Mexico Travel Restrictions

Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status

Traveling from the United States to Mexico

Open for vaccinated visitors

COVID-19 testing

Not required

Not required for vaccinated visitors


Not required in enclosed environments and public transportation.

Mexico entry details and exceptions

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Can I travel to Mexico from the United States?

Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Mexico.

Can I travel to Mexico if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Mexico without restrictions.

Can I travel to Mexico without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Mexico without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter Mexico?

Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Mexico.

Can I travel to Mexico without quarantine?

Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in Mexico?

Mask usage in Mexico is not required in enclosed environments and public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in Mexico?

Restaurants in Mexico are open. Bars in Mexico are .

Security Alert May 17, 2024

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Travel Advisory August 22, 2023

Mexico - see state summaries.

Reissued after periodic review with general security updates, and the removal of obsolete COVID-19 page links.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

U.S. citizens are advised to adhere to restrictions on U.S. government employee travel. State-specific restrictions are included in the individual state advisories below. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, except daytime travel within Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Mexico.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Colima state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Guerrero state  due to  crime .
  • Michoacan state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Sinaloa state due to  crime  and  kidnapping
  • Tamaulipas state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping.
  • Zacatecas  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .

Reconsider Travel To:

  • Baja California  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Chihuahua state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Durango state  due to  crime .
  • Guanajuato state  due to  crime and kidnapping .
  • Jalisco state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Morelos state  due to  crime .
  • Sonora state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

  • Aguascalientes  state due to  crime .
  • Baja California Sur state  due to  crime .
  • Chiapas state  due to  crime .
  • Coahuila state  due to  crime .
  • Hidalgo state  due to  crime .
  • Mexico City  due to  crime .
  • Mexico State  due to  crime .
  • Nayarit state  due to  crime.
  • Nuevo Leon  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Oaxaca state  due to  crime .
  • Puebla state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Queretaro state  due to  crime .
  • Quintana Roo state  due to  crime .
  • San Luis Potosi state  due to  crime and kidnapping .
  • Tabasco state  due to  crime .
  • Tlaxcala state due to  crime .
  • Veracruz state  due to  crime .

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

  • Campeche state
  • Yucatan state

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Mexico.
  • Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime  advisories  and  alerts , which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest travel health information related to your travel. 

Aguascalientes state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Aguascalientes state.

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:

  • Mexicali Valley:  U.S. government employees should avoid the Mexicali Valley due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions.  The boundaries of the restricted area are: to the east, the Baja California/Arizona and Baja California/Sonora borders; to the south, from La Ventana (on Highway 5) due east to the Colorado River; to the west, Highway 5; and to the north, Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas/Highway 92/Highway 1 to Carretera Aeropuerto, from the intersection of Highway 1 and Carretera Aeropuerto due north to the Baja California/California border, and from that point eastward along the Baja California/California border.
  • Travelers may use Highways 2 and 2D to transit between Mexicali, Los Algodones, and San Luis Rio Colorado during daylight hours. Travelers may also use Highways 1 and 8 to transit to and from the Mexicali Airport during daylight hours.  Travel on Highway 5 is permissible during daylight hours.

There are no other travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in Baja California state. These include high-traffic tourism areas of border and coastal communities, such as  Tijuana ,  Ensenada , and  Rosarito .

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur state.

Campeche state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Campeche state.

Chiapas state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state.

Chihuahua state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Battles for territory between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees, including restaurants and malls during daylight hours. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez:  U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juárez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ocampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.  Direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport (officially called the Abraham González International Airport) and the factories located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted.  Travel to San Jerónimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa U.S. Port of Entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.

U.S. government employees may only travel from Ciudad Juarez to the city of Chihuahua during daylight hours via Federal Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Guardia Nacional División Caminos station, the Umbral del Milenio overlook area, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Federal Highway 45 in the city of Ahumada.

  • U.S. government employees may travel between Ciudad Juarez and Ascension via Highway 2.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juárez, Colonia LeBaron, Paquimé and San Buenaventura):  U.S. government employees may travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours via Mexico Federal Highway 2, and subsequently Federal Highway 10, to Nuevo Casas Grandes.  Employees are permitted to stay overnight in the cities of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes only.
  • City of Chihuahua:  U.S. government employees may travel at any time to the area of the city of Chihuahua bounded to the north by Avenida Transformación; to the east by Avenida Tecnológico/Manuel Gómez Morín/Highway 16/Blvd.José Fuentes Mares; to the west by the city boundary; and to the south by Periférico Francisco R. Almada.
  • U.S. government employees may travel on Highways 45, 16, and 45D through the city of Chihuahua and to the Chihuahua airport (officially called the General Roberto Fierro Villalobos International Airport). 
  • U.S. government employees may travel to Santa Eulalia to the east of the city of Chihuahua, as well as to Juan Aldama via Highway 16 to the northeast.
  • U.S. government employees may travel south of the city of Chihuahua on Highway 45 to the southern boundary of Parral, including each town directly connected to Highway 45, including Lázaro Cárdenas, Pedro Meoqui, Santa Cruz de Rosales, Delicias, Camargo, Ciudad Jiménez, and Parral itself.
  • U.S. government employees may only travel on official business from the city of Chihuahua on Highway 16 to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc bounded by Highway 21 to the north and east, Highway 5 to the west, and Bulevar Jorge Castillo Cabrera to the south. 
  • Ojinaga:  U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 and enter through the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas.
  • Palomas:  U.S. government employees may travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the U.S. Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico, or via Highway 2 in Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Chihuahua, including  Copper Canyon .

Coahuila state – Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime and gang activity occur in parts of Coahuila state. 

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Zaragoza, Morelos, Allende, Nava, Jimenez, Villa Union, Guerrero, and Hidalgo municipalities : U.S. government employees may not travel to these municipalities.
  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña:  U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. in both cities.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Coahuila state.

Colima state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.  

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.  

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with noted restrictions: 

  • Manzanillo:   U.S. government employee travel is limited to the tourist and port areas of Manzanillo.  
  • Employees traveling to Manzanillo from Guadalajara must use Federal Toll Road 54D during daylight hours.  

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Colima state. 

Durango state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Durango state.

  • West and south of Federal Highway 45:  U.S. government employees may not travel to this region of Durango state.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Durango state.

Guanajuato state – Reconsider Travel

Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state.  Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Areas south of Federal Highway 45D:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area south of and including Federal Highway 45D, Celaya, Salamanca, and Irapuato.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Guanajuato state, which includes tourist areas in:  San Miguel de Allende ,  Guanajuato City , and  surrounding areas.

Guerrero state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Crime and violence are widespread. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping in previous years.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following area with the noted restrictions:

  • Taxco:  U.S. government employees must use Federal Highway 95D, which passes through Cuernavaca, Morelos, and stay within downtown tourist areas of Taxco. Employees may visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park during the day with a licensed tour operator.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Guerrero, including to tourist areas in  Acapulco ,  Zihuatanejo , and  Ixtapa .

Hidalgo state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Hidalgo state.

Jalisco state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Jalisco-Michoacan border and Federal Highway 110:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area between Federal Highway 110 and the Jalisco-Michoacan border, nor travel on Federal Highway 110 between Tuxpan, Jalisco, and the Michoacan border.
  • Federal Highway 80:  U.S. government employees may not travel on Federal Highway 80 south of Cocula.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Jalisco state which includes tourist areas in:  Guadalajara Metropolitan Area ,  Puerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit) ,  Chapala , and  Ajijic .

Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely. Petty crime occurs frequently in both tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico City.

Mexico State (Estado de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico State. Use additional caution in areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico State.

Michoacan state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Federal Highway 15D:   U.S. government employees may travel on Federal Highway 15D to transit the state between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Morelia:  U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Federal Highways 43 or 48D from Federal Highway 15D.
  • Lazaro Cardenas:  U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Michoacan, including the portions of the  Monarch Butterfly Reserve  located in Michoacan.

Morelos state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Morelos state.

Nayarit state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout Nayarit state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Nayarit state.

Nuevo Leon state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Nuevo Leon state.

Oaxaca state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state.

U.S. travelers are reminded that U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Isthmus region:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Oaxaca bounded by Federal Highway 185D to the west, Federal Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca-Chiapas border to the east.  This includes the cities of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.  
  • Federal Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa:  U.S. government employees may not use Federal Highway 200 between Pinotepa and the Oaxaca-Guerrero border.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in:  Oaxaca City ,  Monte Alban ,  Puerto Escondido,  and  Huatulco .

Puebla state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Puebla state.

Queretaro state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Queretaro state.

Quintana Roo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations.  Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. 

While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have injured innocent bystanders.  Additionally, U.S. citizens have been the victims of both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state. However, personnel are advised to exercise increased situational awareness after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, and to remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones.

San Luis Potosi state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in San Luis Potosi state.

Sinaloa state – Do Not Travel

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based in and operating in Sinaloa. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Mazatlan:  U.S. government employees may travel to Mazatlan by air or sea only, are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport and sea terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo:  U.S. government employees may travel to Los Mochis and Topolobampo by air or sea only, are restricted to the city and the port, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Sinaloa state.

Sonora state – Reconsider Travel

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. Violent crime is widespread. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping. Travelers should maintain a heightened level of awareness of their surroundings in all their travels in Sonora.  Security incidents may occur in any area of Sonora.

  • Travel between Hermosillo and Nogales:  U.S. government employees may travel between the U.S. Ports of Entry in Nogales and Hermosillo during daylight hours via Federal Highway 15 only. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid unnecessary stops as security incidents, including sporadic, armed carjackings, and shootings have been reported along this highway during daylight hours. Travelers should have a full tank of gas and inform friends or family members of their planned travel.
  • Nogales:  U.S. government employees may not travel in the triangular area north of Avenida Tecnologico, west of Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio (Periferico), nor east of Federal Highway 15D (Corredor Fiscal). U.S. government employees also may not travel in the residential and business areas to east of the railroad tracks along Plutarco Elias Calle (HWY 15) and Calle Ruiz Cortino, including the business area around the Morley pedestrian gate port-of-entry. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in Nogales due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.  
  • Puerto Peñasco:  U.S. government employees may travel between Puerto Peñasco and the Lukeville-Sonoyta U.S. Port of Entry during daylight hours via Federal Highway 8 only. They may not travel on any other route to Puerto Peñasco. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in Puerto Peñasco. due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
  • Triangular region near Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry:  U.S. government employees may not travel into or through the triangular region west of the Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar municipality.
  • San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta : U.S. government employees may travel directly from the nearest U.S. Port of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea (via Douglas Port of Entry), and Agua Prieta, but may not go beyond the city limits. Travel is limited to daylight hours only. Travel between Nogales and Cananea via Imuris is not permitted. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in these cities due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
  • Eastern and southern Sonora (including San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos):  U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16. U.S. government employees may travel to San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos; travel to Alamos is only permitted by air and within city limits.  U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Federal Highway 15 (south of Hermosillo), as well as all points south of Guaymas, including Empalme, Guaymas, Obregon, and Navojoa.  U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in these areas due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.

U.S. government employees may travel to other parts of Sonora state in compliance with the above restrictions, including tourist areas in: Hermosillo , Bahia de Kino , and Puerto Penasco .

Tabasco state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tabasco state.

Tamaulipas state – Do Not Travel

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria. Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo.  In these areas, local law enforcement has limited capacity to respond to incidents of crime. Law enforcement capacity is greater in the tri-city area of Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira, which has a lower rate of violent criminal activity compared to the rest of the state.

U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo:  U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius around and between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, their homes, the respective U.S. Ports of Entry, and limited downtown sites, subject to an overnight curfew.
  • Overland travel in Tamaulipas:  U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways. Travel between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey is limited to Federal Highway 85D during daylight hours with prior authorization.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other parts of Tamaulipas state.

Tlaxcala state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tlaxcala state.

Veracruz state – Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime and gang activity occur with increasing frequency in Veracruz, particularly in the center and south near Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos. While most gang-related violence is targeted, violence perpetrated by criminal organizations can affect bystanders. Impromptu roadblocks requiring payment to pass are common.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Veracruz state.

Yucatan state – Exercise Normal Precautions

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which include tourist areas in:  Chichen Itza ,  Merida ,  Uxmal , and  Valladolid .

Zacatecas state – Do Not Travel

Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Zacatecas City : U.S. government employee travel is limited to Zacatecas City proper, and employees may not travel overland to Zacatecas City.
  • U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Zacatecas state.

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

Passport must be valid at time of entry

One page per stamp

Yes, if visiting for more than 180 days

See Travelers’ Health section

Embassies and Consulates

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR U.S. CITIZENS IN MEXICO From Mexico: 800-681-9374 or 55-8526-2561 From the United States: 1-844-528-6611

U.S. Citizen Services Inquiries: Contact Form

U.S. Embassy Mexico City

Paseo de la Reforma 305 Colonia Cuauhtémoc 06500 Ciudad de México

U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez

Paseo de la Victoria #3650 Fracc. Partido Senecú 32543 Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua

U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara

Progreso 175 Colonia Americana 44160 Guadalajara, Jalisco

U.S. Consulate General Hermosillo

Monterey, Esqueda 141 El Centenario 83260 Hermosillo, Sonora

U.S. Consulate General Matamoros

Constitución No. 1 Colonia Jardín 87330 Matamoros, Tamaulipas

U.S. Consulate General Merida

Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31 Colonia Alcalá Martin 97050 Mérida, Yucatán

U.S. Consulate General Monterrey

Avenida Alfonso Reyes 150 Colonia Valle del Poniente 66196 Santa Catarina, Nuevo León

U.S. Consulate General Nogales

Calle San José s/n Fracc. Los Álamos 84065 Nogales, Sonora

U.S. Consulate General Nuevo Laredo

Paseo Colon 1901 Colonia Madero 88260 Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas

U.S. Consulate General Tijuana

Paseo de las Culturas s/n Mesa de Otay Delegación Centenario 22425 Tijuana, Baja California

Consular Agencies

Acapulco Hotel Continental Emporio Costera M. Alemán 121 – Office 14 39670 Acapulco, Guerrero Cancun

Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo

Los Cabos Las Tiendas de Palmilla L-B221, Km. 27.5 Carretera Transpeninsular 23406 San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur

Playa Gaviotas 202, Local 10 Zona Dorada 82110 Mazatlán, Sinaloa

Oaxaca Macedonio Alcalá 407, Office 20 68000 Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Piedras Negras Abasolo 211, Local 3, Centro 26000 Piedras Negras, Coahuila

Playa del Carmen Plaza Progreso, Local 33 Carretera Federal Puerto Juarez-Chetumal, Mz. 293 Lt. 1. 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

Puerto Vallarta

Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros 85 Sur, Local L-7 63732 Nuevo Nayarit, Nayarit

San Miguel de Allende Plaza La Luciérnaga, Libramiento Jose Manuel Zavala 165, Locales 4 y 5 Colonia La Luciérnaga 37745 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Destination Description

See the  State Department’s Fact Sheet on Mexico  for more information on U.S.-Mexico relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

A valid passport book is required to enter Mexico by air, and those attempting to enter at an airport with a U.S. passport card only may be denied admission.

