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. I talked to several expats that renewed their visa permits in the past month to see how the process has recently changed, to insure the information in this article is up-to-date.
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.
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.
How Long Can You 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).
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, 2018 you will have to depart at the end of April 2019, even though you were in Colombia in 2018 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 2019 and this resets the “tourist clock”.
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 380,000 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 380,000 pesos and can go as high as over 5 million pesos. But if you have overstayed for less than three months I have heard the fine can be less than 600,000 pesos.
How to Extend a Colombia Tourist Visa Online in Medellín or Colombia
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 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 now renew a Colombia tourist permit online with no need to go to a Migracion Colombia office.
According to Migracion Colombia you should submit a tourist permit renewal application a minimum of five days before your tourist visa expires.
To renew a “tourist visa” stamp you can do this online here.
You will see the above form. Choose the “Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia” option #3 and the location of the closest Migracion office. You will then see the following screen to fill out with personal data and an emergency contact.
At the bottom will be 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.
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
PDF file sizes are limited to a total of 1 MB.
After submitting the tourist permit renewal application you should get a response in 1-2 business days. If approved you will need to pay the 99,000 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 a land line (fijo) at 6-055454 or 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.
Making an Appointment with Migracion Colombia
If you have problems renewing a “tourist visa” stamp online and can’t resolve the problem on the phone, this requires a trip to a Migracion Colombia office, which are located in every major city in Colombia. Or if you are doing your renewal at the last minute you should got to a Migracion Colombia office.
If you go to Migracion without an appointment, you should go early in the morning.
Before going to Migracion Colombia, you can make an appointment. So, your wait will be shorter. Appointment can be scheduled online here.
You fill out the above online form and then select the bottom button and a calendar will popup. If you see an error, use the arrows to change to the current month. The schedule will be restricted based on your visa expiration date, so you can’t choose a date too early.
You can also call 24 hours a day to schedule to a land line (fijo) at 6-055454 or toll free to 01800 0510454 to schedule an appointment.
If you schedule and appointment, you should schedule a week before your tourist stamp expiration. And you won’t be permitted to schedule months or weeks in advance. 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
Before you arrive, make sure you have the five things needed to extend your “tourist visa”, which is actually just a tourist permit stamp:
- 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 don’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 arrive at Migracion Colombia, present yourself at the counter 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. If you have an appointment, the wait won’t be very long.
You will need 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 99,000 pesos on April 1, 2019 or this is free if a citizen from a Schengen country in Europe.
Some expats I talked to extended their tourist permits without an appointment. But a manager at Migracion Colombia told me they prefer appointments and at times later in the day they may not let you in without an appointment. So, we recommend making an appointment or going early in the morning.
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
- 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 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 early 2019 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.
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.
The Bottom Line: How to Extend Colombia Tourist Visa (Tourist Stamp)
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 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.