The Mexican version of Global Entry

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Programa Viajero Confiable

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We love how Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check save us a ton of time at the airport when we’re in the US.  However, when we fly internationally, we still have to wait in lines for customs.  If you travel to Mexico frequently, you should sign up for the Mexican version of Global Entry so you can skip those lines as well!

What is the Viajero Confiable program?

It is described on the Mexican immigration website as:

The Mexican Immigration Institute has designed a program to allow quick and secure entry into Mexico through automated kiosks located at participating airports.

The program is targeted to Mexican citizens and U.S. citizen Global Entry members:

– Mexican citizens
– U.S. citizens who are members of Global Entry

Programa Viajero ConfiableIf you’re familiar with the United States’ Global Entry program, this program is very similar.  In fact, as a US citizen, you must be signed up for Global Entry in order to qualify for the Viajero Confiable program.  All of our family has Global Entry, even my 4 year old son… and my 5 month old daughter will be getting her card in early 2016, thanks to the generous $100 credits from some of the credit cards I have.

Since Southwest started flying to Mexico with their acquisition of AirTran, Mexico is one of our favorite destinations.  We go to Cabo about once a year and will be headed to Isla Mujeras later this year.

Just like Global Entry, the Viajero Confiable membership is good for 5 years.

How do you get the Mexican Global Entry?

To apply for Programa Viajero Confiable, follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Apply online at their website.
  2. Make your payment – currently 1,372 Mexican pesos (approx $84).
  3. Choose a location for your interview.  Currently, you can interview at one of three airports – Mexico City, Cancun, or San Jose del Cabo.
  4. Show up for your interview (at least 15 days after you apply) to get your photo taken, have biometric scans, and verify submitted documentation.  Bring your passport and a signed copy of the application.

How do you use Programa Viajero Confiable?

The Programa Viajero Confiable is very simple to use, just the like United States’ Global Entry system.  There are designated lanes which allow you to speed through customs because the government has already performed a background check on you, and you are considered a trusted traveler.

  1. When you fly to the 3 airports listed above, use the designated lane (just like TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry in the US).
  2. Scan your passport and fingerprints.
  3. Complete the electronic immigration form.

My experience applying for the Program Viajero Confiable

I applied via their website and chose the English version.

Programa Viajero Confiable choose language

Then choose to start a new application.

Programa Viajero Confiable start a new application

Then there are instructions about General Requirements, the Enrollment Process, and Membership Renewal.  Basiscally, a rehash of the FAQs and overview pages of their site.  Most important, once you start the application process and pay, you have 6 months to complete your interview.  If you fail to complete your interview within those 6 months, you will forfeit your application fee.

You start the registration process and complete your personal information, including passport information, date of birth, email address, etc.

Programa Viajero Confiable registration

Once you complete your registration, the system sends you an email that you need to click on to continue your registration.

Programa Viajero Confiable registration complete

The email will contain a link to continue to your application and includes a temporary password.  After you click the link and change your password, you will continue your application.

Programa Viajero Confiable pre-enrollment

Now you’ll enter the rest of your personal information.

Programa Viajero Confiable pre-enrollment personal info

Once you have completed your personal information, including your Global Entry number, now you’re ready to pay.

Programa Viajero Confiable payment

The website directs you to another website to process your payment.  When paying for your application fee, make sure that you use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Although the website says the fee is 1,372 Mexican pesos (approx $84), I was charged 1,429 Mexican pesos (approx $87).  Since the different was only about $3, I wasn’t too worried about the price difference.Programa Viajero Confiable payment amount

After I paid, the system had me download my receipt since it is necessary to bring that with you when you arrive for your appointment.

Now it is time to book your appointment at any of the three airports available – Mexico City, Cancun, or San Jose del Cabo (aka Cabo San Lucas).

Programa Viajero Confiable schedule appointment

After you pick your date and time, you are given an opportunity to print and save your appointment confirmation and your membership application.

So, you should now have 3 pieces of paper to bring with you, in addition to your passport:

  • Programa Viajero Confiable application
  • Payment receipt
  • Appointment confirmation

I would also recommend bringing your Global Entry card with you, since that is a requirement for participating in this program.

