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UPDATE: Argentina’s New Entrance Fee Postponed

December 23rd, 2008 | Categoría: Travel

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UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect new policy details available here.

UPDATE: Argentina’s plan to slap a tourist fee on visitors has been postponed indefinitely, according to the U.S. embassy. It seems that officials here realized that imposing the fee on tourists wasn’t such a good idea after all.

To the best of my knowledge, the Argentine government has yet to determine exactly how it will implement its new entrance fee system. A Foreign Ministry official told me yesterday that visitors will have to pay to reenter the country every time they do so if their initial entrance period has expired. “U.S. citizens will have to pay the entrance fee every 90 days because they are allowed to stay for 90 days,” the official said. “It’s simple reciprocity.”

However, this same official suggested I call the Argentine Consulate in New York to double confirm the matter. I did, but a person there said “there’s nothing official” about the new policy, meaning that no decision has been made about how often the fee will be charged. Repeated calls to immigration officials and to the Interior Ministry (which has the final word on all of this) have been unsuccessful at getting more details.

Charging people US $134 every 90 days strikes me as counterproductive. It’s hard to imagine the government would actually do this. But who knows, the government continually surprises. There are countless thousands of Americans (not to mention visitors and part-time residents from other countries) who live in or spend a lot of time in Argentina. Many – if not most – are a constant source of income for Argentine restaurants and other businesses. Giving these people another reason to leave Argentina (and not return) seems unwise.

Meanwhile, if the comments received here (and via email) are any indication, many visitors will not come to Argentina in the first place because of the new entrance fee. How many? It’s impossible to say.

Setting aside the concept of reciprocity and the fee’s fairness motive, it seems imprudent from a purely economic perspective to add another disincentive to visiting the country. As we saw in a previous post, the number of people visiting Argentina is declining and could continue to do so. Moreover, with an unprecedented global recession heading our way, cash-strapped travelers need more reason – not less – to travel.

I’ll post an update as soon as I have more information.

UPDATE: I’m told by customs officials that the visa fee will not be charged until March.

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47 Comments

KatieNo Gravatar says:

Thank you for staying on top of this, Taos. We need definitive answer on this issue.

juanNo Gravatar says:

i do think it is fair that US visitors are charged for visiting the country especially since Argentine people has to pay something like 120 bucks only to apply for a visa (of course those bucks are not refundable if the application is declined).

An eye for eye some might say.. Brazil is a great example, they make US visitors to go exactly through the same process a Brazilian has to go through when visiting the States.

A tourist permit is for about three months so if they are staying more than that they are after other things than just visiting the country so they should be applying for another permit. A residency permit or something like that would do just fine and in that way they wouldn’t be ALIENS (like you people like to call those latin people living in the states without permits) and they would also avoid having to pay everytime the tourist permit is over.

The example of the restaurants issue is just way too stupid. Those small businesses revenues are insignificant when having to make such calls.

A tourist that decides not to visit a country because of the 130 bucks fee is not a profitable tourist since it is not expected that he or she will be spending a lot of money either.

I mean.. if your country guys charge visitors, why wouldn’t another country do the same thing? And if you guys prosecute and in some cases even threaten people that don’t have the correct visa or no visa at all, why do you complain so much for having to pay 130 bucks for not telling the truth at customs. if you are expecting to live here then you should apply for a residency permit and not stay here as a tourist. it is really simple.

MariaNo Gravatar says:

I certainly understand that if south american have to pay a fee, American should do the same. Few years back Chile did the same thing. The problem with Argentina implementing this fee right now is that Rio de Janeiro won de Olyimpics and not having a fee would have greatly increase tourism. Would you see the Iguazu Falls from Brazil or from Argentina is the differetne is 600 dollars for a family of 4. No brainer, right ?

What would you do if you were family visiting Brazil during the olympics and decide to take 3 daysfor sighseeing. Would you chose Buenos Aires, or South BraziL? Most likely you wouldn;t pay 600 dollares in fees.

