Bolivian Embassy in Cairo Problems

by Eric
(Cairo)

I'm a US citizen living in Cairo, planning a trip to South America this summer. I made what I think is now a horrible mistake by booking a flight into La Paz.


The embassy here is completely out of stickers so I have to wait a month for more to arrive. They're also refusing to issue a visa without a copy of my criminal record, which I have to get from the US, and then they want to take my passport for a whole month (because they say they have to mail it to La Paz to get it approved, which i don't believe).

This is going to be a huge problem, because I have to keep my passport on me because of the egyptian revolution, I get checked by the police almost every day.

What is the policy now for US citizens arriving in La Paz airport? Can I avoid all this nonsense and get a visa on arrival if I have the appropriate documents? Will KLM let me board the plane without a visa?

Thanks for the help,
E

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May 22, 2011
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Thank you
by: Eric

I appreciate the large number of comments in such a short period of time!

I'll speak with the embassy this week about the info you all have posted, the criminal record thing seems so weird. I guess maybe its to do with the revolution. Also, the sending my documents all the way to La Paz... strange.

I'm definitely going, its just a matter of jumping through all the hoops. I'm just the kind of person who likes to have this kind of thing sorted out before I travel. It will bother me until I get it all taken care of.

Thanks again, its been really helpful.
E

May 22, 2011
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continued
by: Anonymous

I couldn't get it all on this comment form so here is the continuation of that word document:

1.3. La obligación de presentar la carta de invitación que es alternativa a reserva de hotel, pasaje de ida y vuelta o itinerario de viaje, papeleta de depósito u orden de pago por US$ 135. (conforme dispone la Resolución Ministerial Nº 032/2008), tarjeta de crédito o extracto bancario y certificado de vacuna son inexcusables, con la salvedad de menores de 6 años que, por recomendación médica no puedan recibir la vacuna. En tal caso, los interesados deberán presentar al Consulado dicha recomendación traducida al castellano, y portar una copia para presentarla en Migración, al momento de su ingreso a Bolivia.

1.4. En caso de que el turista no cuente con reserva de hotel, podrá requerir al Cónsul información sobre hoteles en Bolivia. Asimismo, dicha información está a disposición en la página web del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Cultos (http://www.rree.gov.bo/acercabolivia/Hoteles.htm), o alternativamente se podrá acudir a la página web del Viceministerio de Turismo de Bolivia http://turismo.produccion.gob.bo/index_es.php

1.5. Para menores de edad, el requisito de la solvencia económica será otorgado por los padres o tutores.

1.6. En el caso de viaje de un menor no acompañado, deberá contar con el respectivo Certificado de Autorización de Viaje visado por las autoridades competentes.

2. Pago de Valores

2.1. El Turista deberá proceder con el pago de $US. 135 (Ciento treinta y cinco 00/100 dólares americanos). El pago de la visa podrá ser en efectivo, depósito bancario en la cuenta del Consulado u orden de pago (money order), indistintamente según indicación del Consulado respectivo.

3. Extensión de la Visa

3.1. La extensión de la visa en el pasaporte del solicitante con la firma y sello del funcionario consular, se realizará en un sticker, que consigna medidas de seguridad destinadas a evitar su adulteración o falsificación.

3.2. En caso de pérdida del pasaporte, la Visa queda anulada y el turista deberá realizar nuevamente el trámite.

PROCEDIMIENTO EN AEROPUERTO O FRONTERAS

4. Los ciudadanos estadounidenses podrán obtener la visa de Turismo a tiempo de su llegada en Aeropuertos y Puntos Fronterizos.
Para este procedimiento, los funcionarios de Migración verificarán que los requisitos del Pasaporte vigente por seis meses, pasaje o Itinerario de Viaje, pago de US$ 100.- en efectivo, Certificado Internacional de Vacuna contra la fiebre amarilla y Solvencia Económica sean cumplidos a cabalidad.
Asimismo, en caso de no contar con Reserva de Hotel, el Turista podrá realizarla desde el puesto de Control Migratorio sobre la base de la Lista de Hoteles que proporcionará Migración.

