Digital FMMs in Mexico (Aka eFMM)

When you travel to Mexico from a foreign country, you are either coming in as a tourist, a resident, or a citizen.

And for as long as I have been alive and can remember my travels to and from Mexico in the last 37 years, you have always needed that piece of paper, known as an FMM, if you are traveling to Mexico as a tourist. And in some cases, when you are a resident- if you exchange your residency stamp for a card. Also known as Canje.

Read more on-What’s An FMM? Do You Need One?

But changes are happening in INM (Mexico’s Immigration Authority), and paper FMMs may be a thing of the past.

A paper FMM

What Does This Mean?

You’re probably familiar with the Forma Migratoria Multiple better known as FMM form.

You can get one if you enter Mexico by land or air. If you are flying, your airline usually supplies you with the form before departing or arriving in Mexico. (*Your airline includes this fee on the cost of your ticket. 🎫)

If you are traveling by car or walking across the border by land, you need to process your own FMM tourist visa at the border or buy it online ahead of time.

But as of the end of July 2022, more and more residents and tourists reported they didn’t receive a paper FMM anymore and were instead given a digital FMM upon arrival at certain international airports.

Today, more and more international airports are doing away with paper FMMs and going digital.

I, of course, don’t like to take things I haven’t verified as gospel. So I checked with our recommended immigration facilitators in those cities, and sure enough, it checked out.

Residents and Tourists now get a eFMM (digital FMM) instead of the paper FMM when coming through international airports.

Something that a lot of us aren’t used to. So, how does it work?

What To Do At Immigration At The Airport

You can always count on Mexican bureaucracy to be messy when they roll out something new. And rolling out a simple procedure like this is no exception.

Most likely because the immigration agents handling the people that come through are sometimes the last ones to be trained on the new process. Sometimes, you and I will be experts at this before they receive any formal training. That’s typical Mexico.

What does this mean for you right now?

Immigration booth at the airport

There is an online portal where you can create an account and upload your documents (passport or residency card), proof of address, and other requirements.

It will then give you a QR code which ends up being your future digital FMM– that you present to INM. This isn’t exactly new, considering INM had already been offering this digital FMM to all Colombians traveling to Mexico. But for most of us, it’s a new process.

If You Are a Tourist

They will take your passport and digitally give you an FMM in the system, stamp your passport and send you on your way. Most of the time you will automatically get 180 days. Not always, but most of the time.

If You Are Coming in for CANJE

depending on the airport there are two ways you might get your FMM.
although MOST international airports in Mexico are now only issuing an eFMM.

If you are given an FMM stamp instead of a paper FMM, make sure immigration marks “canje” on the stamp in your passport. And you will be asked to scan a QR code that will take you to this website where you will need to create an account and validate your passport so you can get your digital FMM or eFMM.

Check example below

DO NOT create an account on this portal until you have been registered by immigration. It could cause problems for you.

This is the digital FMM.
  • However, most people coming through any other international airport that are not issuing the FMM stamp are usually given the paper FMM- and with the checkmark for “canje” on it. It is still VERY IMPORTANT that you check for the words “canje” on your stamp or your FMM if you are a resident coming into Mexico for the 1st time with the intent of exchanging your residency stamp for a card.

As a returning resident

you must show your Temporary or Permanent Resident Card and passport. Returning residents don’t need an FMM to enter Mexico.

Leaving Mexico As A Resident

Depending on the airport, is how you will register your exit with the Mexican governments. For most airports, you are required to go to the INM offices before leaving Mexico to register your exit. You will get a stamp in your passport and show this to the airline before leaving.

This is a stamp in your passport stating you have been authorized to enter and for how long. dates in Mexico are formatted DD/MM/YYYY

Land Borders

And if you’re wondering, as far as I know- land borders are still issuing paper FMMs. So, please don’t forget to go to INM at the border if you are coming in for canje or if you’re a tourist. If you’re a resident, it is not necessary.

If you have more information regarding this process, please comment below and pay it forward. Let us know what you’ve experienced with this new digital FMM. Please give as much detail as possible about the steps you experienced.

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Andrew says

    Mariana,

    Another great article. Great source and always professionally delivered.

    Columbians = Colombians.

    Andy

  2. Susan Elizabeth Bowron says

    Thank you so much for the information. These details are really important.