Poor timing !

My opinion: Its stupid idea to do it prior to the 2016 Olympics.

JohnNo Gravatar says:

Taos, the reciprocity fee is actually US$131.

Taos TurnerNo Gravatar says:

Hey John,
I used the US $134 figure because that’s the one given by Interior Minister Randazzo. My understanding is that it’s actually higher than that because of some kind of mailing fee (DHL), though I haven’t looked into this. If you know where the precise data is I’d love to know about it. I’m guessing it’s on the embassy web site somewhere but I haven’t had time to look.
Many thanks,
Taos

Taos TurnerNo Gravatar says:

Hi Juan,

You wrote: “The example of the restaurants issue is just way too stupid.”

My response: This space is for people who want to debate, share and exchange views in a healthy, positive and constructive manner. This space isn’t for petty insults or people who simply want to attack people instead of ideas. The whole point of this comments section is to provide a place where people can feel positive about sharing and learning. Derogatory statements such as yours don’t add anything of value. So in the future, if you have any to say, keep this in mind and find a way to make your point in a way that earns you respect.

You wrote: “Those small businesses revenues are insignificant when having to make such calls. A tourist that decides not to visit a country because of the 130 bucks fee is not a profitable tourist since it is not expected that he or she will be spending a lot of money either.”

My response: From an economic perspective, even a single penny earned from tourism is a net gain. This is why tourism has been such an important part of Argentina’s economic recovery. Services account for about two-thirds of GDP in Argentina and tourists are big consumers of services. The net benefit of even a single tourist visit is a net gain for any business. It’s inaccurate to say that someone who wouldn’t want to pay an additional $130 fee to visit Argentina wouldn’t be a profitable tourist. Even budget-minded backpackers increase revenue and they’re spending here has a ripple effect throughout the economy. It would be a big mistake to think that only rich tourists contribute to economic growth.

It seems like you’re taking this issue personally. In my post, I didn’t address the morality of this matter, but simply took a very brief look at its possible economic ramifications. I do think in some ways it is fair for Argentina to have a reciprocal entrance fee, and I can certainly understand why this makes sense to many people. However, the point of my post was to look, even if very briefly, at this issue not from a moral perspective but from a practical and financial one.

In any case, if you truly wanted to examine the matter from an ethical lens, you’d have to consider the motivations that underlie visa policies and entrance fees in other countries. The reasons for U.S. visa fees are very different from the reasons for Argentina’s fees, which in some ways are simply a reaction to the former.

U.S. entrance fees are necessary to help pay for an extremely expensive and complicated immigration (and now security) system that was established to handle incredible demand from many millions of immigrants from around the world. This is not the case with Argentina, which has some immigration from neighboring countries but nothing like the massive numbers of people from around the entire world who appear at U.S. embassies every single day to try and get visas. Of these people, many millions try to get into the country with a tourist visa while they’re goal is really to stay permanently. Historically, over the past century, there have been far more people trying to immigrate to the U.S. (again, every single day) than to any other country. This is natural given the economic and opportunities provided to people who live in the U.S. But it significantly raises the cost or processing visas and implementing background checks.

The U.S. accepts far more immigrants (and processes far more immigrant and tourist visa applications) than any other country in the world. As of 2006 the U.S. immigrant (that is, foreign born) population was about 37.5 million (roughly the same size as Argentina’s population). That’s about 12.5% of the entire U.S. population. In 2006 alone almost 1.3 million people became legal permanent residents in the U.S. The number of people who came illegally is much higher. As wonderful as Argentina is, it simply doesn’t attract anywhere near the kind of visa applicants or immigrants that the U.S. does.

Link: http://www.migrationinformation.org/feature/display.cfm?ID=649

Your other point about residency visas make sense. I’m not sure who you’re addressing when you say “you” in your comments, as you know nothing about my residency status.

