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Entering/Leaving Mexico


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Funny, I traveled into Mexico end of May and the FMM forms that Volaris was giving out DOES have the boxes to check for either "Tarjeta de Residente Visatante, Tarjeta de Resdidente Temporal and Tarjeta Residente Permanente". The boxes are on both top and bottom in the 'greyed out" area for "Official Use".


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I think this article by Dale Palfrey in the GDL Reporter covers what RP's need to do, both leaving MX and returning to MX.  It is the best read-out of the  INM meeting at the Shriners Club that I have seen.  Leaving MX seems easy enough, not much chance of error.  

Returning to MX with an RP, it looks like the most important boxes are #'s 7, 8 and 9.  And detaching the bottom portion so that the INM agent cannot incorrectly code you as a tourist.  Writing Residente Permanente across the top won't hurt either.


Expats: Safeguard Visa Status When Leaving Mexico!

Dale Hoyt Palfrey – The Guadalajara Reporter


Guadalajara, Mexico – Foreign citizens who have jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops required to obtain residency visas in Mexico may run the risk of losing that legal status whenever they venture out for travel beyond the country’s borders.

Officials from the Instituto Nacional de Migration (INM) issued a warning to that effect during a conference directed to a large crowd of expats on April 11 at the Lake Chapala Shrine Club.

All it takes is a seemingly minor clerical error committed when going through immigration stations at border crossings and international airports to end up getting automatically switched from Residente Temporal (RT) or Residente Permanente (RP) status to a visitor permit good for a maximum of 180 days.

According to INM’s Chapala office chief Guillermina Cortés, at least a dozen lakeside area immigrants have lost their residency visas due to paperwork glitches when returning to Mexico from trips abroad. Essentially the problem stems from errors in processing the Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM), a standard form that must be submitted individually by all foreigners entering and exiting Mexico.

For tourists traveling beyond the border zone, the two-part FMM serves as their official visitor permit. The larger top portion is stamped and collected by immigration officers upon entry to the country, with the lower segment handed back upon departure.

In contrast, as an RT or RP visa holder, any time you fly out of Mexico you will have to fill out an FMM and give it to the airline carrier to be attached to your boarding pass. The shorter lower segment of the form will be collected at the INM desk prior to entering the boarding area.

The trickier part is how the FMM is handled when reentering Mexico. Airline personnel usually hand out the forms on board the incoming flight. Residentes fill in the information boxes in the top portion of the form, including noting Mexico as country of residence (box #7), the number shown on the back of the INM green card (box #8), checking otro/other for purpose of trip (box #9).

Cortés also recommends adding the hand-written notation Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal across the top of the form and detaching the lower portion of form that is meant to be kept only by persons coming into the country as visitors.

Once off the plane, pay close attention as you go through the immigration filter. First of all show the official your INM resident green card and passport and verbally state “soy residente.” Then hand over only the top portion of the FMM.

Cooperate if the official on duty insists that you fill out both segments of the form, but make sure that the gray areas designated for Uso Oficial are filled out properly before leaving the immigration desk. If there is a check mark in the section labeled Estancia Maxima 180 days you will be registered as a visitor in the INM data base, automatically losing your resident status. In that case, stand your ground to see that the mistake is corrected and the section below, titled “Unicamente Para Efectos Estadisticos,” is checked off in the box labeled Tarjeta Permanente Temporal. Resident immigrants should follow the same procedures when leaving and entering the country by land or sea.

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11 hours ago, El Saltos said:

We travelled a few months ago, same form we've had for a few years. e.g. no RP box to check, two part form, give big (top) part on departure, surrender small part upon return.

Yet the info posted by Bisbee Gal here from the Guad. reporter article states the exact opposite- to hand in smaller part on departure and larger portion on return.

It's all so insane and contradictory.

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We just did this. The bottom SMALLER part of the FMM form is what is taken by the airline when you DEPART Mexico. The top LARGER part is what you hand the immigration agent (along with your temp or perm resident card and passport) when you ENTER Mexico upon your return. 

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