Review the Mexican government’s most current  entry, exit, and visa requirements  ( Spanish only ) or visit the  Embassy of Mexico  in Washington, D.C., for more information.

For travelers entering Mexico by air only, Mexican immigration authorities implemented a process to replace the previous paper Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM with a Forma Migratoria Multiple Digital or FMMD.  The FMMD process is in place at all 66 international airports in Mexico.  Upon arrival at an airport, Mexican immigration authorities will determine a traveler’s authorized length of stay and either place a date stamp in the traveler’s passport or direct the traveler through a self-service electronic gate (E-Gate) that will generate a printed receipt with QR code. Air travelers who wish to download a record of their FMMD or find more information on the FMMD process may visit the National Migration Institute’s (INM) website .

Travelers entering Mexico by land should have a valid passport book or card.  If you enter Mexico by land and plan to travel beyond the immediate border area (approximately 12 miles or 20 kilometers into Mexico), you must stop at an INM office to obtain an entry permit (Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM), even if not explicitly directed to do so by Mexican officials.  INM may opt to allow tourists entry of up to 180 days without a visa or may limit authorized stays to shorter periods at their discretion; visitors should confirm the specific length of authorized stay written on the entry permit (FMM) or by the stamp in their passport. Mexican immigration authorities could ask you to present both your passport and entry permit if applicable at any point and may detain you while they review your immigration status if you are not carrying your passport and proof of legal status in Mexico, or if you have overstayed your authorized stay. Immigration check points are common in the interior of Mexico, including in popular tourist areas far from the border.  

You will also need a temporary vehicle import permit to bring a U.S.-registered vehicle beyond the border zone. These permits are processed through Banjercito and require a deposit that will be refunded once the vehicle leaves Mexico.  For more information, visit the  Banjercito  website ( Spanish only ).

Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora have a “hassle-free” zone that allows cars traveling without an entry permit or car registration within the zone. 

Mexican authorities can impound a vehicle that enters the country without a valid U.S. registration, a vehicle driven by a Mexican national who is not resident in the United States, or a vehicle found beyond the border zone without the temporary import permit.

Mexican law permits Mexican immigration authorities to deny foreigners entry into Mexico if they have been charged with or convicted of a serious crime in Mexico or elsewhere.

Travelers bringing in goods beyond their personal effects worth $300.00 or more must declare those goods with Mexican customs (SAT) Mexican customs  ( Spanish only ) or risk having them confiscated. This also applies to used goods or clothing, including items for donation. U.S. citizens driving such items into Mexico without declaring them or without sufficient funds to pay duty fees are subject to having their vehicle seized by Mexican customs authorities. For further information about customs regulations, please read our  customs information page .

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents in Mexico.

A parent or legal guardian departing Mexico with minor children should carry a notarized consent letter from the other parent if traveling separately. INM requires at least one parent to complete a  SAM  ( Formato de Salida de Menores, Spanish only ) for all Mexican or foreign minors with Temporary Resident, Temporary Student Resident, or Permanent Resident status departing Mexico alone or with a third party.  Further information about the  prevention of international parental child abduction  is available on our website.

Find information on dual nationality , and customs regulations on our websites. Both Mexico and the United States allow dual nationality.

Safety and Security

Travelers are urged to review the  Mexico Travel Advisory  for information about safety and security concerns affecting the country on a state-by-state basis.

U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Mexico should not expect public health and safety standards like those in the United States. Even where such standards exist, enforcement varies by location. Travelers should mitigate the risk of illness or injury by taking standard health and safety precautions.

The phone number to report emergencies in Mexico is “911.”  Although there may be English-speaking operators available, it is best to seek the assistance of a Spanish speaker to place the call.

Crime:  Crime in Mexico occurs at a high rate and can be violent, from random street crime to cartel-related attacks. Over the past year, Mission Mexico has assisted U.S. citizens who were victims of armed robbery, carjacking, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, pick-pocketing, and sexual assault. Increased levels of cartel-related violence have resulted in territorial disputes and targeted killings, injuring or killing innocent bystanders. Travelers who find themselves in an active shooter scenario should flee in the opposite direction, if possible, or drop to the ground, preferably behind a hard barrier.

Drivers on roads and highways may encounter government checkpoints, which often include National Guard or military personnel. State and local police also set up checkpoints in and around cities and along the highways to deter criminal activity and enforce traffic laws. In some parts of Mexico, criminal organizations and other non-governmental actors have been known to erect unauthorized checkpoints and have abducted or threatened violence against those who fail to stop and/or pay a “toll.” When approaching a checkpoint, regardless of whether it is official, cooperate and avoid any actions that may appear suspicious or aggressive.

While Mexican authorities endeavor to safeguard the country’s major resort areas and tourist destinations, those areas have not been immune to the types of violence and crime experienced elsewhere in Mexico. In some areas of Mexico, response time of local police is often slow. In addition, filing police reports can be time consuming. See our  Mexico Travel Advisory  for more information.

Demonstrations  occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.  Protesters in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major thoroughfares, or take control of toll booths on highways.  Travelers who encounter protesters who demand unofficial tolls are generally allowed to pass upon payment.  U.S. citizens should avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by authorities, as Mexican law prohibits political activities by foreign citizens and such actions may result in detention or deportation.

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.  
  • Past demonstrations have turned violent.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.  

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information.  

Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Mexico. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:   

  • Romance/Online dating 
  • Money transfers 
  • Lucrative sales 
  • Grandparent/Relative targeting 
  • Free Trip/Luggage 
  • Inheritance notices 
  • Bank overpayments 

Mexico’s consumer protection agency,  PROFECO  (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, Spanish only), can sometimes  provide assistance  (Spanish only) to victims of such scams. In addition, there have been allegations of banking fraud perpetrated by private bankers against U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens who believe they have been victims of fraud can file a police report  file a complaint  (Spanish only) with the Mexican banking regulatory agency, CONDUSEF  (Comision Nacional para la Proteccion y Defensa de los Usuarios de Servicios Financieros, Spanish only), or consult with an attorney.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest Consulate for assistance.  Report emergencies to the local police at 911, report crimes already committed to the Ministerio Publico, and contact the Embassy or Consulate at +52-55-85262561.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

U.S. citizen victims of crime should contact the local authorities to file a Mexican police report before departing Mexico. In most instances, victims of crime will file reports with the Ministerio Publico (equivalent to the office of public prosecutor or district attorney in the United States) and not with police first responders. U.S. citizens should also inform the  U.S. Embassy or nearest consulat e . 

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .    We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care,
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police,
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent,
  • provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion, 
  • provide a list of local attorneys,
  • provide information on  victim’s compensation programs in the United States ,
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution,
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home,
  • replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the  U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate  for assistance.

Kidnapping:  Mexico experiences very high rates of kidnapping.  If you believe you or your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) relative has been kidnapped, please contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate immediately.

Robbery:  Mexico experiences robberies, typically in cities, in which abductors force victims to use their debit or credit card to withdraw money from ATMs in exchange for their release. Perpetrators commonly work in cooperation with, or pose as, taxi drivers. To minimize the risk of such robberies:

  • Only use a reputable taxi company or a trusted ride-sharing app.
  • Book taxis through your hotel or an authorized taxi stand.

Extortion:  Extortion schemes are common in Mexico.  In a typical scheme known as a virtual kidnapping, criminals convince family members that a relative has been abducted, when, in fact, the person is safe but unreachable.  The purported abductors will often use threats to persuade victims to isolate themselves, making communication with family members less likely.  Unable to reach their loved ones, family members often consent to paying the “ransom” demand.  Criminals use various means to gather information about potential victims, including monitoring social media sites, eavesdropping on conversations, or using information taken from a stolen cell phone.  Some of these extortions have been conducted from Mexican prisons.  You can reduce the risk of falling victim to this type of extortion through the following:

  • Do not discuss travel plans, your room number, or any other personal information within earshot of strangers.
  • Do not divulge personal business details to strangers in person or over the phone, especially when using hotel phones.
  • If you are threatened on the phone, hang up immediately.

Sexual Assault:  Rape and sexual assault are serious problems in some resort areas. Many of these incidents occur at night or during the early morning hours, in hotel rooms, on hotel grounds, or on deserted beaches. In some cases, assailants drug the drinks of victims before assaulting them. Pay attention to your surroundings and to who might have handled your drink.

Credit/Debit Card “Skimming:”  There have been instances of fraudulent charges or withdrawals from accounts due to “skimmed” cards. If you choose to use credit or debit cards, you should regularly check your account to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry in public, exercise caution when withdrawing cash from ATMs, and avoid ATMs located in isolated or unlit areas.

Alcohol:  If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill. There have been reports of individuals falling ill or blacking out after consuming unregulated alcohol. The Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk,  COFEPRIS  ( Comision Federal para la Proteccion contra Riesgos Sanitarios, Spanish only ), is responsible for inspecting hotels, restaurants, and other establishments for health violations, including reports of unregulated alcohol. Please email COFEPRIS at  [email protected]  for more information or if you wish to file a report. You can file a report online (Spanish only) via the COFEPRIS website, by calling the COFEPRIS call center at 800 033 50 50 (from Mexico) or +52 (55) 5080-5425 (from the United States), or by scheduling an appointment  (Spanish only)  to visit a COFEPRIS office.

There have also been instances of criminals drugging drinks to rob or sexually assault victims. Additionally, if you feel you have been the victim of unregulated alcohol or another serious health violation, you should notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate . You may also contact the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries).

Drug Smuggling:  Mexican criminal organizations are engaged in a violent struggle to control trafficking routes. Criminal organizations smuggling drugs into the United States have targeted unsuspecting individuals who regularly cross the border. Frequent border crossers are advised to vary their routes and travel times and to closely monitor their vehicles to avoid being targeted.

Tourism:  In major cities and resort areas, the tourism industry is generally well-regulated.  Best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced.  Hazardous areas and activities are identified with appropriate signage, and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country.  Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and/or provide life-saving assistance.  In smaller towns and areas less commonly frequented by foreign tourists, the tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur.  Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in or near major cities.  First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Since 2016, Mexico has opened seven multilingual Centers for the Care and Protection of Tourists (CAPTA) and Tourist Assistance Centers (CATTAC) in Los Cabos, La Paz, Acapulco, Playa del Carmen, Mazatlan, Ciudad Madero, and Queretaro. These offices have proven helpful assisting U.S. citizen visitors in resolving disputes with merchants and government entities, filing criminal reports, securing needed services, and locating special needs accommodations. 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate immediately. See our  webpage  for further information.

The Mexican government is required by international law to contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate promptly when a U.S. citizen is arrested if the arrestee so requests.  This requirement does not apply to dual nationals.  

Firearms and Other Weapons:  Weapons laws in Mexico vary by state, but it is generally illegal for travelers to carry weapons of any kind including firearms, knives, daggers, brass knuckles, as well as ammunition (even used shells). Illegal firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico is a major concern, and the Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against taking any firearm or ammunition into Mexico. If you are caught entering Mexico with any type of weapon, including firearms or ammunitions, you likely will face severe penalties, including prison time. U.S.-issued permits allowing an individual to carry weapons are not valid in Mexico.  Visit the Department’s  Traveling Abroad with Firearms webpage .

Vessels entering Mexican waters with firearms or ammunition on board must have a permit previously issued by a Mexican embassy or consulate.

Drugs:  Drug possession and use, including medical marijuana, is illegal in Mexico and may result in a lengthy jail sentence or fines.  

Electronic Cigarettes (Vaping Devices):  It is illegal for travelers to bring electronic cigarettes (vaping devices) and all vaping solutions to Mexico. Customs will confiscate vaping devices and solutions and travelers could be fined or arrested. Avoid delays and possible sanctions by not taking these items to Mexico. 

Real Estate and Time Shares:  U.S. citizens should exercise caution when considering time-share investments or purchasing real estate and be aware of the aggressive tactics used by some sales representatives. Before initiating a real estate purchase or time-share investment, U.S. citizens should consult with a Mexican attorney to learn about important regulations and laws that govern real estate property.

Mountain Climbing and Hiking:  The Mexican government has declared the area around the Popocatepetl and the Colima volcanoes off limits. In remote rural areas, there can be limited cell phone coverage and internet connectivity, and it may be difficult for rescue teams and local authorities to reach climbers and hikers in distress.

Potential for Natural Disasters:  Mexico is in an active earthquake zone. Tsunamis may occur following significant earthquakes. Please visit our  disaster and crisis preparedness  webpage for more information. For additional information concerning disasters, see:

  • U.S. Embassy Mexico City website
  • Civil Protection  ( Proteccion Civil, Spanish only ) provides information from the Mexican Government about natural disaster preparedness
  • U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  provides general information about natural disaster preparedness
  • U.S. Geological Survey  provides updates on recent seismic and volcanic activity

Storm Season:  Tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico or along the Caribbean and Pacific Coast between May and November can produce heavy winds and rain. Please visit our disaster and crisis preparedness  webpage for more information.

Spring Break:  Millions of U.S. citizens visit Mexican beach resorts each year, especially during “ spring break ” season. The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18. See the “Alcohol” section above to learn more about the risks associated with drinking, as well as reports of illnesses associated with the possible consumption of unregulated alcohol.

Resort Areas and Water Activities:  Beaches in Mexico may be dangerous due to strong currents, rip tides, and rogue waves. Warning notices and flags on beaches should be taken seriously. Not all hazardous beaches are clearly marked. If black or red warning flags are up, do not enter the water. Strong currents can lead to dangerous conditions for even the most experienced swimmers. U.S. citizens simply walking along the shore or wading have been swept out to sea by rogue waves, and some citizens have drowned or disappeared at Mexican beaches. Avoid the consumption of alcohol while engaging in water activities and do not swim alone. 

Boats used for excursions may not be covered by accident insurance and sometimes lack adequate life jackets, radios, and tools to make repairs.  Participation in adventure sports may not be covered by accident insurance and safety protections and regulations for these activities may differ from U.S. standards.  Visit  our website  and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about adventure travel.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods:  Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also be subject to fines or forced to relinquish the goods if you bring them back to the United States. See the  U.S. Department of Justice website  for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or on the organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex (LGBTQI+) events in Mexico. However, due to sporadic reports of violence targeting LGBTQI+ individuals, U.S. citizens should exercise discretion in identifying themselves publicly as LGBTQI+. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and Section 6 of the  Department of State’s Human Rights Report for Mexico  for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities:   Mexican law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States.  The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure in more rural and remote parts of the country, and more common in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure in major cities.  U.S. citizens with disabilities should consult individual hotels and service providers in advance of travel to ensure they are accessible.

