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US, Canadian, and Australian nationals will now pay the reciprocity fee regardless of their point of entry to 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.

About The Author

Eileen Smith

Eileen Smith is the editor of Matador Abroad. She's an ex-Brooklynite who's made a life in Santiago, Chile. She's a fluent Spanish speaker who can be found biking, hiking, writing, photographing and/or seeking good coffee and nibbles at most hours of the day. She blogs here.

  • John Pedroza

    It is totally their right to charge it but I think it hurts them more than us.

  • Alicia Ignacia Briscoe

    Hi Eileen! Thanks for the article. I was wondering if you’ve heard from anyone who has passed through the border yet this year and know whether or not they’ve been charged. I’m going to try to slip into Mendoza tomorrow or the next day before the law goes into effect. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks again!

  • Melinda C. Bullen

    Does anyone know if the fee can be avoided by entering B.A. with our Chilean Carnet vs. our U.S. passport? I would love any imput! Thanks!

    • Alicia Ignacia Briscoe

      I know that @[116204762:2048:Gordon Brown] has a carnet and still has to pay as far as i know :(

    • Ruby Bliss Delgado

      I think I read that you can fly into another city besides Buenos Aires and not pay. Rodolfo told me chileans don’t pay to enter argentina, so use your carnet!

    • Ruby Bliss Delgado

      http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/09-02/visa-and-reciprocity-fees-south-america-and-how-legally-get-around-many-them.html < —says if you fly into Mendoza theres no fee. and obviously if you bus over, theres no fee either :)

    • Lawrence Heyman

      Hey, can you let me know if we still have to pay – be my guinea pig so to speak ;-)

    • Melinda C. Bullen

      Thanks, ya’ll. So @[116204762:2048:Gordon Brown], did you try to enter Argentina with you carnet and not show you Canadian passport? I’m just wondering if we use that as our ID will we avoid the fee.

    • Gordon Brown

      Your carnet says you are an extranjero so no matter what you need to pay. And I just found out the only way to pay is online, and you have to print off the receipt and show it to them at the border.

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