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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 can be valid for no longer than 180 days and allow the person to remain in Mexico as a tourist for the allotted period.It must be handed in when before the tourist can leave the country.

Border Zone

Back then, a tourist card was not required of travelers who remained within the United States border zone for up to 72 hours.These days, the card will be required of any non-Mexican tourist who remains in the country even for a period less than six months.
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To get a tourist card, one must pay a fee of around $23 USD.If you are coming to Mexico on a cruise or by air, your tourist card fee will be included in the total 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 such a case, you can pay for your card at a bank once you get to 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.

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.

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.

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 give them your tourist card or if your tourist card has expired, you might 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 want to stay in Mexico for longer than the time provided on your tourist card, you can apply for an extension.However, under no circumstances will a tourist be allowed to stay longer than 180 days; if you would like to stay longer, you need to leave the country and reenter it, or just apply for a different type of visa.