Visa Requirements

Below is a list of requirements for the one year temporary residency visa and a list of the sub requirements for each section.

This article is out of date. Check out the slightly less out of date article here.

Update: Visa requirements changed in November 2014.  Some of this information will still apply while some may not.  You must now apply for a visa for the purpose of either study, work or volunteer/missionary.  The good news is that you can apply for a temporary residency visa of up to three years instead of having to go through the whole process again very year.

I’ll write a blog post about the new requirements when I extend my temporary residency later this year.


There are various certificates you need to acquire.  Some must be done first in order to apply for others.

­1.  Antecedentes de FELCN (FELCN police background check) – Immediaciones plaza Adela Zamudio, Sopocachi – Mon – Fri, 0900 – 1800.  

Bring with you:

  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Memorial (a cove­­r letter) written by a lawyer to the Director for the FELCN asking for a “certificado de antecedentes”

After 72 hours they will ask you to come back with:

  • A receipt of a bank deposit to Banco Union of 25BS to the account CTA 14041070
  • One photograph size 4×4 with red background
  • A copy of the memorial which you initially provided
  • 2 photocopies of your passport
  • Your original passport

If you have everything ready they will do this on the spot for you.  It should take less than an hour

  1.  Antecedentes de INTERPOL, (INTERPOL background check) Av Constenera, Seugencoma, it’s in the big European style house with the pointy roof next to the football field, just before you reach Calocoto. Mon – Fri, 0900-1700

Bring with you the following:

  • Colour photocopy of your passport, including photo page, visa Objeto Determinado page and the entry stamp into Bolivia
  • Four passport photos, size 3×4, with a red background.  3 must be from the front and one of a half profile from the right (medio perfil derecho)
  • A photocopy of your certificado de antecendentes de FELCN
  • Photocopy of your rental or anticretito contract with your name on it.
  • Photocopy of the Cedula de Indentidad of the owner of the property
  • Documentation that proves he/she is the lawful owner of the house/department.  Usually known as Folio Real
  • Photocopy of the receipt of the latest electricity and gas payment in your name (or it can be in the name of the landlord if included in rent)
  • A yellow folder
  • A memorial to the Director Departmental de INTERPOL, specifying your full name, nationality, passport number, marital status, occupation, address in Bolivia, and the motive of your tramite (ie 1 year temporary residency).  This memorial does not need to be written by a lawyer
  • Receipt of a payment of 50BS to Banco Union to the account of CTA NRO 1404 1070

You will have to return in 5 working days to collect the certificate.

  1.  Registro Domicilario (residency registration).  FELCC, Calle Sucre, between Junin and Bolivar.

Bring the following with you.  The FELCC will arrange to inspect your home and provide a certificate within 10-15 days.

  • A Memorial to the Director of the FELCC asking for a residency registration and police background check
  • A photocopy of your passport, including Objeto determinado and latest entry stamp
  • A photocopy of your Certificado de antecedentes de INTERPOL
  • Photocopy of your rental or anticretito contract with your name on it.
  • Photocopy of the Cedula de Indentidad of the owner of the property
  • Photocopy of the Tarjeta de Propiedad, Folio Real, or the most recent payment of property tax.  Usually get these from your landlord.
  • Photocopy of the receipt of the latest electricity and gas payment and telephone (only if applicable) in your name (or it can be in the name of the landlord if it is included in your rent)
  • A photocopy of a neighbours C.I and ask them to be witness at time of inspection.  They should technically available during the inspection, although the FELCC will probably just ask for “taxi money” to overlook their absence.
  • A hand drawn map of the location of the residence.  Include any nearby landmarks.
  • Receipt of a payment of 15BS to Banco Union to the account of 1404 1070
  1.  Antecedentes de FELCC (FELCC background check) Avenida Landeatta, half a block uphill from Plaza Estudiente

Bring with you the following.  The process only takes 15 minutes but expect to wait in line about 2 hours.

  • A photocopy of your passport, including Objeto Determinado and the page with your latest entry stamp.
  • A photocopy of your certificado de antecedentes from INTERPOL
  • One passport photo, size 4×4 with a red background
  • A receipt for a payment of 25BS to Banco Union for the account number 1404 1070
  1.  INSO Health Check – Calle Claudio Sanjines, Miraflores, opposite Hospital Torax,  0800-1000)

This can be done at any time as there are no prerequisites.  You should fast after dinner the night before, so no food/drink etc. They will do a series of medical checks which takes about 3 hours.  Once you have finished you will be told to come back in 3 days or so to collect your results.  Bring the following:

  • A sample of your morning pee.  You can buy containers from almost any pharmacy.
  • 197 BS cash.
  • A photocopy of your passport.

Other Requirements:

If you have the money, the easiest method by far is to demonstrate economic solvency.

  • A notorised letter stating that you have economic solvency and the type of activity (ie volunteering, working) you will perform. This letter can be done by any good Notaria for 50BS
  • A copy of your bank statement showing you have sufficient funds to live in Bolivia. You need a minimum of $300 per month to prove solvency, but more is recommended to live comfortably in Bolivia.
  • Documentation supporting the activity you will perform (ie a letter or certificate from your employer)
  • A memorial written by a lawyer requesting a 1 year temp residency. Any lawyer can do this for 50BS
  • 4 passport photos, size 4×4 with a red background.
  • Once your application has been accepted you need to pay 1350BS via Banco Union to begin the process.

If you do not have sufficient funds you will need to acquire a work contract approved by the ministry of Labour.  This takes significant time and money.

Cedula de Extranjero:

Once you have obtained your one year temporary residency you must apply for a Cedula de Extranjero (an ID card).  You should make this application within 25 days of receiving your residency, otherwise fines will apply.  To make this application you should first get a digital copy of a passport style photograph with a white background.  You can get this taken and put onto a CD at almost any Bolivian photo studio for around 15 BS.  You should then do a pre-registration through the website navigating through SEGIP > Extranjeria > Solicitud de Cedula de Extranjero.  Once you have done that you need to go to the SEGIP office with a print out of your pre-registration, a photocopy of your passport including the one year residency sticker, the cover letter granting your residency and a receipt of payment of 480bs to SEGIP (contact them for the account number).  In La Paz, the SEGIP office that deals with foreigners is currently located on Calle Mexico a few blocks away from Plaza Estudiente.  If all your documentation is in order they will tell you to come back in one week to collect your cedula.


About Harry

Harry is a freelance writer based in South America who writes about travel among numerous other things.
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5 Responses to Visa Requirements

  1. Amber Daum says:

    I have an update for volunteers if they are interested. Post below if you’d like me to forward it onto you (its too big to copy and paste)


    • Hi Amber, yes that sounds very interesting thanks. You should be able to send it via the contact section.

      I’m currently in the process of renewing my residency visa which I will update on the site soon.


  2. Marga Jann says:

    Any info re the addresses of the appropriate agencies (for INTERPOL police check and medical test/certificate) in SUCRE? Thanks!


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