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Requirements for visiting Mexico 🇲🇽 as a tourist (FMM, "tourist card", visa, etc.)

Requirements for visiting Mexico 🇲🇽 as a tourist (FMM, "tourist card", visa, etc.)

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Old Jun 22, 19, 12:28 am   -   Wikipost
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The immigration requirements herein apply particularly to US Citizens and residents, though Canadian requirements are similar and listed in a following post (#6). Citizens of other countries should use the TIMATIC link below to determine entry requirements for Mexico; TIMATIC is what the airlines use to see if you have met the entry requirements of your transit and destination countries (and whether you will board or not).

Visitors may be issued "Forma Migratoria Múltiple para Extranjeros", but most will arrive with FMMs printed previously. You can see the requirements for visitors to Mexico and have the FMM emailed to you at https://www.mexicotouristcard.com.

The document, abbreviated "FMM" or often called "TOURIST CARDS", are valid for UP TO 180 days (but check how many days you are given by the admitting immigration officer). You must retain the portion returned to you and turn it in upon leaving México. Lose it and you will be delayed (required to fill out paperwork) and fined.

Link to Mini-Guide for Passengers Arriving by Airplane (PDF, Spanish)

You can easily download the immigration form from the web, fill it out and turn it in. You’ll still need to retain one portion to turn it in on departure, and you’ll still have to fill out a separate customs form. See this thread.

These requirements could theoretically change at any time; please check with the INM link shown below, as this thread may not be up to date and relied upon for specific Mexican government requirements, though the OP will attempt to keep it up to date. PLEASE READ THE OP THOROUGHLY.

See this official page to learn what you can, and can not, import into Mexico
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Old Sep 13, 22, 10:58 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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FMM multiple entry

For entering Mexico several times a year for stays under 7 days do you fill out FMM each time you enter? Or get a 180-day FMM every 6 months? We enter for day trips or frw day stays. Baja used to be a free zone, feels odd to need FMM to visit Baja through San Ysidro. In the pre 9/11 days and espcially back in the 80s no one in Mexico paid any attention to Americans visitong Baja.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 1:32 pm
  #122  
 
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Arrived home 9/11 to Puerto Vallarta after a few months in Ohio. I am RP, went thru Nationals' line. I had the return paperwork stamped RP from my exit b4 the the program started. I handed it to the INM agent, she said "nunca más" and handed it back to me. She asked me to lower my mask for ID with foto on RP card and passport, ran both thru their scanner, then stamped my passport and off I went. She didn't write "entrada" on the stamp. This is so much easier and efficient.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 2:43 pm
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by dylanmitchell View Post
For entering Mexico several times a year for stays under 7 days do you fill out FMM each time you enter? Or get a 180-day FMM every 6 months? We enter for day trips or frw day stays. Baja used to be a free zone, feels odd to need FMM to visit Baja through San Ysidro. In the pre 9/11 days and espcially back in the 80s no one in Mexico paid any attention to Americans visitong Baja.
You need a FMM anytime you enter Mexico outside the zone that requires them. Anytime you leave the country the previous Visa is invalid. They used to have an extended visa (like 10 years or something) that people with property in Mexico could use to come and go at their leisure without getting a new FMM visa on each trip. The only way to get that visa issued was to show up at the Mexican Embassy in your city, with the required paperwork which was similar to how Temporary and Permanent Residents start their visa process. You needed bank statements for about a year, and an application filled out. You could check with the Mexican embassy and see if they are still issuing those visas. They were valid for about 10 years, with 180 days usage every 6 months, meaning you had to leave the country by 180 days and then return. Not sure if they still have those or not. It would be a visa they adhere to one of your passport pages.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 9:33 pm
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
In the lobby near check-in, the INM office appeared to be closed.
And, there I figured out why I only needed my card as somebody from the National Guard with some kind of device and walking up the line in front of the counters, presumably to do the outbound checks.

I guess I will find out what happens when I check out.
I'm not sure if this is a hybrid method of dealing with residents or if this is a separate pilot program..
The IMN office at MZT was open on Monday so I figured it was time to check out.
There was another resident inside just getting ready to do the same so the officer inside just torn up the FMM in half and told the both us to fill out the bottom.
He didn't need to hear me explain to him that they took both sides so I guess this was how they will deal with residents using non-participating airports, take everything sans the card and passport upon entry and make us fill out new one and only the bottom when checking out at of MZT. Typed up a few things on the computer. He wrote "Res Temp" and stamped it, and my passport and returned everything to me. I gave the bottom to Alaska at MZT.

