Mexico announced Sunday that it is establishing new rules for Ecuadorians arriving in the country by air. According to sources in Ecuador’s Mexican embassy, the requirements were developed jointly by the Mexican government, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and U.S. immigration services.
Under the new rules, Ecuadorians arriving at Mexican airports must present:
- A pre-paid printed copy of a return ticket (cell phone screen shots not allowed).
- Proof of payment for accommodation (no cell phone screenshot) or
- A letter of invitation signed by the person who offers temporary residency to the applicant (with a copy of the identity document of said person and contact information)
- Proof of sufficient financial resources for the visit to Mexico
According to the Mexico City embassy source, Ecuador believes the rules are necessary to reduce the flow of Ecuadorians attempting to enter the U.S. without visas, most of them through the Mexican-U.S. border. (For more, click here.) “Under the previous rules, people could buy a one-way ticket from Quito or Guayaquil to Mexico and enter as tourists,” he said. “Many of them were met by illegal travel coordinators, commonly called coyotes, at the airport and transported overland to the border.”
He added that the embassy and foreign affairs ministry are concerned for safety of those making the trip, receiving reports of dozens of missing persons as well as possible kidnappings. “Since these transport operations are illegal, the government has no sources of communication to get information about missing family members.”
According to the source, because of ease of travel to Mexico based on a 2018 agreement between Mexico and Ecuador, more Ecuadorians are attempting to enter the U.S. illegally than any other nationality in South America.
Beginning Monday, airport migration officers in Quito and Guayaquil will ask those traveling on an Ecuadorian passport to Mexico to show the documents required on arrival. “We want to save travelers that are unaware of the new requirements the cost of being sent back to Ecuador,” the foreign affairs ministry said Sunday in a statement on its website.
According to airport departure records, 88,000 Ecuadorians have flown to Mexico in the first half of 2021, a 60 percent increase over the same period in 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic.