Update on Visa Runs and What is the cheapest way to renew?

Cheng

Registered
Hi,
We will probably have to do our first visa run soon. We have read on the board that some people have been hassled by immigration at the Colonia border. Is this still happening? Have people renewed their visas for a long period of time by going to Uruguay with no problem? If so, how long?

Also, what is the cheapest way to renew your visa? Thanks for all your help. It is greatly appreciated.
 

jantango

Registered
I have been going to Colonia, Uruguay every 90 days on Buquebus since 1999. No problem. It's obvious that I live in Argentina on a tourist visa.

The cheapest way to renew your visa is traveling on Buquebus. I take the fast boat for 210 pesos and spend four hours in Uruguay. Renewal at migraciones is 300 pesos.
 
If you time it right, you can look at their boat schedule and literally book the trip over, go through customs, go outside and grab a quick coffee and get right back in line for the SAME boat coming back without the ordeal of four dreadful hours in the most depressing place on earth. I would rather have every tooth in my head pulled out than spend time in Colonia. One trip to the village is enough. Obviously they know whats going on...no one has ever said anything to me. In summation, door to door, literally in four hours total.
 
Final note:

I have not done the trip in awhile but their website says it is 283 r/t. I am sure they will/have raised the price to be similar to the new immigraciones increase. You can't pull one over on the locals when it comes to figuring a way to pay less...they always are ahead of you on that part and you will pay more.
 

jp

Registered
Had a chat with a friendly customs person once. He said that its common for some customs agents to bitch and moan about having lots of visa stamps, but they don't have any authority to deny you entry. The can moan, but thats it.

Colonia return the cheapest way to do it. I thought it was quite a pretty little town, but I've only had to go there once.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
rmartinbuenosaires said:
If you time it right, you can look at their boat schedule and literally book the trip over, go through customs, go outside and grab a quick coffee and get right back in line for the SAME boat coming back without the ordeal of four dreadful hours in the most depressing place on earth. I would rather have every tooth in my head pulled out than spend time in Colonia. One trip to the village is enough. Obviously they know whats going on...no one has ever said anything to me. In summation, door to door, literally in four hours total.
If you feel like that about Colonia then this next suggestion will be like having your fingernails pulled out as well as your teeth. Buquebus currently offer Un Dia Inolvidable - a day excursion including a snack on board and a guided tour at the other end - for just 150 pesos.
 
My first visit to Colonia was September 2003. I took the "Unforgettable Day" thing. Back then it also included FULL lunch for 70 pesos. A snack? No comment. As far as the tour goes.....the old town is two blocks. You can cover it yourself without a "tour". Believe me, after four hours you will be giddy with excitement getting back to glamorous BA AND this is on the SLOW boat. I mean slow as in three wasted hours each way. In summation, it is ok one time for tourists and it is a tourist trap. I would suggest a quick trip to Santiago for a weekend or even Montevideo.
 

Liam3494

Registered
Given we are all in South America, and only have to leave and return every 90 days, there is so much to see around the area, it's not too hard to plan some trips to coincide with the 90 day expiry. As said above, a trip to Santiago will make a welcome change, Montevideo is an experience, and Colonia once a year (for the cheapest trip), leaves you only needing one trip "home" a year, and you have managed a full twelve months (more or less) - and all on your tourist visa.

To be fair to Colonia, a trip over, a leisurely lunch and stroll around a pollution free atmosphere in the Old Town - I can think of worse ways to spend a day....
 

jp

Registered
You can renew your visa in migraciones after 90 days. That gives you another 90 days, but after that you need to cross a border to renew.

Waiting in migraciones isn't much fun either, but its probably marginally less hassle and a lot cheaper than going to colonia.
 

KatharineAnn

Registered
jp said:
You can renew your visa in migraciones after 90 days. That gives you another 90 days, but after that you need to cross a border to renew.

Waiting in migraciones isn't much fun either, but its probably marginally less hassle and a lot cheaper than going to colonia.

Actually, depending on how crazy migrations is at any given moment, going to Colonia might actually be considerably less hassle. Yes you have to go to the port, stand in lines for about an hour, take a boat ride, and all that, but the first 2 times I went to migraciones I was there waiting for some 3 hours, in a much uglier environment than Colonia. The last time I went I was turned away and told there were no more ¨turnos¨ for the day even though I had arrived at 10 am. Apparently you had to get there at the crack of dawn, e.g. 8 am, and wait all day.

Also, now that the migraciones renewal fee costs 300, a ¨day tour¨ to Colonia by Colonia Express (cheaper than Buquebus) for 130 pesos is a much better option (if you can afford to go on a week day).
 
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