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Cancun Scraps Mandatory Arrival Form And Grants Americans Fast Track Entry 

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Up until this past Thursday, August 20th there had been an extra step some tourists would have to take at the airport when visiting Cancun, but now Cancun has scrapped the mandatory arrival FMM form and is granting Americans a fast-track entry process.  This is welcome news for those that have had to wait in line for an hour or more to fill out paperwork upon arrival and departure from the country.  And if that wasn’t hassle enough, they also had to carry a special “tourist card” that, if lost, could cause even more delays and other issues. 

While the FMM document, or Forma Multipla Migratoria, could also be filled out and submitted electronically, many travelers would end up filling out the form in person.  This would result in delays getting through immigration that, now, the Mexican government has decided are unnecessary.  This comes after receiving multiple requests from businesses and agencies in the Mexican Caribbean tourism industry. 

The executive president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies in Quintana Roo,  Sergio González Rubiera, says the change could reduce the immigration process to just minutes. This is compared to the typical wait time of approximately an hour, according to Rubiera.  The executive president of AMAV also pointed out that the same new system will be available in other Mexican airports as well. 

With the new system, American tourists entering the country will receive a stamp rather than a separate card that they have to carry.  Not only was this card inconvenient due to the wait time associated with it, but also because losing it could lead to more delays, and, even more money.  This is because tourists were required to present the card upon leaving the country as well and if it was lost or stolen the visitor would incur a $25 tax and have to have another card issued. 

Now, according to Rubiera, “normal tourists who come on vacation will not have to fill out any form, either printed or electronic and everyone will be granted a residence permit for 180 days.”  Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule, as tourists from a handful of countries are only issued 30-day visas and will still have to submit a form.  Brazil, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Venezuela all fall into that category.  

Cancun tourists on beach near hotel zone

Mexico gets more visitors from the United States than from any other country in the world, with Canada as the next runner-up.  In 2021 more than 12 million tourists visited Cancun and millions have already visited the Mexican Caribbean vacation destination this year.  And the city continues to grow in popularity every year so those numbers are going to keep climbing. 

Streamlining the process of entry by eliminating the tourist card will help relieve some of the pressure on already overwhelmed airport staff.  Furthermore, it will relieve a little stress for tourists and it will save them time.  Currently it is suggested that on the day of departure travelers should get to the airport 3-4 hours prior to their flight time, but if predictions are correct, the new process should reduce that by an hour. 

sunset in cancun

Mexico has been popular among American tourists for a long time now but even more so since the pandemic.  This easier access to entry shows just how important American tourism in Mexico is and will continue to be.  It is surely a win for both countries.

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Thursday 25th of August 2022

In your writing you mention Americans... Is this change for everyone? Also for european tourists?

Ardyth Ruth

Monday 22nd of August 2022


Craig Swanson

Sunday 21st of August 2022

Great move! Took maybe 5 minutes to clear customs.


Sunday 21st of August 2022

Another major delay is the check in process with the airlines. Lines are long and a lot of time is wasted waiting in line. There are not clear signs, especially for Jet Blue check in. We have been flying to Cancun since 1996 and never had so many delays as in the past few years. After standing in line waiting to get checked in with the airlines to depart Cancun, 90% of the time you flew through security.