Mexican Tourist Cards and How to Get One

what is mexico tourist card

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Who Needs a Mexico Tourist Card?

How to get a tourist card in person, how to apply online, length of validity, what to do if you lose your card, how to extend your tourist card.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

Mexico tourist cards ( Forma Migratoria Multiple,  also known as FMT) are a government form declaring that the stated purpose of a visit to Mexico is tourism. Although more than one kind of Mexico visa exists, a Mexico tourist card essentially says the holder has the intention of vacationing in Mexico for no more than 180 days. The form requires minimal information including name, nationality, date of birth, the purpose for visiting, flight details, and the address of the place you'll be staying in Mexico. and address of stay in Mexico.

Travelers can think of it as a visa on arrival, as it functions in the same way, even though it's not technically a visa. Foreign nationals who will be working in Mexico are required to obtain a work visa from the National Immigration Institute (INM).

Be sure to hold on to your tourist card and keep it in a safe place, as you will need to hand it in when you are departing the country.

In the past, travelers who were remaining within the United States border zone for up to 72 hours did not need a tourist card. However, now the tourist card is required for most non-Mexican visitors to the country, including infants, who will remain for fewer than 180 days. 

Exceptions are granted, however, to travelers staying in Mexico for fewer than 24 hours. As of August 2022, Cancun International Airport has done away with tourist cards and customs forms for most foreign visitors, including U.S. passport holders. The 180-day rule still applies, however; travelers will instead receive a stamp upon arrival, ensuring that they stay no longer than what's allowed.

If flying into Mexico, passengers will be given a tourist card and instructions for filling it out onboard their plane—the cost of a tourist card (about $25) is included in the fare, so travelers won't need to pay upon arrival. The card is stamped at customs/immigration in the Mexico airport, showing the visitor is in the country legally. Should your flight attendant not hand you a tourist card, you can pick one up at an immigration desk at a Mexico airport.

If you're  driving ,  taking the bus , or walking into Mexico, the tourist card is given at the border inspection station/immigration office after showing your ID or passport  proving your U.S. citizenship. Visitors need to go to a bank and pay the card fee, and it will be stamped to show the payment was made. The next step is returning to a border immigration office to have the card stamped again—proof the holder is visiting the country legally.

Tourists can also get a tourist card at a  Mexico consular office  or  Mexico government tourism office  in a U.S. city before heading to Mexico.

To ensure a smooth customs process, you may find it easier to complete your immigration online via the Mexico Tourist Card website . You can apply for one within 30 days of your trip; unlike tourist cards that you can get in person, these are free.

Once you've filled out the application, you will receive your card—which consists of an entry form and exit form—via e-mail. You will need to print both; upon arrival in Mexico, you will present them to an immigration official, who will stamp your exit form and write in the number of days that you are allowed to stay in the country. The official will keep the entry form, but you will need to hold onto the exit form for the duration of your trip.

The tourist card is valid for a maximum of 180 days or six months; however, the time actually given is at the discretion of the immigration official. Often, only 30, 60, or 90 days are granted. If you wish to stay in Mexico for longer than the time allotted on your tourist card, you will either need to leave and re-enter the country, extend your card, or apply for a tourist or work visa.

If you lose your Mexico tourist card, or it gets stolen, you will have to pay to replace it, which should be done as soon as possible. Go to the  nearest immigration office  in the country, or try the immigration office at the nearest airport, to pay a fine (reports vary from $40-$80) and receive a new card. It shouldn't take more than a few hours in total. Bring all relevant documentation, including travel tickets, receipts, and your passport should the officials request proof of length of stay.

Technically, it is possible to be deported from a country without a passport stamp or the proper visa and documents, but reports are rare that this step is taken for travelers who have misplaced their tourist cards. The majority typically pay a fine and are reissued a new card without issue.

If wish to travel around Mexico for a bit longer, and the immigration official cleared you for a stay of fewer than 180 days, you can apply for an extension at the National Institute of Immigration Office ; be sure to bring your passport and proof of income to your appointment. For those planning to stay longer than 180 days, you will need to apply for a tourist visa.

If you are a foreign citizen and are traveling to Mexico for pleasure or short-term business, you will need a tourist card. Exceptions are made to those arriving in Mexico by way of Cancun International Airport.

You can get a Mexican tourist card online, at a Mexico airport (or at a Mexico port of call if arriving by sea), or at your home country's Mexico embassy.

It depends on where you get yours. If you're flying, your airline may provide you with a tourist card, which is included in the cost of your ticket. You can also get a card for free online. If you're applying at an immigration office, however, it will cost you about $25.

U.S. Department of State. "Mexico International Travel Information." Accessed January 12, 2023.

iVisa. "How to Obtain a Mexico Tourist Card Online Quick and Easy." November 24, 2022.

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One Thing Tourists Need To Make Sure To Keep On Them While Vacationing In Mexico

man backpack next to temple ruin

You already know you'll need to keep your passport on hand when traveling abroad. However, a trip to Mexico involves one more important document: a Mexican tourist card, or FMM. The card is required for all travelers who arrive as temporary tourists rather than residents or workers with a permit. It essentially acts as a tourist visa for visitors coming from countries where a visa isn't required.

Each tourist card comes with an expiration date — never exceeding 180 days following your arrival date — written on a form given to you when you enter the country or presented on your digital version (more on that below). Among the mistakes to avoid when visiting Mexico , overstaying your visitor permit is one of the most serious. To avoid fines and other repercussions, be prepared to return home within the period allowed on your tourist card.

When exiting Mexico, present your FMM to the immigration official. They'll use the information on the card to confirm you didn't overstay your visit. If you do overstay, you will be forced to pay a fine when you leave the country, based on the number of days you've gone past your expiration date. With this in mind, it's essential that you keep your tourist card safe throughout the duration of your trip.

How to get a tourist card when visiting Mexico

Before visiting Mexico's glamorous vacation spots or the country's best beaches, you'll need to secure a tourist card. One of the easiest ways to get a tourist card is by applying online via the official Mexico Tourist Card website. The process is free and can be completed up to 30 days before your vacation. After completing the online form, you'll receive an email with a digital tourist card that you can access any time using your phone or a computer.

Alternatively, you can wait to be handed a tourist card en route to your destination. Fliers may be given an application form during their flights to Mexico, though these paper documents are becoming less common. If you weren't given a card from the airline, check near the immigration desks at the airport instead. Fees for cards given on the plane or at the airport are generally covered by your airfare.

If you reach Mexico by car or on foot, you'll be given a tourist card at the port of entry. If you leave within seven days, the fee will be waived. Otherwise, expect to pay for each visitor ( Baja Bound listed the cost at 717 pesos, about 40 U.S. dollars, for each card in 2024, though this is subject to change).

What if you lose your tourist card?

Your Mexican tourist card is one item you don't want to misplace while traveling. If you have a paper copy, keep it in your hotel safe or a secure pocket in your luggage, along with your passport. Just be sure to remember where you placed it when packing up and heading home!

If you do lose your tourist card, or if you have a digital copy and can't access the original email, you must replace it before leaving the country. Make an appointment with an immigration office (located in cities around Mexico, as well as the airports) to receive a replacement card, and make sure to bring a form of payment with you. Currently, fines for losing your tourist card will run you back 60 U.S. dollars.

In some cases, you may find that you were never given a paper form at all, even if you didn't apply for a tourist card online. Instead, you might find a stamp in your passport that serves the same purpose as a standard FMM. This is becoming more common as the government gradually phases out paper tourist cards. In these instances, you won't get in trouble for leaving Mexico without a physical slip or digital card, but you will need to show your passport with the appropriate stamp.

Where The Road Forks

The FMM for Mexico Explained: How to Get a Tourist Card

By: Author Zachary Friedman

Posted on Last updated: January 19, 2024

Categories Mexico , Visas and Borders

Home » Mexico » The FMM for Mexico Explained: How to Get a Tourist Card

Mexico offers visa-free entry to those who hold passports from countries on its no visa required list. Instead of a Mexican visa, visitors must obtain an FMM tourist permit (Forma Migratoria Múltiple). This document allows you to stay in Mexico for the purpose of tourism or business for up to 180 days. The FMM currently costs 685 pesos or $38. If you’re staying for less than 7 days, it’s free. To get an FMM, you need a valid passport or passport card. This guide explains everything you need to know about the FMM for Mexico. I’ll explain what the FMM tourist card is, how to apply, the travel documents you’ll need, where it is issued, costs, eligibility, validity, and more.

I’ve also made this YouTube video that outlines the main points of the article.

The FMM Tourist Permit for Mexico Explained

Quick Info About the FMM Tourist Card

  • Cost- $687 pesos (about $38). Free for stays of 7 days or less
  • Validity- Up to 180 days. The number of days you’re granted will be written on the form.
  • Issued on arrival at the point of entry or online . The Mexico FMM is available at land borders, international airports, and most seaports.
  • Eligibility- Citizens of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, European Schengen Area Countries, Japan, South Korea, and more. If your country is on this list , you’re eligible.
  • How to apply- Fill out the form with basic travel info. You will receive the form at the port of entry.
  • Required documents- A valid passport or passport card
  • Issued by INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración), a Mexican government agency

Important note

The Mexican government is currently phasing out the paper version of the FMM permit. It is being replaced with a passport stamp. Currently, some ports of entry still use the paper form. Some have transitioned to the stamp. The rules are all still the same. The eligibility, validity, and cost haven’t changed. If you’re given a paper form on arrival, fill it out as normal. If you don’t receive a paper form, the Mexican authorities will stamp your passport instead. I’ll update this article as additional information about this change comes out.

U.S. - Mexico border

Table of Contents

  • What is the FMM Visitor’s Permit?
  • Eligibility and Who Needs an FMM
  • Required Documents
  • FMM Validity
  • How to Get an FMM

What is an FMM Tourist Permit?

The FMM Tourist Permit (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) is a travel document that allows those who are eligible to enter Mexico without a visa.

The FMM Visitor’s Permit allows you to stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. During that time, you can participate in tourism activities, do business, transit through the country, study, volunteer, or live anywhere in Mexico.

You are not allowed to be employed, work, or earn money in Mexico while visiting on an FMM permit. If you plan to work and earn money in Mexico, you will need to apply for a temporary resident visa and work permit.

The FMM is issued by the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración), a Mexican government agency. You can obtain an FMM permit on arrival at the port of entry. All you need is a valid passport. Mexico also offers online FMM applications as well. You simply fill out the application form, print it out, and bring it with you to get stamped by immigration authorities when you arrive.

The FMM is also referred to as the Mexico tourist card. It is also sometimes called a Mexico tourist visa, even though it is not technically a visa.

Who is Eligible for an FMM Tourist Permit and Who Needs a Visa?

FMM tourist permits are available for visitors from countries on this list. If the country that issued your passport is on that list, you don’t require a visa to visit Mexico. The list includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Schengen area countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, most Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as many others. If your country is on the list, you only need an FMM permit to visit Mexico. You do not need a Mexican tourist visa.

In addition, to be eligible for an FMM you must be visiting Mexico only for purposes of tourism, business, volunteering, or studying. Your trip must last 180 days or less. If you plan to visit for another purpose or for a longer duration, you’ll need to apply for a Mexico visa in advance.

