There has been a lot of news recently about changes to the use of the FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) by the Mexican immigration authority (INM).
What Is the FMM?
First of all, the FMM is an immigration document that all visitors and residents of Mexico have had to submit when entering and exiting the country. This form contained personal details about the traveler such as name, passport number and flight number, as well as the status of the traveler, e.g. tourist, or resident, and the number of days a tourist could stay. You can read more about it in our article: What Is the FMM?
Recently, some airports around Mexico have been trialing changes which would no longer require the FMM. So far these changes to the procedure are positive as they make it simpler for travelers. However, the procedure differs according to your status: tourist, resident, or applicant resident awaiting canje.
Note that these changes are not yet nationwide at the time of writing, nor have they been reported as permanent. In other words everything is subject to further change.
That said, let’s take a look at what the changes so far imply for each type of traveler.
Changes to the Use of the FMM for Tourists
Previously you completed the FMM upon entry to Mexico and submitted it to an immigration agent. They would then stamp it, note the amount of days you could stay. INM would retain one portion and give you the other half for submission upon exiting the country.
Now, in some airports, you simply present your passport to the immigration agent and answer a few questions about your stay. They will note your stay allowance (max. 180 days) directly in your passport with an official stamp. That’s it.
Changes to the FMM for Residents
Previously residents did the opposite to tourists. They would visit the INM office before exiting the country to complete the FMM and have it stamped. They would then submit one half to the airline when boarding. They would retain the other half and submit it to immigration upon reentering the country. Now residents should still visit INM before exiting the country. The agent will ask you a few questions about your trip and stamp your passport. No more safeguarding the FMM.
What about Residency Applicants Entering for the Canje?
The last category of traveler to Mexico that handles the FMM is the Residency Applicant. They have already had their consulate appointment in their home country and received a temporary Mexican visa in their passports. Now they are traveling to Mexico for the canje procedure. In this case, the paper FMM is still required. However, participating airports no longer provide them. We recommend contacting an immigration consultant to help you at this stage of the process.
If you are awaiting canje and would like assistance at this point, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our friend QRoo Paul also explains the changes in his recent YouTube video: How FMM Changes Affect Tourists, Residents and Folks in Between