THINGS TO DO IN ADVANCE

PASSPORT AND VISA

US Citizens and Residents

All US citizens are required to present a valid US Passport when entering Mexico (whether by air, land or sea). No visa is required for tourists (people visiting Mexico for unpaid activities and for a stay of less than 180 days).

Permanent US Residents traveling by air, land or sea to Mexico are required to present a valid Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and a current, valid passport or travel document.

For stays of less than 180 days for study, no visa is required, but you will need to present the original acceptance letter from CIMAT to the immigration officer at passport control.

However, if you are applying for a two-semester stay (longer than 180 days) you will need to obtain a Temporary Resident Student Visa. For doing so, you will need to schedule an appointment in your nearest Mexican Consulate -you can find it here and make the appointment here- and present the following documents (for more information, check your nearest consulate webpage):

  1. Original passport, valid for at least for the duration of your stay plus your return trip
  2. 1 photocopy of your passport’s personal information page
  3. Original and 1 photocopy of another valid ID (Driver’s License, ID card)
  4. 1 visa application form duly completed and signed 
  5. 1 recent passport size photo (size 1.5 x 1.3/4 inches), in color, with face clearly visible, without glasses and taken against a white background
  6. Confirmation page of your consular appointment 
  7. Original acceptance letter from CIMAT
  8.  Documents demonstrating economic solvency 
  9. Processing fees: $36.00 USD

Visas are generally issued on the same day. Once you arrive in Mexico, we will help you exchange your visa for a Resident Card. Your residence card allows you to travel back and forth without a visa for the duration of your stay.

Other Nationalities or Non-Permanent US Residents

Here you can find the list of nationalities that are required to obtain a Mexican visa to enter the country as a tourist.

No foreign nationals, regardless of nationality, are required to obtain a Mexican visa if they already possess a current, valid US visa, and they plan to study in Mexico for less than 180 days. However, if the USA visa stamped in your passport has expired, even if you have an official document or form proving your legal status in the US, you will have to apply for a Mexican visa.

For stays of less than 180 days for study, no visa is required, but you will need to present the original acceptance letter from CIMAT to the immigration office at passport control.

If you are admitted for a two-semester stay (longer than 180 days) you will need to obtain a Temporary Resident Student Visa. For doing so, you will need to schedule an appointment in your nearest Mexican Consulate -you can find it here and make the appointment here. Check your nearest consulate webpage to learn about the documents you need to present.

Once you arrive in Mexico, we will help you exchange your visa for a Resident Card. Your residence card allows you to travel back and forth without a visa.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

You will need to get a visitor’s permit—known as Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM)—to enter Mexico. Air crews on international flights will hand them out to all the non-Mexican passengers before landing. It must be filled out prior to going through passport control.

 The FMM requires you to fill out your name, date of birth, sex, citizenship, passport number, country of residence, purpose of the trip, means of transportation, airline name and flight number, as well as your address in Mexico during your stay.

The immigration officer at passport control will retain part of the FMM and return the other part to you. Do not lose this document, as you will need it to exit the country. If you lose it, you will be unable to leave Mexico and might be subject to federal penalties.

MANDATORY MEDICAL INSURANCE

Comprehensive international health insurance that is valid in Mexico at least for the duration of your stay and meets the following requirements is mandatory: 

  1. Coverage of a minimum of USD $100,000.00 (one hundred thousand dollars) for medical expenses
  2. Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation benefits
  3. Legal assistance
  4. Transportation costs for one family member in the event of hospitalization

You will be asked to provide proof of your medical insurance upon acceptance to MSSG. If you cannot produce this proof in good time or if does not meet the requirements mentioned above, your admission will be revoked. Buying additional travel insurance is also highly recommended. If you need medical attention, there are several hospitals in the area that have agreements with different insurance companies. We can help you find the right one for you.

In case of a chronic medical condition, please verify with your insurance that all your health expenses will be covered during your stay in Mexico.

MEDICATIONS

If you require any type of prescription medication, be sure to bring enough to cover the duration of your stay in Mexico. Do not remove them from their original packaging and keep your doctor’s prescription to hand in case you are asked to provide it.

If you are a USA citizen, keep in mind that it is forbidden by the law to bring some American over-the-counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine or codeine into Mexico. We advise that you follow the instructions of the US Embassy in Mexico and if you take any kind of medication that you are not allowed to bring with you, ask your doctor about their equivalent in Mexico.

Please remember that it is forbidden by the law to mail prescription medicines to Mexico without a permit from the Mexican Health Department.

GRE 

It is possible to take the GRE exam in certain Mexican cities, but not in Guanajuato. If you need to take the GRE exam, our recommendation is to take it before your trip.

CELLPHONES

You should consider buying a Mexican SIM card. Several providers, such as Telcel or AT&T, offer prepaid plans that include calls to the USA and Canada or worldwide with no additional charges. You will need to bring an unlocked cellphone or buy one here.

If you choose to bring your cellphone with you, be sure to check your cell phone service provider’s conditions in advance so that you do not end up paying more than necessary. Many cellphone carriers in the United States include unlimited calling, texting, and internet roaming in Mexico and Canada with their plans or for a fee.

CURRENCY

There are ATM machines available throughout Guanajuato. Nevertheless, we recommend using only the ATMs inside the bank offices. It is important to notify your banks and credit card companies of your stay in Mexico, otherwise, your cards might be blocked due to fraud prevention procedures.

The Mexico currency is the Mexican peso (MXN). The exchange rate between the US dollar and the Mexican peso is constantly fluctuating (you can check the Banxico official page to find out the current exchange rate). Although there are also several casas de cambio - money exchange offices - in Guanajuato, ATMs are the quickest and most convenient way to obtain the local currency and their exchange rate is usually good. Please contact your bank/credit card companies about their international rates. We discourage bringing traveler checks with you, as you will only be able to exchange them at the bank at certain limited hours.

El Bajío International Airport (BJX)—Guanajuato’s nearest international airport—and Mexico City International Airport (MEX) also have ATMs and money exchange offices at hand.