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 started to phase out the paper version of the FMM forms. As of now, many ports of entry across Mexico no longer use them.
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, or asked to complete a paper FMM form when you’re resident in Mexico and leave the country, 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 or exit through—the changes are being rolled out on a gradual basis.
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 are updating this article as additional information becomes available. Meanwhile:
If you arrive in Mexico as a visitor
- Continue to complete a paper FMM form if it’s available at the port of entry.
- If you apply online for a FMM, continue to follow the procedures stated on the online system.
- If a paper version of the FMM is stamped and given back to you at the port of entry, keep this safe—you’ll need it to exit Mexico when you leave.
- If you don’t get a paper version of the FMM, the immigration official will place a stamp in your passport instead, in lieu of the paper FMM. This will also be marked to show how many days you have been granted to stay as a visitor. You’ll need to show this page when you leave Mexico.
If you arrive with a residency visa in your passport
- If you arrive in Mexico with a residency visa sticker, continue to complete a paper FMM form if it’s available at the port of entry.
- If a paper version of the FMM is stamped and given back to you, keep this safe. You will need to give this to the immigration office when you are exchanging a residency visa for a residency card.
- If you are not issued with a paper FMM when you arrive in Mexico with a residency visa sticker, the immigration official will place a stamp in your passport instead, in lieu of the paper FMM, and will mark this with the word “Canje.” Show this page to the immigration office when you go to exchange your visa for a residency card.
If you’re already resident in Mexico with a card
- If you are already resident in Mexico and have your residency card remember that you need to register your departure at the port of exit before you leave.
- Many ports are now stamping passports instead of using paper FMM forms to register residents’ departures and returns.
- Continue to attend the immigration kiosk at the port of exit to register your departures and follow the guidance given by the immigration official at the port.
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:
- Learn about Mexico’s visitor permit, the FMM.
- Read the FAQs related to Mexico’s FMM
- Learn about the exchange procedure when you have a residency visa sticker in your passport
- Learn about the entry and exit procedures at Mexican ports.
- Discover the principal routes for obtaining legal residency in Mexico
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