Regardless of your citizenship or residency, you are also eligible for an FMM tourist permit if you hold a valid permanent residency visa or a multi-entry visitor visa for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, or a European Schengen Area country.

You are not eligible for an FMM if you are a citizen of one of these countries. If the country that issued your passport is on this list and you do not have a valid visa to one of the above-listed countries, you need to arrange a visa in advance to enter Mexico.

You can apply for a visa at your nearest Mexican consulate or embassy. For more info on the application process, check out this Mexican government website.

If you plan to travel to Mexico for longer than 180 days or if you plan to work, study, invest, or get married in Mexico, you need to arrange a visa in advance, regardless of your citizenship. The most common type of visa for these types of trips is a temporary residency permit. There are several classes of temporary residency permits available for different types of trips. For example, some allow you to work and earn money while others don’t. For more info, check out my guide here.

If you already hold a temporary or permanent residency visa for Mexico, you do not need an FMM permit. You can present your residency visa at the port of entry instead.

Tijuana

Who Needs an FMM Tourist Permit?

Everyone entering Mexico for the purposes of tourism, business, studying, or volunteering needs an FMM tourist permit. Only temporary resident visa holders, permanent residency visa holders, and Mexican citizens can enter Mexico without an FMM permit.

Children under 2 years of age do not need to pay for an FMM. They will need a valid passport.

Before October 2015, there was an unofficial ‘free zone’ near the Mexican border where an FMM was not required if you were staying for 72 hours or less. This was never part of Mexico’s official immigration law but it was widely accepted.

Now, all foreign nationals entering Mexico needs an FMM unless they have a valid Mexican residency visa. Even if you’re only crossing the border to spend the day in Tijuana and staying near the border, you still need to stop and get an FMM.

Ideally, you should carry your passport and FMM permit with you when you’re out and about so you can present them if you’re stopped by the police or at a security checkpoint. Checkpoints are set throughout the country where you must present your FMM and passport to prove that you’re in the country legally.

While walking around cities I don’t like to carry my passport. I always worry about it getting lost or stolen. While in transit, I always keep my passport handy just in case.

What Documents Do I Need to Get an FMM Tourist Permit?

  • A valid passport. If you’re crossing the border by land or sea, you can use a passport book or passport card. If you’re flying in, you need a passport book. It must be valid when you enter and must remain valid for as long as you plan to stay in Mexico. Your passport must also have at least one blank page for a stamp. For more info, check out my guide: Do I Need a Passport to go to Mexico?
  • A completed FMM form. You get the form at the port of entry. If you’re flying to Mexico, a flight attendant may hand you the form during the flight. If you’re applying for your permit online, you fill the form out online. You’ll receive an acceptance email that you must print and bring with you to get stamped at the Mexican border.
  • 594 Pesos (about $30) in cash. You pay this at the border upon entry or exit depending on where you enter. It’s best to bring pesos. Dollars may be accepted.

What Information is Required to fill out the FMM Form?

The FMM form requires basic travel information including:

  • Date of birth
  • Residency and nationality
  • Passport number
  • Purpose of your trip- tourism or business
  • Entry date and date that you plan to leave Mexico
  • How you’re entering- by air, sea, or land
  • Your destination in Mexico
  • The name and address of the place that you plan to stay in Mexico
  • Your signature

If you enter by air, you may get a slightly different form that asks for the flight number and airline that you arrived on.

How Much Does the FMM Tourist Permit Cost

Mexican Pesos

If you’re staying in Mexico for less than 7 days, the FMM tourist permit is free.

If you’re staying in Mexico between 7 and 180 days, there is a 594 peso (about $30) fee for the FMM tourist permit.

You pay this fee in cash at a Banjercito bank window at the border. At some borders, you pay the immigration official who checks your passport directly.

How to Pay for the FMM Tourist Permit

Most borders accept payment in pesos or US dollars. You’ll get a more favorable rate if you pay in pesos. Some borders only accept pesos. It’s best to carry pesos just in case.

If you arrange your FMM permit online, you can pay the fee with a credit card or debit card. They accept Visa and Mastercard.

Some smaller land border crossings don’t have the facilities to accept the FMM fee. In this case, you will pay when you exit Mexico. You can also pay the fee at immigration offices that are located in cities and towns throughout Mexico as well as in all international airports.

After you pay your FMM fee, the banker gives you a receipt. You bring the receipt to the immigration official. They stamp the receipt, tear the FMM form in half, and hand your half back. You must keep the receipt as proof that you paid. If you lose it, you will have to pay the fee again when you exit Mexico because there is no proof that you have paid.

When you arrive by air or cruise ship, the FMM fee is often included in the price of your ticket. Check with your airline or cruise line before you travel so you don’t pay twice. Usually, the FMM will be listed in the ‘fees and taxes’ section of your ticket.

If you find that you’ve already paid for an FMM, carry a copy of your ticket with you for proof. When the Mexican authorities try to charge you again when you exit, you can show them that you have already paid. If you can’t prove that you’ve paid, you’ll be charged again.

Cancun, Mexico

How Long Can You Stay with an FMM Visitor’s Permit?

The FMM Visitor’s Permit is valid for up to 180 days (about 6 months) from the date that you entered Mexico. The number of days you get is up to the immigration agent issuing you the permit.

Sometimes the Mexican immigration authorities will ask you how many days you plan to stay in Mexico and then grant you that many days on your FMM. For example, if you indicate that you plan to stay in Mexico for 2 weeks, you may only be granted 2 weeks on your FMM. This means you can only stay in Mexico for 2 weeks. I recommend you always request 180 days. That way, you can stay longer if your plans change.

Your passport cannot expire before you plan to exit Mexico. For example, your passport must have at least 180 days of validity if you want an FMM that is valid for 180 days. Mexico does not require that your passport have 6 months of validity to enter, like most other countries. If your passport has 1 month of validity but you want to travel to Mexico for 1 week, you can.

When you pass through immigration, the official who checks your passport and FMM form will write the number of days you can stay on the visitor’s permit. It’s up to you to calculate the correct exit date so you don’t accidentally overstay. For example, if you enter Mexico on January 1, and are granted 180 days, you must exit Mexico by June 30. It’s important to remember that 180 days isn’t exactly 6 months because some months are longer than others. You must leave before the permit’s expiration date or you will be fined.

There are several cases where Mexican officials may grant you fewer than 180 days. For example, when entering Mexico on a cruise ship you often only get 21 days. When transiting through Mexico, you may only get 30 days. If you indicate on the FMM application that you only plan to stay for 2 weeks, the immigration official might only grant you two weeks. If you want the full 180 days, you can always ask. Usually, you’ll get it.

Caution: Do not tamper with the FMM form. I have read stories of travelers changing the date on their FMM to give themselves more days. Don’t do this. Your FMM form has a serial number that is recorded when you enter Mexico. The number of days you are granted is stored. You could get in trouble if you’re caught tampering with your FMM.

How to Apply for an FMM Tourist Permit?

You get the FMM Visitor’s Permit at the port of entry. This could be a land border, airport, or seaport. The process varies slightly depending on where and how you enter Mexico. In this section, I’ll outline the process of obtaining an FMM at each type of port of entry. I’ll also outline how to get the FMM online.

Entering by Land: Driving or Walking into Mexico

the U.S. Mexico border at Tijuana

When driving across the border, you will need to park your car and go into the immigration and customs office (INM and Aduana) to get your FMM tourist permit.

While driving across the border, look for a sign pointing you to the ‘something to declare’ area. There will be parking available here. The immigration office is generally nearby. If you don’t see this area, you can ask around for immigration (inmigración in Spanish.) Alternatively, you can just drive across the border into Mexico, find a place to park near the border, and walk to the immigration building.

If you’re walking into Mexico, you can proceed directly to the immigration desk. There is no exit procedure for the U.S. There will be signs pointing you toward immigration and a path to follow. If you’re unsure, just walk toward Mexico and follow the crowd.

Once you find the immigration desk, you will be handed an FMM form to fill out. The forms are available in the immigration building. Be sure to bring a pen with you.

At some borders, an immigration officer may fill the FMM form out for you. In this case, they will ask you a few questions about your trip and copy your personal information from your passport.

After filling out the FMM form, hand it to the immigration official along with your passport. They will look over the form and run your passport through their computer.

The immigration official may ask you a few additional questions about your trip such as, how long are you going to stay in Mexico? Where are you staying? Do you have accommodation booked? What is your final destination in Mexico? What is the purpose of your trip? Where are you going? etc.

At most land borders, you pay your FMM fee when you enter the country if you’re staying longer than 7 days. After an immigration officer inspects your completed FMM form and your passport, you will take the FMM form to a Banjercito bank window near the immigration desk and pay the fee. The cashier will hand you a receipt. Next, you take your receipt back to the immigration official along with your passport. They will stamp your receipt and FMM form and the receipt. After that, you can proceed to customs and into Mexico.

Some small land border crossings do not have payment facilities. If you enter through one of these borders, you will pay your FMM fee when you exit Mexico. You can also pay the fee at an immigration office in Mexico or at all international airports.

Be sure to keep your FMM receipt. When you exit Mexico, you’ll have to prove that you’ve already paid for the FMM permit. If you can’t prove it, you will be charged again.

If you’re driving to Mexico, you’ll need to buy temporary car insurance. I recommend Baja Bound Mexican Insurance . They offer reasonable prices and friendly service. Click the link to get a free quote in just a couple of minutes.

what is mexico tourist card

Arriving in Mexico by Air

On most flights, a flight attendant will hand out FMM forms to everyone who needs one. You should fill it out before you land so you’re ready to go through immigration when you arrive. If you don’t get an FMM form on the plane, you can get one at immigration when you land. They will be sitting around on a table or someone will be standing around handing them out.

Once you land, follow the signs to immigration. You’ll present your passport and completed FMM form to an immigration official and they will stamp you into Mexico.

Mexican airports do not collect FMM fees from inbound passengers. This is because pretty much every airline includes the FMM fee in the price of the ticket. If you’re flying into Mexico, chances are you’ve already paid for an FMM.

Make sure you keep a copy of your ticket with proof that you have paid the FMM fee. This will usually be outlined in the ‘taxes and fees’ section of your ticket. If you can’t prove you’ve already paid, you will be charged a second time when you exit Mexico.

Tip: Once you get your FMM, place it in your passport. If you’re traveling long-term and you’re afraid you’ll lose it, consider stapling it or taping it to a page in your passport. You can do the same with your receipt.

Entering Mexico by Sea

If you’re entering Mexico on a cruise ship or your own boat, you can get an FMM at the first port of call. You’ll simply fill out the FMM form at the port and pay the fee. The process is basically the same as arriving overland.

If you’re arriving on your own boat, you should double-check to make sure the port where you plan to enter Mexico offers FMMs. You won’t have to worry about this if you’re arriving on a cruise ship. Cruise ships only dock at major ports.

If you’re bringing your own boat to Mexico, you also need to get a temporary vehicle importation permit (TIP) for the boat. You need to arrange this before you enter Mexican waters. You can’t get this document in Mexico.

If you’re entering Mexican waters but don’t plan to go to land, you’ll need a nautical Sportfishing FMM visitor’s permit. This document is also required if you plan to go fishing in Mexican waters. The process is a bit different from obtaining a normal FMM. You can get your nautical FMM online. For more info, check out this guide from Discover Baja.

