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Suzanne Barbezat

New Immigration Law for Minors Traveling to Mexico

By November 30, 2012

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Update: The new requirement concerning travel to Mexico for minors has been postponed until January 24, 2014. More info here: Documents for Minors Traveling to Mexico

New immigration rules in Mexico came into effect on November 9 and bring a few changes for tourists. One of the main points that may affect travelers is in regards to minors (under 18) traveling without their parents. According to the website of the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, minors traveling alone or accompanied by an adult third party must present, in addition to a valid passport, a document showing the consent of both parents or legal guardians of the minor. If the document is issued outside of Mexico it must be translated into Spanish and notarized and legalized by the Mexican Consulate or Embassy. An unofficial translation is sufficient. The text of the document must state the parents' express authorization for the minor to travel alone or, if applicable, information about the adult who is authorized to be responsible for the minor during the trip. The document must state the purpose and length of the trip, and specify the dates of entry and departure. This document is a requirement for allowing the minor to depart from Mexico.

According to this statement, a child traveling with only one parent does not need an authorization letter. I've always recommended that a child traveling with only one parent carry an authorization letter from the other parent (or a document proving sole custody). I still think this is a good idea to be on the safe side, and although Mexico is not making it a requirement, it may be requested on the return trip.

Another important change in the new immigration laws is that someone who is in Mexico as a tourist may not apply for residency. So if you're planning to come to Mexico to work or stay long term, you should apply for an FM2 visa at the Mexican embassy in your home country before entering Mexico. In the past it was possible to come as a tourist and stay for six months and then switch to an FM2. That won't be possible anymore.

For more about entry requirements and travel documents, check out the following links:

December 6, 2012 at 8:38 am
(1) Jennifer says:

It is sad that it has come to more and more paperwork so that children can come to the US for a summer vacation. I do, however, see how necessary it is with people being paid to traffic these children in to an uncertain future. I will make sure to have my paperwork in place far in advance again next year when I travel to Mexico and return with a 7 year old that just visits for the summer. Thank you for the heads up! I enjoy reading your column every month:)

January 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm
(2) Noemi says:

I have more like a question i have a 10 month old baby which i have full custody of him i have all my papers for proof , and i want to go to mexico what would i have to take with me ? would i still have to ask his father for a letter?

January 9, 2013 at 1:21 am
(3) Suzanne Barbezat / Mexico Travel says:

If you have sole custody, bring the document (or a notarized copy) that proves that you have custody. Your baby will also need a passport.
Enjoy your trip to Mexico!

January 10, 2013 at 11:26 am
(4) Ben says:

What about going to Mexico via a cruise ship? We will be in Cozumel for one day with a 17yr old friend of our daughter during our cruise. What should we do for Mexico? We will have a consent lettter of course but must we do more for Mexico?

January 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm
(5) Darlene says:

I will be traveling to Mexico with my 17 year old daughter on Feb 16th. My husband is deceased, what do i need besides her passport, his birth cert, our marriage license, her birth cert, and his death cert? It goes without saying that I am not able to get a letter from him. I am a nervous wreck. If you could guide me I would really appreciate it.

February 6, 2013 at 6:35 am
(6) angela says:

I will be traveling with my son to mexico soon and it looks like it is going to be alittle harder than i thought to get a notarized letter from my husband seeing that he works very late………..so i went last year to mexico and they never asked me for the notarized letter that we had signed. So if worst came to worst and i can not get one do you think i could take the one i used last year? Please help!

February 7, 2013 at 1:17 am
(7) Suzanne Barbezat / Mexico Travel says:

The new requirements have been suspended until next year. Check out the updated info here: Documents for Minors Traveling to Mexico

February 12, 2013 at 3:40 am
(8) Sharon says:

Hi, can anybody give me any information? I’m travelling to Mexico from the UK in May2013 with my 14 yr old daughter & my husband her step father. My daughter has never known her biological father, his name isn’t on her birth certificate (unknown) and I certainly wouldn’t know how to find the man & wouldn’t want to either to ask his permission to take my daughter on holiday. As his name is not on the birth certificate & my daughter is travelling with me do I need any legal documentation other than her UK passport?
Thanks for any help.

February 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm
(9) Jolene says:

I just spoke with the Mexican Consulate in Vancouver BC and was told that this law was put on hold until January 2014.

As such, children will only need a notarized consent letter from their parent including travel dates for their child to travel into mexico with a non-parent.

March 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm
(10) kathy says:

Does the new law also state that minors traveling to mexico must have an expiry date of at least 6 months beyond the travel date?

March 3, 2013 at 4:00 am
(11) Sarah says:

I would like to know or get more advice on the new regulations concerning bringing children to Mexico being a single parent mother.
One of my children does not have the father mentioned on the birth certificate so I trust there is no authorisation letter required but the other does have the father’s surname on the passport but we have no contact anymore and may not be able to make contact to obtain an authorisation letter from him.

How would I obtain a ” sole custody” document and where would I go about getting one for both my children in this instance. Would I need one?

I am a frequent flyer to Mexico and flying in from Europe. Is this going to be a problem for me in future without any further documention ?

