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I entered Mexico by air and got a 180-day visa. However I then went to Guatemala for 6 weeks and reentered into Mexico by bus. I seem to remember someone saying that the new visa, when we enter by land, is only 90 days, but I am looking at the immigration card they gave me when entering and I see no mention of the length of the Mexican visa.

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  • Years ago it wasn't uncommon for people to get as little as two weeks on their visa when returning from Guatemala! Always ask each official you meet at the border because I'm never sure which one decides the number of days. Bring up the subject and haggle for as long as you can get. It's been a decade since I crossed that border though hence a comment rather than an answer. Jun 12 '18 at 4:01
  • The FMM tourist permit is issued for up to 180 days. You can request this length of stay when you get the permit. The cost is the same if you request 10 days or 180 days.
    – Midavalo
    Jun 15 '18 at 17:03
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    @Midavalo might you add your comment as an answer (as your our resident MX expert)? Ping me and I'll upvote :)
    – Giorgio
    Aug 18 '18 at 15:42
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    @Midavalo any chance of an answer?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 2 '19 at 3:06
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    @MarkMayo have done now
    – Midavalo
    Jul 3 '19 at 22:17
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Visas to enter Mexico, if you need one, are obtained before entering the country (eg from a consulate in your home country), so I gather you are actually referring to the FMM tourist permit (which is not a Visa). This permit just says you have been permitted to enter Mexico for the specified number of days.

Whenever we had them issued we had to fill in a form (kind of like an arrival form I guess), which included things like Name, Passport Number, Date of Arrival, and Length of Stay.

The Immigration Officer will then issue the permit for the length of time you had requested, up to 180 days.

If you have to pay a fee, the fee is the same no matter how long you request (eg 18 days and 180 days will both cost about $500 MXN). If issued at the airport there should be no fee to pay (probably included in your ticket fees), and if entering by land there is only a fee if your permit is for more than 7 days.

I have had permits issued for anywhere between 4 and 180 days. Unfortunately I cannot find any old FMM permits to include in this answer - if I find one I will update to include a picture.

The permits are not reusable unless crossing by land into Baja California. Border crossings into other states require you to obtain a new permit (and pay another fee). To/from Baja you can cross into California and back without needing to get a new permit each entry.

You can also fill in the FMM online before traveling to Mexico, however you still need to print it out and have it stamped by INM on entering the country.

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  • I'm just now thinking maybe you tell them how many days rather than writing it on the form. I'm trying to get a copy of a recent FMM to verify and will update my answer if required
    – Midavalo
    Jul 3 '19 at 22:21
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In 2018 and 2019 this isn´t true. The officer writes down on to the FMM tourist card the ammount of days you can stay in Mexico. It can be anything from 1-180 days and depends on the mood of the officer. Usually they automatically give you 180 days. If they didn´t write down the ammount of days you have, then you never know what they enetered in the system. Always make sure you have it. They must write it. I have crossed the border already three times there in the past 2 years and actually find it the best crossing to Mexico in regards of getting 180 days. The biggest problems are on the Belize border where you might get only 7 days which happened to me. They offer you then solutions how to make it 180 days. Figure it out how that is done in that case ;-)

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  • So how does this answer the question? Mateo says (in 2018) that the officer did not write anything on the card. You say "they must write it" but do not explain what do do when they do not write it. Mar 22 '19 at 6:50
  • It answers the question perfectly, that there is nothing like 90 days on the tourist card when you enter by land or 180 days when you enter by air. The immigration officer must write down the ammount of days you are allowed to stay in Mexico. If he didn´t, then the FMM is invalid and anybody having the same problem is risking overstay or other problems. By the way the tourist card needs to have a stamp and signature. There was no question about what to do about it. Use common sense, go to the border and ask how much you got or visit the nearest immigration office and get it sorted out there.
    – Paul
    Mar 24 '19 at 17:20
  • So the last part of your comment does answer the question. Or, it would, if there were sources. The part where you begin "The immigration officer must write down..." and continue that it is invalid otherwise. Your actual answer just says "the officer will do xyz things" but does not say what the consequences are if s/he does not, and how to resolve it. Mar 24 '19 at 17:31
  • Do recall that the people who will be reading this Q/A in the future may not be native English speakers and may otherwise be nervous or panicking and are unsure what to do. Common sense does not always apply to immigration, after all. Mar 24 '19 at 17:32
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    @Roddy of the Frozen Peas actually if you read the post again, there is actually no question mark at all, so it looks like there is no question being asked. I suggest the author of this post should be more specific. I understood Mateo was questioning what he heared (getting 90 days when entering by land vs 180 days entering by air) and I answered that. You brought up the question that Mateo didn´t ask and is hard to ask non existing questions or questions that come up by other people later. I hope my reply was helpful and other tourists will not leave the border without double checking.
    – Paul
    Mar 24 '19 at 18:12

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