Laws and regulations for those tourists entering a foreign country change, and Baja is no exception; for our readers who frequently cross the border, BD Outdoors has provided the following updates and recent changes:
INM(Mexico’s immigration department) requires that all U.S. and Canadian citizens have an FMM Tourist Permit any time they are in Mexico. Sample of a blank FMM is at the bottom of this page. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the FMM Tourist Permit.
FMM Tourist Permit:
$500 Mexican pesos at the border
Valid for up to 180 days
FMMs for stays of seven days: Free
What is an FMM tourist permit?
The FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) is a tourist permit or tourist card that allows citizens from the U.S. and Canada (as well as from other countries) to travel in Mexico. While often called a Mexican “visa,” the FMM is not a visa and is completely different from the Mexican visa that is required for citizens of some specific countries.
U.S. and Canadian citizens do not need a Mexican Visa to travel in Mexico, but they do need an FMM Tourist Permit.
Who needs an FMM tourist permit?
All U.S. and Canadian citizens over the age of two, without a Mexican temporary or permanent resident card, need to obtain an FMM Tourist Permit when entering Mexico. Other non-Mexican citizens from the countries listed here need an FMM as well.
Do I have to get a FMM Tourist Permit when I go to Baja?
Yes. Mexican law requires that all tourists from the U.S. and Canada have an FMM Tourist Permit for any trip into Baja. You may encounter INM checkpoints along the peninsula where they will ask to see your passport and FMM. If you get into an accident in Mexico and you don’t have an FMM, you are not considered to be in accordance with Mexican law, and therefore your Mexican auto insurance can be rendered invalid. Each individual must have an FMM, including children two years of age and up.
What about the “free zone” for short trips just across the border?
Every person entering Baja, regardless of destination or duration of trip, needs to obtain an FMM. If you are only going to be in Mexico for seven days or less, you can get a free FMM, but you still need to stop at the border to fill out the paperwork to obtain the permit.
How much does an FMM cost?
If you obtain your FMM at the border, it costs $500 Mexican pesos (as of January 1, 2017). If you will be in Mexico for seven days or less, you may obtain a free FMM at the border.
How long is the FMM valid for?
The paid FMM Tourist Permit is valid for a period of up to 180 days (as long as your passport does not expire before that time). At the border, you will be asked how long you would like the permit for and you should request the full 180 days. The free FMM is only valid for seven days or less.
Can I use my FMM for multiple entries?
The FMM can be used for multiple entries in and out of Mexico through the expiration date of the permit.
What do I need in order to get an FMM tourist permit?
You will need to have a passport or passport card. Keep in mind that since passport books and passport cards have different numbers, you will need to carry whichever one you use to obtain your FMM (i.e., you cannot use your passport book to obtain the FMM and then just carry around your FMM with your passport card. You must carry your passport book if that is what you use to obtain the FMM).
Where do I get an FMM Tourist Permit?
You can obtain an FMM at the immigration office as you cross into Mexico. Or you can obtain your FMM Tourist Permit online or from offices of Baja travel clubs –names and links are listed below. If you are flying to Mexico on a commercial flight from the U.S., the airline will provide you with the paperwork for the FMM and has included the fee in the price of your ticket.
What is the process to get an FMM?
As you cross the border into Mexico, you will look for the INM/SAT Aduanas building (immigration and customs). Stop and go into the INM building just before you cross the border on the right hand side, where you will fill out the paperwork. Then you will need to go to into the Banjercito where you will pay for the FMM. Once paid, take your receipt back to INM to complete the process.
Do I have to stop at the border to get my FMM? Can’t I stop farther down to get one?
You must get your FMM stamped at the border when entering Mexico. You are no longer allowed to get an FMM for land travel at immigration stations farther south. The INM office in Ensenada now only processes nautical FMMs for visitors entering Mexico by boat. The San Ysidro El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so there should be no problem with getting your FMM at the border no matter what time you’re crossing into Baja.
What if I’m entering Mexico by airplane or boat?
If you are flying to Mexico on a commercial flight from the U.S., the airline will provide you with the paperwork for the FMM Permit and has included the fee for it in the price of your ticket. If you are flying from Tijuana, you can obtain your FMM before you cross from the CBX Bridge or from the online links below.
If you are crossing into Mexico by water, click here for information. Please note that it takes 48 hours to obtain a nautical FMM. Nautical Sportfishing FMMs. CLICK HERE FOR -Nautical Sportfishing FMMs.
Do my kids need an FMM?
Any child over the age of two years old needs to have an FMM (and therefore a passport or passport card).
Do I need an FMM if I have temporary or permanent resident card (formerly known as FM2 or FM3)?
No. Your temporary resident or permanent resident card already functions as your permit to be in Mexico. You do not need to obtain a tourist permit in addition to this.
If I am applying for a temporary or permanent resident card, do I need to get an FMM?
No. After you submit your documents for a temporary or permanent resident card, you will receive your visa inside your passport. You need to stop at an immigration office at the border where they will provide you with an FMM at no cost to you. You will exchange that FMM for your resident card at the immigration office closest to your Mexican residence.
Do I need to return the FMM?
You do not need to return your FMM to the INM upon leaving Baja by land (contrary to what it says on the back of the permit). After they have expired, you may shred or discard them.
To obtain a prepaid FMM tourist permit ONLINE – CLICK HERE