How to stay for eight months in Bolivia?

by Keah
(New Haven, CT, USA)

Hi all, I'm an American citizen who has been offered an internship in Bolivia for eight months. I understand that international volunteering like this is often something of a gray area in terms of visas, so I have a few questions.

First, as stupid as this question might be, if the tourist visas is good for 90 days out of 1 year, I assume they are referring to 365 days from the day you enter the country, rather than a calendar year?

Second, if there is not a way to renew my tourist visa, is it true that my only other option to remain in Bolivia for eight months is a specific purpose visa, even if I don't actually intend to take up permanent residence? How expensive and complicated is that process? What are the risks/drawbacks?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Aug 23, 2010
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How to stay for eight months in Bolivia
by: BoliviaBella

If you plan to stay more than 90 days you need to apply for residency. The first time you apply for residency you get one year so you simply wouldn't be using the last 4 of those months.

Tourists are no longer allowed to leave to a neighboring country and return with a new 90-day tourist visa. Now they have you return on a visa de objeto determinado - specific purpose visa and request residency when you return anyways.

The 90 days of the tourist visa is in a 365-day period, not calendar year. (You have 90 days as of the date on which it is issued to you).

The cost for residency with the costs of all the different procedures you have to do is approximately $400 give or take, plus you have to open a bank account in Bolivia for the time you are here as part of the residency application process (I believe the amount you are required to deposit is $500 but that money is yours, you just have to have the account to show you're serious about staying here for a while) and of course, you'd be paying the $80 for the 'visa de objeto determinado' (the specific purpose visa you need for entry instead of the tourist visa which you have to process at a Bolivian consulate in the U.S.) prior to arrival.

Keep in mind you also need a yellow fever vaccination. The cost of that will depend on what your state health department charges. More on that here.

Check out our page on Immigration for details on the process if you choose to do it yourself.

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