I heard a few tourists on our shuttle discussing the importance of having the bottom half so I assume they are still doing the old way for tourists.
I noticed that my stamps from Mexico look like this..
MMMZ (airplane graphic) DD SEP YY E
MMMZ (airplane graphic) DD SEP YY S
TPU (car graphic) DD AUG YY E

The "E" is entrada and the "S" is salida and codes which may be related to the state where it was stamped.
MMMZ is a given but I don't know what TPU is.

Originally Posted by dylanmitchell
For entering Mexico several times a year for stays under 7 days do you fill out FMM each time you enter? Or get a 180-day FMM every 6 months? We enter for day trips or frw day stays. Baja used to be a free zone, feels odd to need FMM to visit Baja through San Ysidro. In the pre 9/11 days and espcially back in the 80s no one in Mexico paid any attention to Americans visitong Baja.
I never did, and there were a few times where I used the same180-day FMM when using San Ysidro while walking in, using either Puerta Este (at the end of the Blue line) or El Chaparral (near the mall). They would look at it and let me pass.
When I stopped walking in and started driving in, I still got the 180-day FMM and reused it for the its validity without checking in, rinse and repeat.
All I needed was the U.S. Passport Card and the 180-day FMM and I was set.

Once time, I had a valid 180-day FMM and figured it would be ok to use it while crossing CBX into TIJ, bad idea, that was taken away and I had to fill out a new one. Then I had to get another 180-day FMM after my trip was over. Boo.
Once Mexico tore down the old facility, the days of walking in was over.

Last edited by i0wnj00; Sep 13, 22 at 9:39 pm
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Old Oct 11, 22, 11:30 pm
  #125  
 
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If using CBX to enter TIJ you will start at the self-service kiosks in the lobby where you will slide your passport through the top end of the keyboard and use a computer to enter details of your flight. Since the MRZ part of passport already has your personal details on it, this part is already done for you. Take the printed FMM with you and make sure the information is correct. CBX personnel are present to assist customers self-service kiosks. Enter CBX and make your way into immigration hall. At this point you are given two choices 1.) Extranjeros/Foreigners 2.) Mexicanos. Signage will indicate which line you should be in and what documents you need. Most people will choose #1. A line monitor will direct you, as needed.

INM has a counter before baggage claim where foreigners show their documents. I don't know if it's always staffed, but they do have a spot to do outbound checks.

When I passed through CBX as of 10/09/2022-10/11/2022
Did everything up and until, choosing the line because signage says that Residents use the line for "Extranjeros/Foreigners" but when I told the line monitor in Spanish that I'm a Resident she pointed to a line which ended up being for "Mexicanos". The INM officer scanned both my Passport book and card, took both "entrada" and "salida" forms and stamped them both and told me in Spanish that I only need my card on me and to exit, exactly the same as MZT. For tourists, it's still the same hence the line.

For check out. In past they would spot me and ask for my FMM, but this time, for some reason, didn't see me or just didn't care. Apparently, he or somebody else already caught around 7 people because they were sitting against a wall. They do profile. I skipped this check out. I already had a crappy trip, dealing with high humidity and temps of 98-100F. I just wanted to do my 2hr 30 min drive back home...
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Old Nov 20, 22, 6:16 pm
  #126  
 
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I have traveled to Mexico many times over the years, usually flying into some airport and the immigration seems pretty typical - passport check and scan on the inbound to MX. get the stamped immigration card you keep until you leave when the airline collects it.. However the land crossing combined with a flight from TIJ seems odd/confusing. Please help me understand it..

Recently I took 2 trips from TIJ, crossing the land crossing then flying from TIJ to MEX City and back. I chose to NOT use the CBX on either trip, but took mexican taxis to/from the land crossings. The first time i used OTAY Mesa, and the second time I used San Ysidro. This is sort of where the confusion started as things were handled inconsistently at each crossing on the MEX side. Both crossings into MEX were in the wee hours and I pretty much was the only person crossing at that hour (around Midnight to 1 AM in each instance..)

