If I have a Mexican passport but I'm a permanent US resident, do I have to go through immigratiin and customs when I land in Mexico?

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    Yes. Of course. Why wouldn't you?
    – Doc
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 18:30
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    While you'll clear immigration and customs like everyone else you won't have to fill in the FMM form they hand out on the plane (only the separate customs form), and there's usually a separate queue for citizens at immigration that generally moves faster.
    – user38879
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 22:03
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    How would immigration and customs know you have a Mexican passport if you don't show it to them? Just take your word for it? What would be the point of immigration and customs then? Commented May 15, 2018 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Yes. Everyone has to go through customs and immigration controls in some form or other. Diplomats enjoy some exemptions, but unless they have a very high profile, they still have to present themselves at the immigration counter and show their diplomatic credentials to prove that they are entitled to those exemptions. Even if they are sufficiently important to bypass that part of the process, a staff member will typically present the passport to immigration officials for whatever formalities are required.

Similarly, a "regular" Mexican national has to show a Mexican passport or substituting document to an immigration officer as proof of Mexican nationality before the officer can give that person the rights and privileges of a Mexican national.

As far as customs goes, Mexican nationals are, like everyone else, subject to restrictions on the nature and quantity of goods they can bring into Mexico, so they are also subject to customs controls.

The fact that you reside in the US may affect the customs exemptions that apply to you, but that's more likely to reduce the exemption. Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that you need to clear the customs checkpoint.

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    Notably, the Queen of the United Kingdom does not have a passport. I assume she would pre-arrange any travel. Her aides (and family members) all have passports, however.
    – Tim
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 11:37
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    @Tim And for the curious, this is because UK passports are issued in the name of the Monarch. It would make no sense for the Monarch to issue themself a document stating they are the Monarch.
    – gsnedders
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 11:54
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    @gsnedders whether it makes sense or not isn't particularly relevant. I'm sure there's some monarch somewhere who has a passport. Republican heads of state and foreign ministers issue themselves passports. The queen just chooses not to.
    – phoog
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 14:00
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    @phoog Why should an entity certify its own identity? A self-issued passport is worthless, as the whole purpoese of a passport is for someone else to certify the identity of a person. So, if UK passports are actually issued in the name of the Monarch, then, of course, it would be useless for said Monarch to verify his or her own identity. - Only if some other entity is the issuer of the passport, this would make sense. - I don't think that many heads of states issue their own passports. The state does, but - at least in all countries I travel to - the state is not some person. Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:20
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    @AlexanderKosubek the historical purpose of a passport is not to certify identity, but to request permission to enter a country and protection of that country's laws. The queen could surely have a passport that says "We request..." instead of "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty..." Or she can just show up and say it verbally. The US Secretary of State issues US passports, and issues him- or herself a passport that refers to him- or herself in the third person: "The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests..."
    – phoog
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 15:41

If you are arriving by air, it's like any other country. You present your papers, assure them that you are who you say you are, and that you are not carrying contraband or items in excess of allowable amounts for tax-free entry, if not you pay tax. Same thing if you are driving across a land border.

Walking across a land border with the U.S., on the other hand, might be pretty slack on the Mexican side, you might not actually encounter any officials. Don't worry, it will be made up for (and then some) upon return to the U.S. side. (This can actually be an issue for foreign nationals because you are supposed to have a Tourist Card to go deeper into Mexico, and you could easily go to the bus station and get yourself into potential difficulty).

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