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Mexico Tourist Visa: What to Know

Mexico tourist visas, known as FMM cards, are mandatory for foreign visitors to Mexico. Some travelers may be confused on this point as the laws have recently changed. Before, travelers who planned to remain in the border zone could visit for up to 72 hours without the need for an FMM card. Immigration is a federal institute in Mexico, so even though local municipalities encourage short-term tourists by not enforcing federal laws – it’s still the law. According to federal law visitors in Mexico must have a Mexico tourist permit or visa.

FMM Tourist Card

What Is a Mexico Tourist Permit?

A Mexico tourist permit is referred to in Mexico as a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM). It is a tourist permit that is usually valid for up to 180 days. It is not a work permit; foreign guests who plan to work will need a work visa. The tourist card is a permit that allows the visitor to remain legally in the country for a period of time. And as of 2020, you can cross back and forth without having to turn it in.

How Much Does a Mexico Tourist Visa Cost?

The cost for a Mexico tourist visa is $30 USD. In many instances, the visa may be included in travelers’ airfare or cruise packages. If you’re planning to drive to Mexico, you can purchase your Mexico tourist card from a Mexican consulate before you leave for your visit or upon entry to Mexico. Remember, Mexican car insurance is also required if you are planning to drive your vehicle into Mexico.

Can I Apply for the Mexico Tourist Visa Online?

Yes. Travelers can apply for their tourist card online by clicking here: Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM). Be sure to apply at least seven days before you plan to enter Mexico. You can fill out the application online and pay online as well. Remember, for the tourist visa to be valid, it must be stamped by an immigration office when you enter the country. So even if you come prepared by filing online, you still need to stop.

How Long Is the Tourist Permit Good for?

Tourists can typically stay in Mexico on a tourist permit for up to six months or 180 days. However, the immigration official who stamps the permit may issue a shorter period of time like 30 or 60 days with the understanding that the traveler can request to extend their permit. No travelers may stay on a tourist permit for longer than 180 days. If you do stay longer than allowed, you may be required to pay a fine. Permits for less than 7 days are free.

Keep Your Mexico Tourist Permit Safe

You no longer need to present your Mexico tourist card when leaving the country, but be sure you keep it safe. Many travelers keep the permit along with their passport. If you lose the permit, you can get a replacement from a nearby immigration office but you’ll be required to pay a fee.

If you have any other questions about Mexico’s tourist permit, visit Mexico’s National Immigration Institute.

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