Reciprocity Fees

Posted on August 21, 2010 by Vivi in VISIT BUENOS AIRES

Upon arrival to the Santiago International Airport, tourists must pay a USD$140 ‘reciprocity fee’ to enter the country.  This one time fee lasts the length of your passport.  This steep fee is an exacted revenge on American tourists for the expensive entry fee that foreigners must pay to enter the United States.  South America employs this ‘taste of your own medicine’ policy to prove a point.  So much for eye for an eye leaving the whole world blind.

In Argentina you must also pay an entry reciprocity fee.  The fee lasts for 10 years, and within those 10 years you may reenter the country as often as you please.  While USD$140 may not seem particularly steep, imagine an Argentine paying USD$140 to enter the states.  USD$140 comes out to about $550 pesos.  If a family of four wanted to travel to the States, this entry fee is expensive enough to make many families choose another vacation spot.

I guess policies against foreigners don’t seem so bad until you are the foreigner.  I do not understand why the States demands this fee of foreigners.  To discourage tourism?  To encourage illegal border crossing?  In my opinion border entry fees are a policy that we could go without.  And from what I have heard, South American countries only have these fees because the US has them, so logically if the US were to eliminate the fees, so would other countries.  Lets lead by example then!

What do you think?  Am I missing something obvious?

One Comment

  1. In reality, there is no visitors’ fee for entry into the States. You need a visa. There is a really short list of countries who don’t need visas to get into the US. Visas are a whole other animal. In Argentina first you pay $50p to get an appointment. Then you pay a $140USD to apply and if you get approved you pay another $55p to have the visa delivered to you. Unless you own a house, have a checking account, are leaving a family behind you are not going to get a visa. I was told by a consulate employee several years ago approve rates where less than 25%. If you are not approved they keep you application fee and stamp your passport that you have been denied. I don’t know if you have ever been to the US consultant to do anything but you can see Homeland Security in action…its embarrassing how applicants are treated and spoken too.


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