Mexican Tourist Cards and Getting One
A tourist card, also referred to as an FMM (“Forma Migratoria Multiple” or formerly an FMT), is a tourist permit required for all international travelers to Mexico who will not be doing in any sort 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.
Before, travelers who were staying within the United States border zone for as long as 72 hours were not required to have a tourist card.Today, the card is required for any non-Mexican visitor who remains 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 traveling over land, you can secure a tourist card at your point of entry or from a Mexican consulate before you leave for Mexico.In this case, you will have to pay for your card at a bank once you arrive in Mexico.
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 keep in mind that the tourist card has to be stamped by an immigration official as you arrive in Mexico, or it will be rendered invalid.
Maximum possible stay is 180 days or 6 months, but the time actually given will be determined by the immigration official (30 to 60 days for first-timers in most cases); for longer stays, the tourist card would have to be extended.
You need to keep your tourist card in a secure place since you will have to surrender it to immigration officials prior to your departure.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 any reason there might be, you should pay a fee in order to get a new one at an immigration office, or you will be fined as you leave the country.
Extending Your Tourist Card’s Validity
If you want to stay in Mexico for longer than the time provided on your tourist card, you can apply for an extension.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.