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visa renewal

Longmont
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visa renewal

After my initial tourist visa runs out can I just go to the border and get a new one there instead of having to go to guatemala city?

Alabama
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758 posts
152 reviews
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1. Re: visa renewal

How long have you been there? If you've been there for the maximum time allowed on a I-94, I'm pretty sure you'll need to go out of the country for a day or two, then re-enter and get a new visa. I have a friend who has lived there for 14 years and she has to leave the country I think every 180 days.....for a couple of days...then re-enter to receive a new visa. You can check the Guatemalan Embassy website, to verify this.

I've personally never done it before, so I'm not 100% certain. You can also apply for an extension to your visa, but you'll need to contact the Guatemalan Immigration Office to find out how to do that. Good luck!

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: visa renewal

Well that would be any of the guatemalan consulates and not the embassies worldwide. They are responsible for the issuance of visas or anything that has to do with inmigration issues. But forget about trying to find that kind of information in their websites. Most of their information b elieve it or not is focused on assisting guatemalans living overseas and almost zero for foreign tourists planning to visit guatemala. And the same goes for the Direccion General de Migracion webpage which IMO it's useless. You would have to e-mail or call them and hopefullyyou get an answer This issue thas discussed many many times and recently in the lonelyplanet/thorntree forum.http://www.migracion.gob.gt/es/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=9&Itemid=304

Edited: 9:19 pm, June 27, 2011
Lake Atitlan
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for Lake Atitlan
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224 reviews
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3. Re: visa renewal

An alternative many have used is a local Diplomatic Service. They will take your passport to the border and obtain the visa renewal. All you have to do is pay the fee, turn over your passport, and 3 days later your passport is returned with the stamp. The most trusted guy in Panajachel is Pablo Rosales Murcia. 7762.2436 or 5698.6658. You will have to contact Pablo for the price.

Costa Rica
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25,655 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: visa renewal

Wow! Kayak-Atitlan - people in Costa Rica are going to jail for this! The cops just raided one of the border crossings and arrested several gavilans as well as a couple of Migracion agents. Sound like things are a bit easier in Guatemala - but - isn't this illegal after all? Or maybe not.....

Also - what is the "normal" amount of time for tourist visa - 90 days or 180 days or ??

Edited: 4:16 pm, June 28, 2011
Lake Atitlan
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for Lake Atitlan
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224 reviews
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5. Re: visa renewal

One never really knows what is legal or not down here. . . or maybe somewhere in that grey zone between the two. The business card Pablo carries says "Diplomatic Service", and he has been providing this service for many years. However, that could all change tomorrow; or at least with the next President in Sept.

I would have to say things are a lot looser here in Guate. Everything can be done for a price.

Antigua, Guatemala
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16 posts
51 reviews
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6. Re: visa renewal

Hiya! Normal is 90 days. I don't know of any 180-day tourist visas in Guatemala. Can't answer the question about the legality aspect, but I'd be careful about posting names on a public site.

Big Corn Island...
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39 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: visa renewal

I too am going to need to renew, and the deal is this...your passport should stay with you always...when you hand over the passport for days at a time you have no idea if or when you will ever get it back, heaven help you if you need to provide the passport to officials and have to explain you do not have it and gave it to someone for a fee to get it stamped, and of course there is identity theft and possible opportunity for some one to use your passport for illegal activity....the idea is risky to not get the thing stamped yourself and there is many warnings on this subject...however it is done all the time.. I personally know someone who pays the fee and avoids the trip to the city...and has done it for many many years without a problem...but I hear thru the grapevine this can only happen for the first renewal and then you have to leave the country for a day or two before reentering...not sure quite honestly what I am going to do for my renewal...a trip to the city might just be good for the adventure, I know it will cost me more time and money to get there but I am starting to get a list of items I need to buy in the city so it might be killing 2 birds with one stone...kind of leery about handing the passport over to someone else...goes against the grain...as he said earlier, things change and quick...this pay for stamp service is definitely in the grey area...not sure if I want to risk it...would hate to be deported to the states....lol for wanting to stay out of the states....lol

Antigua, Guatemala
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16 posts
51 reviews
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8. Re: visa renewal

Hi Spiritsage! Just want to clarify for you. Within 90 days of entering the country you must either renew your visa or leave the country for at least 72 hours (i.e., more than a day or two). The renewal is good for 90 more days. You can't renew a renewal - once the next 90 days expire, you need to leave the country for at least 72 hours and when you return, it begins anew. So if you wanted to be here for a year, you could do it this way:

* Arrive in Guate

* Up to 90 days elapse, then you renew the visa

* Up to 90 more days elapse, then you leave the country and return after 72 hours or more have elapsed

* Up to 90 more days elapse, then you can renew the visa again... (or leave the country if you prefer).

Note that Guatemala has a pact with Honduras, El Salvador, and Belize; traveling to these countries and returning will not refresh your visa status.

Also note that Guate is holding its elections in September 2011. Every level and position in the government changes over at that time. Requirements change often here anyway, but after an election, there are likely to be even more changes. Plus, there are new folks who aren't yet up to speed. I've decided that living in Guatemala means learning to expect the unexpected! In the meantime, I'm going to do my next visa renewal before the election!

Big Corn Island...
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39 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: visa renewal

Do to be renewed around the 15th of September, what is the date of the elections in September...if I read you correct...the requirements for my renewal could change after the elections...it could become easier, harder, or stay the same...so this is why if I understand you correct you are renewing before elections...am I on the same page here? I understand I then have 90 more days then will need to go to Mexico for a visit in order to come back in...thanks for wording it clearly...smile!

Antigua, Guatemala
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16 posts
51 reviews
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10. Re: visa renewal

Hi Spiritsage!

The elections are on September 11, 2011. I've heard September 9 as a date to watch for too, so my thought is to take care of it no longer than the 6th, and maybe even the week before. Lots of chaos around elections, I hear, so I'd rather be a little further from the capital around then anyway.

Something I forgot to mention above is that of course you could just leave the country for 72 hours every 90 days too. I considered that, and then I looked at my bank balance...

Good luck!!