Colombia offers tourist visas to citizens of many countries good for 90 days. It is possible to extend a tourist visa by 90 days for a total of 180 days. Follow our guide to extend a tourist visa that is updated for 2021.
Colombia offers instant tourist visas to citizens of many countries that are good for 90 days. These “tourist visas” are really just a stamp in your passport and aren’t really visas. And it is quite easy to extend a Colombian tourist visa to enable staying in Colombia a maximum of 180 days in a year.
There are over 90 countries, whose citizens can enter Colombia without a visa and receive a “tourist visa” stamp. The countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States plus over 80 more countries.
However, if you are a tourist from Canada, you used to have to pay an entry fee of 201,000 pesos. But this entry fee didn’t apply to Canadians over the age of 79 or younger than 14. Also, this entry fee for Canadians was eliminated on May 1, 2019.
When you enter Colombia as a tourist, an immigration official will stamp your passport and normally write that it is good for 90 days. But this is at the discretion of the official and occasionally may be shorter.
I have lived in Medellín for several years with visas. Before this time, I had tourist visa stamps and extended these several times. This article has been updated with the online process to renew a Colombia “tourist visa” stamp. There is no longer the need to go to a Migracion Colombia office to renew a “tourist visa” stamp unless you have problems online.
Many websites incorrectly call this a “tourist visa” but it isn’t really a visa. It is a tourist permit that is just a stamp in your visa. It isn’t a visa and Colombia has many types of visas that require visa applications.
Note the above photo shows two 90-day Colombian tourist permit stamps in a passport.
Migracion Colombia Offices Reopened on September 21
Starting in early April 2020, Migracion Colombia stopped issuing tourist visa/permit extensions, as their online system for applying to tourist visa extensions was taken offline and Migracion offices were closed and Colombia. So, if had a 90-day tourist visa you could no longer obtain a tourist visa extension to 180 days.
However, on September 21, Migracion Colombia offices reopened with a gradual resumption of services. However several readers are reporting that Migracion is not processing tourist visa extensions in offices that now need to be done online:
- The online system to apply for tourist visa extension is online.
- You can’t make an appointment for tourist visa extensions.
- Readers that have gone to Migracion have been unable to extend tourist visas.
Starting on October 16, the option to extend a tourist visa became available on the Migracion website (Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia). So, tourist visas can now be extended online.
However, instead of a tourist visa extension, there are over 20 different types of Colombian visas and Colombia is still issuing visas even during the quarantine in Colombia. We have a comprehensive guide to Colombian visas.
How Long Can You Normally Stay as a Tourist in Colombia?
The current tourist rule is that you can stay in Colombia as a tourist for a maximum of 180 days in a calendar year (January 1 to December 31) but his was extended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and time reporting for tourist visas was suspended.
In addition, you can’t stay for more than 180 days consecutively, even if this is across two years. This 180 day limit is the time you actually spend in Colombia including arrival and departure days. This count isn’t the time stamped on your passport on the tourist permit stamp, it’s your actual time spent in Colombia.
For example, if you arrive on November 1, 2019 you will have to depart at the end of April 2020, even though you were in Colombia in 2020 for less than six months. But you could leave Colombia for 24 hours and come back with a “tourist visa” stamp for another two months in 2020, as this resets the “tourist clock”.
There is no penalty for applying early for a tourist visa/permit extension. And the 90-day visa extension is added to the day your current tourist stamp expires, not the day you apply. But there is a penalty for starting late.
How to Extend a Colombia Tourist Visa
One way to extend your “tourist visa” stamp is to simply leave the country and return with a new tourist visa. Or you can extend a tourist permit online while in Colombia.
In the past you needed to go to a Migracion Colombia office to renew a tourist permit if you are in Colombia. This is no longer the case. You can renew a Colombia tourist permit online with no need to go to a Migracion Colombia office.
In the past, Migracion Colombia rejected renewals if more than about 10 days before your tourist visa expires. But Migracion Colombia is now swamped with tourist visa extensions, so we recommend submitting two weeks or more in advance before your tourist visa expires.
However, many Medellin Guru readers have encountered problems applying for a tourist visa online and paying online. So, they had to go a Migracion Colombia office.
Medellin Guru has partnered with a visa agency that offers a service to extend a tourist visa. The benefits of using this service include:
- You benefit from the experience of the visa agency. They have done many tourist visa extensions and know exactly is required.
- The visa agency applies for the tourist visa extension for you. And the agency knows the process and how to avoid problems.
- The visa agency will pay for you online. So, you don’t run into problems with online payment.
With this tourist visa extension service, you won’t run into the typical problems encountered when foreigner tries to renew a tourist visa themselves. Just click on the following button to use this service and there is a short form to fill out to receive a quote.
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 28 Medellin Guru readers extend tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.
What to Do If You Overstay Your Tourist Visa?
If you overstay your tourist time limit, you will have to pay a fine before leaving the country. If you overstay, we recommend that you pay the fine at the Migracion office within at least three days before your departure, so you aren’t delayed at the airport. Fines reportedly start at 440,000 pesos and go up, depending on how long you overstay.
