Getting a Brazilian Visa in La Paz

The main reason we came to La Paz was to get our Brazilian visas, a pre-requisite for Canadians travelling to Brazil.  We’re taking our transatlantic cruise from Sao Paola in March, so we needed to make sure we secured our visas in advance.  We anticipated needing a week in La Paz to allow for the visa application to get processed.  There was limited information on line about the process so we didn’t know quite what to expect.

When we arrived in La Paz late Thursday afternoon, we immediately got our paperwork in order for our visa applications and found a place to print and make the necessary copies.  These types of services are provided on every corner of every South American city and town we’ve been in and La Paz was no exception.  There is a significant amount of paperwork required when applying for the tourist visa, including a copy of your airline tickets to show you are intending to leave Brazil (our cruise receipt sufficed), copies of 3 months of bank statements to demonstrate you have sufficient money to visit Brazil, a passport quality photograph (we got these in Canada before we left), a copy of your Yellow Fever vaccination record, and of course, the completed application form and your original passport. The Embassy of Brazil in La Paz website ( explains very clearly everything you need for your application.

With our paper work in order, we arrived at the Brazilian Embassy at 9:00 on Friday morning – customers # 0 and 1 in the queue.  We were the first to arrive and the last to leave that morning.  We were told to complete an on line form instead of the paper form on the computer they provided. No problem, it was identical to the paper form we had downloaded and completed by hand so we had all the necessary information at our fingertips (things like where you plan to stay in Brazil, your employer address and phone number, etc.)

We were then asked to wait until an Embassy official could speak to us.  Within a half hour, a very pleasant man named Clovis came out to talk to us, thankfully in English.  He had some questions about our paperwork and was satisfied with our answers.  He asked us when we needed our visas and I said we were in La Paz until they were ready, so hopefully by Monday or Tuesday.  He said he would try to process them that very morning, but first we had to pay the application fee – $65 US each – at the Bank of Brazil which was about 10 blocks away.  He was such an amiable fellow, apologizing to us for such an inconvenience.  We didn’t mind – we had the time, and he was going to process our visas today – so all was good.

We grabbed a cab to the bank, paid the bill in Bolivianos as we did not have enough American dollars and the bank machines did not dispense them either.  The bank was very accommodating – money is money.

Back to the Embassy where we were asked to wait again.  Clovis came back out after about a half hour and suggested we go for a walk and come back at 12:30, before the office closed at 12:45.  We went for lunch and returned just before the office closed.  At 1:00 pm, Clovis came out with our passports in hand – complete with our Brazilian visas in place.  Now, how easy was that!

Category: Bolivia, South America
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