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What Are the Groups in Bolivia's Visa Eligibility

One of the most geographically diverse countries in South America with show-capped mountains, deserts and rainforests, Bolivia is a stellar destination for travel enthusiasts. 

Home to Lake Titicaca, one of the world’s highest lakes, the country has something to offer for every tourist. Here’s what travelers need to know about the Bolivian government’s visa policy and requirements.

What is Bolivia’s Visa Policy?

Bolivia has recently brought in a few changes in the visa policy. There are three categories of visitors. First, those from group 1 nations who are allowed visa-free entry to the country.

Travelers from foreign countries in group 2 have to get a visa either from a Bolivian embassy or on arrival at the port of entry in the country. 

Visitors from countries in group 3 need a special authorization from the Bolivian immigration authorities apart from an embassy visa.

Based on the passport they hold; foreign visitors can enter Bolivia either with a visa or without the need to apply for one. Citizens of a few countries (mostly South American nations) can enter without even a passport. They can enter with their national identity card. 

Also, visitors must be aware of the visa type based on the purpose of their trip. The government of Bolivia offers visas for transit, study, tourism and multiple activities.   Foreigners must choose a visa according to the purpose of their visit.

Read on to know more about the Bolivian visa groups.

Visa Policy for Group 1 

Foreign travelers from countries in group 1 do not require a visa to enter Bolivia. They can enter visa-free for short-term stays for the purpose of tourism and business. Initially, they can stay for 30 days and after that, they can extend it for a maximum of 90 days in a year.  

The government of Bolivia, however, permits travelers from Russia to stay up to 90 days in a validity period of six months. Likewise, Mexican citizens can stay up to 180 days in Bolivia without a visa. 

Note that they have to carry their identity documents such as the passport or national IDs along with documents to prove their economic solvency.

They are also required to submit information with regard to their travel itinerary and accommodation.

Travelers from eligible South American nations can visit Bolivia without their passports. They just need to carry their national IDs recognized by the Bolivian government. 

All European Union states except citizens of Malta, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria can enter Bolivia and stay up to three months without a visa. Travelers from these four nations must obtain a visa on arrival at international airports in the country. 

List of Nations in Group 1

  • All European Union States
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica Ecuador
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Mexico
  • Monaco,
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom. (This includes all classes of British nationals)
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

There are about 51 countries in group 1.  Note that holders of diplomatic and service passports from all sovereign foreign nations including China are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Bolivia. They are granted visa-free entry to the country. 

Visa Policy for Countries in Group 2 

Citizens of nations in group 2 require a visa to visit Bolivia even for short-term stays for the purpose of tourism and business. They can either apply for it at a Bolivian embassy or purchase it on their arrival in select international airports of the country. 

Paper visas processed in a Bolivian embassy are free of cost for most foreign travelers. A few embassies charge a visa fee. However, foreigners preferring to purchase the visa on arrival have to pay a fee. The fee depends on the applicant’s country of origin. 

Applicants are encouraged to check with the respective Bolivian mission near to them about the latest requirements for getting a Bolivian visa.

Some foreign countries do not have a Bolivian embassy. Travelers from those nations can apply for a visa at the Bolivia mission in the neighboring countries.

Generally, all applicants should submit their passports, photographs and proof of economic solvency to apply for a visa.  They are also required to share information about their travel itinerary and accommodation. 

The Countries in Group 2 are as Follows: 

  • Albania
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Comoros
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Granada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Lesotho
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Morocco
  • Mauritius
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Saint Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

 
Visa Policy for Countries in Group 3

Travelers from group 3 need to get a Bolivian visa for entering the country. They are not eligible for visa on arrival and are required to get a special authorization from the Bolivian immigration service. They also need to apply for the visa in a Bolivian embassy. 

Most embassies ask applicants to personally present while submitting documents. However, applicants should check with the embassy about the latest processes. 

They have to also apply for the special authorization. Officials in the embassy will send the request to the immigration service. The visa will be processed only after receiving the authorization from the immigration service. The processing time is also a bit longer – between three to five weeks in most cases. 

The Countries in Group 3 Are as Follows: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Angola  
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • Chad
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Laos 
  • Libya
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Rwanda
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Timor-Leste
  • Yemen

A Bolivian visa does not guarantee entry to the country. Travelers must go through customs and immigration checks. It is important to not carry prohibited or restricted items.

They also need to answer the questions of officials honestly. The entry is based on the discretion of the officials who are empowered to deny it if they find something amiss.
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