Passport for Mexico - less than 6 months to expiration
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Apr 10, 2011 11:43 AM Last Post By: mclarjh
Apr 7, 2011 8:53 AM
Passport for Mexico - less than 6 months to expirationMy US passport will expire in August, about four months from now. I am leaving for Mexico next week, planning to stay only a couple weeks ... I think it should be okay getting through Mexican immigration, but has anyone heard of the airlines denying boarding because of a passport expiring in less than six months? I am on a US carrier.
I keep reading different accounts of the six-month requirement ... many say Mexico does not require it, but I have also read that it is at the discretion of the airline person checking documents.
I had considered renewing earlier, but was traveling in the last month, and now I'm glad I didn't because if the US govt shuts down, all passport renewals will be delayed. It would have been just my luck to have been hung up that way.
Apr 7, 2011 11:44 AM
1If your ticket back out is before expiration, I don't see a problem. But you are asking about "discretion", and who knows? Visitor permits are for six months now, and it's possible some low-level ticket puncher could screw up your plans.
Tell them you'll be back home for months by the time the passport expires. If that doesn't work, ask for a supervisor. If that doesn't work, ask for the written policy.
Interesting side question though; are the airlines acting as agents for Mexico when they sell you these permits? Even Mexican immigration can't sell them to you. You have to get a stamp at a bank to make them official.
Apr 7, 2011 11:59 AM
2Sometime within the last 8 years my passport expired in March, but I was in Mexico for about 4 months until the middle of April, about 4 weeks after the expiry date. I had no problems entering or leaving.
Apr 7, 2011 1:27 PM
3Last summer I visited Mexico for 5 weeks with a passport that would expire in much less than 6 months (perfectly okay for a Canadian to do that), and the immigration officials gave me the regular 180-day permission to stay, proving to me that, at least sometimes, they don't look at the expiry date in the passport.
Apr 7, 2011 3:02 PM
4I looked in to this a month ago because I was facing the same thing.
This is what I found out.
The reason why the airlines care when your passport expires is because if you get refused entrance by Mexican customs you will be sent home on the airline you came in on! They don't want to pack you right back out.
If you are flying back on the same airline and holding that return ticket they (airlines) may gripe but will likely allow you to fly.
The Mexican customs official at your POE has the sole authority to make the decision to allow you in or not.
He makes the call.
You should not have a problem as long as you can produce a RETURN plane ticket and show it to him. I would have it out and ready to display.
None of this is a guarantee that you will be allowed in to Mexico for your vacation.
Your situation pushes the envelope and too many officials have to make split second decisions to allow you to continue or send you back. You will likely be OK but cross your fingers, eh?
I ended up getting a passport card. I'm crossing by land border in Tijuana and flying or bussing from there.
The card only took me THREE weeks to get and it was a lot less expensive than the passport.
Apr 8, 2011 12:55 PM
5I just got back from Mexico on Monday, and used a Canadian passport that's set to expire next month. I was a bit worried about it but gambled that neither the airline nor the immigration folks would care or notice, and I was right, no one asked me anything. It's a risk though, I guess, but in my eyes not much of one.
Apr 8, 2011 2:22 PM
6Once we had a similar problem (passport expiring in less than 6 months) for a trip to Israel via Frankfurt with Lufthansa. The airline computer was programmed to not issue the boarding pass for the Frankfurt to Tel-Aviv segment when this happened, because of a regulation of the Israeli government (no problem issuing the boarding pass for the flight to Frankfurt). A call to the Israeli authorities at the Tel-Aviv airport assured us that there would be no problem there, but Lufthansa was asking for a written assurance. At the end, a helpful Lufthansa employee at the business class counter modified the computer record regarding the expiration date, and the computer issued the boarding pass.
Apr 8, 2011 5:53 PM
Apr 10, 2011 9:39 AM
8Thanks for all the info ... I've been going back and forth on this, even to the point of considering making a two hour drive to my nearest passport issuing center and waiting around for a full day to get a one-day expedited passport - at a fairly high cost, too.
Instead I have printed out the documentation requirements on my airline's website, which specifically ask for a "valid passport at the time of entry." Nothing anywhere about a six-month requirement. If I run into any problems with the airline, I can at least show them that.
I'm feeling pretty confidant that this will all be a non-problem.
Now on to figuring out how to pack for two weeks with a single carry-on ...
Apr 10, 2011 11:43 AM
9Now on to figuring out how to pack for two weeks with a single carry-on ...
Easy, I've been using a 25 litre backpack for many years for my trips. Fits airline carry-on rules, and can fit above you on most bus trips too, so security isn't an issue. Most travelers take too much stuff, but that is another subject.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$70.00 per night
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(3 star Hotel)
From US$82.49 per night