Volunteering Visa Guide to Backpacking in South America

Volunteering Visa Guide to Backpacking in South America

Volunteering Visa Guide to Backpacking in South America

Volunteering Visa Guide to Backpacking in South America
Photo by Nikita Andreev on Unsplash

The volunteering visa guide is for Backpackers, WWOOFers, Volunteers and our HelpStay community. It’s a guide to the correct entry requirements when travelling and volunteering in South America. All advice pertains specifically to travelling as a tourist.

Volunteer helpers enter a country as a tourist. Please keep in mind that HelpStaying is NOT paid work or paid volunteering. You share your skills and time in exchange for a place to sleep and eat. No money is exchanged or is this a job. HelpStay is purely a shared hospitality arrangement and HelpStay members are guests of their hosts.

Where a position is paid, then the correct working or volunteering visa should be acquired. In this case, please always seek advice from the relative country’s embassy before making any travel arrangements.

Although not mandatory, we strongly advise that you take out adequate travel insurance cover when volunteering and travelling in South America.

We researched the following information online using the most up to date information on Embassy websites that we could find, as well as Wikipedia and other travel forum advice. We can’t guarantee that this info is 100% accurate as Visa requirements/laws are changing all the time and also depend on the individual and the individual Immigration Official. We encourage you to do your own research and speak to the relevant embassy if in doubt. If you do come across something in this document that is not up to date or incorrect, please contact us.

Volunteering Visa Guide to South America Countries A-Z

The South American countries covered in this guide are:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Argentina

Volunteering Visa information for Argentina
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (*), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Chile, China (+); Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong (With Passport R.A.E.H.K.), Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Suriname; Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine; United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican city.

Up to 60 days stay

Venezuela.

Up to 30 days stay

Grenada, Hong Kong (With British Passport B.N.O.), Jamaica, Republic of Kazakhstan and Malaysia.

Country NOT listed

If your country IS NOT listed above please see how to apply here.

(*) Canadian citizens should pay a reciprocity fee when travelling for tourism or business purposes.(in both cases, it will apply provided that the trip does not require a visa).

(+) Chinese citizens with an American visa B2 or a valid and valid Schengen (only!) will require an electronic travel authorization (AVE) when travelling to Argentina as tourists and for a period of up to 90 days. To obtain the AVE please visit the following website.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Bolivia

Volunteering Visa information for Bolivia
Photo by Sahitya Kakarla on Unsplash

Yellow Fever vaccination is required if visiting an endemic area.

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain,Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Vatican City,Venezuela.

Countries that DO require a visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 30 days stay

Albania, Algeria, Antigua And Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi ,Cameroon Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros ,Commonwealth of Dominica, Cyprus, China(*), Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador ,Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Granada, Guatemala,Guinea, Guinea-bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Islamic Republic of Iran(#), Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati,Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Maldives, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic Of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts And Nevis, Saint Vincent And The Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Santa Lucia, Sao Tome And Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand , Togo, Tonga, Trinidad And Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic Of Tanzania, United States (*),Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

*Nationals of the United States must hold a hotel reservation or letter of invitation along with sufficient funds and US$160 in cash in order to obtain a visa on arrival. The fee of US$160 is also applicable even if the visa is obtained in advance at a Bolivian embassy or consulate. Visas issued to U.S. passport holders are valid for ten years and allow multiple entries.

*Nationals of China (including Macau and Hong Kong) and Taiwan can obtain a visa on arrival for 90 days. The fee of US$30 also applies when the visa is obtained in advance.

#Nationals of Iran can obtain a visa on arrival for 30 days only at Cochabamba, La Paz and Santa Cruz airports. The fee of US$30 is also applicable even if the visa is obtained in advance at a Bolivian embassy or consulate.

Countries that DO require a Consular Tourist visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 30 days stay

To enter Bolivia in any capacity, the citizens of the countries below require a Visa with prior approval from the Directorate General of Immigration of Bolivia.

  • The Cost of a Consular Tourist Visa is $30.00
  • Processing time of 3 – 5 weeks
  • Visa must be obtained before travelling at any Consulate

Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Cambodia, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of The Congo, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Laos, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Timor Leste, Yemen.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Brazil

Volunteering Visa Information for Brazil
Photo by Jaime Spaniol on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union Citizens, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Namibia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vatican City.

Up to 60 days stay

Venezuela.

Up to 30 days stay

Singapore.

Nationals of Spain are specifically required to hold proof of sufficient funds of at least R$170 per day, proof of confirmed hotel accommodation (paid or guaranteed by credit card) or a notary certified invitation letter from a resident of Brazil, and documents required for their next destination.

