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I have 2 children that were born in Mexico. They have a birth certificate abroad. So this is dual citizenship. Do they need passports?

My kids were born in Durango, Mexico. I am American. Their father is Mexican. They were both given birth certificates abroad. They are now 16 and 14. They want to go visit grandparents and aunts and uncles in Mexico. Will they need to get a passport to enter Mexico? Will they need it to fly?

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    Um... Would you like them to return to the US after their visit? – CactusCake May 2 '17 at 16:50
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    Do you want them to have both Mexican and US passports? Do they already have their US passports? – mkennedy May 2 '17 at 16:59
  • By "birth certificates abroad", do you mean something issued by the Mexican government that recognizes them as Mexican citizens? (I think this is called a "Certificado de Presunción de Nacionalidad", but my Spanish is rusty and I can't confirm this on the Mexican government websites.) Or do you mean something else? – Michael Seifert May 2 '17 at 18:08
  • @MichaelSeifert the other likely option is that she refers to the consular report of birth abroad (CRBA). Of course, each of the children should have both a Mexican birth certificate and a CRBA. – phoog May 2 '17 at 18:32
  • My understanding is that they need Mexican documents to enter Mexico, and I know that they need US documents to enter the US. As far as entering the US is concerned, a CRBA is okay for land border crossings while the child is under 16. It's probably also okay to fly with a passport from one country and other proof of citizenship from the other country, but you might be subject to border delays if you do that. If you don't want to worry, however, the safest thing to do is to get both children both a US passport and a Mexican passport. – phoog May 2 '17 at 18:34
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For Mexico:

As per Timatic, the database used by Airlines:

Passport Exemptions:

Nationals of Mexico with a:

  • national ID card; or

  • certified copy of birth certificate; or

  • consular registration; or

  • certificate of Mexican nationality; or

  • naturalization letter; or

  • Matricula Consular; or

  • Constancia de Identificacion; or

  • voter's certificate with photo.

Any of These, in other words, are accepted for entry to Mexico.

So no, your children do not need Mexican passports to enter Mexico, even by air

For the US:

As per Timatic (which, for the US, covers air travel only):

Passport Exemptions:

  • Passengers with a Transportation Letter.
  • Passengers with an emergency or a temporary passport.

So to enter the US by air, they do need US passports.

By land, however, US passport cards, enhanced state ID cards and (for children under 16) CRBA:s are valid too, as well as possibly other IDs that I'm unaware of

In summary:

To travel to and from Mexico by air, they need a US passport and any Mexican document mentioned above. By land, a US passport/passport card/enhanced state ID/CRBA if under 16, and any Mexican document mentioned above

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    The child under 16 can also enter the US by land with a CRBA. See this recent similar question for more details. – phoog May 2 '17 at 18:46
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    Regarding your edit, the CRBA (note corrected spelling in the comment above) is only valid for children under 16, or under 19 if they're part of a school group or similar group. In fact, any other non-photo proof of citizenship would suffice, such as a US birth certificate or a naturalization certificate. These kids just don't have those. – phoog May 2 '17 at 18:48

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