How do I extend my Mexican tourist card?

Filling out forms on the plane

Getty Images | AlexBrylov

Do you want to stay longer in Mexico, but your tourist card is about to expire? If upon entering the country you were granted less than six months allowed time in the country, you may be able to extend your stay. You will have to visit the immigration office and complete some paperwork in order to remain in Mexico legally, however. Here's what you need to know to extend your tourist card.

About Mexico Tourist Cards:

When you enter Mexico as a tourist, you need to have an FMM document from the Mexican immigration authorities which grants you permission to stay in the country for a certain period of time. You may be given this document on the plane to fill out and show to the immigration officer, or you can fill it out online before arrival. This document used to be referred to as an FMT but is now called FMM which stands for Forma Migratoria Multiple because the same document is used for various types of visitors to the country, but all are prohibited from working for pay during their stay. This document is often referred to informally as a tourist card, but you should know that its official name is "FMM" and that is how you should refer to it when requesting an extension.

When you enter Mexico, the tourism official decides how long you will be allowed to stay in the country up to a maximum of 180 days. They may only grant you permission to stay in the country for three months however, The length of time granted upon entry is at the discretion of the official who allows you to enter the country. However, if you would like to stay longer, it is possible to get an extension up to a maximum of 180 days. Never more than that!

As a tourist in Mexico, you must have a valid tourist card (FMM). The time period given on your tourist card is at the discretion of the immigration officer who issues it, but the absolute maximum time is 180 days. If you were granted fewer than 180 days when you entered Mexico and you would like to stay longer than the time allotted on your tourist card, you will need to extend your tourist card.

How to Extend Your Tourist Card

Visit the nearest Mexican immigration office. Here is a list: Offices of the Instituto Nacional de Migracion.

You will be asked to show your passport and valid tourist card, as well as proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Mexico (credit card or bank card, traveler's checks, and/or cash).

You will need to fill in the form you are given in the immigration office and take it to the bank to make a payment, and then return the forms to the immigration office.

Make sure to get there early enough to complete the whole process (including possibly long line-ups at the bank and immigration offices). Immigration office hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 1 pm, closed on national holidays.

If your 180 days have run out, your only option to be in Mexico legally is to leave the country and get a new tourist card when you re-enter.

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