Country NOT listed

Passengers from countries NOT on the above list must apply for a tourist visa at the Brazilian consulate in their home country.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Chile

Volunteering Visa Information for Chile
Photo by Pablo Garcia Saldaña on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union citizens, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Up to 60 days stay

Indonesia, Peru.

Up to 30 days stay

Macau, Malaysia, Singapore.

Citizens of Australia can visit Chile without a visa for up to 90 days. However, if they enter through Santiago International Airport, they must pay a “reciprocity fee” of $117.

Citizens of China can apply for a no-fee tourist or business visa, or visit Chile without a visa for up to 90 days, if they are also in possession of any types of entry visa (excluding transit visas) issued by Canada or the United States with a validity of more than six months.

Visa Required

Consulted visa process (We understand this means that you need a visa from a Chilean consulate either in your home country or elsewhere) is not required for citizens of Belarus, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Kiribati, Laos, Maldives, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Country NOT listed

Passengers from countries NOT on the above list must apply for a tourist visa at the Chilean consulate in their home country.

Volunteering Visa Information for Colombia

Volunteering Visa Information for Colombia
Photo by Julian Andres Carmona Serrato on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All EU citizens, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Colombia also requires citizens of Cuba and holders of passports issued by Palestine to apply for a transit visa before transiting through the country.

Visitors over the age of 6 arriving at San Andrés and Leticia must purchase tourist cards on arrival at a cost of 52,800 pesos and 21,000 pesos.

Country NOT listed

Passengers from countries NOT on the above list must apply for a tourist visa at the Colombian consulate in their home country.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Ecuador

Volunteering Visa Information for Ecuador
Photo by Roi Dimor on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

Lenient visa policies – most visitors are not obliged to obtain a visa for stays up to 90 days.

Up to 180 days stay

Perú, Venezuela.

Tourist Visa Required

Nationals of the following 13 countries require a visa for Ecuador – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal,Somalia.

Passengers from countries on the above list MUST apply for a tourist visa at the Ecuadorian consulate in their home country.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Guyana

Volunteering Visa Information for Guyana

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 180 days stay

Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

Up to 90 days stay

Argentina,Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montserrat, The Netherlands, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Up to 60 days stay

Malaysia, Swaziland.

Up to 30 days stay

Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, South Korea.

Country NOT listed

If your country is NOT on the above list, visitors to Guyana must obtain a visa. Please see how to apply here.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Paraguay

Volunteering Visa Information for Paraguay
Photo by Kyle Peyton on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union Citizens, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Up to 30 days stay

South Korea.

Fees

Citizens of the following countries may be granted a 90-day visa on arrival if arriving at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport only (unless otherwise noted). They must pay a reciprocity fee when entering Paraguay. The fee varies according to nationality. Otherwise, the visa must be obtained prior to arrival.

  • Australia (US$135)
  • Canada US$150)
  • New Zealand (US$140)
  • United States (US$160)

Country NOT listed

If your country is NOT on the above list, visitors to Paraguay must obtain a visa. Please see how to apply here.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Peru

Volunteering Visa Information for Peru
Photo by Babak Fakhamzadeh on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union citizens, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Vatican CIty, Venezuela.

Nationals of China and India who hold a visa with a remaining validity of more than 6 months or a permanent residence permit issued by Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States or a Schengen member state are visa exempt for a maximum of 180 days during a six-month period.

Country NOT listed

If your country is NOT on the above list, visitors to Peru must obtain a visa. Please see how to apply here.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Suriname

Volunteering Visa Information for Suriname
Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Montserrat,Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,Trinidad and Tobago.

Up to 30 days stay

Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea.

Tourist card required

The countries in this list are granted a visa (tourist card) on arrival at Amsterdam Schipol Airport for €30 or at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport or any Surinamese Consulate abroad for €35.

Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Country NOT listed

If your country is NOT on the above list, visitors to Suriname must obtain a visa. Please see how to apply here.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Uruguay

Volunteering Visa Information for Uruguay
Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union citizens, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macau, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States, Venezuela.

Up to 30 days stay

Malaysia, South Korea.

Country NOT listed

If your country is NOT on the above list, visitors to Uruguay must obtain a visa. Please see how to apply here.

Volunteering Visa Guide Information for Venezuela

Volunteering Visa Information for Venezuela
Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

Countries that do NOT require an entry visa when travelling as a tourist

Up to 90 days stay

All European Union citizens including Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, Granada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay.

Up to 15 days stay

Iran

Country NOT listed

All other countries require a visa, to be obtained in advance of any journey and to be applied for at the Venezuelan consulate in your relevant country. For more information please see here.

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