Applying for an FMM Online

Mexico offers the option to apply for an FMM tourist permit online. This involves filling out a simple online application form and paying the fee with your Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card. Upon acceptance, you’ll receive an email with your FMM form. You’ll need to print this out and get it stamped at the border when you pass through immigration. You must enter Mexico within 30 days of getting your permit online.

For most travelers, it’s still better to get the FMM on arrival at the border. The reason is that you still need to stop at the border to get your immigration documents stamped, even if you applied online. You can’t just drive through. There is really no benefit to arranging your FMM permit in advance. You might save a couple of minutes waiting in line at the bank window.

The only time applying for an FMM online makes sense is if you’re also applying for a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit (TIP) online. In this case, you’ll need to get your FMM online before applying for the TIP. For more info, check out my guide to the Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit.

You can apply for an FMM online here.

When you apply for your FMM online, you receive an email with your approved FMM document within a few minutes. You’ll need to print this document out and bring it with you to immigration to get it stamped and validated.

When applying online, you must use your FMM within 30 days. Otherwise, it expires.

The Cultural Center of Tijuana, Mexico

Frequently Asked Questions About the FMM

Can i make multiple entries on an fmm tourist permit.

No. The FMM is a single entry permit. When you fly out of Mexico, you must surrender your FMM at immigration before boarding the plane. At this point, it is invalidated. You’ll have to buy a new one when you return to Mexico. When you re-enter, you’ll fill out a new FMM form and pay for another permit.

When you exit Mexico at the southern border to Guatemala or Belize or any northern border outside of Baja California, you will also have to surrender your FMM when you pass through immigration. At this time, it will be invalidated and you will have to get a new one when you return.

There is one exception where you can use your FMM for multiple entries. You can enter and exit the state of Baja California Norte overland as many times as you like until your FMM permit expires. This is great for people who want to take short trips over the border. The FMM used to be a single-entry permit. In 2015, the INM changed the rules to allow this one exception.

Can I Stay in Mexico for More than 180 Days with an FMM

No. If you plan to stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days, you should apply for a Temporary Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa. You must apply for these visas at a Mexican consulate or embassy before your trip. You can’t obtain them in Mexico.

Alternatively, you could leave Mexico before your FMM expires then return and buy a new one for another 180 days. This is often called a border run. To do this, you can travel overland to the US, Guatemala, or Belize and then cross back into Mexico. You could also fly to your home country or a third country, then return to Mexico.

How Long do I Have to Leave Mexico Before Returning for a New FMM?

There is no rule stating how long you must remain outside of Mexico before returning and paying for a new FMM permit. In most cases, you can exit and then re-enter immediately after if you want. It really depends on the immigration official. Most don’t care and allow you to cross right back over.

Some expats have lived in Mexico on an FMM tourist permit for years. They simply make visa runs to the border to get a new permit every 6 months.

With computerized entry and exit and facial recognition technology, it is possible for Mexico to track how much time you spend in the country on an FMM permit. If you exit and re-enter too many times, they could deny you entry at some point if an immigration official decides that you’re spending too much time in Mexico on an FMM.

Recently, Mexico has begun cracking down on people living in the country on FMM permits. They are issuing permits with fewer than 180 days. Some visitors are only getting 10-30 days upon entry. To get 180 days, you may have to provide some supporting documents such as proof that you’ve paid for long-term accommodation.

If you plan to stay in Mexico longer than 180 days or retire or live in Mexico, it’s best to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you are staying in the country legally. You don’t have to worry about being denied entry.

Keep in mind that there is a financial requirement to get a Temporary Resident Visa. You’ll need to prove that you have enough income or assets to support yourself while in Mexico. Currently, you need to show that you have an income of about $2400-$2700 per month or around $45,000 in a savings or investment account.

What Happens if You Overstay an FMM Visitor Permit?

You need to leave Mexico before your FMM visitor’s permit expires (usually 180 days). If you don’t, you will be fined for overstaying. The fine depends on how long you overstayed. Mexico charges on a per-day basis. The maximum fine is around $350 (7000 pesos). As far as I know, the fine is the only punishment. Mexico won’t bar you from re-entering if you overstay.

You can pay the fine at an immigration office or at an international airport. If you’re flying out of Mexico, you should take care of this fine a couple of days before your flight so you don’t risk missing it. Otherwise, you’ll want to show up for your flight a few hours early. The process could take some time.

If you overstayed your FMM by a couple of days, it’s usually not a big deal. You’ll simply pay a small fine and leave. If you overstayed by months, you’ll probably have to answer some questions.

What if you Lose Your FMM Permit?

If you lose your FMM Visitors permit while in Mexico, you need to visit a local immigration office and apply for a replacement before you can leave the country. The process involves filling out some forms and paying a replacement fee.

I don’t know exactly how much the current fee is. I have read reports ranging from $30 and $60 (around 500-1200 pesos). You can find immigration offices in many towns and cities across Mexico as well as in international airports.

If you go to the border without your FMM card, chances are you will be allowed to exit without it but you will have to pay a fee (or bribe.) I have heard that the charge is around $100 (2000 pesos).

If you go to the airport to catch a flight without your FMM, you’ll be sent to the immigration office in the airport to get a replacement. Be sure to leave yourself extra time if you have to do this so you don’t miss your flight.

If you’re planning to exit Mexico overland from the state of Baja California Norte, you’re in luck. You don’t need to bother getting a replacement because Mexico does not check passports when you exit and cross into the United States. You proceed straight to U.S. immigration. When you go to U.S. immigration, they do not look at the FMM.

Mexico City

What if You Kept Your Visitor’s Permit When You Left Mexico?

At some border crossings, there is nowhere to turn in your old FMM permit when you exit. For example, when crossing from Baja California to the U.S., there is no passport control when you exit Mexico. You just drive or walk straight to U.S. immigration. This means you keep your FMM document.

Legally, this is fine. As of 2015, you do not need to turn in your FMM when exiting Baja California overland according to the INM. You can re-use it for multiple entries until it expires then discard it. There is still a note on the back of the FMM that says that you must return the document.

The problem with this situation is that you won’t get an exit stamp to prove that you left Mexico. When you go to re-enter on your next trip, the immigration official checking your passport could question you as to why you don’t have an exit stamp. They could assume you overstayed on your previous visit. I have heard of people being fined in this situation but I have not been able to confirm whether or not this is actually true.

Unfortunately, there really is no solution to this problem. There is no official procedure as to how to go about returning your FMM if you exit Mexico overland at a border where you don’t pass through immigration to exit.

If you’re questioned, you’ll have to explain that you exited at the northern border where FMM forms are not collected and passports are not stamped upon exit. When you enter Baja, nobody will question you. When you fly to Mexico or enter at another part of the country, you could be questioned.

If you kept your FMM when exiting Mexico and have no plans to return before it expires, you can throw it away. If you plan to return to Mexico and enter through one of the Baja California crossings, you can use it again when you re-enter.

For those who are really worried about keeping their FMM and not getting stamped out, you can contact your nearest Mexican consulate, embassy, or INM office to ask them what to do. They may tell you to mail it somewhere. The process is unclear.

What if I Entered Mexico Without Getting an FMM?

It is possible to enter Mexico without going through immigration and getting an FMM. At the U.S. Mexico border, you can drive right across without stopping. Nobody will flag you down unless you look suspicious. You may feel tempted to drive through to avoid paying the FMM fee. There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t do this.

If you’re caught in Mexico without a valid FMM, most likely you will be temporarily detained and then told to go back to the border to get one. If you made it hundreds of miles from the border, this would be a major hassle. The officer that catches you could also try to solicit a bribe or issue you a fine. If you’re trying to exit Mexico without an FMM, you may have to pay the immigration official a fee/bribe of around $100.

If you are driving your car in Mexico without an FMM, your insurance probably isn’t valid because you technically entered the country illegally. Check your policy. If you’re pulled over, the police could impound your car if they wanted to. It is also important to note that there are regular checkpoints throughout Mexico. At these checkpoints, the officers will ask to see your passport and FMM to make sure you’re in the country legally.

You also will not be able to board a flight in Mexico because an FMM is required. Even for domestic flights. If you were involved in a serious accident or experienced a medical emergency and you need to be evacuated by air to another city, you may experience a delay if you don’t have an FMM.

Of course, it is also the law. You need an FMM to legally be in Mexico as a tourist. It’s always best not to break the law in a foreign country. For these reasons, you should always take the time to get an FMM when visiting Mexico, even if you’re only crossing the border for the day.

Can I renew or extend an FMM?

No. FMM tourist permits can not be extended or renewed in Mexico. You must leave the country before your permit expires or you will be fined based on the number of days that you overstayed.

The only way to extend your stay is to leave the country and then re-enter and get a new FMM. This is officially called ‘leave to remain’. Alternatively, you could leave the country and apply for a temporary residency visa. Either way, you have to leave Mexico before the visitor’s permit expires. It is non-renewable.

what is mexico tourist card

Can I Exchange an FMM for a Residency Visa?

No. You must apply for a temporary residency visa or permanent residency visa outside of Mexico at a Mexican embassy or consulate.

There are a couple of exceptions to this. It is possible to exchange your FMM permit for a temporary residency visa in a small number of situations. In order to do this, you must meet a specific set of criteria.

You must be the spouse, child, or parent of a Mexican national or permanent residency visa holder. You must also meet the other requirements for obtaining a temporary residency visa. In addition, you may be able to apply for residency within Mexico if you are seeking political asylum.

Do I Have to Stop at the Border or Can I Get an FMM in Mexico?

Yes, you have to stop at the border to get a Mexican tourist card. You cannot get an FMM anywhere but an official port of entry (land border, seaport, or international airport). If you applied for your FMM online, you still have to stop at the border to get it stamped and validated.

In the past, you could drive across the border and travel into Mexico and get an FMM at an immigration office. This was easier and faster because you didn’t have to deal with stopping at a busy border crossing. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible.

Most border crossings are open 24/7/365 so there is no excuse for not stopping. Check the hours of the border before you plan to arrive just to be sure. At busy border crossings, you can also check the average wait time before you go. You can check border wait times on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website here.

Final Thoughts

The FMM permit makes it easy for U.S. citizens, Canadian citizens, and citizens of many other countries to visit Mexico without arranging a visa in advance. If you’re eligible, you can get your FMM on arrival at the border or airport in just a few minutes. All you need is a valid passport and enough cash to pay the permit fee. The only complication is that the process varies slightly depending on where and how you enter Mexico. Hopefully, this guide clears things up and makes planning your trip to Mexico a bit easier and smoother.

Have you visited Mexico on an FMM visitor’s permit lately? Share your tips and experience in the comments below!

More from Where The Road Forks

  • Is Mexico Safe? Avoiding Crime and Scams
  • Renting a Car in Mexico
  • Healthcare in Mexico for Americans
  • How to Fly out of Tijuana and use the Cross Border Xpress
  • Living in Tijuana as an American
  • Traveling to Mexico With a Dog
  • How to Travel from San Diego to Tijuana by Bicycle

Zachary Friedman

Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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Wednesday 30th of August 2023

My wife has a green card from USA and her passport is from a country not on the list to travel without going to The Mexican Consulate office to get the FMM? It's only a 4day stray traveling by land. Does she have to go to the Consulate?

wheretheroadforks

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

I believe the green card is sufficient but I'm not 100% sure. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Wednesday 2nd of August 2023

Hi.... I just filled out my FFM form to enter MX on 8/6 and it sent me a "registration number" but won't let me print the form and there is no link to pay the fee. Is this a new policy for what do I need to do to get a copy of the form or to pay? Thanks for your help.