(On a side note, I would add something that hasn’t been mentioned. Perhaps some of the emotional reaction (not just from you but from millions of people around the world) to this subject is related to what is sometimes the humiliating treatment of visa applicants and visitors the U.S. After living abroad in numerous countries, I can say that I have heared countless horror stories about the way U.S. consular and immigration officials have treated both visa applicants and visistors to the U.S. This is shameful. My own wife was made to cry on a visit to the U.S. last year after a customs official grilled her about her reasons for visiting the U.S. The immigration agent’s negative tone and demeaning manner was completely uncalled for and in some way made me feel ashamed of my own government’s behavior. Most consular and immigration officials are professoinal and good at their jobs (I’ve had several as very close friends), but there are enough untrained and unempathetic people working in these jobs to give the rest a bad reputation.)

Argentina has every right to charge whatever it wants to in the form of an entrance fee. Moreover, I’m not particularly interested in arguments about whether or not this is “fair.” What’s more interesting to me is whether it’s wise from an economic perspective, and I’m not sure that it is.

Undoubtedly, fewer people will come to Argentina because of this. Will that be enough to offset the money earned through the entrance fee? It’s hard to say, but it’s certainly worth studying, and my guess is that nobody in the government studied this carefully before deciding to implement the new entrance requirements. In fact, a person in the Tourism Secretariat told me that they planned to study how the entrance requirement would affect tourism. But wouldn’t it make more sense to do an impact study before implementing the new policy rather than the other way around?

Taos

juanNo Gravatar says:

aight, maybe ‘stupid’ was a little bit harsh, i should have written ‘dumb’ instead.
The fee will cover those ‘lost revenues’ and the tourists that will continue visiting Argentina will still provide revenues.

The thing is that the States prosecute illegal immigrants and Argentina doesn’t.. that is why the system in the States is so expensieve. If you have been here long enough, then you should know that Argentina, as the US attracts lots of immigrants. Maybe you won’t find many people from Asia or Central America, but you’ll find tons that came from the bordering countries. And i am fine with it and with them.

When I say you, i mean the majority of people who come here to stay for 6 months, a year or 2.. i know tons of people from abroad here and it just pisses me off when they complain so much about this issue. That having been said, i get along fantastically with every single one of them.

I agree with you when you say this is something to be studied, but being an economist myself and having been working in strategic management for some time now, i am pretty sure that the fee won’t be affecting those small businesses’ revenues very much and that the number of visitors won’t decline as much as you might be thinking it will. Have a look at fixed line telephony, you pay x amount of money just for having your phone at home and then pay the consumption. It will be a sunk cost for them.

If there is no red tape and the process goes smoothly (something i find extremely difficult for the government to achieve) then most visitors will pay for it and it is really important to mention that this will only affect tourists from those countries that charge Argentine visitors, so the number keeps going down to just a few countries.

Have a good one…

J

JohnNo Gravatar says:

Taos, the reciprocity fee of US$131 was the amount mentioned in all the press accounts I have read, e.g.:
http://www.infobae.com/contenidos/408027-100799-0-Cobrar%C3%A1n-tasa-turistas-pa%C3%ADses-que-exijan-visado
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1057264

Since this will be payable only upon arrival (and at least initially only at EZE and AEP it seems), I can’t see where a mailing fee would apply. The US charges that amount for all visa applications.