OTAY - Crossed into MEX and there was a person (INM) who asked me if I had my documents and where I was going. I said to TIJ airport and then Mex City, so he took my passport and scanned it and wrote me out a "tourist card" himself and stamped it and gave me my half of it and sent me on my way. I remarked that the last time a few weeks later when I entered MEX City by air the INM people there didnt give me a tourist card, just scanned and stamped my passport and told me they quit doing the paper forms (which I was very happy about..). This person at Otay acted liked he had never heard of such a thing and just said they were still doing it.. So I took it and did my trip. On return to TIJ, I got off the plane went through baggage claim and passed the desk with "immigration" on it. As though I was coming from a Mexican city (domestic flight) I just passed on by doing nothing. However, you still had to put your bags through the X-Ray as if entering the country from an INTERNATIONAL flight...(odd..) before going out into the landside airport. Got my taxi and returned to Otay and crossed to US - asked US official if someone was supposed to have taken my copy back of the "tourist card" and he just replied "ahh, you can just trash that.."

San Ysidro - couple weeks later walked across at San Ysidro - went through the turnstile into Mexico and into dark Mexican immigration/customs area for foot traffic. INM person sitting in a booth but seemed half asleep when I walked up to him (had to wave to get his attention in an empty room..) and told him I was flying to Cancun "That's nice" he replied.. I asked if I needed a "tourist card" and he said "I don't have any right now... IF you want one you can get at airport, they have a booth when you go in" He waves me onward, I go around the corner and put my bag in Xray and go out and get taxi to airport. At airport I go to INM booth landside before entering security and ask guy about a "tourist card" as I am flying into the interior of Mexico (cancun) - he says he can give me one with there will be a cost of $600 pesos (like 30 US) - I question this as I have never PAID anything to immigration before in Mexico and found it odd. He just says "well, then yu can get one in Cancun probably if you want want one - no problem - the only place they are free is at San Ysidro and OTay crossing. Otherwise you have to pay" and goes back to his corner and keep watching a show on his phone (OK this is a new one..).. So I am like thinking to myself that I really don't care whether or not they give me one or not. I entered the country legally and properly through a designated crossing and will just go on with my trip - which I do with no problem. Besides, I had several stamps from prior visits in weeks prior so if anyone has a problem with it, they can just use one of those for reference. Upon return that night to TIJ, I exit the airport and pass the "immigration" desk in the baggage claim - no one seemed to be there anyway and then I pass the x rays after baggage claim which no one seemed to be manning at the moment. I just walk out into the landslide terminal and no one pays any mind. Get taxi back to San Ysidro foot crossing and cross back into US - no problem.

SO - several questions that are still stuck in my mind I would love to have answered:

1) Why is there an "immigration" desk and references to "immigration" etc. in the MEXICAN DOMESTIC portion of TIJ airport? TIJ is still legally Mexico, so why would they do any immigration checking in the domestic part of the airport? Same with the baggage x rays upon arrival from other parts of Mexico, I have never seem this at any other MExican airport when arriving domestically.. Its like they are considering a flight from MEX-TIJ to be an "international" flight and makes no sense..

2) Why did the immigration person (uniformed INM person) in the landside booth at TIJ want to charge me for a tourist card but then when I questioned it, just handed me back all my stuff without having scanned or recorded anything and acted like he was indifferent with whatever I wanted to do? That was a new one too

3) Is Mexico getting rid of the paper cards altogether? In my several recent trips, MEX City is no longer using them it appears for international arrriving passengers - just scanning and stamping passports. But (as per my experience in Baja) it seems very inconsistent elsewhere...

Any insight appreciated - Thanks!

Last edited by resolute; Nov 20, 22 at 6:23 pm
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Old Nov 26, 22, 10:54 am
  #127  
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Flying to CUN on Frontier. Frontier has sent me an email telling me I need to fill out a health questionaire, but I'm pretty sure that's now untrue. But what about the tourist card? "The internet" seems confused about these cards. Is Mexico still requiring them -- it seems like they're being phased out? I see there's a link in the Flyertalk Wikipost where I could print out a form to fill in the tourist card information. Any reason to do this anymore?
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Old Nov 26, 22, 6:19 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Flying to CUN on Frontier. Frontier has sent me an email telling me I need to fill out a health questionaire, but I'm pretty sure that's now untrue. But what about the tourist card? "The internet" seems confused about these cards. Is Mexico still requiring them -- it seems like they're being phased out? I see there's a link in the Flyertalk Wikipost where I could print out a form to fill in the tourist card information. Any reason to do this anymore?
Mexico doesn't ask you to fill out a health questionnaire. Maybe that's a Frontier liability thing? I certainly didn't have to fill that out on either of my two AA flights to Mexico this year.

