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 visitors permit, known as Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM, at the port of entry.
- If you arrive in Mexico by land, you will need to get a visitors permit at the port of entry;
- If you fly to Mexico, air crews on international flights hand-out the visitor permit forms before the flight lands, and they are also available at Mexican airports, near the immigration desks
- If you are visiting a Mexican port(s) as part of a cruise ship, you’ll need to get a visitors permit at your first Mexican port of call.
(If the country that issued your passport appears on this list of countries which do require a visa for Mexico, read this.)
Fee for Mexico’s Visitor Visa (FMM)
If you arrive by land and leave Mexico within 7 days of your arrival date, there is no fee for the permit. If you fly into Mexico from overseas, the fee is usually included within your air ticket’s “fees and surcharges.” The fee is approximately US$25.
Keep Your Visitors Permit (FMM) Safe
Once completed, the immigration official at the port of entry will stamp both halves of the form and hand you the smaller half, stamped with the date you entered the country. It’s important to keep this document safe, as you will need to surrender it when you leave Mexico.
If you are departing Mexico on a flight, your airline will insist you surrender your stamped half of the Visitors Permit to them before they allow you to board.
If you have a Visitors Permit and are leaving the country by land you should voluntarily surrender your form to an immigration official before your departure. Failure to do so might cause delays the next time you try and enter Mexico.
Your Mexico Visitor Permit: FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Mexico’s visitor permit
How long can I stay in Mexico with a Visitors Permit (FMM)?
Your visitor permit is valid for the number of days granted by the immigration official and written on the permit —that will never exceed 180 days, but may be less than 180 days— starting from the date of your arrival. The arrival date is always stamped on the permit.
This allowance is given per entry: every time you exit and re-enter Mexico on another date the allowance ‘resets.’ (You surrender your current FMM when you leave and get a new FMM when you return.)
- If you enter Mexico as a tourist or visitor, to volunteer, or as a business visitor, then the immigration official at the port of entry will grant you a maximum 180 days to stay in Mexico.
- The number of days you are allowed to stay will be written on the part of the form that’s handed to you for safe-keeping.
- The date stamped on your permit is your arrival date.
- To determine the latest date you must leave Mexico, count the number days (some months are longer than others) from the arrival date stamped on your form.
Caution about Tampering with your FMM form
We’ve seen stories on Social Media that suggest some people might be manually altering the number of days written on the form. The form has a unique serial number printed on it that correlates to an electronic record of your entry to Mexico. The number of days you are granted is stored on that record and the INM will not take kindly to anyone tampering with the form by altering the number of days written on it by the immigration official.
What happens if I overstay my Visitor Permit?
If you overstay the time you were granted on your visitors permit (see previous question about validity), 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 overstayed; it is calculated on a per-day basis; contact your local immigration office (or the immigration kiosk at the airport) for details.
If you overstayed and are flying out of Mexico, we recommend you go to the immigration kiosk at the airport or your local immigration office with your expired visitor permit at least a couple of days before your flight date so that you can explain your situation, complete the required forms, pay the fine at the bank, and obtain an exit permit; otherwise you might miss your flight.
Can my Visitor Permit be extended or renewed?
Visitors Permits cannot be extended or renewed. If the immigration official at the port of entry writes a number fewer than 180 days on your Visitors Permit, you must leave Mexico within the time frame given to you by the official at the entry port.
Check your form to calculate your exit date based on the number of days you have been given: you must leave Mexico before it expires.
Learn more about the number of days being granted to people arriving in Mexico under the auspice of a visitor permit, FMM.
How long do I have to remain outside of Mexico before returning under the auspice of a new Visitor Permit?
There is no time limit to remain outside the country before re-entering using a new FMM—and thus obtaining up to another (maximum of) 180 days to stay in Mexico.
Caution – Using a visitor permit for continual re-entry to Mexico
Some people have been using the flexibility of the FMM to stay in Mexico longer-term; however, with today’s computerized entry and exit systems, immigration officials at ports of entry have ready-access to your movements through Mexico and ‘perpetual visitors’ —people who continuously enter, stay for a few months, exit and then re-enter Mexico in short order— are now having their intentions questioned at the port of entry.
We have heard of cases where people have been turned away; if you intend to stay in Mexico longer-term, we recommend you consider applying for residency in Mexico.
Also: Read this article about changes in the number of days being granted to people arriving in Mexico under auspice of a visitor permit, FMM.
Can a Visitor Permit be exchanged for a Residency Permit?
In a small number of circumstances, mostly related to Family Unit situations, a Visitor’s Permit can be exchanged for a residency permit in-country, but most people need to begin their application for residency in Mexico at a Mexican Consulate abroad.
What if I lose my Visitor Permit?
If you lose your Visitors Permit (FMM) while you’re in Mexico, you will need to visit one of the local 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.
What happens if I accidentally kept my Visitor 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.
How do I apply for a Visitor Permit online?
There is an option to apply for your visitor permit online, make the payment, print-out the form and get this stamped/confirmed at the border. Note that authorization for entry and the number of days granted remains at the discretion of the immigration official at the port of entry, even if you pre-apply online. See the eFMM Application Page on the Mexican immigration site for details, terms and conditions. If you have questions or experience difficulties with the online procedure, please contact the INM directly.
Here is some further information you may find helpful:
Documentation required for entry to Mexico
For a summary of the documentation required to enter Mexico, see Documents required for travel and entry to Mexico
Entry entry procedures at the Mexican border
To learn about the procedures at the Mexican border see Procedures for entering and leaving Mexico
Obtaining legal residency in Mexico
Mexperience publishes information and resources to help you learn about how to apply for and obtain legal residency in Mexico:
- Learn about the principal routes to obtaining legal residency
- Rea about the financial criteria to qualify for residency in Mexico
- See the latest residency-related fees charged by Mexico’s government
- Download our free eBook: Mexico Immigration Guide that encapsulates essential information about visas and residency permits for Mexico.
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