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  There were several reports of sexual assault or domestic violence involving U.S. citizen women over the past year. See our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

Excellent health facilities are available in Mexico City and other major cities. Ambulance services are widely available, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi to a health provider. Mexican facilities often require payment “up front” before providing medical care, and most hospitals in Mexico do not accept U.S. health insurance. A list of doctors and hospitals is available on the U.S. Embassy or consulate website.

U.S. citizens have lodged complaints against some private hospitals in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos to include exorbitant prices and inflexible collection measures.  Travelers should obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care in these locations.  Be aware that some resorts have exclusive agreements with medical providers and ambulance services, which may limit your choices in seeking emergency medical attention.  Some hospitals in tourist centers utilize sliding scales, deciding on rates for services based on negotiation and on the patient’s perceived ability to pay.  In some instances, providers have been known to determine the limits of a patient’s credit card or insurance, quickly reach that amount in services rendered, and subsequently discharge the patient or transfer them to a public hospital.

Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  website for information on Medical Tourism.

For emergency services in Mexico, dial  911 .  Although there may be English-speaking operators available, it is best to seek the assistance of a Spanish speaker to place the call.

Ambulance services are: 

  • widely available in major cities but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards,
  • not present in many remote and rural areas of the country,   
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.  
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.  

We do not pay medical bills:  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.  

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See  our webpage  for more information on insurance coverage overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. 

We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation as well.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Check the Mexican government’s Drug Schedule to ensure the medication is legal in Mexico. 

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information :

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC)

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals .  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. 

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: 

  • U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic or other elective surgery.   
  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations.  Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.  
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.  
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Mexico.  Several foreigners have successfully enlisted the support of  PROFECO  (Spanish only) in order to resolve disputes over medical services.
  • Although Mexico has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely.  If you plan to undergo surgery in Mexico, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.  


  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls.  Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.  
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency reports counterfeit prescription pills are sold by criminals on both sides of the border. These pills are sometimes represented as OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, and others, and may contain deadly doses of fentanyl. Counterfeit pills are readily advertised on social media and can be purchased at small, non-chain pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist areas.  U.S. citizens have become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States.  Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.   
  • Visit the  Mexican Health Department  website (Spanish only) or contact the  Embassy of Mexico  in Washington, D.C., for more information about obtaining a permit to import medicine into Mexico.
  • For a list of controlled substances in Mexico, visit the  COFEPRIS  website (Spanish only) and the  Mexican Drug Schedule  (Spanish only). U.S. citizens should carry a copy of their prescription or doctor’s letter, but it is still possible that they may be subject to arrest for arriving in Mexico with substances on these lists. Note that a medicine considered “over the counter” in some U.S. states may be a controlled substance in Mexico. For example, pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed, is considered a controlled substance in Mexico. For more information, contact the  Embassy of Mexico  in Washington, D.C.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy  

  • If you are considering traveling to Mexico to have a child using assisted reproductive technology (ART) including surrogacy, visit the State Department’s ART and Surrogacy Abroad page for general information regarding U.S. citizenship for the child. 
  • Surrogacy in Mexico presents serious risks that must be considered before U.S. citizens begin the surrogacy process.
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in Mexico via ART with a gestational mother, be prepared for possible long delays to document your child’s birth in Mexico and their U.S. citizenship by obtaining a U.S. passport. 
  • Ensure you understand Mexican law, which varies by state. The only four states with a legal framework for surrogacy do not permit foreigners and/or same-sex couples to use the procedure. In the other 28 states, surrogacy is largely unregulated.
  • In most states, Mexican courts may not enforce surrogacy agreements between non-Mexican or same-sex intending parents and a gestational mother should disputes arise, due to a lack of legal framework for surrogacy. The U.S. Embassy is aware of several cases where surrogacy agencies presented a partial, or false, interpretation of Mexican surrogacy laws.
  • In most Mexican states, the gestational mother is the child’s legal parent with full parental rights, and the gestational mother’s name is typically listed on the Mexican state-issued birth certificate. In certain states, a court may amend the birth certificate to remove the name of the gestational mother.
  • The U.S. Embassy is aware of cases of foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, being arrested for attempting to circumvent local law related to surrogacy.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Many hotels and other lodgings are not equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, even if they contain sources of this potentially lethal gas. U.S. citizens have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning throughout Mexico. If your lodging is not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, consider traveling with a portable one.

Water Quality: 

  • In many areas in Mexico, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks might be made using tap water.


  • Many cities in Mexico, such as Mexico City, are at high altitude, which can lead to altitude illness. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about  Travel to High Altitudes .

Adventure Travel

  • Participation in adventure sports and activities may not be covered by accident insurance and safety protections and regulations for these activities may differ from U.S. standards.  Visit  our website  and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website  for more information about adventure travel.

General Health

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Typhoid Fever
  • Travelers’ Diarrhea
  • Chikungunya
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Mexico.   

Air Quality

  • Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in Mexico. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.

For further health information, go to:

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)

  Private Residential Treatment Facilities: 

  • These facilities provide care to U.S. citizens throughout Mexico and include child behavior modification facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living centers. 
  • There is a wide range in standards for education, safety, health, sanitation, immigration, and residency.  Staff licensing may not be strictly enforced or meet the standards of similar facilities in the United States.  
  • The State Department has received reports of abuse, negligence, or mismanagement at some of these facilities. U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence and do extensive research before selecting a residential treatment facility.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of U.S. citizen deaths in Mexico. If you have an emergency while driving, dial “911.” If you are driving on a toll highway (“ cuota ”) or any other major highway, you may contact the Green Angels ( Spanish only ), a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews, by dialing 078 from any phone in Mexico.  Generally, individuals involved in an accident who do not require immediate medical care should contact their insurance providers, who may come to the site to provide an immediate assessment.

Avoid driving on Mexican highways at night. Travel with a charged and functional cell phone capable of making calls in Mexico. Travelers should exercise caution at all times and should use toll (“ cuota ”) roads rather than the less secure free (“ libre ”) roads whenever possible. Do not hitchhike or accept rides from or offer rides to strangers anywhere in Mexico. Travelers encountering police or security checkpoints should comply with instructions.

Road conditions and maintenance across Mexico vary with many road surfaces needing repair. Travel in rural areas poses additional risks to include spotty cell phone coverage and delays in receiving roadside or medical assistance.

Vehicular traffic in Mexico City is subject to restriction Monday through Saturday, according to the license plate number, in order to reduce air pollution. For additional information, refer to the  Hoy No Circula website  ( Spanish only ) maintained by the Mexico City government. See our  Road Safety Page  for more information.  Also, visit  Mexico’s national tourist office website , MexOnline, and Mexico’s customs website  Importacion Temporal de Vehiculos  ( Spanish only ) for more information regarding travel and transportation.

Traffic Laws:   U.S. driver’s licenses are valid in Mexico. Mexican law requires that only owners drive their vehicles or that the owner be inside the vehicle. Failing to abide by this law may lead to impoundment and a fine equal to the value of the vehicle.

Mexican citizens who are not also U.S. citizens or LPRs may not operate U.S.-registered vehicles in Mexico. Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Drivers involved in accidents, even minor incidents, may be subject to arrest if they are found to be driving without proper insurance, regardless of whether they were at fault. Driving under the influence of alcohol, using a mobile device while driving, and driving through a yellow light are all illegal in Mexico.

If you drive your vehicle into Mexico beyond the immediate border area (approximately 12 miles into Mexico), you must apply for a temporary vehicle import permit with Mexican customs, Banjercito , or at some Mexican consulates in the United States. The permit requires the presentation of a valid passport and a monetary deposit that will be returned to you upon leaving Mexico before the expiration of the permit. Failing to apply for a temporary vehicle import permit may lead to impoundment and a fine equal to the value of the vehicle. 

Vehicles crossing into Mexico must have a valid license plate and registration sticker. Mexican authorities will often refuse to admit vehicles with temporary or paper license plates. Vehicles with expired registration or unauthorized plates will likely be confiscated and the operator could be charged with a fine equal to the value of the vehicle.

The Mission Mexico Vehicle Recovery Unit  assists with the return of stolen U.S. vehicles recovered by Mexican authorities.

If you have an emergency while driving, dial “911.” If you are driving on a toll highway (“cuota”) or any other major highway, you may contact the Green Angels (Spanish only), a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews, by dialing 078 from any phone in Mexico.  Generally, individuals involved in an accident who do not require immediate medical care should contact their insurance providers, who may come to the site to provide an immediate assessment.

Public Transportation/Taxis:  Security on public buses varies throughout the country but is considered a relatively safe transportation option in Mexico City and other major tourist centers. Passengers should protect their personal possessions at all times as theft is common. Intercity bus travel should be conducted during daylight hours in preferably first-class buses using toll roads.

Robberies and assaults on passengers in taxis not affiliated with a taxi stand (known as “libre” taxis) are common. Avoid taking any taxi not summoned by telephone or contacted in advance, including “libre” taxis. When in need of a taxi, telephone a radio taxi or “sitio” (regulated taxi stand) and ask the dispatcher for the driver’s name and the taxi’s license plate number. Application-based car services such as Uber and Cabify are available in many Mexican cities, and generally offer another safe alternative to taxis. Official complaints against Uber and other drivers do occur, however, and past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Mexico’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Mexico should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts .  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .

If you enter by sea, review the Mexican boating permit requirements  prior to travel or contact the  Embassy of Mexico  in Washington, D.C., for more information.

Maritime Safety Oversight:  The Mexican maritime industry, including charter fishing and recreational vessels, is subject solely to Mexican safety regulations.  Travelers should be aware that Mexican equipment and vessels may not meet U.S. safety standards or be covered by any accident insurance.

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  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
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  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Mexico . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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Heading to Mexico? These Are the COVID Restrictions in Place

By Shannon McMahon

Mexico Restrictions Guide Tulum Mayan Ruins

Considering a getaway south of the border? As we all inch back out there, Mexico certainly has appeal, thanks to its proximity to the United States and familiarity for American travelers—especially at a time when traveling abroad is still nebulous.

In fact, with most of Europe and many other destinations off the table as of late, some parts of Mexico saw an increase in American arrivals late last year when compared to the same time in 2019. According to the Washington Post , the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, saw a 23 percent rise in U.S. visitors. (The proof is in most of our Instagram feeds, as well.)

The government of Mexico is asking visitors to come, too. The country declared its tourism sector reopened on June 1, 2020. “Mexico has maintained its borders open through air travel to North American visitors with no need to quarantine,” according to the Mexican Embassy in the United States . “It is encouraged that people continue respecting social distancing measures, washing their hands, and coughing or sneezing in the inner part of the elbow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

But there are some minor entry requirements in place for visitors, and a system for COVID-19 health restrictions on the ground that could greatly impact what you are able to enjoy on your trip. We've spelled them out below so you know what to expect. Remember, wherever you're headed, make sure to also do your homework on the wider situation on the ground—local case counts and hospital capacities, the sentiment towards visitors during the ongoing pandemic, if particular restaurants or site you want to visit are open—before you book a flight. 

Read on for our full list of Mexico COVID travel restrictions, by state. 

Mexico COVID travel: Entry and exit restrictions

Since March 21, 2020, Mexico’s northern border with the United States has been closed to all nonessential land crossings—and the closure has been renewed every month since. This means you cannot drive across the border to Mexico as a traveler; you will have to fly. Although air travel to tourism-dependent Mexico remains open to leisure travelers, who are permitted to visit without quarantining or testing negative for COVID-19, health checks have been implemented at Mexican airports. As always, Americans do not need a visa for stays of under 180 days. Air travelers are required to submit a mobile health questionnaire before they arrive in Mexico, and once it is completed travelers receive a QR code to be scanned by officials at their arrival airport for entry. Health measures at the airport may also include temperature checks. Public transportation in Mexico and public spaces where crowds may gather, including hotels and restaurants, require masks and social distancing (except when eating).

All travelers must test negative for COVID-19 to re-enter the United States. The U.S. Mission Mexico offers a list of private testing providers travelers can utilize if their hotel or resort does not offer on-site testing.

It’s also worth noting that the U.S. Department of State updated the travel advisory for Mexico to its highest, “Do Not Travel,” level on April 20 due to COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advises Americans to avoid international travel to Mexico due to COVID-19 levels. Data from the World Health Organization shows that the country has seen over 2.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 219,000 deaths, and about 20 million vaccine doses have been distributed in Mexico as of May 7.

What's open?

Varying levels of health restrictions, which are dependent on COVID-19 case rates in a given state, have been in place to varying degrees throughout Mexico since the beginning of the pandemic. The nation has implemented a stoplight-style alert system for its 32 states, assigning color-coded epidemiological statuses of green, yellow, orange, and red—with red carrying the highest restrictions. As of mid-May the most tourist-frequented states are yellow or orange, with less-visited areas in the green, or least-restrictive phase. The governor of the state of Quintana Roo, however, is warning that the area, which is home to Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen, is in danger of returning to red status, which implements stay-at-home orders and strict capacity limits on hotels and tourism sites. You can check the color assigned to each state on this interactive map , and read more about the country’s sanitary measures for reopening tourism here .

Here’s what each phase generally mandates:

Green: States in the green phase are largely open, with only social distancing and mask requirements in place for public places and at businesses.

Yellow: States designated as yellow have some reduced capacity requirements in place for public spaces that may become crowded: Hotel lobbies, restaurants, beaches, theaters, shops, and tourist attractions must operate at about 70 percent capacity or less (exact limits depend on the state case count), and bars and clubs are closed.

Orange: States categorized as orange have a tighter capacity limits. Hotel lobbies, restaurants, and tourist attractions are limited to 50 percent capacity, while beaches, theaters, and stores are limited to 30 to 40 percent or less , depending on the case count.

Red: States in red alert status are subject to stay-at-home orders and curfews, and public beaches and parks are closed. Hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions operate at 20 percent capacity or less, while shops, theaters, gyms, bars, and clubs are closed.

Stop-light colors are assessed on a weekly basis and can change at any time. Here are the current colors assigned to some of the most tourist-frequented areas in Mexico, and where to find updates on their restrictions.

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Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel: Quintana Roo is currently in the second-highest orange phase and implementing 50 percent capacity limits on hotel spaces, restaurants, and tourist sites. Beaches, theaters, shops, and casinos are limited to 30 percent capacity. Updates can be found here .

Mexico City and Puebla’s Magic Towns: The states of Mexico City and Puebla are currently designated as yellow, with 70 percent capacity limits widely in place. Mexico City plans to return to allowing theater and other indoor events at 30 percent capacity starting on May 17. Updates can be found here for Mexico City and here for Puebla .

Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, and the Los Cabos Corridor: The states of Baja California & Baja California Sur are also yellow-designated states, with 70 percent capacity limits widely in place.  More health information on Los Cabos can be found here .

Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita: Jalisco and Nayarit states are among Mexico’s green-designated areas, with most businesses operating at socially distanced capacities and with masks required. Online updates for Riviera Nayarit can be found here , and Puerto Vallarta updates can be found here .

