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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I asked this recently and don't remember a definitive answer. A few years ago I had to go back to the states and had to fill out a "Salir y regresso" or "leave and return" document in order not to void my temporary resident. If I understand right, if you screw up and enter the country as a tourist you void your temporary resident card. Say you accidentally leave your visa at home in Mexico or have it packed in your checked luggage.

I recently asked INM in person and they said I can come and go as needed, the form is no longer used. However, from what I have read this may not be correct. What I'm seeing is that you still have to fill out the FMM say on the plane but print largely on both forms "Temporary Resident" and fill out box 8 with the number from the back of your visa (which would be impossible if you don't have it with you.)

When I drive I don't worry bout this, I just go through the nothing to declare line unless I need to renew my tip. But very soon I will have to bring the old Toyota back to the states and leave it there so I'll be flying back.

So, I'm guessing that I do indeed have to fill out a FMM but I don't want to void my temporary resident status, is writing "Resident Temporal" across the top of both forms and putting the number in box eight the correct thing to do? From what I have read even an agent can do this incorrectly and cost you your visa. There is confusing information such as this from one web site...

Who needs an FMM tourist permit?

All U.S. and Canadian citizens over the age of two, without a Mexican temporary or permanent resident card, need to obtain an FMM tourist permit when entering Mexico. Other non-Mexican citizens from the countries listed here need an FMM as well.

Do I need an FMM tourist permit if I have temporary or permanent resident card (formerly known as FM2 or FM3)?

No. Your temporary resident or permanent resident card already functions as your permit to be in Mexico. You do not need to obtain an FMM tourist permit on top of this, and in fact, can be fined for having more than one permit at a time.

So why is there still conflicting information about "having to fill out a FMM on the plane?"
 

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I asked this recently and don't remember a definitive answer. A few years ago I had to go back to the states and had to fill out a "Salir y regresso" or "leave and return" document in order not to void my temporary resident. If I understand right, if you screw up and enter the country as a tourist you void your temporary resident card. Say you accidentally leave your visa at home in Mexico or have it packed in your checked luggage.

I recently asked INM in person and they said I can come and go as needed, the form is no longer used. However, from what I have read this may not be correct. What I'm seeing is that you still have to fill out the FMM say on the plane but print largely on both forms "Temporary Resident" and fill out box 8 with the number from the back of your visa (which would be impossible if you don't have it with you.)

When I drive I don't worry bout this, I just go through the nothing to declare line unless I need to renew my tip. But very soon I will have to bring the old Toyota back to the states and leave it there so I'll be flying back.

So, I'm guessing that I do indeed have to fill out a FMM but I don't want to void my temporary resident status, is writing "Resident Temporal" across the top of both forms and putting the number in box eight the correct thing to do? From what I have read even an agent can do this incorrectly and cost you your visa. There is confusing information such as this from one web site...

Who needs an FMM tourist permit?

All U.S. and Canadian citizens over the age of two, without a Mexican temporary or permanent resident card, need to obtain an FMM tourist permit when entering Mexico. Other non-Mexican citizens from the countries listed here need an FMM as well.

Do I need an FMM tourist permit if I have temporary or permanent resident card (formerly known as FM2 or FM3)?

No. Your temporary resident or permanent resident card already functions as your permit to be in Mexico. You do not need to obtain an FMM tourist permit on top of this, and in fact, can be fined for having more than one permit at a time.

So why is there still conflicting information about "having to fill out a FMM on the plane?"
I think this is a good question requiring clarification. The FMM card fills two purposes:
- For tourists it is used as a proof of legal presence in Mexico.
- For everyone else, visa holders and citizens, it is a used for statistical and, maybe, tracking purposes.

Everyone has to fill out at least part of the form when arriving or departing by air. For legal residents, i.e. visa holders of either type, the form is filled out and collected, both arriving and departing. Even Mexican citizens have to fill it out. Tourists have to retain it and turn it in when leaving. The rest of us just fill it out and give it to the airline when leaving or fill it out and give it to immigration when arriving. On arrival make sure to hand them your visa card at the same time with the form so that they don't mistake you for a tourist. Once I was a little slow and the migracion agent was annoyed.

