Although it is possible to get your visa on arrival to Bolivia I highly recommend that you obtain your visa before you leave on your trip if you are a US Citizen. It’s very simple and will save you a lot of time and hassle at the border, especially if you cross by land.
The number one reason most Americans I met traveling didn’t go to Bolivia was because of the difficulty of getting their visas on arrival in Bolivia from Peru or Chile.
Also a bonus, if you get your visa ahead of time it is valid for ten years! On arrival it is only for the time you are visiting and you will have to pay again if you come back in the future.
SEE ALSO: Border Crossing
If you live in/near NYC there is a Bolivian Consulate in midtown. It’s really easy to get to and they are very helpful. I ended up going twice, once to find out what I needed and then a second time to bring them all my paperwork.
Consulate General of Bolivia
211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1004
New York, NY 10017
If you don’t live in NYC, you can mail your documents in a folder with a pre-paid return envelope to the consulate. My friend traveling to Bolivia with me did this and it was pretty painless. The consulate is basically just an small office on a big corporate building so you can be pretty confident about mailing documents there. You can call them to make sure it arrived for peace of mind as well.
WHAT YOU NEED
I couldn’t find their application information online because the links to their consulate website were broken. The correct website is: http://www.bolivianyc.org/consular-affairs/visas/tv
You must bring all of the below documents together to apply for your visa. They will not accept it if you are missing any of them.
• Visa Form (You can fill it out online on their website or handwrite a paper copy)
• Passport Size Photo (in color)
• Passport valid for at least 6 months
• Accommodation Reservation (Any accommodation reservation is fine, I only had one night booked before I left and just printed that one)
• Flight Itinerary entering the country (I didn’t have this because I wasn’t sure of my exact itinerary but they told me it was okay to print out my flight reservation showing I was flying from the US to Argentina.)
• Economic Solvency (a bank statement)
• Yellow Fever Vaccine (I didn’t need to show this but I would recommend still getting your vaccine and vaccine documentation)
• Tourist Visa Fee $160 (money order only)
They usually require 5 business days from when you drop it off or they receive your documents in the mail but I was leaving in only a few days and they were nice enough to process it while I waited. If you’re in a rush and don’t live in NYC, overnight your documents and call them to let them know.
SEE ALSO: 3 Days in the Desert: Uyuni, Bolivia