Required Documentation

Passport and Mexican Migratory Tourist Form


ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: For the latest entry requirements, go to the Embassy of Mexico web site at or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20006, telephone 202-736-1000 or any Mexican consulate in the United States for the most current information.

All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to re-enter the United States. This requirement was extended to sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service, on June 1, 2009.  Starting June 1, 2009, all travelers entering the U.S. by land, sea or air are required to present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document, such as a passport or a passport card. U.S. legal permanent residents bearing their I-551 Permanent Resident card may board flights to the U.S. from Mexico.

Applications for the U.S. passport card are now being accepted. The card may not be used to travel by air and is available only to U.S. citizens. All American citizens are encouraged to apply for a U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel. American citizens can visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website or call 1-877-487-2778 for information on how to apply for their passports.

REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are encouraged to register with the U.S. State Department. Registration is important as it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency. 

Note that hotels, banks and most Mexican authorities expect U.S. citizens to have a valid passport, so it is recommended that any students without one apply ASAP in order to receive it on time. 


U.S. citizens do NOT need a formal visa to enter Mexico. They do, however, need a "Migratory Tourist Form" (Spanish acronym "FMT"), which will be provided by the airline, either at the airport before departure or during the flight to Mexico. Students will fill in the form before landing and hand it with their passports to Mexican Immigration at the airport. The form will be stamped with the number of days (in 30-day increments) they are allowed to stay. Students should ask for either 60 or 90 days depending on how long they plan to stay in Mexico after the program. Unlike a normal visa, which would consist of a stamp in a U.S. passport, the FMT is a separate document that should be kept with a passport while in Mexico. Upon leaving the country, the airline will collect this form. A fine will be charged if this form is lost.

The FMT is also available at Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points and Mexican tourism offices. The fee for the FMT is generally included in the price of a plane ticket.

Different rules may apply for non-U.S. citizens, who are encouraged to check with the Embassy of Mexico or the nearest Consulate of Mexico.

If asked by Mexican immigration officials, students should explain that they are going to Mexico to study law through a U.S. university, and that they will receive academic credit from a U.S. university, not from a Mexican university.