Essential Employment Paperwork in Bolivia



One important reminder for expats planning to work in Bolivia to avoid seeking for a job under a tourist visa since it will be quite complicated to apply for residency or change migratory status one in the country. Foreign nationals should apply for the correct visa and obtain the necessary permit to ensure smooth employment process in Bolivia.

There is no such thing is a work visa for Bolivia. Foreign nationals who wish to work or live in this country should apply for a visa de objeto determinado or specific purpose visa which is valid for 30 days and can be extended for up to 90 days. The request to extend the specific purpose visa can be made at the Immigration Office at the cost of approximately USD 85. Some of the documents required when applying this visa are:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Medical certificate including official result of HIV testing
  • Documents certifying the purpose of going to Bolivia such as a contract of employment

Temporary Residency and Work Permit

After getting a specific purpose visa, the next step that an expat must do is to obtain a temporary residence permit. The processing of a Temporary Residence Visa is handled by the Immigration Department of Bolivia and takes about 15 working days. Once the visa is issued, a work permit or what they call Permiso de Trabajo from the Bolivian government is required. The work permit shall be processed at the Ministry of Labour once residency in Bolivia has been approved. Expats should ensure to present relevant documents such as:

  • Valid Passport with Special Purpose Visa
  • Application form for Temporary Residence or Work Permit
  • Written request submitted to Sub-Secretary of Migration requesting temporary stay
  • Work contract indicating duration of stay in the country (Note: must be legalized by the Ministry of Labor in Bolivia)
  • Work certificate from the company or organization
  • Criminal Record Certificate
  • Proof of Permanent Address
  • Certificate of analysis ELISA

These two permits are renewable and have a validity period that ranges from one up to two years, depending on the expatriate’s length of work or contract. The application process must be done personally and must begin by presenting all the documents mentioned above. Foreign assignees who will apply for the one year permit must pay around USD 285 while those who need the two-year permit need to pay around USD 380.