How to Renew a Visitor Visa in Jordan
Our Jordan Visa, costing JD40 (about USD52 or CAD80), was valid for one month. Stamped inside our passport was a stamp reading “Contact Nearest Police Station within One Month.” So yesterday we went to the Police Station at the 8th circle. Arriving at 3pm, we were told that visas were only issued between 8am – 1pm and to return the next day.
A one-month Visitor Visa to Jordan costs 40 Dinars (JD) and is payable in Cash on arrival (Check your specific country’s requirements on the Jordan website here)
The Visa Fee is WAIVED if you are coming in on a tour and spending 2 consecutive nights. Check with your tour operator. If you are like us, and did not come into Jordan with a tour operator, consider a Jordan Pass which includes a visa in the price and is less than buying a visa and a one day Petra visa! Plus you get lots of other entrance fees included!
Today we got up and drove back to the Police Station. Upon entering, we proceeded to female security who quickly checked my purse, had a look at our passports and was more interested in asking the boys their names than the fact that we may pose any security risk. Women always have a private room for security screening. Something I am still getting used to.
She pointed to a hallway, an arabic sign overtop and we walked that way. There were about 6 doors in the hallway, and a few chairs outside. Not sure which way I was supposed to go, I slowly peeked in each room. All were empty until we got to the end of the hall. I found an office with two officers and 10 waiting chairs, most occupied with men. I stood to the side, waiting to catch the eye of an officer. After about 10 minutes I was called up and gave him my passports and asked for a Visa extension. I was given three papers to fill out, with our address of residence, and the owners information (I have attached the form below). Do yourself a favour and print this before you go to the police station as a hotel or landlord, or whomever you are living with needs to fill out the bottom portion. (I will put more about that below). After filling out the top portion of the form, I showed my address to the other officer asking him if that was enough information.
“You live in Shemisani?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“You need to go to Shemisani Police Station. Not this one.”
“Okay,” was about all I could say. Collected the kids who were sitting not-so-nicely on the chairs at the back of the room.
“I need to go poo!” exclaims Markus (no surprise, he always needs to poo at the most inconvenient time. Grabbing his hand, we walked back to the Lady Officer at the entrance.
“Toilet?” I asked.
“No,” she shook her head.
We exited the office, a man with a briefcase sitting outside the police station.
“Can I fill out your visa form for you Ma’am?” he asked.
“No Thank You. I need to go to Shemisani”
“Let me fill it for you.”
“No Thank You, I need to find a toilet.” Off we walked.
Half a block up, we ducked behind a building where there was an empty lot. “Do you really need to poo?”
“Yes,” Markus replied
“Okay, well you have to poop in the bushes,” I said. Pulling down his pants and trying to get him to squat in the dirt. After about 30 seconds he refused, pulled his pants up and walked back around to the front of the building.
A nice looking bakery was on our way back to the car and we ducked in for some breakfast.
So how to look for Shemisani Police Station? I was lucky that google turned up some results on foursquare where 29 people had “checked in.” I hoped it was correct and google mapped the drive.
On arrival, lots of cement highway barricades blocked easy access to parking on the street. A Policeman stood at a black iron gate. It looked promising. I could not see any signs, but we parked up the street and walked back to the policeman.
“Visa?” I asked. He pointed around the block to the left, When we turned the corner, I recognized the police crest and the main entrance.
We were met at the gate by three officers. “Visa?” I asked, showing him my Canadian Passport.
“Your Phone Ma’am.” he replied.
“My phone?” I asked, pulling it out of my purse.
“Yes.” he said nodding. I handed it to him, and he pointed to my old phone in Matti’s hand. I told Mattias to hand over the phone and he gave me a ticket number. I then grabbed phone number three from my purse and handed that to him aswell. There goes the entertainment for the squirmy butt kids.
“Over there,” one of the other officer’s pointed to a building on the right of the parking lot on the other side of the police van. He reached into the small cubicle and grabbed two packages of cookies, handing one to each of the boys. Ahhhh, entertainment returned, was what I was thinking. Cookies should keep them sitting still for 3 minutes!
Into the building I entered, cautiously, as there were a few others loitering outside. A man at the entrance looked at me, a red sign below his desk. It may have said “information” or “reception” I have no idea. Everything in the police station was in Arabic only. “Visa extension?” I inquired, holding up our Canadian Passports.
“To the left, upstairs” he replied.
Through a door and up a flight of stairs we walked. One floor up there was a hallway left and hallway right or more stairs. A giant portrait of King Abdullah II sat infant of me, filling the wall from floor to ceiling. I poked my head to the right. A large waiting room and three officers were inside with about a dozen people. There does not seem to be any queues anywhere, so I slowly walked up to the front.
The walls were covered with pink, blue and yellow files, one computer was at a desk. A man sat with a bunch of official looking stamps beside him. I hope this is the place, I thought. “I need a visa extension.” I inquired, handing over my passport and the information on where I lived.
“You get fingerprint?” he asked.
“No,” I replied.
“You need to go get fingerprint,” he said.
“Downstairs in the next building.”
“I have to go poo,” whined Markus.
“Sorry Markus, there is no bathroom here,” as i grabbed his hand walking out of the room
OH MY GOD! Three year olds….
Downstairs we went back to the man at the entrance. “Fingerprints?” I asked. He pointed outside and to the right. “Yellow Sign?”
We followed the yellow sign around the side of the building, which opened up to the side entrance and the first policeman I had seen. “Fingerprints?” He pointed to a small building about 50 feet away. We walked in the building where I saw a women being fingerprinted.
