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I am a South African passport holder and will be travelling to Mexico in May for 10 days. My flight is via a US airport, where I will be in transit for a few hours on the way to Mexico and then again when I return. I will not actually be visiting the US at all.

I understand that US tourist visa holders can enter Mexico as a tourist. I have 2 questions:

  1. If I apply for a C1 US transit visa, can I still use this to enter Mexico? Or does only the B1/B2 US visa allow for entrance into Mexico?

  2. Once I get my US visa, do I have to separately apply for a Mexico tourist visa or can I just arrive in Mexico and show them my passport with the US visa in it – ie is this enough?

  • is your C1 visa a multiple entry visa? – Marcel P. Mar 12 '18 at 12:45
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As stated in Timatic, the database used by airlines:

Visa required, except for Passengers with a valid visa issued by Canada, Japan, USA, United Kingdom or a Schengen Member State for a maximum stay of 180 days

So you do not need a Mexican visa, but your C1 visa must be multiple-entry (which it should be) in order that you can re-enter the US on the way back.

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If you have a US multiple-entry visa, you do not need a Mexican visa:

Travelers who wish to visit Mexico, regardless their nationality, holding a valid, multiple-entry visa for the United States of America, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom or the Schengen Space countries DO NOT need to apply for a tourist, business or transit Mexican visa. Additionally, permanent residents in the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom or the Schengen Space countries who wish to travel to Mexico do not require a visa to enter Mexico as tourists, transit or business visitors.

Source: Visa for Mexico

I believe you will not need to apply for a Mexico tourist visa, you will only show your US visa. I have a B1/B2 US visa and I used only the US visa.

  • Thank you so much for your quick response. But you see coming back to my main question - does a C1 transit visa (which is specifically for people in transit in US airports) also give me entrance to Mexico? Or only the B1/B2? Thanks – Claire Mar 12 '18 at 13:12
  • @Claire Any US visa – Crazydre Mar 12 '18 at 13:16
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    Any multiple entry US visa – Marcel P. Mar 12 '18 at 13:47
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Technically you need a US B1 or B2 (F, H, L, M, J non-immigrant series are good as well) visa for entry into Mexico if you do not have a Mexican Visa to begin with.

I have seen issues in Mexico City when entering with a C1 transit visa other than the C1/D crew visa. You will still need to fill out the FMM form (usually given out in the plane or on landing) and keep the bottom half during your stay in Mexico and it will be collected when you depart.

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