Conclusion

If you fly to Mexico City, Cabo, or Cancun on a regular basis, you should consider signing up for Mexico’s Programa Viajero Confiable (aka the Mexican Global Entry).  Your registration is good for 5 years, just like Global Entry, so this program is a bargain at less than $20 a year.  It took me about 15 minutes total to apply, and it was a really simple and straightforward process.  I look forward to my interview during our trip to Cancun.  I’ll have more to report after I complete the interview later this year.


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57 COMMENTS

  1. Do they still make you press the button for the stoplight to show if you can pass or be searched for customs? Or have they removed that? I always thought it was silly and that it was never really random with when you press the button. I am going to Mexico in October. I haven’t been there for years so I am not sure if it makes sense for me to do this but it is something to consider.

    • The last time we were in Cabo (about a year ago), you still had to do the push-button green/red light for customs search. The airport was pretty thrashed during the hurricane last year, so there’s no telling whether it will be like that with the necessary remodel. Where are you going to in Mexico? We’re going to Cabo in October. If you don’t go to Mexico very often, I wouldn’t recommend the almost $100 fee… but if you go once a year, then (to me) it is worth the $15-20 a year to avoid the lines. Just remember, that you’ll be doing your interview during your next trip, so you wouldn’t be saving any time on that trip.

  2. Hi Lee: Thank you for the instructions. While the website did ask me for credit card information it never allowed me to enter the card information nor redirect me but took me straight to schedule an appointment which I was able to do. I also am afraid the appointment is too close to my landing time and I will not make my appointment. My husband has tried twice to pre-enroll just to get the email and he has yet to get the email with the unique password. I received my email right away. Do you know of any contact information I can get to find out what is going on with my husband’s application?

      • Hi Lee:
        I just want you to know that I finally got the Viajero Confiable website too accept my husband’s information. The problem was the web search program I used. I had to use Chrome. This may be important for your readers to know.

    • Definitely. The greatest compliment is when you share us with your friends and family!

      I love beating the lines using Global Entry, but I feel like the lines in Cabo are worse than many of the US entry points, so having the Viajero is almost as valuable.

  3. I am unable to make a payment on Viajero Confiable for U.S. Citizens website. I am using chrome browser every time i get to that step it reads that my payment was already processed before I enter any card information. Do you have any suggestions I have started the application over twice and it again said payment already made.

    • That is really weird Christie. I would try deleting your history and cookies from your browser and trying again. Or use Incognito Mode, a different browser, or another computer. Sorry that you’re having so much trouble. Good luck!

  4. Hi Christie: The same thing happened to me. I was able to get appointments anyway. I am making the assumption that I will pay at the interview. I have had back and fourth emails with staff at the Viajero Confiable, they respond in about a week to inquiries. I currently have an inquiry into them regarding this very thing. I will let you know what they say.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Jane. Things “just work” here in the US, and we often expect the same in foreign countries. It’s frustrating when they don’t. Good luck to you both!

    • Thank you Jane and Lee for yoyr response to my question. I was told from my travel agent that I will not be able to pay when I get to Cancun that it must be done online. So I was interested in your thoughts. I will post if I get a response from my email.
      Thanks again!

        • Hi Lee:
          I received a reply email today from Viajero Confiable that the application fee has been waived as of January 1st. So the application is now free. I plan to show up at my appointment time and hopefully all will go smoothly.

  5. Hi Lee:
    I just received an email from Programa de Viajero, Confiable to inform me that as of January 1st the Viajero Confiable program is now FREE!! This must be why it would not show Christie nor I the payment forms.

  6. One more question please if anyon knows. Can I make my appointment now if I am going to Cancun in May or do i need to wait until two weeks before?

    Thank you

      • Christie: I will let you know as I have scheduled our appointments in Los Cabo’s well before the two week requirement and Programa Viajero, Confible has sent me two reminders of our appointment. Sounds ok to me although I will report whether it was a success or not.

  7. Hi Lee & Christie:
    I want you to know that my husband were successful in joining the Programa Confinable at the San Jose del Cabo International Airport but not without a lot of trouble. I cannot STRESS enough how important it is for you to look over your forms and MAKE SURE they are correct. Our first interview was canceled because our forms did not match our passport information because it is very confusing to set up the information. Fortunately for us we were staying in Cabo a while and had to start all over, re-apply, set up new appointments with correct forms and were accepted into the program. There was no charge for joining this program. If you do not speak Spanish you may consider getting a local Spanish speaking person to join you at your interview to help you over the bumpy road to success.

