Questions concerning (travel-)documents
Do I need a visa for Mexico?
The following information applies to the majority of the cases. Even if we have investigated carefully, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information. We strongly advise you to contact the corresponding embassy and/or Mexican consulate in advance. Please also make sure that all questions are answered before you leave your home country. Please take all the necessary steps with sufficient time before leaving.
1. Entry in -or transfer to and from- the USA:
Even if Mexico is your final destination, you may need to enter the United States to change flights (as a passenger in transit). If this is the case, you will need an entry permit (since January 2009) as part of the Visa Waiver Program. This permit can be obtained - at the latest 72 hours prior to boarding - over the internet. Go to ESTA website (Electronic System for Travel Authorization): https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html. Make sure you type this address correctly since we have heard of the existence of fake websites. Follow the instructions, fill out the required forms and submit them. Since March 2010 the US department of Homeland Security asks you to pay a fee of 14 USD per travel permit per person. This fee can be paid by credit card on the internet. Besides this internet form you will need to complete another one in the airplane, the so-called I-94W form. Follow the instructions of the Migration Department at the passport control and customs once you arrive to the airport.
2. Entry into Mexico:
To be able to enter Mexico you will only need to complete a tourist visa (FMT) on the plane and present it to the passport control upon arrival in Mexico. The visa will be stamped and given back to you so you can return it when you leave the country. Make sure you keep the visa in your passport: if you happen to loose it, you will have to pay a fee. In case you do not have a EU passport we STRONGLY advise you to contact the Mexican and/or US Embassy before you leave. Swiss citizens, for example, are subject to a special visa for the entrance to the United States. This is a very useful link http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/practical-information/visas
Can I enter the USA and/or Mexico without a biometric passport?
As long as your passport is biometric and it is machine-readable as per the 26th of October 2006, you will have no problem entering the US or transit in the United States. Make sure you always double check the information before you leave for your trip to Mexico.
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