    • Susan Booth says

      ¡Sí, sí, sí! When I arrived at QRO airport, I was delayed for over an hour, closer to two hours, because the immigration officer had ignored my partial Visa for temporary residency and di not give me the canje I requested. That was tough, because I was in pain after over 12 hours of traveling & just wanted to get “home” to SMA😢 It took so long that I was in tears by the time it was finally straightened out. The wonderful gentleman that was assisting me, as I traveled with necessary wheelchair assistance from gate to gate and entrance to entrance, received a generous tip for staying with me for well over an hour. He had missed assisting other passengers, and I felt that was earned. I appreciate the kindness and assistance!
      Always stand your ground and be sure you ask for – and receive – that which you deserve! Had I not, it would’ve been a big problem for me.

      • Mariana Lange says

        Great example of someone who made sure they stood their ground. Thank you for sharing Susan

  3. Terry Glenn says

    Excellent timely article. Thank you!

    We have temporary residency and will fly to Miami from Guadalajara next Sunday.
    I’ll share our experience with you.
    Terry Glenn

    • Terry Glenn says

      When we flew out of Guadalajara airport to Miami on Volaris having Temporal Residencia on August 7th, they were still using the FFM forms so we had to check in with INM to fill out the FFM and have it stamped and Volaris collected the FFM prior to boarding.

  4. KSR says

    I wonder how people will be given these QR codes ? For people that have a smart phone they could get you to load the QR code into your phone, but what will they do for those folks that don’t have smart phones -give them a paper copy of their QR code ? These could easily get misplaced or lost.

    Also, should we be concerned about the security/privacy of these QR codes ? Anybody with a QR code scanner could presumably scan your code and subsequently find out some private, sensitive information about you.

    • Mariana Lange says

      A lot of it is unknown right now. But great questions

  5. Kathleen says

    Thanks again for keeping things current. I plan on coming into Mexico late this year.

  6. Jo Counts says

    Does this now include flights into and out of Mexico City?

    Thanks

  7. Pop says

    Why did Colombians have this electronic FMM before? Is there some specical agreement or program between MEX and COL where Colombians get special treatment, of have some kind of inside track on immigration processes?

    That reminds me to ask, do you know what temp/perm Visa income requirements are at the Bogota consulate?

  8. Pam Daly says

    Thank you for keeping us so up to date Mariana!
    Love all the information.
    We are planning on moving to the Riviera Maya early next year and thankful for all the tips.

    • Mariana Lange says

      you are very welcome

    • Lisa says

      Hey Mariana! Last month I flew to Cancún and the airline gave me a paper FMM. At the passport control they stamped my passport and I was allowed to stay 180 days. I handed in the FMM but the “police officer” said that it’s no longer necessary. When I left México at Cancún airport, there was no border control and I didn’t get any stamp in my passport and nobody asked (of course) for the FMM.
      Is everything fine like that? No exit stamp, nothing? How do they know I left? They scanned my passport when entering my home country in the European Union but that doesn’t effect México I guess..

      • Mariana Lange says

        Because you now have a digital FMM, they shouldn’t need to register your exit. However, I still recommend going to INM to register and see what they are doing that week. These changes take time to get fully adopted by the right people (aka immigration reps)

        • Lisa says

          Thank you!

  9. pam says

    Hi Mariana, thank you for the info. I am wondering, when entering Mexico with my Temp Res Visa for canje, how do I fill out boxes 7 & 8 on the FMM?

  10. Derrick Elliott says

    I am traveling to Mexico to complete part 2 of the temporary residency application process based on marriage to a Mexican national. I was told that upon arrival in Mexico, I should make sure my passport is stamped indicating that I cannot stay for more than 30 days. My questions are: #1 Do I have to remain in Mexico for 30 days? I’m only planning to be there for 7 days. #2 Do I indicate on the FMM card that I will be there for 30 days or 7 days? #3 If my passport is stamped, do I still need to complete the FMM card? #4 Once the temporary residency is granted, will I be required to pay Mexican taxes (all of my income is and will be earned outside of Mexico)?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Derrick
      This sounds like the questions you should be talking with an immigration facilitator with. Because depending on the city you do your 2nd part of the process in, it may not be done in 7 days or less.
      If you need a recommendation please check out our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Guide
      mexicorelocationguide.com/guide/

  11. TIA RICHARDSON says

    Thank you again for sharing up-to-date “ever-changing” information.

