When entering Mexico as a tourist you need an FMM (Forma Multiple Migratoria) also called by many a “Tourist Visa”, this document is your “official” or legal entry to Mexico and is issued by the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migracion).
If you are staying 7 days or more, you will pay $500.00 pesos per person. If you are staying less than 7 days, you still need the FMM, however, there are no fees. Baja or Sonora have a special program and those that are visiting for less than 7 days, and not leaving the FREE zone do not need the FMM. If you are a citizen of a country other than the U.S. and Canada, check with a Mexican consulate for regulations, which apply, to you.
INM has offices along the border where you can obtain the FMME forms.
We have good news, you don’t need to wait until you get to the border and wait in line, you can start this process online before you leave your home. Mexico has introduced the electronic FMM. It applies exclusively when you enter Mexico by land, through the states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, and is valid for travel throughout Mexico. With the electronic FMM, the INM modernizes the procedures to facilitate your registration when entering Mexico so you can save time and avoid long lines.
Go to: Tourist Visa or FMM
Select the language of your choice, choose the border entry and provide your personal details including passport information, and the reason for your trip. If your stay is for more than 7 days, the cost is $ 500.00 (pesos) per person, you can pay it online with credit or debit card. Save and Print your form. Children under two years of age or stays of less than 7 days are not charged any fees. You will have 30 days to use this form when you get to the border. When you get to the border, go to the INM office and present the officials your printed form, they will verify it in their system and stamp it to make it “official”.
Please keep the stamped portion of the form in a safe place as you will need to return it when you exit the country. If you have a permit for less than 7 days and decided to extend your trip you will need to pay the $500 pesos and possible fine at the border. Return them upon leaving Mexico at the INM office.
Returning to the US
When returning to the US, keep in mind the transitional period for border crossing by land has ended and everyone is required to present a passport or other WHTI-compliant document, which will denote both citizenship and identity when seeking entry into the United States through a land or sea border.
Travel Documents for U.S. citizens, ages 19 and older, travel via land or sea, as of June 1, 2009:
Children ages 18 and younger will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Although travelers ages 16 and older should also carry government-issued photo ID.
View a detailed list of documents that are acceptable for entry into the United States by land or sea after traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. These documents comply with the new travel requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection highly recommends these documents for U.S. citizens. If you have questions, please visit www.cbp.gov.