Bolivia Visa on Arrival: Get it For Free Without the Hassle

By Owen / July 4, 2017

Ah Bolivia.

Y u so troublesome?

Singaporeans, and other Group 2 countries that require a visa on arrival, need to pay a hefty USD $92 to USD $160 if applying for a visa at the land border and go through a lot of hassle if they do not have the required documents.

I’ve read horror stories about people running back and forth between the border and printing shops for their documents, holding up the entire bus, and almost getting left behind at the border.

Thankfully, there is a way to avoid all that and even get your visa for free:

Apply for your Bolivia visa at a consulate!

(This may or may not apply for everyone. The FREE part does not apply to North Americans.)​

I first heard about it from a fellow Singaporean who did it at Salta, Argentina. I was heading to San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina and after doing a little bit of Googling, I found out there is a consulate at Jujuy.

I believe most major cities close to Bolivia have a consulate, like Northern Argentina and Chile and Southern Peru. Maybe even in Asuncion, Paraguay.

The problem is, most of the embassy websites are not updated, especially for Jujuy. The address on every website I checked, and even the official Bolivian website, was wrong.

I went to the address (Independencia 1098) stated only to find this:

consulate old address

A shut-down building.

Even blogs of other traveller’s experience were written years ago at the old address.

(Side note: the bus terminal address at Jujuy is not updated on most websites too.)

Of all the search results, Google itself provided the updated address on Google Maps:

boliva-consulate-in-jujuy address
bolivia consulate jujuy

Address of Bolivia Consulate in Jujuy: Ramirez de Velazco 145

Look out for the colourful flags and note that the opening hours are: 07:00 to 13:00 hrs.

After waiting 2 days over the weekends, I went there on a Monday morning at 10:30am only to be told to return with these documents ready:

  • 1. Passport with 6 months’ validity
  • 2. Declaration form to be printed out from the website:
  • ​3. Economic solvency a.k.a bank statement
  • ​4. Typed out itinerary of my stay in Bolivia, or a hotel/hostel reservation, or a letter of invitation from a Bolivia citizen
  • ​5. Photocopy of yellow fever vaccination
  • ​6. A passport photo
  • 7. Only for North Americans: USD $160 (sorry guys)
  • 8. Proof of Onward Travel (It depends on which consulate you went to. I did not get asked for it, but my friend who applied at the consulate at Montevideo was asked for it)

Like most plan-as-you-go backpackers, I didn’t have everything ready. Carrying my heavy backpack, I rushed to my new hostel only to realize my laptop couldn’t connect to the hostel’s wifi.

The online process for the declaration form requires you to upload a scanned copy of your passport, itinerary, bank statement, and a letter of invitation from a Bolivian. Honestly, I doubt they actually check the online application. I uploaded the itinerary in place of the letter of invitation.

For the itinerary, simply Google a sample Bolivia itinerary and you’ll get lots of results. Or if you prefer, make a hostel reservation with free cancellation and simply print it out and cancel it later.

bolivia itinerary

my bolivia itinerary example

I had my yellow fever vaccination card ready from my trip to Brazil 3 years ago. If you don’t have one, I’m sorry I can’t help. Perhaps negotiate with the consulate.

All these were followed by a mad rush to find a printing shop.

Thankfully, the consulate was still open when I went back at 1:15pm and the person/officer/staff accepted my documents. The application takes 24 hours, though I read about people begging the consulate in desperate situations (like catching a bus later in the day).

I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather apply for my visa free in advance, than to have an anxiety attack for not having the documents ready at the border and still pay the hefty roughly USD $100 fees.

Oh and by the way, the visa in valid for 30 days from the day you enter the country and you have the option to extend it for 30 days, then another 30 days, at an immigration office in any major cities (La Paz, Santa Cruz, Sucre etc) in the country.

Update August 2017: Two Singaporeans crossed the San Pedro-Uyuni border together on a tour​. One followed this post and went through smoothly, the other paid USD $50 and handed over his passport to complete the immigration process 3 days later. Different prices at different border.

Insist to apply your visa at the consulate even if the they tell you it isn't necessary. Some of them are unsure of the requirement themselves. ​My friend insisted and saved USD $50.

Bolivia Visa for US Citizens

A huge number of readers are from the United States, and I am sorry to inform you visa upon arrival is NOT free for US Citizens. It costs USD $160 and lasts for 10 years and allows for multiple entries. Trust me, it's worth it. Just get it.

Getting Bolivia Visa at the Airpot

I understand that many of you might be flying into Bolivia and not be at a consulate before entering. Yes, you can get a visa on arrival at the airport, but it is not free - even for Group 2 countries. Prepare the above-mentioned documents and crisp USD notes.

Bolivia Embassies and Consulates at Nearby Countries

If you happen to be travelling multiple countries, it's best to get your visa at those countries before flying/crossing into Bolivia. There are Bolivian embassies/consulates in the following:

  • Cusco, Peru
  • Lima, Peru
  • Puno, Peru
  • check
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Salta, Argentina
  • Jujuy, Argentina
  • check
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Calama, Chile
  • check
    Bogota, Colombia
bolivia visa

It's black and white, and not even the real photo.

And now, it’s your turn.

Diana - January 17, 2018

Hi, you got the visa in Jujuy for free? I’ll be doing a trip too but will be from Peru instead as I will start in Colombia. So I suppose I still have to pay a hefty amount. Your blog is really helpful, thanks!

    Owen - January 22, 2018

    Hi Diana,

    Yes I got the visa for free. I believe it is free for most group 2 countries even at other countries, unless you’re an American or Canadian citizen. I know people who got it for free at Peru (Cusco/Puno).

chan - June 30, 2018

May i know the address for the consulate in Cusco?

Yuru - July 3, 2018


Can I ask if your visa is valid for 30 days from the day you got it from the embassy or once you go into bolivia? I am just concerned that if I get it too early at the start of my peru trip it becomes invalid halfway through the bolivia trip. Thanks!

    Owen - July 4, 2018

    Hi Yuru, it is valid from the day you enter Bolivia. Anyway, you can extend it for free at an immigration office in La Paz/Sucre up to 90 days.

      Yuru - July 4, 2018

      Oh yay that’s great thanks for replying so fast!

Kristine Chen - July 18, 2018

I have a problem uploading my photo as required. Can you please advise? Also, can you recommend a trip to Machu Picchu please?

    Owen - July 18, 2018

    Hi Kristine,

    If I remember correctly, I did not manage to upload my photo too. The consulate I went to was quite lax. Just bring your passport photo along – it’s more important.

    What do you mean recommend a trip to Machu Picchu? Are you talking about a tour agency? Personally, I went with the cheapest option for the Salkantay Trek – just shop around Cusco. They lump all the cheap tour groups together so it doesn’t really matter. If you mean the train, then I have no experience in that.

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