Please can you advise.

Many thanks

March 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm
(12) Kathy Desmond says:

You don’t mention anything about there being a 6 month passport expiry date rule for US minors traveling to mexico. Do you know anything about that?

March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm
(13) Suzanne Barbezat / Mexico Travel says:

In Mexico it is not a requirement for visitors’ passports to be valid for more than 6 months from the date of entry.

March 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm
(14) Kristina says:

I don’t seem to find anything on the mexico consulate site of the extension of this until January 24, 2014. I can’t get through to anyone via phone and no one replies to emails either. I have a 2.5 year old travelling with her grandparents to a resort and worried that they will have a problem since the last names are different. Do you think a notarized consent in English is sufficient?

March 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(15) Suzanne says:

Hi Kristina, Yes, I believe that a notarized letter of consent in English would be sufficient for now.

March 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm
(16) Lorena Hhernandez says:

I have the same problem. I am from Mexico but I will pick up a child in June from US to take him to Mexico for a 1 week vacation. Their parents are going to give me all the documents I need for it but I cannot reach anyone from the mexican consulate and they dont answer. I think the parents will get a authorization letter with a notary but my question is… does it have to be apostilled or legalized and translated to Spanish?

Thank you.

March 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm
(17) Suzanne says:

My contact at the Embassy of Mexico in Canada told me that these new requirements are suspended until January 2014. In the meantime the official requirement is just a passport. If you can get it, I think it is a good idea to take a letter of consent from the parents as an extra measure.

June 20, 2013 at 10:41 am
(18) Diana says:

I’m 17 years old and I have a one month old daughter can I travel to Mexico with her with no problem?

June 20, 2013 at 10:48 am
(19) Suzanne says:

Diane, How are you traveling to Mexico? If it’s by air, both you and your daughter will need a passport.

June 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(20) Gabriel says:

I want to take my step kids to Mexico on a bus to visit their family, I am a U.S. resident & a Mexican citizen, what documents do we need ?

June 29, 2013 at 8:11 am
(21) denisa says:

Hi , I have a 4 years old daughter and we live in usa and her grandparents live in mexico. can she travel by plane to visit them just by herself,of course they will be waiting for her

June 29, 2013 at 10:57 am
(22) Suzanne says:

Hi Denisa, You will have to check with the airline about their regulations for unaccompanied minors. Most (if not all) airlines will require that a child of that age be accompanied.

July 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm
(23) Liz says:

Hi my name is Liz ,
I am recently going to Mexico (for just 1 hour) with my husband and my 17 year old son but he wants to bring a friend ,she is 17 years old as well , she has her school I.D and her birth certificate.
Is that enough information she will need ?

July 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm
(24) Alfonzo says:

Hello I have a question, I’m 16 and will be flying to Mexico alone, what documents do I need entering mexico and leaving mexico? Does the notarized letter have to be in both languages?

July 17, 2013 at 12:06 am
(25) Erik says:

Hello i am 17 years old and i am in currently in mexico for vacations i am alone no parents, what do i need to enter the us again (alone)?

July 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm
(26) elena says:

Hello can someone please help me im 17 years old im from the u.s but i came to visit mexico my mom and brothers are planning to stay here for six months but i honestly want to go Back already i have a sister i can stay out there with but she cant come and get me because she Don’t have a car yet . the main Problem is that i came without a passport what else can i use someone please reply asap i would really appreciate it .

July 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm
(27) elena says:

Hello my name is elena i am 17 years old im from the us i came to visit mexico but i dont have a passport what else can i use to Get to the us someone help asap i would really appreciate it

September 19, 2013 at 1:51 am
(28) kul says:

hello, I am 22yrs boy from Nepal. and I want to visit Mexico. so do I need Authority letter from parent?? please mail me at kumarra7@hotmail.com

December 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm
(29) carlos vasquez says:

I going through a big issue with my wife. I was told she left with our son to Mexico. We are both legal guardians. She did this without my consent. Can she really leave without my consent. She knew I was going to file for divorce. But she got ahead of me right now. I don’t know if she really in Mexico. Our son was born San Antonio TX US. She is only resident and I am Citizen of US. This law for under minor and two guardian would help. I’m going to divorce attorney in four days, I need some advice.

January 3, 2014 at 11:53 pm
(30) sara says:

Hi im 16 and i want to knoe if i can choose to live with my dad that lives in mexico and can i travel alone to see him

March 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm
(31) Katherine says:

I think the writer needs to clarify that there are two different requirements regarding minor mexican child of mexican or dual nationality. Then there are minors from other countries traveling. The requirements are different – not the same.

March 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm
(32) Suzanne says:

This post is from November 2012. More recent updates to travel with children requirements are listed here: http://gomexico.about.com/b/2014/01/22/mexico-travel-requirements-for-children.htm

May 3, 2014 at 10:52 am
(33) GAaby says:

I’m traveling with my 4 year old niece to Mexico in a few months. What will I need from her patents to take her with me? Passport, a letter signed from both, mother and father. Is that it?

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