How can i spend a couple months in Bolivia exploring as a tourist without waiving my right/privelage to a specific purpose visa and to establish residency?

by Seth
(USA)

I'm an American citizen fascinated by Bolivia and considering the possibility of opening an eco-tourism/community development project there.

I understand that in order to enter the country for such a reason I will need a "specific purpose visa," but I understand that such a visa will grant me only 30 days to travel and require me to apply for residency simultaneously.

What are my options if I want to take time to explore the country and make contacts before making such a rash decision?

Could I possibly enter Bolivia on a tourist visa and then visit the Bolivian embassy in Lima a couple months later to apply for the specific purpose visa? Is that even possible, and if so, how long would that process take (more or less)?

Is there an easier way to do this that I'm missing?

Comments for How can i spend a couple months in Bolivia exploring as a tourist without waiving my right/privelage to a specific purpose visa and to establish residency?

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May 19, 2012
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Advice
by: Rebeca

Altiplano, please be informed before you advise someone. People from United States CANNOT change their tourist Visa into Special Purpose Visa in Bolivia.

If a person plans to stay for 2 months the best way is to enter the country on a tourist Visa, can get it even in the airport upon arrival.

SPV extentions cost 600 bs everytime and takes time.

There are 3 groups of countries, some are allowed to change their SPV into tourist in Bolivia.

May 10, 2012
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Tourist Visa for Americans
by: Rebeca

Dear Mr. Seth,
My name is Rebeca Gonzales, I work with Expat Services from BoliviaBella, and I am an attorney at law. The best way is to enter the country on a tourist visa, you can obtain that visa even in the airport upon arrival, you will get 90 days, if you want to stay a little longer, even an extra month or so, you just pay the fine which is 20 bolivianos per day (only after your 90 days are over).
More information please write
rebecagonzales@gmail.com

May 09, 2012
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it depends
by: Anonymous

Actually, immigration has been allowing some people to cancel their tourist visas and get a specific purpose visa (the one you need for residency) but it's a HUGE hassle. And it's not really that it's allowed. The Bs. 2500 is a FINE (multa). Basically, you have to convince them that you honestly did not know you needed the SPV and that you came on a tourist visa by mistake. So Altiplano is sort of right, but it's not a ready option or solution. As pointed out, it's also very expensive.

May 09, 2012
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US citizens CANNOT change visa status
by: Anonymous

please be advised that US citizens (and indeed citizens of most countries) CANNOT change from a tourist visa to a specific purpose visa inside Bolivia.

UK citizens can (I've done it) and I believe this privilege extends to the passport holders who can enter Bolivia without paying eg Australia, EU countries etc.

I hope that helps.

May 08, 2012
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author response
by: Seth

That's great, thanks. I appreciate your time.

May 08, 2012
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An Easier Way to Explore and the Apply for Residency
by: Altiplano Bolivia

Yes, there is an easier way. Apply for a "Specific Purpose Visa" which you can extend after 30 days for around $85.00, and if you find it necessary extend it for another 30 days.

If you decide to stay, you can then apply for residency without the expense of leaving the country and travelling to a Bolivian Consulate outside of Bolivia.

The process of apply for residency takes around 25 days depending on how organised you can be. The two things that take the most time now are apply for a Registro Domicilario (about a week) and waiting for your Interpol report (about 10-12 days for US citizens).

Note: You can also change a Tourist Visa to a Special Purpose Visa while in Bolivia but this costs 2,500 Bolivianos (over USD$350.)

Altiplano Bolivia can advise and help you with the process for the Special Purpose Visa and 1-Year Residents Visa.

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