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Minors may need a SAM form to travel out of Mexico

- April 24, 2022

It is the document with which minors can travel abroad alone or in the company of a third party of legal age.


Minor Output Format (SAM Format) Author Migration’s national institute Publication date December 05, 2019

Since 2014, the SAM Format has been used as a facilitation and protection measure to prevent children and adolescents traveling alone or with a third party of legal age abroad from being illegally extracted from the country.

The SAM Format is an alternative to the power of attorney and the document issued by the judicial authority. Unlike these two options, valid and in force, parents or guardians can initiate the request for the SAM Format through the INM page, any day of the year, 24 hours a day, and it is free.

What is the procedure to obtain the SAM Format?

1. Fill out the online form and print it out. 

2.    To avoid setbacks, we recommend that you go in advance  to the nearest  INM Representative Office or to the points of entry and exit abroad  (airports, sea, and land ports) with the  SAM Format  duly filled out and the following documentation:

  • Original and 3 copies  of the minor’s Passport
  • Original and 3 copies  of the minor’s birth certificate
  • Original and 3 copies  of the current identification of the person exercising parental authority or guardianship of the minor.
  • Original and 3 copies  of the valid identification of the minor’s companion (in case they are traveling with a third party of legal age)

3. Once at the INM Representative Office, the Federal Migration Agent will review the documentation and, if there are no irregularities, will proceed to stamp the formats to give them official validity.

It is very important to mention that only INM agents are authorized to stamp the SAM Format, without this stamp, minors will not be able to leave Mexican territory even if they have their travel tickets.

Why are three copies of each of the documents requested?

When you fill out the SAM Format online, the system automatically prints three sheets, each of which shows who it is intended for: one for the  Federal Immigration Agent, another for the travel company and the third that you must keep as your user acknowledgment.

In which cases is it not necessary to present the SAM Format?

In case the minors travel accompanied by both parents, one of them, their legal guardian, or if they are going to be repatriated to Mexico.

Important points you should know about the SAM Format:

  • It is valid for six months from its issue and can only be used once during its validity period.
  • The SAM Format is a free procedure.
  • A SAM Format must be processed for each minor who is going to go abroad and for each trip they make.  
  • The user must present only the original passport of the minor and, if applicable, the original passport of the accompanying third party; the other documents may be presented in copies.
  • In no case may INM personnel request any other requirement or additional documentation to receive the documentation and stamp the receipt stamp.
  • The receipt stamps stamped by the immigration authority must be considered as valid for the place destined for the international transit of persons through which the minors intend to leave the national territory.
  • In the case of opting for power of attorney or requiring judicial authorization, these must also be submitted in original and two copies, together with the required documentation.
  • If the minor travels alone, the procedure can be carried out by one or both parents.
  • If the minor travels with a third party of legal age, the procedure must be carried out by the companion,  who previously, while filling out the form, will enter the requested data.
  • It is important that the minors also attend the day of the procedure, to avoid setbacks.
  • We recommend you go in advance to stamp the SAM Format.
  • Check the locations and hours of our INM representative offices. 
  • In case of irregularities are detected during the sealing of your SAM Format, contact us at our Telephone Service Center: 01800 00 46264

Protect your daughters and sons! If you are going to travel abroad alone or in the company of a third party, do not forget to process your SAM Format!

Source: gob.mx/inm

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