How to Extend Your Colombian Tourist Visa

passports with tourist visa stamps

TLDR? You can fill out an online form to renew your tourist visa for up to 180 days in a calendar year.

So, you’ve fallen in love with life as a digital nomad in Medellin, Colombia. Or, maybe you’ve met someone, or spotted a fantastic business opportunity in the city.

Whatever it is that’s making you reluctant to get back on a plane and head back to the cold in London or New York, we’re not surprised. 

You’re definitely not the first person to want to extend your stay 90-day stay in Colombia.

So, if you’re looking to extend your stay, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at how to extend your tourist visa.

The Standard Tourist Visa

visa being stamped in the passport

Visitors from over 90 countries can enter Colombia without a visa and receive instead a stamp in their passport booklet. These stamps are tourist permits that allow them to stay for up to 180 days as a tourist. 

Now, while we’re not going to list out all 90 countries, it does pay to know a few of the top countries. These include:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • South Korea
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Remember, even if you think you qualify, it’s a good idea to check. After all, you don’t want to travel to Medellin only to be turned away at immigration!

Receiving Your Tourist Permit

If you’re from one of the eligible countries, you’ll get your tourist visa upon arrival. This will let you stay in Colombia for between 30 and 90 days. 

Keep in mind that the number of days first issued is at the discretion of each immigration official. More often than not, the time period is 90 days. 

If your original permit is due to run out and you want to extend your stay as a tourist that’s not a problem. Under Colombian law, you are allowed to remain in Colombia as a tourist for up to 180 days in a calendar year (January 1 to December 31). 

Covid-19 and Immigration Permits

covid-19 testing station at medellin airport

The covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of turmoil. However, it’s also brought about some positive things.

For one thing, it’s made it easier to extend your stay. Let’s take a look at a few ways that’s become the case.

No In-Person Visits

Firstly, you no longer have to visit one of the migration offices to extend your stay. Thanks to covid-19, it’s now possible to extend your tourist visa online.

Lengthier Stays

Secondly, the health crisis and complications resulting from travel restrictions being enforced on arrivals and departures to certain countries have impacted visas.

Thanks to these circumstances, Colombian immigration authorities have relaxed the way they enforce the number of days visitors are allowed to stay in the country without incurring a fine.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Extend Your Visa

visas and passport

To ensure you avoid any possibility of problems on departure, you’ll have to make sure you don’t outstay your visa. If you intend to outstay the number of days stamped in your passport, you’ll need to apply for an extension.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to do. Here’s what you’ll need to do to extend your visa.

Step One: Visit the Immigration Website

In the past, if you wanted to keep exploring Medellin you’d have to go to an immigration office in person. Now, however, all you have to do is get online.

To renew your visa, you’ll need to visit the Colombian Immigration Authority’s official website. From there, you’ll need to select Formulario Único de Trámites (FUT).

Next, select the option “Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia”.

Struggling with the Spanish? We don’t blame you. While you’re staying here longer anyway, try checking out some of the city’s language exchange meetups.

These can be great jumping-off points for improving your Spanish for situations like this one!

Step Two: Upload Your Documents

Once you’ve started your application, you’ll need to upload some documents. This includes:

  • Copy of the page of your current passport with your personal data/photo.
  • The page with your valid Colombia tourist permit stamp/entry stamp.
  • Proof of onward travel. You will need to have a valid ticket that proves your intention to leave the country. 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 are traveling with a child you will also need to submit:

  • The child’s birth certificate.
  • Copy of the page of a parent’s passport with personal data/photo.

Keep in mind that the PDF files cannot exceed 1MB (in total). So, you may need to compress the PDF files in Adobe Acrobat.

Step Three: Get Your Confirmation Email and Pay

After you have submitted your application to extend your tourist visa, you’ll receive an email within 1 to 2 working days. 

If approved, you will need to pay the $103,000 COP fee. However, this is free if you are from one of the Schengen countries in Europe.

There will be instructions about how to pay in your approval email. You can make a deposit at a Banco Occidente bank, or at a Migracion Colombia office. Or, you can choose to pay online.

Staying Longer Than 180 Days

people strolling around Medellin in the comuna 13 neighborhood

If you are really smitten with Colombia, want to tie the knot with a Colombian, or have decided to pull the trigger on an investment opportunity, we get it.

In that case, you might want to consider converting your tourist visa into a permanent visa. You can choose to apply for a visitor, resident, or migrant visa.

Within those categories, there are 20 different types of visas depending on your circumstances. You’ll need to check out which one works for your situation before applying.

Expat Housing Options in Medellin

If you’re looking to stay for more than 180 days, it’s probably worth looking into long-term stays. There are tons of properties on Airbnb that you can rent for a minimum of 30 days.

Alternatively, there are apartahotels. These work sort of like apartment buildings, but they come fully furnished and equipped with amenities to make your stay better for a long-haul visit.

Extend Your Tourist Visa and Stay in Marvelous Medellin

Whether you’re looking to do away with your tourist visa and move to Medellin or just want one more week here, we get it. With this guide, you should have no problem extending your visa in this beautiful country.

If you’re interested in a long-term stay in Medellin, extending your tourist visa is just the beginning. From there you can get ready to make Medellin your home, whether it’s for a full year or just a few months!

Looking for pro tips on long-term stays in Medellín? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and join our expat community to get insider knowledge on everything that goes on in the City of Eternal Spring!