Merida, Chichen Itza, and Valladolid: The state of Yucatan, home to the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza and the bustling city of Merida, is in the yellow phase and enforcing capacity limits of about 70 percent. More information can be found here . Chichen Itza briefly closed due to bad tourist behavior in April, but has since reopened with masking, social distancing, and health checks required.

Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido: The state of Oaxaca and its resort towns are currently in the green phase, with most businesses open but social distancing and masking requirements still in place. More information can be found here .

Central Mexico and San Miguel de Allende: The states of Guanajuato and Querétaro are currently yellow with 70 percent capacity limits widely in place. Updates can be found here for Guanajuato , which is home to historic San Miguel de Allende, and here for Queretaro .

travel restriction to mexico


Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol: First In

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol: First In

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What you need to know about traveling to Mexico right now

Sasha Brady

Aug 31, 2021 • 4 min read

travel restriction to mexico

Mexico is open to visitors but restrictions apply in some regions once you're there © Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images © © Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Mexico is open for travel but COVID-19 cases remain stubbornly high, particularly in tourist hot spots. Despite this, the county is continuing to welcome visitors with almost no testing and quarantine restrictions—though local restrictions are in place across individual states through a four-tiered traffic light system.

Travelers should check the regulations and recommendations of their government before planning any travel. Currently the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that unvaccinated travelers avoid nonessential travel to Mexico . If you're traveling to Mexico, here's what you need to know.

Can I travel to Mexico right now?

Mexico is open to travelers from all around the world and commercial flights are operating in and out of the country. Travelers who go to Mexico are required to complete a health declaration form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival.

Passengers arriving at Mexican airports may be subject to health screenings including temperature checks. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 could be asked to quarantine. Travelers entering by land may also be subjected to health screenings and temperature checks. Although a COVID-19 test is not required for entry, US travelers will need to take a COVID-19 test  before flying home to the US.

Read more: Best time to visit Mexico

On March 21, 2020 the US and Mexico closed their shared land border to non-essential travel, and those restrictions have been extended every month since. The current land border restrictions are in place until at least September 21, 2021. 

Mexico is on the UK's red list for travel. This means that any UK citizen or resident who arrives into the UK from Mexio will have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days upon arrival.

For travel within Mexico, some restrictions on intercity and interstate transit apply, but those details vary from place to place; the US State Department’s Local Resources section has a comprehensive breakdown .

Visitors on the Playa del Norte beach on Isla Mujeres

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in Mexico?

Anyone who shows signs of COVID-19 upon arrival may be returned to their country of origin or asked to voluntarily quarantine , but it’s not mandatory at this time. The government is strongly encouraging preventative measures like social distancing and hand-washing, with masks required in some parts of the country though not all. A full breakdown of measures can be found here .

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Mexico?

A negative viral COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery is required for anyone traveling by air to the US and they should be performed no more than three days before departure. The US Embassy says results for PCR and antigen tests are reliably available within 72 hours in Mexico. Many hotels, resorts and tour operators provide antigen tests for guests, and some airport have mobile COVID-19 testing stations in departure halls. PCR tests can be performed in hospitals and labortories.

What COVID-19 restrictions apply in Mexico?

Mexico is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't require mandatory testing or self-isolation upon arrival. But that doesn't mean that it's business as usual when you get there. The Mexican government has implemented a four-tier color-coded traffic light ( semáforo) system that corresponds to the level of COVID-19 transmission in each state. What's open depends on the rate of contagion in the area you're visiting. The levels range from green to red , with green for locations where COVID-19 is the least severe and restrictions are at their lowest level. Red is in place for locations where COVID-19 is most severe, and restrictions are at their highest level.

The traffic light system is updated every two weeks and the current restrictions are in place until September 5. However, the Mexican government warns that the classification of each place is subject to change at short notice, especially if there is a sudden increase in transmission.

Read more:  Top 5 road trips in Mexico

High Angle View Of Cathedral Against Blue Sky In City

Green Level

Chiapas is the only state classified as green. All non-essential businesses are open here without restrictions.

Yellow Level

Baja California , Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guanajuato , and Yucatán are at yellow level.

Under yellow, markets, supermarkets and golf courses can operate at 100% capacity. Hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, beaches, public parks, theme parks, water parks, and tour guide services are typically capped between 50% and 70% capacity.

Exterior shot of the Frida Kahlo Museum

Orange Level

Sonora , Durango, Zacatecas , San Luis Potosí , Nayarit, Jalisco , Aguascalientes , Veracruz , Querétaro , Michoacán , Estado de Mexico, Ciudad de Mexico , Morelos , Tlaxcala, Oaxaca , Campeche , and Quintana Roo are at orange. Popular tourist resorts of Cancún ,  Tulum and Playa del Carmen are classified as yellow.

Nonessential businesses are open with stricter capacity limits. Hotels, restaurants, beaches, open-air parks, historical sites and gyms are limited to 50% capacity. Markets and supermarkets can operate at up to 75% capacity. While shopping malls, theaters, museums, and cultural events will be limited to 25% capacity.

Colima, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, Puebla , Tabasco , and Tamaulipas.

Under red level, only essential businesses and services may operate. Hotels are only open to critical workers. Parks open at 25% capacity. Residents are encouraged to remain at home and face coverings are required in public.

COVID-19 snapshot

This story was first published on August 18, 2020 and last updated on August 31, 2021.

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Mexico Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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After Your Trip

Map - Mexico

Be aware of current health issues in Mexico. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Dengue in the Americas May 16, 2024 Dengue is a risk in many parts of Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to the Americas can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Destination List: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Ecuador, including the Galápagos Islands, French Guiana (France), Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Martinique (France), Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Mexico March 12, 2024 There have been reports of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in people traveling to the United States from Tecate, in the state of Baja California, Mexico.
  • Salmonella Newport in Mexico March 29, 2023 Some travelers who have spent time in Mexico have been infected with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella Newport.

⇧ Top

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine


There has been evidence of chikungunya virus transmission in Mexico within the last 5 years. Chikungunya vaccination may be considered for the following travelers:

  • People aged 65 years or older, especially those with underlying medical conditions, who may spend at least 2 weeks (cumulative time) in indoor or outdoor areas where mosquitoes are present in Mexico, OR
  • People planning to stay in Mexico for a cumulative period of 6 months or more

Chikungunya - CDC Yellow Book

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Mexico.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Mexico. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Mexico.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Mexico take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Mexico.

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Dogs infected with rabies are sometimes found in Mexico.

Rabies is also commonly found in some terrestrial wildlife species.

If rabies exposures occur while in Mexico, rabies vaccines are typically available throughout most of the country.

Rabies pre-exposure vaccination considerations include whether travelers 1) will be performing occupational or recreational activities that increase risk for exposure to potentially rabid animals and 2) might have difficulty getting prompt access to safe post-exposure prophylaxis.

Please consult with a healthcare provider to determine whether you should receive pre-exposure vaccination before travel.

For more information, see country rabies status assessments .

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil
  • Avoid floodwater

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites, chagas disease (american trypanosomiasis).

  • Accidentally rub feces (poop) of the triatomine bug into the bug bite, other breaks in the skin, your eyes, or mouth
  • From pregnant woman to her baby, contaminated blood products (transfusions), or contaminated food or drink.
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Chagas disease

  • Mosquito bite


  • Sand fly bite
  • An infected pregnant woman can spread it to her unborn baby

Airborne & droplet

Avian/bird flu.

  • Being around, touching, or working with infected poultry, such as visiting poultry farms or live-animal markets
  • Avoid domestic and wild poultry
  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Mexico, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Mexico. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Some diseases in Mexico—such as dengue, Zika, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease—are spread by bugs and cannot be prevented with a vaccine. Follow the insect avoidance measures described above to prevent these and other illnesses.

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Mexico include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Mexico. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Mexico’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in some parts of Mexico. If you are going to a risk area, fill your malaria prescription before you leave, and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Mexico may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Mexico, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

For information traffic safety and road conditions in Mexico, see Travel and Transportation on US Department of State's country-specific information for Mexico .

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

To call for emergency services while in Mexico, dial 066, 060, or 080. Write these numbers down to carry with you during your trip.

Learn as much as you can about Mexico before you travel there. A good place to start is the country-specific information on Mexico from the US Department of State.

Americans in Mexico have been arrested for purchasing souvenirs that were, or looked like, antiques and that local customs authorities believed were national treasures. Familiarize yourself with any local regulations for antiques and follow these tips:

  • When you are considering purchasing an authentic antique or a reproduction, ask if you are allowed to export these items before you purchase them.
  • If you buy a reproduction, document on the customs form that it is a reproduction.
  • If you buy an authentic antique, obtain the necessary export permit (often from the national museum).

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Mexico for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Mexico travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: June 17, 2024 15:46 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, mexico - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico due to high levels of criminal activity and kidnapping.

Regional Advisory - Avoid non-essential travel

  • Chiapas, excluding the cities of Palenque via highway 186 from Villahermosa, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez
  • Chihuahua, excluding Chihuahua City
  • Colima, excluding the city of Manzanillo if accessed by air
  • Guerrero, excluding the cities of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo if accessed by air
  • Jalisco, within 50 km of the border with Michoacán state
  • the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park in Morelos
  • Michoacán, excluding the cities of Morelia and Patzcuaro
  • in Nayarit, within 20 km of the border with the states of Sinaloa and Durango
  • Nuevo León, excluding the city of Monterrey
  • Sinaloa, excluding the cities of Los Mochis and Mazatlán
  • Sonora, excluding the cities of Hermosillo, Guaymas/San Carlos and Puerto Peñasco
  • Tamaulipas, excluding the cities of Tampico and Recce
  • all Zacatecas, excluding Zacatecas City

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Levels of crime, particularly violent crime, are high throughout Mexico. Arrest and detention rates are low and don’t deter criminal activity.

Criminal groups, including drug cartels, are very active. ‎Clashes between cartels or gangs over territory, drugs and smuggling routes are common.

In some parts of the country, military, navy and federal police forces have been deployed to combat organized crime and improve security conditions. They maintain a visible presence by:

  • patrolling the streets
  • setting up roadblocks
  • conducting random vehicle checks  

If you plan on travelling to Mexico:

  • remain vigilant at all times
  • stay in tourist areas
  • be very cautious on major highways
  • avoid travelling at night
  • monitor local media closely

If you’re the victim of a crime, you must report it immediately to local authorities. No criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint. Complaints must be made in person before leaving Mexico. You should hire a local lawyer to represent your interests and follow up on your case after you return to Canada. Failure to do may result in incomplete investigations or long delays in bringing cases to trial.

Violent crime

There are high rates of violent crime, such as homicides, kidnappings, carjacking and assaults, including in popular tourist destinations such as the Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum), and Acapulco.

Criminal groups and drug cartels are present in tourist areas. Inter-gang and cartel fighting has taken place in restaurants, hotels and nightclubs frequented by tourists.

Innocent bystanders have been injured or killed. You may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and become a victim of violent crime.

Border areas often see higher criminal activity and violence, including in rural areas. Confrontations between organized criminal groups and Mexican authorities continue to pose a risk. Shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur without warning.

You should travel to Mexico by air to avoid international land border crossings, particularly along the border with the United States, in the following cities:

  • Ciudad Juárez
  • Nuevo Laredo

If crossing an international land border:

  • remain extremely vigilant
  • use only official border crossings

Armed robbery

Armed robbery occurs. Foreigners have been targets of robberies that sometimes involve assault.

Robbers will follow a victim after they exchange or withdraw money at airports, currency exchange bureaus ( casas de cambio ) or ATMs.

  • Stay in hotels and resorts with good security
  • If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and don’t resist
  • Avoid withdrawing or exchanging money in public areas of the airport

Canadian travellers have been physically and sexually assaulted. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel at popular tourist destinations were involved. In some cases, hotel staff are not helpful and try to dissuade victims from pursuing the incident with police.

  • Avoid walking after dark, especially alone
  • Avoid isolated or deserted areas
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

Are you a victim of sexual violence? – Government of Canada and British Embassy Mexico City

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs in Mexico. When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements


Some bars and nightclubs may try to charge exorbitant prices. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence and security guards may force you to pay. Avoid running a tab or leaving your credit card with bar or restaurant staff.

Overseas fraud

Police officers

Legitimate police officers have extorted money from tourists or arrested tourists for minor offences such as :

  • drinking alcohol on the street
  • urinating on public roads
  • traffic violations

They have requested immediate cash payment in exchange for their release. Travellers driving rental cars have been targeted.

If this occurs:

  • don’t hand over your money or your passport
  • ask for the officer’s name, badge and patrol car number
  • ask for a copy of the written fine, which is payable at a later date, or insist on going to the nearest police station

Virtual kidnappings

Extortion, including virtual kidnappings, is the third most common crime in Mexico. Criminals use a variety of tactics to gather information about potential victims for extortion purposes, including using social media sites or eavesdropping on conversations

In a virtual kidnapping, criminals contact the victim’s hotel room landline and threaten the victim to stay in their room. The criminals then instruct the victim to provide information needed for the caller to use to contact family and friends, to demand the immediate payment of ransom for their release.

  • Don't discuss travel plans, your room number or any other personal information around strangers
  • Never leave your cellphone unattended
  • Ensure your cellphone is password protected
  • Don't divulge personal business details to strangers in person or over the phone or on social media, especially when using hotel phones
  • If you're threatened on the phone or hear screams, hang up immediately
  • When you answer the phone, wait for the caller to speak. If the caller asks who is speaking, hang up immediately.
  • Don’t answer unrecognized or blocked phone numbers
  • Don’t answer hotel landlines


Mexico has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world. Kidnapping, including virtual and express kidnapping, is a serious security risk throughout Mexico.

Kidnappers target all classes. Canadian citizens and contractors working for Canadian businesses have been kidnapped, mostly in areas that are not under the control of police and security forces.

If you're kidnapped:

  • comply with the kidnappers’ requests
  • don’t attempt to resist

Express kidnappings

Express kidnappings occur in large urban areas. This is a method of kidnapping where criminals ask for a small and immediate ransom.

Thieves most commonly work in cooperation with, or pose as, taxi drivers. They force victims to use their debit or credit card to withdraw money from ATMs in exchange for their release.

  • Use only a reputable taxi company or a trusted ride-sharing app
  • Book taxis through your hotel or an authorized taxi stand ( sitio )

Petty theft

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common in Mexico.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, even in areas normally considered safe
  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as flashy jewellery, cell phones, headphones and designer bags
  • Carry only small amounts of money
  • Be cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs

Home break-ins

Tourists staying in rental homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglaries. Whether you're staying in private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Some incidents of assault, rape and sexual assault against Canadian women have occurred, including at beach resorts and on public buses. 

