Traveling to México for business? Here is what you need to know

In recent years, Latin America has become a hub for foreign investments and growing startups, increasing business travel to Mexico. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced corporate travel to a halt in 2020, 2021 seems more promising. In fact, traveling for business purposes is expected to rise by 21% by the end of this year.


This doesn’t mean businesses around the world will fully resume their corporate trips. 


Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t over and any travel plans in place will continue to require extra precautions. Despite the current instability, it’s estimated that 6% of companies worldwide plan to resume business travel in the near future. 


With this in mind, we created this guide to provide modern corporate travelers answers to the most common FAQs regarding traveling to Mexico for business.

View from an airplane window

Defining a new kind of corporate traveler

2021 is characterized by the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic and for certain changes in the global workforce.


As boomer employees retire, millennial and Gen Z professionals are taking over. It’s predicted that by the end of 2021, these individuals will make up 40% of the global workforce


This new class of business traveler is younger and has a slightly different value system from its boomer predecessors. As a result, there is an expected shift in the way corporate travel looks in practice. We can even observe this shift as far back as 2016 where cost-effectiveness and personalization were already a priority.


The modern business traveler now prefers:

  • Staying in home rentals and prioritizing comfort and proximity to leisure activities
  • Extended business trips for leisure activities
  • A self-booking process, while having human support for complex issues and travel emergencies
  • Seamless technology throughout the entire experience
  • Personalization and customization that helps maximize their trip
Cancún Airport

Has Mexico imposed any Covid-19 related travel restrictions?

Mexico currently doesn’t have any Covid-related travel restrictions. However, upon arrival all national and international travelers are required to fill out a health questionnaire to identify any risk factors.


To complete this questionnaire, visit Vuela Seguro and create an account. Once you’ve created it, you will need to provide personal information such as your full name, whether you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 during the last 3 months, your travel destination, and travel itinerary. 


This survey is mandatory and will allow Mexican health authorities to document the health statuses of all passengers.

Negative Covid test results

For travel purposes, Mexican health authorities are aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health guidelines. 


As of August 2021, the Mexican government doesn’t require travelers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result nor mandatory quarantine upon arrival.


However, the CDC recommends that individuals be vaccinated against Covid-19 before traveling to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.


If you’re traveling to the United States after your trip to Mexico, you will need a negative Covid test result. Make sure to take a test at least 48 hours prior to your flight. Some hospitality companies like Casai will offer a test service and have one delivered to your door. For more information, ask your concierge for more details. 

For fully vaccinated travelers

As vaccinations against Covid-19 are well underway across the globe, it’s estimated that 15.7% of the world’s population is already fully vaccinated. For these individuals traveling to Mexico, normal social distancing measures like wearing a mask and standing at least 6ft away from others is still necessary.


Upon your arrival, Mexican immigration authorities may ask you if you have been fully vaccinated.


For non-vaccinated travelers

If you’re a business traveler who isn’t fully vaccinated, you’re recommended to take a viral test 1-3 days before your trip to Mexico. This will help you and airport authorities ensure you are in a healthy condition to travel and won’t risk your health or that of others.


Social distance measures and wearing a face mask at all times will continue to be standard procedure.

For those who recently recovered from Covid

Sometimes duty calls and you’ll be required to travel for work purposes. While companies are typically very understanding of health-related issues, traveling shortly after recovering from Covid may happen. 


The CDC recommends traveling only if you have been fully recovered for at least 3 months prior to your travel date. In this case, you will need medical documentation stating your health status, follow recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated, and get a Covid test 3-5 days after your arrival (unless you’re symptomatic).

Covid 19 vaccination recommendations

Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

Mexico has a comprehensive list of countries whose nationals don’t require a visa to enter. Travelers from countries such as the United States, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago can stay here for up to 180 days.


The Instituto Nacional de Migración has a complete list of countries that don’t require a Mexican visa.

Countries that require a visa

There’s an extensive list of countries whose citizens will require a visa to visit. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule.


If you’re a citizen from any of the countries that require a visa, but you fulfill any of the following requirements, you don’t need a Mexican visa.


  • Permanent resident card holder from Canada, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Chile, Columbia, Peru, or any other country within the Schengen Area


  • Visa holder from Canada, United States, Japan, the United Kingdom or any country within the Schengen Area


  • APEC business travel card adopted by Mexico


What other documents do I need to enter Mexico?

Depending on the purpose of your business trip and your country of residence, immigration authorities may require you to show additional documentation.


It’s important to check the Instituto Nacional de Migración website and consult with your company to ensure you don’t need special authorization to enter the country or stay for an extended period of time. 

Man with a US passport

What is business etiquette in Mexico like?

Due to its geographical proximity to its American and Canadian counterparts, today’s Mexican business etiquette and practices have adapted and aligned to fit those of the U.S. and Canada. As millennial and Gen Z professionals embark on the majority of corporate travel, the differences between these practices will blur even more.


However, there are still local attitudes and customs prevalent within Mexican culture to keep in mind during your next business trip. 

More formal business attire

Generally speaking, Mexican professionals dress more conservatively than professionals from other western countries. 

Time doesn’t always equal money

In countries like the United States, life and business are very fast paced. In Mexico, this isn’t necessarily the case. A lot of emphasis is placed on taking business negotiations slowly and focusing on empathizing with people.

Sometimes “yes” means “no”

Most Mexicans don’t like to say “no” even when they want to. That’s why reading body language is an important component of picking up on these nuances. 


You’re likely to receive more direct responses if you’re conducting business in larger cities, but even then, a “yes” could mean “no”.

Bureaucracy is everywhere

Business negotiations may develop slowly due to bureaucratic processes enforced by the government. Keep this in mind when planning your corporate trip objectives with your company.


Remote working on a business trip

Will I have quality WiFi and communications while in Mexico?

As a business traveler, great WiFi will be key. Research ahead of time to see if your hotel or vacation rental offers high-speed WiFi. 


In Mexico City, it is common to find hospitality companies like Casai who guarantee a connection you can trust. Casai’s WiFi speed averages at 183 mbps, five-times faster than leading hotel chains.

How can I make check-in & check-out arrangements easier to manage?

A key pain point for business travelers is coordinating check-in and check-out logistics with their flight arrival and departure times. 


The flexibility to change and cancel flight and accommodation bookings is a must for business travel in a post Covid-19 world. 52% of international travelers express that travel restrictions discourage them from booking for fear they can’t reschedule or receive a refund later on.


If you join Casai Club, you can save on early check-ins and check-outs to adjust your trip itinerary. 

How can I optimize my business trip for fun?

Mixing business with leisure travel, known as bleisure travel, is an undeniable result of the demographic change in the workforce. As more millennial and Gen Z corporate professionals take their work outside of the office, the focus on leisure activities becomes greater.


Whether this is your first time traveling to Mexico for business or you’ve been here before, learning more about the area you will travel to is a must. 


Head to the Guide section of our blog for our list of top recommendations in Mexico City or check out what you can do in Tulum.

Planning an upcoming business trip to Mexico? We have you covered.