Bolivia currently lets citizens from most developed countries like the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, etc, enter its territory by just presenting a passport. But many countries from Asia, Africa, and Central America, along with the US and South Korea, will require a tourist visa to enter Bolivia.
Most countries from the 1st world will only require a passport to enter Bolivia, including many countries in the European Union and South America, also Canada, Japan, Australia, etcetera. The rest of the countries, including the US, will always require at least a tourist visa to enter Bolivia.
In this guide, we’ll be talking about citizens from different countries who are allowed to enter the Bolivian territory by either presenting a valid visa, a passport, or just an ID document. You’ll get the updated and complete list in this matter, and also the Bolivian laws that regulate the foreigners’ entrance to the Bolivian territory.
Table of Contents
A general overview of the visa requirement for Bolivia
Currently, in 2023, people from most 1st world countries can enter Bolivia without a visa (except for the US, Americans will always need a visa), including most countries from Eastern Europe, like England, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany, etcetera, also many other developed countries like Japan and Australia.
Even more, citizens from almost all the countries from South America and many countries in Central America can enter Bolivian territory without a passport. In fact, people from these countries are required to only present an ID document to enter our country.
On the other hand, countries that have important political or economic issues within their territory normally don’t have visa-free entrance to Bolivia. Some of them will even require a “prior review and approval” in the Bolivia Migration Entity (DISEMIG) before being granted a visa to enter the country.
The US and Puerto Rico
The US and Puerto Rico are special cases, Americans and Puerto Ricans will always need a visa to enter Bolivia. They can obtain this visa in 2 ways:
- By asking for it in the Bolivian consulate or embassy within their countries.
- By getting it at the Bolivian border, before entering the territory (visa on arrival VOA).
They’ll obtain a tourist visa that will allow them to stay in Bolivia for 30 days, extendable up to 90. The paperwork for the tourist visa will cost around $200. More details in our dedicated guide: Do US citizens need a visa to enter Bolivia? All the details.
There are different types of visas to enter Bolivia
Many foreigners will use the “tourist visa” that the Bolivian government issues to enter and stay in Bolivia, but there are other types of visas available that will allow these people to do more than just tourist activities inside our country: Links
- The work visa
- The student visa
- The health visa
- The family visa
- The “object purpose” visa
- The multiple entrance visa
- That humanitarian Visa
- The invitation visa
- And others more specific.
Getting a “tourist visa” is relatively easy for citizens from almost any country for entering Bolivia. What is more difficult is to get the other types of visas mentioned above, as each one of them is designed for a specific purpose inside the country (ej. the student visa, to study) that will need to be proven and checked before getting the visa.
You can follow the links to know every detail about each visa mentioned in the list above, how to obtain them, which restrictions they have, validity time, how much they cost, along with other details.
But in general, a citizen from almost any country around the world will be able to visit Bolivia by getting a “tourist visa”, which will enable him to stay in the country for at least 30 days, up to 90 days, and getting this visa we’ll be free for most countries, or will cost $30 for some of them, and around $200 for the US and Puerto Rico.
The norm and regulations about this
Now let’s see the current laws that regulate the entrance of foreigners to the Bolivian territory.
The following Supreme Decree stated the 3 groups of countries by their requirements to enter Bolivia (either with a visa, without a visa, or with both visa and prior approval):
This Supreme Decree established a special treatment for tourists from the US, with also unique requirements for them (still valid in 2023):
Remember the 2nd and 4th groups in this note belong to Group 1 in the Supreme Decree No.27150. We have made this distinction here as the 4th group in this note just requires an ID card to enter Bolivia.
4 groups of countries by their rights to enter Bolivia
Now let’s see in detail what countries will either require a visa, just a passport, or just an ID card to enter the Bolivian territory.
- Countries that do require a visa.
- Countries that only require a passport.
- Countries that do require a visa, but also prior approval by the Bolivian immigration entity.
- Countries that only need an ID card.
1) Countries that DO require a visa to visit Bolivia
People from the following countries will be required a visa before entering Bolivia, and this tourist visa can be obtained in 2 ways:
- At the Bolivian embassy or consulate in their respective countries, before coming to the country.
- At the Bolivian border, just before entering the country (visa on arrival VOA).
The tourist visa grants a permanency of 30 days per year, extensible to 90 days, for the countries listed in this group. This tourist visa will cost between $30 and $200, but for some countries, it may be free.
In regards to the United States and Puerto Rico, the Bolivian tourist visa will also grant permanency of 30 days (extendable to 90 days) per year, will cost around $200, and can be obtained either at the Bolivian consulate in the US or at the Bolivian borders (visa on arrival VOA).
