Cancun, Q.R. — Cancun International is part of a pilot program to permanently eliminate the use of the paper FMM. Tourists entering the country are expected to fill out the Multiple Migratory Format (FMM) then wait in line to have it validated for their stay.
As of August 19, the National Migration Institute (INM) included Cancun as one of the five airports in Mexico to test its elimination. According to Sergio González Rubiera, president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV) in Quintana Roo, the program will reduce wait times from hours to minutes.
Rather than fill out a paper Formato Migratorio Múltiple (FMM), most tourists will simply have their passports stamped for a 180-day stay.
“Now, instead of the FMM, they (INM) are just going to stamp them,” he said adding that “normal tourists who come on vacation will not have to fill out the FMM, neither printed nor electronic, and everyone will be granted a permit to stay for 180 days.”
The new system will reduce wait times from two-plus hours to around 20 minutes he said. He also clarified that the stamping does not apply to all nationalities. Tourists arriving from Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela and Brazil will be the exception since visitors from Brazil, for example, are only granted 30-day visas.
There will be some other exceptions as well. Travelers arriving under special circumstances such as with work visas or student visas, will have to use the electronic FMM.
González Rubiera said that INM officials have already been trained on using the new paperless system. He said that the Cancun airport will join four others around the country in the program. The other Mexico airports with the paperless FMM system are AIFA of Santa Lucia, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and San José del Cabo.
González Rubiera explained that the new program was put into effect after continued requests by the Mexican Caribbean Tourism Business sector to reduce INM airport wait times for tourists.
The program has been implemented by the General Directorate of Immigration Control and Verification.