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Understanding Mexican Tourist Cards and How to Get One A tourist card, also referred to as an FMM (“Forma Migratoria Multiple” or formerly an FMT), is a tourist permit required for all international travelers to Mexico who will not be doing in any sort of remunerated work.Tourist cards may be valid for a maximum of 180 days and let the holder stay in Mexico as a tourist for the specified time.It must be handed in when before the tourist can leave the country. Border Zone Years ago, travelers who stayed within the United States border zone for up to 72 hours were not obliged to get a tourist card.Nowadays, the card is needed even by non-Mexican visitors staying in the country for less than six months.
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Tourist Cards
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A tourist card comes with a fee of about $23 USD.When traveling by air or on a cruise, you will have paid your tourist card fee as part of the cost of your trip.If traveling over land, you can secure a tourist card at your point of entry or from a Mexican consulate before you leave for Mexico.In such a case, you can pay for your card at a bank once you get to Mexico. But Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM) now allows foreign citizens to apply and pay for a tourist card through the Internet no earlier than 7 days before arriving in Mexico. Don’t forget that your tourist card needs to be stamped by an immigration official upon your arrival in Mexico; otherwise, it will not be valid. The maximum length of your stay is 6 months or 180 days, but the actual time given is at the immigration official’s discretion (usually from 30 to 60 days initially); for a longer stay, the tourist card will also have to be extended. You need to keep your tourist card in a secure place since you will have to surrender it to immigration officials prior to your departure.If you can’t give them your tourist card or if your tourist card has expired, you might be fined. What to Do If You Lost Your Card If your tourist card is missing for whatever reason, you need to pay a fee to obtain a new one at an immigration office, or you may be fined as you’re departing from Mexico. Extending Your Tourist Card’s Validity If you intend to stay in Mexico beyond the time your tourist card provides, you will be able to apply for an extension.No tourist can be allowed to stay longer than 180 days however; if you must stay longer, you can leave and reenter the country, or just get a different kind of visa.