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I haven't been to Mexico since 2008 but I'm about to book a flight from China. I'm an Australian citizen.

I would like to stay from around Christmas/New Year until about the start of Semana Santa (Holy Week). That's around 100 days so more than three months.

Wikipedia says Australians are still entitled to 180 day visa-free stays, as it was for my previous visits.

But I recall that in those days the immigration officials in Benito Juarez Airport routinely granted 90 day stays (in your passport? on your tourist card? I forget...) and did not ask you how long you wanted to stay before doing so. My Spanish is good enough to manage this by the way.

I once used a trick I heard about to write "180" in the form myself in the space the officer is supposed to fill in. At the time this did work but the officer was not totally impressed.

Does anyone know if the immigration officers now ask how long you intend to stay before just giving you 90 days, or whether Australians are now routinely just getting the 180 days, or whether a trick as mentioned is still offered as advice?

  • 1
    @JonathanReez DF=Mexico City – Crazydre Dec 13 '16 at 11:32
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    If not, come to us in LA; don't spend Christmas on your own. – Giorgio Dec 13 '16 at 14:07
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    If your Spanish is good enough, why don't you just ask before you hand over your passport? It's been a while, but I seem to recall they where quite friendly. – Diego Sánchez Dec 13 '16 at 16:53
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    DF = Distrito Federal. Similar to the United States' District of Columbia or Australian Capitol Territory. – Johns-305 Dec 13 '16 at 22:49
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    Oh dear; shame on you, but 25 years later, older and wiser? If they won't let you in, try coming ashore in Santa Monica and give us a ring. – Giorgio Dec 14 '16 at 13:31
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OK it's easy to get the 180 days if you know when to ask and you ask, otherwise you will get whatever number of days depending on what the officers are told to give based on whatever unknown criteria.

The very first person you see and show any paperwork to after you deboard and claim your luggage is the person to ask. They will very likely not tell you that they are going to tell you how many days. But they are the one that will first take your Mexican Tourist Card, which is the place the number of days is recorded. Not in a stamp or sticker etc in a page in your passport.

I asked the officer in my imperfect Spanish. Our dialog was pretty close to this:

Me: ¿Es Usted quien digo cuántos días quiero quedarme?
Him: Sí.
Me: Me gustaría quedarme 120 días si posible.
Him: ¿Turismo?
Me: Sí.

Other people will look at your various papers but it's the first one who makes the decision. So try to ask as you hand over your tourist card. If they're already stamping and writing it could be too late.

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    This seems like a good answer to me. Even if it's not the first person, it's better too ask too early than too late. – Belle-Sophie Dec 27 '16 at 19:31
  • If worried about talking in Spanish, get a Spanish-speaker to write a very short note. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 21 '17 at 2:34
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I answer a little late, But the minimum Period of stay is about 30 days if you are in transit, but is up to 180 days, If you are in tourism, or business travel, You can say to the migration officer, that you want stay about 180 days, and check if he put this lapse in your FMM.

In any case that you exceed this period, you renew the stay, with a migration process of regularization of your irregular migration situation, and with this you can renew your 180 days permit, but you have to pay about 1187mxn, for the Analysis of the request, about 500 mxn for the expedition of the new permit, and about 1600 mxn to 8000mxn for penalty, it is your firs time that you exceed your stay, the penalty is low. And with this process, Mexican Migration, extend in 30 days, a new 180 days of stay in mexico for you.

Sorry for the bad English, i hope, that i can explain well.

Regards, Jesus Farrera, Lawyer specialized, in Mexican immigration law.

  • The tricky part can be knowing which official is the migration officer. There's so many people that check various of our documents these days. And even if in Mexico it might just be one migration official and one customs official, you're not going to know that before you get past the last person, especially if you don't know Spanish or haven't been to Mexico before. – hippietrail Jan 21 '17 at 0:34

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