BOLIVIA - Major Changes to Immigration Processes
Effective January 2015, the Bolivian General Immigration Department (DIGEMIG) has implemented major changes to immigration and work authorisation procedures.
There are now three standard immigration routes which allow for work in Bolivia: A short-term consular visa, a short-term post-arrival work authorisation and a post-arrival three-year temporary residence route.
There are still separate routes for Argentinians and MERCOSUR nationals.
The short-term visa (visa de objeto determinado), valid for 30 days, can now only be obtained at a Bolivian consulate abroad. It was previously also available post arrival in Bolivia.
If a short-term visa holder needs to extend their stay they can apply for the new short term authorisation (permanencia transitoria, see below), whereas before they could extend their visa.
A letter of invitation legalised in Bolivia is now required in support of an application for this visa.
The new short-term authorisation (“permanencia transitoria”) replaces the old post-arrival short-term visa.
Short-term authorisation can be obtained after entering Bolivia as a tourist, or on a short-term visa (visa objeto determinado). The short-term authorisation can also give also access to temporary residence in Bolivia.
Temporary residence, (permanencia temporal, previously visa de residencia temporal) can now also be obtained after entering Bolivia as a tourist, and not only for those who have entered on a short-term visa, as previously.
If applying for temporary residence while on tourist status, it will be necessary to apply for change of status from tourist to resident.
DIGEMIG has posted details of the new procedures and requirements, but has not as yet released any official legislation concerning these changes. The situation is likely to remain uncertain until the new requirements are fully implemented, and further major changes may be expected.
- Note that assignees may now apply to change status in Bolivia and so may travel as a tourist and then obtain short-term authorisation or temporary residence post arrival.
- Expect further developments as these changes are implemented.