If you overstay your tourist “visa” by less than six months, you can pay your fine, leave Colombian and will still be able to re-enter Colombia with a new tourist visa in the same year (as long as under the 180-day tourist rule). If you overstay by more than six months, you technically qualify for deportation and will need to leave Colombia immediately.
If you overstay you will need to go to Migracion Colombia less than 15 days before your planned departure and ask for a “salvoconducto“. This is essentially a temporary permit that allows you to be in Colombia even though your tourist visa has expired. In addition, a salvoconducto is only good for 15 days. And you will need to show this to Migracion at the airport when you leave.
When you go to Migracion Colombia for a salvoconducto you need:
- Your passport
- Copy of the page of your current passport with your personal data/photo
- Copy of your most recent Colombia tourist visa stamp
- Credit or debit card to pay the fine and cost of the salvoconducto.
The salvoconducto costs 60,000 pesos and the fine starts at 440,000 pesos and can go as high as over 5 million pesos. But if you have overstayed for less than three months I have heard from a few foreigners the fine can be less than 700,000 pesos.
How to Extend a Colombia Tourist Visa Online in Medellín or Colombia
To renew a “tourist visa” stamp, starting on September 21, you should be able to do this online here but many readers have encountered problems with the online tourist visa extensions.
First select Formulario Único de Trámites (FUT) and then Choose the “Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia” option and make sure to use the Spanish version (the English version has problems).
You will be requested the following to upload your attachments in PDF format.
Migracion Colombia in Medellín told me that you need the three items below:
- Copy of the page of your current passport with your personal data/photo
- Copy of your current valid Colombia tourist visa stamp
- Proof of onward travel. This is a copy of a ticket for departure from Colombia by air or bus. And this can be a copy of a flight confirmation email. It should have your full name, dates and an itinerary showing departure from a Colombian city to a city outside of Colombia.
If you don’t have proof of onward travel, you could book a refundable ticket on Expedia that is refundable within 24 hours and print to PDF the confirmation email. Here are steps to get a refundable ticket on Expedia.
And for families there are additional requirements for children:
- Birth certificate of child
- Copy of the page of a parent’s passport with personal data/photo
If you run into problems with an online tourist visa extension, try another browser. Several readers have reported that Firefox works best.
After submitting the tourist permit renewal application you should get a response in 1 to 2 business days. If approved you will need to pay the 103,000 pesos fee. And this is free if you are from a Schengen country in Europe.
There will be instructions about how to pay in your approval email. You can pay online, at a Banco Occidente bank or at a Migracion Colombia office. Reportedly there may be some “web maintenance” issues if paying online with a credit card.
If there is a problem with your application you may be able to solve this via the phone at via toll free to 01800 0510454. In addition, you can ask for someone speaking English.
After you are approved and have paid you will receive a PDF indicating that your tourist permit has been extended. You will need to print this and keep it with your passport. And there is no need to go to the Migracion Colombia office if you are able to successfully renew online.
Some readers have shared that they submitted their tourist extension application and got an email with a “Número de solicitud”, but then never received any more emails — not a rejection nor an approval — even after a few days. In this case you will need to print off the email with your número de solicitud and go to a Migracion Colombia office.
Making an Appointment with Migracion Colombia
If you have problems renewing a “tourist visa” stamp online and can’t resolve the problem, this requires a trip to a Migracion Colombia office, which are located in every major city in Colombia.
Before going to a Migracion Colombia office, you need to make an appointment. Appointments are now required and can be scheduled online here.
Also, keep in mind that Migracion Colombia is closed on national holidays and on the weekends.
When you confirm your appointment make sure to write it down or take a photo of the confirmation page.
How to Apply for an Colombia Tourist Visa Extension at Migracion Colombia
You used to be able to apply for tourist visa extensions at Migracion Colombia offices but this i no longer an option. This is what was needed when applying at a Migracion Colombia office before the pandemic:
- Your passport
- Copy of the page of your current passport with your personal data
- Copy of your current tourist permit stamp
- Your appointment confirmation number (if you made an appointment), print it out
- Proof of onward travel. This is a copy of a ticket for departure from Colombia. And this can be a copy of a flight confirmation email. It should have your full name, dates and an itinerary showing departure from a Colombian city to a city outside of Colombia.
If you didn’t prepare copies beforehand, there is a small shop near the Migracion Colombia office in Medellín that can make copies for about 200 pesos each.
When you arrived at Migracion Colombia, you presented yourself at the counter with your appointment information, where someone will verify you have the proper documentation to extend your tourist visa. And if so, you will be told to sit and wait to be called by name by an immigration official.
You needed to pay for the tourist permit extension at Migracion Colombia with a credit or debit card. American Express and Diners Club are not accepted. Only Visa or MasterCard are accepted. The cost for extending a tourist visa increased to 103,000 pesos in 2020 or this is free if a citizen from a Schengen country in Europe.
In the past some expats expats have extended their tourist permits without an appointment. But Migracion now requires appointments.
How to Get to Migracion Colombia in Medellín
Here is a list of the Migracion Colombia offices in the five largest cities in Colombia.