John

taosNo Gravatar says:

Thanks, John,

It is indeed $131. Here’s the link to embassy site where it confirms the fee:

http://argentina.usembassy.gov/why_a_visa_was_refused2/080612–required-docs—english.pdf

But there’s also a $15 fee one must pay to the U.S. government just to schedule an appointment: http://argentina.usembassy.gov/apply.html

That makes it $146, apart from any DHL fee which may or may not be necessary to pay. I’m wondering why Argentina wouldn’t charge this higher amount if they really want it to be a reciprocal fee.

bangbangbillNo Gravatar says:

Greetings and Merry Christmas, I’m disappointed that the US charges so much for visas! I guess I was unaware because foreign travelers, friends and relatives I encounter here in the US are from countries that enjoy a Visa Waiver Program. There’s a list near the bottom of this web page http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/study_exchange/difference_visa_adrecord.xml There is a way for Argentina to be included on this list as outlined here http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1255.html As for rude and demeaning government officials, the creeps at EZE collecting the “exit tax” are pretty good at staring through people and making us feel like nobodys – that’s what bureaucrats live for and I understand. It won’t make me think less of the wonderful country and people of Argentina. Cheers, B.

Michael ZNo Gravatar says:

The USA charges high entrance fees for foreign tourists applying for a VISA. So, this is what happens to American tourists. However, Argentina seems to be its own worse enemy. The Argentina Government condoning airlines to double charge for domestic flight tickets to travel within the nation for Americans and other foreigners is wrong. Argentines pay the same price for the cost of a ticket for domestic travel in the USA as Americans. The greedy hotels, tourist agencies and guides believe all Americans and foreigners are rich. So, they charge outrageous high prices for hotel rooms, guides, etc at Bariloche, Salta, Mendoza, El Calafate, that financially hurt their own citizens in the pocket book. When American and foreign tourists arriving in Buenos Aires for a cruise and advertised bargains they see on TV back home, walk on Florida Avenue, they’ll find out they can get the same clothes at Walmarts cheaper. Will the Argentines wake up and smell the coffee? Hmm……. As the saying goes “This is Argentina.” Mr. Z, Upper Eastside, NYC, USA

JuanNo Gravatar says:

I totally agree with you Mr. Z, that stupid idea of charging foreigners an extra amount of money is silly and it does affect consumption once the tourists are inside the country.
I think they took that stupid idea from Europe (Italy more precisely) where non EU citizens are charged more than EU citizens in order to get into the Roman Coliseum, for example.
It also affects locals, since traveling within the country is also expensive for us as well..
Guillermo Moreno, aka The Barbarian, seems to be the only one empowered to control that issue..

Coen says:

I checked the last couple of border crossings into Argentina [4 in the last two weeks] and none of them could say to me if this visa fee is applicable for land crossings? They all thought it would be for landing via air into Argentina.

GaryNo Gravatar says:

I was just woundering if that fee starts then how many of us who live here will over stay are VIsa. Since the fee is only 50 and then the new fee. I can see people staying over a year or more. So this may create more residents but also create more over staying your VIsa. So what do people think about this overstaying your VIsa.

Guys, it is really very entertaining to read all those comments, still nobody meniton that the Stamp to enter the US is good for MULTIPLE ENTRANCES up to 10 years, and what the Argentine Government is impossing is for each time. About rudes Immigration employee’s, Argentina’s could teach them how to be disrespectfull, corrupt and some other adjetives. We here in florida sitll greeted 40 millions turists last year. And last (but not least) every week we were in Argentina (5 of us) we spend an average of 1200 US. I don’t think that such numbers should be ignored. Good Luck !!!

TinaNo Gravatar says:

Note to self: re-enter with my Italian passport.

SethNo Gravatar says:

It seems odd that in discussing this issue it’s not mentioned more that the reason the US charges a fee for visa application is not to make money, but to process the visa application, which costs them money. The US wants to be sure people aren’t coming into the country on a tourist visa only to stay there indefinitely, which many many argentines have done in the last 10 years (which is why argentina is no longer a visa waiver country). This is the fundamental reason argeintina’s reciprocity argument is bullshit, either based on ignorance or an outright lie. (I’d hope it’s the latter but with everything else I see the argentine government do and say I’m not so sure)

Furthermore the US doesn’t enjoy a nontrivial amount of earned revenue from argentine tourists, as argentina does from US tourists, further differentiating the situations of the two countries.

