Migration Assistance

Helping travelers navigate visas, entry requirements, and other migration matters


on: 23/05/21

by: Lisa Gembrini, Staff

Bolivian migration control headquarters

Migration Assistance from AndesTransit

When you decide to embark on an international trip to Latin America, there are many decisions to make. From choosing the destination to getting the best price on transportation within the country, there are many elements that you as a tourist must consider before taking a trip to South America.

One of the most important elements when traveling is the immigration requirements of your destination. Each country you visit has particular requirements, from proof of departure from the destination you are visiting to having a tourist visa. Here are some of these requirements, which you should take into account while planning your trip.

Immigration Documents for Tourists and Travelers in South America

Upon arrival in the country of destination, immigration agents will ask you for the corresponding documentation that proves your identity, such as your passport, which must have an expiration date that is at least six months beyond your arrival to the country.

If you are traveling with a passport from any European or North American country, the passport may not be enough. The country you are visiting may also require you to have a visa issued by their embassy or consulate in order to be let into the country. In some countries, this procedure can be processed upon arrival, but other countries require you to get the visa in your hand before you arrive to their country.

In addition to a passport and maybe a visa, the immigration process to enter South America may include additional documents, which we will review below.

Special travel with minors or pets

If you are traveling to Latin America from Europe or North America and wish to bring your children or pets, they also will require special documentation and permits both to leave your country of origin and to enter the destination.

To travel with minors in Latin America, you will need to present a certification from both parents or legal guardians authorizing the child's departure from the country. In addition, if you would like to travel with your pet to countries within South America, you must present a certificate of authorization from a veterinarian, who will determine if the animal is fit to travel. If you need assistance to learn about the required papers and the process according to the country to which you are traveling, AndesTransit offers advice and counseling through the BusClub program.

Proof of outbound (or onward) travel in Latin America

Another of the most requested documents when entering a country will be some form of legitimate proof of exactly when and how you are departing the country. The country wants to make sure you are not going to stay beyond their limits for hosting you as a guest in their country.

A valid proof of departure is a ticket or reservation that shows your intended departure date and form of transportation leaving the country before the time limit expires of your allowance to be inside the country.

With your proof of outbound travel, you will be certifying that you will travel through cities and routes within a country for a certain period of time and that upon completion of that allowed time you intend to leave the country. If your trip starts from countries such as the United States or European countries, proof of departure is mandatory for travel to South America. In some cases, airline agents will not allow you to board the plane if you do not have an onward ticket (proof of departure).

Showing your proof of departure to your immigration agent helps you obtain your entry permit. It demonstrates that your stay at the destination is transitory and that you will be moving on to another country. In this way, you will be certifying your temporary stay in the country for tourism purposes.

However, the departure ticket does not necessarily have to indicate you are returning to your home country or even just returning to the country you were in prior to arrival. It is fine if the outbound reservation indicates you are departing to go to a completely different country. Our clients traveling in South America often purchase bus tickets or private shuttles to go from one country to another, for example, from the city of Ipiales (Colombia) to Quito (Ecuador), or from the Chilean capital Santiago de Chile to the Argentinian vineyards located in Mendoza; or around Lake Titicaca originating from Puno, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia. For this and other border crossings, we recommend that you check out our different routes in South America.

AndesTransit offers hundreds of routes between multiple countries and cities in Latin America, and we want to help you know the entry and exit requirements so you don't have any surprises along the way. Count on our BusClub service to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your trip.

Tourist visas and other available types of visas

As previously mentioned, you must present the corresponding documentation upon entering the destination country, which certifies both your identity and why you are making this trip. Among them is a visa, which is an authorization granted by a country that allows you to enter and stay in that country for a certain amount of time.

Not all destinations require a visa for their visitors to enter the country, and this will depend on the country you are coming from, as well as your purposes during the trip (i.e., if you are only looking to travel for tourism or your stay in the country is for academic purposes). If you are entering for tourism purposes, you only need to apply for a tourist visa, and the length of stay is usually between 90 to 180 days.

If you wish to travel for tourism in Bolivia, you can take our route from the city of Puno (Peru) to the Bolivarian city of La Paz. This country allows you a visa-free stay of up to 90 days if you are a South American citizen, and 30 days for countries in Southeast Asia and the African continent. However, countries such as the United States and Israel, among others, must previously request a tourist visa to access the country and this will enable them to stay up to 30 days.

If your plan is to stay longer in a Latin American country, you can apply for student or business tourism visas, focused on those seeking access to academic offers in other countries or needing prolonged stays to conduct business activity. Ecuador grants student visas valid for up to 2 years to those who meet its requirements and pay the application fee. Work visas can also be requested, but these have more specific requirements than the previous ones, such as having a permanent or long-term contract with a company within the country.

In destinations within Central America, a visa is only required if you plan to extend your visit for more than 90 days. To find out what particular requirements are needed or what other visas are required in South America, you can get a free consultation to start your process of authorization to reside in a country.

BusClub, the solution to unforeseen events

AndesTransit offers a useful and versatile tool for travelers passing through Latin America. BusClub is a program focused on solving any inconvenience that may arise along the way. Every aspect of the service was designed by people who have needed assistance at some time and know the stress of not having an immediate solution, so they seek to help other travelers so they do not suffer going through the same bureaucratic maze.

From the documentation required at immigration to knowing which countries require yellow fever vaccination, AndesTransit seeks to make your trip more pleasant and worry-free. Among the many benefits of BusClub you can receive are reports written by experts just for you, discounts on private transportation, and direct communication via WhatsApp and Email with a team of experts ready to help you at any time during your trip.

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