the Mexican Embassy in your country or nearest to you. This is how to apply:

  • For an appointment, contact the Mexico Embassy
  • Fill out the Mexico Visa Application Form
  • Collect all required documents
  • Send the application and pay for the fees

Mexico Visa Processing Time

The specific embassy you apply to will determine the time required to process your Mexican visa. While some visas take only two days, others can take up to four weeks to process.

To find out how long it takes to process your visa, you should visit the website of the Mexico Embassy where you intend to apply. Because not all embassies operate at the same speed, one may process your visa in 2 working days while another may take 10 working days. Some embassies recommend that you make your appointment at least 4 weeks in advance of your trip.


You will need a Mexican visa before you travel to Mexico. Mexican visas are official permit that allows you to travel to Mexico. You will not be permitted to travel to Mexico if you do not have a Mexican visa. You will need a tourist visa, or a business visa if you plan to travel to Mexico. For more information or Mexican visa details, please visit

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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