For people wanting to extend a tourist visa in Colombia, it seems to be a great cause of stress. The requirements and prices for renewing a tourist visa seem to change every year and now it is Migracion Colombia handling everything instead of the DAS Office. I can tell you, I read all the horror stories other people had written about all over the internet and it made me very nervous when it came time to apply to extend mine. Here is my experience when I went in to extend my tourist visa...
==The Day Before Going Into Migracion Colombia:==
I had done all my research and most people had stated that it was best to get to Migracion Colombia right on opening time, which was 8am, before it got too busy. With this in mind I decided that I would get all my paperwork organised the previous day....
I went down to the Banco Occidente to pay the fee. Luckily there was one only about a 2 minute walk from my house. I got there at 11:35am... closed! WTF! The sign on the door said closed between 11:30am and 2pm every day.... I know a lot of businesses here still have a "siesta break" during the day... but banks too???
Arriving back at the bank at 2pm, I went in but didn't really know which deposit slip I was meant to fill out. Luckily the staff there were able to help me... They process a lot of these.... I filled in the deposit slip and waited in line. When it was finally my turn, the cashier informed me I had to fill out a new form because I had but the reference numbers in the wrong order. Luckily he had one there and I didn't have to line up again.... Details and fee I paid below....
- The fee is COP76,850.
- Deposit the fee into the appropriate account:
Banco Occidente account 263-05464-5.
The account name is Unidad Administrativa Especial Migracion Colombia.
Referencia 1 is your passport number.
Referencia 2 is “103,” the code for tourist visa fees.
You need to have a phone number.
Keep a copy of your receipt.
Bank done and dusted... Now to get a flight reservation...
I am fairly sure that it is impossible to get a flight reservation online without actually paying for it first. You should never pay for it, because you have no idea how long your visa will be extended for. Which means the only way to get a reservation without payment is to do it through a physical travel agent.
Luckily there was an Avianca office right next door to the bank. I went in and explained that I would like to make a flight reservation to Ecuador. I gave her a date just under 90 days from that date. I was asked if I wanted to pay for it now. I said no, because I was extending my visa the next day and didn't know if I would have to change the flight dates or not. I actually had no intention of taking the flight at all, I just wanted the paper reservation to take with me to Migracion Colombia. I think the lady figured out what I was doing, but she didn't really seem to mind (I'm sure they get a lot of tourists doing the exact same thing quiet often). I was informed that they could only hold the reservation for 72 hours before payment or cancellation was required. This is something that has recently changed. To my knowledge in the past you could make a reservation and pay for anything up to a week before the departure date. it didn't matter though because I only needed it to be valid for the following day.
Ok bank and flight reservation sorted.... I already had photocopies of my passport information page and my entry stamp to Colombia page.... And I still had some passport sized photos I had brought with me from Australia... I was ready!
I got up really early and ironed a nice pair of jeans and a nice collared shirt (I didn't want to look too casual). I double checked I had everything and then got a taxi to the Migracion Colombia office. (Cali address - Aveneda 3 Norte N.50N-20 in Barrio La Flora).
I arrived there just before 8am and waited outside. My girlfriend was with me and we were the only people there! At 8am they let us in (My girlfriend was allowed to come in with me, which I had been told by other people, that she wouldn't be allowed). We walked in and a guy approached us and asked what we were there for. We told him we were there to extend my tourist visa. he took my passport and gave it to the lady behind desk and gave me an information form to fill out (basic who you are, where you are staying, etc). As soon as I had filled out the form, I was called to the desk. The lady asked for my passport photocopies, flight reservation, the information page I just filled out, my passport sized photo and the bank receipt from my payment. I waited for her to read the information page and check everything... she didn't. I waited for the questions (why are you here? why do you want to stay longer?) but no questions were asked. She just got out her stamp and stamped my passport and that was it. I was in and out of Migracion Colombia in 10 minutes!!!
I had been so stressed for days about this process, but it was such a breeze! I don't know if I was just lucky to get a kind officer process mine or if this is how Migracion Colombia operate (most of the horror stories I read were from when the DAS was running everything), but I was very happy!
For more see here: -snip-
Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules
[ Edit: Edited on 15-Nov-2013, at 22:10 by wheels80. NOTE: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]