Immigration Office Guatemala City

Extend Your Central America Visa (CA-4) in Guatemala

In Guatemala, Transportation & Border Crossings by Erik14 Comments

Extending your CA-4 in Guatemala City for $15.00 adds an additional 90 days to your existing Central America visa –  find out the complete process & what documents you need to obtain a CA-4 Visa extension.

Why You Should Extend Your CA-4 Visa in Guatemala City

You can only extend a Central America Visa in the capital cities of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

However, we here at DIY Travel HQ have read that some countries either charge more than the official $15.00, or don’t even give you the 90 day extension.

Immigration in Guatemala City provides you with 90 days for $15.00, but there are a few hoops you need to jump through.

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Central America. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years. It’s the best-value provider we’ve found but there are other important things to consider. Check out our post and find out which of our claims were successful or denied.

Guatemala City Catedral

Guatemala City is not a bad city to apply for a CA-4 visa extension

Who is Eligible for a Central America Visa (CA-4) Extension?

Anyone granted a 90 day visa upon arrival in the CA-4 is eligible for a further 90 day extension.

Those that have already been granted an extension are no longer applicable, and need to do a visa run to Mexico, Belize, or Costa Rica.

You may return after 72 hours.

Check out our post on border crossing from Belize to Guatemala.

Guatemala border crossing

Melchor de Menchos Border Crossing from Belize to Guatemala

Where is the Immigration Office in Guatemala City?

The Immigration Office in Guatemala City is located in Zone 4 on Via 3 & Ruta 4 along 6a Avenida.

It is officially called the Departamento de Extranjeria.

Central America Visa

Go to the Immigration Office in Guatemala City to apply for a CA-4 visa extension

What Documents are Required for a Central America Visa (CA-4) Extension in Guatemala City?

In order to apply for a CA-4 Visa extension in Guatemala City you need the following documents:

  • Valid Passport (preferably with at least 6 months validity left)
  • A black-and-white passport sized photo on matte paper
  • Two photocopies of the profile page in your passport
  • One photocopy of your entrance stamp
  • A second photo ID to gain access to the building since you will need your passport (a bank card may work in a pinch)
Central America Guatemala Visa

CA-4 Visa extension application form

You will also need ONE of the following documents:

  • A photocopy of both sides of a valid CREDIT card (debit cards are not allowed)
  • A photocopy of $400 worth of travelers’ checks
  • Proof of onward transportation out of the CA-4, either a ticket or reservation signed and sealed by a travel agent on company letterhead
  • A Guatemalan Guarantor, which opens up a whole list of other requirements
How to extend CA-4 visa

The other side of the CA-4 Visa extension form

How do I Procure all the Required Documents?

Photocopies and pictures can be done in and around the immigration building.

Expect to pay Q25 for photos since standard practice around the world are color passport sized photos, and Guatemala is the only country that requires black-and-white pictures. I’m assuming this condition is used to create jobs.

The photocopy businesses charge Q1 on-site, but if you plan ahead you can make them for Q0.15 in Antigua or anywhere else.

The part that tripped us up was the credit card requirement since we both travel with debit cards only. Even if it has a Visa or Mastercard logo, it still says debit card on it.

Immigration just wants to make sure you have the means to leave the country as a last resort. We’re not sure how $400 in travelers’ checks accomplishes this more than a printed bank statement, but you can’t argue with the rules.

Since we didn’t have a credit card, weren’t going to spend money on an antiquated cash method, or use a Guatemalan guarantor, we were forced to buy or create an onward transportation receipt.

The woman at the front desk even said they just need to see the itinerary, and don’t bother checking.

That means you can take an old flight detail for a relevant airline, and update accurate information in Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, or possibly Word.

Assuming you don’t travel with a computer, then you can also book a fully refundable flight and cancel it immediately upon receiving the receipt.

For a higher final cost, but less initial investment, consider renting a seat through Fly Onward for $9.99.

