Mexico, which is officially known as the United Mexican States, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. People travel from all over to visit its sunny beaches or its ancient historical ruins. Additionally, the cultural festivals, colonial cities and architecture, and the natural beauty make it so much more than just a place to go to when you want to lounge on a beach and a memorable place to visit.
However, depending on your nationality, if you want to visit Mexico, you may have to apply for a Mexico visa beforehand.
This article is a guide on Mexico visas: what are the types, who needs one, how to apply for a Mexico visa, and other frequently asked questions.
Types of Mexico Visas
There are three main types of Mexico visas, depending on the duration of your stay:
- Mexico Tourist Visas, which are issued for a short-stay of up to 180 days. They are issued to visa-required foreign nationals who want to enter Mexico for tourism, business, a visit or any other purpose which does not require employment.
- Mexico Temporary Resident Visa, which is issued to foreigners who want to move to Mexico for a period longer than six months but less than four years. Temporary resident visas are then further divided into:
- Mexico Student Visa
- Mexico Work Visa
- Mexico Family Visa
- Mexico Permanent Resident Visa, which is issued to foreign nationals who want to live in Mexico permanently. This type of visa is most common for retirees who will live in Mexico with an independent income, which is why it’s also referred to as a Mexico Retirement Visa. Foreigners with close family ties to Mexico as well as those who have lived in Mexico as a temporary resident for at least four years are also eligible for permanent residency in Mexico.
Who Needs a Mexico Visa?
Not everyone has to apply for a visa before going to Mexico. There is a list of countries whose nationals are allowed to travel to Mexico without a visa for stays of up to 180 days. This includes the United States, the member states of the European Union and the EFTA, Canada, Australia, etc.
Nationals of visa-exempt countries can travel to Mexico with just their passport and obtain a tourist card on arrival.
Complete the Mexico Visa Application Form
Next, you must download and complete the Mexico Visa Application Form. You can usually find the application form on the website of the Mexico embassy where you will apply. In some cases, you will receive your application form at the embassy when you submit the application.
You can either complete the form by typing it on your computer (if possible) then printing it or by writing with legible typed letters after you have printed it. The first option may not always be available, so follow the instructions on the form or of the embassy.
You have to answer questions such as:
- Your name, birthday, sex, and birthplace
- Passport information
- Marital status
- Country of residence and address
- Information about your job/profession
- Questions regarding your purpose of travel to Mexico
After completing the Mexico visa application form, you must sign it. If the applicant is a minor, his/her parents have to sign the form.
Collect the required documents
When you apply for a Mexico visa, you must have several supporting documents, such as:
- The Mexico Visa Application Form
- Your passport (or other travel document), which is valid for at least another six months and has blank pages to affix the visa to
- A passport size picture
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration of your stay
- Booked return flight ticket
- Invitation from someone in Mexico, such as a company or organization, if applicable
- If applying from a country that’s not your nationality: Proof of legal residence there, such as a residence permit
- Any additional documents related to your purpose of travel
Find a more detailed list of Mexico visa requirements here.
Submit the application and pay the visa fee
On the date of your appointment, you must submit the documents and application form at the Mexico embassy. You also have to pay a Mexico visa fee.
How Much is a Mexico Visa Fee?
A visa fee for Mexico is about $360. However, the visa fee may change depending on the type of visa you’re applying for as well as the country in which you submit your application. The payment method also differs from country to country since some may require you to pay upfront via bank while others ask you to pay in cash.
Additionally, you will also have to pay for the Tourist Card, which may be between $15-$30. The prices for a Mexico Tourist Card may change slightly from time to time.
What is the Duration of a Mexico Visa?
The duration of a Mexico visa depends on the type of visa you have.
The duration of a Mexico tourist visa is a maximum of 180 days. However, once you arrive at the point of entry in Mexico, the immigration officials could give you a tourist card which is valid for 30, 60, or 90 days, not the full 180.
A Mexico temporary residence visa is valid for one year, but it can be renewed and extended for up to four years. After four years of temporary residency, you can apply for permanent residency.