Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Your Mexico Visitors Permit, FMM

Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) Visitor's Permit Mexico

If you arrive in Mexico by land or sea and intend to travel beyond the ~35 km ‘free zone’ you will need to get a visitor’s visa known as Forma Migratoria Multiple, or FMM.  If you fly to Mexico, air crews on international flights hand these out before the plane lands, and they are also available at Mexican airports.

People who come to Mexico for leisure or business visits lasting 180 days or less, and who are passport holders of one of the many countries which don’t require a visa to enter Mexico, can complete a FMM visitor’s permit form at the port of entry.  If your country does not appear on the list of countries which don’t require a visa for Mexico, read this.

The Mexican government levies a fee for these visitor permits (approximately US$22); the money raised is used for the promotion of Mexican tourism.  If you fly into Mexico from overseas, the fee is usually included within your air ticket’s ‘fees and surcharges’; if you travel overland beyond the ‘free zone’ you need to make the payment separately.

Once completed, the immigration official will stamp both halves of the form and hand you the smaller half. It’s important to keep this document safe, as you will need it when you leave Mexico.

If you are departing Mexico on a flight, your airline will insist you surrender the FMM to them before they allow you to board.  If you are driving out or leaving the country by sea, you should voluntarily surrender your FMM to an immigration official before your departure.  Failure to do so might cause delays the next time you try and enter Mexico.

Lost your FMM Permit? If you lose your FMM while you’re in Mexico, you will need to visit one of the immigration offices situated in towns and cities across the country, or at the airport, and apply for a replacement before you can leave.  This will involve some form-filling and filing, and a trip to a local bank to pay your permit replacement fee (about US$40) before you return to the immigration office to receive your FMM replacement.

Kept your FMM Permit after leaving Mexico? We sometimes get emails from readers who have arrived home and realized that they still have their FMM tourist permits, usually after driving back across the Mexico-US border.  The best thing to do, if this happens to you, is to contact your nearest Mexican Consulate, who will advise what to do—they might ask you to post back it to them.

Over-Stayed on your FMM? If you overstay the time you were granted on a FMM permit (usually 180 days), you will need to visit an immigration office (or the immigration center at the airport) and pay a fine before you can leave the country.  The amount of the fine depends on how long you have over-stayed; it is calculated on a per-day basis and, at time of writing, will not be more than MX$6,000 pesos.  As with lost permits, you should arrange to secure your exit visa before your planned flight departure date, as otherwise you might miss your flight.

FMM Online: There is an option to apply online, make the payment, print-out the form and get this stamped at the border. See the eFMM Application Page on the Mexican immigration site for details, terms and conditions.  Most people continue to complete their FMM in-flight, or on arrival at the airport, land, or sea border.

You can get full details about immigration procedures on your arrival in Mexico on our comprehensive guide to Mexico Entry Requirements.

For information about long-term visas, including visas for living, retirement, and work permits in Mexico, connect to the Mexico Immigration Guide page.

See Also: Do I Need A Visa to Enter Mexico?

40 Comments

  1. Erik h says

    I am a dual citizen of Mexico and USA. I have both passports but my Mexican passport is expired. I drove into Mexico and didn’t stop to get the FMM, because I consider myself Mexican and have an IFE and Mexican birth certificate if anybody questions me. My question is this. I plan on flying back to the USA with my American passport from Jalisco. What happens to me if I use my American passport to leave Mexico at the airport, and they ask me for my FMM? Can I just show them my IFE and say that I’m Mexican and don’t need an FMM?? Thank you

  2. Maria Pineda says

    One question: I’m a US citizen planning to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico. I have my US passport ready, but I have yet to get the required FMM. This is my question: Which one do I need, the “by land” or “by air” form? Although I am entering by land through a US/Mexico border crossing (Calexico/Mexicali), I am flying from Mexicali, BC, Mexico. I don’t want to err in this, because I don’t want to have to pay for two forms. Thank you in advance for responding.

