Don’t overstay your welcome. Keep your visa current!
This morning I woke up to a reminder from Facebook, letting me know that five years ago today, we renewed our visas here in Grenada. That was funny only because we had planned to do that exact same thing this morning.
When you first check in to Grenada, the immigration officials will typically grant you a 3-month stay. Given that hurricane season is longer than 3 months, most cruisers find themselves having to renew their visa at some point. Unlike the cruising permit which can, depending on who you speak with, be paid up when you clear out of the country, you do not want to let your visa expire. Grenadian officials, and those in most other countries, take even a day’s lapse very seriously.
At the Island Water World dinghy dock this morning, on the way to the Immigration Office.
Getting a visa extension is not difficult!
Fortunately, getting an extension on the visa here is typically pretty easy. The process is completed at the government buildings, located at the Botanical Gardens (see image above). It works like this:
- Go in main office.
- Wait until you are called to the window. There is a red thing on the wall that says “Take a number.” There are no numbers, so you can ignore that. 🙂
- The person behind the glass window will give you a form to fill out.
- Complete the form and bring it back to the window, along with your passport. You’ll be told to have a seat and wait.
- An immigration officer will eventually call you into an office and ask why you want to stay longer. Our answer is that we’re on a boat, and that we’re here for hurricane season. He’ll fill out a green paper for you, and send you to the treasury office to go pay.
- The treasury office is in the same building, but on the lower level. Go out the main door that you initially came in, turn right, and go down the stairs. The treasury office is located there, and you pay at the window inside and to the left. The cost for a 3-month extension is $75.00 EC (at the time of this post).
- After you have paid, take the receipt that you were given back to the upstairs immigration office and give it to the officer.
- After the passport has been stamped, he’ll return it to you, and you’re free to enjoy Grenada for another 3 months!
Main entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
Main office, at the top of the steep hill!
A couple of points to keep in mind:
1. We first tried to do this yesterday afternoon. By the time we got around to our turn, it was 3:00 and the treasury office was closed. We were asked to come back again this morning. The treasury office is open 8:00-12:00, and 1:00-3:00. We have also been in that office at noon and have seen them lock the doors, and send people away until 1:00.
2. They will generally not allow you to extend your visa until 1-3 days from its expiry date. As we have friends arriving tomorrow, and we’ll likely be out sailing when ours expires, we pleaded our case and they let us extend ours earlier than the norm. We have also seen people turned away when trying to renew too early though.
3. Do not let your visa lapse! It’s easy to forget about the expiry date, so set yourself a reminder on your phone or computer when you first check in so that you remember when to look after this.
All legal until December!