Crossing the border on foot or by car, I don't think visa holders have to mess with the form at all. Certainly citizens do not.

Incidentally, when arriving by air, a visa holder can use either line at immigration. I used to just use whichever was shorter. Since becoming a citizen, I have to use the citizen line, so one disadvantage of citizenship is the loss of that flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, but why then does the information I found say that you can't have two permits at one time? I think there is a lot of old information out there and it still shows up in a search. So, if I need to fill one out then using box eight and writing in my RT number should be the right thing to do? I'm guessing that box 7 should also be "Mexico" for the country of residence. You can see an image of the form here.

FMM sample filled Out Forms - Customs and Immigration - Chapala.com Webboard
 

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The FMM, Forma Multiple Migratoria, has many purposes, so it is an error to refer to it as an “FMM Tourist Permit“. It only fits that description if one checks the “Visitante/Tourist“ block.
Those with visas must be certain to only check “other“, or the appropriate “residente“ item and, just to be sure, print the type of visa you hold on the top of each part of the form. Yes, there is also a place for your visa number to be added, as well.
Never let a border agent fill out your form, unless you read and understand it yourself, as most of them will just assume that you are a tourist unless you indicate that you are a visa holder & reside in Mexico.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The FMM, Forma Multiple Migratoria, has many purposes, so it is an error to refer to it as an “FMM Tourist Permit“. It only fits that description if one checks the “Visitante/Tourist“ block.
Those with visas must be certain to only check “other“, or the appropriate “residente“ item and, just to be sure, print the type of visa you hold on the top of each part of the form. Yes, there is also a place for your visa number to be added, as well.
Never let a border agent fill out your form, unless you read and understand it yourself, as most of them will just assume that you are a tourist unless you indicate that you are a visa holder & reside in Mexico.
In the link I provided the box to check "other" would be in box 9, correct?
 

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Thank you, but why then does the information I found say that you can't have two permits at one time? I think there is a lot of old information out there and it still shows up in a search. So, if I need to fill one out then using box eight and writing in my RT number should be the right thing to do? I'm guessing that box 7 should also be "Mexico" for the country of residence. You can see an image of the form here.

FMM sample filled Out Forms - Customs and Immigration - Chapala.com Webboard
Box 7 would say "Mexico", Box 8 should have the number off your visa. And, as RV says, put the words "Residencial Permanente" or "Residencial Temporal" in the blank space at the top of the form to make it clear. As far a Box 9 goes, I just check whatever box applies to the trip, usually tourist or business. But I always think of it as the reason I have left Mexico, not the reason I am coming to Mexico. That is covered in Box 7. No one has ever questioned it. Your mileage may vary.
 

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What I have heard is also important when an RP or RT flies back into Mexico, in addition to the remarks above, is to make sure that the Agent does not mistakenly mark the bottom part of the FMM as 'tourist'. To help avoid this, I have heard one should do these things:
1) when it is your turn at the airport flying in, hand the Agent your Residente (P or T) card FIRST with a pause, and then hand him/her your FMM and Passport
2) watch or make sure that, even with 1) above, the Agent has NOT marked the bottom part as Tourist but rather the box for RP or RT.
 

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Box 7 would say "Mexico", Box 8 should have the number off your visa. And, as RV says, put the words "Residencial Permanente" or "Residencial Temporal" in the blank space at the top of the form to make it clear. As far a Box 9 goes, I just check whatever box applies to the trip, usually tourist or business. But I always think of it as the reason I have left Mexico, not the reason I am coming to Mexico. That is covered in Box 7. No one has ever questioned it. Your mileage may vary.
Do not EVER check the box marked "tourist" if you are a temporary or permanent resident of Mexico, either coming or going. The FMM is a MEXICAN immigration form, having nothing to do with entering the US or Canada or anywhere else.

Neither should you check the box "business". This would be the box to check if you were entering Mexico as someone coming to conduct business in Mexico.
As a Mexican resident, you should ALWAYS check the box marked "other".