  • Exercise caution when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances
  • Be wary of rides or other invitations

Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Unregulated alcohol

Some bars, restaurants and resorts have served counterfeit alcohol. Some travellers have reported getting sick or blacking out after drinking alcohol.

  • Be cautious if you choose to drink alcohol
  • Seek medical assistance if you begin to feel sick

Alcohol, drugs and travel

Height standards for balcony railings in Mexico can be considerably lower than those in Canada. Falls have resulted in deaths and injuries.

  • Exercise caution when standing close to balcony railings


Demonstrations take place regularly throughout the country. Protests and roadblocks are common in:

  • Mexico City, including to and from the airport
  • the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán and Oaxaca

Such incidents may last a long time, leading to shortages of fresh food, medicine and gasoline.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.

Many beaches don’t offer warnings of dangerous conditions and they don’t always have lifeguards on duty.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

  • Consult local residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Always obey warning flags at beaches
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Water sports

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. Many operators don’t conduct regular safety checks on their sporting and aquatic equipment.

Also, Canadians have been involved in accidents where operators of recreational vehicles, such as watercraft, have demanded compensation exceeding the value of the damage caused to the vehicle or equipment.

If you undertake water sports, such as diving:

  • choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
  • ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose
  • wear the appropriate safety equipment, such as helmets and life jackets
  • ensure that equipment is available and in good condition
  • don’t consume alcohol before the activity

If in doubt concerning the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism  

Outdoor activities, such as white water rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, bungee, zip lining, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, etc and other adventure activities can be dangerous if unprepared. Trails are not always marked, and weather conditions can change rapidly, even during summer.  

Tour operators may not always adhere to international safety standards. 

If you intend to practice adventure tourism: 

  • consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company 
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be setting out  
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation   
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal  
  • pay attention to the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, both of which can be fatal  
  • avoid venturing off marked trails  
  • ensure that you’re adequately equipped and bring sufficient water   
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard  
  • refrain from using facilities or equipment if you have doubts on their safety  
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary  

Road travel

Road conditions and road safety.

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.

Road conditions can be dangerous due to:

  • sharp curves
  • poorly marked or hidden road signs
  • construction sites
  • roaming livestock
  • slow-moving or abandoned vehicles

Toll highways are typically safer and better maintained than secondary highways.

Mexican driving styles are very different from those in Canada. Many drivers don’t respect traffic laws, and police don’t strictly enforce these laws. Drivers often drive at excessive speeds and may be aggressive or reckless. Drinking and driving laws are not strictly enforced. Accidents causing fatalities are common. Police don’t regularly patrol the highways.

Roadblocks and checkpoints

Illegal roadblocks and demonstrations are common. Heavily armed gangs have attacked travellers on intercity highways. Criminals especially target sport utility vehicles and full-size pickup trucks for theft and carjacking.

The military searches for drugs and firearms at military checkpoints throughout the country.

  • Avoid road travel at night between cities throughout the country
  • Ensure that you only stop in major centres, at reputable hotels or at secure campsites
  • Keep your car doors locked and the windows closed, especially at traffic lights
  • Avoid hitchhiking which is not a common practice in Mexico
  • Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle
  • Rent cars that don’t have stickers or other advertisements for the rental company on them, as rental cars have been targets for robbery, sometimes using force
  • Ensure operators provide insurance and helmets if renting scooters
  • Travel on toll roads to lower the risk of targeted roadblocks and robberies
  • Never attempt to cross roadblocks, even if they appear unattended

Public transportation

Remain vigilant in airports, at bus stations, on buses and on the metro.

The Mexico City metro is often very crowded and a popular place for pickpocketing. There are metro cars dedicated to women and children during rush hours. They are located at the front of the trains.

The Metrobus in Mexico City, which has dedicated lanes and stops, is relatively safe. There are sections dedicated to women and children at the front of the buses.

The “colectivos” and “pesero” mini-buses that stop when hailed are frequently targeted for robbery.

When travelling to other cities, use bus companies that offer VIP or executive class transportation. These buses only travel on toll roads, which lower the risks of targeted roadblocks and robberies, and follow a speed limit.

Taxis and ridesharing services

Disputes between taxi and ridesharing application drivers may occur, especially in Quintana Roo. They may result in:

  • altercations

Although tourists have not been targeted, you may be caught up in these incidents and harassed or injured. 

In Mexico City, all government-authorized taxis have licence plates starting with “A” or “B.” Taxis from designated stands have both the logo of their company and the plate number stamped on the side of the car. Official taxis in Mexico City are pink and white. Users can validate the pink and white taxis on the CDMX app.

  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Don't share taxis with strangers

When arriving at an airport in Mexico, pre-pay the taxi fare at the airport (inside or outside the terminal) and ask to see the driver’s official identification. You can also use a ridesharing app to arrange for a pickup at certain airports. Not all airports in Mexico allow ridesharing service pickups.

If you use a trusted ridesharing app, confirm the driver’s identity and the licence plate before getting in the car.

Mi Taxi  – CDMX app (in Spanish)

Cruise ship travel

Plan carefully if you plan to take a cruise departing from or stopping in Mexico.

Advice for cruise travellers

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters of the Bay of Campeche. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report  - International Maritime Bureau

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Mexican authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Mexico.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required Business visa: required Work visa: required Student visa: required

Required documents

To enter Mexico, you must present a valid passport and a duly completed tourist card (Multiple Immigration Form). Carry documents to prove the purpose of trip, such as hotel or tour booking confirmations, as immigration officers may request them.

Tourist card

You must obtain a tourist card to enter the country unless you stay in Mexico for less than 72 hours within the northern border zone. 

If you don’t obtain a tourist card upon arrival, you may face:

It is highly recommended to keep your digital tourist card, or tourist card if entered by land, with you at all times as proof of your legal stay in Mexico. You may be asked to show it to Mexican officials when exiting the country or if you are stopped on an immigration check point.

If you are stopped at an immigration check point and you are unable to prove your legal stay, you may be fined, detained or expelled from the country.

Entering by land

If entering Mexico by land, you must stop at the immigration office located at the border to obtain a tourist card, even if not explicitly directed by Mexican officials. Immigration officials will write down on your tourist card the number of days you are allowed to stay in Mexico.  

You may complete the tourist card form online before your arrival. However, you must print the form and present it to the migration official at the port of entry.

Multiple Immigration Form  - Government of Mexico

Entering by air

If entering Mexico by air, you are advised to download your tourist card issued by Mexican officials upon entry.

Depending on your airport of entry:

  • the immigration official will stamp your passport and note the number of days you are allowed to spend in Mexico or
  • you will go through an E-gate kiosk where you will scan your passport and self-register your entry in the country. Only use this option if you are entering Mexico as a tourist.

Once in the country, whether you entered via a E-gate or not, you will be able to access the digital tourist card online. You have 60 days to download it.

If you are unable to show your tourist card or digital tourist card upon departure, you will have to pay for a replacement at the immigration office of any international airport before boarding.

Make sure to plan sufficient time at the airport to obtain a new card in time for your flight.

Portal access for digital tourist card  - Government of Mexico

Length of stay

An immigration official will determine the number of days you can remain in Mexico and note it on your tourist card. The maximum length granted for a tourism-related trip is 180 days; the maximum number of days is not granted by default.

If you're seeking the maximum number of days, you may be required to:

  • explain the purpose of your trip to the immigration official
  • provide details about your trip (accommodations, funds, return flight, etc.)

You won’t be able to request an extension or change the condition of your stay from inside the country.

Canadians travelling to the northern border zone (within 21 kilometres of the U.S. border) for work don’t require a visa for stays of 72 hours or less.

If you require a business or work visa, you should take care of the process yourself. If a prospective employer is processing your visa for you:

  • obtain copies of all correspondence between the employer and Mexican immigration authorities
  • verify that these copies are stamped by the immigration authorities as proof that your papers are being processed
  • request a receipt from your employer for any document that you provide for purposes of obtaining the visa
  • avoid surrendering your passport to your employer

Volunteer, religious, research and eco-tourism activities

You may not be able to undertake volunteer, religious/missionary, research or certain forms of eco-tourism activities while visiting as a tourist. Contact the Mexican Embassy or closest Mexican consulate for information the type of visa required for these activities.

Tourism tax

Most visitors to Mexico must pay a tourism tax.

This fee is normally included in airline ticket prices. Visitors arriving by road or sea will have to pay this fee at any bank in Mexico. There is a bank representative at every port of entry. The bank receipt must be attached to the tourist card for submission at departure.

You don't have to pay this tax if:

  • you're entering by land for tourism purposes, and your stay will not exceed 7 days
  • you're travelling to the northern border zone for less than 72 hours
  • you're travelling to Mexico on a cruise ship

Dual citizenship

If entering and leaving Mexico as a dual citizen, you must identify yourself as a Mexican citizen. You must carry valid passports for both countries.

Laws about dual citizenship

Criminal records

Canadians with a criminal record or a warrant for arrest may be refused entry and returned to Canada or to a third country on the next available flight.

  • Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • Dengue: Advice for travellers - 6 May, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Salmonellosis is a common illness among travellers to this country. It can be spread through contaminated food or beverages, such as raw or undercooked poultry and eggs, as well as fruits or vegetables.

Practice safe food and water precautions . This includes only eating food that is properly cooked and still hot when served.

Pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, those over 60 years of age, and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.

Cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella have been reported among Canadian travellers returning from Mexico. These strains of Salmonella do not respond to some of the recommended antibiotics if treatment is needed.

Most people recover on their own without medical treatment and from proper rehydration (drinking lots of fluids).

  • Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Travellers with severe symptoms should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease)   is a risk in this country. It is caused by a parasite spread by infected triatomine bugs. The infection can be inactive for decades, but humans can eventually develop complications causing disability and even death.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from triatomine bugs, which are active at night, by using mosquito nets if staying in poorly-constructed housing. There is no vaccine available for Chagas disease.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

The quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.

Good health care is available in private hospitals and clinics, but it’s generally expensive. Most private facilities won’t agree to deal directly with medical insurance companies and will require payment with a credit card in advance or a bank transfer/direct deposit.

Mental health services are extremely limited in Mexico, particularly outside of Mexico City. Services and treatment standards may differ substantially from those in Canada.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medical tourism

Medical tourism is common in Mexico. Canadian travellers have had serious health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries abroad.

Before leaving for medical travel, you should do your research, especially on:

  • the health and financial risks
  • the medical facility where the procedure will be performed
  • language barriers, which can lead to misunderstandings about your medical care and conditions
  • travel insurance that includes coverage for the type of medical procedure you will be undergoing

You should discuss your medical plans with your primary healthcare provider in Canada before travelling. Most provincial and territorial health care programs are extremely limited in their coverage offered abroad.

  • Make sure that the healthcare providers you choose are authorized by the Mexican health authorities
  • Ask to see the credentials of the healthcare providers
  • Obtain a written agreement detailing the proposed treatment or procedure
  • Receiving medical care outside Canada
  • If you become sick or injured while travelling outside Canada or after your return
  • Medical tourism – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in Mexico. 

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

Medication cannot be sent to Mexico from Canada via courier services.

Many types of medication—both over-the-counter and prescription—are readily available with little oversight. Counterfeit medication is common in certain parts of Mexico. If you need to purchase medication while in Mexico, make sure to get it from a reputable location.

Federal Commission for protection against sanitary risk  (in Spanish)

Air quality in Mexico City

In Mexico City, you may experience health problems caused by high altitude or by air pollution, which is at its peak during the winter months.

Consult your doctor before booking your trip if you have lung, heart or respiratory problems.

Death in Mexico

If you plan to retire or spend long periods of time in Mexico, or travel there for medical procedures, you should:

  • share your plans or wishes with relatives
  • make sure important documents can easily be located
  • make arrangements in case of your death while in the country
  • What if I Die in Mexico? – Fact sheet
  • Death Abroad Factsheet

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Penalties for breaking the law in Mexico can be more severe than in Canada, even for similar offences.

Foreign nationals are often held in pre-trial detention and there can be lengthy delays before a trial.

Many petty crimes (such as public urination, failure to pay a bill or disorderly behaviour) can result in a 72-hour detention by police. Paying a fine can secure an early release from detention.

Detention conditions are below the standards of Canadian prisons.

  • Overview of the criminal law system in Mexico
  • Arrest and detention

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Smoking is prohibited in all public places except for clearly marked designated smoking areas. This includes but is not limited to:

  • restaurants

You may be fined if you’re caught smoking in public.

Electronic cigarettes

It’s illegal to bring electronic cigarettes/vaping devices and solutions into Mexico.

You could have these items confiscated by customs officials if you have them in your possession. You could also be fined or detained.

It is strictly prohibited to sell or distribute these devices and solutions in Mexico.

Imports and exports

The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws concerning possession, importation and trafficking of firearms.

Anyone entering Mexico with a firearm or ammunition without prior written authorization from Mexican authorities is subject to imprisonment.

It is also illegal to enter the country with certain types of knives.

Importing vehicles and boats

Mexico has very strict rules regarding the importation of foreign vehicles and boats.

You must enter Mexico with the proper import permit and insurance, since it cannot be obtained once you are in Mexico. You may face a fine and have your vehicle seized if you enter Mexico without the proper permit.

You must present a paper document of your vehicle registration to obtain a vehicle importation permit from the Mexican authorities. If you present a digital document of your vehicle registration, your vehicle may be refused entry into Mexico.   

  • Vehicle importation  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Temporary vehicle import application system  – Banjército
  • Travelling to Mexico by land  – Mexican Embassy in Canada

Cigarettes and alcohol

If you are older than 18, you are allowed to bring into Mexico up to:

  • 10 cigarette packs
  • 25 cigars or
  • 200 grams of tobacco
  • 3 litres of alcohol and
  • 6 litres of wine

If you bring more alcohol and cigarettes into Mexico than allowed, even if you declare your imported items, you will be subject to a high import fee. You will still be subject to a significant fee if you decide to relinquish your imported items

It’s illegal to possess archaeological artefacts or to export such items from Mexico.

  • Goods you can bring to Mexico as part of your personal luggage  – Government of Mexico
  • Goods you cannot bring into Mexico  – Government of Mexico
  • Agricultural product restrictions  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

Political activity

It’s illegal for foreigners to conduct political activity in Mexico, including participating in demonstrations.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Mexican law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Mexican society, particularly in rural areas.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are disproportionately targeted for violence and can face discrimination.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Mexico.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Mexico, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Mexico.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Mexico, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Mexican court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Mexico to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • The Hague Convention – Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance

There are no clear procedures or regulations about surrogacy in Mexico.

If you're considering surrogacy, seek advice from legal professionals knowledgeable in Canadian and Mexican laws and citizenship procedures.

Identity documents

The names on your identity documents must be identical to those on your birth certificate to obtain official Mexican documents, such as marriage certificates, immigration documents or passports.

Middle names are often left off Canadian identity documents. This has caused significant difficulties for many Canadians. If you plan on residing in Mexico or dealing with the Mexican Civil Registry, obtain a Canadian passport that will meet Mexican requirements.


