Tourists from most countries are typically given a 90 day tourist visa upon entering Colombia. There is a maximum stay of 180 days in the country per calendar year for those wishing to extend that original tourist visa. Tourists also cannot stay more than 180 consecutive days in the country even if the years overlap.
How to Get an Extension
There are two ways to get a visa extension. The first is to leave the country for at least 48 hours and reenter. The second is to visit a regional office of Migración Colombia. You can visit the website to find a list of offices.
Visiting a Migración Office
I visited the Migración office in Pereira for an extension of my tourist visa. First, I visited the office in person a month before my visa expired to ask exactly what I need for the extension:
- 1 passport photo
- A copy of my main passport page
- A copy of my entry stamp into Colombia
- My passport
- A printout of a plane or bus reservation out of Colombia before the additional 90 days expire
- A credit or debit card to pay the COP$87,000 visa extension fee OR the same amount in cash to pay at a bank before the appointment (the office can give you the bank information on how to pay)
What the nice man behind the desk failed to tell us is that I need to schedule an appointment online with Migración Colombia. He did tell us, however, that we must come into the office within a week of the visa expiration.
Fast forward one month later. We showed up a few days before my original visa expired. The same man behind the desk who saw us just a month before remembered us but asked if we had an appointment. We told him we didn’t and that he hadn’t mentioned anything about an appointment. I looked around sarcastically because the entire office was empty. He told us to make an appointment and come back. That wasn’t an option, especially since we had to travel over two hours to get there in the first place. With a little pleading he agreed to take care of it anyway.
I handed over all of the items I was asked to bring. I paid with my credit card to avoid a side trip to the bank. At the end, the man put a new stamp in my passport and showed me the new expiration date. The entire process took all of 10 minutes and was relatively painless.