Mexican Tourist Cards and Getting 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 must be handed in when before the tourist can leave 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.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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A tourist card can be obtained for a fee of about $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.
However, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM) now lets travelers apply and pay for a tourist card online up to a week prior to entering 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.
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 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 want to stay in Mexico for longer than the time provided on your tourist card, you can apply for an extension.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.