How to Get a Guyana Tourist Visa in 2024

Martin and Amy · May 27, 2024

Guyana   Visas   Survival Guide
How to Get a Guyana Tourist Visa in 2024

How to acquire a Guyana tourist visa in 2024

Guyana is the 28th least visited country in 2023 and the least visited in the Americas, including all Caribbean island countries. That is quite the achievement considering that most of the 27 lesser visited countries are island nations in the Pacific. As such, it is not surprising that the processes for tourism in Guyana are not as smooth as one might expect.

The process of acquiring a Guyana tourist visa is not complicated, but is poorly documented. Even Guyanese officials don’t always know their own nation’s policies! The internet is, unsurprisingly, littered with incorrect information.

Who requires a Guyana tourist visa? The visa policy is completely random and does not follow any logic. The best resource is Visa Policy of Guyana. Countries that need visas are some of Central America, Venezuela, and parts of the ex-Eastern bloc such as Slovakia or Hungary.

Exempt are: the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Russia, and roughly half of Latin America.

Some of Guyanese embassies claim that you can request a Visa On Arrival but based on information from fellow travelers, this process is either broken or is unreliable. The land border with Brazil does not issue on-arrival visas as the officers there don’t know how to process applications for a visa on arrival. The online application can be seen as a type of on-arrival Visa since you apply online and receive it once you arrive at the Guyana border.

If you are unlucky enough to not be exempt from needing a tourist visa, you are in for some real fun! There are generally two options:

  1. Apply online at Guyana Immigration Services and hope you receive an approval
  2. Apply in-person at one of the few embassies or consulates

Applying Online

If you have enough time and do not live anywhere near a physical embassy, you can apply online. Be warned though, as you will be waiting anywhere from 3 months to forever. Follow these instructions:

  1. Summon all your patience and head to Guyana Immigration Services
  2. Make an account. If you don’t, you can submit your application, but you won’t be able to track it.
  3. Submit a new visitor application. The documents required here are different from those required in-person and amongst other things require a hand-written letter requesting your visa. It has to be handwritten and signed. All other requirements are similar to other visa applications.
  4. Wait for 3 or more months.
  5. Eventually your visa will get approved and you can head to a border. You can pay for the visa on the border.

Applying at a Guyanese Embassy or Consulate

There isn’t a reliably up-to-date list of embassies or diplomatic institutions on the Guyana government website, so Wikipedia is your best bet.

Most of the embassies are in countries that do NOT require a visa. Such as the US, UK, Brazil, and many Caribbean Countries. Assuming you need a visa, you likely live far away from an embassy. Time to plan a little side trip then!

The process takes around a week, so be prepared to travel to another country to apply for your visa. Martin applied in Paramaribo, Suriname, and will describe the process there in more detail below.

The Process in Paramaribo, Suriname

The Consul Assistant at the embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname is responsive via email and can help you navigate the process for a Guyana tourist visa. On a high level, this is the process:

  1. Email to get started on the process. Request the current application document. Keep in mind that every embassy has a different one. It is not the same application as you would submit online either.
  2. Visit the embassy in person for your first visit and submit your application with all supporting documentation. They will take your contact details to set an appointment. They call it an “interview appointment”, but there is no interview involved.
  3. In about a day or two, they will reach out to tell you when to return for an appointment.
  4. Visit #2 will be your appointment. It will take 5 min. You will give them your passport and they will give you a scrap of paper. They don’t issue visas during the appointment.
  5. Wait again, until your visa has been issued. This can take 1-2 days.
  6. Visit #3. Eventually, they will email you that your visa has been approved. In my case, they emailed around 9 AM to tell me that I could pick it up any time. Then, you go to the embassy to get your passport back and pay $40.

The embassy is open from 8 AM-1 PM and has a dress code. No short sleeves or short pants are allowed. We have seen underdressed visitors at the embassy, so the rule might not be as strict as it seems.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, getting a tourist visa for Guyana is like playing an absurd game where posted rules are either nonexistent or contradictory, the referees are clueless, and the prize is a trip to the least visited country in the Americas.

If you need to get a tourist visa for Guyana all we can say is have fun!