Seattle, WA (PRWEB) March 01, 2014
Travel to Chile is more affordable and simpler for US citizens, now that Chile has signed a bilateral agreement with the US government, eliminating the $160 Chilean reciprocity fee that was required for US citizens entering via the Santiago airport.
Effective immediately, US citizens are no longer required to pay the $160 reciprocity fee upon entering Chile through any border. US citizens can enter Chile for up to 90 days on a tourist visa with a valid passport.
The US Department of Homeland Security made the announcement on February 28, 2014, as Chile signed a bilateral agreement with the US government. The agreement allows Chilean citizens to enter the Visa Waiver program starting May 1, 2014. Chileans must apply online for the ESTA program in advance of travel, hold an electronic passport, and pay a $14 fee.
The Visa Waiver program allows travelers from 38 countries to enter the United States with a tourist visa for up to 90 days, without having to pay a visa or reciprocity fee. Chile is the first country in South America to join the program.
This move was intended to improve travel and business relations between Chile and the United States. The agreement certainly makes travel to Chile a much more streamlined and affordable process.
“This announcement furthers our important partnership with Chile and benefits the security and the economies of our two countries,” said Secretary Jeh Johnson, US representative of Homeland Security.
Until now, US citizens were required to pay a $160 reciprocity fee to enter Chile through the Santiago airport, and the fee was valid for the life of the passport. This fee was equivalent to the one charged to Chilean passport holders entering the United States.
This move also comes as a contrast to Brazil’s and Argentina’s policies towards US citizens.
Brazil currently requires US citizens to obtain a visa from the nearest Brazilian consultant in advance of traveling, which can take several weeks to obtain, costs $180, and is valid for multiple entries.
Argentina’s reciprocity fee policy for US citizens was recently updated, and requires all Americans to pay the reciprocity fee of $160 online, before entering the country.