What is the canje procedure?

Canje (exchange) is the exchange of your visa from a Mexican consulate abroad for a resident card once back in Mexico.

Once you arrive in Mexico with your visa in your passport, you will have 30 days to initiate the exchange. It should be done at your local immigration (INM) office.

Do I have to stay in Mexico while the canje is being processed?

It is preferable that you stay in Mexico during the whole canje process. However, in Cancun and Playa del Carmen the procedure is often lengthy. Therefore, people often need to leave Mexico during the process. 

What is the solution?

The solution is to get an exit and entry permit, five days before you leave Mexico. This permit allows you to be out of the country for up to 60 days. 

Please note that this means 60 days after the date mentioned in the permit. Do not simply count 60 days from your departure from Mexico.

Where do I show this permit when I get to my Mexican airport of departure?

You must show the permit at the INM counter at your departure airport before you check in. The INM agent stamps and signs it there. When you return to Mexico, you must present it for stamp and signature again.

It is very important that you do not fill in the FMM form (immigration form) on the plane on your return. You already filled the FMM in when you left Mexico and you also have the exit and return permit. Therefore you only have to fill in the customs form on the plane.

What do I do with this permit? Should I keep it for my files?

No. Hand it back to the INM office where you started the procedure in the first place. Do so within 10 days of your return to Mexico.

Read more  about the Canje Procedure.

For a quote or more information about immigration to Mexico, email Adriana Vela at or call  984 169 5375.

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