Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Mexico Begins to Phase Out Paper Versions of the FMM

Mexico’s immigration service has begun to phase out use of paper versions of the FMM—the multi-purpose visitor permits and arrival form

Paper FMM forms being phased out

For decades, people who’ve arrived in 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, have completed a paper form known as Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) at the port of entry.

Multi-purpose paper arrivals form

In addition to being a visitor’s permit, the form is also used by those arriving with visa stickers in their passport issued by Mexican consulates abroad, particularly residency visas.

The half of the paper form that is stamped and given to you for safe keeping is used by visitors to exit the country, or as part of the process when you are apply to exchange your residency visa to a residency card.

The FMM form is sometimes issued to passengers by airlines, and they are also available at ports of entry.  If you apply for a FMM online, the current procedure requires you to print a paper copy and carry this with you when you come to Mexico.

Mexico’s paper FMM forms being phased out

Beginning the summer of 2022, Mexico has started to phase out the paper version of the FMM forms.

However: the immigration rules, procedures, and time scales —for example the number of days you can stay in Mexico as a visitor, and the need to exchange a residency visa for a residency card— have not changed.

The phasing out of the FMM paper forms is happening on graduated basis.

If you are not issued with a a paper FMM when you arrive in Mexico, the immigration official will place a stamp in your passport, instead.

Whether a paper FMM is stamped and the visitor half given back to you, or whether you have no paper to deal with and a stamp is placed in your passport will depend on which Mexican port you enter through—the changes are being rolled out on a gradual basis, by port.

Eventually, all paper FMMs will be phased out and everyone will be given a stamp in their passport instead.

How to navigate the transition period

We are still learning about the changes taking place and will update this article as additional information becomes available.  Meanwhile:

  • If you arrive in Mexico as a visitor, continue to complete a paper FMM form if they are available at the port of entry;
  • If you apply online for a FMM, continue to follow the procedures stated on the online system;
  • If you arrive in Mexico with a residency visa sticker continue to complete a paper FMM form (if they are available at the port of entry); and
  • If a paper version of the FMM is stamped and given back to you, keep this safe. You will need it to exit Mexico if you are here as a visitor, or you will need to present this to the INM office when you are exchanging a residency visa for a residency card
  • If you are not issued with a paper FMM, the immigration official will stamp in your passport instead, in lieu of the paper FMM.

Immigration rules and time scales unchanged

Remember that the immigration rules and time scales remain unchanged, for example:

  • The official at the port of entry will stipulate how many days stay in Mexico you have if you arrive as a visitor. This number will be written in your stamped passport instead of the on the FMM paper and will not exceed 180 days.
  • If you come with a residency visa in your passport, you have 30 days from the date of your arrival in Mexico to exchange your residency visa for a residency card.

Learn more about Mexico visas and immigration

Mexperience publishes extensive information about visas and immigration to Mexico, including: