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 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.
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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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 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 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.
The maximum length of your stay is 6 months or 180 days, but the actual time given is at the immigration official’s discretion (usually from 30 to 60 days initially); for a longer stay, the tourist card will also have to be extended.
You have to keep your tourist card in a safe place as you will be required to surrender it to immigration officials before you leave.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, you have to pay a fee to get a new one at an immigration office, or you could be fined as you’re leaving 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.