No avoiding it now: You have to pay to play in Argentina
IN 2010, Argentina instituted a reciprocity fee for United States, Canada, and Australia passport holders, payable on entry to the country. To begin with, it was applicable only to flights into the international airport, Ezeiza (EZE). Argentine officials then expanded it to include the other, smaller airport in Buenos Aires, Aeroparque (AEP). Later, the policy was updated yet again to require passengers to register and pay the reciprocity fee online, before entering the country. This last requirement goes into effect on December 28th. Up until that point, you may pay online or upon arrival.
Since 2012, in travel circles we’ve discussed all the tricky little things you could do to avoid payment. Like flying from Santiago (Chile) to Mendoza, or Cordoba, Argentina, and then taking a domestic flight to BA. Or crossing overland from any of a number of points. Or taking the Buquebus ferry from Uruguay’s Colonia.
It looks like the government has taken note of these workarounds, and according to this notice on Argentina’s Migraciones website (in Spanish), all US, Canada, and Australia passport holders (with single nationality) will pay their respective reciprocity fee, regardless of their point and method of entry (air, sea, land), starting January 7, 2013. That means even dipping over to the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls counts. Cruise-goers to Antarctica or Cape Horn, many of whom start from Valparaíso, Chile, and end in Buenos Aires, are grandfathered in until July 2013 — they will not have to pay the fee for entering the country until then.
Fees run as follows, based on the visa fees charged by those countries to Argentine nationals, and are current, as of November, 2012, and effective January 7, 2013:
- US citizens: $160, good for ten years, even if you change or lose your passport (raised in April, 2012, in response to the US having raised their visa fees, see here.)
- Canadian citizens: $75 for a one-time entry, or multiple entries for the period of days granted by the Argentine government when entering from countries that border Argentina, which are Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
- Australian citizens: $100 for multiple entries for a period of one year, beginning with the first entry date.
Research visa and reciprocity requirements carefully, as some travel agents are already recommending pre-payment of the reciprocity fee, even for travel before the dates when it goes into effect.