Sunday 6th of August 2023

That's strange. I'm not really sure. It could be a new policy.

Monday 5th of June 2023

I flew into CDMX and got a passport stamp instead of paper FMM, but I'm leaving by land border. Do you know if they'll accept the passport stamp in leiu of the form at the land border??

Yes, they will. At some points of entry, they're changing over to a passport stamp instead of the FMM. Eventually, they're going to get rid of the FMM completely.

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Great video! If I cross the border from San Diego and fly into Cancun from TJ airport (domestic) for 10 days, do I need the FMM? What about for my return trip from Cancun to TJ?

Thursday 6th of April 2023

Yes, you will need the FMM. Pretty much any time you enter Mexico, you'll need the FMM.

Alejandro Arashi

Friday 24th of March 2023

I can’t find references to the below in any official Mexican government websites …. can you provide a link to the 2015 IMN rule change/exception?

“ There is one exception where you can use your FMM for multiple entries. You can enter and exit the state of Baja California Norte overland as many times as you like until your FMM permit expires. This is great for people who want to take short trips over the border. The FMM used to be a single-entry permit. In 2015, the INM changed the rules to allow this one exception.”

Thursday 30th of March 2023

I couldn't find it. I know that I have used my FMM to travel back and forth multiple times. I'm not sure how the rules will change as the FMM is phased out though.

UponArriving

UponArriving

what is mexico tourist card

Mexico Tourist Card (FMM) Ultimate Guide

If you’ve ever travelled to Mexico then you know that in order to get access into the country you will have to fill out and submit a “Mexico tourist card.”

The problem is not every airline will issue you one of these cards while you are on the plane and so in many cases you will have to wait until you arrive at the airport to fill it out.

Some Mexican airports, especially the popular ones such as Cancun, can receive an overwhelming amount of tourists hopping off flights which means that you will be trying to beat the crowds while filling out your Mexico tourist card.

That can be quite a stressful experience but luckily you can avoid some of that stress by taking care of your immigration card ahead of time.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about filling out this form including how to do it and also give you some other tips.

Table of Contents

What is a Mexico tourist card?

The Mexico tourist card aka Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM) is an immigration form that must be filled out prior to your entry in Mexico.

It’s a form that you will submit to immigration once you arrive at the airport and is required for every person including children.

It is recommended to fill out the form and register online in order to make it more convenient for yourself when you are making your way through immigration at the airport.

Update: this form is no longer needed for US tourist visits to Cancun.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Beach view from plane

Are you eligible for a Mexico tourist card?

The first question that you need to answer is are you actually eligible for a Mexico tourist card?

If the following situations apply to you then the answer is yes.

  • You are a foreign citizen traveling to Mexico
  • You have a valid passport
  • You will travel to Mexico in less than 30 days
  • You will not stay in Mexico more than 180 days
  • You are traveling to Mexico for pleasure, vacation, or recreational purposes
  • You are NOT going to Mexico to seek employment 

So if you are a standard American heading to Mexico for a nice week long vacation then you will fall into the category of being eligible for a Mexico tourist card.

I think the most important factor to consider is that you need to be traveling in less than 30 days in order to fill out the form and register.

Related: How to Easily Get to Tulum Mexico (for Cheap)

How to get a Mexico tourist card

You can now fill out your immigration form online via a very convenient and straightforward process.

Here is what you will need to fill out your form completely:

Contact information

Flight information.

  • Address or name of the hotel you were staying at

Email address

This will be basic information like your name and address.

For the form, you will need to provide your passport number along with dates such as the issue date and expiration date.

When filling out your passport details, Make sure that you have at least six months of valid time on your passport when visiting Mexico, regardless of how long you plan to stay in the country.

If your passport expires in under six months, you will have to fill out a manual form once you arrive at the airport. Also, according to some reports it’s possible that you may be denied entry into the country.

To be 100% on the safe side I would advise for your passport to have at least six months of eligibility left.

You will need to provide your flight number and airline.

This can be found on your boarding pass or when you check your itinerary via the airline’s website or app.

Look for a number that has two letters in front of it and then numbers following after that.

For example, if you were flying on United Airlines flight 125 your flight number would look like “UA125.”

When you input your details, typically you will input the airline separate from the number.

So using that UA125 example above, You would input your details as follows.

  • Airline: United Airlines
  • Number: 125

Hotel information

Many people often arrive at the airport with no idea about the address of the hotel and some people don’t even know the name of the hotel.

By filling out this form ahead of time you can avoid any confusion at the airport.

While it is not necessarily required to input the full address of your hotel and you could simply include the name, since you are filling this out ahead of time you might as well input all of the relevant information regarding the address.

It’s also always a great idea to have the address of your hotel saved somewhere in your phone or on a piece of paper just in case you need to reference that while traveling.

Your tourist card will be emailed to you so make sure that you have a working email address.

Tip: Sometimes there will be issues with the email system so it is recommended that you download and print the tourist card as soon as you have that option.

Finally, you will need to print off your tourist card. Make sure that your printer is working well so that you can avoid any issues with legibility.

Man on beach

Filling out the tourist cards

You can find a link to register for the Mexico tourist card here.

The first part of the process is filling out some basic information which I will break down below.

The form that you will be filling out will look like this:

Form for Mexican tourist card.

Country of citizenship

This will be the country of your passport.

Port of entry

You will be able to select from a drop-down menu of different airports.

You should be able to find your airport on the menu if it is one of the major airports but if you are flying into a smaller city then you may have to just select “other.”

Here are the airports you will find:

  • Acapulco International Airport
  • Cancun International Airport
  • Cozumel International Airport
  • Guadalajara International Airport
  • Huatulco International Airport
  • Los Cabos International Airport
  • Manzanillo International Airport
  • Mazatlan International Airport
  • Merida International Airport
  • Mexico City International Airport
  • Puerto Vallarta International Airport
  • Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa Airport

Note that some airports may refuse to accept your online tourist card and might require you to submit a manual card. This might be more common at smaller airports.

Arrival and departure dates

You will need to select your arrival and departure dates which are the dates that you will actually be entering and leaving the country.

The dates should line up with your airline’s itinerary if you are flying.

Name or address of hotel

As stated above, supply your name or preferably the address of your hotel. You can likely just copy and paste the address from something like Google Maps.

Contact name

Simply input your name.

Total number of people traveling to Mexico

You will need to select the total number of individuals traveling to Mexico including yourself. This number should include all children and also infants.

Main contact email

Make sure you input a valid email address.

Simply enter in your postal or ZIP Code.

Things to consider

After you submit your details, there will be a confirmation page that goes over some of the key points of consideration.

Here is a summary of these points:

  • Every individual must fill out an individual tourist card
  • The cards are free for all passengers traveling by air with a major commercial airline
  • You can only apply for a tourist card within 30 days of your arrival to Mexico
  • Your passport must be valid for 180 days to apply for a card online otherwise she will have to fill it out manually when you arrive
  • The information on your application must exactly match the information on your passport
  • The flight information that you will input is only for your arrival flight
  • Sometimes there are issues with the email systems so you should download and print your card when given the option
  • After you download the first card you finish you will have the option to begin a new application
  • You can print your tourist card in color or black-and-white
  • You will print out two pages and do not cut or alter the forms in any way
  • On rare occasions, an immigration officer may not accept a tourist card and may require you to fill out a manual form.

In addition to the points above, be sure to retain the portion of the card that the immigration officer returns to you.

In many cases, you will need to show this stub when you depart the country. If you lose this then you might be delayed at the airport when departing and you might even get fined.

Finally, you will have to fill out a customs form when you arrive regardless of if you have already filled out your tourist card.

Related: Cabo vs Cancun: Which is Better for You?

Registration form

After you input your preliminary details you can then proceed to the next stage of registration. You will need to input some of the same details you already did but this is the final step to register.

You will begin by selecting the type of travel you are doing which could be air or land.

After you select your type of travel (let’s say you selected air) you will then need to input more details.

Tip: if you will be making multiple land crossings into Mexico you should consider applying for SENTRI ).

Once again, you will need to fill out the point of entry, which is the airport you are arriving to, your travel dates, airline name, and flight number.

You will then need to input your personal information which would include your name surname (which is your last name), gender, date of birth, nationality, and country of birth.

Then you will need to fill in the details regarding your identification document which in most cases will likely be your passport.

Select the type of document that you have and then enter in your document number which would be your passport number, country of issue which will be the US for a lot of readers, date of issue, and expiration date.

Keep in mind that the format for your dates is date, month, year.

Then we need to input your place of residence which would be the US and your current home address.

Next you will select the reason of your trip.

Then select the state and address that you will be staying at which would be the hotel.

Finally, provide your email address and submit the verification code.

Once you have finished processing your form, you can download and print it out and bring it along with you on your flight. It should also arrive in your email inbox.

Coronavirus update

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, you may encounter additional requirements when entering the country. For example, you may be required to complete a health questionnaire.

In addition to contact and trouble information, it will ask you questions such as “have you been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus?”

It will also inquire about potential symptoms such as temperatures, coughing, headaches, and difficulty breathing.

Global Entry

If you would like to expedite your entry back into the US when traveling from an international destination, you should highly consider getting Global Entry.

It will allow you to bypass the main immigration line which can often be very long and you can also get expedited entry through customs as well.

If you have the right credit card, you can get it for free and it will be good for five years.

Obtaining a Mexico tourist card is a great idea because it will make your travels much more convenient when arriving at the airport.

It is easy to fill out the form and register and so I would strongly recommend anybody traveling to Mexico to go ahead and complete the registration online.

You might also be interested in the following article:

  • Is Cabo, Mexico Safe?

what is mexico tourist card

Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo . He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio .

Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as you claim….or at least not in my case. I’m planning on flying into the Queretaro International Airport…but that isn’t offered in the Point of Entry drop down box….yes, I initially put in Other, but then it proceeds to the next page and again asks for Point of Entry where “Other” is not offered, nor is Queretaro International Airport. I see that Ing. Fernando Espinoza Gutiérrez Airport is offered as a selection, but as per Wikipedia…

“Ing. Fernando Espinoza Gutiérrez Airport (IATA: formerly QRO, ICAO: formerly MMQT) was located in Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico. This airport was inaugurated in 1955.[2] Due to the construction of the new Querétaro International Airport in 2004, the airport is no longer used. The buildings and land that formed the airport are now government buildings, and were donated to the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro.”

…so what’s a guy to do??? So frustrating and this is only my first step on this journey…it’s not looking promising!!

I would like to be FULLY ready and prepared when we travel to Cancun next week. How do I know which forms/webistes are true and safe to submit. Is there a place I can print out a blank hard copy of a form and fill it out manually? Is it safe to submit it online? In the past, we have always been given the forms on the plane and had them filled out when we landed. We have had 3 trips canceled because of COVID so I know things have changed. Now facing possible cancellation again next week. Thank you in advance for any help to make our trip go smoothly. Also, this was a very good and informative webiste. Thank you!!!