I wouldn't bother with the tourist card. If they give it to you on the plane, you can fill it out then. If they don't, and you need it, you can get it at passport control after you land. It takes all of 1-2 minutes to fill out; it's not worth thinking about any more than you have to.
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Old Nov 26, 22, 9:45 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Flying to CUN on Frontier. Frontier has sent me an email telling me I need to fill out a health questionaire, but I'm pretty sure that's now untrue. But what about the tourist card? "The internet" seems confused about these cards. Is Mexico still requiring them -- it seems like they're being phased out? I see there's a link in the Flyertalk Wikipost where I could print out a form to fill in the tourist card information. Any reason to do this anymore?
As the other poster stated, NEITHER is required any longer. You get your passport stamped...no more tourist cards. And the health questionaire was discontinued in January 2022.
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Old Nov 28, 22, 2:11 pm
  #130  
 
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Just came through T2 MEX on Friday. Can confirm, no more form. Passport stamped, days/date written in. 180 days for a trip scheduled to last 16 days...
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Old Nov 28, 22, 7:59 pm
  #131  
 
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I am planning to visit Mexico in the beginning of January 2023. I just realized my US passport expired in May 2023. Does Mexico require 6 month validity for passport like Europe? When I went to the state dept site, it said for Mexico you only need a valid non-expired passport. But I google it, the result says 6 months validity. I am not even sure I could get mine renew in time for the 1/4/2023 flight.
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Old Nov 28, 22, 11:12 pm
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
I am planning to visit Mexico in the beginning of January 2023. I just realized my US passport expired in May 2023. Does Mexico require 6 month validity for passport like Europe? When I went to the state dept site, it said for Mexico you only need a valid non-expired passport. But I google it, the result says 6 months validity. I am not even sure I could get mine renew in time for the 1/4/2023 flight.
From the website of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.:
The Mexican government only requires that your passport must be valid during the entirety of your trip.
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Old Nov 29, 22, 9:48 am
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
I am planning to visit Mexico in the beginning of January 2023. I just realized my US passport expired in May 2023. Does Mexico require 6 month validity for passport like Europe? When I went to the state dept site, it said for Mexico you only need a valid non-expired passport. But I google it, the result says 6 months validity. I am not even sure I could get mine renew in time for the 1/4/2023 flight.
as TWA884 pointed out, you should be okay depending upon the length of your trip. But you probably have time to renew, renewals with no problems are taking just 3 to 4 weeks to receive the renewal back. Current US passport wait? (Merged Threads) - FlyerTalk Forums
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Old Nov 29, 22, 7:00 pm
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
as TWA884 pointed out, you should be okay depending upon the length of your trip. But you probably have time to renew, renewals with no problems are taking just 3 to 4 weeks to receive the renewal back. Current US passport wait? (Merged Threads) - FlyerTalk Forums
Thanks! I am only staying 6 days. It is kind of chancy to renew it even with expedite 3 to 5 weeks as it is Christmas time! Reading up on this, it seems like US citizen could enter Mexico with Global Entry card which I have and more than 6 months before expiring. I just need US passport to return to US. I probably will bring my GE card just in case something goes wrong.
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Old Nov 30, 22, 12:32 pm
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
Thanks! I am only staying 6 days. It is kind of chancy to renew it even with expedite 3 to 5 weeks as it is Christmas time! Reading up on this, it seems like US citizen could enter Mexico with Global Entry card which I have and more than 6 months before expiring. I just need US passport to return to US. I probably will bring my GE card just in case something goes wrong.
You should double check with the Mexican Embassy or one of its consulates to get verification on the idea of relying on Mexico accepting a Global Entry card as acceptable travel documentation to enter Mexico. I suspect you will find your idea is incorrect.

Global Entry is a program to expedite entry into the United States, No other country uses it to allow entry into that country, especially if entering the country by aircraft (I have not heard but maybe Mexico has an exception for US nationals at land crossings?). Mexico does have its own version called Viajero Confiable but one must enroll in that program: Viajero Confiable Mexico | Instituto Nacional de Migración | Gobierno | gob.mx (www.gob.mx)
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