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Visitors from Canada and the U.S. will now be required to present a valid passport when entering Mexico as part of the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Mexican immigration authorities say the new measure, which began March 1st, is intended to unify documentation rules and travel procedures for all of North America. Travelers within 20 kilometers of the border, those who remain in the country for less than 72 hours, and those aboard cruise ships will be exempt from the new rule.
Around 95 percent of Canadians and 100 percent of U.S. citizens already travel with their passport as both countries require their citizens to present proof of citizenship upon their return. Non-citizens will need the same documents their country requires as proof of residency such as a permanent resident card or a refugee card. Visitors to southern parts of Mexico like the Riviera Maya and those remaining in the country for more than 72 hours will require a tourist card and will be granted one when they arrive to Mexico.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was initiated by the U.S. government in response to 9/11 and has included several measures that have been instituted since 2007.