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Tourist Card (FMT)

Seattle, Washington
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Tourist Card (FMT)

I've seen a lot of mixed messages about the FMT. Some say you need one if you will be in Baja for more than 72 hours (we'll be there 11 days) others say it isn't necessary if you don't go south of Ensenada.

If it's needed I can't tell whether I have to go to the consulate or will just get one when we cross the border. I've also seen it shown as free, $25 per family or $29 per person.

I'm a bit confused - does anyone know the real scenario on tourist cards and Rosarito.

Thanks!

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Ensenada
Ensenada
Ensenada Municipality, Mexico
Rosarito
Rosarito
Baja California Norte, Mexico
Sun City West
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1. Re: Tourist Card (FMT)

The U.S. State Department says:

Tourist Travel: U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location. U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FM-T, available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points, Mexican tourism offices, airports within the border zone and most airlines serving Mexico. The fee for the tourist card is generally included in the price of a plane ticket for travelers arriving by air.

Mexonline says:

Mexican Visa Requirements

Mexico has a tourist fee they charge visitors. If you are either staying in Mexico longer than 72 hours or traveling past the Border Zone you will need to pay the 190 peso Tourist Card fee (roughly $20 US dollars). The card, known as the Migratory Tourist Form (FMT) is valid for six months (180 days) with multiple entries. Make sure you ask for the full 180 days even is you plan to stay only a short time. You never know if you may return in those 180 days.

In Baja California, the border zone has been extended to San Quintin, on the Pacific side and San Felipe, on the Sea of Cortez. Sonora state is in the process of extending it's border zone too. In mainland states along the border, this includes a 16-20 mile zone south of the border. Some areas have "tourist corridors" such as Baja, please check with the Mexican Consulate in your area.

According to the law you must have the Tourist Card on you while traveling (make a copy if possible in case original is lost). You can pick up a card at the border, just stop at immigration as you cross into Mexico, parking is available. You must have either a current passport or original birth certificate with current ID. Baja California and Sonora sometimes only require a current ID, but it's wise to check with the consulate first.

Some insurance companies and travel clubs may be allowed to issue Tourist Cards in the U.S., please check with them first.

Immigration will not take money for the card, you must go to a bank (there is usually one next to Customs). You can also pay the fee at any bank in Mexico, where upon they will stamp your Tourist Card paid. You must then go back to immigration, or the next immigration office in the next town you visit, and have them stamp your card as valid. Make sure you do this right away, do not wait until your trip is half over. Your best bet is to take care of all of this at the border.

NOTE: If you are arriving by airline or cruise, your Tourist Card fee will be charged in the cost of your package or fare, and they will give you your tourist card to fill out for Customs when you land.

The Mexican Embasy says:

TOURISTS AND SHORT STAY BUSINESS VISITORS

february 8,2005

The nationalities listed below traveling to Mexico as tourists or on business for short stays, can easily obtain a tourist card (valid for 180 days) or an FMN (for up to 30 days) at the port of entry or directly from the airline:

Canadian and US citizens must submit proof of citizenship, such as birth certificate, (some airlines will require a birth certificate with a “raised seal” to make sure it is a certified copy), valid passport, naturalization certificate, or voter registration card; as well as a valid picture id card. Business travelers must carry with them a letter from their company stating the purpose of their business visit and who will defray expenses.

All those nationals of European countries that make up the European Union plus, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Chile, Island, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Uruguay and all US permanent residents regardless of their nationality.

These applicants must submit a valid passport and, if it is the case, their legal permanent residence card.

NOW, after reading all that, the way things happen is that no one will ask to see your tourist visa. There is actually no one to show it to. We have FM3 visas (permanent, year long visas) and the only people we've ever been able to show it to are the people at the bank where we opened an account and when we got off the plane in Puerto Vallarta. You are allowed to be in Mexico 72 hours without a visa. No one, and I do mean no one, knows when you entered Mexico. If you were asked, and I can't imagine anyone asking, you could say "I just arrived yesterday."

So.....now you have the legal requirements, and you make the choice yourself about what you do about a visa.

:)

Pat

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
San Felipe
San Felipe
Baja California Norte, Mexico
Sea of Cortez
Sea of Cortez
59 Reviews
Baja California, Mexico
Sonora
Sonora
California
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Jalisco, Mexico
Rosarito Beach...
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2. Re: Tourist Card (FMT)

You can access an updated online link with information to types of visa needed in Mexico - FMT / FM3 / FM2 as well as driving tips and guidelines for where you need a car permit to drive in Mexico:

http://www.BajaGringo.com/DrivinginMexico.htm

Have Fun & Enjoy!!!

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
San Miguel de...
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3. Re: Tourist Card (FMT)

There are visa errors at baja gabachos site.

M

Rosarito Beach...
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4. Re: Tourist Card (FMT)

Well, if you found an error why don't you share it so I can check into whether that is true or maybe you might just have it wrong? I received my information via email contact directly from the Mexican consulate in San Diego. Let me know what you don't agree with and I will follow up with them to get to the bottom of it and make any corrections as neccesary.

Thanks!

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San Diego
San Diego
California
5. Re: Tourist Card (FMT)

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