What Do the USA—Mexico—Canada Border Restrictions Really Mean?

October 26, 2020 by
Categories: Border Crossing, Driving to Mexico

USA—Mexico—Canada Border Restrictions Extended

The border restrictions put in place on March 21, 2020 have been extended again. This applies to all "non-essential" travel between the three countries. These restrictions were put in place to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Non-essential travel is defined as that travel that is for tourism purposes only, family visits, and shopping trips. What this actually means depends upon the country you are going to.

USA to Mexico

At the time of this writing, it does not appear that authorities in Mexico are enforcing the restrictions, nor has the border been closed. The border is open to driving or walking into Mexico and Mexico is still issuing FMM tourist permits at the border. Flying into Mexico is also not restricted. If you still want to travel to Mexico, you can do so.

The Mexican government provides information on what the Covid conditions are in various Mexican states here.

Mexico to USA

Crossing from Mexico into the U.S. is limited to citizens of the U.S., permanent residency card holders, and their families. Also, people who are going for medical reasons or to attend school are allowed. Canadians that are transiting home to Canada are also being admitted. The border agents are enforcing this rule.

Some of the border crossings going north have had their hours reduced. The most reliable information on the hours of operation of U.S. crossings can be found on the CBP’s website of border crossings. Get border crossing wait times here.

Canada to Mexico

Canadians wishing to drive to Mexico through the U.S. are having difficulties. In large part, the U.S. is not letting people enter in their personal vehicles to drive to their homes in Mexico. However, some people have gotten through.

The people that have been allowed to drive into the U.S. to transit to their homes in Mexico have been the ones that say they live in Mexico, have homes there, and have a residency card from Mexico to prove it. If the border agents get any idea that you are a "snowbird," you will not be allowed to cross.

Some Canadians have gotten around this restriction by shipping their vehicles to the U.S. and then flying into a nearby airport and picking up their vehicles in the U.S., then driving to Mexico. Shipping a vehicle to the U.S. starts at around $800 and depends upon distance and the vehicle being shipped.

Please note: Mexpro has confirmed instances where Canadians lied to U.S. Agents about their reason for travel, so they could get to their U.S. residences and were caught. They were banned from the U.S., and in a few cases, their property was seized.

Safe Travels!

As you can see, it is still possible to drive to Mexico during these unusual times. Come prepared with your mask and willingness to compromise as Mexico learns to negotiate the new conditions they encounter every day.