The immigration rules for Bolivia vary depending on your nation of origin or citizenship. Each person or family has various residency requirements. Bolivia travel visa requirements and costs are regulated by bilateral agreements between Bolivia and each nation. Bolivia’s immigration regulations now follow the “reciprocity” principle, which implies that whatever your country’s immigration officials require of Bolivians seeking to immigrate, Bolivia will likewise require of you. If you’re thinking of applying for a residency in Bolivia, you’ll find our step-by-step guide below helpful.
Step by Step Application Process for Bolivia Residency Requirements
Step #1 – Determine and Apply for Specific Purpose Visa
Before travelling in Bolivia, you must first get a Specific Purpose Visa (visa de objeto determinado) from a Bolivian consulate in your home country. If you have sought entry on a tourist visa, you will not be able to seek residency. For the sole purpose of applying for residency, a specific purpose visa is necessary. It is good for a period of 30 days. Within 30 days of entering Bolivian territory, you must complete all residency requirements and submit your completed residency application to Immigration officers. Specific Purpose Visas come in a variety of forms.
Bolivia has compiled three lists of countries with varying visa requirements. Bolivia does not require a visa for citizens of the countries included in Group 1. Foreigners in Group 1 are allowed to enter Bolivia and begin the residence application process right away. Before coming to Bolivia, citizens of the countries included in Groups 2 and 3 must apply for a specific purpose visa from a Bolivian consulate and present it to officials upon arrival.
You can find the list of Group 1, 2 and 3 countries in the following tables;
List of Countries included in Group 1
If you are from one of the countries listed in the following table, you do not need any prior visa to enter Bolivia. You can get permission to stay for up to 30 days once landed or reach Bolivia. You can also extend your stay for up to 90 days. Moreover, citizens of South American countries can seek entry into Bolivia with their ID Card. In contrast, the Russian citizens can stay in Bolivia without a visa for 90 days within any 6 months of duration.
European Union member states Andorra Argentina
Australia Brazil Canada
Chile Colombia Costa Rica
Ecuador Iceland Israel
Japan Liechtenstein Mexico
Monaco New Zealand Norway
Palestine Panama Paraguay
Peru* Philippines Russia
Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
United States Uruguay Vatican City
List of Countries included in Group 2
You must obtain a Bolivian visa before travelling to Bolivia if you are from one of the countries listed below. A Bolivian visa can be obtained via a Bolivian Embassy or Consulate near you, or it can be obtained for a charge on arrival in Bolivia.
Albania Algeria Antigua and Barbuda
Armenia Azerbaijan Bahamas
Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados
Belarus Belize Benin
Bosnia – Herzegovina Botswana Brunei
Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi
Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic
China Comoros Cuba
Cyprus Darussalam Djibouti
Dominica Dominican Republic Egypt
El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea
Ethiopia Fiji Gabon
Gambia Georgia Ghana
Granada Guatemala Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti
Honduras India Iran
Ivory Coast Jamaica Jordan
Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati
Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lebanon
Lesotho Liberia Macedonia
Madagascar Malawi Malaysia
Maldives Mali Malta
Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius
Micronesia Moldova Mongolia
Montenegro Morocco Mozambique
Myanmar Namibia Nauru
Nepal Nicaragua Niger
Oman Palau Papua New Guinea
Qatar Republic Of Korea Romania
Russia Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa San Marino Santa Lucia
Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal
Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone
Singapore Solomon Islands South Africa
Sri Lanka Surinam Swaziland
Tajikistan Thailand Togo
Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia
Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda
Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Republic of Tanzania
Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
List of Countries included in Group 3
If you are from one of the countries listed below, you must apply for a Bolivian visa at a Bolivian embassy or Consulate overseas. However, the process will take longer because they must first obtain Bolivia’s National Migration Service permission.
Afghanistan Angola Bhutan
Camboya Chad The Democratic Republic The Congo
Indonesia Iraq Israel
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Laos Libya
Nigeria Pakistan Rwanda
Somalia Sudan Syria
Timor Leste Yemen
Process of Applying Specific Purpose Visa for Group 2 and 3 Countries
Foreigners in Groups 2 and 3 must show the following documents to the Bolivian Consulate in charge of your country or region to receive a specific purpose visa for travel to Bolivia:
1. A filled-out application form. You can print and fill out the specific purpose visa application form by clicking here.
2. A valid passport or travel document valid for at least six months from the date you enter Bolivia.
3. A current 2″ x 2″ passport photo with a solid colour background is required.
4. Application fee per person (check with the Bolivian Consulate in your area for the most up-to-date rates, as they change from time to time).
5. A letter of introduction outlining your specific reasons for want to live in Bolivia. Explain why you chose to go to Bolivia and how you plan to make a living or provide for yourself and your family in your own words. If a company has recruited you to work in Bolivia, they must provide you a letter indicating such.
6. A photocopy of the plane ticket or itinerary is required (a one-way ticket can suffice the purpose as it is not a tourist visa application).
7. Economic solvency as evidenced by a bank statement or comparable. (Please note that the document must be valid for at least the duration of the trip.) This is essential to show that you have sufficient finances to assure that you will not become impoverished while in Bolivia.
