What To Expect When Arriving and Departing Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX)
My wife and I moved from our home in Washington, D.C. to Mexico City, Mexico in February 2019. Moving internationally can be stressful for many reasons, but one of the things that causes me particular anxiety is the thought of having to navigate a new airport, in a new country, in a foreign language. Add in the fact that we were transporting nine (9!) suitcases on a long flight and on (increasingly) empty stomachs…there was a lot that could have gone wrong.
This anxiety drove me to do as much research as I could about the process of moving our life abroad in a single trip, and arriving at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX). This preparation minimized any surprises or hiccups and led to an extremely smooth arrival to our new home.
Arriving at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez Airport
Update November 2022: As of summer 2022, Mexican immigration authorities no longer require filling out the “Forma Migratoria Multiple” customs form to enter the country! Instead, you’ll just show your passport, they’ll stamp it with a tourist visa, and then they’ll handwrite the expiration date of the visa. For example, you’ll see that I entered Mexico on Oct 28th, 2022 and the tourist visa was valid for 180 days until April 28th, 2023:
I’ll leave the original guidance below in s̶̵̶t̶̵̶r̶̵̶i̶̵̶k̶̵̶e̶̵̶t̶̵̶h̶̵̶r̶̵̶o̶̵̶u̶̵̶g̶̵̶h̶̵̶ for historical reference, in case it’s useful for flying into an airport that has not changed over (though I think most/all airports have; this article says Cancun, Santa Lucia, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and San José del Cabo airports have changed over; this article includes Mexico City, Merida, and La Paz.)
Filling out the immigration form
O̶̵̶n̶̵̶ ̶̵̶t̶̵̶h̶̵̶e̶̵̶ ̶̵̶p̶̵̶l̶̵̶a̶̵̶n̶̵̶e̶̵̶,̶̵̶ ̶̵̶y̶̵̶o̶̵̶u̶̵̶ ̶̵̶w̶̵̶i̶̵̶l̶̵̶l̶̵̶ ̶̵̶b̶̵̶e̶̵̶ ̶̵̶o̶̵̶f̶̵̶f̶̵̶e̶̵̶r̶̵̶e̶̵̶d̶̵̶ ̶̵̶t̶̵̶h̶̵̶e̶̵̶ ̶̵̶”̶̵̶F̶̵̶o̶̵̶r̶̵̶m̶̵̶a̶̵̶…