Mexico has been one of the most popular destinations for Americans during the pandemic, and many digital nomads have chosen to call it home given the generous 180-day visa on arrival for Canadians and Americans.
However, recently there have been changes to the amount of time granted to stay under the visitor permit. Many travelers are reporting that they are no longer being given a 180-day permit upon entering Mexico.
Mexico Has Changed The Amount Of Time Granted Under The Visitor Permit
For years it was almost guaranteed that an American traveler entering Mexico would receive a permit to stay for 180 days, which is the maximum length of time allowed under current Mexican immigration rules. However, as of late more and more travelers are reporting that they are being given 30 or fewer days on arrival in Mexico.
According to the National Immigration Institute’s (INM) website, a visitor’s permit, known as a forma migratoria múltiple (FMM), allows the permit-holder to be in the country for “a maximum validity of 180 days.” However, it is up to the discretion of the immigration agent to fill in a portion of the FMM and write the number of days the visitor is permitted to stay.
While some travelers are still being granted the 180 days, many have reported on social media that they are receiving 30 days or less.
The INM has not released an official public statement on the change of policy, but an INM official in Mazatlán acknowledged the issue and said the manner in which the federal criteria for entry is applied is at the full discretion of the agent.
The agent said that while some nationalities face restrictions, visitors from countries without restrictions still “supposedly” get 180 days. However, many Americans and Canadians have taken to social media panicking after only receiving between 5 and 7 days.
Mexico News Daily spoke to an agent on the INM helpline, who said they don’t know why they are giving less time but offered advice to travelers entering the country.
“We don’t have information about the reasons they are giving less time …” the agent said. “We don’t know if they have received some notification or internal memo.”
“You have to show your return flight, that you have economic solvency … if you have tickets for tours, tickets for where you’re going to stay, it is also necessary to mention that,”
What It Means For Travelers Entering Mexico
For travelers visiting Mexico for a short-term trip, the changes are unlikely to affect you. When entering the country, be sure to communicate your plans with the border agent so they can give you a sufficient amount of days in the permit.
Be prepared to show documentation, as the agent may ask for hotel reservations, return flights, or booked tours to prove the purpose of the visit.
For travelers coming to Mexico who intend to stay longer, whether it’s to escape the cold winters of Canada or live and work remotely, do not assume you will be given the 180 days. Talk to the border agent before they write the number of days on your permit, and ask for the days you need up to the maximum.
Travelers who want to stay in Mexico long-term should consider applying for the Mexico temporary residence visa, which is for foreign visitors who intend to enter and remain in Mexico as temporary residents for a period greater than 180 days and less than four years.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com