You should carry photo identification.

Authorities can ask you to show identification and a proof of your legal status in Mexico. They can demand to see your tourist card at any time. You must carry the original at all times. You must carry the original at all times, and should also carry a photocopy of the identification page of your passport.


If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in Mexico, seek legal advice in Canada and in Mexico. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.

Mexican real estate agents are not licensed or regulated.

  • Choose your own lawyer
  • Avoid hiring a lawyer recommended by a seller

Problems with timeshare arrangements occur.

Timeshare representatives may be very persistent. They use pressure tactics and offer free tours, meals, gifts or alcoholic beverages.

It's illegal for timeshare companies to ask you to sign a waiver that prevents you from cancelling a contract. You're legally entitled to cancel a timeshare contract without penalty within 5 working days. Contracts must be cancelled in writing directly with the timeshare company.

Before purchasing a timeshare:

  • gather as much information as possible
  • review carefully the contract; anything not included in the contract will not be honoured
  • provide your credit card only if you are sure you want to make the purchase
  • keep copies of all correspondence

If you suspect a fraud in the real estate procedures, contact the Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer immediately.

  • Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer (PROFECO)  – Mexican Government (in Spanish)
  • Should I buy a timeshare in Mexico? - Embassy of Mexico in Canada
  • Should I sell my timeshare in Mexico? - Embassy of Mexico in Canada

Rental accommodations

Rental agreements between two individuals in Mexico are considered a private matter and are not regulated by the government.

If you encounter difficulties with a rental agreement, you must obtain the services of a Mexican lawyer.

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

Auto insurance

Mexican liability insurance is mandatory. Canadian automobile insurance is not valid in Mexico.

You can obtain insurance at the Mexican border. You should obtain full coverage, including coverage for legal assistance.

Automobile insurance is much more expensive in Mexico than in Canada. Many local drivers don’t have any form of car insurance.

If you’re involved in an accident, and you don’t have Mexican liability insurance, you could be prevented from leaving the country until all parties agree that adequate financial satisfaction has been received. If you’re found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident, or if you don’t have a valid driver’s licence, your insurance will be considered invalid.

If you’re involved in a traffic accident, you may face serious legal problems, including imprisonment. You could be taken into custody until responsibility for the accident is determined and all fines are paid. You must report any accident you’re involved in to the police.

Driving restrictions in Mexico City

The Hoy No Circula (No Driving Today) program restricts some cars from driving in Mexico City and in some municipalities of the State of Mexico, from Monday to Saturday, from 5 am to 10 pm.

You will face driving restrictions depending on:

  • your car’s emission sticker
  • the last digit of your license plate
  • where your license plate was issued

Hoy No Circula program is strictly enforced. You may face heavy fines and temporary confiscation of your vehicle if you don’t comply. Consult the Hoy No Circula calendar before driving.

Electric and hybrid cars are exempted from these restrictions. Gas-fueled cars of a 2008 model or later may obtain a tourist pass valid for selected drive days.

  • Hoy no circula – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Tourist pass  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Ministry of Environment  – Government of (in Spanish)

Buying/selling a vehicle

You must be either a temporary or a permanent resident if you wish to buy a car in Mexico.

It’s illegal to sell your imported vehicle in Mexico. If you do, your vehicle may be seized and you may be subject to a fine and deportation.

The currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso.

In some parts of Mexico, particularly tourist destinations, hotels and other service providers may advertise prices in USD.

There is a limit to the amount of U.S. dollars that residents and foreigners can exchange in Mexico, depending on your immigration status. The rule doesn’t apply to Canadian dollars but some financial institutions, hotels and currency exchange bureaus don’t make the distinction.

When carrying more than US$10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, cash, cheques, money orders or any other monetary instrument, you must declare the amount exceeding US$10,000. Failure to make this declaration is against Mexican law and often results in detention.

Climate change

Climate change is affecting Mexico. Extreme and unusual weather events are becoming more frequent and may affect your travel plans. Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation.  

Mexico is subject to various natural disasters such as:

  • earthquakes  
  • extreme heat
  • floods  
  • forest fires 
  • hurricanes  
  • torrential rains  
  • tsunamis 
  • volcanic eruptions  
  • Secretary of Integrated Risk Management and Civil Protection  – Government of Mexico City (in Spanish)
  • National Center for Disaster Prevention  (CENAPRED) – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Get prepared

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. You could face serious safety risks during a hurricane.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings – U.S. National Hurricane Center

Heat may be most severe during the hot season, from April and May in the south, and July to September along the Pacific Coast.

Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

Sun and heat safety tips for travellers  

Flooding and landslides

Heavy rains can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Mexico is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions can occur.

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Useful links:

  • National Seismological Institute  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Latest earthquakes  - U.S. Geological Survey
  • Tsunami alerts  - U.S. Tsunami Warning System
  • Centre for Studies and Research of Volcanology  - University of Colima (in Spanish)

Forest fires

Forest fires may occur, particularly during the dry season from:

  • January to June in the centre, north, northeast, south and southeast
  • May to September in the northwest

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel, including any evacuation order
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

Daily report on wildfires – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

Local services

In case of an emergency, dial 911.

Roadside assistance

The Angeles Verdes is a highway patrol service that provides free assistance on all major toll highways from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can download the App on your mobile device.

In case of an emergency, you can also dial 078 or 800 006 8839 (toll-free in Mexico) to reach them.

Consular assistance

Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Morelos, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luís Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas.

Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo north of the municipality of Solidaridad, including Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres and Holbox

Baja California, Sonora

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Mexico, in Mexico City, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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travel restriction to mexico

Latest update

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico overall due to the threat of violent crime.

Higher levels apply in some areas.


Mexico (PDF 1007.79 KB)

Americas (PDF 3.25 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 911 or go to the hospital.

Call 911 or go to the local police station.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico overall.

Reconsider your need to travel to Michoacán (except Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas and the Monarch butterfly reserves), Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua and the states of Guerrero (including Acapulco), North-eastern Sinaloa, North-western Durango, South-eastern Sonora (except for the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway), Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.

Reconsider your need to travel to:

  • Michoacán (except Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas and the Monarch butterfly reserves)
  • Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua
  • Guerrero State (including Acapulco)
  • North-eastern Sinaloa State 
  • North-western Durango State
  • South-eastern Sonora State (except for the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway)
  • Tamaulipas State and
  • Zacatecas State

due to high levels of violent crime (including kidnapping and extortion) and their volatile security situation.

  • Avoid protests and large public gatherings. These can become violent. It's against the law for foreigners to participate in political activity. 
  • Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, including murder, armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping. Don't travel at night outside major cities. Drug-related violence is widespread.
  • Kidnapping and extortion are serious risks. Don't draw attention to your money or business affairs. Only use ATMs in public spaces and during the daytime.
  • Stop at all roadblocks, or you risk getting killed.
  • Hurricanes and earthquakes are common in Mexico. Local authorities will direct you to your nearest shelter in the event of a hurricane. Know the earthquake safety measures where you're staying.

Full travel advice: Safety

  • Malaria and Zika virus are risks in Mexico. If you're pregnant, ask your doctor about the risk of Zika virus before you travel.
  • Mexico has insect-borne diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
  • Parts of Mexico are at high altitudes. Air pollution can also cause health issues, particularly over winter (December to February). Talk to your doctor before you travel if you have heart, lung or breathing issues.

Full travel advice: Health

  • Smoking, including vaping, is banned in all public places in Mexico, including beaches, parks, hotels and restaurants. Importing electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is also prohibited. You may be fined or arrested.
  • Some activities are illegal for foreigners in Mexico. These include political activity, driving without insurance, and failing to report a road accident. Ensure you understand and follow local laws.
  • Possessing or exporting ancient Mexican artefacts and carrying firearms or ammunition without a permit are also illegal. Apply for a firearm permit at a Mexican embassy or consulate before you arrive.
  • Although same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico, some parts of the country are conservative. LGBTI travellers should consider limiting public displays of affection.

Full travel advice: Local laws

  • If you're visiting for 180 days or less as a tourist, you'll receive a visa on arrival for the duration of your planned stay. You can't extend your visa if you plan to stay longer than advised to the immigration officer on arrival. Mexican authorities advise to avoid being detained or deported, you must complete an online Multiple Immigration Form (FMM) and obtain a QR code. 
  • Make sure immigration officials stamp your passport on arrival, as this will state the number of days your visa will be valid. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Mexico for the latest details.
  • To cross the land border between Mexico and the US, you must provide a verbal attestation for your reason for travel. Make sure you receive an entry stamp in your passport. 
  • Periodic closures of Mexico's land borders with Guatemala and Belize may occur. Check with local authorities before crossing the border or taking a flight.
  • If you're taking public transport or taxis, use only first-class buses and official registered taxis. Use ride-share services where possible instead of taxis. Crime levels on intercity buses are high, especially after dark.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  tells you what the Australian Government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts: ( Facebook ), ( X ).
  • The  Australian Embassy in Mexico City  can provide consular assistance by email, phone, or appointment.
  • You can also  contact the Australian Consulate in Cancún  for limited consular assistance.

Full travel advice: Local contacts

Full advice

Violent crime, violent crime.

Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, especially after dark.

Murder, armed  robbery ,  sexual assault  and  kidnapping  are high risks. These crimes can occur at tourist spots and resorts.

Criminals posing as police officers have committed sexual assault, extortion and robbery. They may drive fake police cars.

Gangs have attacked travellers after they've changed money at airports.

To protect yourself from violent crime:

  • avoid travelling at night outside major cities, including on major highways
  • monitor the media for new safety risks
  • don't change large amounts of money at the airport

Crime on intercity buses and highways is common in Mexico.

Thieves have robbed tourists on buses along the Pacific Highway, including from Acapulco to Ixtapa and Huatulco.

Violent carjackings have increased. The northern borders and along the Pacific coast are high-risk areas.

Criminals have attacked tourists on toll roads and highways. The Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and border regions are high-risk areas.

Organised crime groups have targeted large campervans and SUVs travelling in and out of the United States.

To reduce the risk of crime when travelling by road:

  • use ride-share services where possible instead of taxis
  • use official taxis from airports and pre-pay your fare at an official taxi company booth in the airport terminal
  • use radio taxis or taxis at assigned stands (sitios), especially in Mexico City
  • use first-class buses
  • only travel during daylight hours and allow enough time to get to your destination before dark
  • drive via toll roads (cuota)

Watch out for drink and food spiking, which can occur in bars, clubs and restaurants. You're at higher risk of sexual assault and theft if you get drugged.

Drug and gang violence

Violent crimes related to the drug trade are widespread in Mexico.

Shoot-outs, grenade attacks and car bombings have occurred in public places.

Targeted attacks have increased on the military, government officials and journalists.

You may become a victim of violence directed against someone else.

Federal police and the military use roadblocks and random vehicle checks to deal with drug-related violence.

Drug cartels set up unofficial roadblocks in the northern areas of Mexico to obstruct military and police movement.

Stop at all roadblocks, or you risk getting killed. Comply with the instructions given.

Risks are higher in those areas most affected by drug-related and gang violence, including:

  • Northern border states – Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas
  • Pacific coast states – Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit and Sinaloa
  • Central region states – Guanajuato, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas
  • State of Mexico and the State of Veracruz on the Gulf coast
  • Major cities along Mexico's border with the United States – Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Nogales, Piedras Negras and Reynosa

State of Guanajuato

Violence and drug cartel activity are on the rise across the State. 

Gang members are known to erect roadblocks on major highways. Murders, including mass killings, occur regularly. 

Even as a tourist, you risk getting caught up in violence inadvertently. 

Avoid known hot spots such as Acámbaro, Celaya, Irapuato, León, Salamanca, Silao and Santiago. 

State of Guerrero

The violent crime rate remains high, and the security situation is volatile.

Violent criminal gangs are more active in rural areas than cities.

Acapulco has high levels of violent crime, such as murder and shootings. The resort city is unsafe, especially outside tourist areas. Due to the precarious security situation following damage by Hurricane Otis, there's a threat of armed violence, banditry, and looting in cities and on roads.

Crime risks are lower in the tourist areas of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco and on the toll road to Taxco than in other parts of Guerrero.

Protesters can disrupt toll booths along the road to Taxco, causing delays.

State of Michoacán

Many 'self-defence' groups have formed in the State. They are unpredictable, and the security situation is volatile.

Security near the Monarch butterfly reserves, including on the border with the State of Mexico, has deteriorated due to cartel activity.  

Crime is lower in Morelia city.

State of Tamaulipas

Tamaulipas has widespread criminal activity linked to drug trafficking. Kidnapping and extortion are also common.

State of Quintana Roo

Violent crimes related to the drug trade have occurred in tourist areas of Quintana Roo, such as Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Shoot-outs have occurred in public places, injuring or killing tourists.

State of Zacatecas

Zacatecas has widespread criminal activity linked to drug trafficking. Violence is increasing due to clashes between competing drug cartels. Kidnapping and extortion are common.

Other violent areas

High levels of violent crime and lawlessness occur in:

  • the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua State
  • north-eastern Sinaloa State
  • north-western Durango State
  • south-eastern Sonora State

Organised crime gangs operate in these regions. The Chihuahua-Pacific Railway is less affected.

The State of Mexico has a high level of violent crime. Murder,  assault , armed robbery, extortion and kidnapping are common.

According to Mexican Government statistics, Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo have reported significant increases in drug-related violence, particularly murder. The states with the highest homicide rates are Baja California Sur, Colima, Quintana Roo, Morelos, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Baja California, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Sonora.

To reduce your risks if travelling to violent areas, stay in:

  • tourist areas
  • well-known and well-frequented public areas with good access to safe transport in the evenings

To protect yourself from crime in violent areas:

  • avoid road travel, especially at night
  • avoid isolated locations
  • pay close attention to your personal security
  • stay alert to possible threats around you
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • monitor the media for safety or security risks

Other crime risks

Petty crime.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching, is common. Take care on public transport, at tourist spots, airports, hotels and bus stations.

Thieves often work with or pose as taxi drivers. Be aware travellers have been robbed when using taxis hailed from the street. 

More information:

  • Preventing crime and petty theft

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological, and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas whilst travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime, including in destinations that are typically at lower risk. 

Kidnapping is a serious risk in Mexico. Kidnapping occurs throughout the country, with the highest number of cases recorded in and around Mexico City, along the Gulf Coast from Tamaulipas to Tabasco states, and in other large cities. Kidnappers target a broad demographic, including foreigners and expatriates. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid. In some cases, the captors receive a ransom and kill the victim.

Some victims claim police officers are involved in their kidnapping.

Virtual kidnappings target people over the phone to extort money. Kidnappers pose as officials or cartel members and demand payments for the release of a family member they have allegedly detained. If you receive a call or message, contact local police.

Express kidnappings are also regularly reported in Mexico. Kidnappers force victims to withdraw funds from ATMs before they are released.

