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  • Writer's pictureAussieEspañol

Bolivia Tourist Visa Scare

Hopefully you find this before racing off to the nearest Immigration Centre while in Bolivia like I did. Every foreign tourist can probably relate to this feeling you get just when you're starting to feel that you've been in the country a little while and go to check the date of entry in your passport. After checking this, the next bright idea is to google how long you can stay on whatever visa you've received to stay in the country.

In my case, I didn't apply for a visa, assuming that Bolivia was like the many other countries here in Latin America and allows tourists a 90 day visa free period. Instead I received the shock of a lifetime after google tells me 30 days, with the ability for extension for another 30 days more if requested within the approximate 14 day time frame before expiry.

Basically google was telling me I was in the country illegally and the last thing any foreigner needs in Latin America (trust me) is issues with the authorities. I race off to center of Santa Cruz to the Immigrations Department to play the unaware foreigner card to find out that as of recently (Post 27/03/2023) Bolivia now allows you to extend each month you're wishing to stay. This applies unless you have been in the country for more then 30 days, which in this case, you have 90 days from the date of entry to stay visa free. For overstay issues, you will be fined 20 Bolivianos ($2 USD) per day after the 90 day period which can be paid on border exit or at the airport.

This saved my cheeks and I left the Immigration Centre relieved with a smile from ear to ear and exclaiming to the guard on entry; "I love Bolivia." I've definitely learnt my lesson.

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