Simply put: Argentina is not the US and US in not Argentina. To try to pretend like these two radically different countries are somehow the same and should act in the same way is ridiculous and as I said, I hope it’s just a ridiculous lie and the people making these decisions aren’t really that blind as to believe their own bs.

JoséNo Gravatar says:

You wrote: “The example of the restaurants issue is just way too stupid.”

My response: This space is for people who want to debate, share and exchange views in a healthy, positive and constructive manner. This space isn’t for petty insults or people who simply want to attack people instead of ideas. The whole point of this comments section is to provide a place where people can feel positive about sharing and learning.

Taos; You can not expect Argies to act the same as americans, that is so agains liberty! its true he said that in english and this is a shakespeare languaje blog, but about Argentina! We are like this, stupid for an argie does not mean the same that in America! That shows how different we are! You want to talk to Args? but you want them to talk like you do? If they say “you suck” you laught and say “you too” and then go for a beer together! Hope you understand my point!

Translation is a lie!

taosNo Gravatar says:

Hey Jose,

I understand your point, and agree with it to a certain extent. I’d argue, however, that the more casual use of language you advocate functions only between close friends or people who already know each other, and especially it works in person. It works less well in writing and especially between people who don’t know each other.

Many thanks for the feedback,
Taos

FernandoNo Gravatar says:

Stop crying and put up the $134 please. Or are you telling me that the inhabitants of the “World’s #1 superpower” suddenly freak out about taking a $100 bill and a pair of $20 bucks from their full wallet?. Oh, sorry, I forgot the U.S. is now a sinking ship…

FC

FernandoNo Gravatar says:

My coment above was sarcastic. I make a note of it before everyone jumps over me. :-P

But really, Argentinieans traveling to the USA must face whatever restrictions the US government wants to impose… they have to take their shoes off, be questioned about how long they’ll stay, be demanded to show they have enough money and a return ticket, etc etc etc.

In short
In hso

FernandoNo Gravatar says:

My last comment: every country is free to set its rules. DEAL WITH IT.

I refuse to accept this notion by which US citizens are special and should be treated with a red carpet, no questions asked, and all sorts of benefits that they themselves don’t give to foreigners…

FC

Hi Fernando. Please get informed before you put any other comment. The thing about “to have to take the shoes off” apllies to EVERYBODY no just to the Foreigners. The round trip ticket is because during the Menem presidency nobody knows how many of my “paisanos” decided to stay here (there are still many, many) and about the sinking ship, the ones who got an education are still doing very well, don’t you wish to be able to say the same?
rgds

RKP says:

Well the difference is, broadly speaking (and it seems the lot of you is speaking broadly), that visa-seekers from Argentina to the US are doing so to make money. Visitors from the US to Argentina, to spend it. Inferiority complexes really shouldn’t apply to this discussion, or for visas.

Jeff FosterNo Gravatar says:

As far as the airfare issue goes, I too was annoyed when I saw the differences in what I paid and what an Argentine pays. I took it as, “foreigners have more money so we can charge them more for airfare.” The reality is that it is not the case at all, and I was seeing the issue backwards.

The truth is foreigners are paying STANDARD prices for airfare. Airlines in Argentina are paying DOLLARS for their airplanes, fuel, etc, and must of course charge STANDARD industry prices because of that, just to keep out of the red. Because of the dramatic rise of the dollar, Argentina realized that its citizens couldn’t afford to travel with such astronomical rates. They imposed on the airlines a regulation to charge lower for airfare for Argentine citizens, and really that has screwed over the airlines. They are forced to charge half of the STANDARD fare for Argentine citizens now. So as far as the airlines go, they of course would love to charge those STANDARD rates to Argentine citizens also, because the decreased fares for Argentine citizens is bankrupting and eradicating the airlines. Just think for example, of the US-Based airlines we’ve seen come and go within the United States while charging STANDARD rates.

