VISAS, FMM – Part 1 of 3
Part I of 3
Okay – I did warn you in my reminder mailing that my next article would be about Visas…this is important info, albeit a tad dry…maybe it’s time to get that second cup of coffee? Well, here goes…Each immigration office can, and does, set local requirements, and the final word is theirs on Visas – to their interpretation, apparently – however, no one can or should impose extra charges to secure a visa.
First, in this series, we can easily and quickly cover the visa most of you are already familiar with – it was called the FMT – it’s now called the FMM Visas.
This is the form you fill out when you fly into Mexico for short visits and vacations – also used on ships, if you are going to be in Mexico for a while, and when you drive into Mexico, and are going further than the “free zone”. An FMM is required by all individuals entering and exiting Mexico (except Mexican citizens), including holders of FM3 and FM2 visas.
This visa, FMM, covers a maximum time period of 180 days, if you enter Mexico by car.
FMM visas are only good for a maximum time period of 90 days if you arrive by plane or ship…but then, you can request an additional 90 days through any Mexican Immigration Office.
- This permit comes in two parts, one half is retained by immigration when you enter Mexico, the other half, green, is yours to keep and protect.
- You must return the green half of your FMM form upon exiting Mexico.
As of 2010, there is no rule that states you can only have one FMM approved per year.
There is not a legal limit stating you can only stay in Mexico 180 days per year.
An FMM is a permit to enter the country as a visitor…period… and is turned back in, when your visit is over.
FMM visa does not give you permission to work.
You are limited to the amount of household items you can bring into the country with an FMM.
You must have SOME type of a visa to be allowed into Mexico (past the free zone – The Free Zone, also known as the the Liberated Zone, the Perimeter Zone and/or Free Trade Zone is a customs’ designation for that area located along the Mexican international land borders, and they run inward up to the point at which the Mexican Customs authorities have their first “interior” check point (usually about 20 to 26 kilometers into Mexico from the border towns – exceptions are on the peninsula of Baja California and places like Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) where it runs to the ocean front, along the main highways.)
To secure FMM visas:
- Have proof of citizenship (passport or certified copy of your birth certificate, plus a photo I.D.);
- Divulge all info requested e.g. your place of birth, your destination, the reason for your visit, etc., on the required form;
- Visa cost will be approximately $23 U.S.D.;
- If by vehicle, request FMM Visas at the border; (In my book, Retire In Luxury, I tell of how on our first trip into Mexico, at the serious checkpoint border, we just sort of followed the lines – hoping someone knew what they were doing and where they were going – it worked.);
- If by plane, at the check-in counter at the airport or on the plane while en route (and this is the usual, you are handed a form and will fill it out while flying – then the cost is included in your ticket);
- Your travel agent;
- Any Mexican Consulate.
If you have received an FMM, you then have 30 days in which to exchange that visa, if you want, in the town of your residence, for an FM2 visa or an FM3 visa. Articles explaining these two visas will be the next two that I post on site.
I do make a disclaimer here – I’m no lawyer – this info is offered to you in an attempt to make things run a bit smoother for you in transition – contact an attorney if you have specific questions on visas.
Do you have any questions about retiring to Mexico or getting your paperwork in order? Just let me know.
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