People have lost their residency by filling out the form incorrectly.

And one should have one's resident card in their wallet or bag, not left at home in Mexico when leaving Mexico, nor in one's checked luggage. It is an important document and should be kept track of the same way you would keep track of your passport.
 

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Box 7 would say "Mexico", Box 8 should have the number off your visa. And, as RV says, put the words "Residencial Permanente" or "Residencial Temporal" in the blank space at the top of the form to make it clear. As far a Box 9 goes, I just check whatever box applies to the trip, usually tourist or business. But I always think of it as the reason I have left Mexico, not the reason I am coming to Mexico. That is covered in Box 7. No one has ever questioned it. Your mileage may vary.
No. The reason for your trip to Mexico as this is a Mexican immigration questionaire not any other country´s questionaire. You might be a tourist in another country but when coming to Mexico you are not a tourist but a RT or RP. Box 9 your enter other.
 

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When we fly out of Mexico City - we approach the kiosk - present our RP credentials - and they help us through the process. They have always been nothing but friendly/helpful.
 

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I've done this 3 times in the past year since I got my RT (flown back to the US from Mexico).

FMM stands for "Forma Migratoria Multiple", which is what's actually printed on the form. I.e., it's a migration form used for multiple purposes.

You visit the INM desk in the airport before leaving Mexico. In Cancun the desk is before security, I've read in other airports it's after security. You show them your RT/RP card. They hand you an FMM with some of the fields highlighted, top and bottom half. You get out of line, fill out those fields and go through the line again. In Box 9 on the top half you can check "other" instead of "tourism" if that's one of the boxes you have to fill out. I don't know for sure that it matters, but why take a chance screwing things up?

The second time through the line you hand them your RT, boarding pass and passport. They check that you filled out the FMM correctly, stamp it, tear it in half and hand you back the lower half. (I think I remember that right, it could be that it's torn in half and half is kept at the gate rather than by the INM agent at the desk - for sure by the time you get on the plane you have only half of the FMM, and the top half has been handed over).

When you land in the US you don't need to show them the FMM or your Mexican RT/RP card, you just use your passport to enter the US.

On your return to Mexico:

When you leave the US you again use only your US passport. It's only use at that point is to satisfy the airlines that you can get into Mexico and they won't be stuck flying you back to the US. You could theoretically show them the RT instead, and maybe even avoid a tax, but it's more complicated.

On the plane back from Mexico they may give you a blank FMM, and you can keep it for your next trip if you want - I have two here that I've collected that way. The problem is I can't remember which fields the INM highlights on the way out. If I could, I could use one of these blanks I have on my next trip and avoid having to wait through the line the first time just to get the form.

Instead of filling out a blank FMM, on the plane back you have to fill in the rest of the fields on the half of the FMM you kept on the way out (boxes 7-10). Box 7: check other, 8 check air, 9 put the airline, 10 put the flight number.

When you enter Mexico you go through the citizens and permanent residents line rather than the tourist line - here is where you save the time that you lost going through the INM lines on the way out, because there's often no one in that line and you march straight up to a dedicated agent.

You give him your RT/RP card, your FMM lower half, and they want your passport to stamp. They keep the lower half of the FMM and you enter Mexico with just your RT/RP card and passport, and no FMM (unless you kept a blank one that you collected on the plane to use next trip).
 

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Thank you. I appreciate all the answers. Reading through these, though, I think I will read the official site(s) and hope for the best.
 

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Not all Mexican airports have residents going through the same line at immigration as citizens.

As well, altho I have read (and as was posted earlier on this thread) that immigration supposedly does not any longer require residents to fill out an FMM, that is not my personal experience when flying out from, or into, either the PV airport or the Cabo airport. As trying to argue legalities or ignorance of the law with officials at the airport is not likely to be well received, and could result in missing one's flight, and as filling out the FMM is painless and costs nothing, I'll just keep filling them out and turning them in until they tell me not to.
 