Thanks, not all sights (even the government one) mentions “within 30 days” I was trying to fill out the application but it wouldn’t accept my arrival date. I’m just trying to get as much done as I can now to alleviate anxiety later… but I’ll wait a few more days to apply!

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Los Cabos Immigration Requirements

All visitors or tourists wishing to enter Mexico through the San Jose del Cabo International Airport must present a valid passport, and the "Obligatory Migratory Form for Tourists, Business Visitors, Transmigrants or Consultants," was initially known as Forma Migratoria Multiple.

This is a permit issued to any foreign person wishing to visit Mexico, although this document is mainly for tourist use.

​Expedite your entry

If you are Canadian or have dual citizenship, you must Present a valid passport upon arrival in Mexico.

Canadians who do not have a valid passport will be denied entry to the country and any of its cities. There is no online immigration form from Canada to Mexico.

It is only necessary to present a valid passport and identification.

How to obtain an immigration form in Mexico?

You can purchase a Mexican immigration form from the airlines at the point of entry in Los Cabos or online at the official U.S. Mexican immigration website.

For more information, visit the official Mexican customs and immigration website in San Jose del Cabo .

Mexican Customs Declaration Form

If you are traveling from the U.S., you should know that a passport is a must for your entry to Los Cabos or any other destination in Mexico. You can also use the following documents:

  • Identification to vote
  • Citizenship Card
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • SENTRI/NEXUS/Global Entry Card

While a valid passport is not required to enter Mexico, a valid passport is required to return to the United States or Canada.

Customs information in Los Cabos and the rest of Mexico

  • (FMM) tourist permits will be issued for a maximum of 180 days of stay in Mexico and are personal, including seniors and children.
  • All travelers wishing to visit Mexico or enter any of its cities must have a passport valid for at least six months as of the date of entry into the country.
  • The Tourist (Air) Card will be issued free of charge to all tourists who fly with a commercial airline. However, it is important to point out that this card is personal, so if you are traveling with two, three, or more passengers, they must also apply for and receive theirs.
  • The purpose of the FMM tourist card is to facilitate entry into Mexico; however, it is not a substitute for a visa or any other document. If the country requires it upon your return, immigration officers at the airport may request the visa and/or passport along with a printed copy of your tourist card.

Mexico Tourist Card Multiple Immigration Form - FMM

3 easy steps to apply for mexico tourist card/fmm:, what is fmm (forma migratoria múltiple) or tourist card.

FMM/Tourist card for Mexico is a travel document issued by the government to all tourists or foreigners wishing to come to Mexico. 

Visitors must fill out an official entry immigration form (FMM) prior to their arrival. The Tourist Card is valid per person, regardless of age or length of stay in Mexico. The Mexican Immigration Authority keeps the information you submit on the Tourist Card as an official record of your visit to Mexico, allowing you to enjoy your stay and exit the country safely and easily.

Tourist Card Mexico Requirements

  • You are a foreign national visiting Mexico
  • You have a valid passport
  • You will set off for Mexico within 30 days
  • Your stay in Mexico will not exceed 180 days
  • The purpose of your visit to Mexico is pleasure, entertainment, and/or vacation
  • You’re not heading to Mexico to look for work

You DO NOT need a visa for Mexico if you are a citizen of the Schengen Region, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan, or if you have a valid visa or permanent residency permit for any of these countries. When visiting Mexico, however, you will still require a FMM document. See the list below of countries whose nationals require the FMM document for Mexico:

List of countries

South America

What do you need for an online FMM/Tourist card

  • Applicant’s contact information
  • Your passport information. Keep in mind that your passport should be applicable for at least six months from the date you enter Mexico
  • Your address or Hotel name in Mexico
  • Arrival and departure flight details
  • Your email address for receiving the Tourist Card
  • A printer to print the Tourist Card

How to apply for a FMM document 

The online registration process is very efficient and straightforward. All you need for the online registration process is your passport, flights information, the address or name of the hotel where you will be staying, and a printer to print your Official Entry Tourist Card.

  • For your FMM to be valid, you will be attended by a federal immigration agent who will stamp your printed electronic FMM and authorize your entry into the national territory at the point of admission you chose .  From that moment,  you have 180 days  to transit and visit Mexico. The page of entry (the first page from FMM) will be taken from a federal immigration agent.
  • Remember that  you must keep  the part that corresponds to the  exit registration (the second page from FMM) in which the  immigration entry stamp is  recorded since it is evidence of your  regular stay  in the country and  will be required when leaving  Mexico.

What is the Mexico Tourist Card?

by admin · Published July 16, 2021 · Updated September 19, 2023

Over the past few years, Mexico has garnered a massive following of tourists owing to its lovely summery weather and spicy cuisine. Whether you are looking to explore ancient historical sites or would instead take a stroll on a tourist-packed street, Mexico has it all. Thanks to its vast culture and friendly locals, this beautiful country is becoming a top vacay destination for travelers all over the globe.

If you are also about to embark on your journey to this incredible country, you will obviously be needing the necessary travel documents to enter. Depending upon your nationality, you will need a Mexico visa or a tourist card, or both.

This article will tell you what exactly a Mexico tourist card is and why it is crucial to have one if a trip to Mexico is on the list. So, let us get into the details:

What Is A Mexico Tourist Card?

The FMM or Mexico Tourist Card is a vital piece of travel document travelers need to get entry into Mexico. However, one factor to bear in mind is that some tourists may only need a tourist card, whereas some travelers may also need to get a Mexican visa. Those who simply require the tourist card can apply for one online, and their essential document will be delivered to their email address.

How Long Does The Tourist Card Last?

If your Mexico tourist card states the number of days you will be staying is less than 180 days, you always have the option of extending it to the full 180 days. If you plan on going for an extension, remember that the maximum number of days you can get cannot be more than 180.

If you plan on getting an extension for a tourist card that has less than 180 days, you can visit any immigration center in Mexico. However, a point worth mentioning is that immigration officials do not always allow an extension on your Mexican visa.

Can You Overstay On Your Tourist Card?

So what do you do in case you happen to overstay the number of days mentioned on your tourist card?

If you find yourself in such a predicament, immediately make your way to an immigration office in Mexico. You can also head off to an immigration center at the airport; once there, you will be required to pay a fine that will be in accordance with the number of days you overstayed. Then, you must make the necessary arrangements for acquiring an exit visa before your departure.

How To Get A Mexico Tourist Card?

So how does one get a Mexico tourist card, and which way is the most effective? You can easily obtain a tourist card from the airline you are traveling with or from the airport once you land. However, the trend these days is to apply for your Mexico Tourist Card online, and that too for good reasons.

Let us take a look at some of the top reasons it is a good idea to choose an online method for obtaining your necessary document:

  • It saves you the hassle of leaving your house and standing in long queues waiting for your turn.
  • You can get your tourist card before your traveling date, which will save you the hassle of worrying too much.
  • No matter where you apply, the customer representatives are always available to answer your queries and guide you in the best possible manner.

The Online Process Involved In Getting Your Tourist Card

Like we said; usually, the best way to acquire your tourist card is online through any visa website of your choice. The entire process of applying and paying for your tourist card is online, whereas you can receive your document either in your email or it can be mailed at your address. Before you apply, just make sure you have all the necessary documents by your side, so you don’t have to get up again and go looking for things.

You will generally need the following things to apply online:

  • No matter where you are traveling, you will need a valid passport. The same goes for applying for a Tourist Card in Mexico; you cannot start your application process without having a valid passport. Moreover, you need to make sure that your passport will be good for at least 6 months, which is why you should always check its expiry date.
  • The next thing is your ticket; however, this condition is only required if you are traveling by air. You can ignore this point if you are traveling by land.
  • Then comes the payment; since the entire process will be online, so is the payment. Depending on the company you have chosen, you can transfer the fee online.
  • Once everything is done, next comes the period of waiting for your tourist card. You can receive it in your email or at your address, depending upon the service you choose.

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Mexico Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for Mexico vary depending on the traveler’s nationality. The vast majority of foreigners must obtain a visa before entering Mexico. Currently, only 69 countries enjoy visa-exempt status for Mexico.

Whether they need to get a visa or not all visitors entering Mexico by land must obtain and complete an FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple, or Tourist Card) before they can enter.

Countries with Entry Requirements to Mexico

No matter the country that issued a traveler's passport, all those entering Mexico are required to submit an FMM .

All foreign nationals must be granted a Mexican visa before visiting the country unless they belong to one of the following categories:

  • They hold a passport issued by one of the 69 countries enjoying visa-free travel to Mexico.
  • They already have a valid visa for one of the Schengen countries, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
  • They are permanent residents of one of the Schengen member states, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Japan, Peru, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
  • They have a valid APEC Business Travel Card (APBTC) with the ‘Mex’ code on the back and come from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Not all foreigners are eligible to apply for the same visas using the same channels. For example, only citizens of Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine can apply for a Mexican visa online (SAE).

What Documents Are Needed for Entry to Mexico?

The type of documents that are required in order to obtain permission to enter Mexico varies. However, all travelers must complete the Mexico Tourist Card before they can enter Mexico .

Travelers who are not visa-exempt for Mexico also need to obtain a visa in advance of travel. Visa requirements vary on the type of permit one is applying for .

Essential documents for all visas include:

  • A valid, eligible passport
  • A visa application form completed in all of its parts as accurately as possible

documents for entry mexico

An electronic travel permit (officially called Sistema de Autorización Electrónica or SAE) is the easiest and quickest way to get permission to enter Mexico . To complete a SAE application, only the above documents are required and can be uploaded in digital format from anywhere in the world thanks to the online system.

Documents required for a Mexico entry permit: offline applications

Depending on the type of visa one is applying for, there are a variety of documents that a prospective visitor may need to submit. The reason for these document requirements is usually to prove the applicant’s plans, motivation to travel, financial capacity, and more.

Find below a list of supporting documentation covering several Mexican visas that can only be obtained offline.

Please note that it is a general list only, and that specific information should be obtained from a Mexican embassy or consulate before starting an application.

  • Itinerary information including hotel reservations
  • Travel plans such as a return plane ticket proving the applicant’s intention of remaining in Mexico only temporarily
  • A recent, passport-sized photograph
  • Financial information demonstrating the traveler’s ability to support themselves during their time in Mexico (this can be submitted in the form of cash, bank statements, credit cards, etc)
  • Health information such as evidence of vaccinations and/ or medical insurance cover
  • Invitation letter from a Mexican citizen or entity
  • Official business letter stating the reason for the applicant’s travel
  • Invitation letter from a Mexican institution to attend official events
  • Invitation letter from an institution part of the National Education System stating the foreigner’s purposes and length of studies in Mexico

Foreign citizens should also note that while the electronic authorization can be paid for online via debit or credit card, most visas require the payment of an application fee in cash directly at the embassy.

Passport Requirements for Mexico

All foreign citizens must hold a valid and eligible passport if they wish to enter the Mexican territory. For all visitors, the passport must:

  • Be valid for at least 6 months after the intended date of entry
  • Contain blank pages to receive entry/exit stamps

Travelers crossing into Mexico by land are able to use either a valid passport book or passport card to enter the country.

Those who need a visa to enter Mexico must make sure that their passport data exactly matches the information provided in the visa application form .

Should the applicant’s passport fail to satisfy these criteria, the visa will be denied or canceled.

