Touching down at a destination you’ve been dreaming about is elating. Getting stuck in a slow-moving customs line before you get to leave the airport is deflating. If you’ve ever been to Cancún, Mexico, you probably know how that feels. But a new policy announced on August 20 is expediting the entry process at Cancún International Airport for American tourists by eliminating the Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM), or Mexico customs form, as well as the tourist cards that were previously issued on arrival.
Prior to the policy change, travelers were able to fill out their FMM electronically before their trips. The problem is that many did not, forcing them to complete the paperwork on arrival and causing them to congest the customs line. Now, neither electronic nor paper forms are required, and American tourists will get a stamp valid for 180 days. Sergio González Rubiera, the executive president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies in Quintana Roo, told the Cancún Sun that he expects the move to reduce the immigration process to minutes, rather than hours.
There are a couple of caveats. Tourists from select countries, including Brazil and Venezuela, will still be required to fill out FMM and only receive 30-day visas. American travelers with non-tourist visas, such as work or student visas, will also be required to submit FMM, although they’ll be expected to do so electronically.
Let’s not forget the other major benefit of the new immigration procedure: travelers will no longer be responsible for keeping track of tourist cards to present at departure. Previously, tourists were issued paper cards when they landed and would be fined $25 if they lost them before leaving the country. With the new stamp, there’s one less thing for travelers to worry about while they’re lounging on the beach. And who knows, if all goes well in Cancún, it may signal the end of the Mexico customs form once and for all.