Imagine you are in Argentina selling, I dunno, imported Root Beer from the US. You buy your supplies in DOLLARS from the USA, paying what you would pay in the US. Sales are great, and everyone both local and foreign are buying up your supply. Then all of the sudden, the price of the dollar rises 300%, and all of the sudden nobody can afford your Root Beer but the foreigners who are still earning and spending DOLLARS. Argentines cant afford it anymore. All of the sudden the government says, “nobody can afford your Root Beer now, we’re imposing a price control and now you have to charge 1/3 of the price to Argentines, but you can keep charging your regular price to foreigners if you want.” Foreigners would think they’re being ripped off, but really you are the one getting ripped off when you’re forced to lower prices for the Argentines.

That’s the way I see it. Hope it makes sense. This page doesn’t allow me to go back and see what I’ve already written, so oh well.

RichardNo Gravatar says:

Is there any update on the entrance fee? Is it still postponed indefinitely? I am considering a trip in July. Thank you.

taosNo Gravatar says:

Hi Richard,
As far as I know it’s still suspended with no plan to implement it. I’ll try to check back with the government and if I find anything out, I’ll write back here.
Taos

JenNo Gravatar says:

Hi there… thanks for all the great info. Wondering if you know if this affects the “I overstayed my visa” fine? Has that fee been raised? I scrapped a trip to Uruguay and was planning to pay the $50 at the airport…

taosNo Gravatar says:

Hi Jen,
I’m not sure about that fee. I don’t think it’s related in any way and I know of no plans to raise it.
But I’m just not sure. I didn’t even know you could pay it at the airport.
If so, that’s pretty convenient.
Taos

khairyNo Gravatar says:

Residency visa is a full blown immigration process (in my case it is an endless process of legalized 64 years old original documents from governments and embassies in 3 contenents). It is not simple at all, far from it.

I came to Buenos Aires 5 years ago to retire and I would love to continue my retirement here. I am not taking anything from Argentina, on the contrary, I am giving and spending but only on limited Argentinean couta. I can NOT make sense why Argentina is severly limiting my spending on a daily basis? I am not allowed to open an Argentinean Bank Account so I can freely transfer my retirement money here, buy a car …etc etc.

I am already here as a tourist and I do not want anything from Argentina other than let me freely spend my money. Does there exist another type of visa, something in the lines of an EXRENDED TOURIST visa?

Americans base all their policies on dollars and cents, not on morals and principales. So saying that Argentina is reciprocating tet for tat is a double wammy myth and error . On one hand Argentinean morals would become equal to American’s. On the other hand Argentina will be loosing economically as well. I am not talking just about the $134 visa fees, I am talking about retirement money for lots of people who have lots of interest in their retirement years least of which would be politics.

khairy.

TammyNo Gravatar says:

The fee for $134 each visit is not reciprocity! The US charges $120 per visa (yes if your app is turned down you don’t get it back) but for those who do it’s good for 10 years. That means $120 and enter as many times as you want for 10 years. It’s not the same as paying $134 every 90 days if you go often. Brazil says they are doing the same to us that we do to them and that’s not true either. Their VISA is only good for 6 months and it’s $100 each time. Both Argentina and Brazil are being excessive not reciprocating and it’s going to bite them in the butt when they lose tons of $$ from travelers NOT going. I work in the travel industry and I can tell you that a lot more Americans would travel to Brazil if the Visa wasn’t such a pain and so expensive. Brazil the country may be profiting but the businesses of Brazil are losing money from travelers NOT going because of this.

Jim SNo Gravatar says:

Can anyone give me an update on the VISA fee for US citizens? I’m having a problem finding an answer elsewhere, thanks

AndreaNo Gravatar says:

As an American traveler, I feel this extra fee is a bit much. $120 for a U.S. visa which is good for ten years makes more sense than $134 USD (based on today’s exchange rate is over 500 pesos for the Argentine government) for only 90 days.