    • Jane, thank you for the follow-up! Congrats on getting approved. Sorry that you had such problems with the paperwork. BUT, your next trip to Cabo (or their other Viajero locations) will be so much better next time. I LOVE skipping lines!!!

      • How long does the interview in Mexico take? Any idea if I can sign my kids up too? (They are already GE members here in the US. )
        Thanks, Tom

        • Tom, the actual interview process is fairly quick. From what I recall, it was maybe 15-30 minutes. Not sure what age your children are, but mine a 6 and 2, and they don’t need to sign up. I looked and travelers need to be 18 years old before they can sign up. As long as they are traveling with you as a holder of Viajero Confiable, they will also be able to skip the lines.

    • I also put some inaccurate info on the pre-app form. Last name showing twice. I showed up and they said I would have to re-apply. Which is fine but I see no place on site to re-enter pre-app info. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Russell: This is exactly what happened to us the first time we tried to submit our application. For the life of me I could not figure out where I messed up by having our last name entered twice.. I had to start over and was very careful to understand what exactly they were asking. If I remember correctly it had to do with Surname (your last name, which you do not have to enter) vs. your given name, your first name.
        Good Luck!

  8. Jane,
    That is great news… Congrats! I have scheduled my appointment for May. I was not so lucky with my husbands application. They have changed the website some since I first applied and now every time I start a new application with a new email it does not proceed to the next step and never sends me an email to confirm and complete the new application. I emailed them and ask them to delete his old application so I could correct his Given Name on app. They did not understand and just told me to due a new application. Which I tried gain today and it still will not work. I guess I will keep trying. I have made him a new gmail account just for this but has not helped.

    Thanks for your insight into your experience.
    Christie

    • Sorry for your troubles Christie. It is a pain, but so worth it to skip the lines! Have you tried clearing your cookies/browser history or using a different browser (IE vs Chrome)?

      • Hi Lee great suggestion I have not tried that in my last few attempts. Thank you for your response I am using chrome I will try clearing the browser.

        • Christie: I am so sorry you are having such trouble. Maybe you could find a spanish speaking person to help write your email to Programa Confiable. In all of my correspondence with them they always told me I had to start all over. I hope it works for you.

          John Tutza: I was told by Programa Confiable that as of January 1, 2017 there would be no fee. We did not pay a fee to join the Program.

  9. Hi Lee H.,
    My wife and I are going to Cancun in Sept this year and wanting to get this. Do you know where in the airport, (Cancun), we would go to do the interview / pics & fingerprints. I am getting ready to do the application for both of us. Did I read this right that there is NO FEE associated , ( FREE )?

  10. John Tutza: There was no fee for our applications. The Programa Confiable told me in an email that the application is now free as of January 1, 2017. We submitted our application in Cabo. I do not know where the Cancun office is but when we completed our form and secured our appointments we were sent a map of where the office was at the Cabo airport.

