Entry is by passport and visa, or by passport and tourist card. Tourist cards (tarjetas de ingreso) are issued by airlines to visitors from all EU and other Western European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and most South and Central American and Caribbean countries. To check if you need a visa, see http://www.mre.gov.ve. Valid for 90 days, tourist cards cannot be extended. At some overland border crossings (including San Antonio) visitors are given only 30 days. Overstaying your tourist card may lead to arrest and a fine when you try to depart. For a tourist visa, you need 2 passport photos, passport valid for 6 months, references from bank and employer, onward or return ticket and a completed and signed application form. The fee is US$30. For a 90-day extension go to the Ministerio del Poder Popular para las Relaciones Interiores y Justicia, ONIDEX, Av Baralt on Plaza Miranda in Caracas, T0800-664 3390 or 0212-483 2070, http://www.onidex.gov.ve; office at Plaza Caracas, Torre Norte (Centro CB), mezzanine, Mon-Fri 0700-1230 (Fri 0800), take passport, tourist visa, photographs and return ticket; passport with extension returned at end of day. ONIDEX offices in many cities do not offer extensions. Transit visas, valid for 72 hrs are also available, mostly the same requirements and cost (inward and onward tickets needed). ONIDEX in Caracas will not exchange a transit for a tourist visa. In Manaus you also need a yellow fever inoculation certificate. Consuls may give a 1-year visa if a valid reason can be given. To change a tourist visa to a business visa, to obtain or to extend the latter, costs US$60.
Work visas also cost US$60 and require authorization from the Dirección General Sectorial de Identificación y Control de Extranjeros in Caracas. Student visas need a letter of acceptance from the Venezuelan institution, references from bank and university, signed application form, 2 passport photos, onward or return ticket, passport valid for 6 months and US$60. It takes 2 days to issue a visa.
Note If you are not eligible for a tourist card, you must get a consular visa in advance. Carry your passport with you at all times as police do spot checks and anyone found without ID is immediately detained (carrying a certified copy of your passport and entry stamp is OK, though not always accepted). You will also be asked to provide details like name, address, passport number in restaurants and shops. Military checkpoints are in many areas, especially in border zones (eg on the roads from San Antonio to Maracaibo and Mérida), where all transport is stopped. Have documents ready and make sure you know what entry permits you need; soldiers may not know rules for foreigners. Searches at checkpoints are thorough and foreigners get closer attention than nationals. Business visitors on short visits are advised to enter as tourists, otherwise they’ll have to obtain a tax clearance certificate (solvencia) before they can leave. Do not lose the carbon copy of your visa as this has to be surrendered when leaving.