Passengers under the age of 18 traveling alone or with someone who is not their parent or guardian to or from Mexico. Minors under the age of 18 who enter or leave Mexico without their parent or guardian must prepare the proper papers, according to Mexican rules. The paper work involves a certificate of consent from the child's parent or guardian and a letter of invitation from the Mexican government. These documents should be valid at all times while the minor is in Mexico.
The Mexican government requires that children carry a copy of their birth certificate with them at all times. If your child loses their birth certificate, they cannot obtain a new one until they are 18 years old.
Children between the ages of 14 and 17 can travel to Mexico alone if they have a valid passport and a signed letter of permission from their parents or guardians.
If you are considering taking a trip to Mexico with your child, we recommend that you discuss any doubts you have about the procedure with an immigration lawyer first. Immigration laws are complicated and vary significantly from country to country so it's important to know exactly how minors are treated in Mexico before you go.
Traveling alone or with a third person of legal age (grandparent, aunt/uncle, etc) must submit a document demonstrating the approval of both parents or those with parental authority or guardianship, in addition to a valid passport. If one parent or guardian does not give consent, then both must agree for the child to travel.
Children between the ages of 14 and 17 can apply for a passport. They will need either a birth certificate or a court order confirming that they are emancipated (able to make their own decisions). The law requires that children under 18 not travel without a parent or guardian. However, this is rarely enforced. If you are questioned by customs officials, you will be required to provide evidence of the necessary permission. In most cases, this means having a letter from your parent or guardian stating that they have approved of your trip.
It's advisable to call ahead before you go to any office providing these services so there are no delays due to lack of availability. It's also helpful to know what kind of documentation they require - this will help if you get stopped at the border or asked for identification during an emergency situation.
If you are traveling to Mexico from Canada or the United States, you will need to present a valid passport upon arrival.
Mexico vacation Minors (under the age of 18) traveling without a parent or legal guardian must carry a letter of consent if the minor traveler is a Mexican citizen, permanent resident of Mexico, or temporary resident of Mexico (e.g. on a student visa). The letter of consent must be obtained from a parent or guardian who has been notified of the travel plans and who has signed the letter of consent. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that you also obtain a passport card for your minor child.
In addition, if you are taking your child by bus, we recommend that you include a copy of their vaccination records in your baggage. The vaccination record should show at least two weeks after the last dose of vaccine was given. Children will not be allowed to board the bus unless they have completed the vaccination series. If your child has not received all three doses of the vaccine, they will not be permitted to travel.
The same rules apply to teens (age 15-17). In addition, these young travelers must provide evidence of having reached sexual maturity. For males, this means showing a certificate of physical development containing a statement from a physician that the person has reached mental and physical maturity. Females must provide a certificate of pregnancy or childbirth.
If you are taking your child or teen through an official port of entry, such as a border crossing point or airport immigration office, they will need proof of identity and citizenship.
Children under the age of 16 who travel to and from Mexico by land or water can re-enter the nation using their birth certificates, certificates of citizenship, or naturalization certificates. Children of any age traveling by flying to and from Mexico, however, must have a passport book.
The Mexican government requires that children under the age of 18 carry proof of vaccination against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. Proof of vaccination may be shown by a valid medical certificate or by having an "R" mark on your skin. The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles recommends that anyone planning to travel to Mexico check with their doctor at least six months before their trip to make sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Parents should also know that children between the ages of 10 and 17 can be required to provide documentation of a residence permit if they plan to stay in Mexico for longer than three months. If your child is found not have such a document, he or she could be deported.
In addition to the requirements for children, everyone else's documents need to be valid for travel to Mexico. That means you should not travel with any documents that are about to expire or have expired. You should also not travel with any documents that contain errors or are not in order.
To avoid international child abductions, Mexican law requires kids traveling without their parents, or with only one parent, to provide documentation of parental permission to go. They must have a notarized letter from the absent parent or parents approving them to travel to Mexico. If the kid is under 18, she or he needs to appear before a judge who will decide whether they are allowed to leave and, if so, for how long. The judge can deny the request altogether if there's a risk that they will be abused or neglected in Mexico.
The best way to ensure a safe trip is by contacting your local consulate to find out what documents are required for your daughter or son. It also helps if you include details about where in Mexico the family plan to go and why this particular place meets with approval from both parents. You should also write a note explaining why you are letting your child travel alone and send it with them to the embassy or consulate. You can also email or fax copies of relevant documents to the address listed on the website for each country's embassy in Mexico.
It's important to remember that not all countries share the same view of parental authority. If you take your child to a non-English-speaking country without a notary public or government office nearby, you might be asked to come in person to get the letter approved.