The Mexican National Immigration Institute (INM) requires special documentation with regard to minor (under 18 years of age) travel if:
- The minor is departing Mexico (i.e. not entering);
- The minor is traveling by air or sea;
- The minor is traveling alone or with someone other than a parent or legal guardian who is of legal age (grandparent, uncle/aunt, school group leader, etc.); and
- The minor is using Mexican documents to travel (birth certificate, passport, temporary or permanent Mexican residency).
The minor will be required to present a document showing the consent to travel from at least one parent (or legal guardian) in order to leave Mexico.
A parent may fill out the authorization document online on INM’s website. This document does NOT need to be notarized or have an apostille. Rather, the parent prints three copies and must obtain official stamps from INM at the airport on the day of travel prior to passenger check-in with the airline. For more information on this process please click here (PDF – 304kb). Please note the online form and presentation are in Spanish only.
Alternatively, the travel consent document may be independently-produced, but it must be in Spanish (English versions must be accompanied by a Spanish translation), contain several pieces of required data, and be notarized or have an apostille. For information, fees, and how to make an appointment for notarial services at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City please click here. The State Department has provided a sample minor travel consent letter (PDF – 92KB).
Importantly, if either the INM website form or an independently-produced document is used, it is valid only for 180 days, for one trip only (i.e. not multiple trips) and must be accompanied by the following:
- Copy of minor’s passport (biographic page containing photo);
- Copy of minor’s birth certificate;
- Copy of parent or legal guardian’s valid, government-issued identification; and
- Copy of valid, government-issued identification for the adult accompanying the minor (if applicable).
According to INM, this regulation does NOT apply to a minor traveling with one parent or legal guardian, i.e. a consent letter from the missing parent is NOT required.
The regulation DOES apply to dual national minors (Mexican plus another nationality) since under Mexican law the minor is required to enter and depart Mexico using Mexican documents. After departing Mexico with a Mexican passport the minor would then enter the United States using his/her U.S. passport.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has received numerous reports of U.S. citizens being required to provide notarized consent forms for circumstances falling outside of the categories listed above, and/or being asked for such permission at land border crossings. Accordingly, the Embassy recommends all minors traveling without both parents carry a notarized consent letter at all times in the event airline or Mexican immigration officials request one.