Evidence of onward travel

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Evidence of onward travel

1. Posted by MJS999 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

I'm flying into Mexico in a week or so and plan to spend four months travelling around Central and South America. I haven't yet booked my flight home and would prefer not to, so as to allow me as much flexibility as possible. Has anyone experienced any problems from boarder agencies in the region about not being able to show evidence of onward travel? Thanks.

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2502 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

It would likely help people answer more usefully if you told us your nationality and port of entry?

3. Posted by MJS999 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

Thanks Andy. I am British and flying into Mexico City.

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2502 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

I'm no expert, and one may be along in a minute with more informed advice, but...

I would think that a Brit isn't a big concern for overstaying, and Mexico doesn't seem a top place for someone to try to informally live and work. Which I think is the main reason for looking for proof of onward travel.

In the event that you are asked to show evidence of your intent to leave, perhaps you could carry a printout of a hotel booking in your next country? Many booking.com premises can be reserved without payment and then cancelled beforehand.

5. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 234 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Travelling South America 4 months over 2018/2019 initially flew into Lima, then land border Peru to Bolivia then land border Bolivia to Chile, then land border Chile to Bolivia then land border Bolivia to Peru. No borders required onward travel (just one asked about how long I intended to stay), none wanted to know where I was staying and none asked about available funds - which was fortunate as, like OP I had no flight home and at all border entries no onward travel, nowhere to stay booked and no proof of funds (beyond a couple of pre-paid debit cards with no way to demonstrate any balance).

Of course that is just my experience and nothing to say the person behind me didn't get asked for everything and more.

Some border crossings are more "thorough" than others e.g. Bolivia into Chile took 4 hrs on a border post in the middle of nowhere - they were searching through every item of luggage from everybody crossing (opening checking everything). But they did ask about how long I was staying and I was vague (which was stupid) saying maybe a few days to which they said "maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months" then I realised what I'd said and clarified that I was keen on astronomy and might stay longer to wait for clear skies over the Atacama desert; which made him happy and he stamped me in for whatever the standard visa stay period was (skies over the Atacama Desert are the best anywhere in the world for night skies).


[ Edit: Edited on 26 Nov 2021, 21:35 GMT by Psamathe ]

6. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 144 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Right in Mexico now, you have to fill out a online form, for that its good to have a booking for the 1. night, in México you need a mask on public transport. Guatemala by land nothing ist asked (but you have to change bus). Columbia (going there in 3 das) you need to do another online form ( also when leaving) and probably have the 1. night booked.
Have been in South Amerika 2019/20 before Covid, only Surinam had some complications about Visa, no other complications.
The only complication now, as far as i know, the need of a Covid specific insurance for Equator.

7. Posted by MJS999 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the thoughts and experiences.