If, despite our advice, you travel to an area with a high risk of kidnapping, our ability to provide consular assistance in these destinations will be limited. 

To reduce the risk of kidnapping: 

  • always be alert to your personal security and surroundings 
  • get professional security advice for travel in locations with a heightened kidnap risk 
  • check your accommodation has appropriate security measures 
  • avoid isolated locations, particularly when travelling alone 
  • notify family or friends of planned travel and share your location 
  • avoid talking about your money or business affairs 
  • use ATMs in public places and during daylight hours 
  • avoid giving personal details to strangers online or over the phone 

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers. Ransom payments to kidnappers have funded further terrorist attacks and criminal activity. Paying a ransom to terrorist groups will likely break Australian counter-terrorism financing laws. 

More information: 

Civil unrest and political tension

Demonstrations and protests.

It's illegal for foreigners to take part in political activity in Mexico.

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. They're common and often:

  • disrupt public services
  • cause traffic delays
  • stop movement around affected areas

Protesters may blockade roads.

Public protests in Mexico City are common. Expect protests and potential roadblocks in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacán.

To protect yourself during periods of unrest:

  • check local sources for details of possible strikes or unrest
  • follow advice from local authorities
  • change your travel plans in case of disruptions

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Swimming safety

Even strong swimmers can be at risk from undertows and currents on both coasts of Mexico. Obey the beach warning flags.

Climate and natural disasters

Mexico experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather , such as:

  • earthquakes
  • volcanic activity

If you're involved in a natural disaster:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • keep in contact with your friends and family
  • monitor local media and other sources
  • contact your tour operator or airline

Register with the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  to receive alerts on major disasters.

Hurricanes and severe weather

Severe weather occurs in Mexico.

The hurricane season is from June to November. The direction and strength of hurricanes can change with little warning.

Landslides, mudslides and flash flooding can also occur, including in Mexico City.

If there's a hurricane or severe storm:

  • you may get stuck in the area
  • flights could be delayed or suspended
  • flights out may fill quickly
  • adequate shelter may not be available
  • electricity supply, communication networks and transport options may be disrupted. 

To protect yourself if a hurricane is approaching:

  • listen to the instructions of local authorities
  • know the evacuation plan for your hotel or cruise ship
  • identify your local shelter
  • monitor alerts and advice from the  US National Hurricane Center  and local authorities


Mexico experiences earthquakes and tremors each year. Aftershocks are common and can damage already weakened structures.

Earthquakes can disrupt power and communication systems.

Get to know the earthquake safety measures for each place you stay and visit.

Tsunamis may occur in Mexico.

Receive tsunami alerts by registering with the following:

  • Global Disaster Alert and Co-ordination System
  • Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre

If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities or if you:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
  • feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, check local media.

Active volcanoes include the Popocatepetl and Colima volcanoes.  

Volcanic ash from eruptions of these volcanoes can disrupt domestic and international flights and cause airport closures. Exposure to falling ash and toxic fumes from active volcanoes can also affect your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments.

  • Avoid the affected areas
  • Monitor local media to remain informed
  • Contact your travel agent or airline regarding airport and flight status
  • Be prepared to change your travel arrangements or evacuate the area on short notice
  • Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders

The  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  can give you general volcano alerts.

Travel Insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave.

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of someone you know, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Mexico. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Health risks

Insect-borne diseases.

Malaria  is a risk in Mexico, particularly in:

  • the State of Chiapas
  • rural areas of Nayarit, Oaxaca and Sinaloa
  • some parts of Chihuahua, Durango and Sonora.

Zika virus  is widespread in Mexico. There's no vaccination for Zika virus.

Read the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care page on  Zika virus  for advice on how to reduce your risk.

If you're pregnant, the department recommends that you:

  • discuss travel plans with your doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas.

In Mexico, there's also a risk of:

  • chikungunya
  • chagas disease
  • leishmaniasis

To protect yourself from disease:

  • make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • consider medication to prevent malaria

Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

Other health risks

High altitude and air pollution can cause health issues in some regions. Pollution peaks in winter from December to February.

If you have heart, lung or respiratory problems, ask your doctor for advice before you travel.

Foodborne, waterborne and other diseases are widespread. These include:

  • tuberculosis
  • cyclosporiasis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
  • get vaccinated before you travel
  • avoid contact with dogs and other mammals

If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.

Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

  • Infectious diseases

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Private hospitals in Mexico City and other major cities provide a reasonable standard of care. Services are limited in rural areas.

Treatment at private clinics and hospitals is very expensive.

Doctors and hospitals are unlikely to work with your overseas travel insurer. You'll need to pay before they'll treat you, even for emergency care.

You can find hyperbaric chambers in major cities and resort towns where scuba diving is popular.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Smoking, including vaping, has been banned in all public places, including beaches, parks, hotels and restaurants. You may be fined or arrested.

Property laws

Property laws and time-share agreements can be complex.

Before you buy or invest in property, do your research and get legal advice.

In Mexico, it's illegal to:

  • conduct political activity, including demonstrations
  • possess ancient Mexican artefacts or export them from Mexico
  • carry firearms or ammunition without a permit, including in Mexican waters
  • drive a car without insurance
  • fail to report a road accident.

If you need a firearm permit, apply at a Mexican Embassy or Consulate before you arrive.

You're responsible for any illegal items found in rented or borrowed vehicles. This applies even if you don't know they're there.

If you're the victim of a crime and want to report the incident, do so immediately to the nearest branch of the state prosecutor’s office (Agencia del Ministerio Público). A criminal investigation is not possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities. Complaints must be made in person before leaving Mexico.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Check if being an Australian-Mexican dual citizen may affect your travel.

Always travel on your Australian passport .

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Although same sex marriage is legal in Mexico, some parts of the country are conservative.

LGBTQIA+ travellers  should consider limiting public displays of affection.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

If you visit for 180 days or less as a tourist, you can get a visa on arrival. Be aware of the date that's stamped in your passport on arrival, as you may not receive the full 180 days. Your visa will expire on the entry stamp date. This is usually for the amount of time you indicate to the immigration officer that you are staying in Mexico.

To avoid being detained or deported, you'll need to:

  • fill in an online Multiple Immigration Form (FMM) and obtain a QR code
  • make sure your passport is stamped by immigration officials on arrival

You can complete the FMM online before you arrive or on arrival.

If you're entering by road, make sure you get the stamp on your passport at the immigration office  (Instituto Nacional de Migración: Spanish) . These are usually located near, but not directly at, a border crossing.

Present your completed FMM for inspection at immigration if entering by air. You'll need to show it when you leave Mexico.

Border measures

To cross the land border between Mexico and the US, you'll need to verbally provide the reason for your travel.

Periodic closures of Mexico's land borders with Guatemala and Belize may occur. Check with local authorities before crossing the border or travelling by plane.

Confirm your travel and transit arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent. 

Travel via the United States or Canada

If you're  travelling through the US , ensure you meet all current US entry or transit requirements, including if you're transiting through Hawaii. 

If you travel  through Canada , ensure you meet all entry and transit requirements. 

Other formalities

Mexico charges all visitors an immigration fee.

If you arrive on a commercial flight, the cost of your ticket includes the fee.

If you enter by land, the immigration office will arrange for you to pay the fee at a nearby bank. There's no exit tax.

A child under 18 years who's also a citizen or resident of Mexico must carry a  Mexican Minor Travel Consent Form  (Spanish) or a  notarised consent  if travelling with anyone other than their parent or legal guardian. 

You may need a permit if you arrive in Mexico by motor vehicle. Check with the Embassy of Mexico before you travel.

  • Advice for people travelling with children

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This may apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport isn't valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian Embassy or Consulate .

Passport with 'X' gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

Mexico's official currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN).

Declare amounts over US$10,000 or foreign currency equivalent. Do this on arrival and departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.

US dollars are widely accepted in holiday resort areas. You can't generally exchange Australian currency and traveller's cheques in Mexico.

ATMs are widely available in cities and towns. Take care as credit card fraud occurs.

Carry cash if you're travelling to rural areas.

Most international hotels and tourist facilities accept credit and debit cards.

Ask your bank whether your ATM card will work in Mexico.

Local travel

Driving permit.

You can use your valid Australian driver's licence to drive in Mexico.

Road travel

Vehicles generally don't stop for pedestrians or indicate when they're turning. Intersections can be confusing, with vehicles coming from unexpected directions.

Strict laws cover insurance and reporting of accidents.

If you drive in Mexico:

  • learn local road use and driving rules
  • keep doors locked and windows up, even when moving
  • use toll roads (cuota) to reduce the risk of crime

If you're a victim of roadside robbery or stopped at a roadblock, do as you're asked.

Driving on rural roads in Mexico is dangerous due to:

  • poor road conditions.
  • pedestrians and livestock on roads
  • inadequate street lighting and signage

Criminals target vehicles, including campervans and SUVs, especially in rural areas.

  • Driving or riding

Use ride-share services, where possible, instead of taxis. If this isn't an option, it's best to use registered official taxis and limousines, preferably arranged through your hotel. To avoid issues:

  • use official taxis from airports
  • pre-pay your fare at an official taxi company booth at the airport
  • use radio taxis or taxis waiting at assigned stands (sitios), especially in Mexico City

Public transport

Crime levels on intercity buses and highways are high, and the risks increase after dark. See  Safety

Use first-class buses.

Women travelling on public transport should be cautious.

  • Transport and getting around safely
  • Advice for women

Check  Mexico's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter . It details what the Australian Government can and can’t do to help you overseas.

Australian Embassy, Mexico City

Ruben Dario #55 Corner of Campos Eliseos, Polanco Colonia Bosque de Chapultepec 11580 CDMX Mexico Phone: +52 55 1101 2200 Email: [email protected] Website: Facebook: Australian Embassy, Mexico City X: Australian Embassy, Mexico City

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

Australian Consulate, Cancún

EDIFICIO GRUPO VIVO Calle Luciernaga esquina con Avenida Politécnico Región 501, Manzana 13, Lote 7 Cancún, Quintana Roo C.P. 77535, México Email:  [email protected]

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


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travel restriction to mexico

Trump can't travel to these 38 countries now that he's a convicted felon

Former President Donald Trump walks to make comments to media.

Felons lose various rights upon being convicted, from their right to own a firearm to serving on a jury or voting — and former presidents aren't excluded from those restrictions.

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying records in his New York hush money trial, making him a convicted felon. Now he'll have to navigate what that status means for his rights as any other American felon — but also as one worldwide.

That's because traveling is another right affected by felonies, with 38 nations — including the U.S. — either denying felons entry upfront or denying them if their criminal record is discovered, according to World Population Review . And with the public stage that Trump is on, that latter scenario would probably occur few and far between.

This may affect the Republican presidential front-runner's ability to fulfill his foreign duties if he's reelected come November. And although worldly leaders could make an exception in their travel bans for Trump, it's unclear which countries would be willing to do so, particularly as some of them have been on rocky ground with the former president.

For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former President Trump clashed publicly, and Canada reserves the right to refuse entrance to felons upfront. Similarly, with Ukraine, felons are denied if discovered, and Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's tumultuous relationship escalated into the former's impeachment.

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Path to the White House

Which foreign leaders do Biden and Trump get along with?

It's also worth noting that four of the G-7 nations have felon travel bans: Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S. The group meets regularly to discuss international topics, and the unannounced 2025 date is set to be hosted in Canada. That would mean Prime Minister Trudeau would have to make a decision on bending his felon-travel ban for a potential President Trump or he'd exclude the leader from physical attendance.

Other countries included in the list are some that Trump has touted on the campaign trail as policy-related focal points such as Mexico and border laws, Israel and its war in Gaza, and "stopping Chinese espionage," according to his website. Mexico denies felons if discovered, while Israel and China deny them upfront.

Again, World Population Review says it's unlikely border officials will ask about a person's criminal record upon their arrival, but with Trump's public status they won't necessarily need to. And some only deny entry to the felons who are deemed a security risk.

Come November, here's the full list of countries that may have to decide if and how they'll change their current rules now that a former president is affected by them for the first time, with data from World Population Review.

Countries that don't allow convicted felons to enter:

  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Countries that will deny entry to felons if discovered:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Philippines
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates

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Explainer-What does Biden's new asylum ban at the US-Mexico border do?

By Ted Hesson, Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is blocking migrants from claiming asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border until attempted crossings fall under new actions rolled out last week.


The new asylum ban allows authorities to quickly deport or send back to Mexico migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally without the chance to claim asylum.

The ban took effect on Wednesday and remains in place because it is triggered when migrant arrests surpass 2,500 per day for a week. Daily average arrests per month have been above that level since January 2021, the month Biden took office.

The ban will stay in place until arrests drop below an average of 1,500 per day for one week, followed by a two-week waiting period.

The last month where migrant arrests fell below a daily average of 1,500 was in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020 when global travel was at historic lows.


U.S. Border Patrol arrested 3,100 migrants caught crossing illegally on Friday, a 20% drop compared with preceding days, a senior U.S. border official told Reuters over the weekend.

The official said the dropoff showed "possible early success" that the ban was deterring migrants but that the single-day snapshot did not prove a "definitive trend."

The U.S. border official and others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal government operations.

Border Patrol arrests held steady on Sunday at around 3,200, a second source familiar with the matter said.

Many factors could influence the volume of migrant crossings, including enforcement by Mexican authorities.

Questions still remain about whether border crossings will stay low enough to process people quickly and whether U.S. authorities have the capacity to meet their goals.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it intends to sue to stop the measure.

Migrants head through Mexico to the U.S. to escape violence, economic distress and negative impacts of climate change, according the United Nations.


No. The restrictions apply to migrants crossing illegally, but access will not be blocked for people who seek an appointment to approach a legal border crossing through a government-run cell phone app called CBP One.

Others who have applied from abroad to enter through various humanitarian "parole" programs started by the Biden administration or temporary work visa holders will not be restricted.

The ban will also not apply to unaccompanied minors or people who face serious medical or safety threats and victims of trafficking, administration officials said.

Legal trade and travel across the U.S.-Mexico border will not be affected.


Key operational questions about how the asylum ban will play out over time remained unclear, including how the administration will quickly deport migrants from far-away and uncooperative countries and whether Mexico will accept more non-Mexican migrants under new enforcement regime.

The aim is to screen almost all migrants faster - possibly in under a week, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told Reuters. More migrant families could end up being held in tent facilities near the border while their deportation cases are being evaluated, the official said, calling the facilities "safe" but "extremely stressful" for families.

The official said families could be held in border facilities for several days and processed for deportation or potentially released depending on capacity.

Local officials and shelter directors in Tijuana, Mexico - across from San Diego, California - warned that migrants could get stuck in Mexico where there is limited capacity to house them safely.


Biden has pushed unsuccessfully for months to pass a Senate bill that would toughen border security, including with a provision that resembles his latest moves by executive action. The bill was crafted by a bipartisan group of senators but Republicans rejected it after Trump came out in opposition.

