Overstayed visa for Bolivia

by LARK
(Bolivia)

Got a special Purpose visa before coming to Bolivia, but according to the website of the Bolivian consulate, there was no information on how long the visa was good for. The tourist visa is good for five years. I knew this because I had already been in Bolivia before I came here this last time. However, while the airline accepted the SP visa so that I did not have to buy a return ticket, Immigration refused it. They said it is only good for 30 days after it is paid for, even though they require Americans to buy it BEFORE coming to Bolivia, which can seriously cut out several days time because of processing and wanting to order it early enough to make sure it is received before traveling. No reason to go without it, of course, and I didn't want to schedule a flight and then miss it, either. With no other statement on the website and the visa itself saying it was good for 30 after entering the country, what else was I supposed to think? They let me in though, because I still had my tourist visa.

So here I am now, wondering what to do... I want to stay permanently, and having read some advice on here and other sites, I was wondering several things, so I apologize for this being a long and rambling piece of text. Bare with me, please.

One thing I have read a couple of times is that as soon as I apply for the Special Purpose visa, the fines I would have had on the current visa are suspended. Does anyone know if this is true or not? Then, how, if I do what I explain below, how would those fines, if any, be calculated?

What if a new passport was obtained, which would not have any visas, pick it up from your country's consulate, use UPS to mail it to the USA to a friend who would then send it to a Bolivian consulate there to obtain the Special Purpose visas, and then mail it back to you directly (not the consulate) in Bolivia?

Then. go through the process of getting residency instead. It wouldn't have an entry stamp or the green slip, but you could just say that it is because it is a replacement passport, which is true, and then tell them you have been there for a few weeks.

Would that work?

Thanks in advance!

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Apr 24, 2018
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I tried that already and they refused.
by: To Anonymous on April 21

They said I had to leave the country and return. I went with a policeman friend of mine who knows people in immigration and they told him it didn't matter that the visa said I had 30 days after I entered Bolivia, it really meant I had 30 days after I paid for it.

Apr 21, 2018
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That wouldn't actually work
by: Anonymous

If you explain your case to immigration agents, they will most likely let you cancel the tourist visa then apply for a NEW specific purpose visa in Bolivia (it costs over $300 dollars to do that), then begin the residency application process. The tourist visa will not ever be valid again once you replace it with a new SPV. But they won't let you apply for residency with the tourist visa.

And no, you can't do the thing with a new replacement passport. You absolutely MUST show them your entry stamp on your passport to apply for residency.

Listen, they are difficult people, but they ultimately do try to find ways to make it work. Absolutely never ever disrespect them or get mad or impatient no matter what though. Because once you do that, you're screwed.

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