Mexican Tourist Cards/Visas (FMM)
Tourist Card (FMM) Facts:
- The FMM is a document issued by Mexico's INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración aka INAMI)
- Casually called a tourist card or tourist "visa" although it is not officially a visa
- Issued to U.S., Canadian and other nationalities for vacation purposes
- Easily obtained at an INM office at the border. (May be available online in the near future).
- Requires a valid passport or passport card
- Cost as of September 2015, $332 Pesos (appx U.S. $20) per person; FREE if the trip is 7 days or less and you cross by land
- May be issued for up to 180 days
See where to get a tourist card at the El Chaparral border crossing (San Ysidro/Tijuana).
What is a tourist card (FMM)?
According to the INM
, an FMM, or Forma Migratoria Múltiple is an "admission document" issued to vacationing visitors of certain nationalities. Although the tourist card (FMM) is also popularly known as a tourist "visa," it is not officially a visa. U.S. and Canadian citizens driving to Mexico for vacation may obtain a tourist card (FMM) within minutes at a Mexican immigration office at the border with only a valid passport or passport card. The tourist card (FMM) may be issued for up to 180 days and is issued per person including children.
Tourist Card - FMM
When is a tourist card (FMM) required?
A tourist card (FMM) is required for all tourists who enter Mexico.
It is important to note that in Baja, even
though you may take your vehicle to the end of the peninsula without
a vehicle permit (see vehicle importation
regulations) you are required to have a tourist card (FMM) in order to travel anywhere in the state.
Who may obtain a tourist card (FMM)?
If you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen traveling to Mexico for tourist reasons, you may only need a tourist card (FMM). For citizens of other countries, view the INM's list of Countries and Regions That Do Not Require a Visa To Travel to Mexico - but DO require an FMM.
List of Countries and Regions That Require a Visa to Travel to Mexico
What type of documentation do I need to obtain a tourist card (FMM)?
If you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen you will need to have a valid passport or passport card
to present to the Mexican Immigration officials in order to get a tourist card (FMM).
What information is asked on the tourist card (FMM) form?
The following information as it appears on your passport:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Purpose of trip
- How you are entering Mexico: air, sea, land
How do I obtain a tourist card (FMM)?
Most tourists who drive across the border obtain their tourist
card from an immigration office at the border crossing. They are also available at border zone airports, airlines flying
to Mexico, travel agencies and other ports.
Keep in mind that if you obtain your tourist card before crossing the border, you will still have to stop at the Mexican immigration office at the border to document your entry date and to have your tourist card stamped by immigration officials. Tourist cards are no longer available at Mexican Consulates.
How much does a tourist card (FMM) cost?
As of September 2015, tourist cards cost $332.00 pesos (appx U.S. $20) and can be issued
for up to 180 days. It is advisable to have your card valid for 180 days even if you don't plan on staying in Mexico that
long. It is easier to already have the time granted to you than extend your card later if you stay longer.
The free tourist card (FMM): The tourist card is free if your stay in Mexico is 7 days or less and you are traveling by land into Baja. This isn't frequently advertised. Ask your local INM official.
What is the general procedure to get a tourist card (FMM)?
1. Fill out an FMM form at the immigration office (INM)*
2. Walk to the nearby bank and pay for the tourist card
3. Return to the INM office to get your tourist card stamped
*October 2015: INM is currently developing a website to buy and print out an FMM online. We will make an announcement when the website is ready. The FMM will still need to be stamped at the border at an INM office.
Is it possible to enter and exit Mexico multiple times with the same tourist card (FMM)?
Yes. The INM delegate for Baja California (Norte) announced in September 2015 that the FMM is now multiple entry for land travel in Baja California only.
What if I lose my tourist card (FMM)?
If you lose your tourist card, visit the nearest INM office in order to obtain a new one.
Does the tourist card (FMM) have to be returned to INM?
As of January 2015 according to INM, returning the FMM is not necessary in Baja California if you traveled by land. Although there is statement on the back of the FMM saying to return it, there is no procedure about how to return it or where to return it when crossing by land. The Federal INM Delgate in other regions may require that you turn it in and get an exit stamp. If you are not in the Baja Peninsula, it would be best to check with your local INM office.
Tourist Card Tips:
- Make sure that the Mexican officials stamp your card.
- Keep your card in a safe place.
- It is recommended to write down your FMM number in case it is lost or stolen.
Sources: Baja Bound staff, INM, U.S. Dept of State