If you’re planning to move to Central or South America you are likely to need a visa depending on your nationality. For many expats in order to get a visa, or even to simply enter some countries, you will have to fulfill some health requirements.
Bolivia and Panama
Everyone, visitors or expats, coming from a yellow fever infected region, must provide an International Certificate of Vaccination, which states that you are immunised against yellow fever. If you need a student visa (visa de estudiante) or a work visa you will have to present a medical certificate (certificado médico), which has to include an HIV test and state that you are free from other infectious diseases.
If you plan to visit or move to Easter Island, a territory of Chile, you will have to provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate. For the Chilean mainland it is not necessary. A health certificate is only required when applying for a temporary residence visa (visa residente temporal), a student visa or a work visa. The certificate should confirm you are in general good health and have no communicable diseases.
To enter the country you must present a vaccination certificate ensuring that you are immunised against yellow fever. If you apply for an immigrant or residence visa or you want to extend your stay beyond 90 days you will have to provide a health certificate.
Many other countries in Central and South America have a high risk of yellow fever transmission. Some of them require a yellow fever vaccination when coming from a yellow fever infected area. The World Health Organisation lists all countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission.
For the following countries you need to present a vaccination certificate in order to get a visa, or to enter the country if no visa is required:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
No health requirements
The following countries don’t require any health certificates or vaccinations:
- Dominican Republic
However, please check on the WHO website whether a yellow fever vaccination or other immunisations are recommended.
If you have any doubts please contact the embassy of the country you are moving to and check the current requirements since they are subject to change. More information on general visa requirements can be found in the respective country guide on the Just Landed website.