This page is left here for Historical purposes only. Information which better reflects the current situation as of February 2013 can be found starting here: Mexico Visas – Temporary Resident (MTRV was FM3) Permanent Resident (MPRV was FM2) Tourist Card (FMM / FMT)
Visitors to Mexico from Canada and the USA require a visa if they want to stay continuously for more than 180 days.
Last updated January 7, 2012: Changes are anticipated but still not in effect, details here: Immigration Changes – FMM, FM2, FM3 – Summary
FMM – standard tourist form required by all persons entering the country except the northern border zone.
FM2 – Resident visa leading to Mexican citizenship or permanent resident status.
FM3 – resident visa for people who want to live more than 180 days or work in Mexico
Regulations changed as of May 1, 2010. All visas must now be acquired in Mexico. The new rules state that you can no longer get a visa at a consulate. Some people have reported (August 2010) that some consulates still process visas but we should assume this is only during the transition. (January 2012 – that seems to have stopped although you can still get assistance at many consulates with your on line application)
The new visas are shown here with their old counterparts:
The application procedure starts here.
Regulations changed as of May 1, 2010. The regulations in Spanish dealing with all aspects of immigration can be read here.
There is a procedure for getting a permission of entry and exit while your paper work is being processed. It would be a good idea to avoid the necessity of doing that by planning to be in Mexico long enough for the process to be completed.
There is an excellent explanation of the process by the undisputed king of knowledge about living in Mexico, Rolly Brook.