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January 14, 2013

Visas: always check before you go

U.S. passports and residency paperwork for Argentina.

U.S. passports and residency paperwork for Argentina. Photo: Beatrice Murch / Flickr

Argentina recently enacted new visa rules, according to this post on The Flight Deal. U.S. citizens must pay a “Reciprocity Fee” of $160. More importantly, this must be paid before entry. If you don’t do this, you’ll be denied entry on arrival. The reciprocity refers to how if Country A charges Country B’s citizens a visa fee, then Country B will do the same to Country A’s citizens.

This problem happened to another backpacker I’d met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was having breakfast with some fellow travelers at First Cup Cafe in Bukit Bintang. A British girl talked about how she was excited to go to Vietnam.

I asked, “So have you got your visa yet?”

“I’ll just get one on arrival,” she said.

The rest of us looked at each other, our faces saying, “Who wants to tell her the bad news?”

Clearing my throat, I spoke up. “Vietnam requires you to apply for a visa before arrival. You’ll have to go to a Vietnamese consulate. You might be able to apply for an e-visa on short notice.”

“Oh no! Really?!” she said.

After breakfast, the girl and her friend hurried back to the hostel to get online and check their options. In the end, they skipped Vietnam in favor of Thailand’s beaches. From the happy photos she shared on Facebook, it worked out for the best.

A good resource to check is Project Visa. To be sure, you should always check with the official website of that country’s consulate or embassy.

Have you ever had visa problems? Do citizens from your country enjoy lower visa fees? Please share your stories in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Backpacking, Expat Life, Notes from the collective travel mind


One Response to “Visas: always check before you go”

  1. pier-olivier Says:

    From what I read canadians like myself enjoy amongst the lowest visa fees in the world :)

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