  11. Hi Lee,
    I thought I’d share my experience with the Viajero Confiable program with you and your posters considering there isn’t much information online about the program (like GE or NEXUS) and fortunately I was able to find your website which allowed me to get the additional information that I needed to “fill in the blanks.”
    Since I have GE and travel to Mexico I figured I’d sign up for VC as well after several long, hot waits in line at Cancun and Cabo and noticing while waiting that literally nobody was using the VC kiosks. The online enrollment was easy enough (much shorter than GE) and since I applied in mid-February, 2017 I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have to pay the application fee! I made an appointment for April, 2017 in Cancun a couple of hours after my scheduled arrival to give myself some additional time in case the fight was delayed. The VC system kicked out a pre-populated copy of the application that in part said that I had to sign it in front of the VC immigration officer and an imprecise map of the location of the VC office in Cancun. In the interim I did receive two automated emails from the VC system reminding me of my appointment date and time.
    When I arrived in Cancun I was amazed to see that there was super short line at immigration (again nobody using the VC kiosks) therefore I was more than two hours early for my scheduled appointment. The map given shows you have to exit the arrivals and go to the left and into the departures area. What you want to do is exit the arrivals and turn left. There are two “checkpoints” (metal gates-turnstile height) manned by airport staff in red shirts that will ask you where you are going. Tell them you are going to the immigration office and they will let you through. Enter the departures door and turn left. There will be an immigration booth on your left- don’t stop there, continue straight towards the store/gift shop on the right next the escalators that go up to departure security. Behind the store there is a hallway. Go right and on your right there will be a small hallway the dead ends. The VC office is the first door on the left once you enter the dead end hallway.
    Since I was over two hours early I was concerned that I’d have to wait until the scheduled time to be enrolled. Not the case. The immigration officer took me immediately in and began to process my application. He asked for my passport and the copy of the application I brought. He didn’t ask for my GE card, although I brought it just in case. After taking my fingerprints he said that I might have to remove my contacts if the iris scan didn’t take. Fortunately for me, they took on the first attempt. He then asked why I wanted to join VC and which cities would I like to see additional VC kiosks in the future. He said that traveler input was being considered for future locations, but didn’t give any hints or further information on where. My vote was for Puerto Vallarta. He had me sign my application and said that I would be receiving an email with a welcome letter and a hard copy of the same letter in the mail. He said there isn’t a card like GE or NEXUS, so he gave me several ID sized VC luggage tags that he said I could show in the immigration area so that I could be sent to the front of the line in non-VC kiosk cities. He did say that there are currently no plans to have a dedicated VC line at customs area where you press the button to get the red or green light. The process in the office took less than ten minutes and the immigration officer couldn’t have been nicer.
    As I was waiting for my transportation to the resort I received the email from the VC containing the welcome letter and program enrollment confirmation noting that I’m enrolled for the next five years. As of posting I haven’t received the hard copy in the mail. I’m looking forward to planning my next trip to Mexico and using VC for entry!
    I hope this assists your posters in enrolling in the VC program. If I have any updates I’ll post them.

    • Thanks for the very thorough story of your experience. This will really help a lot of our readers! I did my interview in Cabo and it was just as easy as you described yours. Have fun with it!

  12. Has anyone had any success with showing up days before your scheduled appointment? I learned about this just a few days shy of the two weeks and so the earliest appointment I can make is two days after I depart. I wasn’t sure if I had my application if I could just come to the office for the interview. Thanks!

    • I was able to do a walk-up appointment with US Global Entry, but I haven’t tried the Mexican version. Please write back and let us know how it works for you. Can’t hurt to try, right?

    • I had an apt at 2:00 pm and showed up at the airport 10:00 and went ahead and stopped in. They went ahead with my processing 4 hours early. Not aware of showing up days early, but it appears you can show up hours early and proceed with processing. Ensure your application is perfect. I had one line inaccurate- on the name lines I had my full name on the line that they want first and middle name. I had to start the entire process over.

  13. Hi Lee,
    Here’s an update on my original post from April…
    No hardcopy in the mail of the Viajero Confiable welcome letter and unlikely it will come.
    I did take an unexpected trip to Cabo over the weekend (June 3rd) and wanted to update you on how the VC kiosks “worked” and the experience we had.
    When I arrived at Cabo with my girlfriend the line was backed up all the way to the escalators that go down into the immigration area. I figured that this was perfect set up here for the VC and I’d save myself a ton of time in immigration on this trip and I was happy that I didn’t have to fill out the immigration form. We approached a security guard next to the bottom of the escalators and told her (in Spanish) that we were in the Viajero Confiable program and were met with a blank stare. We then showed her our VC luggage tags and explained that we used the kiosks for entry and she let us though. There are two VC kiosks at SJD and we each went to one. I used the kiosk on the left and here’s what happened: It asked me for a passport scan- accepted. Then a photo- accepted. Then fingerprints- accepted. Then it asked me to use a drop down menu with which airline I flew in on and it accepted United. Then, on the same screen, it asked for the flight number on the drop down and it showed a bunch of flight numbers in no apparent order. I scrolled up and down and couldn’t find number from the flight that I was on. I tried manually typing it in and it wouldn’t work. The system wouldn’t progress from there without a flight number entered from the drop down menu. At the same time my girlfriend was experiencing the same problems and we began to talk about what to do. Just then an immigration officer must’ve noticed what was going on and came over to the kiosks and directed us to his desk next to the kiosks. He then told us that the kiosks weren’t working correctly and anytime that happens just come over to the nearest immigration officer for processing. He had us fill out the immigration forms and we were off to baggage claim.
    I’m glad that at least they knew that the kiosks weren’t working and that the officer was really nice about immediately processing us, but I’m guessing that the kiosks need a software update/ upgrade in order to function correctly. No information on when that’ll happen. Needless to say I’d be angry if I paid the fee for enrollment and found that the kiosks weren’t functioning correctly. However, we didn’t have to wait in line so the process worked as it was supposed to minus the kiosks.
    Does anyone else have similar experiences out there? Are the kiosks working in Cancun or Mexico City? A final thought… just in case you get stopped by the security guards that monitor the lines it might be helpful to bring a copy of your acceptance letter with you as additional proof so they’ll let you pass through to the kiosks.
    If I have any updates or new experiences I’ll let you know. I hope that helps. Happy travels!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I never received a formal card or bag tag. All we have are the letters confirming acceptance. We’ve never used the kiosks in Cabo. It’s always been, skip the line and show the letter along with passport. We actually paid for ours before the program became free. Saving all of the time avoiding the lines was totally worth it!!!