Just because I am American does not mean I have pockets full of cash. I work hard, and attend school, and prefer to spend my extra money on travel instead of material goods. I have a budget, so if I budget say $1000 USD for spending money while abroad …well $134 less would be spent on Argentine businesses. And where does that $134 go? From what I understand about the Argentine government, it would most likely not be used in a good fashion. I love to visit Argentina every 6 months, but an extra fee would make me more likely to explore visiting other countries, especially ones I have never visited. For Argentina, they should be doing everything to promote tourism, not discourage it.

C. says:

I find Americans are really hipocrite complaining for a Visa when many of them are actually living in Argentina without even having achieved legal residency. They know they are not tourist and have made Argentina their home but they evade the law and make themselves “permanent tourists” by going back and forth to Uruguay to get a new entry stamp in their passports to make it look nice “hey I am a Tourist you see the stamp right here?”.

They only respect the law in “homeland”. Once in a “third world country” -as they love to refer to us as such- they feel free to evade, disrespect and condemn. If the same were done by a foreigner in their “homeland” they would not doubt a second to qualify it as unlawfull.

Very frustrating to meet Americans that act as the owners of the best judgment in the world and at the same time they do not respect the law in any other country by always having an excuse at hand not to adjust themselves to the law and say things like “paying taxes in home land is fair but paying taxes in “thrird world countries” is a waste.

This double standard they have is just way too bad, but they do not want to even think about it: Very arrogants.

I do not want to offend here. I just want to point a reality.

And this is my idea: If you are a tourist you pay your US131 and this is it. If I can pay US 131 + 15 + 15 to have a Visa to go to the USA as a Tourist that is valid for 10 years, you as the richest society of the world, can do the same too. And if you want to live here more than 6 months in a year then apply for legal residency and do not complain as a baby.

C. says:

So, starting today have ready 131 bucks per person valid for multiple entries during 10 years and stop whining and if you over stay your tourist Visa pay an extra $300AR as a permit of exit.

LOL

C.

TJ says:

I have been planning a vacation to Argentina to occur in the next few months. I just read that Argentina was going to implement this entrance fee. Unfortunatley, due to this fee, I no longer plan to visit Argentina. This tourist, with disposable income to travel, will not be spending it in Argentina. There are plenty of fascinating places in the world that will welcome my tourist dollars. I am saddened that Argentina has taken this position, as I was looking forward to my trip.

CandiceNo Gravatar says:

It surprises me that so many people voice such strong opinions based on very limited knowledge.
You only pay the fee at the airport EZE. It is good for the life of your passport or 10 years.
If you were to want to become a resident ( not citizen) of Argentina, it takes 3 years and a lot more money than $131 every 10 years. Legal residents of Argentina, pay taxes.. in Argentina and in the country they are from.
From what I understand, the US started charging Argentines to come in, based on the crisis and no trust that the people would not stay there, plus 9/11 ramped up security issues. I could be totally wrong about those facts but the truth is.. everyone is taking this so personally and really, no one is making you visit Argentina.

If $131 can’t be factored into the price of a vacation where taxis, food and lodging are cheaper than anywhere in the US .. then you are right to stay home.

I believe that if you look at the statistics, you will find that European visitors outnumber those from the US .. I don’t think Argentina will be that hurt if a few bargain hunting tourists from the States decide that the fee is too much.

But if you decide to go for the price of a a 10 year visa fee, read a tour guide, read some magazine articles and remind yourselves of what a unique and beautiful place this is and pay special attention to how friendly and kind the people are. No snooty attitudes, no hurried brush off because someone has to be somewhere… they will take the time to help you, regardless if they can speak English, they will welcome you and appreciate the fact that you did pay a little extra to come visit the country they are so proud of and love so much, warts and all.

carlos says:

‘pay special attention to how friendly and kind the people are.’

really? I find argentines (and especially porteños) to be quite the opposite.. and lots of people I’ve talked to think the same.. actually, they have a reputation for being arrogant, rude and unfriendly. maybe you haven’t been in Argentina long enough.. I can assure you if you lived in the country instead of just visiting you would have a different opinion..

