Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Your Mexico Visitors Permit, FMM

Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) Visitor's Permit Mexico

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 visitor’s permit form at the port of entry, known as a Forma Migratoria Multiple, or FMM.  Crews on international flights hand these out before the plane lands, and they are also available at immigration check points beyond the 35km ‘free zone’ when you cross into Mexico by land or sea.

The Mexican government levies a fee for these 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 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, 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$30) 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.

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?


  1. 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).

  2. 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?

  3. 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


      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.

  4. 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

  5. Ruby says

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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