Immigration & Visas, Mexico Essentials

Your Mexico Visitors Permit, FMM

Mexico offers visitor permits for visits lasting 180 days or less to passport holders on its 'no visa required' list

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 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.

How long can you stay in Mexico with a Visitors Permit (FMM)?

The Visitors Permit is valid for a maximum of 180 days* (about 6 months) from the date you enter Mexico.  This allowance is given per entry: every time you exit and re-enter Mexico the 180-day allowance ‘resets.’ (You surrender your current FMM when you leave and get a new FMM when you return.)  For example, if you enter Mexico on March 1st, you must leave by no later than August 28th; but if you leave on June 1st, and re-enter on June 18th of the same year, the effective exit date on your new FMM will be December 15th. Be sure to count the days as some months are longer than others.

If you enter Mexico as a tourist, to volunteer, or as a business visitor, then the immigration official at the port of entry will usually grant you 180 days’ leave to remain; this will also be written on the part of the form that’s handed to you for safe-keeping. Check to see how many days you are granted and calculate your exit date accordingly.

*If you visit Mexico on a cruise ship, the immigration officer will usually only mark a maximum of 21 days on the FMM.  If you are only in-transit through a Mexican airport or if you are using a FMM to enter Mexico to exchange a residency visa for a residency card, then the maximum number of days written on the permit will be 30.

Can a Visitors 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.  In most cases, visitors are granted the maximum 180-day allowance at the port of entry; but 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.

How long do I have to remain outside of Mexico before returning under the auspice of a new FMM?

There is no time limit to remain outside the country before re-entering using a new FMM—and thus obtaining another 180 days’ leave to remain in Mexico.  Some people have been using this flexibility to stay here 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 — may now have 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 temporary residency in Mexico.

Can a Visitors Permit be exchanged for a Residency Permit?

In a small number of circumstances, mostly related to Family Unit situations, a FMM 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.

Lost your Visitors 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.

Kept your Visitors 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.

Over-stayed on your Visitors Permit?

If you overstay the time you were granted on your visitors permit (usually 180 days, see section above), 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$8,000 pesos.  If you do this and you are flying out of Mexico, we recommend you go to the airport with your expired FMM at least a couple of days before your flight date so that you can attend the INM office and explain your situation. complete the required forms, pay the fine at the bank and get an exit permit; otherwise you might miss your flight.

FMM applications online

There is an option to apply for your visitor permit 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.  If you have questions or experience difficulties with the online procedure, please contact the INM directly.  Most people continue to complete their FMM in-flight, or upon arrival at the airport or land/sea border.

Further information

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

For information about long-term residency, including permits for living, retirement, and working in Mexico, connect to the Mexico Immigration page and download a copy of our comprehensive Mexico Immigration Guide (free eBook).

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

Mexico in your inbox

Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.


  1. 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.

  2. 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. If you over-stay on a FMM, you need to pay a fine at the (air)port you leave from; the fine is based on the number of days over-stay and tops out at around $6,000 pesos.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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. The 180-day rule per-visit is strictly enforced.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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 need to attend an immigration kiosk at the airport/border before you depart the country. There, show the immigration official your resident card and complete the FMM they will give you. Keep the larger half of the stamped FMM safe until your return. When you return, you don’t fill-out a new FMM, but instead present the half of the FMM they gave you when you left Mexico, along with your resident card to the immigration official. This will enable re-entry to Mexico as a resident.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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