Important Information for Tourists and Expats Leaving Mexico
Nobody wants to leave Mexico, but if you must go, keep these important facts in mind:
Passport holders from countries listed in the “no visa required” link below are not required to apply for a visa before traveling to Mexico.
You will receive your tourist visa/ FMM during the flight or as you cross the border by land. Keep this form safe as you need to provide it at the airport when you leave Mexico.
The tourist visa is typically included in the cost of your flight, or you will pay a small fee at the border. The tourist visa is valid for 180 days, and you must leave the country before it expires.
If you lose the FMM, you will need to report to the immigration desk at the airport, pay a small fee, reportedly 300 to 400 pesos depending on your arrival date, for a new card before leaving Mexico. This procedure may cause delays in your travel plans, keep it safe.
For travelers with passports issued in countries not listed on the “no visa required” list, contact your nearest Mexican Consulate for further information regarding pre-applying for a visa before you make your travel plans.
Temporary and Permanent Visa holders leaving Mexico
As a resident visa holder, you will report to the Immigration desk at the airport to fill out your travel document, Forma Multiple Migratoria (FMM). They will require your passport and your resident card. Once you have received your form, you may proceed to the airline desk. Upon reentry to Mexico watch the officer to be sure they do not mark you as a tourist and only give you 180 days. Write Temporary or Permanent resident on the top of your form.
Residence Visa holders should never enter Mexico as a tourist, always provide your residency card upon re-entry.
Temporary and Permanent Visa applicants in Process
If you need to travel out of Mexico during the residency process and have not received your Temporary or Permanent Card, you will need to apply for Permission to exit and re-enter Mexico. It is important that a Temporary or Permanent Visa applicant never enters Mexico as a tourist, this may be viewed as deceptive and cause your application to be canceled.
This permission letter must be requested at the INM office or through an immigration specialist when the foreigner wants to exit Mexico during an unfinished application process. In Playa del Carmen, it takes approximately three business days to obtain this letter. Once you have this permission letter, you may leave Mexico for up to 60 calendar days from the date the letter is issued, and it is valid for only one trip.
Be sure Immigration stamps the letter as you exit and also when you return to Mexico, regardless of whether you arrive by air, land or sea. You will report back to INM within seven days of arrival with the stamped permission letter.
DO NOT LEAVE MEXICO WHILE IN PROCESS FOR A RESIDENCY VISA WITHOUT A PERMISSION LETTER.
You may leave the country without permission if you are in process for Mexican Citizenship, provided you have you travel with your residency card.