May 22, 2011
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Getting a tourist visa to bolivia from Cairo
by: Anonymous

On the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website www.rree.gob.bo they have this Microsoft Word document that you can download (go to the website, click on CONSULAR then click on VISAS A BOLIVIA then click on VISAS DE TURISMO PARA CIUDADANOS ESTADOUNIDENSES). There is no indication that there is a requirement for a criminal background check for a tourist visa. NOTICE THE LAST POINT. You can get your visa at the border or airport if you have everything in order.

I downloaded the document and cut and pasted it here:

VISAS DE TURISMO PARA CIUDADANOS ESTADOUNIDENSES

PROCEDIMIENTO

1. Recepción del formulario de declaración jurada y documentos requeridos.

1.1. El Formulario de Declaración Jurada de Solicitud de Visa Bilingüe podrá ser requerido en las Oficinas Consulares de Bolivia, o descargado de la página web de la Cancillería de la República en la dirección:

http://www.rree.gov.bo/docsistema/FORMULARIO%20VISA%20TURISTA%20CON%20FOTO.doc

1.2. El formulario deberá ser acompañado de los siguientes documentos:

- Fotografía a colores actualizada, 4x 4 y sin lentes.
- Pasaporte con una vigencia no menor a 6 meses (conforme establece el Art. 4.2 de la Resolución Biministerial 01-2007).
- Reserva de Hotel o carta de invitación.
- Pasaje de ida y vuelta o itinerario de viaje
- Solvencia económica (tarjeta de crédito o efectivo o extracto bancario actualizado)
- Fotocopia Certificado Internacional de Vacuna contra la fiebre amarilla.

May 22, 2011
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do they have to send the original passport?
by: Anonymous

As a last resort, would it be possible for them to send a PHOTOCOPY of your passport to La Paz instead of your original? I mean, they've got to know people are being stopped in Cairo to present their documents - they do that here in Bolivia too (although not as often) so it should not come as any surprise to them that you need to keep your original passport and they should know that they would actually be putting you in danger by asking you to walk around without documents.

Normally you have to have your tourist visa before arriving to Bolivia, regardless of which city you enter Bolivia. I've heard some US citizens who weren't aware they need a visa are getting them at the airport (in both La Paz and Santa Cruz) upon arrival but it could be iffy.

May 22, 2011
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travel somewhere else first
by: Anonymous

You know, you can get a tourist visa into Bolivia from any Bolivian consulate in any country - they do this because some countries don't have a Bolivian consulate. So do you have any other stops or layovers before arriving to Bolivia?

Perhaps it might be worthwhile staying in another country before entering Bolivia. You mentioned you are going to travel South America. So if you were to, for example, visit Peru or Chile or Argentina or Brazil first, you'd be requesting your tourist visa to Bolivia at a consulate in one of those countries before you arrive. It seems like it might be a better idea to travel to another country first and then enter Bolivia from there so you aren't entering directly from Egypt.

Did you purchase your flight through a travel agent? Is there any way they could help?

May 22, 2011
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that's weird
by: Anonymous

They may be making some sort of exception because you are coming from a country that is experiencing a war? Maybe they want to be sure you haven't been involved in that war?

It is also strange that they are saying your passport has to be sent to La Paz and back. They don't do that in other countries as far as I know. That's the whole purpose of having an embassy or consulate of Bolivia elsewhere.

May 22, 2011
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KLM contact page
by: Anonymous

KLM: This is the airline's customer support page:

http://www.klm.com/travel/us_en/customer_support/customer_support/contact/index.htm

Just copy and paste it into your browser.

May 22, 2011
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bolivian embassy cairo
by: Anonymous

What type of visa are you applying for? There is no requirement for a criminal background record that I know for a simple travel visa.

Perhaps if you are applying for a Specific Purpose Visa ("visa de objeto determinado" which you would need if you were traveling to Bolivia for the specific purpose of LIVING here and applying for RESIDENCY) but if all you need is a tourist visa, a criminal background record is not a requirement according to the Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or the Cancillería or Immigration here in Bolivia.

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