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Maria, the online FMM application procedure is quite new and you’d need to contact the INM direct to ask them to be sure, although it’s probably the Air option you need. Another option would be for you to get your FMM in person at the land border, and take that to the airport with you.

  3. David says

    I am flying back to Vancouver next week only because I want to turn around and come back to Puerto Vallarta and stay another 180 days. For a four day visit back to Canada, it’s going to cost me approximately $2,000 as I no longer have a casa there.
    Today an expat from Calgary told me that I can just go to immigration at the airport and pay a fee (around 2,400 pesos) and that immigration will then give me another 180 day visitors permit.

    Is this true, and will it affect the next time I want to leave Mexico and return?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi David,

      According to immigration law, it’s not possible to extend the FMM (Visitor’s permit) beyond 180 days and you must leave the country; it cannot be extended at a Mexican airport. We do not believe that what you have heard is reliable information.

  4. Darrell says

    I am in Monterrey with a foreign vehicle and FMM. I would like to travel to McAllen for a few hours. Do I need to surrender my FMM and vehicle permit?

  5. Frank says

    I need to go to Juarez for a 3 hour business meeting.
    Do I need to get an FMM for this?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Frank

      No, as the article says, you only need a FMM is you intend to travel beyond the ~35km “free zone”. As Juarez is on the border and well within the free zone, there is no need to get a FMM.

  6. Mike says

    Hi, not sure if this thread is still active, but I’ll try my question and see. Is Mexican immigration strictly enforcing the only 180 days per year requirement? We are planning to stay near Puerto Vallarta 5 months until Christmas, then fly home for the holidays then hopefully fly back to the RV with a fresh 180 days and continue south to Central America. Do you know if that’s possible. Thanks

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Mike,
      The 180 day limit is per-visit, not per year. So you can remain up to 180 days in Mexico, and then you must leave the country. You can return afterwards (there is no minimum time you have to be away before you can return) and get an additional 180 days.

  7. Lirika Visser says

    Hi there, I am a South African citizen and want to visit Mexico. I know that I need a visa but is it true that if I have a valid US tourist visa currently that I do not need to apply again? Kind Regards, Lirika

  8. Adam says

    Hi Mexperience, great article and thank you for the information. I am coming up to the end of my 180 day FMM permit. I am in Yucatan taking care of my grandparents place. I need to stay here longer, is there any way to extend my stay without leaving here? I am U.S. citizen and my grandparents are Mexican. I’m staying in Yucatan and I need to stay longer because my grandmother returned for her U.S. residency renewal; my grandfather returned to the U.S. because of health issues. Thank you.

  9. Stephen says

    We live near the border and are planning to take a taxi to the Reynosa airport and fly to Mexico City from there (ridiculously cheaper). Would we have to stop at the border and get the form there or could we do it at the Reynosa airport? Thank you.

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Stephen,
      You might be able to get one at the airport, but to be sure, it’s probably best to stop at the border and get one there. It would be a nuisance to get to the airport and be sent back to the border for your FMM.

      • Rod says

        Do NOT plan on getting your FMM at the Reynosa airport. You may well be sent back to the bridge/border depending on the agent in charge that day.

  10. Derek says

    Hi there!
    A quick note: you guys are awesome!

    My friend’s mother (American) owns a paddle boarding business in Manzanillo. I (also American) want to spend up to six months volunteering there. I’ll be staying at the house she owns free of rent, which is nice.

    Since I won’t be on a payroll of any kind, I won’t have to get any special permits, right? It’s my understanding that I’ll only have to fill out a Forma Migratoria Multiple. Is that correct or am I overlooking something here?

    I appreciate the help–thank you!

  11. John says

    I turned in my FMM when I left Mexico, but they did not put an exit stamp in my passport. Will that matter in the future?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi John,
      No exit stamp is placed in passports when you hand-back your FMM, so you should have no problems when you revisit in the future.

      • John says

        Thank you so much for the response. That makes me feel so much better about when I drive into Mexico in January.