Please note that the passport provided during the application process and the granted visa are directly linked. Should the passport expire before the travel permit, both will become invalid and the traveler will have to apply again once a new passport is issued.

Foreign nationals will be asked to show their passport in several occasions including:

  • When applying for the Mexico visa
  • At the airport (travelers may be refused boarding if they fail to show their passport (and visa, if applicable) together with their plane ticket)
  • At the immigration check at the Mexican border
  • At checkpoints across the country

Although not all non-Mexican citizens need a visa, all foreigners must have a valid passport with them as they visit the country.

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When you arrive at Cancun Airport , you present your printed Tourist Card, your passport, and since your information is already in the system, the Immigration Officer just needs to stamp your Tourist Card and that’s it. Enjoy your stay in Cancun!

How to get my Tourist Card?

It is really easy you can fill it out online. We highly recommend do it at home before your flight to avoid long ranks when you arrive at Cancun Airport. We will show you all the steps to get your tourist card.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Contact information
  • Passport information
  • Full Name of the Hotel or address in Mexico
  • Arrival flight information
  • Email to send you the Tourist Card
  • A printer to print the Tourist Card

You have to click on this to fill out your  Tourist Card it is the government’s official website

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  • Mexico Tourist Visa, requirements and application process 
  • North America Visas
  • Mexico visas

Mexico is a beautiful country in the Southern part of North America. It shares its northern borders with the United States and its southern borders with Belize and Guatemala. Mexico welcomes many visitors every year. Therefore, the Mexican government authorized Mexican tourist visas to foreigners for tourism, business, visit, and cultural events.

In this article, we will explain about Mexico tourist visa, its requirements, Mexican tourist card, and how to apply for Mexico tourist visas.

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Who Needs a Mexico Tourist Visa?

If you are about to submit an application for a tourist visa, you need to check the Mexican visa-waiver list. National tourists who are from the following countries do not need to receive a tourist visa from the Mexican government to stay in Mexico for 180 days or less:

Note: If you are not from the mentioned countries but have a Schengen or US visa, you don’t need to apply for a tourist visa.

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Find the links and extra information explained in the video here: 

List of Mexico embassies 

Tourist visa application form 

Website to apply for Mexico SEU or electronic travel authorization

What is a Mexico Tourist Card?

The Mexico tourist card or FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) is a Residence permit. All foreign travelers visiting Mexico by land or air must obtain an FMM tourist card.

This card includes information, such as the number of days travelers are allowed to stay in the country. Remember that the FMM card only provides temporary residency for tourists, and they cannot work with this card.

Travelers can obtain an FMM card

  • When they arrive in Mexico.
  • From their airlines along with their ticket price.
  • Online up to 7 days before they travel.

Tourists from countries with visa exemption only need to acquire the FMM card. However, tourists from other countries must obtain both the Mexico tourist visa and the FMM card.

What are the Requirements for a Mexico Tourist Visa?

Mexican embassies ask tourists to collect and present certain documents. These required documents are as follows:

  • A complete Mexico Tourist Visa Application Form (must be printed and signed)
  • An FMM card
  • A passport with blank pages (must be valid for at least six months)
  • A copy of relevant pages of the passport
  • Pictures (must be passport-size)
  • Reserved round-trip travel tickets
  • Evidence of sufficient financial status via bank statements (the last three months).
  • Evidence of a hotel booking. If tourists plan to stay with their friends or family members, they must state their name and address.
  • Employment status documents
  • A Cover letter which explains the reason for the tourist’s travel, details of the trip like the arrival and departure dates and tourist’s accommodation.
  • Evidence of paid Mexico visa fee

Note: Depending on the reason for the travel and tourists’ employment status, embassies might also ask for other documents.

How to Get a Mexico Tourist Card?

Tourists must have an FMM card to be able to enter Mexico. Tourists can get FMM cards in different ways.

  • From the plane crew. The cabin crew distributes these cards when the plane is about to land (only if the price of the Tourist Card is included in the cost of tickets).
  • From clerks of immigration desks inside the airport.
  • At a Mexican embassy before their flight.
  • If tourists are traveling by sea, they can get the Tourist or FMM card at the Mexico port of call.
  • If tourists are traveling by land, they can get the Mexico Tourist or FMM Card at the point of entry.
  • If tourists are applying online, they must print the Tourist Card and bring it when they travel.

Mexico Tourist Card Fee

A Tourist Card can cost between 25 to 35 US Dollars, depending on tourists’ countries.

Mexico Tourist Card Validity

A Mexico Tourist Card can be issued for 30, 60, 90 up to a maximum of 180 days based on the decision of the immigration officers at the point of entry. Tourists must leave Mexico before their tourist Card expires.

How to Extend a Mexico Tourist Card?

If a tourist visa card is issued for less than 180 days, tourists can go to the immigration officers and extend it to the full 180 days from inside Mexico. However, if a tourist card is issued for 180 days, it cannot be extended.

How to Apply for a Mexico Tourist Visa?

Acquiring a tourist visa includes several steps. First, tourists need to find a Mexican embassy nearby. Then, Tourists have to:

  • Set a time for an appointment at the embassy.
  • Fill out the Mexico Visa Application Form. This form is also accessible from the website of the embassy.
  • Gather the required documents.
  • Set another appointment at the embassy.
  • Submit the documents, application form, and make the visa fee payments at the Mexico embassy.
  • Wait for the embassy to complete the visa process and reach a verdict.
  • Take their passport to the embassy because the Mexico visa will be affixed to their passport.

Note: Method for paying the Mexico visa fee and opening hours and days of the embassy can depend on the country tourists are applying from.

What is SAE?

SAE (Sistema de Autorización Electrónica) or the Electronic Travel Authorization is another method to apply for a Mexico tourist visa. This online method is valid for one entry and is only available for Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine citizens.

How much is a Mexico Tourist Visa Fee?

The Mexico Tourist Visa fee is typically about 36 US Dollars. However, the visa fee and the payment method may differ depending on the country tourists apply from.

Let’s sum up …

The Mexican government provides tourist visas for international travelers who are willing to visit this magnificent country. In this article, we mentioned some information regarding the Mexican tourist card, how to apply for it, and how to apply for a Mexico tourist visa and its required documents. We also answered some common questions.

Suppose you like to know more about Mexican visas. You can check the left sidebar.

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Once You Have Registered With Your Embassy Or Consulate, You Will Need To Update Your Data If:

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  • your civil status changes,
  • you are going back to your home country.

Learn More: Tourist Card - Land

What you need to know.

The Tourist Card (FMM) is a travel document that facilitates entry to Mexico but it does not replace a visa.

The Tourist Card (FMM) is usually valid for up to 180 days after arrival.

With the Tourist Card you can extend your stay in Mexico.

You can apply for a Tourist Card within 30 days of your arrival in Mexico. We recommend you apply before your trip to avoid complications.

If you are traveling with children they will also have to apply for this travel document.

We will send you two pages showing your Tourist Card. Make sure you do not cut or alter them in any way as this may invalidate them.

Make sure that the Mexican officials stamp your card.

If your nationality requires a paper visa, immigration officers at the airport will ask for the visa as well as the Tourist Card. We suggest you print a physical copy of the document.

If you are only going to do stopovers or transit through Mexico, you don’t need the Tourist Card.

There are no COVID-19 testing, requirements, or quarantine requirements for travelers to Mexico.

iVisa is a legitimate company, accredited and recognized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For more information, see the FAQs below.

Apply today for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel with us!

Last updated: November 2023

Whether you're strolling through the dynamic streets of Mexico City, relaxing on the sandy beaches of Cancun, or exploring the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico's charm is in its rich cultural diversity and stunning natural settings. If you're planning to travel to Mexico using a car, bus or train, you'll need to apply for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel.

We know too well the headache of visiting different websites to get the most accurate and up-to-date information about travel documents. That's why we've compiled this guide to help you understand the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel, its requirements, and how to apply.

Let's get started!

Mexico tourism landscape

What is a Mexico Tourist Card?

The Mexico Tourist Card, also known as the Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM), is a mandatory document for tourists entering Mexico via land, air, or sea. It serves as proof of a visitor's authorized entry into the country and indicates the permitted duration of their stay .

This document is a separate entity from the traveler's passport and, where applicable, their visa . It helps the Mexican government keep track of the number of visitors and their contact details in case of an emergency. The Tourist Card consists of two sections. Upon arrival at the border, one section is handed to the traveler after being processed, while Mexican immigration authorities retain the other.

When exiting Mexico, travelers must present this card and their passport to immigration officials. It's therefore important to keep the Mexico Tourist Card safe for the duration of your stay in Mexico .

What can you do with the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

The Mexico Tourist Card for land travel allows you to:

Visit Mexico for leisure, tourism, or recreational purposes .

Carry out business-related activities, study short-term courses, and do volunteer work .

Live anywhere in Mexico according to the number of days you're granted.

What can you not do with the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

Once you're issued with a Mexico Tourist Card for land travel, you cannot :

Seek employment.

Work to earn money.

Become a permanent resident of Mexico.

Who can apply for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

To be eligible for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel, applicants must meet the following criteria:

You're a foreign national traveling to Mexico .

You must hold a valid passport .

You will not stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days .

Who is eligible for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

All international visitors to Mexico are eligible for the Mexico Tourist Card, regardless of their country of citizenship .

Countries that require a visa as well as those that are visa-exempt ​ must also apply for a Mexico Tourist Card. The eligible countries include:

Who doesn't need to apply for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

Travelers who hold the following documents aren't required to apply for a Mexico Tourist Card for land travel:

Holders of Mexico temporary resident visas .

Holders of Mexico permanent resident visas .

Do minors have to apply for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

The requirement for the Mexico Tourist Card applies to every person traveling to Mexico, including children and diplomatic personnel.

This means minors must also obtain a Mexico Tourist Card to enter the country.

Mexico Tourist Card for land travel validity: How long is the Mexico Tourist Card valid?

The Mexico Tourist Card allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 180 days in Total . However, the immigration officers at the point of entry decide the number of days you are given.

The Tourist Card is a Single Entry document , and once you leave Mexico, you'll need to apply for a new one.

Can I extend my Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

No, you cannot renew or extend a Mexico Tourist Card . You must leave the country before your Tourist Card expires, or you'll be fined based on the number of days you overstayed.

Mexico nature view

Mexico Tourist Card requirements

To apply for the Mexico Tourist Card when arriving by land, applicants need the following:

Passport: It must be valid for at least 6 months before your intended departure date from Mexico.

Travel itinerary: You'll need to provide your chosen entry point into Mexico, the purpose of your visit, and your planned duration of stay.

Proof of accommodation: You may be asked to provide details of where you plan to stay in Mexico, like a hotel reservation and its physical address.

Invitation letter: You may need to provide a letter from the Mexican organization inviting you to a business-related activity or a letter of acceptance from an educational institution to study for a maximum period of 6 months.

How to apply for the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel

If you want a streamlined application process that is easy to follow and minimizes the occurrence of errors, applying for your Mexico Tourist Card using our platform is your best bet .

We've simplified the application process into three simple steps:

Step 1: Enter your personal and travel details on our website or via the iVisa app .

Step 2: Verify that all your information is accurate and choose your preferred processing time. Pay the fees with a credit or debit card, PayPal, or Venmo.

