A FMM, or a tourist visa card, allows you to enter Mexico for up to 180 days for visitors from most countries. You can check here at VisaHQ to be certain on the visa requirements for your country.
Prior to the expiration date, you should return your FMM card to an immigration official at the airport or at a border crossing, as long as you are not returning back during the same time period of your valid FMM.
NOTE: Some people do choose to re-enter Mexico on the same FMM, if it is still valid. They will do this for brief trips out of Mexico, where they plan to return within the validity period. There is nothing illegal about doing so.
The FMM cannot be extended while inside Mexico. However, you can obtain an FMM online and re-enter Mexico at the border.
IMPORTANT: If you have received a Temporary or Permanent Resident Visa and have left Mexico, DO NOT re-enter Mexico under the tourist category or obtain an FMM tourist card.
This will instantly void your residency status, and you’ll have to repeat the immigration process over again at a Mexican consulate outside of Mexico, or at an immigration office inside Mexico, depending on your situation.
APPLYING FOR A NEW FMM WHILE INSIDE MEXICO:
If you lose your FMM while you are in Mexico, you can get a replacement card at the immigration office inside the airport.
You will have to pay a $500 MXN peso fee. You’ll then have 30 days to use the document to leave and cross the border. There, it must be stamped upon entry / re-entry.
It is against the law in Mexico to make a color copy of your Mexican tourist visa card, your Mexican driver’s license or any other Mexican government issued ID. It is considered fraud and the penalties are serious.
It’s recommended that you take a picture of your FMM, residency card and passport with your phone, just in case you lose one of them.
When you are in Mexico, there is no requirement that you have your visa on your person at all times. A photo of your ID and visa in your phone is sufficient.
APPLYING FOR A NEW FMM WHEN OUTSIDE OF MEXICO:
If you are arriving by airplane, you will be provided an FMM form to fill out on the aircraft. Fill it out correctly and completely, or you’ll be refused service, and will have to go to the back of the immigration line and start again.
If you plan on driving in or crossing into Mexico by land, you will be provided an FMM when you reach the immigration checkpoint. Or you can obtain your FMM in advance by applying online.
Click here to apply for a new FMM online, then follow the instructions below.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ONLINE FMM APPLICATION:
Click the green button “FMM App”. Read the first page (Terms and Conditions or “Términos y Condiciones”) and accept them at bottom where it reads “He leído y acepto los términos y condiciones”. Next, enter in the required information on the FMM form in Spanish. Save (“guardar”) the form. Pay the fee of $500 MXN pesos with your credit or debit card. Print the FMM document along with your proof of payment.
FMM Fee Refund Requests from Airlines who Automatically Charge the Tourist Fee
If you’re already a Temporary Resident or Permanent Resident and you fly into Mexico, you’re most often charged the FMM fee by the airline.
You can get a refund from the airline’s web site if you paid for the FMM and didn’t need to.
They usually have a link somewhere on the site regarding “refunds”.
According to their claim for refund requirements, you’ll likely need to send them digital copies or photos of your: 1) Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente visa card, 2) e-Ticket or ticket receipt and 3) boarding pass.
Example: If you flew with United, you’d go to united.com > reservations > refunds > select ‘E-ticket Refund’ and scroll down. Fill in your information.
One way to avoid being overcharged is to pay attention when you are booking online. Airlines often ask you to put your country of residence. Select Mexico, and you won’t be charged the tourist tax.
CURIOUS IF YOU CAN LIVE IN MEXICO ON A TOURIST VISA?
Many people already are. Find out more in our online program here: