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.
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 must process your own FMM tourist visa at the border or buy it online ahead of time.
But as of 2023 Both Residents and Tourists now get an 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?
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.
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.
you should download and print your digital FMM as a tourist. You will need a printed copy when you are checking in to depart Mexico. Create an account to download a copy on this website,
Also, you only have 60 days to download and print this FMM before it is no longer available. So we recommend printing it as soon as you can. Throughout Mexico, you will find Internet cafes or other places where you can print a document if you don’t have access to a printer.
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 to get your digital FMM or eFMM.
Check example below
- However, most people coming through any other international airport that is 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.
You Have 60 Days to Print It
It will only be available on the INM website for 60 days after your entry.
Make sure to download it, especially if you will be doing your canje in Mexico, or plan to stay longer than 60 days.
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.
Example For Canje Stamp
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.