Update 1: On 1 May 2010, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute implemented some changes to its immigration procedures. The FMT immigration form for visitors was replaced by a new form called Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM).
Update 2: Effective 1 January 2012, the Derecho de No Inmigrante (DNI) fee for the Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) increased from MX$262 to MX$294 (that’s pesos). The website of Instituto Nacional de Migración currently shows the fee as MX$295.
Visitors entering Mexico must complete an immigration form called Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM). If arriving by air, the form should be issued on the plane, and if arriving at a land border, the form is obtained at the Immigration building. Fill in the information and hand it to the Immigration Officer. The Officer will keep one half of the form and return the other half which should be kept with your passport and handed in when you leave Mexico.
The FMM allows a maximum stay of 180 days, but it depends on the type of travel, i.e. tourist, transit, work, business, student, etc., and the Immigration Officer will write in the actual number of days a visitor can stay. Visitors who check the Tourist (Turismo) box on the form should get 180 days. Visitors who check the Transit (Tránsito) box might get only 30 days.
It is my understanding that there is a fee for the FMM. If arriving in Mexico by air, the fee is usually included in the cost of the airline ticket, so there is nothing more to pay in Mexico, either at a bank or at a border point. You should seek confirmation from the airline or ticket seller to ascertain if the fee has been paid. If arriving at a land border, the immigration officer should attach another piece of paper showing the amount to be paid. Mexican Immigration officials are not authorized to collect any money, so the DNI must be paid in pesos at any bank in Mexico. The bank will issue a receipt which should be kept with the FMM and presented to Immigration when leaving Mexico. The fee can also be paid at the Cancún airport when leaving Mexico. At the Subteniente López border (Mexico-Belize), the fee can be paid during working hours at the bank Banjercito located at the Mexican Customs compound.
According to the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, all foreign nationals who enter Mexico by air, road or sea must pay the DNI fee in three different cases:
1. Visitors who enter Mexico and stay more than seven consecutive days.
2. Visitors who enter Mexico and transit through to a third country regardless of the number of days in Mexico.
3. Visitors who enter Mexico with a Forma Migratoria de Visitante Local (FMVL) border card and stay more than three consecutive days.
Visitors who are exempt from paying the fee include:
1. Visitors who enter Mexico, stay for seven days or less, and return to the country of origin.
2. FMVL border card holders who stay less than 3 days.
3. FM3 and FM2 holders.
In January 2012, the Embassy of Mexico in Belize issued a Press Release stating that airlines are no longer authorized to collect the fee; therefore the fee must be paid by ALL airline passengers before departing Mexico. However, I understand that at least some airlines are still collecting the fee. This is the reason for seeking clarification from the airline or travel agent.
CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CHETUMAL TO COROZAL
Visitors leaving Mexico by bus stop at a small immigration booth just before crossing the bridge to Belize. Passengers get off, without luggage, and present their passports with FMM and receipt to the immigration officer. Whenever I have crossed, he has always asked (in Spanish) for 100 pesos or US$10. I have heard that since January 2010, he has been asking for US$20 from all bus passengers, and currently he is asking for the full DNI fee.
Beware! This is a scam. Your passport might get stamped, but there is nothing to pay if the FMM fee has already been paid. THERE IS NO EXIT FEE, and this has been confirmed by the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Honorary Consul in Corozal. Visitors who hand over money will not get a receipt. Mexican Immigration officials are not authorized to collect any money. And, although no longer allowed, some visitors have reported still getting a double entry (doble entrada) stamp after paying US$20.
Passengers re-board the bus, proceed across the bridge over the Hondo River and stop at Belize Customs & Immigration. Passengers (with their luggage this time) go into the immigration building. For citizens of Canada, USA and many other countries, there are no visas or fees when entering Belize — you will get a stamp in your passport allowing a stay of 30 days. Citizens of some countries require a visa which must be obtained before entering Belize. After completing immigration and customs, re-board the bus.
Visitors wanting to stay in Belize longer than 30 days can go to the nearest immigration office and ask for an extension. The passport will be stamped again, allowing a stay of another 30 days. There is a fee for the new stamps; I think it’s BZ$50 (US$25) per stamp for the first 6 months, and BZ$100 per stamp thereafter. After 12 months, you might be asked to leave the country, or if you intend to apply for permanent residency.
CROSSING THE BORDER FROM COROZAL TO CHETUMAL
Visitors leaving Belize by bus stop at Belize Immigration. Passengers, without luggage, enter the building and present their passports to Belize Immigration. For tourists who have been in Belize more than 24 hours, there is a fee of BZ$37.50 (US$18.75), payable in BZ$ or US$. This site explains the departure fees:
Passengers re-board the bus, proceed across the bridge over the Hondo River and stop at Mexican Immigration where they get off the bus with their luggage. If the bus is scheduled to continue to Chetumal, it will park about 50 to 100 metres further up the road, or maybe on a side street, and wait for passengers to complete immigration & customs. If in doubt, speak to the driver when you get off the bus.
Passengers go into the immigration building, get an FMM, complete it and present the completed form with passport to an immigration officer. After your documents are returned, exit the immigration building, and walk ahead to Customs. After Customs, re-board the bus. The fee for the FMM must be paid at a bank before you leave Mexico. Visitors in transit can pay at Cancún airport, although I’ve heard a few reports where visitors were not asked for money at Cancún airport.