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I am an Indian passport holder:

  • I am on an F1 Visa which expires in 2018 (as indicated on the visa page in passport)
  • The I-20 form indicates program end date of 26 Aug 2017
  • I wish to travel to Mexico on 27th Aug, stay there for one week
  • I can directly return from Mexico to my home country (without entering US).

I believe that you cannot return to the US if the I-20 is in the grace period.

Do I need a Mexican tourist visa to enter Mexico if my I-20 is in grace period and my F-1 page on passport indicates validity until 2018.

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Yes, you can do that. There's nothing preventing you from going through Mexico on your trip to India.

(You can even return to the US during the grace period, at least in theory; you just can't return in F-1 status. Keep in mind that this includes transit. You will not be able to have a connection in the US unless you have an appropriate visa, and one week in Mexico is unlikely to be enough time to get one. You can't get it while you're in the US.)

Edit:

It seems I overlooked your actual question. A strict reading of Mexico's visa policy suggests that you can use your F-1 visa to qualify for exemption from Mexico's visa requirement, but since you can't actually use your F-1 visa to return to the US, I would proceed with caution. The safest thing for you to do would be to get a Mexican visa, but you might also try asking the Mexican authorities whether they'd accept your F-1 for the exemption.

  • Thanks for the response phoog! I just need to visit Mexico and then return to home country. So, just to be clear, I DO NOT need a separate Mexican visa (from Mexican Embassy) to visit Mexico during the I-20 grace period. – kris Aug 10 '17 at 11:50
  • @kris I have no idea about Mexican visa requirements for Indian citizens. I'm sorry I overlooked that part of your question. – phoog Aug 10 '17 at 12:04
  • Ok, so I called the Mexican Embassy at Washington DC. The lady on the phone said that they do not check the I-20. They only care about the American Visa on the passport and as long as it is valid (in my case its valid till 2918), I can visit. I will with another embassy location. – kris Aug 10 '17 at 13:34
  • Alright, checked with Mexican Embassy in Los Angeles as well. Same answer - the passport and visa on passport need to be valid. – kris Aug 10 '17 at 13:53
  • [link] consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sanfrancisco/index.php/… – kris Aug 10 '17 at 14:12

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