Visitors to Bolivia are normally granted a 30 day tourist entry (for visitors from many countries this is not actually a visa, just a stamp in your passport) upon entering the country. This can easily be extended up to 90 days for free while you are here in Sucre, and possibly up to 150 days at an extra cost.
Extending Your Tourist Stay to 60 or 90 days
The 30 day initial entry period can be extended for free by an additional 30 days, and then again for another 30 days (for a total of 90 days)
First, make 1 photocopy of each of the following:
- Passport photo page
- Passport page showing Bolivian entry stamp
- Bolivian tourist card (the form that was stamped and returned to you when you entered the country)
Next take these along with your original passport and tourist card to the Immigration office, which is located at 284 Calle Bustillos, 2 1/2 blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo (map).
Entering the office you’ll see about 5 desks to your left. Head to the first desk on your left. The attendant will check your documents, then hand them back to you along with a ticket number.
A TV screen on the back wall will display your ticket number and tell you which of the other desks to take your documents to. Head to that desk and hand over your documents again. The attendant at this desk will also examine your documents and, if all is well, stamp your passport and tourist card with a 30 day extension.
Things to note:
The extension adds 30 days to your existing tourist entry period. So after your first extension your Bolivian tourist entry will be valid for 60 days (from your original entry date). If you want to stay in Bolivia beyond 60 days, you must repeat the extension process above before those 60 days expire, to add another 30 days. Note that you can only apply for an extension when you have 5 days or less left on your current stay. Also be aware that 90 days is the maximum stay on any one tourist visa and in any calendar year.
If a tourist overstays a few days or weeks they will be required to pay a fine of 20bs per day at the border when they leave, something that is usually processed easily and quickly. If they overstay a few months however the officials may become suspicious and ban them from re-entering Bolivia.
Extending Your Bolivian Stay Beyond 90 Days
It looks like there is now a new option for tourists wanting to stay longer in Bolivia. There is now the option to extend the tourist visa two more times (again by 30 days each time), for a total of 150 days. Unlike the extensions to 60 and 90 days (total), the extension to 120 and 150 days (again, total) are not free. The two further extensions cost 210Bs each (US$30). They can be obtained by visiting the immigration office, with the following:
- A sworn declaration from a notary (formulario de declaracion jurada) – You can get this from any of Sucre’s many notary offices (look for buildings with a sign saying “notaria”). This is a letter which states that you wish to apply for an extension to your stay. It is a formal, legal letter which has a front cover, etc. The notary should know what has to go into the letter, and in our experience it will take a couple of hours for the notary to produce the letter. The notary letter will cost around 60Bs.
- Your passport – It must be valid for at least another 6 months and should show your most recent entry stamp or extension stamp
- Photocopies – of your passport photo page, tourist card and most recent entry / extension stamp. It is advisable to take two copies of each page.
- 210 bolivianos – You will be asked to take the fee to Banco Union at #74 Calle Audiencia (1/2 block from Plaza 25 de Mayo) to make the payment, and then need to return with the receipt.
Please note that these additional extensions have just been introduced, so their availability and application process. Many thanks to Harry at Gringo in Bolivia for bringing the extensions to our attention.