Guatemala on the map

How to obtain tourist visa for Guatemala?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 06 August 2021
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Guatemala is quite a diverse country. Any tourism guide will feature the richest natural landscapes that the Amazonian jungle offers, next to the beaches on either side of the South American continent. Antigua's most colorful and charming colonial architecture in Guatemala (don't confuse it with the heavenly islands Antigua & Barbuda, a completely different thing!). Alongside those - the breathtaking ancient Mayan pyramids that lie deep in the jungle and welcome considerable amounts of people from all over the world each year. Last but not least, let's not forget about the "food of the Gods" that is deemed to originate exactly from this country. Yes, dear, I am talking about chocolate that any visitor can devour in any shape or form while touring around Guatemala.

These reasons are enough to make a mind start wandering and imagine a one-in-a-lifetime experience in Guatemala, but you surely have your ideas for unique activities there. All there is left to do is to plan the trip. It seems logical to learn everything about Guatemala tourist visa requirements before making any particular travel plans, doesn't it? For example, above everything else - how long can you stay in Guatemala with a tourist visa? Or what are the Guatemala tourist visa rules that will somehow limit your plans? It is why I can say with confidence that you have found yourself in the right place, as this article will reveal all that and even more. To make it easier, I will mention some technical details, too. For example, the amount of Guatemala tourist visa fee and how long does it take to obtain a tourist visa in Guatemala? However, let's stop this never-ending intro and cut to the chase.

How long can you stay in Guatemala with a tourist visa?

flag of guatemala waving

One of the most important concerns for the travelers is when obtaining a tourist visa Guatemala how long can stay in the country without being fined. According to the Guatemala tourist visa rules, anyone can stay up to 90 days within 180 days. The same applies to everyone who is exempt from obtaining a visa. If you wish to stay longer, you will have to arrange a visa extension at the Guatemalan Institute of Migration in Guatemala City. Failing to do so, you can expect to pay a fine when departing the country. To avoid harsh misunderstandings, a 30 day grace period might be granted to those unaware of the tourist visa Guatemala how long can stay without becoming illegal. That means that if all goes well, you won't be fined if you leave the country 30 days after the expiry of your tourist visa.

An important tip that is somewhat connected to the visa system is the departure tax of 30 USD. It is usually accounted for within the departure ticket. It is why if anyone asks you to pay something on the border when leaving or entering the country, know that it is an illegal requirement. People say that if you kindly ask to provide a receipt for this, the fee is usually dropped. Another thing to keep in mind - absolutely always make sure that your passport is getting stamped on entry (especially over the land). If you don't have the stamp in your passport, it might challenge and delay your departure.

What else should you know about the Guatemala tourist visa?

passport with lots of stamps

As of recently, Guatemala has been working on ways to attract more tourists worldwide. Unsurprisingly, the digital nomad scene is on the rise, too. Even though there are some downsides (like disruptions in internet connection etc.), the possibility to spend up to 90 days in this beautiful country has caught the attention of the international crowd. I am telling you all this to highlight that if you are getting paid from a company outside Guatemala (meaning, you are a digital nomad), technically working on tourist visa in Guatemala is allowed. Please note that it DOES NOT mean that you can start working in Guatemala on your tourist visa. Being employed by a local entity requires a work permit and a different type of visa.

Do I need a visa for Guatemala?

stamping documents

That's the tricky part. The nationals of about half of the world's countries do not require a visa to enter Guatemala. By default, these would be most of the EU countries, the UK and the US, and a bunch of others. Also, some holders of a valid visa to these countries will not need a visa to Guatemala. To be sure, check with the diplomatic mission where you will apply.

How do you get a Guatemala tourist visa?

apply for guatemala visa

As with most other visas, the procedure is quite straightforward and can be done in two ways. The standard option would be to find the closest Guatemalan embassy and bring your documents there. After filling the requirements and submitting the documents, you will pay the Guatemala tourist visa fee. All you have to do after it is just waiting.

Another option that one might go for to make the process easier and faster is to turn to an online or offline visa intermediary for advice and the arrangement of documents. It might cost you a bit of money but will save time on endless research and confusion online, as most of the official Guatemalan sites are in Spanish only.

What are Guatemala tourist visa requirements?

As usual, the exact document list required to have a full application is only available at the particular place of application. They will be able to see your case and handle it accordingly. Nonetheless, the most common requirements are quite standard, and I will list them here:

• A filled application form and two passport-style photos;

• A valid passport (at least 6 months ahead) and copy of the first page and the previous visas;

• Travel itinerary - round trip flight and proof of accommodation (hotel reservation or a letter from a local);

• Proof of financial means (usually a bank or credit card statement, translated into Spanish or English);

• Proof of current professional status (a letter from the employer or the educational institution);

• Proof for the purpose of the visit (letter from the applicant) and in the case for a multiple entry visa - a statement for this necessity;

• Original police certificate from the country of residence of the last 5 years

As you see, it is nothing extraordinary, but be ready to have all the documents at hand to make the application process faster and easier for yourself.

What is the tourist visa Guatemala price?

us dollar closeup

Unfortunately, I can not tell a definite tourist visa Guatemala price. It depends on your nationality and the place you are submitting your application to. Usually, it is expected to be anywhere between 50 USD and 150 USD. Obviously, not the cheapest visa out there, but it is worth it!

How long does it take to obtain a tourist visa in Guatemala?

This is quite a standard procedure that is performed by many travelers each year. This is why the government of Guatemala has ensured a rather quick process. If no problems occur on the way, you should receive your confirmation in 3-15 working days. As always, the suggestion is to plan these things ahead and not leave the application process to the last minute before departure.

Well, the drill is more or less clear now, isn't it? I hope that this gave you at least some impression about the procedures, formalities, and more. If you are a digital nomad, you are hopefully now acquainted with the basic principles of working on tourist visa Guatemala. The conclusion to all of this is quite simple. Getting a Guatemala tourist visa should not be an overly complicated matter - the requirements are pretty standard, and so are the procedures. The only thing left is to make the decision and start the application process to set the plan into action. The bureaucratic thing will get you closer to an unforgettable journey to this land full of natural treats, historical marvels, and vibrant culture. Good luck with your travel!

* All the information described in this article describes the measures and requirements that are in place in the standard situation. Taking into consideration that each country has its own policy in place to combat Covid-19, please keep in mind that also in this case, the process for obtaining a visa might slightly differ. This especially applies to the visa processing times and Guatemalan embassy visits in person. The latest information can always be obtained from the embassy you intend to submit your application to as they are the ones who will be processing your request.

Another thing concerning the same topic is the reservations for flights and accommodation. The situation with the virus outbreaks changes almost daily, which is why my dearest suggestion is about the free cancellations. Whenever possible, try purchasing tickets or making other plans that permit cancellation and a refund at no extra charge. This way, you will secure your own money against losing it if a sudden travel plan changes. Better safe than sorry, right?

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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