A) Go to the DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE MIGRACIÓN (Migracion y Extranjeria) building on the corner of Avenida 6 and Via 3 in Zona 4 of Guatemala City. (*1) You should aim to arrive before 11am.
B) Take with you:
- your passport (must still be valid for 6 months)
- two photocopies of the photo page of your passport (they don’t need to be colour).
- a completed PRÓRROGA DE VISA DE TURISTA O VIAJERO form. (*6)
plus one of the following:
– a photocopy of a credit card in your name, back and front on the same page (*2).
– a printout of a booking for travel outside the CA-4 region within the next 90 days (*3).
– bank letter or $400 US traveller’s check in your name plus a (legalized?) photocopy.
If you don’t have any of these last three then forge the flight details because the other option (getting a Guatemalan guarantor) is a major hassle for both of you.
None of the photocopies need to be legalised or notarised (except maybe the traveller’s checks. I don’t know anyone who has ever used this option). If anyone says they should be then question their sources.
Also take a pen in case you have to rewrite your form, a book to read and some snacks. You could be there all day.
(*4) You used to need to take a photograph but not any more.
(*5) is a list of other things you might be told you need but you actually don’t.
C) Walk into the building, through the left side of the door, through the electronic security gate, and show your ID to the desk clerk on the left. There my be a long queue of people outside on the right (down 6a Avenida) but you don’t need to wait behind them. They are waiting for something else.
D) If you already have all the paperwork in order, skip to instruction E. If not, go to the photocopy booth at the back left of the small entrance foyer (blue sign) and ask for a PRÓRROGA DE VISA DE TURISTA O VIAJERO (*6). It will cost you 2Q. You will probably have time to fill this form in while you are waiting in the queue upstairs. If you don’t read Spanish and won’t have a translation device with you then print off the translation guide below (*8).
E) Go upstairs (stairs are to the right of the door you came in) to the SEGUNDO NIVEL (or UK’s first floor). Don’t be hindered by people waiting on the stairs. They are probably waiting for something else.
F) Go to the information desk on the right side of the big waiting room (to the right of booth 1). The clerk will check your papers then give you a ticket with a letter and a number e.g. C 115.
G) Sit in a seat and wait for your number to be called. There is a TV screen in the middle of the room where the called numbers appear along with the desk that you have to go to. If the screen is broken and you don’t know what your number sounds like in Spanish ask the person beside you “Disculpe. Como se dice esto en español?” Or just keep an eye on the person who was before you in the queue.
H) When your number is called, go to the assigned desk. They will give you an invoice to take down to the Banco Rural window on the ground floor. There you will pay the fee of $25 which you have to pay it in Quetzales (about 200Q). However, if you already overstayed your 90 days you will first have to go upstairs to pay a fine (*7).
I) Take your receipt back to the desk you were at upstairs. Go directly to the window you were at: no need to get a new number or wait to be called. (One time I was told I had to go back downstairs and photocopy the bank receipt but this hasn’t happened any other time.) The attendant will staple the receipt to your application, take your passport and ask you to sit down. Listen out for your name to be called. It should only be 10-20 minutes.
J) When the clerk calls you back to the desk they will ask you to write your name, signature and the date in a book. Give you your passport and you are good to go. Check your passport to make sure the visa extension is in it before you leave, just in case.
(*1) The office is on 6th Avenue of Zone 4 where Via 3 meets Ruta 4. 350m south of the 4 GRADOS SUR Transmetro stop. 200m north of the EXPOCISION stop. 250m northwest of the PLAZA DE LA REPUBLICA stop.
The office is open from 8am until 4:30 pm but you need to get your numbered ticket from the information desk BEFORE NOON (See instruction F) or you will not be seen that day. I got to the desk at 12:15 and was told to come back tomorrow, but I begged and pleaded and nearly cried and eventually he gave me ‘the last ticket of the day’. I wasn’t called to the booth until after 2:30pm.
