Do I Need a Passport To Travel to Mexico for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?



In general, most bariatric centers recommend a passport or a passport card to travel to Tijuana. However, you are not required to have a passport to undergo gastric sleeve in Mexico with Renew Bariatrics.

Can I Get a Gastric Sleeve in Mexico Without a Passport?

While it is recommended to have a passport before traveling to Mexico, obtaining one to travel to Tijuana is unnecessary if you are a United States citizen. However, if you plan to receive surgery in Cancun, a passport is required. You do have to have proof that you are a United States citizen.

This proof may come in the form of a birth certificate and a valid government-issued ID. In addition, enhanced driver’s licenses and passport cards are acceptable forms of identification.

Related: More FAQs on Traveling to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery.

What if I Am a United States Citizen Born Outside of the United States?

United States citizens born outside of the United States must have a valid passport or naturalization certificate and a government-issued photo ID. Permanent residents of the United States must bring a permanent resident card and a government ID or a passport from their country of citizenship.

People traveling from Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand must have a valid passport to travel to Mexico.

Related: More FAQs on Traveling to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery.

Are There Any Travel Restrictions I Should Be Aware Of?

Currently, there are no travel restrictions for United States Citizens in the state of Baja California. Like any other city, Tijuana’s tourism district is safe to explore. However, it is always important to remain aware of your surroundings and stay in well-lit areas if venturing out at night.

Related: More FAQs on Traveling to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery.

How Quickly Can I Get a Passport and How Much Are the Fees?

While receiving a passport in as little as two weeks is possible, it usually takes seven to ten weeks. If you request an expedited passport, you may receive it in four to six weeks. It is recommended to start the application process as soon as you decide to receive surgery in Mexico to avoid any travel delays.

Passport fees will vary depending on whether you are renewing your passport or applying for one for the first time. First-time passports will cost $130, while expedited passports will cost $190.

Related: More FAQs on Traveling to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery.

Safety Measures When Traveling to Mexico

There are so many things to see and do when traveling to Mexico. Besides medical tourism, there is a rich history, beautiful colonial cities, colorful festivals, pristine beaches and other popular vacation spots throughout the country. Safety has always been a primary concern for Mexican government officials, and they have taken many measures to ensure that tourists visiting their country are protected.

One measure put into place by the Mexican government is the creation of a medical lane when crossing the border. This lane ensures that medical tourists seeking treatment can pass through the border without enduring extensive wait times to enter Tijuana.

In addition, there is a heavy police presence and heightened surveillance in Tijuana’s tourism district. When you visit, you will notice this increased security throughout the areas where medical clinics, hospitals and popular tourist spots are located. This security is there to protect both Mexican citizens and foreign visitors. Because of these measures, you will notice very little crime and a safe environment throughout your stay.

Are Tourists a Target in Mexico?

No, tourists are not a target for violence in Mexico. There is a false narrative that tourists are at heightened risk of violence. Unfortunately, news outlets and media use scary headlines as clickbait to generate a sense of lawlessness and fear of traveling to Mexico. Tourists in Mexico are safe as long as they stay in popular tourist districts. While cartel violence is an issue that remains in Mexico, tourists are not targeted, and there is even an unspoken rule to leave Americans alone.

To put things into further perspective, New Orleans, St. Louis and Dallas all have higher murder rates than Mexico City. However, the media does not tell people to stop visiting these cities.

Are There Any Areas in Mexico That Tourists Should Avoid?

While travel to Baja California is safe, there are a few areas that tourists should not travel to, according to the U.S. State Department. Tourists should avoid areas of Mexico that are experiencing higher incidents of crime. These areas include:

  • Guerrero
  • Michoacan
  • Sinaloa
  • Zacatecas
  • Colima
  • Tamaulipas

While traveling to these areas is not advisable, other areas throughout Mexico are safe for tourism. Because travel advisories can change, you should check for the most updated travel notices prior to your arrival. As long as you travel on busy roads, avoid going to remote areas and remain in tourist spots, you will be safe during your stay in Mexico.

Travel coordination is an important aspect of your journey to Mexico. When you schedule a procedure at Renew Bariatrics, we will work with you to ensure your safety during your visit. If you are ready to book your gastric sleeve surgery, please reach out today, and we will be happy to speak with you and discuss your options.