Mexico is a popular travel destination for many Canadians thanks to the warm weather, beautiful beaches, incredible food, and friendly culture. Canadians who want to travel to Mexico from Canada might not know where to start. Our team at Insurdinary is here to talk about everything Canadians need to know to travel to Mexico from Canada and vice versa.
What Documents Do I Need to Travel to Mexico?
Below is a quick primer on the documents you will need to cross the border legally into Mexico. Note that the Canadian government has no control over what documents authorities in Mexico will accept, and this list may be subject to change at any time.
Speak to an Advisor
Travel Insurance is the most important accessory you will ever pack.Get Quotes now
All Canadian visitors in Mexico must have a valid passport that will remain valid for the entirety of the stay. Your international travel company may have different identification requirements as well. There may be different entry requirements for using a temporary passport or emergency passport. Double-check with country representatives to ensure they will accept your documentation. If you have not renewed your passport, we recommend you do so long in advance. In the wake of Covid 19, some passport offices are experiencing a backlog with applications. For more detailed information on how you can go about renewing your passport, refer to this article.
Note About Passport Genders
Canadian passports allow for “X” identifications for gender. The Canadian government cannot guarantee that a foreign country will accept a passport with an “X” gender designation.
You do not have to acquire a valid visa if you are simply going to Mexico for vacation. However, you do have to acquire a student visa if you wish to study in Mexico and a work visa if you plan on getting a job. Canadian businesses require business visas to attend meetings or conduct activities in foreign countries.
In addition to a passport, Canadian citizens must present a completed tourist card. If you travel by air, the airline will provide a tourist card to fill out. If you cross into Mexico by land, you must stop at the nearest immigration facility to receive a card. If you do not obtain a valid tourist card, you won’t be able to enter the country.
You can also receive an online tourist card prior to your trip. You will need to complete the form, print it out, and provide the document at your point of entry. In all cases, you need to receive a tourist card stamp from Mexican authorities, or else your stay will be invalid.
When leaving Mexico, authorities will require you to relinquish your tourist card. You can get a replacement tourist card for a fee at an immigration center if you lose your original card.
How Long Can I Stay in Mexico?
Mexican authorities will determine how long you can stay in the country and mark it on your tourist card. The maximum amount of time a Canadian tourist can stay in Mexico is 180 consecutive days, though immigration officials may not grant the maximum stay.
If you want to stay the maximum allowed length, you will likely have to provide additional information about your trip, including lodgings, funds, and return dates. Once authorities grant your stay, you won’t be able to change the length.
Returning to Canada from Mexico
In order to return to Canada from Mexico, you must present your valid Canadian passport at the border. Canadian border authorities will also accept a Canadian birth certificate, citizenship certificate, or permanent resident card.
Once you cross the border, you must present yourself to a Canadian immigration officer and make a declaration of goods brought into the country. If you arrive by land, stop at the first immigration checkpoint to make your declaration. Those returning to Canada must fill out a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) declaration card that includes items and their value in Canadian dollars. You should fill out this card with an ink pen, not a pencil.
Duties and Taxes
When declaring items to bring across the border, you will have to pay duties and taxes on imported goods. The amount of goods you are exempt from paying duties depends on how long you were out of the country.
- Less than 24 hours. If you are gone less than a day, you receive no personal exemptions from duties or taxes.
- More than 24 hours. If you are gone for more than 24 hours, you can claim up to $200 worth of goods, not including tobacco or alcoholic beverages.
- More than 48 hours. If you are absent for more than 48 hours, you can claim up to $800 of goods, including limited amounts of tobacco and alcohol.
- More than a week. If you are gone for more than seven days, you can claim up to $800 in goods, including tobacco and alcohol. You can also claim goods not immediately on your person if they are arriving via courier or delivery.
You can claim an exemption for children’s items for personal use. Keep in mind that the Canadian government puts restrictions on bringing some types of items across the border, such as firearms, animals, explosives, vehicles, and certain security products.
Is Mexico Safe for Canadians?
Mexico has relatively high rates of violent crime, including theft, kidnapping, carjackings, assault, and murder. Additionally, some areas of Mexico and Mexican cities have Cartel activity in conflict with local governments. The Mexican government has deployed the military to patrol some parts of the country to maintain order and fight organized crime.
As such, any Canadian travelling to Canada should stay in tourist areas and remain vigilant if they leave tourist areas. Avoid carrying valuables, such as travel documents or jewelry, into non-tourist areas. You should also avoid travelling at night and stay on top of local news for signs of nearby criminal activity.
Generally speaking, border areas have more criminal activity. Travelling to Mexico via air can help you avoid potential border violence between criminal gangs and Mexican authorities.
As long as tourists remain vigilant and do not take any unnecessary risks, they can avoid confrontation and remain safe. Many Canadians travel to Mexico from Canada every year and have wonderful vacations especially with the amount of resorts they have to offer. Mexico has been listed as the number 1 place to visit for two years in a row on our website. Read more about that here.
Stay Even Safer in Mexico With Travel Insurance
Ask us how.Get Quotes
Tips for Travelling Abroad to Mexico
Below are a handful of tips to keep in mind when travelling in Mexico.
- Most tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink and may contain parasites and other water-borne illnesses. You can drink tap water if you boil it first, and you can drink bottled water.
- Mexico is a great travel destination, but travel plans can go awry. Explore your options for travel insurance, so you can insure your luggage and possessions while travelling abroad.
- If you need to use the internet for secure activity, consider purchasing a VPN. A VPN can prevent hackers from accessing your computer and sensitive information over wireless networks.
- Consider exploring areas outside of any tourist resort. Mexico is a vibrant and wonderful country with incredible food and local sights to see.
- Don’t forget sunscreen. Even in the fall and winter, the heat and UV index in Mexico is relatively high compared to Canada.
- Practice your Spanish. You will have a much easier time getting around if you know some basic phrases and questions. Locals will appreciate you making an effort to speak their language as well.
- Bring a physical map of locations you visit or download a map. Cellular and WiFi networks might not be consistent where you are staying.
- Keep some cash and change on you when going out. Many locations won’t take card payments, but you can use cash everywhere.
Compare Travel Insurance Quotes for Your Trip to Mexico
If you are planning to travel to Mexico from Canada, don’t forget to get travel insurance! At Insurdinary, we make it easy to shop for insurance with our handy lookup tool. You can compare policies and quotes from the best insurance providers in Canada. Fill out our form to receive a quote today, or contact us to discuss your travel insurance needs.