Fortunately, the majority of tourists entering Bolivia do not require a visa. Some travelers however, depending on which group they fall into, will require a consular tourist visa in order to enter the country.
Before reading on, please use this website in order to identify which group your country belongs to.
Citizens from countries listed on Group 1 may enter Bolivia without a visa for period of up to 90 days (permitted length of stay is initially 30 days, then it can be extended free of charge).
Although countries from Group 1 do not have to obtain a visa to enter Bolivia, there are exit fees that can and will apply for these nations. Exit fees (to be paid in cash at immigration) vary depending on which country you are from. Most fees tend to be around $25 US for international departures and if you are flying within the country the cost is around $2 US.
You will also need to show a passport with at least six months of validity as well as evidence of yellow fever vaccine if visiting endemic areas.
Citizens from countries listed on Group 2 may obtain a visa for Bolivia valid for 30 days from their nearest Bolivian consulate – some of which offer online applications. Under some circumstances you can request a tourist Visa at the airport or at the Bolivian border, however it’s recommended that travelers not rely on this option. Depending on which country you are from, there can be a fee, usually around $55 US (see below for US citizen prices).
Once in the country, the visa is extendable by request for a further 60 days; continuous or discontinuous in the period of 1 year. You can renew your visa by visiting an immigration office in Bolivia (not including immigration offices at border crossings). A 30 day extension costs around $30 US.
When applying for a tourist Visa you will be required to present the following documents:
- A visa application form completed and signed
- Passport with six months of validity until expiration
- A printed copy of yellow fever vaccination (front and back)
- Proof of onward travel – if you don’t have a round trip or onward ticket out of Bolivia (for example if you’re traveling by bus), you may wish to purchase a flight or bus ticket out of the country in advance to use as proof
- Evidence of funds or printed copy of bank statement (3 months worth)
- A printed hotel reservation or written invitation in Spanish from friends or relatives in Bolivia
- A 4cm X 4cm or passport sized photo
Though in practice you are unlikely to be asked for all of these documents if applying for your visa at the border (most likely you will only need to show your passport, yellow fever certificate and pay the fee), it is a requirement of the Bolivian government, so you may wish to have this information handy just in case.
Citizens from countries listed on Group 3 are required to obtain a tourist visa from a Bolivian consulate prior to traveling to Bolivia. The application process takes around 3-5 weeks and is based on the same conditions and processes outlined in Group 2.
Information for US Citizens
For US citizens, a tourist visa can be obtained for $160 US in cash using the same procedures as Group 2. This visa fee is called a ‘reciprocity fee’ as it is the same amount that citizens of Bolivia are charged to visit the United States. Note that paying the visa fee when entering Bolivia exempts you from paying any exit fees. If paying the fee at the Bolivian border/airport make sure you have freshly minted US dollars as no marked bills nor credit cards will be accepted.
US tourist visas are valid for 10 years from the date of issue with a stay of 30 days for the purpose of tourism that does not include conducting any sort of paid or for-profit activity. US tourists may extend their 30 day stay up to a 90 day stay through the Bolivian immigration offices. The maximum period of stay for tourists is 90 days per calendar year. The additional periods can be consecutive or non-consecutive within a 1 year period. A US tourist visa holder will only be able to use the visa for up to 3 trips per year.
As visa and other entry and exit conditions can change at short notice, you should contact your country’s nearest Embassy or Bolivia consulate for the most up to date information before making your trip to Bolivia.
Please Note: According to the US Embassy, as of May 2015, US citizens visiting Bolivia as tourists should obtain an entry visa prior to travel. While a number of US passengers in the past have been successful in purchasing a visa upon arrival at La Paz and Santa Cruz airports as well as Bolivian land borders, recently there have been a number of cases where tourists have been refused entry for not having a visa on arrival. Unfortunately, there is no clear reason as to why some are let in and others refused, it’s just something to be aware of so you can make an informed decision. Better to be safe than sorry, we recommend organising your visa prior to traveling to Bolivia.
Applying For a Visa Online
Visa HQ is a website which allows travlers to apply for a Bolivian Visa in advance before traveling to Bolivia. There is a service fee of around $80 US and processing can take anywhere between 1 – 2 weeks.
Other Types of Visas
For more information about other types of visas, see: