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tourist visa

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1/3/2010 01:11 EST

Do we only get 180 days maximum of tourist visa in a 365-day period? Can this be extended beyond 180 days in a year period? Maybe I should be returning my tourist visa each time I leave Mexico, but then I would have to pay for another one upon each re-entry, wouldn´t I?

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1/3/2010 10:40 EST

Yes, you get a maximum of 180 days on an FMT and, at present, it is a single entry document which becomes invalid when you leave Mexico. There is some discussion of making it a multiple entry document, but I have no definite information yet. If you fly out of Mexico, the FMT is collected before you depart. One should, on entry, be sure to specify that 180 days are desired. Sometimes, only 90 days are given. Yes, you do have to pay for another FMT whenever you return to Mexico, unless you hold an FM3 or FM2, which are visas intended for longer stays and multiple entry/exit. Note also: You must have aduana remove the sticker and issue a receipt for your automobile when you exit Mexico. There are very serious consequences for failure to comply. Again, you must re-import the vehicle if you return.

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1/3/2010 23:47 EST

Oh my. Thanks for your reply. I believe that the automobile permit does not apply to Baja California. However, I plan to eventually drive from Baja California to one of the more eastern states. Do you know if I should get my automobile permit upon driving into Baja California, or would I get it upon leaving Baja California to enter Sonora?

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1/4/2010 10:50 EST

Baja California, part of Sonora and the Zona Frontera are somewhat alien to the main part of Mexico and they do have some strange exceptions to the rules. As such, if you ever want to drive into the interior of Mexico, you must have the appropriate visa or tourist permit and the 'importada temporal' for your car. They are available at the border, but I'm not sure if you can get them elsewhere. So, save yourself a trip back to the border and get them when you enter Mexico. Also, be sure to stop and cancel the 'importada' and get a receipt when you drive out of Mexico.

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