I'm Indian and looking to travel by road/train to Sao Paulo from Peru to catch my flight to India. I have working visa in Peru (CE card). Will the borders allow entry or advance visa in required for both borders (Bolivia and Brazil) for me?
Bolivian Visa for Indian Citizens
As an Indian citizen you need a visa to Enter Bolivia. When you arrive by plane to La Paz you can get a visa on arrival for a fee (~100
USD at the time of writing). Quoting from the linked website:
National India (IN) /Destination Bolivia (BO)
Visa required, except for Nationals of India can obtain a visa on arrival for a max. stay of 90 days if holding 1 photo (4x4 cm) not wearing glasses (photo booth available on arrival).
Fee: varies, approximately USD 100.-
Since you are entering by land, you'll have to secure a visa before travelling. Luckily the procedure seems to be seamlessly easy and free:
We called the consulate in Cusco and were told to bring along the following documents:
- Passport + 1 copy of the front and back
- 1 Passport size photograph
- An itinerary for travel within Bolivia (basically a word document that I wrote about when and where we are planning to go)
- A copy of a credit card
- Hotel reservations for the first point of stay in Bolivia (only for the first place we would be visiting)
Excellent! So armed with all these documents, we headed to the consulate in Cusco. We took a 4 sole (~ USD 1.5) taxi ride to the consulate. The lady at the reception was really nice and asked me to fill out some forms while she went inside with my passport. I wasn’t done filling the forms by the time she got back, but the visa was already stamped in my passport!
How nice! The visa for Bolivia is free for Indian citizens and I got a 30 day visa in less than 5 minutes! Excellent! Can’t wait to see the Salar de Uyuni! Bolivia, HERE WE COME! :)
Brazilian Visa for Indian Citizens
Indian citizens require a visa to enter Brazil, and this visa must be obtained prior to travelling (i.e. to date there is no visa on arrival available). You can request a visa online here. Here is a useful blog post detailing the procedure to follow. Below is a quote from the website:
The online visa request form has a list of what you’ll need to obtain a visa. However, when I went to the Brazil Embassy in Lima they handed me an additional piece of paper that stipulated what they require.
The exact list of what the Embassy of Brazil in Lima requires for a tourist visa: passport valid for at least six months from your intended arrival in Brazil, visa application form with recent passport-sized photo attached to the middle of the form, copy of round-trip ticket or copy of travel itinerary, copy and original of your credit card.
Oh, and the $140 USD to pay for the actual visa.
And, just to make things tricky, the final item on the Embassy’s list of requirements for obtaining a tourist visa: “Other documents, as demanded by the Consular Officer.”
Luckily, when I went in late 2011 to get my visa, I was not asked for any other forms. But here are a few tips to make sure the process runs smoothly: your passport photo needs to be taken on a white background and you should have a neutral expression on your face; you only need the front part of your credit card photocopied (although I brought the back part with me on a separate copy just in case they asked); you don’t need a copy of your passport (they take the original); if you have roundtrip plane tickets you do not need an itinerary.
Handing in Your Papers
The Brazil Embassy in Lima is open to process visa requests from 8am-12pm Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). You do not need an appointment to visit, but the earlier you get there the better. The building is located on Avenida Jose Parado 850 in Miraflores. For travelers who have spent at least a day in Lima, the easiest way to find the Embassy is to start at the tip of Parque Kennedy where the McDonalds is (trust me, you can’t miss it) and head down the main street Jose Parado toward the ocean. The Embassy is located about 7 blocks down the street on the right-hand side, soon after you pass the main street Comandante Espinar.
Simply walk in the front door of the Embassy, tell the guard you want a tourist visa, sign in with your name and passport information, and allow yourself to be shuffled through a musical chair-esque rotation to the main office window.
After handing in all your documents, you’ll be given a little slip of paper and told to pay your $140 fee (or other amount stipulated by your nationality) at the bank.
Paying the Fee
Just in case you didn’t enjoy your walk down Jose Parado the first time, you get to walk back up the street to the HSBC bank to pay your visa fee. The process is pretty simple—except when the consulate gives you the wrong amount to pay. Like they did with me. Which would then require two trips to the bank rather than one. So take it from me: If you are American, you MUST pay $140. There are no exceptions, and if you’re told differently or given a different amount to pay, just point out your passport again and insist.
The bank is located on Jose Pardo 269, back up the street toward where you originally started. It will be on the right-hand side of the street next to a delicious-smelling barbeque restaurant. Simply wait until an attendant is available, hand over the slip of paper you were given along with the required amount of cash in US dollars and show a photo ID. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish; this bank sees a lot of visa payment forms and knows what to do.
In return, you’ll be given a receipt. Return to the Embassy and wait in line again to turn in the proof of payment. If you’ve paid the proper amount, you’ll get a piece of paper with the date you can return to pick up your passport (which they hold on to) and your brand new Brazil tourist visa. Allow at least five business days for processing.