  12. Rondell says

    Do all children regardless of age need a tourist visa? We are visiting family for 2 weeks I’m Monterrey.

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Rondell

      Your children will need their own FMM (which you complete on their behalf, on the flight or at the border).

  13. Mercedez Christensen says

    I was planning a trip (honeymoon) to Mazatlan for one week from the U.S. in August, but I do not yet have my Passport (applying for it this week). I read that it’s best to have it 6 months prior to visiting, but the immigration officer may allow me to visit anyway. Who should I contact to know for sure if I would be allowed in the country or not?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Mercedez,

      The recommendation is that your passport is valid for at least six months, but if you have a return ticket, the immigration officer is very likely to allow you entry to Mexico even if your passport expires in less than six months.

      You could contact your nearest Mexican Consulate for advice. You can find a directory of Mexican Consulates overseas here on Mexperience
      http://www.mexperience.com/lifestyle/mexico-essentials/mexican-consulates-abroad/

      • Cristina D says

        Hi Mexperience,

        My husband is a U.S. Citizen, but he lost his passport. He only has his California ID. We are planning on traveling to Guanajuato in September, but is not enough time to get a passport. Would they allow him to travel with the FMM and his ID? Is there any other documents we can provide that would allow him to travel?

  14. Earl says

    I have a temporary residence card (Residente Temporal). I now need to fly to the US and do not have a FMM card. Will I be allowed? I could get an FMM card each time I enter by land, but because I do not have to return every 180 days, the FMM card could be expired by the time I might need to fly.

    • Mexperience says

      Earl,

      As you are a temporary resident of Mexico, you no longer enter and exit Mexico with a Visitor’s Visa (FMM). When you leave Mexico, attend the immigration desk at the airport (after passing through security). Show them your resident card and complete the simple form they provide (this is done for statistical purposes). They will stamp this and your passport. When you return, you don’t fill-out a FMM, but instead present your resident card to the immigration official with the piece of paper you were given when you left.

  15. Stephen hartley says

    Hi, my wife is a filipino ciyizen but has a uk residents card as a spouse. Dies she need a visa for a holiday

  16. Ruby says

    Hi,
    I am travelling to Cancun from London (Gatwick Airport) in Semptember and wondered if you could tell me if I will have to pay the fee on the plane?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Ruby

      The tourist permit fee is usually included in the flight’s ticket price under “taxes and fees”. If it’s not, then the airline will ask for payment separately. Check with your airline for details.

  17. Chuck says

    Recently I lost my FMM while on a trip in Campeche (laundry machine got it). I just wanted to share that it was not as easy as just going to the immigration office. I had to go to the immigration office, get some papers to fill out, get a police report saying that I lost it, fill out a form online, provide copies of ID and passport, go to the bank to pay the fee, return to the immigration office to get new FMM. Just thought I would share my experience. It’s not as simple as going to the immigration office (at least not in the state of Campeche).

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Chuck, thank you for sharing your experience: while procedures will vary by state (some may not ask for a police report) the bureaucracy is time consuming and a reminder to folks to take good care of the FMM (Visitor Visa) card while you’re in Mexico. A tip is to fold it into your passport and use a paperclip to make sure it doesn’t slip out.

  18. rebecca chan says

    I’m flying from Vancouver into Cancun and crossing the border to Belize from chetumal. And returning from San Pedro to Chetumal. Can I use my FMM card for multiple land entries before I fly home from Cancun? Do I still have to hand in my FMM card over to immigration?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Rebecca, you can’t use the FMM for multiple entries. You need to surrender each one when you leave Mexico and complete a new form when you return.

  19. Mac says

    I have a stamped fmm form when entering Mexico by land, but I didn’t pay a fee. Am I supposed to pay it to someone while I’m here before I leave?

    • Mexperience says

      Hi Mac, If you don’t travel beyond the 35km “free zone”, there is nothing to pay. If you have traveled beyond the free zone, then you may like to visit the local Mexican immigration office/kiosk at the border before you leave, for clarification.

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