Mexican Tourist Cards and Getting One
A tourist card, also known as FMM (“Forma Migratoria Multiple” or an FMT formerly), is a tourist permit that will be required for all foreign citizen travelers to Mexico who will not be involved in any type of remunerated work.Tourist cards are valid for up to 180 days and allow the owner to remain in Mexico as a tourist for the indicated time.It has to be handed in upon the tourist’s departure.
Back then, a tourist card was not required of travelers who remained within the United States border zone for up to 72 hours.Nowadays, the card is needed even by non-Mexican visitors staying in the country for less than six months.
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A tourist card can be obtained for a fee of about $23 USD.If you are coming in by air or on a cruise, your tourist card fee will already be included in the cost of your trip.If you travel by land, you can get the card at your point of entry or from a Mexican consulate before you depart for Mexico.In that case, you will need to pay for your card at a bank in Mexico as soon as you arrive.
But Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM) now lets tourists apply and pay for their card online no earlier than a week prior to their arrival in Mexico.
Just take note that the tourist card should be stamped by an immigration official as you enter Mexico, or , it will be invalid.
The maximum stay that may be given is 180 days or 6 months, but the immigration official will decide on the actual time (typically from 30 to 60 days for first-timers); longer stays require an extension of the tourist card’s validity.
Make it a point to keep your tourist card in a safe place because you will need to surrender it to immigration officials before you depart.If you can’t show them your tourist card or if it’s expired, you may have to pay fines.
What to Do If You Lost Your Card
If your tourist card is missing for whatever reason, you need to pay a fee to obtain a new one at an immigration office, or you may be fined as you’re departing from Mexico.
Extending Your Tourist Card’s Validity
If you would like to stay in Mexico beyond than the time indicated on your tourist card, you may apply for an extension of its validity.However, a tourist can never be allowed to stay longer than 180 days; if you want a longer stay, you will have to depart and then reenter the country, or just get a different type of visa altogether.