- Bogotá – Calle 100 # 11B-27
- Medellín – Calle 19 # 80A-40, Barrio Belén
- Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
- Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
- Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo
A complete list of Migracion Colombia can be found here. In Medellín, the Migracion Colombia office is located in Belén and is listed on the Migracion Colombia website with the address Calle 19 # 80A-40.
However, this address is the old entrance and the guard there will direct you to the other side of the building. The new entrance location is actually on Calle 19A and is shown in the photo above and with the red marker on the map below.
Medellin Guru’s Comprehensive Visa and Passport Series
Keep in mind a tourist stamp in your passport is not the same as a visa. If you want to stay longer, Colombia has over 20 types of visas that can permit you to stay in Colombia for over 180 days. On the Medellin Guru site, we have a comprehensive series of visa articles that are kept up-to-date and should answer most visa questions. These articles include:
- Colombia Visa Guide: Ultimate Guide How to Get a Colombian Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info – an overview of all the Colombian visas
- Popular Colombian Visas for Foreigners: Which Visa is the Most Popular?
- Coronavirus Impacts on Colombian Visas and Tourist Visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
- 7 Common Colombian Visa Mistakes: How to Avoid Them
We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:
Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:
- Rentista visa (annuity visa) – for foreigners with a fixed income
- Beneficiary visa – for relatives of visa holders
- Expertise visa – for professionals
Furthermore, we provide information about travel insurance that meets the insurance requirement for Colombian visas. And we have a guide to how apply for a cedula extranjeria in Colombia and a guide to using notaries in Medellín and Colombia. Finally, Medellin Guru has partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services.
All of our Colombia visa articles were updated in 2020 and are being updated again in 2021 to ensure they are up-to-date. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
Using a Visa Agency if Needing a Visa for Longer Than 180 Days
If you are in Colombia and not located in Bogotá and applying for a Colombia visa plus you don’t want to travel, you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombian visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
Medellin Guru has partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services. Features of this service include:
- Online chat – get visa questions answered fast.
- Online quotes – get immediate visa quotes.
- Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
- Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
- Competitive price compared to other visa services.
The Medellin Guru visa service partnership was launched in March 2019. And in 30 months, 454 visas have been successfully received by clients.
Also, our visa service renewed 56 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service and provided visa stamping service to 10 clients (getting the visa in a customer’s passport who applied for a visa himself before the pandemic). In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.
So, in total we had 547 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 30 months.
In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.
We reviewed all the Colombia visa agency services in Medellín and found one agency that offers a more efficient visa service with more features and more comprehensive communications including online chat, WhatsApp, Skype, email and phone plus a low price and a convenient office in El Poblado.
Our visa partnership is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use our visa partner, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.
Furthermore, the visa agency we partnered with offers visa services anywhere in Colombia. So, if you are located in another city in Colombia you can use this service.
The Bottom Line: How to Extend Colombia Tourist Visa (Tourist Stamp)
Migracion offices were closed for over five months but they reopened on September 21, 2020. However, tourist visa extensions are done online.
Colombia makes it relatively easy to stay in the country for up to 180 days each calendar year with just a “tourist visa” stamp, as the “tourist visa” or tourist permit extension, which are even easier to get than in the past as the extension can be done online.
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 28 Medellin Guru readers extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service but it stopped doing this.
The visa processes change frequently in Colombia. If you experience something different than the Colombian tourist visa extension process outlined above, please let us know in the comments below. We intend to keep all of our visa articles up-to-date.
In addition, “How to extend a Colombia tourist visa?” is a common question asked by expats visiting Medellín. So, we included this question in our list of Medellín frequently asked questions (FAQ).
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Editors note: updated on January 10, 2018 with the new method to apply online to renew a Colombia tourist permit.
Editors note: updated on August 13, 2018 with the new fee to extend a Colombia tourist permit.
Editors note: updated on February 25, 2019 with information that the Colombian entry fee charged to tourists from Canada will be eliminated on May 1, 2019.
Editors note: updated on March 6, 2019 with information about how to get a salvoconducto if you overstay your tourist visa.
Editors note: updated on April 21, 2019 with the updated fee and current information about extending a tourist visa in Colombia.
Editors note: updated on February 2, 2020 with current information about extending a tourist visa/permit in Colombia.
Editors note: updated on March 22, 2020 to recommend submitting tourist visa extensions two or more weeks in advance before expiration due to Migracion Colombia being swamped with tourist visa extensions.
Editors note: updated on March 25, 2020 with information that tourists trying to extend tourist visas may be in limbo due to the quarantine in Colombia, Migracion offices are closed and online tourist visa extensions appear that they are taking longer than in the past.
Editors note: updated on April 4, 2020 with information that tourist visa/permit extensions are temporarily unavailable, as the online system for applying for tourist extensions is offline and Migracion offices are closed.
Editors note: updated on June 10, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to June 30 and updated information about the Medellin Guru visa service.
Editors note: updated on September 19, 2020 with information that Migracion Colombia offices reopen on September 21 with services.
Editors note: updated on October 16, 2020 with information that the online option to extend tourist visa is now available on the Migracion website.
Editors note: update on January 22, 2020 with current and updated information for 2021.