Visas when entering Bolivia

Does it make sense to wait until landing in La Paz for a U.S. citizen to get a visa? Also, I'm getting conflicting information about the requirement for a yellow fever vaccination. Can someone clarify these issues?

Please view our page on Bolivia Visa Requirements.
For help obtaining your visa online, visit

Comments for Visas when entering Bolivia

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 30, 2012
Yellow Fever Inoculation
by: Rebeca

Yellow fever shot is not required anymore to enter Bolivia. Visitors from US can get the tourist visa in the airport upon arrival or in any border. You can apply for 5 years, 90 days or 30 days.
Further information:
Attorney at Law in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Oct 29, 2012
Yellow fever inoculation
by: Anonymous

I will be entering Bolivia via LaPaz but also traveling to Lake Titicaca. Do I require the yellow fever shot?

Oct 29, 2012
yellow fever shot for tropical areas
by: Anonymous

the yellow fever shot is only required for tropical areas now - specifically areas where yellow fever is known to occur. la paz is not one of those areas.

Oct 29, 2012
Just do it the right way and avoid problems
by: Anonymous

Americans are supposed to get their visas at a Bolivian consulate in the United States BEFORE they fly to Bolivia. That is what the law says. And it's your responsibility, as a tourist to ANY country, to know what is required of you before you travel.

When U.S. citizens arrive to Bolivia without the visa, immigration officials sometimes issue them the visa at the airport (sometimes, not always - I have heard some stories of Americans who have had to really make a sob story to get the visa at the airport, and I now of one American who was forced to return to the US on the next flight - so it does go both ways).

The cost is $135 either way. All American tourist visas are for 5 years. You are allowed to visit Bolivia for a maximum of 90 days per year, for each of 5 years.

The reason some American tourists are given only 30 days is that when you get your visa the correct way (at a Bolivian consulate in the U.S. prior to arrival) you are automatically given the 5 year visa with 90 days per year. But when you don't enter the correct way (you just show up without a visa) immigration officials will give you only 30 days, which is what citizens from other countries usually get. It's still a 5-year visa, but they only stamp your passport for 30 days initially.

Then, if you want to extend to more days (up to a maximum of 90 per year - not extendable in any way past 90 days) you can do that, but you have to visit the Immigration office in the city to do that. And it costs extra money and time that is better spent enjoying your trip.

So do what the law says. Don't chance it to the good or bad mood of a customs official to determine whether you'll have a good time or not in Bolivia. Besides, what is so difficult about getting the visa in advance? It actually gives you more time here, without the need to pay extra to extend. So why not do it right in the first place and save yourself a lot of hassle.

Oct 03, 2012
The rules for tourist visas for American citizens

The rules have not changed in the past 3 years. The law has been in place since 2007. This is the ministerial resolution that explains the immigration rules.

Article 4. To enter Bolivia as tourists, foreigners from the countries listed as Group III must request the issuance of a visa from the corresponding diplomatic representative or consulate. Should one of these not exist at the applicants place of residence, the visa will be issued by the diplomatic representative or consulate closest to the applicants habitual domicile or place of residence. (Article 4 then goes on to list all of the requirements for obtaining said visa).

Article 7. When citizens from countries listed as Group III have fulfilled the requirements detailed in article 4, they may, (con caracter de excepcion, or as an exception), be issued a visa to enter the country at the first migratory control point they enter by air or land. Fulfillment of the requirements must be verified by National Immigration Service employees.

Oct 03, 2012
Hi Gary
by: Anonymous

hi Gary, rules did not change about tourist visa for americans. You can still have a tourist visa upon arrival, at the airport. Sometimes people get 5 years tourist visa and others only 30 days, depends on your activities in Bolivia. I don´t believe someone had to beg and plead for a Visa in Bolivia. That is not true.

Oct 03, 2012
Visa Requirement
by: Gary

When I entered about 3 years ago, I got a tourist visa at the airport that was good for 5 years. I think I paid something like $125 for it. Have the rules changed since then?

Sep 26, 2012
Get your Bolivia visa prior to arrival
by: Anonymous

Americans are required by law to obtain a tourist visa prior to travel, from a Bolivian consulate in the U.S. If you arrive without a visa, Bolivian authorities will issue you one if you beg and plead and tell them that you had no idea you were supposed to have a visa. But the begging and pleading can be uncomfortable.

In addition, if they issue you one at the airport, they will give you only 30 days and if you need more days in Bolivia, you will have to get an extension at Immigration.

If you obtain the visa in the U.S. before you travel, as the law requires you to do, you will be issued a 90-day/year visa that lasts for 5 years. This means that you can stay in Bolivia for 90 days each year for 5 years.

Sep 12, 2012
US tourist Visa
by: Anonymous

You can buy your visa at the airport upon arrival, and you will have 30 days to be in the country. It can be extended for another 30 days. It is only for tourism. The yellow fever vaccine is not required anymore.

Sep 11, 2012
Americans need a tourist visa pre-entry

This page, on the Bolivian consulate of Los Angeles, California website, explains the entire process for obtaining a tourist visa to Bolivia.

Please read our Bolivia Visa Requirements page for more details.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Travel Forum.