Hello, everyone! I'm sorry in advance for asking a question about passports, I don't know if it's common or unwanted. If so, I appologize! I'm planning my first solo trip in my life, what I hope is the beginning of a lifetime of travel.
This summer, I'm going down to Mexico for about two months. I'm going to Guanajuato with my friend Francísco and his family, who are visiting their family for about two weeks. I'm going to stay with them, and by July 30th, I have to be in Mazatlán for a study-abroad program I signed up for. (CSA) The family is going to take me there and then come back to the United States.
Here are my questions:
Francísco and his mom aren't citizens of the U.S., they're legal residents. He has little sisters who are citizens. I have a passport, but none of them do. I checked with the Dept. of State website, and it said that when traveling by land or sea to another country, you won't need a passport until 2008. Since we're going to be taking a bus, which is land, will we have any problems? His mom is afraid we won't be able to go because she can't afford passports for all her kids, but I want to see if they can go without passports. Either that, or I'll have to go with just her. If even she can go.
Will they need passports to enter Mexico and return to the US? I'm not worried about myself since I have one, but I'm not positive about them. If someone with any knowledge on the subject can help me out, I'd be forever grateful! I know it sounds like just a short trip to close-by Mexico, but a LOT of my life has led up to going, and I don't want to let something like passports stop me.
Thank you so much!
Francisco and his mother need to have their I-551 Permanent Resident cards (known as a green card) as well as their Mexican passports to enter and return. If they don't have a valid Mexican passport, they can bring an expired one or some other proof of Mexican citizenship. I'm sure, one of these along with the resident card will be fine. Your friend's mother will need to provide birth certificates for her daughters to enter. Also, is she married or single? If she's married she'll need a notarized written permission from the father along with the birth certificates for her daughters. If she's single she'll need proof of sole custody/death certificate rather than the notarized written permission.
Okay, thanks so much for the information! I'm asking them to get all their documents together so I can determine what else, if anything, we need.
For now I know that they both have their green cards, and his mom has an expired Mexican passport. I'm pretty sure she has all the birth certificates for her kids, I'll make sure. She's married, but how do you have 'notarized' written permission? Do they need to take it somewhere and get it stamped and approved, or can he just write a note?
I guess when I find out everything I have I'll check with an official just to be sure, but thanks so much for the information! I thought you absolutely had to have a passport, which would have made things difficult.
Most of the currency exchanges in the Chicago area will have notary public services. I am taking for granted that Francisco's mother has a bank account (checking and/or savings). Most banks also offer notary services. If it is done at the bank holding the account, it may be a free service, otherwise notary services run about $15.00 per seal. (They have an embossing seal that they use on the document and then date/sign it.) You can even check the yellow pages for notary public services in your area. I am also taking for granted that your friend's family is in the Chicago area. No matter where they reside (in state or out of state), notary services are listed in the telephone book yellow pages and available to everyone for a small fee.
I recommend that you, Francisco or his mother call the bank or chosen service provider to make sure they bring all of the required documentation with them. It will save them a second trip just to have something notarized.
Here is a listing of the notary publics in the Chicago area:
Notary Public Services in Chicago, Illinois