These are some of the most common questions we receive at MexLaw regarding immigration and time restraints in Mexico.
When I arrive in Mexico as a tourist how long can I stay?
As a tourist, you will enter Mexico on a Visitors Permit (FMM) this permit will typically grant you a maximum 180 days which cannot be renewed in Mexico, you must leave the country before it expires. If by chance you overstay your permit, you will be required to report to INM immigration at the airport and pay a fine before you leave.
How long do I need to stay out of the country before reentry on a new FMM?
At this time there is no law specifying how long you must stay out of Mexico before re-entry, but since so many foreigners living in Mexico are using this loophole to avoid applying for residence, it could change. Some foreigners living in Mexico who frequently leave and return on an FMM report being questioned by the INM officers and receiving less time on their FMM.
I only received 60 days on my FMM, can I request an extended stay?
You may request an extension up to 180 days starting from your entry date at the local INM office. Whether they allow an extension or not depends on the INM office.
My FMM is for 180 days. If I take a weekend trip out of the country will this affect the remaining time on my FMM?
Yes, whichever border you re-enter Mexico through will grant a new FMM and may or may not provide you 180 days. For instance, tourists report being asked for a bribe at the Belize border in order to grant the full 180 days, when they refused to pay the bribe they only allowed them seven days in Mexico.
I am in the process of obtaining my residency in Mexico, and INM only gave me 30 days on my FMM at the airport, is this correct?
Yes, your form should be marked canje (exchange) you will have a maximum of 30 days to visit the INM office and present your resident visa stamp and obtain a residency visa.
How long is my Residente Temporal valid?
The first time you are issued a Residente Temporal, it will be valid for one year. The renewals vary from one year to three years. Be aware of your expiry date – apply to renew it 30 days before the expiration.
If I leave the country as a Residente Temporal how long can I remain outside of Mexico?
There is no limit to the amount of time you can remain outside the country, be sure to enter Mexico before your permit expires.
What do I do once my four years of Residente Temporal expires?
You must apply for a Residente Permanente Visa; this can be processed without leaving Mexico.
Consult with an immigration specialist or INM to confirm you qualify.
How long can I reside in Mexico as a Residente Permanente?
You may live in Mexico indefinitely; there is no expiry date.
Do I need to advise INM if I leave the country?
As a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente, you must report to INM kiosk at the port of departure to complete a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) card and have it stamped which you will present when you return to Mexico.
Is there a limit to how long I remain outside the country as a Residente Permanente?
No, there are no rules regarding being outside of Mexico, but any changes in your situation must be reported to INM within Mexico.
For more information about migrating to Mexico email firstname.lastname@example.org
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