- United States (cost:~$200)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- San Marino
- Puerto Rico (cost:~$200)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- El Salvador
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Arabia Saudita
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- Arab Emirates
- Iran (visa costs $30)
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Ivory Coast
- The Gambia
- Guinea Equatorial
- Central African Republic
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Marshall Islands
- Salomon Islands
- Papua New Guinea
2) Countries that only need a PASSPORT to visit Bolivia
The countries that are in this section only require their citizens to present a passport to enter Bolivia. Many of these countries are from Western Europe, also Canada from North America. Citizens of these countries can stay in Bolivia for up to 90 days per year.
The Bolivian laws that stated how to enter Bolivia have categorized the following countries within 1st group (Grupo 1), as citizens from these countries don’t impose almost any risk when entering Bolivia, also because they have good relationships with Bolivia.
- United Kingdom & England
- North Ireland
- Czech Republic
- Vatican City
- New Zealand
3) Countries that DO require “a visa” AND a “prior approval” by the Bolivian migration entity to visit the country
In the Bolivian laws these are called the countries from the 3rd group (Grupo 3), as these are countries that are going through important issues, like wars, political conflicts, dictatorships, terrorism, and similar human disasters. So Bolivia takes more precautions before letting citizens from these countries enter its territory.
Then, what happens is, in all cases before visiting Bolivia, citizens from the following countries need to first notify the Bolivian consulate or embassy in their country that they’re coming to Bolivia, then this entity will:
- Send this petition to the Bolivia External Relationships Ministry
- This entity will in turn send this petition to the Bolivian Migration Authority (DISEMIG)
- The DISEMIG will review all the requirements on the petition of the foreigner and will approve or deny it.
- The DISEMIG then will send this approval or denial back to the External Relationship Ministry
- This entity will in turn send this approval or denial back to the consulate or embassy in the country where the foreigner asked for the visa.
- The foreign citizen will be notified if the visa to enter Bolivia has been approved or denied.
All this process will take about 10 days to be finished and can’t be done while the foreigner is at the Bolivian border.
This is why, for all the countries in this group it’s not possible to get a visa on arrival (VOA), or when they are in the borders of Bolivia, in all cases they’ll need to first ask for a visa in the consulates or embassies of their respective countries.
North America, Europe, Central America, and South America
- Afghanistan ($30)
- Cambodia ($30)
- Iraq ($30)
- Pakistan ($30)
- Siria ($30)
- North Korea ($30)
- Laos ($30)
- Nigeria ($30)
- Congo ($30)
4) Countries that only require an ID CARD to visit Bolivia
Bolivia, along with almost all the other countries in South America, also Costa Rica, have signed international agreements (e.g. MERCOSUR, Comunidad Andina de Naciones, ALCA) to let citizens from all these countries travel between each other by just presenting their ID documents (like what happens in the European Union).
Then citizens from all the following countries can enter Bolivia with just their ID cards, and they don’t need anything else to enter the Bolivian territory.
- Costa Rica
How to get a visa to visit Bolivia?
There are different requirements to get a Bolivian tourist visa, and it depends on the country to which it’s issued.
Some countries will have few requirements, while other ones will need to meet many different requirements and paperwork to get this visa. Americans and Puerto Ricans will also have unique requirements to obtain it.
We have a complete guide about the requirements and steps to get the Bolivian tourist visa for all the groups of countries listed in the sections above, in the following direction: The Bolivian tourist visa, all the details, steps, and requirements. Link
In this guide about whether a visa is needed or not to enter Bolivia, you have seen that currently there are 4 groups of countries according to their requirements to enter the country. You saw that most countries from the 1st world have free visa entrance to Bolivia. On the other hand, most countries from Asia and Africa need to present a visa.
You’ve also seen that the US and Puerto Rico are unique cases and they even have a dedicated Supreme Decree regulating how citizens from these two countries are treated when trying to enter Bolivia, and in all cases, they’ll need to present a visa. For them, it will cost around $200 and can be obtained both in the Bolivian consulate and on arrival.
You realized that people from most countries in Western Europe, like the UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland etc, but also Canada, Japan, Australia, and other similar countries will only need to present a passport to enter Bolivia.
Finally, you saw that almost all countries in South America, and also Costa Rica have both visa and passport-free entrance to Bolivia, and citizens from these countries only need their ID documents to enter the Bolivian territory.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know more about how much really is worth the Bolivian passport, and the countries to which Bolivians and Bolivian naturalized citizens have visa-free entrance, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: Visa-free entrance countries for Bolivians, every detail and lists.
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