  14. Anyone can guide me how to apply. I can get to the proper website: https://www.gob.mx/inm/acciones-y-programas/programa-viajero-confiable

    When I click the apply online I get directed to this page: http://www.inm.gob.mx/gobmx/word/index.php/mantenimiento-2/

    I used Google Translate to to understand the web page said: “Dear user, at the moment the request is in maintenance, we are sorry for the inconvenience”

    So it looks like the online application is offline at this time.

  15. Please, if anyone can help with a contact phone number for the VC renewal, it would be so appreciated. I have been trying since early December 2017 to set up interview for renewal, as passport expired and need to update VC with new number. The VC site is unavailable – under maintenance message showing 11/24/2017 date still. Tried number showing on informational tryptich, but call cannot connect. I have received 3 renewal emails and now have less than 30 days to schedule interview. Tried going to office at Cabo airport, but was told I needed to set up interview online. And apparently, no phone number available to share either. So frustrating! Any help, direction, would be fantastic. I have scheduled trip to Cabo coming up again before the deadline and it sure would be nice to be able to get through to VC to set up interview. Thanks for taking the time to read and any help you might be able to give.

  16. Hi Again Ellen,

    I happened to find a VC number on a brochure that was with my enrollment documents. I don’t know if it’s the same one you called before.
    01800 0046 264
    Hope that helps.

  17. I too am unable to get into the VC program online, and as a result my VC membership has been suspended.

    I received an automated email from the VC program telling me I needed to update my US passport number because it was expiring soon. I’ve been trying since early March to get in to the VC program online (at http://solicitudviajeroconfiable.inami.gob.mx/manageID3PVC/pvcLogin.xhtml) but the page never opens. I also tried https://www.gob.mx/inm/acciones-y-programas/programa-viajero-confiable? and the link there to making a new online application (solicitud en línea) and that page says the site has been down since November 2017.

    An email I sent to viajeroconfiable@inami.gob.mx did get a response, but the response only said in English:

    “Dear user,

    “By this means it is reported that the platform is in maintenance, reason why you can not perform the activity of registration, update or scheduling of interview appointment.

    “Additionally, the new software allows interested parties to participate in the Trusted Traveler Program, register their data online at the time they consider it.

    “Finally, we regret the inconveniences and the requests that remain pending of the changes that are made in the program and that are informed through the page of the National Institute of Migration.”

    I didn’t find the response to be very helpful.

    Anyone have advice on who we can ask about how long the web site will be down? Or an alternate way to update our information?

    Thank you.

    • If you enrolled in Viajero Confiable in maybe 2017 or prior (maybe even in early 2018?), you will be unable to renew your membership when your passport expires. Instead, you must re-apply for the program.
      This was confirmed to me today over the phone by one of the people who runs the program in Mexico City. After two months of trying to get answers out of that office, I finally got through to her today, and she said that the old program is being phased out and a new program is being started with a new system.
      The downside is that it is not possible to bring your information from the old program over into the new system, so renewal is not possible. The upside is that it is free to re-enroll in the new system.
      I’m about to go through the process myself to enroll again, and at first glance the online system seems better than it was when I originally enrolled.
      Unfortunately, I’m currently outside Mexico, so it looks like I’ll need to enter Mexico the normal way on my next trip with the new passport (i.e., not using the automated gates). Then, I’ll need to do an interview again with the new passport in order to get fully enrolled. So, I’ll be able to use the gates when arriving into Mexico on the following trip.

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