Mexico is an exciting country to visit with much to offer tourists. Throughout the country there are ruins left by Mayan and Aztec civilizations, some only recently uncovered in the jungles. The center of the country has a thriving urban capital ready for exploring, and the white sand beaches make you never want to leave. If you're just not ready to leave this country behind, you can extend your vacation in Mexico with a few simple steps.

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Have your passport to travel to Mexico and to extend your stay in the country. According to the U.S. Department of State, a first-time applicant has to apply in person at a passport acceptance facility or a passport agency. You can find the locations at the U.S. Department of State's passport page at

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With your passport in hand, the next thing you'll need to extend your stay in Mexico is your tourist card. A tourist card, or FM-T, is needed if you'll be staying in Mexico for longer than 72 hours.

When you enter Mexico, the immigration official stamps your tourist card and writes the number of days you're allowed to stay in Mexico. You cannot stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days on a typical tourist card. The immigration official will generally list 30 or 60 days for the amount of time you're allowed to stay. If you want to stay longer than the number of days written on your tourist card, you'll need to apply for an extension.

You'll only need a tourist card if you're traveling outside of the Mexico border zone. According to the U.S. Department of State, the border zone is the area that is about 12.5 miles and 18.5 miles from the United States border depending on the location. The cost of the tourist card is $23. However, if you're traveling to Mexico by plane or on a cruise, the price is included in the ticket and will be given to you on your flight or on the ship. If traveling by car, get your tourist card at the border or at a Mexican Consulate.

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Visit your nearest Mexico immigration office now that you have your tourist card and passport. For a full list of immigration offices, visit, listed in the Reference link below. At the office, you'll show your passport and your tourist card, and you'll have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself while in Mexico. This can be done with cash, credit cards or bank statements. You'll be given a form to fill out at the immigration office.

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Go to the bank with the new tourist card; banks are located next door to the immigration offices. Pay to have the tourist card stamped to show that payment has been made. You'll then return to the immigration office and get the card stamped to show that you're legally in the country. You've now extended your stay in Mexico.

Things You Will Need
  • Passport

  • Tourist Card (also known as an FM-T)


United States Embassy: The embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc. To call within Mexico City, 5080-2000 or long distance within Mexico, +01-55-5080-2000.

United States Consulates in Mexico: Ciudad Juarez: Paseo de la Victoria, number 3650, +52-656-227-3000 Guadalajara: Progreso 175, Col. Americana, +52-333-268-2100 Hermosillo: Calle Monterrey 141 Poniente, Col. Esquesa, +52-662-289-3500 Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002 y Azaleas, +52-868-812-4402 Merida: Calle 60 No. 338 K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, +52-999-942-5700 Monterrey: Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, +52-818-047-3100 Nogales: Calle San Jose, Fraccionamiento Los Alamos, +52-631-311-8150 Nuevo Laredo, Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, +52-867-714-0512 Tijuana: Avenida Tapachula 96, Col. Hipodromo, +52-664-622-7400


According to the U.S. Department of State, if you are not in possession of your tourist FM-T card when you leave Mexico, you may have to pay a fine to Mexican Immigration.