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If you´re going to Mexico you need to know this….

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:

Fly to Mexico Immigration Card

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

Aeropuerto Cancun

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….

Aeromexico Terminal 2 Aeropuerto Ciudad de Mexico

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.

Aeropuerto Cancun

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?

 Has this happened to you before?

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24 thoughts on “If you´re going to Mexico you need to know this….

  • I still don’t understand why countries still use these paper forms. Since they are scanning your passport, you’d think they could just print the ticket to give at departure rather than having to handle all the paperwork. Good advice though. I know people lose them a lot so it is one way to make money by the government.

  • take a lesson from other countries with the same system, staple the receipt to the passport page with the visa stamp on it, ( but then it would put a crimp in this petty scam)

  • will be in cabos & cancun later this yr; thx for the info/tip

  • this isn’t ‘new’ by any means and it isn’t specific to Mexico. I’ve been to Cancun twice in the past year and yes, I had to give back the immigration form I filled out upon entering the country on both occasions. But that’s normal business and other countries also require it. I’ve been to Aruba recently and the same thing happened. I’d like to also point out that non-citizens entering the U.S. need to fill out the i-94 form, which they must keep with their documents and surrender it back to customs once they leave the country or, else they get into some kind of trouble with CBP.

    • You’re totally right, it isn’t new and it feels so bad that people is still paying this fee instead of already knowing they should keep them. In the US, it’s been about 5 years already since they stopped asking you for the i-94 to get out of the country, still if you lost it it wasn’t that big of a deal…. How was Cancun? Thanks!

      • Yo tengo una pregunta y va a sonar un poco tonta…Puedo entrar a Mexico con mi pasaporte Mexicano y regresar a USA con mi pasaporte Americano sin algun problema?
        No me piden alguna estampa en el pasaporte Americano al regresar?


  • Gracias para la informacion!

  • Just came back from Cancun with the whole family. I spent thousands in Cancun and they still had kick my ass with $30 on that stupid immigration form. Sorry to say that I won’t visit Mexico again, ever.

    • I don’t blame you at all, it’s definitely not fair they take advantage on visitors just like yourself. And trust me, I’m not deleting comments, they all go through moderation automatically, all from real people get approved, it’s a matter of spam. Cheers!

  • gees, what an idiot! no wonder your crappy website doesn’t have comments. You simply deleted other people’s comments that you don’t like. What’s the point of having a blog? I guess someone is going to delete this one also.

  • We’ve been to Cancun a bunch of times….just keep the slip in your passport. It’s easy.

  • Hi Mike,
    I noticed that on the electronic form it requires the name of the point of entry. Since I’m flying into Cancun, what’s the correct name?

  • This nightmare happen to us today. I need to the bottom of this issue.

  • I guess I have a big problem. Please reply. I came to Playa Del ,Carmen on 08/03/2018. No one stamped my passport!! I am scheduled to leave Jan. 10, 2019. of course, the white visa is missing. How do I get on that plane back to Dallas. Please help.
    Nora Dye

  • Hola Mike, not directly related, but speaking of dual passports when travelling between Mexico and the US, I have been invited to travel to the US in June and my trip would be fully paid for.

    I live in Mexico but I was born in Italy and have dual citizenship. I would like to use my Italian passport to enter and exit the US under the Visa Waiver Program and I already have an approved ESTA application to do so.

    I have doubts regarding what to do when leaving Mexico. According to the ESTA website, I would need to board the plane using my Italian passport, but if I only use that for check-in, they would consider me a foreigner and ask me for my FMM paperwork. Of course I could show them my Mexican passport as proof of residency, but could they use both to process my flight? With my Mexican passport, I would need to fill the “Solicitud de salida del territorio nacional para mexicanos”, a small paper that is used to track nationals when leaving Mexico. But, would the airline accept my Italian passport and my Mexican passport and paperwork at the same time for boarding? Is this even possible?
    I hope you can help, I do not know where to find more information.

    • It’s tricky!

      Normally you would have to travel with a single passport to depart and enter another country…

      Not sure if is legal tho, but I’ve seen people checking-in with the airline the italian passport in this case, and showing the mexican departing agent the mexican passport… please tell us your experience..

  • Hi,

    Just recently went to Cancun, turned over the bottom part of the Mex permit to get my boarding pass, and had no issues. But later realized that I only have the stamp on my passport goin in but not out. Was I supposed to get my passport stamped on the way out and by who? I did not see or had to pass through any immigration point when leaving.



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