Do I really need a carnet de extranjero???

by philipp
(santa cruz )

Hello! I am a german man married to a bolivian woman. i recently picked up my passport with 1 year residency visa for to be able to live and work in santa cruz and they told me i must get a "carnet de extranjero" but had no further explanation as to why. Is this item truely necesary to work and live around here or can i go on with just my residency visa? We are not going to leave the country, renew the 1 year visa, nor do any paper work... From what i understand, to get a job here i must only have my visa but maybe this carnet is requiered for getting a NIT, paying taxes, or something???? Please let us know, as the migration service is not very trustworthy nor eficient.

Thank you!

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Feb 24, 2014
by: lokesh

my papers is tramites ...cuanto tiempo mura...par viene azul papel

Dec 22, 2011
by: Altiplano Bolivia

Hello Philipp

Yes, the fee is 450Bs. How long it takes depends on which office you go to, where you need to go to make the payment, and if you have all the necessary information available, and of course how many other people are waiting in line before you.

In the past you needed a "memorial" and copies of forms submitted with your Visa application. However the requirements have recently changed and are now much simpler. I have helped 6 people apply for Carnets in the last 4 weeks and have had no problems completely the applications within 3 hours.

The Carnet will be valid until your current Visa expires and you don't need to return it when you leave Bolivia.

It is true that the staff at the immigration office and SEGIP are not always efficient compared to what we may have experienced in the western world, but at least they are employed. Generally if you treat them respectfully they will be as helpful and kind as their position and circumstances permit.

Dec 22, 2011
by: Philipp

I dont think this information is correct, at least some points are not up to date. the cost for the application, according to the slip they gave me at iemmigration , is 450bs and 10bs for every day i am, late. the list of requirements that has to be done beforehand is also quite large to my knowledge the application for a carnet does not take under 4 hours. however, the question was not so much directed to if its legal or not to have a carnet, because its also not legal to park your car on the bus lane or throw trash on the street and still everybody does it. more important to me would be if i need to return this carnet at some point upon my departure, or if i get my exit stamp anywazs? i would be happý if anzbody could share their experience with that .

Dec 20, 2011
Carnet de Extranjero
by: Altiplano Bolivia

Hello Philipp.

Yes, you are required to apply for a Cedula de Extranjero (Carnet or ID Card. It is part of the law. You will need this Carnet for many different types of transactions and identification. You have 25 days from recieving your 1-Year Residents Visa to apply and will be subject to a fine of 15Bs per day for each day it is overdue.

The application is simple and shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours to complete.

Dec 20, 2011
You do need the Bolivian carnet
by: Anonymous

The carnet de extranjero is a Bolivian identification card that is required by law and is not optional. You must get the carnet within 10 days of having picked up your passport with residency stamp from migración. It costs just under 300 bs. At migración you need to go to the "extranjería" window and ask them to sign you up for a photo appointment. You then have to return to migración at that time to get your photo taken. You then sign some documents and pay the cash and just a few days later you'll have your carnet. The carnet is a legal requirement for living in Bolivia regardless of whether you plan to work or not. Police, immigration officers, bank officials, electoral officials, etc. can request you produce your carnet at any time. If you do not process your carnet you may be fined.

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