  12. CJOW says

    My daughter arrived in Cancun airport from Costa Rica on Aug 20th, received a stamp in passport, travelled by bus to a few states, then worried because everyone else she met seemed to have a paper FMM, and she thought she must have lost hers, so read up online, (didn’t see the info about new procedures) reported her FMM lost to a local INM office (she showed them her passport with stamp) who sent her to file a police report for a lost FMM and come back. Returned back to INM with the police report hoping to get replacement FMM but they told her to go to a different immigration office 5 hours away by car which she couldn’t do. So….she will be leaving on a flight via Mex City in a few days. Will it suffice to turn up to the airport for check-in with passport book and stamp? Or because she started the process of reporting a lost FMM, will she need an FMM paper form? So much confusion and running around! But yes, ultimately will be a much easier system once all are used to it.

  13. Reyna says

    Hello,
    We are flying to Mexico City in a few days and we are flying with American airlines and i ready somewhere else that the airline already charged us for the FMM fee when we paid for our tickets. My question is, do we still have to fill the FMM card online, because i would have to pay again. The other thing is that is is not giving us the correct port of entry. When i tried to fill it out Aeropuerto Internacional de Mexico Benito Juarez is not on the list and I tried it on different websites.

    • Mariana Lange says

      When you purchase an airline ticket you have already paid for an FMM. you don’t need to pay for it again.
      I would not process any FMM online before arriving. Most of the time they won’t accept them at immigration and you’ll have to fill it out again in person anyway. If you are flying into Mexico City, you don’t need to fill out the paper FMM anymore. The airline may give you a paper FMM bit when you get to immigration they’ll probably just toss it. They are doing it digitally in Mexico City now

  14. Maggie says

    Thanks for the timely info, Mariana. Departing from Mexico City airport today with my permanent residency card and had no idea about the change. Went to the INM desk and the agent was very rude. When I asked about the stamp for my FMM, he just said no, with zero explanation that the form is no longer needed. So I went to the internet and found your article about the change. Glad I didn’t start an argument with him.

    • Mariana Lange says

      You did the right thing not to lose your temper. 😀
      Glad I could help you

  15. Milana says

    Hello . Thank you for information.
    Tell me please ESA it’s same as FMM?

  16. blueberry says

    Dear Mariana,
    I am somewhat obsessive. What happens if I loose my passport that contains the stamp FMM? Of course, I report to the police and to the embassy of my country. But what is next? Please discuss in some detail. Thank you.

  17. Katrina says

    And what happens to those who do not want a QR code??? Do you know if there is an option to do the process on paper?

    • Mariana Lange says

      There is not.

  18. Dan says

    Two questions:

    1. I am coming into Mexico City airport with Temporary Residency. Do I enter the immigration line Mexicans or Foreigners?

    2. I left Mexico thru a land border at Texas and wasn’t given an exit FMM just a stamp. Will this matter?

    • Mariana Lange says

      You come in through the foreigners line. And when you leave Mexico through a land border it is less important to register your exit with INM than at an airport. You will be ok

      • Dan says

        Okay several people from Mazatlan told me with their Temporary Residency and Permanent Residency when they flew thru Mexico City they went in the Mexicans line.

        I’m not coming in to get my TR I got it last year so not canje.

        • Mariana Lange says

          Okay- then try that and see what happens. Worst thing that can happen is they tell you to go through the foreigners line

  19. Adam says

    Before I read this great article, I created an account on the portal before arriving to CDMX as a Temporary Resident. What type of problems should I expect??

    “DO NOT create an account on this portal until you have been registered by immigration. It could cause problems for you.”

    • Mariana Lange says

      Because a lot of people are filling them before actually coming to Mexico to process their Canje. And this can cause problems getting your FMM for canje such as not being able to find you in the system when you are ready to do your canje. Only fill it out after arriving

      • Justin T Schweitzer says

        I did the same thing – created and account and uploaded my passport info before I read the message to NOT create an account –

        When I get to the INM will this just cause an inconvenience or will it totally mess up my whole process?

        • Mariana Lange says

          We recommend this to our audience especially if you are working with a facilitator. Mostly because a lot of people make mistakes on the eFMM and then correcting the issues isn’t easy

  20. ANDREW LASNER says

    Mariana, I depart from Merida next week to Houston and I am a Permanent Resident. Do you know where the IMM is located at this airport, and have they changed to digital FMM’s or still using paper? Any help is appreciated.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Merida is still using paper FMMs last I know. INM is usually always located right after the security area in the international gate at most airports.

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