Step 3: Once it's ready, we'll email you your Mexico Tourist Card. Download and print it.

When you arrive in Mexico, you must present the printed Tourist Card and your passport.

Mexico Tourist Card costs and processing times

  • The cost of applying for a Mexico Tourist Card for land travel is approximately USD $42.00 . This fee is paid during the online application process.

However, if you're staying in Mexico for less than 7 days, the Mexico Tourist Card is free .

When you choose to use our visa service, there's an additional surcharge depending on the processing time you choose:

Standard processing , which takes 24 hours .

Rush processing , which takes 4 hours .

Super rush processing , which takes 30 minutes .

Do I need the Mexico Tourist Card to transit through the country?

For those transiting through Mexico, there's no need to apply for a Mexico Tourist Card .

However, individuals who need a visa to enter Mexico based on their nationality will require a visa, even if they strictly seek to transit through Mexico.

Benefits of getting your Mexico Tourist Card with us

When you choose our platform for your Mexico Tourist Card, you're not just selecting a service; you're choosing a superior experience. Here's why our platform stands out from the rest:

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Mexico entry requirements or restrictions

Mexico has lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions. Travelers entering Mexico aren't required to present a negative COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine upon arrival. However, it's always advisable to check the Mexican government website for the latest travel advisories and requirements before your trip, as policies can change.

Differences between a Mexico Tourist Card for land travel and a Mexico Tourist Visa

While they might sound similar, the Mexico Tourist Card and the Mexico Tourist Visa serve different purposes and are required under different circumstances.

The Mexico Tourist Visa is a formal document issued by the Mexican government that grants entry to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Mexico .

While the Mexico Tourist Visa is a permit required for certain nationalities to enter Mexico , the Mexico Tourist Card is a mandatory entry requirement for all foreign nationals visiting Mexico, regardless of whether they need a Tourist Visa .

The Mexico Tourist Card is used to keep an official record of all visitors and is necessary for both visa-required and visa-exempt travelers.

Please consider using our visa checker tool to find out if you need to apply for a Mexico Tourist Visa with us!

Where can I learn more about the Mexico Tourist Card for land travel?

For more information about the Mexico Tourist Card, you can get in touch with our customer support team . Please send us a message on our live chat or at [email protected] .

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My application couldn’t be completed due to an error. What now?

What can i do if my mexico tourist card application has been canceled or rejected.

Our iVisa experts review all applications and supporting documents to help you avoid rejections. However, if government officials find errors and reject your application, iVisa will refund your iVisa processing fee.

Note: Government fees will not be refunded.

You may reapply if your Mexico Tourist Card was canceled or rejected.

What happens if I lose my Tourist Card while in Mexico?

Two possible things can happen if you lose your Mexico Tourist Card:

If you obtained your Tourist Card online, you can print a new form. Please be aware that you may need to pay a fine of up to USD 60, depending on the Immigration Authorities.​

If you lost a "handwritten" Tourist Card, you must make an appointment with an Immigration Office to get a new form. Please be aware that you may need to pay a fine of up to USD 60 to replace it.

My passport is NOT from an Eligible Country, but I am a legal resident of an Eligible Country. Can I apply for the Tourist Card online?

My passport is from one of the eligible countries but expires in less than 180 days. can i apply, visa policy of mexico, how do processing times work, where can i read more.

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Can I use my credit card in Mexico?

June 13, 2024 | 6 min read

If you’re heading to Mexico for the first time, you might wonder how you’ll pay for things like excursions, meals and souvenirs. A credit card can help simplify your spending and might even earn you rewards throughout your trip. 

Depending on your card and issuer, there may be additional benefits to using a credit card while traveling through Mexico. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Credit cards are accepted throughout Mexico at many major retail and dining establishments.
  • Depending on your card, there may be extra benefits to using it in Mexico, including perks like airport lounge access and protections like lost luggage reimbursement.
  • Some fees may apply when using your credit card in Mexico. Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction or currency conversion fees. View important rates and disclosures.
  • It can be a good idea to bring some cash as well as your card to Mexico.

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How to use a credit card in Mexico

The way to use a U.S.-issued credit card in Mexico is the same as it is at home. But when you buy something in Mexican pesos, the card issuer typically automatically converts the price into U.S. dollars and incorporates the exchange rate.

You can use your credit card at any store in Mexico that accepts your card’s payment network, such as Visa® or Mastercard® .

Potential fees

With some credit cards, fees may be added when you make transactions abroad with foreign merchants: 

  • A foreign transaction fee is a surcharge on credit card purchases made outside of the U.S.
  • A currency conversion fee is charged by the credit or debit card payment network or ATM network for converting the foreign currency to your home currency. This has to happen so that the card issuer can process it and charge it to your account.

Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction or currency conversion fees. View important rates and disclosures. Other issuers might.

Something else to watch out for is vendors offering dynamic currency conversion. This optional service converts the price in pesos to your home currency right at the point of purchase. It’s convenient, but it typically costs more than any standard exchange rate your credit card issuer might charge.

Can you use a debit card in Mexico?

Debit cards are widely accepted throughout Mexico. As with a credit card, the issuer converts purchases made in pesos into U.S. dollars. 

Depending on your checking account and the ATM you use, you could incur fees when using your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM in Mexico. Those fees can include:

  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Dynamic currency conversion fees
  • International ATM withdrawal fees
  • ATM-operator fees

Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction or currency conversion fees for debit card transactions. Some ATM operators charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM.

Benefits of using your credit card in Mexico

It could be useful to have some pesos on you while you’re in Mexico. But taking only cash on any trip, whether it’s to Mexico or elsewhere, can have disadvantages. Handling unfamiliar bills and coins can be confusing and unwieldy. And if cash is lost or stolen, there’s no getting it back. 

Using a credit card in Mexico could offer these benefits:

  • Convenience: With a credit card, you can avoid exchanging cash for pesos during your trip and potentially paying a higher exchange rate. 
  • Security features: You may have access to security features and card management tools that can benefit travelers. For example, Capital One offers $0 liability for unauthorized charges and an emergency replacement card and cash advance if your card is lost or stolen. 
  • Credit card rewards: With a rewards credit card , you can keep earning rewards on qualifying purchases when you’re south of the border.
  • Travel-related perks: Some credit cards come with benefits that are particularly useful for travelers. Eligible Capital One cardholders get travel protections like lost luggage reimbursement and perks like complimentary access to airport lounges and a statement credit for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry enrollment, up to $100 once every four years.

Tips for using your credit card in Mexico

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, there are a few things to keep in mind when using your credit card .

Do some research

Credit cards are widely accepted in Mexico. But if you need more reassurance, you could contact your hotel and ask whether there’s anything in particular you should know about the area you’re staying in. You could also consult with a travel agent or look online for other travelers’ experiences.

Plan to carry some cash

Using cash alone may not be the best idea. But it could still be beneficial to have some pesos in Mexico. Small businesses and those outside of major metropolitan areas might not have the technology to process credit card transactions or might just prefer to take cash. And it’s always useful for tipping.

Consider a card with no foreign transaction fees

Before you leave, check if your credit card issuer charges foreign transaction fees. Where they apply, fees typically range from 1% to 3% of each transaction. 

Not all cards charge foreign transaction fees. That includes any card from Capital One. View important rates and disclosures.

Bring a spare credit card

Bringing an additional card as a backup can be useful, especially if you keep it separate from your primary one. If you’re a Capital One cardholder and report your card lost or stolen, you can lock it to prevent others from using it. With a backup, you won’t have to be without funds.

Check if your card issuer needs notice of your trip

Some credit card issuers might request that you set up a travel notice when you’re leaving the country. That’s so they know you’re abroad and don’t flag your card for potential fraud. You can typically inform your issuer of your travel plans on its website or through its mobile app. 

Capital One no longer requires that you share your international travel plans. But it still recommends updating your contact information in case it needs to reach you about suspected fraud.

Using a credit card in Mexico FAQ

Check out these answers to some frequently asked questions about using your credit card in Mexico:

Can I use my Capital One credit card in Mexico?

Capital One credit cards are accepted worldwide, including in Mexico. Make sure your contact information is up to date before you go. You can also download the Capital One Mobile app on your tablet or smart device. The app can help you manage your account on the go while allowing you to do things like lock your cards and monitor your transactions.

Is it better to use cash or credit cards in Mexico?

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to using cash or credit in Mexico. It depends on the situation. A credit card may be more secure and easier to carry, and you won’t need to worry about conversion rates. But cash can be useful if you’re tipping or shopping with small businesses.

What is the most popular payment method in Mexico?

Cash is still widely used throughout Mexico, but millions of establishments throughout the country accept credit and debit cards.

Key takeaways: Using a credit card in Mexico

Using a credit card in Mexico is easy and convenient. You can plan to use it throughout the country for most of your purchases and avoid worrying about conversion rates. Plus, a credit card is more secure than cash and may even come with some useful travel perks and protections.

If you want to get rewarded for planning your next big trip, consider a travel rewards credit card from Capital One . And before you leave, check out these tips for using a credit card internationally to help you get the most out of your card.

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Acceptable Identification at the TSA Checkpoint

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Adult passengers 18 and older must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

  • Beginning May 7, 2025, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., make sure it is REAL ID compliant . If you are not sure if your ID complies with REAL ID, check with your state department of motor vehicles.  
  • State-Issued Drivers License or State-Issued ID
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In coordination with its DHS counterparts, TSA has identified acceptable alternate identification for use in special circumstances at the checkpoint.

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Beginning May 7, 2025, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., make sure it is REAL ID compliant . If you are not sure if your ID complies with REAL ID, check with your state department of motor vehicles.

Learn more about flying with a REAL ID .

TSA currently accepts expired ID up to a year after expiration, for the above listed forms of identification. DHS has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 7, 2025. Learn more about REAL ID on  TSA’s REAL ID  webpage.

TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

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In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.

You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you choose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.

TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.

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The U.S. passport card is a wallet-sized, plastic passport that has no visa pages. The card is proof of U.S. citizenship and identity, and has the same length of validity as the passport book.  

The card is for U.S. citizens who travel by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Caribbean countries.

The card is not valid for international travel by air and is cheaper than the passport book.

You can apply for either the book or card, or both documents.  

Steps to Apply for a Card

  • Applying for the first time:  Apply in Person page .
  • Applying for your child: Children Under 16 page .
  • Renewing as an adult:   Renew by Mail page .  
  • Change your name or correct an error on the document.  

We use the same forms for both passport books and cards. The first step on our forms is to select if you want a passport book, passport card, or both documents. 

Comparing a Passport Book and Card

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i apply for the passport card and passport book using the same application.

Yes. You can apply for both a passport book and passport card at the same time using the same application. When completing your form, let us know if you would like to apply for one or both documents. 

If you're renewing both your passport book and passport card, you must provide both documents. If you can submit a passport book, but you lost your passport card, you cannot renew the passport card using Form DS-82.

Can I get a passport card if I already have a passport book?

Yes. If you already have a passport book and   you are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for a passport card by mail as a "renewal" even if it is your first passport card.

You can do the same and apply for your first passport book by mail as a "renewal" if you already have a passport card.

May I use a passport card to fly?

You cannot use the passport card to fly to or from a foreign country.