(*2) Debit card is not sufficient. Must be an unexpired credit card in your name. I photographed the two sides of my credit card then printed them out on the same piece of paper which was easier than trying to photocopy them both on the same sheet. The man at the desk blocked out the three digits on the back of my card (on the print out) because he doesn’t trust his colleagues not to use my card on line. I should have blanked them out before I printed it because they can probably still read them. I took the credit card with me to show the officer which was lucky because she found my printout hard to read and might have rejected it without the real card as evidence.
(*3) If you don’t have a credit card you need proof that you plan to leave the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua before the extended visa expires. A ticket for land, sea or air is sufficient. I didn’t have these so I forged them – though it turned out I didn’t need them since I had the credit card. The website said you need both but that is not true. To forge them I just clicked ‘forward’ on an email of some old flight details so that I could change the dates and destinations before emailing it to my other email address. Then printed it out and no one would ever know the difference. I didn’t have to test these out but I have heard it works. If you don’t agree with forgery for these purposes (I do plan to fly to Panama the month after next, I just hadn’t booked the flight yet) then the cheapest advanced bus ticket I have found is $30 from Nicaragua to Costa Rica with Ticabus.
(*4) Last I heard you no longer need to take a photograph with you, but the rules change frequently. If you do need a photograph you can get one quick and easily next door. Walk South East on Ruta 4 (after turning right out of the building) and the next place you come to (pictured above) can do your black and white passport photos as well as photocopy your documents. I got 4 photos for 100Q. I didn’t have to wait to get them taken but it took 45 minutes to process (they said it would take 30). Rather than wait at the shop I started the renewal process inside the immigration building without the photo and went back to collect them later.
(*5) I didn’t need to take any of these things with me so if you don’t have them don’t worry, you won’t need them.
A grey folder, a separate ID to get into the building, photograph, a photocopy of the Visa stamp that is about to expire, the details of a Guatemalan Guarantor who will sponsor you to stay in the country.
(*6) The PRÓRROGA DE VISA DE TURISTA O VIAJERO is the up to date form for this application. If you can’t print it off here email me and I will send you one. Or you can buy one from the ground floor photocopy booth for 2Q. They can also photocopy your passport page for you there.
(*7) If you have overstayed your 90 day visa you must pay a Q15 multa (ie. fine) for each day of unauthorized stay. The clerk will give you an invoice for this and send you upstairs to pay this before you can go downstairs to pay for your extension. Go up to the 5th floor and turn left. There you will find an office signed MULTAS. Take your receipt back to the clerk who gave it to you. Go directly to the desk you were at: no need to get a new number or wait to be called.
(*8) This should be all the questions you need to answer on the VISA DE PRORROGA DE TURISTA form including other things they might ask you just for fun.
|Datos Personales del solicitante.||Personal data of the applicant|
|Nombre completo (según pasaporte)||Full name (according to passport)|
|Nacionalidad||Nationality||Británico, irlandés, canadiense, neozelandés, australiano, sudafricano, jamaicano, estadounidense|
|Profesión u Oficio||Profession or occupation||maestro, doctor, enfermera, piloto, ministro, traductor|
|Sexo||Sex||circle the male or female icon|
|Información migratoria del solicitante.||Migratory information of the applicant.|
|Número de Pasaporte||Passport number|
|Lugar de expedición||Place of Issue (of Passport)|
|Fecha de vencimiento de pasaporte||Passport expiration date|
|Fecha de expiración de la visa guatemalteca anterior||Date of expiration of the previous Guatemalan visa||89 days (or 12 weeks and 5 days) after the date on your 90 day entry stamp.|
|Motivo de su solicitud de prórroga en territorio guatemalteco:||Reason for your request for extension in Guatemalan territory:||quiero visitar mas del pais|
|Dirección prevista en Guatemala:||Address planned in Guatemala||make it up if you don’t know, they are not going to check|
|Número de teléfono||Guatemalan Phone number|
|Dirección de residencia y trabajo:||Residence and work address|
|Correo electrónico||Email Address|
|Información de contacto del solicitante.||Applicant contact information|
Please let me know if anything I said is no longer valid or true so that I can change it.