8. Police record or certificate of good conduct.
9. You should also acquire a yellow fever vaccination if you plan on visiting a tropical area in Bolivia. You can attach a copy of your immunization certificate to your visa application or bring it with you to the airport to show to immigration officers (most of them never ask to see it).
Cost of Specific Purpose Visa
The specific purpose visa costs around US$85.00 per person (costs vary by country of your nationality) and can be paid by credit card or money order made payable to the Bolivian Consulate.
- The document package, along with your passport, must be delivered in person or mailed to the Bolivian Consulate.
- If you’re applying for a specific purpose visa by mail, you’ll need to download a credit/debit card authorization form (from the Consulate’s website) to pay for it. Fill it out, print it, and mail it in. Registered mail or courier is the safest way to transmit your passport.
- If you are applying for a visa by mail, you must send a self-addressed, postage-paid courier envelope (such as FEDEX or DHL) with your application. The Consulate can utilize it to return your passport to you with the visa sticker stuck to one of its pages. The return package must be paid with ” tracking ” to ensure that your passport does not get lost in the mail, the return package must be paid with “tracking.”
- Incomplete or unreadable applications for the specified purpose visa will result in the Consulate returning your package and passport to you unprocessed, and you may forfeit the amount you paid.
- Because each adult and child must have their own passport, you must apply for one specific purpose visa for each adult and child coming with you.
Step #2 – Visit the Bolivian Immigration office
When you arrive in Bolivia, you should go to the Bolivian Immigration office in the city where you intend to dwell. Foreign visitors should go to the “Extranjeria” window. Bolivians in need of services might use the other windows. Prior to filling out the residence application, officials will supply you with a list of conditions (“lista de requisitos”) that you must meet (documents that you must receive from other institutions).
You can seek a one-year or two-year resident visa when you first apply. After then, you can extend your visa for a two-year, five-year, or permanent stay. Each residency period has a separate set of criteria and a different price tag. These conditions, which must be completed before filling out your real residency application form at the Immigration office, require you to visit numerous Bolivian organizations and managing a number of documents that are explained in detail below;
Complete the International Criminal Background Check by Interpol
The Interpol office in the Bolivian city where you propose to live will conduct an international criminal history check to ensure you have not been involved in any illegal activity in your home country or elsewhere. A “certificatado de antecedentes penales” is what this is termed.
This operation takes a little longer than others. Begin with Interpol and work your way through the rest. Every few days, check with Interpol to see if your form is ready to be picked up. Make a strong case.
National Criminal Background Check in Bolivia
Bolivian officials will conduct a national criminal background check to ensure that you have not committed any crimes in the country during previous visits. This is also known as a “certificatado de antecedentes penales,” but on a nationwide scale. Prepare to offer proof of your new Bolivian address (by presenting a water or electricity bill). Officials may come to your new Bolivian home or apartment to check your address. The “registro domiciliario” is the name for this document.
Acquire Medical Certificate
A doctor must complete a standardized form that details your current medical status. A general medical examination will be carried out, which may involve blood tests, x-rays, and/or other testing to ensure that you are free of contagious diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Certificates of Marriage, Divorce, and Birth
Suppose you’re seeking residency as a family or as a single parent with children. In that case, you’ll need to show documentation that the kids are yours or that you have a lawful and legal custody of them (in the case of a divorced or single parent). Before arriving in Bolivia, all marriage, divorce, and birth certificates must be translated into Spanish and validated at a Bolivian consulate in your home country.
Work Contracts / Articles of Incorporation
You will attach a copy of your contract with a local or international company in Bolivia if you have migrated to Bolivia to work. If you want to start your own firm, you’ll need to show proof that you’ve started the process, such as incorporation papers and/or an opening balance sheet, or proof that your company has been registered with the tax office.
Financial Stability/Solvency Proof
You will be required to show proof of financial stability. If you are retired and do not intend to work, you must show that you have sufficient sources of money to support yourself. You may be required to create a bank account, deposit a certain amount of money, and provide a copy of your newly formed company’s initial balance statement if you are starting your own firm.
Request for Residency in a Notarized Letter
After you’ve gathered all of the documents you’ll need to provide to Immigration, you’ll need a notary or an attorney to prepare a letter on your behalf indicating your plan to apply for residency. This letter is referred to as a “memorial.”
Official Immigration Residency Request Folder
You must return to Extranjeria at the Immigration office once you have gathered all of the relevant paperwork and have your “memorial” in hand. This time, you’ll ask for the actual residency application form, which will be placed in a folder and provided to you. You must now add all of your other documents to that folder, pay the fee corresponding to the duration of residency you desire, and leave everything, including your passport, with immigration officials. You must pay in bolivianos in cash. Credit cards or foreign money are not accepted.
This is the overall procedure for applying for residency in Bolivia; however, each case is treated separately by Bolivian Immigration authorities, who may or may not require you to produce additional documentation. Furthermore, depending on the exact aim of your immigration, the immigration application process may differ slightly. When deciding to come to Bolivia, make sure you research the requirements for the various types of specific purpose visas available.
To know the updated rules and policies, we recommend that you seek information from a Bolivian embassy or the Bolivian Immigration Services before submitting an application for residency.
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