The right place. One step closer.
I walked into a small office and was told to take a seat. The boys sat down and I passed over my passports and paperwork. “Have a seat,” he told me again and I sat down. The man doing the fingerprints came in and sat beside the boys.
“What is your name?” he asked Markus.
They are getting pretty used to hand shakes and being talked to by many Jordanians.
They were both happy to reply, albeit softly.
Markus seemed to have forgotten about his toilet needs for a minute. Thankfully.
Once the man had stamped my paperwork, I was taken back to the entrance, where a roller was rolled out on a black pad. I haven’t had my fingerprints taken since I was a kid for a local block watch campaign.
When the man decided that the roller had enough ink on it, he put on plastic gloves and held my hand and rolled the ink over all of my fingers and thumbs. One at a time, pinky first, each print was taken. Then all 4.
Without a tissue I was lucky to have a pack of baby wipes with me. These come everywhere when you have two messy kids!
Successfully fingerprinted, my paperwork was signed and I was told to go back to the office.
I think this is it. I thought.
Back upstairs we went and I caught the eye of the officer who had sent me for fingerprints. there were only three other people in the office by now. I handed him my passport and now stamped papers and he passed them back to the man with the computer. I sat down. The boys were in the back of the waiting room having found a few pieces of scrap paper and pens.
Again I was called up, I was missing the ID number of the owner of my residence. Well I could get it If i had my phone, which was sitting downstairs with the security.
A quick phone call, while the boys eagerly showed the police officers the games on their phones, and I was able to retrieve the information I needed.
I handed my documents back to the officer and sat down.
“Mom I need a Pull-up,” I hear Markus from under the table at the back of the room.
Have you ever tried to discretely put a pull-up on a three year old in a police station!
Well at least if he did have an accident before we got out of here, I would be covered!
After a minute, the man from the computer, caught my eye. He passed the paper back to the man in the front row, who waved me up. “944” he asked, unable to read my writing.
“966,” I replied and handed it back. Giving it back to the man infront of the computer. They laughed, I guess a Canadian 6 looks like a 4.
After a minute I was given the passports back, Success!
Back downstairs to security, who gave us back our three phones and asked, “Do you have Facebook so I can send you the pictures (the selfies he had taken with the kids while I was on the phone). Rather than try and figure that out, I gave him my card with my local Jordan number and said “send it to me on What App.” (I think I have given my phone number out more in Jordan than in the last 5 years hahah)
Really, renewing a visitor visa in Jordan was not THAT bad, I just wish there was some easy to find information on the process BEFORE you end up having to go back and forth, wasting everyone’s time.
Back to the rental car we headed back to our apartment. And no, Markus did not have an accident! Success!
Visas in Jordan: Important Information for Visitors
Most visitor visas in Jordan are valid for one month and for many countries they can be obtained on arrival at Queen Alia International Airport. You can check to see if your country is listed on the Jordan Government Website here. Land crossing’s vary and some do not issue Visas.
The cost for a single entry visa into Jordan is JD40 per person. If you plan on visiting Petra and are not on an organized tour, consider a Jordan Pass which is JD70-80 and includes your visa and entrance to 12 sites in Jordan. This offers significant savings as a one day ticket to Petra is JD50.
If you are entering on a tour and will stay in Jordan for more than 48 hours, you can get a visa exemption and save yourself the JD40. Your tour operator will take care of that on arrival before you proceed through customs.
Do you need to carry your passport on you in Jordan?
Well this answer is not a yes or no. It depends. If you are on a tour, your name will be on the passenger manifest. At any police checkpoint that you may be stopped at, the driver and guide will provide the manifest to the police officer rather than your passport. Check with your guide when you arrive, but he will likely tell you that you can leave your passport in the hotel safe. Some large tours will even have a tourist police escort to ensure smooth travel for the tour. For me personally, If i do not need to carry my passport on me, It is one less thing to worry about losing.
If you are travelling alone, you should keep your passport on you as you will be asked for it at police checkpoints. I have been stopped almost a dozen times since I have been here, but only once have they wanted to see it. Most of the other times as soon as I roll down my window I am quickly sent on my way!
Essential Information on Obtaining a Visitor Visa Extension in Jordan
If you plan to stay more than a month in Jordan you can obtain a free visa extension by visiting a local police station. The stamp in the passport says to visit the nearest police station within one month. You need to make sure you go to the Police Station closest to where you live or are staying.
You will have to fill out a form with your information as well as that of the landlord or the hotel. try and grab the form in advance so you do not end up having to go back and forth to the police station in one day.
DO not wait until the last minute as the hours for Visa processing vary.
If you do not extend your visa within the 30 days it is not a big problem. However, when you leave, you will be subject to a JD2 fine PER DAY that your visa is expired. Its worth a hit of hassle to keep it valid if you do not want to pay upon departure.
There does not seem to be much of a queue for anything, so just be assertive and ask for what you are looking for. While you may be pointed in the wrong direction a few times, eventually you will have everything you need. Police in Jordan are friendly and not intimidating to visitors. If you are polite you will receive the same treatment in return.
Expect to be fingerprinted
Wasting time in Jordan is quite socially acceptable. Nothing is a great hurry, you get there when you get there, it is finished when it is finished. It is more of a way of life than the North American “hurry hurry hurry” society that we are used to as Canadians.
Form Required to Extend a Visa in Jordan
Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions? Do you have any funny visa stories? Let me know in the comments!
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