accidental overstay, need advice

I had an unexpected issue extending my tourist visa in Sal, and am now in the uncomfortable position of overstaying my visa.

Has anyone else been in this awkward position? Were you fined when you left Sal? How do they compute the fine at the airport?

I'd really appreciate it if somebody could tell me what the attitude is in Sal airport and if I could face a fine for just a couple days overstay. You see, I left things a little late, and then I suddenly got this surprise.

I'm in contact with many other global nomads, and this experience will shape how we view Cape Verde.

I extended for 3 months.. i got so pissed off on the 4th visit i threw my papers at the immigration officer and said a few choice words about the country.. it was beyond retarded and took over 10 hours over 4 days.

Anyway later he told me and others that a few days or even a month is usually nothing or 130 usd max.. most the time no fine expecially if just a few days .. they know its a nightmare to extend.

Thanks a lot adkins. I found it relatively easy to extend 3 months in Mindelo. I got complacent and thought it would just the same in Sal. But the Comando in Espargos is quite hostile. Even the guard at the door is hostile. As for the woman in charge, she just kept making up excuses to reject my documents. For every excuse she made I calmly produced a document that showed everything was in order. Finally she just got up and abandoned me.

People need to be warned: if you want to extend your visa, don't bother in Sal. They don't do it. Foreigners are not welcome. If you really need to extend your visa, go to another island.

Renewing your tourist visa is not so complicated. What was this "unexpected" issue? Wouldn't it be better to correct the issue and not be in the position of overstaying your visa? If the problem is on their end, get them to put it in writing.

You do not want to leave this issue unresolved. If you overstay say not longer than a week or two, the outgoing immigration officer will likely forgive the fine. However, if you overstay longer than that, you will definitely be fined at the airport (but if it was the fault of the immigration department itself, just show the outgoing immigration officer the written acknowledgement from the incoming immigration department). The two departments are separate and don't communicate with each other (which is why you need something in writing).

If the reason you can't extend your visa is your own fault, they will fine you and they won't let you depart until you pay. So let me know what the issue is and perhaps I can help you resolve it.

The amount of the fine is based on the length of time you overstayed. It's not really much money. The most I've heard was 40.000 escudos but that was someone who overstayed by 12 months. So I thinks it's around 3.000 escudos per month over, but that's just a guess.

If you want to know the exact calculation, just ask them at immigration in Sal.

Good luck,

Angelo

emerald788 wrote:

I had an unexpected issue extending my tourist visa in Sal, and am now in the uncomfortable position of overstaying my visa.

Has anyone else been in this awkward position? Were you fined when you left Sal? How do they compute the fine at the airport?

Renewing your tourist visa is not so complicated. What was this "unexpected" issue?


The unexpected issue was that the immigration officers in Espargos do not do their job. I don't know why they are even open. I repeat that the documents I had were perfectly valid and had already been accepted by the equivalent office in Mindelo.

But I admit it would not have been unexpected if I had read your earlier advice:

The immigration officers in Sal are disrespectful idiots and try to make it as difficult as possible. I have assisted clients both in Praia and in Sal. I'm not sure where the officers in Mindelo fall on this spectrum of service quality, but I suspect they are somewhere in between
Yes, the Policia office in Espargos is highly xenophobic. The woman who sits at that desk should not be in her job, and nor should the corrupt politician who appointed her.

For anybody who is curious about how my case ended, I would have to say: badly. I suffered a hefty shakedown at the airport.

Would I recommend Cape Verde to global nomads? Not really. All the dual pricing makes things complicated for foreigners. But the main problem is this corrupt practice the Policia has slid into: refusing to process valid visa extensions. This means you can and will be penalized for your unspeakable crime of "overstaying" and continuing to pour too many Euros into the local economy.

At the airport, after they pull a number from thin air and take your Euros, they will ask you questions like if you intend to come back and generally try to feel out how mad you are about the shakedown. From this they can get a sense of whether it is safe to raise the amount for the next unwitting visitor.

If you absolutely have to stay and extend, make sure you try on a different island, not Sal. Forget the official doumentation, they don't do it on Sal. But you might get lucky on another island.

But the thing that baffles me: while Cape Verde refuses to process the visas of EU citizens, how does it expect that its own citizens be treated any better in the EU? And why should it continue to get millions of Euros in support from the National Indicative Program while it insults EU citizens? While the corrupt Policia turn a blind eye to the cocaine trade? While all those Nigerians stand in the main drag and monitor the shops (presumably taking some of their profits) while harrassing legitimate tourists?

It makes me sad for the honest and competent Cape Verdeans who became my friends and have to labour under this corruption. God knows how many people they have to pay off to get the simplest thing stamped. There's an underlying Third World mentality with a very thin First World veneer. I definitely think the EU should not give any more money to the Cape Verde government until it agrees to clean up its act.

Why didn't you post the amount I agree about the attitudes but I was able to extend after 4 tries even tossed my papers at immigration in frustration said thats why your country is poor.