I did a quick Google search to see how long I actually needed to be out of the country before they'd give me another tourist visa and I stumbled across a tripadvisor post from an ex-pat in Cali who explained that you could extend your tourist visa for another 90 days without leaving the country! I had seen something similar a few weeks previous but this person had said that it was extremely complicated and a big hassle so I had ignored it. This post, however, said that the system had changed in recent years and was no longer done through DAS, but through Migración Colombia, a new entity and was much simpler. You are, in fact, allowed a total of 180 days per calendar year but have to do this extension in order to get it.
I was set to leave for Ecuador in a few hours so my boyfriend called up Migración Colombia in Cali to confirm what this person had written and we decided to stay and do it this way. We went back to the bus station and thankfully got a refund on our tickets - phew!
So, today, the day before my tourist visa expired, I went to Migración Colombia (located at the regular DAS office: Avenida 3N Barrio la Flora) and extended my tourist visa for another 90 days. Here is how it worked:
What you need:
- Photocopy of passport info page
- Photocopy of entry stamp to Colombia
- Booking of flight out of Colombia within next 90 days (can do this on Iberia)
- One passport sized photos (4cm x 3cm)
- Receipt of payment to Migración Colombia: go to a Banco Occidente, fill out a deposit form with account number 263-05464-5 for $78,300 pesos and your passport number for Referencia 1 and reference code 103 for Referencia 2. The cashier will tell you to fill out some other boxes too. You also need a photocopy of the receipt (I didn't find this part anywhere online so had to leave the office to get a photocopy done).
The information is given on this website, but is slightly different than what we were told on the phone.
I arrived really early just before the 8am opening. For those who don't know, the old DAS and now Migración Colombia office you get to slipping past a metal gate on a side road and then you will see people queuing up outside it. My boyfriend was not allowed in with me. You go into the room, sign your details in a book and tell one of the officers what you are there for (para prolongar mi visa de tourismo). I was seen immediately and she asked for all my papers, then I had to go around the corner to get a photocopy of my bank receipt. Then I waited for about 40 minutes and I knew something wasn't right as everyone else online had said it was really quick and a Spanish man who arrived after me already had his.
The lady told me that she had to ring Bogotá to check why the system wasn't approving my request but that they didn't know. I was told to come back at 10am. I went to find my boyfriend and we went across the road to a bakery to wait. Once I went back at 10, still no answer from Bogotá. I was getting really nervous at that point and thought maybe there was a clash between my work visa request and this one, but the lady assured me that they are different systems. She was on the phone to Bogotá for around 15 minutes and then gave me the all clear. It turned out that my nationality said my hometown instead of country or something so there was a mix up. Phew!