Anonymous says:

I dont think its strong opinions with little information, but rather a different approach and a long VISION that includes more tourists spending their dollars to buy OUR products.

I have no problem Argentina charging the 131.0 dollars fee to foreigners ( Chile charges 100.00 ) rather a problem with the timing.

Brazil is getting ready to receive millions of tourists for the Olympics, and we the neighbors, instead of taking advantage and prepare for a flux of tourist will be charging to a family of 4 524 dollars JUST to enter one of the countries with the most crime and fatal cars accidents. Wrong timing. Many will not cross the border or fly just because of the cost involved,and visiting Argentina to buy some Art or leather goodies will not be a deal anymore- so they buy in Brazil .I guess I could say: More power to them … but Really ?
Argentina should postponed this fee until after the Olympics so they could be the receptors of millions of dollars and euros. To focus on few Americans shopping for bargains is nor a good attitude toward Americans. First of all, there are many Argentines residing outside the country that visit with our families once or twice a year , and they are not just bargain shoppers. The young men and women that are going to Bariloche and Mendoza during the sky season are not a few either. Those American who are going mountain climbing to Chile and already paid the entrance fee there will not cross the Andes on bus to save money anymore . Do you think they will pay the fee later on ? No, they wont.

Argentina is beautiful geographically and its people are warm , fun and they can teach many how to better flavor life , therefore should create an opportunity to receive thousands and thousands of tourist while we have the opportunity to do so. We dont even have to invest in new roads, stadiums, Brazil will do it, they will bring the tourist to us and we will return them at the border.

Kay says:

I’m arriving at the Buenos Aires airport the first weekend of April, how much will I have to pay to get into the country?
And please does anyone know if some of the custom officials speak english? My spanish is rather limited.
Thanks

Kay says:

ps. Also I am not American, I am a Canadian.
Thanks

mondayNo Gravatar says:

kay, how did it work out? did you have to pay a fee?

julieNo Gravatar says:

i’m visiting buenos aires in august and wasn’t aware of this fee. i’ve visited cities all over the world, paris, hong kong, florence, london, etc and never had to pay this type of fee. seems very excessive to me. i already had to pay $977 to fly there. this just takes money from activities i would have done like visiting an estancia or eating a nice meal out.

is this fee for each person? if so i’m out $260. very aggravating!

Moe says:

We are flying to Buenos Aires in Feb., but planning on touring around Uruguay. Do we have to pay the entrance fee when we take the ferry back to BA. Also want to visit the Iquazu Falls. Again, if we are in and out of Argentina & Uruguay, do we have to pay an entrance fee every time. Is there record of this fee being paid on your passport?

taosNo Gravatar says:

You pay the fee just once and it’s good for 10 years.

Anonymous says:

The problem of been friends with Americans is that they expect we do things their way. If you dont they think you are ignorant, uneducated, rude, careless, distant, selfish, lazy, socialist, populist, etc etc.

We do things different and I personally do not want to acquire American Etiquette to be respected by them in my own country.

When I go there I act their thing. When I am here I do what I am.
When I go to any other country that requires a Visa fee or equivalent I pay it. Period. No complains. Is their prerrogative to ask for that and is my choise to visit them.

What is the problem if Italy does not charge me to visit and Egypt does? who am I to fight their laws and regulations? I am a VISITOR. A TOURIST. Take it or leave it.

MelisaNo Gravatar says:

Well the difference is , broadly speaking that visa-seekers from Argentina to the US are doing so to make money. Visitors from the US to Argentina, to spend it. Inferiority complexes really shouldn’t apply to this discussion, or for visas.

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