residency in bolivia

by Tom
(New York)

I am a U.S. citizen married to a Bolivian woman. We are currently living in the U.S. but planning on moving to Bolivia in the near future so she can be closer to her family. My question is, what papers are necessary for me to get some kind of resident status in Bolivia? We were married in Florida, if anyone has any experience or insight into this we would appreciate it. Thanks

Response from Bella (if anyone else has anything to add PLEASE DO):

Hi Tom:
I have a friend who's going through this very thing right now - American guy, Bolivian wife. What he's found out is that in order to request residency in Bolivia he needed, first of all, to enter Bolivia on a VISA DE OBJETO DETERMINADO, and NOT a tourist visa. You get this by applying to the Bolivian consulate in the US prior to arrival.

When you apply for the Visa de Objeto Determinado (called a Special Purpose Visa in English) there are other documents you must send the Bolivian consulate including a letter which explains what you plan to do in Bolivia (request residency based on your marriage to a Bolivia, work, set up a business, retire, whatever), along with photos, proof of a yellow fever shot, your passport, and other things. You usually have to do this about 2-3 weeks before your date of travel. The cost is $85 (not the $135 the tourist visa costs). However, be forewarned that the Visa de Objeto Determinado is a 30-day visa only. Within your first 30 days in the country you must immediately initiate your request for residency procedure which can take quite some time. You will also be required to present your marriage certificate of course and, if you're previously divorced or widowed, you'll need divorce or death certificates to show you married your current Bolivian wife legally. You also may be asked for information on your criminal background, currently credit situation, income and banking information, bank balances, your birth certificate, your wife's Bolivian birth certificate, plans for work or retirement (or others showing how you will support yourself in Bolivia), etc. It's a pretty long process and probably worth using a Bolivian attorney for. I am NOT an attorney and the information I provide online is based on my own personal experience and that of other expats who've written in.

See more info on immigration here:

Here's the Bolivian Consulate contact information in Washington D.C. (I use them always even if I have Bolivian consulates nearer to me in the US but that's just a personal preference). They can give you a list of other Bolivian consulates in the US if you request one.

4420 Connecticut Avenue Nw Suite # 2 Washington, D.C. 20008
Teléfonos: (202) 232 4827 / 28
Fax: (202) 232 8017

The friend I mentioned above is currently requesting residency based on his marriage to a Bolivian and is using the services of a Bolivian lawyer here in Bolivia who speaks perfect English. So far he just loves her and is very glad for her help. I'll send you her information by email if you enter a message through my secure contact form on this page

(so I'll receive your email address but it will not show online).

I'm posting this in our Living in Bolivia forum in the hopes you'll get answers from someone with a similar experience or more knowledge than me.

Hope you found this information helpful.


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Mar 18, 2010
Im Indonesian married to Bolivian
by: Nining

hi I'm married to Bolivian and planning to stay in Bolivia with resident visa.

The problem is that Indonesia has no diplomatic relation with Bolivia, therefore I cannot find Bolivian embassy or consulate in Indonesia.

Please inform me what should I do? I plan to arrange the visa from Bolivian embassy in Sydney Australia, but I dont know the requirement yet.

Please inform me what should I do.

Thank you.

Nov 29, 2009
by: Anonymous

I am British, married to a Bolivian, but were married in California. The marriage certificate needs to be certified by the Secretary of State and translated. Fortunately my husband's daughter lives in Virginia and was able to do all this through the Bolivian Embassy in Wahsington DC. It is a process though! With that, our Bolivian lawyer has filed for my residency. We did not need divorce certificates, nor did I need a yellow fever vaccination certificate, although I have one.

The process is much easier with a lawyer. his secretary personally took us to Interpol, the clinic for a blood test and the notary.

Now I'm waiting for the visa to come through, but I have a paper to say that my case is being worked on.

Hope this helps!

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