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Do I need a passport to move to Mexico?

December 3rd, 2014 - 8:00 AM

Important note: Effective April 28, 2015, U-Pack has discontinued service to and from Mexico.

Is a passport required for U.S. citizens to move to Mexico?

Yes. According to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. citizens (including children) must present a valid US passport book or card to enter Mexico – whether moving there or just visiting. If you enter Mexico by air, a passport book is required. If you enter Mexico by land or sea, you can use a passport book or passport card.

If you have questions about passport requirements for entering Mexico, contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.


Do I need a passport to move to Mexico?

What if you don’t have your passport yet?

You can easily apply for a passport at an Authorized Passport Acceptance Facility (like a post office) or at a State Passport Agency. Make sure you check processing times when you apply so you can determine if you’ll be able to get your passport before you move. Expedited service may also be available for an additional fee if you find yourself in a time crunch.

Do you need a passport to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico?

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, a passport is required to re-enter the United States. Effective June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens 16 and older must present either a valid U.S. passport book or card to re-enter the U.S. by land or sea. Children under the age of 16 can present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship for re-entry. For re-entry by air, all U.S. citizens regardless of age must present a valid passport book – passport cards will not be accepted.

What else do you need besides a passport to move to Mexico?

If you plan to move to Mexico – temporarily or permanently – you may need a visa.

  • For those doing a temporary move, a Visa de Residente Temporal may be required. This visa is for those who wish to stay in Mexico more than 180 days but no longer than four years.
  • For those doing a permanent move, a Visa de Residente Permanente may be required. This visa is for those who wish to become a permanent resident or Mexican citizen.

We highly recommend that you contact the Mexican consulate in your state or call the U.S. Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. at 202-728-1600 to discuss which visa is right for you.

What if you just want to visit Mexico? Is a visa required?

It depends. If you plan to stay within the “border zone” (an area 12-18 miles from the U.S. border) for less than 72 hours, a visa isn’t required. However, you intend to stay longer than 72 hours within the border zone, or you’re staying somewhere beyond the border zone, a Visitante Visa is required. This visa is good for a maximum of 180 days and can’t be renewed.

If you fly into Mexico, the Visitante Visa will likely be included in the cost of your ticket. If you enter Mexico by land or sea, you can get the visa from a Mexican consulate, tourism office, or border crossing point.

How will you move to Mexico?

Now that you know about Mexico’s passport requirements, all you need to do is decide how to get your belongings there. An ideal option is U-Pack®, a “you pack we drive” moving company. You pack, load, and unload, and U-Pack does the driving – no rental truck required. Here’s how a typical U-Pack Mexico move works:

  • U-Pack delivers the moving trailer to your home.
  • You load.
  • U-Pack drives your shipment across the border into Mexico.
  • U-Pack delivers to your new home.
  • You unload.

It’s as easy as that. With service to many Mexican cities, U-Pack makes moving to Mexico a smooth transition. Call 800-413-4799 to get an instant free moving quote.

Have questions?

If you have questions about moving with U-Pack, leave a comment below. We’re happy to help.

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