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There are no oficial INM instructions for flying out ot Mexico for RT and RP residents on any of their websites. You ask the INM offical at a Mexican airport what you need to do. eastwind has a few mistakes. You fill out the FMM form checked off as the posters here mentioned. The INM offical stamps the smaller bottom portion and dates it. He/she gives you the larger top portion unstamped and undated back to you to hand in when your arrive back into Mexico from a foreign country and they stamp you back into Mexico and keep that portion [usually don´t bother stamping your passport]. This way they are collecting statisticas on your exit and your re-entrer as all FMM forms have a unique number on the barcode. When they stamped the bottom smaller portion and you hand it at the departure gate to the airline staff they give it to INM which enters your departure from Mexico into their data bank and when you return they enter your return into their data bank. The general rule is if you lose the larger top portion or the INM official screws up and keeps it [they shouldn´t because this is a entry document only and you are not entering - possibly puts it in the trash] ] then you simply fill out a new FMM when flying into a Mexican airport.
 

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Another good reason to fill out and submit the FMM, whether you are told you have to or not, is that if one ever wants to apply for Mex. citizenship, they require that you have been in the country for a certain amount of days over the previous years, so this is the way that you can document that.
 

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eastwind has a few mistakes.
If I understand all your points, you're saying I reversed the top and bottom pieces in my description (which piece they take first and later). That very well may be. What are the other mistakes you're saying I'm making?

At Cancun airport I'm pretty sure they stamp my passport every time - I've got 'Mexico' stamps with 5 visibly different dates on 3 different pages of my passport and I've only had this passport a year and a half! Five entries is about how many I've made. If you enter somewhere else and they don't always stamp your passport, that wouldn't terribly shock me.

Next time I fly back I'll make some notes on what fields you have to fill out and when they take which pieces, since this thread keeps coming up, but I doubt I'll be going back until next year.
 

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Another good reason to fill out and submit the FMM, whether you are told you have to or not, is that if one ever wants to apply for Mex. citizenship, they require that you have been in the country for a certain amount of days over the previous years, so this is the way that you can document that.
That is correct. And they require a list of all your arrivals and departures over the previous three years. And they very carefully compare the arrival and departure list with the stamps in your passport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will be driving out but flying back. I just wonder why there is so much conflicting information such as...

Do I need an FMM tourist permit if I have temporary or permanent resident card (formerly known as FM2 or FM3)?

No. Your temporary resident or permanent resident card already functions as your permit to be in Mexico. You do not need to obtain an FMM tourist permit on top of this, and in fact, can be fined for having more than one permit at a time.

If I am applying for a temporary or permanent resident card, do I need to get an FMM?

No. After you submit your documents for a temporary or permanent resident card, you will receive your visa inside your passport. You need to stop at an immigration office at the border where they will provide you with an FMM at no cost to you. You will exchange that FMM for your resident card at the immigration office closest to your Mexican residence.



Do I need to return the FMM?

As of September 2015, you do not need to return your FMM to the INM upon leaving Baja by land (contrary to what it says on the back of the permit). After they have expired, you may shred or discard them.

Mexico FMM Tourist Permit FAQs

INM kept my FMM when I applied for my RT.
 

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To your specific questions Zorro:

Do I need an FMM tourist permit if I have temporary or permanent resident card (formerly known as FM2 or FM3)?

Calling the FMM an FMM tourist permit is incorrect. It is used for multiple purposes, and you can have one, or half of one, without having a tourist permit. So the question is wrong and the answer is neither yes nor no.


If I am applying for a temporary or permanent resident card, do I need to get an FMM?

If you have a temporary resident or permanent visa stamped in your passport, and you enter Mexico, yes you do need to fill out an FMM and when it is processed by the agent on entry he should check the "canje" box in the gray USO OFICIAL area of the form. This is not a tourist permit. INM Keeps this when you apply for your RT with INM.

I don't know anything about Baja.

Neither of those questions have anything to do with your case, being already in posession of an RT and driving out of Mexico and returning by air.

You can do as you like, but it might be wrong. I think it's worth trying to stop at the Baja immigration office on the way out and ask.
 
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