Going to Bolivia: A Guide to the Visa Entry Requirements

Lake_Titicaca._Bolivia-Peru_Border

Lake Titicaca at the Bolivia-Peru border. By Jonathan Lewis via Wikimedia Commons

Bolivia is a beautiful, diverse and surprising country. There you can visit the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Amazon rain forest, travel across Lake Titicaca, hike in the Cordillera Real and much more. Here you will find all the information you need regarding entry into the country and visa requirements.

Visa Requirements

First of all, you will need a valid passport for ID. Countries which you can travel to and from Bolivia with only a national ID are Colombia, Peru, Ecuador (CAN – Andean Community) and Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay (MERCOSUR).

All business travelers and persons wishing to stay longer than 90 days per calendar year must obtain a visa in advance. Please note that migration officers at the border stamp passports for 30 days and that if you want to stay longer you will need to get it extended before leaving the country. This British_passport_(european_community)can be done at one of the Dirección general de migración offices (Directorate General of Immigration).

Tourists who overstay, or who forget to extend their 30-day visa will have to pay, upon leaving the country, a daily fee of about 25 bolivianos (about $3.70 USD).

Regarding tourist or visitor visa requirements, countries are divided in three groups: (the list of countries in groups can be found here. Please note that this list can be subject to change)

GROUP 1 and nationals of MERCOSUR and CAN (Andean Community):

Passport holders from any of these countries do not require a visa or need to pay any kind of fee upon entering Bolivia as tourists (if you’re traveling for business or studies please see below). The only requirement is that you present a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months. You will have the right to stay in the country 90 days per calendar year (but will initially receive 30 days which can be extended).

GROUP 2:

Passport holders from any of these countries need to apply for a visa either at a Bolivian embassy or directly at the border. Obtaining a visa at the Bolivian embassy in advance is free of charge, however if you opt to get your visa at the border, a $95 USD fee will apply.

Tourist Visa for citizens of the countries in Group II, have an admission period of 30 days after the date of entry. The admission period may be extended at the offices of the Directorate General of Immigration.

GROUP 3:

Passport holders from countries in group 3 will need to apply for a visa prior to their arrival in Bolivia. Tourist Visa for citizens of the countries in Group 3, have an admission period of 30 days after the date of entry. The admission period may be extended at the offices of the Directorate General of Immigration.

The Cost of a Tourist Visa is $30.00 USD. Processing time is 3-5 weeks.

EXCEPTION: US CITIZENS

US citizens require a tourist visa to enter Bolivia. Americans can apply for a visa either at a Bolivian embassy or consulate, or at the border.

The tourist visa for US citizens is valid for 10 years from the date of issue and the admission period per year is 90 days. A US citizen tourist visa holder will be able to use the visa for up to 3 each year.

The cost for the visa is $160 USD.

The process for US citizens and list of documents required is explained in more detail here and here.

OTHER TYPES OF VISA

If you need to stay in Bolivia for more than 90 days in a calendar year or if the purpose of your visit is not tourism then you will have to apply to the corresponding visa. Check with your local Bolivian embassy or consulate what the requirements are and allow for 3-5 weeks for them to process.

Crossing Borders

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Bolivia – Chile border (near San Pedro de Atacama/Hito Cajon) by Diego Delso via Wikimedia Commons

Make sure you have your certificate of yellow fever vaccinations: It’s a country entry requirement. The government of Bolivia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination, especially if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Your yellow fever certificate may be asked when entering the country. The Ministry of Health of Bolivia also states that all travelers visiting yellow fever risk areas must carry proof of yellow fever vaccination. Risk areas are: the Oriente Boliviano, Beni, Chaco and the Amazon rain forest.

Sometimes you will be asked to present a return ticket or a proof that you will be leaving the country. Some airlines might not let you board without one or you may have to show it a the border.

If you are flying to Bolivia and landing in La Paz, be aware of the altitude as the airport is at 4,000 meters above sea level. You may experience a headache, dizziness and other symptoms related to the altitude. If these don’t disappear after a few day or become too severe, go to a clinic and/or descend to a lower altitude.

And now enjoy your stay in Bolivia! With TicketsBolivia.com you can book ahead your bus and train tickets within Bolivia and to neighboring countries.

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