Immigration is a key issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in November when Biden will be facing Trump again in a rematch of the 2020 race. When it comes to immigration policy, registered voters prefer Trump over Biden by a 17 percentage point margin, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in mid-May.

Border crossings have dropped in recent months, which the Biden administration credits in part to increased enforcement by Mexico. Still, Biden in his asylum ban proclamation said factors driving record migration remain and elevated levels of migration "pose significant operational challenges."


The White House has been weighing for months whether to provide temporary legal status and work permits to immigrants in the U.S. illegally who are married to U.S. citizens.

The Biden administration could potentially utilize emergency "parole" authority to provide the spouses access to work permits and a possible path to citizenship, Reuters reported in April.

A pro-immigrant action could help motivate more liberal Latino voters in states such as Nevada, a battleground state that Biden narrowly won in 2020 with the help of Latino voters.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Mica Rosenberg)

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Border Patrol agents use a bus to transport migrants who overnight gathered between the primary and secondary border walls that separate Mexico and the United States, after tough new restrictions imposed by U.S. President Biden in San Diego, California,U.S., June 6, 2024.  REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

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  • Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet: Presidential Proclamation to Suspend and Limit Entry and Joint DHS-DOJ Interim Final Rule to Restrict Asylum During High Encounters at the Southern Border

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration took decisive new action to strengthen border security, announcing a series of measures that restrict asylum eligibility, and significantly increase the consequences for those who enter without authorization across the southern border. These extraordinary steps, which will be in effect during times when high levels of encounters exceed our ability to deliver timely consequences, will make noncitizens who enter across the southern border ineligible for asylum with certain exceptions, raise the standard that is used to screen for certain protection claims, and speed up our ability to quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection.

These actions follow a series of steps that the Administration has taken over the past three years as it prepared for the end of the Title 42 public health Order, and since it was lifted last year, including surging personnel, infrastructure, and technology to the border, issuing the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule, and referring record numbers of noncitizens into expedited removal. Over the past year, we have removed or returned more than three quarters of a million people, more than in any fiscal year since 2010. Despite these efforts, our outdated and broken immigration and asylum system, coupled with a lack of sufficient funding, make it impossible to quickly impose consequences on all noncitizens who cross irregularly and without a legal basis to remain in the United States.

The Administration has repeatedly called on Congress to provide the resources and legal authorities needed to secure our border. The measures announced today will better enable the Department to quickly remove individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States, strengthening enforcement and change the calculus for those considering crossing our border irregularly. However, they are no substitute for Congressional action. We continue to call on Congress to provide the new tools and resources we have asked for to support the men and women on the frontlines.

President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation to temporarily suspend the entry of noncitizens across the southern border. The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General also jointly issued an interim final rule that, consistent with the Proclamation, generally restricts asylum eligibility for those who irregularly enter across the southern border – including the Southwest land and the southern coastal borders. The rule also limits fear screenings to those who manifest a fear or express a desire to file for protection and heightens the screening standard for statutory withholding and claims under the Convention Against Torture. Taken together, these measures will significantly increase the speed and scope of consequences for those who cross our borders irregularly or who attempt to present themselves at Ports of Entry without authorization, allowing the Departments to more quickly remove individuals who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States. The restriction on asylum eligibility will be discontinued when encounters fall below certain levels but will come back into effect if encounters rise again.

The rule makes three key changes to current processing under Title 8 immigration authorities during periods of high border encounters:

  • First, noncitizens who cross the southern border unlawfully or without authorization will generally be ineligible for asylum, absent exceptionally compelling circumstances and unless they are excepted by the Proclamation.
  • Second, noncitizens who cross the southern border and are processed for expedited removal while the limitation is in effect will only be referred for a credible fear screening with an Asylum Officer if they manifest or express a fear of return to their country or country of removal, a fear of persecution or torture, or an intention to apply for asylum.  
  • Third, the U.S. will continue to adhere to its international obligations and commitments by screening individuals who manifest a fear as noted above and do not qualify for an exception to the Rule for withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture protections at a reasonable probability of persecution or torture standard – a new, substantially higher standard than is currently applied under the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule.  

Like the Proclamation, the rule provides for an end to these enhanced measures following a sustained reduction in southern border encounters. Specifically, these measures are in effect until 14 calendar days after there has been a 7-consecutive-calendar-day average of less than 1,500 encounters between the ports of entry. The measures would again go into effect, or continue, as appropriate, when there has been a 7-consecutive-calendar-day average of 2,500 encounters or more.

During periods of high encounters, the Proclamation will apply across the southern border. Lawful permanent residents, unaccompanied children, victims of a severe form of trafficking, and other noncitizens with a valid visa or other lawful permission to enter the United States are excepted from the Proclamation.

In addition, the suspension and limitation on entry and rule will not apply to noncitizens who use a Secretary-approved process—such as the CBP One mobile app—to enter the United States at a port of entry in a safe and orderly manner or pursue another lawful pathway.

Noncitizens who cross the southern border and who are not excepted from the Proclamation will be ineligible for asylum unless exceptionally compelling circumstances exist, including if the noncitizen demonstrates that they or a member of their family with whom they are traveling:

  • faced an acute medical emergency;
  • faced an imminent and extreme threat to life or safety, such as an imminent threat of rape, kidnapping, torture, or murder; or
  • satisfied the definition of “victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons” currently provided in 8 CFR 214.11.


Noncitizens who are subject to the rule’s limitation on asylum eligibility and who manifest or express a fear of return to their country or country of removal, express a fear of persecution or torture or an intention to apply for asylum, but do not establish a reasonable probability of persecution or torture in the country of removal will be promptly removed.

Those ordered removed will be subject to at least a five-year bar to reentry and potential criminal prosecution.

The Proclamation and rule will significantly enhance the security of our border by increasing the Departments’ ability to impose swift consequences for individuals who cross the southern border irregularly and do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States.  Together, the Proclamation and rule make critical changes to how the Departments operate during times when encounters are at historically high levels—levels that, in the absence of these changes, undermine the government’s ability to process individuals through the expedited removal process. These changes will enable the Departments to quickly return those without a lawful basis to stay in the United States and thereby free up the asylum system for those with legitimate claims.

These extraordinary measures are a stop gap. Even with these measures in place, the Departments continue to lack the authorities and resources needed to adequately support the men and women on the frontlines. The Administration again calls on Congress to take up and pass the bipartisan reforms proposed in the Senate, which provide the new authorities, personnel, and resources that are needed to address the historic global migration that is impacting countries throughout the world, including our own. Until Congress does its part, we will continue to take any actions needed under current law and within existing resources to secure the border.

  • Border Security
  • Immigration
  • Biden-Harris Administration
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)

Biden signs order tightening border with Mexico when crossings surge

Men seeking asylum are detained by Border Patrol.

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President Biden signed a proclamation Tuesday that bars migrants from seeking asylum along the U.S. border with Mexico while crossings are high, a change designed to make it harder for those who enter the country without prior authorization.

Under a new interim rule issued by the Biden administration, the president can put the border restrictions into effect when average border arrests surpass 2,500 migrants for seven days in a row — as was the case Tuesday. The rule also raises the legal bar for an asylum claim at the border from reasonable possibility the migrant will face torture at home to reasonable probability it will happen.

The heightened restrictions were scheduled to go into effect just after 9 p.m. Pacific time and would end two weeks after the number of crossers stopped at the border dips below 1,500 for more than a week. For most of the last nine years, there have been more than 1,500 border stops per day.

“This action will help us gain control of our border, restore order into the process,” Biden said during a press conference Tuesday. “This ban will remain in place until a number of people trying to enter legally is reduced to a level that our system can effectively manage.”

FILE - People line up against a border wall as they wait to apply for asylum after crossing the border from Mexico, July 11, 2023, near Yuma, Ariz. An appeals court Thursday, Aug. 3, allowed a rule restricting asylum at the southern border to stay in place. The decision is a major win for the Biden administration, which had argued that the rule was integral to its efforts to maintain order along the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Biden administration wants to speed up deportation for some migrants. How will it work?

The change comes as the White House and Democrats play offense on the border and immigration, one of the top issues ahead of the presidential election.

May 9, 2024

The restrictions would not apply to those who enter at official ports of entry or use other legal means, including those who use a relatively new mobile app to request an appointment. They would also exempt certain groups, including unaccompanied children, victims of severe forms of trafficking and people with dire medical emergencies or extreme threats to life and safety.

Administration officials defended their efforts to secure the border, saying they have returned more migrants in the last 12 months than in any year since 2010. They sought to blame Republicans for Congress’ failure to pass a bipartisan bill that would have given the administration more money and authority to control the border.

People with young children walk with an officer.

Officials conceded that the president’s executive action, which is likely to face legal challenges, is essentially a stopgap. The lack of additional funding for resources at the border, along with potentially limited cooperation from Mexico and migrants’ home countries, could also hamper the administration’s efforts.

Biden slammed Republicans in Congress during his speech Tuesday, saying many legislators abandoned the bill “because Donald Trump told them to.”

“Frankly, I would have preferred to address this issue through bipartisan legislation, because that’s the only way to actually get the kind of system we have now that’s broken, fixed — to hire more Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more judges. But Republicans left me no choice,” he said.

While Mexico has agreed to take migrants from several Latin American countries, the Biden administration is facing an increase in arrivals from other continents, including Asia. Officials said they were working to strengthen deals to fly people to India, China and other countries of origin, but it remains a challenge.

Officials have faced a barrage from critics on the right, who blame Biden for what they call an out-of-control border, and on the left, who accuse him of replicating xenophobic policies advanced by former President Trump. Officials took pains to differentiate their policies from Trump’s most well-known practices, including attempts to ban the entry of people from Muslim-majority countries and to separate children from their families.

President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 25, 2024, before departing on a trip to New York. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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April 29, 2024

“We will not separate children from their families,” said one official. “It is not only inhumane, it’s grossly ineffective.”

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate judiciary subcommittee on immigration, citizenship and border safety, criticized Biden’s decision, saying it would be ineffective and “undermined American values and abandoned our nation’s obligations to provide people fleeing persecution, violence and authoritarianism with an opportunity to seek refuge in the U.S.”

Biden’s border policy places Gov. Gavin Newsom — who sharply criticized Trump’s calls to end the asylum system and threat to close the border in 2018 — in a tricky political position. Newsom, an ally of the president and a top surrogate for his reelection campaign, called out Republicans in Congress in a post on X for voting against more resources for border security.

“Only thing they’re interested in is playing politics,” Newsom posted Tuesday.

In a separate statement, the governor’s office said immigration is vital to California, and Biden’s “leadership has bolstered border security.”

A row of men seeking asylum sit by a road next to an officer.

The pursuit of asylum, regardless of how one arrives on U.S. soil, is a right under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act and international law. That issue proved problematic for the Trump administration’s efforts to limit border crossings, and it could trip up Biden’s latest order as well.

Biden is relying on two provisions of immigration law to justify his executive actions, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows a president to suspend the entry of individuals or classes of migrants if it’s in the national interest. Trump also used that section to bolster his travel ban. Though it was challenged, the Supreme Court upheld a revised version of the ban.

“People like the ACLU and other immigrants rights organizations are sure to argue that in this case, section 208 of the immigration statute explicitly allows someone to apply for asylum, whether they cross at a port of entry or enter illegally between a port of entry. And so they’re going to argue that 212(f) does not extend that far,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School. “That’ll be what a court has to decide.”

A legal challenge would likely take months or years. The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday in a statement that it plans to challenge the executive order in court.

“It was illegal when Trump did it, and it is no less illegal now,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said.

Biden’s decision was applauded by some lawmakers who represent areas along the border, including Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), who called it a “decisive, commonsense action to restore order at the southern border at a time when Congressional Republicans continue to use it as a political football.”

Amy Fischer, director of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International USA, said the executive action “plays into false narratives about the invasions at the border and advances a policy grounded in white supremacist ideas at the expense of people in search of safety in the U.S.”

“President Biden’s action sets a dangerous international precedent as a first-of-its-kind numerical cap on asylum, limiting the number of people who can claim asylum in the U.S. and effectively shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border, using the same legal authority that the Trump administration used to implement the dangerous and xenophobic Muslim and African travel bans,” Fischer said.

Men seeking asylum are detained by Border Patrol.

Immigration has been one of Biden’s thorniest problems, practically and politically. He campaigned in large part on reversing Trump’s most hard-line policies and rhetoric, but after Biden assumed office, border crossings and arrests rose dramatically.

Chad Wolf, who was head of the Homeland Security Department in Trump’s administration, said during an appearance Tuesday on Fox News that he doesn’t believe the border plan will work and is “too little, too late.”

“They’ve been telling the American people there’s no crisis along that border now for three years, and they’ve tried to convince the American people they can’t take executive action,” he said. “Five months out from an election, now they’re serious about border security. I don’t buy it, and I don’t think the American people buy it.”

Polls show that many voters rate immigration and the border as a top issue for the presidential candidates, alongside the economy, character, democracy and abortion. It’s the area where they are most likely to rate Trump ahead of Biden, according to an ABC News poll released last month. The poll found that 47% of Americans trust Trump more on immigration, compared with 30% who trust Biden more.

Times staff writer Taryn Luna contributed to this report.

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travel restriction to mexico

Hannah Fry covers breaking news for the Los Angeles Times. She most recently covered Orange County for The Times and has written extensively about criminal trials, housing, politics and government. In 2020, Fry was part of the team that was a Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of a boat fire that killed 34 people off the coast of Santa Barbara. Fry came to The Times from the Daily Pilot, where she covered coastal cities, education and crime. An Orange County native, Fry started her career as an intern at the Orange County Register.

travel restriction to mexico

Noah Bierman is an enterprise reporter focusing on clashes between red and blue states in the Washington bureau for the Los Angeles Times. He previously covered the White House and wrote for the paper’s national desk.

travel restriction to mexico

Andrea Castillo covers immigration. Before joining the Los Angeles Times, she covered immigrant, ethnic and LGBTQ+ communities for the Fresno Bee. She got her start at the Oregonian in Portland. A native of Seattle, she’s been making her way down the West Coast since her graduation from Washington State University.

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    The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative on March 21, 2020, restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of COVID-19; this restriction has been extended until May 21, 2021. Non-essential travel includes tourism and recreational travel.

  26. Biden signs order tightening border with Mexico when crossings surge

    June 4, 2024 Updated 1:55 PM PT. President Biden signed a proclamation Tuesday that bars migrants from seeking asylum along the U.S. border with Mexico while crossings are high, a change designed ...

  27. Mexico's president seeks agreement for US to send deportees ...

    Migrants and asylum seekers wait to be processed by the Border Patrol between fences at the US-Mexico border seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on June 5, 2024.

  28. Mexico COVID-19 Update

    The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative March 21 restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. These restrictions apply to travel in both directions across the border.