The Bolivia student visa is the option you will choose if you are planning to study at a Bolivian primary or secondary school, or university, for a period of three (3) consecutive years, or more.
(Please note that if you are planning to study in Bolivia for a short time (one semester) as an exchange student only, there is an alternative 180-day exchange student visa for which you may qualify. Before applying for visa, be sure to ask your local Bolivian consulate to inform you regarding that option).
The Bolivia student visa is issued for sixty (60) calendar days when your purpose is to study at the primary or secondary level or at institutions of higher learning and professional development. This visa allows the student to apply for up to three (3) years of residency, which can be extended for periods of up to three (3) more years until studies are completed.
Bolivia has created 3 visa groups or lists of countries outlining slightly different visa application procedures for each group. You must first find which visa group your country belongs to, then follow the procedures for that group of countries. Click to see: Group 1
| Group 2
| Group 3
The Bolivian Immigration Authority (Dirección General de Migración) has published an excellent and very detailed booklet outlining exactly how to determine which is your country visa group, and which are the requirements for each group. It also highlights information on what your legal rights are as a foreign student in Bolivia, and lists the countries in each visa group for easy reference.
Download What you need to know to study in Bolivia. The document is available in Spanish only at this time. You may wish to copy and paste relevant portions of text into www.translate.google.com.
Although some of the requirements will differ, generally, all students wishing to study for prolonged periods of time in Bolivia will be required to present to a Bolivian consulate in your country (or Immigration office in Bolivia) the following documents, minimally. However, according to your country's visa group, further documentation may be required of you.
Steps to Apply for the Student Visa
Firstly, fill out a Sworn Statement for Visa Application. The statement can be obtained on the websites of the Migración (Immigration Authority), or the Bolivian consulate in the country in which you will request the visa. (Or Download it here!)
Once you've printed and filled out the sworn statement, gather the following as well (again, per your country's visa group, additional paperwork may be required):
1. Passport with a minimum of 6 months remaining on it before it expires.
2. Vaccination certificate showing you've had a yellow fever shot, if you plan to visit areas where there is high risk of contracting it. (The yellow fever vaccine is required only for tropical areas of Bolivia or areas where yellow fever is prevalent).
3. Any of the following documents that accredit your last year or level of study at a school, institute or university in the country in which you lived. These must be legalized by the corresponding office or consulate:
- Certificate of studies
- High school diploma, bachelor's degree or post-graduate degree
- Report card or transcript
4. A current certificate that accredits that the foreigner has no prior criminal and/or police record, issued by the competent authorities in his or her country of origin or last residency (does not apply to minors under the age of 16).
5. Current photograph (4 x 4 centimeters with a red background).
6. Medical certificate stating that applicant does not suffer from contagious disease (must include an ELISA analysis for HIV.)
7. Copy of Itinerary or travel reservation.
8. If the applicant is a minor, according to Bolivian law, legal permission from parents or guardians, countersigned by competent authority to travel and stay in Bolivia.
9. Certification of financial standing of the applicant or parent, if applicant is a minor.
10. Corresponding letter of acceptance from a Bolivian university and/or educational institution.
11. Fee of US$43.00
Presenting or Mailing your Visa Application
*All documents issued by the country of origin, or in your country of most recent residency, in any language other than Spanish must be translated and duly legalized.
All of these documents must be presented in person or mailed to the Bolivian consulate.
If you process your specific purpose visa by mail, you must also download (from the consulate's website) a credit/debit card authorization form to pay for the visa. Print it, fill it out, and send it in. The safest way to send your passport is by registered mail or courier.
If you process your visa by mail, the safest way to ensure your passport is not lost when they return it to you, is to include a self-addressed, postage pre-paid courier envelope (such as FEDEX or DHL) when you send your package to them. The consulate can then use it to return your passport to you with the visa sticker adhered onto one of its pages.
Applications for the specific purpose visa that are incomplete or illegible will cause the consulate to return your package and passport to you, unprocessed.
Again, before you apply for a Bolivia student visa, be sure you have determined that this is the correct visa for you. Read through the Bolivian government's booklet What you need to know to study in Bolivia.