Mexico Travel 2023: Is This The End Due to New Requirements?

My Mexico Travelling Experience in 2022: Entry Restrictions and Tips

In today’s article, I’ll delve into my experience entering Mexico in 2022. I’ll discuss the new restrictions for foreigners and how you can best set yourself up to get the full length of stay that you’re hoping for. Traveling in such tumultuous times can often seem overwhelming, but with the right preparation, it can be a swift process.

The Plan

My original plan was to arrive at the airport in Cancun, fill out the FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple) and the declaration form, and then proceed to spend a few months riding out the pandemic and the rest of the Canadian winter in Mexico. If only it was that simple.

I witnessed a couple in front of me at the immigration lineup executing this plan. They arrived, filled out their forms as they’re supposed to, and expected to get a 180-day or a six-month stay in Mexico. But their intended six-month stay quickly turned into a mere 20-day stay, granted by the immigration officer.

Mexico Entry Restrictions

Mexico has been renowned for having very few restrictions through the pandemic and continues to offer visa-free travel for many nationalities, giving them up to 180 days in the country. Both the FMM and the declaration form are provided to you on the airplane or at the airports when you land.

One distinct advantage is you don’t need proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test, or even a ticket to exit the country. Historically, many foreigners have taken advantage of the relaxed entry requirements by staying the allotted 180 days, exiting the country via border run, and then re-entering to get another 180 day-stay. However, this is no longer the case; it now depends on the immigration officer and their discretion about your length of stay.

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The Immigration Process

The specific questions that that I was asked included: How many days I will be in Mexico? What will I be doing while I’m here? Where will I be staying? And – do I have a ticket to exit the country? To cover my bases, I had various forms and information with me to back up my responses, all assembled meticulously in a binder.

This stack included a pre-filled FMM form (you can complete it online in advance), proof of accommodations, proof of exit with an airline ticket, an invitation from the company I work for, proof of income, and my full vaccination receipt. Googling and being aware of scams—an essential step in the process.

Dealing with Scams

One instance was when dealing with the FMM form. If you decide to do it online, make sure to use the official government website to fill out this form. I came across numerous scams claiming that you need to pay for health declaration forms or for your FMM; this is false information, as these are free.

Approaching Customs

Upon arrival, you must fill out a customs declaration form. It is available only in Spanish, so I highly recommend downloading Google translate on your phone or finding an English version of it online. Upon exiting the airport, I was randomly selected for inspection, where an officer thoroughly examined all of my belongings and asked for proof of funds.

Necessary Preparations

The lesson from all this? If you plan on entering Mexico and hope to stay longer than a standard beach vacation, have proof of everything and be ready to show it. Paper copies could be more helpful for immigration officers than showing files on your phone, making the process smoother and shorter.

Do not rely on your phone for translations, document access, or information, as you may not be able to connect to the internet before passing through immigration. A physical address of your hotel or apartment would also be useful during this process.

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Traveling contains its own set of challenges and rewards. Navigating the entry process in this changing world adds unique difficulties, but with the right preparation, the process becomes less daunting. If you have visited Mexico recently, perhaps consider sharing your experience to aid others. Happy and safe travels, and remember, thorough preparation can turn a stressful experience into a seamless journey.