Want to know how to live in Bolivia on a tourist visa or with residency?
This article will provide you with the basics of how to achieve that.
By first talking about living in Bolivia on a tourist visa…
Then moving onto the nuances of that…
Such as the possibility of doing a visa run….
And also the consequences of overstaying your visa…
Before ending it on the topic of the temporary and permanent residency programs that exist.
For those who wish to live in this country longer than what a tourist visa allows…
And do to so legally and with more security.
So let’s get to it!
Tourist Visa in Bolivia?
Years ago, I visited Bolivia for the first time ever.
I had to pay about 160 dollars once I showed up to the airport to be allowed into the country.
I ended up staying in the country for maybe close to 90 days if memory serves correct…
And had no issue.
Now, according to information online…
Most US tourists will be allowed for 30 days and can extend it for another 60 while in Bolivia if they want at most.
I never did extend mine – so maybe I got lucky and nobody in Bolivian Migration noticed my overstay.
Or perhaps laws were different then but I doubt it – I was there about 6 years ago more or less as of this writing in 2020.
Anyway, it seems that Bolivia will grant you 30 days to be there and extend it another 60 days technically.
Overstay The Visa?
From what I read, you can be banned from Bolivia if you overstayed your time in the country for a period of months.
However, if you just overstayed a few days or weeks, then supposedly you will be fined about 20 Bs per day more or less.
However, from what I read, some foreigners have encountered Migration officers looking to extract as much as 50 Bs per day for their overstay.
So, like in many parts of Latin America, your experience might vary depending on how corrupt the person you are dealing with is.
From my understanding, you cannot do a visa run.
I have read that the 90 days is per calendar year.
I cannot find much information online about this.
So I could be wrong for sure.
But it seems like that once your time runs out, that unless you can bribe someone, then your time is out for the year.
And you can come back later at another time.
But, keep in mind again, I don’t have any personal experience with this.
So it is all based on what others have written.
Temporary Residency in Bolivia
So if you want to live in Bolivia, there is apparently a way for foreigners to live there on a 2 to 3 year temporary residency visa.
It used to be 1 year but apparently they added an extra year or two to the visa for those wanting to stay longer.
Anyway, there is this great article here that goes into detail about the process itself by someone who has lived through it.
Anyway, once you are in the process of getting that temporary residency, it will be, from my understanding, through getting a specific purpose visa.
The specific purpose visa can be for work related reasons (such as getting employment in the country), for family reasons, etc.
From there, you go through the process itself of getting the residency.
Permanent Residency in Bolivia
If you want to get permanent residency in Bolivia, there are 2 categories that you can fall under from my understanding to get it:
- You have Bolivian parents or some other similar relationship with someone living in Bolivia (being married to a Bolivian for example).
- You have gone through living in Bolivia for 2 years prior on a temporary residency visa.
As you can read about here.
Anyway, that’s all the basic information now on this topic. More to come later.
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