This post is specifically written to address information (right now) about getting a new (renewed) 180-day (FMM) Visa (specifically) in Baja, BCS Mexico without leaving the country due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We need to let you know that the process with getting Visas without leaving the country is fluid. We’ve heard of several different ways and several different form requirements depending on the office you visit. Here’s information that may or may not be clear as mud:
- Leave Mexico: This is the official way to get another 180-day FMM Tourist Visa if you have the means to do it, and was the only official way to get another 180-day Visa in Mexico prior to the COVID-19 outbreak unless you could prove a humanitarian reason not to leave
- Visa Issuance in La Paz: Specifically during the COVID-19 period, new 180-day Visas are being issued by the head (INM) Immigration Office in La Paz. However, you must get your new Visa after your old one expires and you can only get that new Visa AFTER the old one has expired. The forms for the FMM are online and must be filled out and printed to take to an Immigration Office with you. Not only is this a must but will speed your processing significently. Here’s the link to the eFMM, in English to assist you. The immigration offices do want you to print copies of the forms. You CAN sign for minor children (cause they only allow one person to come in at a time I think). I also recommend bringing several copies of your current passports. Be prepared to pay for each Visa in cash. If you go to the office, I strongly urge you to be patient and professional with the process.
- Visa Issuance in Loreto: I recommend using the eFMM Link and printing the forms. If you bring that paperwork pre-printed the office will speed your processing. Also be prepared to pay for each Visa in cash, about $41 US dollars each. Prior to issuing any new 180-day Visa, the office will send you away until your current Visa is expired. When your Visa has expired and you bring in all the paperwork and have waited for them to help you perfect it all, they will then ask you to come back in a day or so to pick up your paperwork and pay. Be prepared for this, it’s normal. I strongly urge you to be patient and professional with the process…..the Immigration Office staff are very professional and will help you as much as they can.
*The office #’s for Loreto are: 1351780 or 1351266 and an email POC is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*While waiting for Visas, I did meet folks who were unable to access the eFMM site or print the forms…so they walked into the office and just asked for new Visas….but this process does take much longer.
*You do not need to bring the whole family to the Loreto Office (only one person per family needs to go to the office), office hours are 0900 – 1300 M-F and they want you to know they’ll help you all they can.
Right now the situation with 180-day Visas is fluid with factual information and procedures subject to change as the government adjusts restrictions around the country. I wanted to get this information pushed out to those who might want it, but I’m also concerned that folks will set it in stone and not understand that the Visa situation could change tomorrow….and I may not know it.
I’m also concerned that Mexico will revert back to it’s stated 180-day Visa policy as soon as the country lifts it’s own COVID-19 restrictions, despite when your Visa may or may not expire. For those boats that came down with us on the 2019 Baja Ha-Ha….most of us may have Visas expiring around the same time. I HIGHLY recommend you check out the INM Website for yourself to answer any questions I missed in this post or hit me back in comments for clarification.
*Also…..if you’re elsewhere in Mexico (on a boat or not) and need to renew the Visa, I’d highly recommend you follow some of the ideas in this post and see your local Immigration Office for help.
* Remember when dealing with Immigration folks anywhere…they’re people dealing with COVID too, often with scant resources. Keep in mind you’re the foreigner asking for special Visa exceptions. Nuff Said!