The Transportation Security Administration accepts the passport card as ID for domestic flights in the United States.

The passport card is for U.S. citizens who live in northern and southern border communities and cross the border by land.

Use the passport book for international air travel.

Can I use my passport card at Ready Lanes?

Yes. You can save time at the U.S.-Mexico border by using Ready Lanes that read the U.S. passport card’s Radio Frequency Identification technology. Find a complete list of documents accepted at Ready Lanes. 

I don't have any citizenship evidence or photo ID to apply. How can I get these documents?

Go to our Citizenship Evidence page and Photo ID page for examples of documents we accept.

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If you were born in the United States, contact the county, city, or state where you were born and ask for a certified copy of your birth certificate. A certified copy has the seal or stamp of the official issuing authority.

If you were born outside the United States, follow the tips on the Citizenship Evidence page. 

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We accept other types of government-issued, primary photo ID. We will accept secondary photo ID if you do not have a primary ID. 

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How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa

If you visit the U.S. for tourism or business, you may need a visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa. Learn how to get and renew this type of nonimmigrant visa.

Find out if you need a visa to visit the U.S.

Check if your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . If it does, you can get a waiver and will not need a visa. If you do not see your country listed, you will need a visitor visa.

Visitor (tourist) visas and other travel documents for entering the U.S.

The visitor visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa for people who wish to temporarily enter the U.S. There are two categories:

  • B-1 for business travel
  • B-2 for tourism and medical treatment

Learn about B-1 and B-2 visas , including:

  • Reasons you would need each type of visitor visa
  • How to apply
  • What documents you will need
  • Application fees
  • How to prepare for your interview at your U.S. embassy or consulate

Along with your visa, you must bring a passport issued by your country of citizenship. When you arrive at your port of entry into the U.S., officials will issue you a Form I-94, which electronically records your arrival and departure dates. Learn more about Form I-94.

How to renew a visitor visa

The process to renew a visitor visa is the same as getting one for the first time. Follow the process to apply for a visitor visa from the Department of State.

Find the contact information for your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and contact them for visa renewal information.

Understand expiration dates for visas and I-94 forms

  • The date you must depart the U.S. will be shown on your Form I-94. This date is determined by the Customs and Border Protection officer when you arrive at the port-of-entry into the U.S. 
  • Only diplomatic visa holders and their dependents can renew their visas while they are in the U.S.

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IMAGES

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  2. How to Get a Mexico FMM Tourist Card • Off Path Travels

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  3. Mexico Tourist Card (FMM) Ultimate Guide

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  5. Get your Mexico Tourist Card online and save time at the airport!

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is a Mexican Tourist Card and How Do I Get One?

    Mexico tourist cards (Forma Migratoria Multiple, also known as FMT) are a government form declaring that the stated purpose of a visit to Mexico is tourism. Although more than one kind of Mexico visa exists, a Mexico tourist card essentially says the holder has the intention of vacationing in Mexico for no more than 180 days.

  2. What is a Mexico tourist card? Here's everything you need to know

    Before visiting Mexico's glamorous vacation spots or the country's best beaches, you'll need to secure a tourist card. One of the easiest ways to get a tourist card is by applying online via the official Mexico Tourist Card website. The process is free and can be completed up to 30 days before your vacation.

  3. The FMM for Mexico Explained: How to Get a Tourist Card

    Mexico offers visa-free entry to those who hold passports from countries on its no visa required list. Instead of a Mexican visa, visitors must obtain an FMM tourist permit (Forma Migratoria Múltiple). This document allows you to stay in Mexico for the purpose of tourism or business for up to 180 days. The FMM currently costs 685 pesos or $38.

  4. Mexico Tourist Card (FMM) Ultimate Guide

    The Mexico tourist card aka Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM) is an immigration form that must be filled out prior to your entry in Mexico. It's a form that you will submit to immigration once you arrive at the airport and is required for every person including children. It is recommended to fill out the form and register online in order ...

  5. Official Cancun Airport Tourist Card Information for passengers

    If you are visiting Mexico you need a Tourist Card which is an Entry Immigration Form that details information about your visit to Mexico. The Tourist Card is per person regardless of age and how long you will stay in Mexico. The information you provide in the Tourist Card is kept by the Mexican Immigration Authority as an official record of ...

  6. Mexico Tourist Card

    If you are visiting Mexico you need a Tourist Card which is an Entry Immigration Form that details information about your visit to Mexico. The Tourist Card is per person regardless of age and how long you will stay in Mexico. The information you provide in the Tourist Card is kept by the Mexican Immigration Authority as an official record of ...

  7. FAQ

    If you are visiting Mexico you need a Tourist Card which is an Entry Immigration Form that details information about your visit to Mexico. The Tourist Card is per person regardless of age and how long you will stay in Mexico. The information provided in the Tourist Card is kept by the Mexican Immigration Authority as an official record of your ...

  8. Mexico Tourist Card (FMM) Information 2024

    What Is the Mexico Tourist Card or FMM? The Forma Migratoria Multiple or Mexico tourist card is an immigration document that applies to certain international visitors entering the country. How the FMM card works. The FMM is a slip of paper separate from the traveler's passport. It's also a separate document to a Mexican visa, if required.

  9. How to Get a Mexico FMM Tourist Card • Off Path Travels

    What is a Mexico FMM Tourist Card? The Mexico FMM is a tourist permit and a form that you fill out so the Instituto Nacional de Migración (Mexico's immigration department) can register your entry into and exit from the country.. The top of the FMM form is retained by immigration (the entry section) and the bottom of the form has a tear-away FMM card (the exit section) that you need to keep ...

  10. PDF Tourist Card Instructions

    Mexico on D ecember 30th you w ill have to w ait until N ovember 30th to apply for your tour ist car d. 4. Date of departure ­ C lick on the calendar and select the date you leave fr om Mexico 5. Airline Name ­ Wr ite dow n the name of the air line that your ar e flying to Mexico, for

  11. What is a Mexican Tourist Card and where to get it?

    Mexico Tourist Card is a travel document granted by the Mexican Government to foreign travelers who want to travel and stay in Mexico for tourism purposes. You can get two types of Mexico Tourist Cards from Natvisa: Tourist Card - Air is delivered through email and is valid for 6 months. Tourist Card - Land will be also delivered via email ...

  12. Mexico Tourist Visa

    The Mexico tourist card, ( Forma Migratoria Múltiple, FMM) is a permit that every foreign national must get before they can enter Mexico. It states the number of days you are allowed to stay in the country, and you must depart before those days are up. The Forma Migratoria Múltiple is a permit that shows that the holder residing in Mexico is ...

  13. Mexico Entry Requirements for US Citizens

    It's an entry requirement for all foreign visitors, including Americans. It's mandatory if you plan to travel more than 20 kilometers into Mexican territory and stay more than 72 hours. A Mexican tourist card for United States citizens is a single-entry document. It becomes invalid once you leave Mexico.

  14. Mexico Tourist Card for Land Arrivals

    The Mexico Tourist Card allows a single entry with a maximum stay of 180 days, and the duration of stay permitted is determined by the immigration authorities upon arrival. If a traveler wishes to stay in Mexico beyond the granted duration, they must apply for a different type of visa or immigration status that aligns with their purpose of stay

  15. Immigration and tourist card

    The Tourist (Air) Card will be issued free of charge to all tourists who fly with a commercial airline. However, it is important to point out that this card is personal, so if you are traveling with two, three, or more passengers, they must also apply for and receive theirs. The purpose of the FMM tourist card is to facilitate entry into Mexico ...

  16. Tourist Card Mexico

    FMM/Tourist card for Mexico is a travel document issued by the government to all tourists or foreigners wishing to come to Mexico. Visitors must fill out an official entry immigration form (FMM) prior to their arrival. The Tourist Card is valid per person, regardless of age or length of stay in Mexico. The Mexican Immigration Authority keeps ...

  17. What is the Mexico Tourist Card?

    The FMM or Mexico Tourist Card is a vital piece of travel document travelers need to get entry into Mexico. However, one factor to bear in mind is that some tourists may only need a tourist card, whereas some travelers may also need to get a Mexican visa. Those who simply require the tourist card can apply for one online, and their essential ...

  18. Mexico Entry Requirements & Travel Information

    All foreign citizens must hold a valid and eligible passport if they wish to enter the Mexican territory. For all visitors, the passport must: Be valid for at least 6 months after the intended date of entry. Contain blank pages to receive entry/exit stamps. Travelers crossing into Mexico by land are able to use either a valid passport book or ...

  19. Requirements for the Mexico Tourist Card

    The Mexico Tourist Card is required for all foreigners entering Mexico. It simply tells the Mexican government who is in the country and what their travel plans are while they are there. It helps them keep everyone in the country safe and secure. Therefore, if you are planning to travel, you must fill out the Mexican Tourist Card.

  20. Tourist Card

    We will show you all the steps to get your tourist card. WHAT YOU NEED: Contact information. Passport information. Full Name of the Hotel or address in Mexico. Arrival flight information. Email to send you the Tourist Card. A printer to print the Tourist Card. You have to click on this to fill out your Tourist Card it is the government's ...

  21. Mexico Tourist Visa, requirements and application process

    The Mexico tourist card or FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) is a Residence permit. All foreign travelers visiting Mexico by land or air must obtain an FMM tourist card. This card includes information, such as the number of days travelers are allowed to stay in the country. Remember that the FMM card only provides temporary residency for ...

  22. How to Obtain a Mexico Tourist Card

    The easiest way to apply for a Mexico Tourist Card (Land or Air) is with us! We simplified the application process into three simple steps: Complete the simple online form with the required information and double-check it's correct. Choose your preferred processing option and pay the Mexico tourist card fees. Keep an eye on your email for ...

  23. How much does a Mexico tourist card cost?

    Then you need to choose the tourist card type and processing time. According to your selection, the prices will be established. The difference between a land tourist card and an air tourist card is the visa cost. If you travel by plane, there is no visa cost, which means you have to spend USD $42.00 less than if you travel by land. However, the ...

  24. Get your Mexico Tourist Card

    The Mexico Tourist Card allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 180 days in Total. However, the immigration officers at the point of entry decide the number of days you are given. The Tourist Card is a Single Entry document, and once you leave Mexico, you'll need to apply for a new one.

  25. Can I Use My Credit Card in Mexico?

    Travel-related perks: Some credit cards come with benefits that are particularly useful for travelers. ... Using a credit card in Mexico is easy and convenient. You can plan to use it throughout the country for most of your purchases and avoid worrying about conversion rates. Plus, a credit card is more secure than cash and may even come with ...

  26. Acceptable Identification at the TSA Checkpoint

    An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized, Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe. HSPD-12 PIV card. Foreign government-issued passport. Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card. Transportation worker identification credential. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)

  27. Get a Passport Card

    The card is for U.S. citizens who travel by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Caribbean countries. The card is not valid for international travel by air and is cheaper than the passport book. You can apply for either the book or card, or both documents. Steps to Apply for a Card. Applying for the first time: Apply in Person page.

  28. How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa

    Visitor (tourist) visas and other travel documents for entering the U.S. The visitor visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa for people who wish to temporarily enter the U.S. There are two categories: B-1 for business travel; B-2 for tourism and medical treatment; Learn about B-1 and B-2 visas, including: Reasons you would need each type of visitor ...