Understanding Mexican Tourist Cards and How to Get One
A tourist card, also termed an FMM (“Forma Migratoria Multiple” or FMT previously), is a tourist permit that is needed for all foreign citizen travelers to Mexico who will not be doing in any kind of remunerated work.Tourist cards may be valid for a maximum of 180 days and let the holder stay in Mexico as a tourist for the specified time.It will be handed in as the tourist departs the country.
Years ago, travelers who stayed within the United States border zone for up to 72 hours were not obliged to get a tourist card.Nowadays, the card is needed even by non-Mexican visitors staying in the country for less than six months.
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To get a tourist card, one must pay a fee of around $23 USD.When traveling by air or on a cruise, you will have paid your tourist card fee as part of 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 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.
Don’t forget that your tourist card needs to be stamped by an immigration official upon your arrival in Mexico; otherwise, it will not be valid.
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.
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 your tourist card or if your tourist card is expired, you could be fined.
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 would like to stay in Mexico beyond than the time indicated on your tourist card, you may apply for an extension of its validity.No tourist can be allowed to stay longer than 180 days however; if you must stay longer, you can leave and reenter the country, or just get a different kind of visa.