Do you need a passport to go to Cancun?
Previously it may have been possible to visit Mexico without a passport but you could face issues when attempting to re-enter the U.S.! Now you will definitely need to hold a valid passport in order to enter Mexico and return to the United States. It was also previously the case that visitors planning on staying for less than 72 hours and those that were not looking to leave the border zone which extends around 15 miles into Mexico, including Tijuana, could enter the country without any passport or tourist card. Unfortunately, this has now changed and, in any case, Cancun is over 1,000 miles from the US border so you would have needed a tourist card in the past as well as today.
The current tourist card you will need to enter Mexico is known as the Multiple Immigration Form (FMM), previously the FM-T, and will almost certainly be included in the air fare if you are flying into the country. If you are crossing into Mexico by land you have several options for purchasing a tourist permit. You can wait until you reach the border and hand over around $25 for a FMM or arrange for the tourist card before you travel. Before you enter Mexico you can either head to a Mexican Consulate for a valid FMM permit or apply to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute for an electronic version which can be paid in advance when completing the application online. All of these options require you to present a valid passport. All FMM permits are only valid for one entry into Mexico visitors and will have a maximum validity of 180 days.
Unfortunately, the actual duration of your FMM permit will depend on the Mexican official who is handling your application or case, it is fairly likely that you will initially only receive a permit valid for 30 or 60 days. This can be extended during your stay in Mexico, but you will be required to purchase a new permit! In order to do this, you’ll need to show your current tourist permit and passport as well as evidence that you are able to support yourself financially during the remainder of your stay and the duration of the extension that you are requesting. Make sure you keep your tourist permit safe as you will be required to preset it to the immigration officials when exiting Mexico on your way back into the United States, otherwise you will most likely face a fine as well as further hassle at the border.
If you do end up losing your tourist permit you can always replace it at the nearest National Immigration Institute as well as report it to the police and pay for a replacement permit. It is sure to be a pain so it is best to keep it safe! Travel Visa Pro offers passport services as well as hassle-free tourist permits to Mexico allowing you to travel to popular destinations such as Cancun, Mexico City and Chichen Itza.