As Mexican is very sad to write about this, but is something you definitely need to know if you’re planning to visit my country. Mainly because I’ve seen endless of people, even close family to get on this trap. Probably you’ve been there as well, so let me share this with you.
One of the main spots where I’ve seen this is at Cancun Airport, it might be because it’s the airport in Mexico with most international airlines.
Let’s go to the point….
Immigration at Arrivals in Mexico
Once you land in Mexican soil you’ll go through immigration obviously. As a foreign citizen you’ll need to fill out a form just like this one:
The immigration official will most likely clear you, of course, if you have the right passport/visa to come into the country. At that time he/she will stamp your passport and the bottom part of the form you just filled out.
You’ll walk out, clear customs, and of course have a great time in Mexico!
Flying out of Mexico
Once you cleared immigration upon arrival, most likely nobody told you that is necessary to keep the bottom part of the stamped form you filled out.
Guess what? You’ll need it when returning home in order to get your boarding pass. In case you lose it, you’ll have to pay around $35 to have it replaced. So, if you’re a family of 5 you’re looking at $175… Ouch!
It’s very common to see people lining up in Cancun’s airport still hung over, and of course the little piece of paper is missing.
The worst part about it…
I understand there are policies in place, and you may need to pay to replace something you lost. But what really bothers me the most is the lack of communication, officers should tell visitors about the requirement of having the stamped form in order to get out of the country.
It seems to me, that on purpose they don’t tell people so you lose it and you pay for a replacement… that’s the business….
It happened even to my Family
A few days ago my aunt flew to Mexico City, she has both passports USA & Mexico. In this particular trip, she forgot her mexican passport.
When clearing immigration, she was asked whether she was entering as American or Mexican. She showed her American passport and her Mexican id (not a passport though) and had already filled out the forms on the plane as an American citizen entering the country. The official saw her mexican id and cleared her as Mexican, no forms needed then. All Good here….
A few days later on the flight back, since she only had her American passport on her, that was the only option she had to present as a travel document to the airline. The airline agents of course couldn’t take her mexican id to travel out of the country, and since she was departing as an American citizen, guess what? She needed that stamped form to get a boarding pass!!!!
In reality the airline agents don’t have anything to do with it, they’re just policies to follow. She still had the form that was filled out on the plane but wasn’t stamped and of course was not valid. They referred her to the immigration office.
At the immigration office, she explained the whole situation, showed her the unstamped arrival card and argued that the officer at the entry point never communicated anything, he knew they were coming back to the US a few days later and only had her American passport. Still was cleared as mexican.
Long story short….. Since time it’s an allied to these situations, in order to get the form stamped she had to pay $35 USD per person. Totally unreasonable. On top of that, they don’t collect the money directly from you at that desk, instead you had to walk across the airport to pay at the bank. What would have happened if it was an early morning flight and the bank was closed?