Central America visa requirement

One of the requirements is $400 in travelers cheques

Central America Visa (CA-4) Extension Turnaround Time

The final kicker that made us decide to do a two day visa run to Mexico instead of waiting for the CA-4 Visa extension was the 8 day turnaround time.

That means if you submit the paperwork on a Wednesday before noon, you won’t get it back until the following Wednesday.

If you decide to apply for a Central America Visa (CA-4) extension, do so before you sightsee in Guatemala City and Antigua so aren’t stuck paying extra nights of accommodation.

From Guatemala City or Antigua it costs Q59/$8.00 each way to the Mexican border and back, which is roughly the cost of the CA-4 Visa extension.

However, add in the costs to procure the photos, documents, and accommodation and it works out cheaper to spend two days on ‘chicken’ buses than to wait.

See our Mexico visa run post on how to get to El Carmen border from several destinations in Guatemala.

Hopefully, this post has helped clear up some confusion regarding a CA-4 Visa extension in Guatemala City.

Please let us know if anything changes from the time we have published since the requirements tend to change with each new government.

We recommend Lonely Planet’s Guatemala Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

Mexico Land Border Crossing

The only time you need to worry about the Mexico exit fee is when crossing borders by land.

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Extending your CA-4 Visa in Guatemala City for $15 adds an additional 90 days to your existing visa. Find out what documents you need to obtain an extension. You can only extend a CA-4 Visa in the capital cities of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

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***The Final Word – Guatemala City is the best place to get a Central America Visa (CA-4) extension, but does have some tricky requirements and a slow turnaround time so plan accordingly.***

Did you decide to get a CA-4 Visa extension in Guatemala City or do a visa run to Mexico?

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

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Experienced in August 2016



  1. Awesome, thanks so much for the info! Think we’ll go and get our extension tomorrow, think we’ll have enough things to keep us busy for the 8 day wait!

    1. Awesome! Let us know if anything has changed. Having the credit card was the kicker for us that made it not feasible. You can easily spend 8 days between Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Xela if need be. Have a great time.

  2. Just went to apply for the extension. Please note that even though the office is open from 8-4, you can only apply for the extension from 8am-12pm. Also, someone else can drop off the required documents and passport for you. However, the passport holder must be present for pick up of the passport.

  3. Thanks a lot for this info! Do you know if this extension is valid for staying in all CA-4 countries? Right now we’ve stayed in Honduras for almost 90 days – can we go to Guatemala, get this extension, and come back to Honduras? Or can we only stay in Guatemala with extension? Thank you!!!

    1. Natasha,

      The extension is valid in all CA-4 countries provided it is your first one. Guatemala is more relaxed for further extensions, but other countries are not. If you want to stay longer than 180 days in the CA-4, consider a Mexican border run for a night before returning.


  4. Thanks for this valued knowledge.
    I have friends in Brazil and Tanjania . They need CA -4 visa.. is ts possible

    1. Hi Roshan, I’m not sure if Brazil and Tanzania are eligible for a CA-4 visa. I did a quick Google search and couldn’t find the answers. Let us know if you find out. Thanks

  5. Hi. Great article.
    I heard the 90 day overstay daily fine went up from 15Q to 30Q per day? Have you head anything about this?

  6. I just went to the immigration office today (22.05.2019) to renew my visa and the visa regulation apparently changed just 3 weeks ago, so heres a quick update from my experience:
    It costs now $25 instead of $15 but you apply and receive the new visa now AT THE SAME day. They only asked for the new extension form that you can get for Q1 at the office and the copy of the Credit card. That’s it! It was all done including the payment after one hour and everyone was super helpful 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for the update, Laura. It seems the visa extension process is a lot more efficient so travelers can get back on the road quicker. I’m sure most will be willing to pay the $10 rather than do the border run or wait in and around Guatemala City for several days. I’ll update the post soon for future readers.

  7. Hello, do you know the fees if you overstay the 90 days, I have my return flight the day 91.

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