What You Need To Know As a Canadian Tourist to Mexico
Mexico is a welcoming place and is not known for discrimination on any grounds. So, on that front, any Canadian wishing to travel to Mexico need not worry. What one will find are normal regulations that distinguish visitors from residents. Here is basically what is required:
Every Canadian needs to carry a valid passport when trying to enter Mexico. In fact, any Canadian citizen somehow found in the country without a valid passport is deported. It is actually advisable that one has the passport valid for at least 6mths, just in case there arises need to extend one’s stay up to the 180-day period allowed.
Canadians do not require special visas to enter Mexico. But they do need to obtain a tourist card. That applies to both those driving across the border and those flying in. For those driving into Mexico, the time to get the tourist card is the juncture at which their temporary car import permit is being processed; and that is at the border check point. If flying in, then one could secure it before, while organizing for the air ticket.
What is needed in order to get the tourist card processed?
a) A valid Canadian passport
b) A birth certificate
c) Certificate showing that the visitor has no criminal record
Those documents that the visitor prepares to present to the authorities in Mexico need to be authenticated prior to that time by one of the Mexican Consulates in Canada or even the Mexican Embassy itself.
What happens if caught without the required tourist card?
- Your processing at the airport could take an awfully long time, possibly being referred to the Immigration office first.
- The delay could result in a missed flight, something that occasions inconveniences and additional travel expenses.
- One might even get a fine.
Duration of stay
The Mexican government has the right to restrict one’s duration of stay in the country. Therefore, no visitor should take the 180-day allowance as automatic. Nevertheless, if granted a shorter period on entry, there is still room to seek extension later on, as the allowed period approaches. For such an extension, one needs to visit any immigration office in Mexico and pay the requisite fee.
It is important to note that those granted a tourist card for 180 days from the onset cannot push their stay further; the Mexican law does not allow such an extension.
What happens if you lose your tourist card in Mexico?
There is no need for panic if one loses the tourist card. The important thing is to seek replacement immediately by reporting to an immigration office in the country. If the tourist card is missing around the time the official visit is coming to an end, what the visitor needs to do is report to an immigration office and seek to be issued with an exit permit.
What are the most relevant official contacts for a Canadian visitor?
When already out of Mexico City, possibly in Cancun, Acapulco, Tijuana or some other place way far out, it is advisable to:
i. Visit the Canadian Consulate that is nearest for direction. There, it is possible to get in touch with the Mexican immigration office within that jurisdiction for necessary action.
ii. Call any of the following numbers:
- (55) 2581-0100
- (55) 2581-0116
- Students plus Professionals:
- (55) 2581-0120
- Business Visitors
- (55) 2581-0132
Working hours: Monday up to Friday: 9am am to 1pm
For the Canadians who want to visit Mexico and possibly do some research with one of the local institutions, or someone who wants to seek business opportunities in addition to regular touring, it is advisable to seek direction from the Mexican embassy in Canada. Alternatively, one could visit any Mexican Consulate in Canada.
Mexican Auto insurance for Canadians
Every Canadian visitor needs to take precautions as US and Canadian car insurance is not valid in Mexico. To have third party liability covering you while driving in Mexico, the visitor needs to buy quality Mexican auto insurance Canadians. Canadians will find it easy to buy a Mexican insurance for Canadians as they can buy it using an online form and this link.