Visas and Work Permits 8 min

Work permits and visas in the Bolivia: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
Sally Flaxman

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Hiring remote employees in Bolivia and relocating employees to the country requires employers to ensure they are legally entitled to operate their business there and that employees have all the required visas and work permits to live and work compliantly. 

As you think about relocating employees to Bolivia, you should consider what is required to do so compliantly. Firstly, companies will need to establish a local legal entity in the country, which can take significant time and expense and requires an understanding of local tax and labor laws. Alternatively, you can hire an employer of record (EOR), like Remote, to hire employees in Bolivia through our local entity. 

In addition to the above requirements for employers, employees must prove their right to live and make money in Bolivia. This guide is an introduction to Bolivian work visa requirements and will educate employers on staying compliant in the following situations:

  • Hiring non-Bolivian citizens living in Bolivia

  • Hiring workers living in Bolivia without establishing a local entity

  • Assessing the ability of digital nomads to work in Bolivia

  • Helping existing employees relocate to Bolivia

The importance of immigration compliance in Bolivia

Employers open themselves up to significant financial and legal risk without ensuring tax and labor compliance when hiring in Bolivia. To compliantly hire employees in Bolivia, employers must ensure they have the proper right-to-work entitlements. 

In addition to the employee being able to prove they are legally allowed to work in a foreign country, the employer must also be able to show their ability to hire employees in that country. If you plan to hire employees living in Bolivia, you must establish a local entity or partner with an EOR, like Remote, which can hire the employee on your behalf. 

If an employee is found to have worked in Bolivia without the proper right-to-work entitlements, both the employee and employer can be held legally and financially responsible. 

Although many workers assume they're legally allowed to work on a tourist visa due to the rising digital nomad trend, this is not the case in most countries. Furthermore, because so many people have begun working remotely abroad, more countries are enforcing visa legislation and ensuring people have obtained all necessary right-to-work permits. 

Which workers need a right-to-work check in Bolivia?

Any employee relocating to Bolivia must possess the necessary visas that entitle them to live in Bolivia for a specific duration. In addition, employees will need to obtain any mandatory Bolivia work permits. 

Although it is the employee's responsibility to apply for the necessary visas, the employer will be expected to conduct right-to-work checks on the employee to ensure they can officially work in the country. 

Not all employers with international hiring experience are familiar with right-to-work checks because most countries do not require this for citizens. Because of this, if you've hired remote employees living in their country of origin, you may not have conducted a right-to-work assessment. 

However, right-to-work evaluations are a necessity whenever relocating employees to foreign countries. Non-citizens will need to obtain Bolivian work visas in the following situations:

  • Permanent Residents: Employees who meet all Bolivia work visa requirements and hold work permits in the country can sometimes live there indefinitely.

  • Temporary Residents: There are several types of short-term visas in Bolivia, but employers must also check that employees have filed for relevant work permits.  

  • Work Permit Holders: The ability and timeline to obtain work permits in Bolivia depend on the employee's country of origin and other eligibility factors. 

Because having the right to work in Bolivia is essential for remote employees, employers must always check an employee's status before assigning work and paying the individual there. 

Remote can help employers quickly and compliantly hire employees in Bolivia. To relocate a team member to Bolivia, contact Remote’s mobility experts to see how our team can you with the employee relocation process.

Get your Remote Relocation Guide

Learn how to simplify your planned relocation with this walkthrough guide. We outline the key steps for you and your employer to enable a compliant, efficient, and hassle-free move.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Bolivia?

Any individual not from the country who plan to work will be expected to prove their entitlement to work while living there with a valid government-issued work permit. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Bolivia?

Employees who plan to live and work in Bolivia must apply for a special-purpose visa. 

Eligibility requirements for employees applying for this visa include the following:

  • A completed application form

  • A valid passport that is at least six months away from its expiration date with a minimum of two blank pages

  • Proof that they can afford to stay in Bolivia (e.g., bank statements)

  • A letter stating why they wish to receive the visa, how they plan to make money, and what their plans are during their stay in Bolivia

  • A copy of their return flight indicating their length of stay in Bolivia

  • Proof that they have a clean criminal record

  • A copy of an employment agreement from a valid employer in Bolivia

What are the long-stay visa types in Bolivia?

Unlike many other countries, staying in Bolivia long-term is relatively easy if an employee is eligible. While some countries require individuals to live in the country for upwards of ten years before being able to establish permanent residency, Bolivia grants permanent visas to foreign nationals after only two years. 

Employees who plan to stay in Bolivia for more than 30 days can apply for one of the following types of long-stay visas:

  • The special purpose visa entitles employees to stay in Bolivia for a period of up to 180 days.

  • The temporary resident visa can be issued for varying periods. Employees can apply for a one-year temporary resident visa or a two-year temporary resident visa. Both of these visas entitle individuals to work.

  • The permanent visa is available for employees who plan to live in Bolivia indefinitely. To be eligible for this visa, an employee living in Bolivia will need to prove they've been continuously living in the country for at least two years

How do you get a work visa for Bolivia?

To get a work visa in Bolivia, employees must provide a Bolivian embassy with the following documentation:

  • A valid passport that is at least six months away from its expiration date with a minimum of two blank pages

  • A completed work visa application

  • Proof that they have accommodations while staying in Bolivia (a hotel is acceptable)

  • A copy of their return flight indicating their length of stay in Bolivia

  • Proof that they have received a yellow fever vaccination

  • Proof that they can afford to stay in Bolivia (e.g., bank statements)

  • A valid passport-sized photo 

It can take up to five weeks for a work visa application to be processed. So, employees need to ensure all required documents are included with the application the first time. 

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Bolivia?

To be eligible to apply for a working visa in Bolivia, employees must prove that an employer based in Bolivia has offered them a job. For this invitation to be valid, you must either have a legal entity in Bolivia or partner with an EOR like Remote. 

Establishing a local entity can take a long time and be complicated and expensive. So, unless you're planning to hire dozens of employees in Bolivia over a long period, partnering with an EOR may be a better option. 

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Bolivia?

Although Bolivia does not have a designated digital nomad visa, employees can apply for the special purpose visa if they want to live and work in Bolivia for 30 days or more. 

How Remote makes compliance in Bolivia so much easier

Employers face significant risk when hiring international employees and relocating existing employees to foreign countries. 

Before relocating employees to Bolivia, they’ll have to:

  • Meet requirements for international immigration and visas

  • Navigate international taxation across countries

  • Avoid permanent establishment risks

  • Remain compliant with international employment laws

Relocating employees to any country can be a stressful and time-consuming process for employers and employees alike. Remote is available to assist businesses with all aspects of international employment, including running international payroll, managing employee benefits, assisting with employee visas, and more.

For more information on relocating employees to Bolivia and other foreign countries, download Remote's Employee Relocation Guide. This expert resource provides insights into the specific steps employers can take to ensure the relocation process goes as smoothly as possible. You can also contact our Mobility team if you’d like to learn about our employee relocation services.

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