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Thread: Tourist Visa Extension...My adventures with DIMAS

  1. #1
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    Tourist Visa Extension...My adventures with DIMAS

    Well, the day finally arrived for our scheduled meeting with DIMAS to request an extension of our stay. The following summarises the day.

    We arrived Sep14th and were refused our normal stay of up to 180 days even though we own 2 Villas here. We were instructed to go to DIMAS in Oranjestaad.

    We attempted phoning for an appointment. Phones were not answered. We finally found out they were on strike.

    After the strike, the new DIMAS building was closed due to smells and leaks.

    Finally we were able to get an appointment using the DIMAS website. This is the only way they will give an appointment.

    We were concerned that the length of time from our arrival until DEC 2 was going to go against us. We need not have worried. DIMAS gave all tourists an automatic 90 day extension due to their problems.

    So on to today:

    We go to the DIMAS building. Front doors are locked and a handwritten sign with a green arrow pointing to the right. We walk right and around the building and on that door is a sign to go to another location.

    Off we go and find the other location. We line up and wait. Finally we get to reception where we are informed to go to another building. We drive through the back of Oranjestaad and finally reach a non descript building with no signage. In we go.

    We get to finally meet `the one`who decides these extensions.

    We have passports, property ownership documents etc. We are asked for Travel insurance for the period of the extension, return airline tickets etc. We are then told that a particular form is required and that we needed to go to yet another location to purchase it. This we do. After that we need tohave 3 photos taken and attached to the form. After that we need to go to the tax office to pay 163Afl each in order to get the extension permit. After getting a formal receipt we return to DIMAS location 3 where all this started.

    Total time from start to finish 4hours

    The DIMAS people told me that soon the system may change as the Minister is investigating, but when we return, if the changes don`t happen, we will need to repeat this whole process!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
    Well, the day finally arrived for our scheduled meeting with DIMAS to request an extension of our stay. The following summarises the day.

    We arrived Sep14th and were refused our normal stay of up to 180 days even though we own 2 Villas here. We were instructed to go to DIMAS in Oranjestaad.
    Yowza. Ugh. I'm asking this question seriously: do you think you would have had to do all this if you could produce an airline return ticket that showed you'd be going back to Canada in under 180 days? Just curious.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Wow! At least it's over for now. And, at the very least, you know the process for next time, possibly....
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by act1966 View Post
    Yowza. Ugh. I'm asking this question seriously: do you think you would have had to do all this if you could produce an airline return ticket that showed you'd be going back to Canada in under 180 days? Just curious.

    What I understand from people here and in the press is the following. Minister Odubers office sent a formal letter to all airlines that service Aruba about the Immigration policy and Tourist stays. Airlines are now meant to determine if the traveller has a place to stay if over 30 days. At DIMAS I was told that the policy for tourists is 30 days without a visa. They are now enforcing it a little stricter. If you own a timeshare, home and can show a ticket and financial means to support yourself you are meant to be able to stay up to 180 days/calendar year. They are asking for proof of ownership and travel insurance.

  5. #5
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    glad it is done.

    4 hours is a bit much, but it is better than having to pack up and head home to the cold north country.

    so, the "new" dimas building has not reopened?

    and you are now almost halfway done your 180 days

    Quote Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
    Well, the day finally arrived for our scheduled meeting with DIMAS to request an extension of our stay. The following summarises the day.

    We arrived Sep14th and were refused our normal stay of up to 180 days even though we own 2 Villas here. We were instructed to go to DIMAS in Oranjestaad.

    We attempted phoning for an appointment. Phones were not answered. We finally found out they were on strike.

    After the strike, the new DIMAS building was closed due to smells and leaks.

    Finally we were able to get an appointment using the DIMAS website. This is the only way they will give an appointment.

    We were concerned that the length of time from our arrival until DEC 2 was going to go against us. We need not have worried. DIMAS gave all tourists an automatic 90 day extension due to their problems.

    So on to today:

    We go to the DIMAS building. Front doors are locked and a handwritten sign with a green arrow pointing to the right. We walk right and around the building and on that door is a sign to go to another location.

    Off we go and find the other location. We line up and wait. Finally we get to reception where we are informed to go to another building. We drive through the back of Oranjestaad and finally reach a non descript building with no signage. In we go.

    We get to finally meet `the one`who decides these extensions.

    We have passports, property ownership documents etc. We are asked for Travel insurance for the period of the extension, return airline tickets etc. We are then told that a particular form is required and that we needed to go to yet another location to purchase it. This we do. After that we need tohave 3 photos taken and attached to the form. After that we need to go to the tax office to pay 163Afl each in order to get the extension permit. After getting a formal receipt we return to DIMAS location 3 where all this started.

    Total time from start to finish 4hours

    The DIMAS people told me that soon the system may change as the Minister is investigating, but when we return, if the changes don`t happen, we will need to repeat this whole process!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    glad it is done.

    4 hours is a bit much, but it is better than having to pack up and head home to the cold north country.

    so, the "new" dimas building has not reopened?

    and you are now almost halfway done your 180 days

    No Andrea...this is for 180 days starting Jan 2015 !!!! Snow should be gone by then.

    The "new" DIMAS Building looks great from the outside but it is totally empty.

    They told me that new procedures are under review by the Minister and there may be a complete change in this process in the future. I can only hope.

    My next Govt adventure will be renewing car registration...cant wait

  7. #7
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    John ... Sorry you have to go thru all of this!! You poor guys😩

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    John ... Sorry you have to go thru all of this!! You poor guys
    We were not the only "victims" There were 2 other couples in the interview room and it did not seem to be going too well for them. I think the whole process is just crazy. There should be a process for long stays to be processed at one facility at the airport on arrival. It certainly looks to me that they are going to be enforcing visa controls at this point.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Keep us posted, hope it goes better soon and much more quickly

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Aqua man/john.. Is aruba residency an option for u and Bobbi ?

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