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Reciprocity Fee

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Reciprocity Fee

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    This article is a travel topic
A Reciprocity Fee is a fee between governments, regardless of the official name of the fee, to slap a fee for each other's nationals for entry into their territory.

Understand[edit]

Before 1914, there was no such thing as a tourist visa or passport. People simply showed up at a country, and stayed for as long as they wanted, and left when they wanted. No questions asked, no fees paid. World War One changed all that, officials became suspicious and controlling, as if the entering tourist who is bring money, is guilty until proven innocent, and therefore must show the burden of proof they are coming for 'legitimate reasons', rather than assuming innocence until proven guilty.

Officials representing countries act much like children. They tease each other, they resort to name calling, they bully each other, they hold grudges. Instead of both getting tourists, countries resort to tit-for-tat actions to erect barriers to their own receipts and income. Thus the name of 'reciprocity fee' (basically nothing more than a tit-for-tat fee). The average traveler has nothing to do with this nonsense, and should not be subject to payment. (Bill my government not me!)


Get In[edit]

Reciprocity fees are charged to nations who charge other nations, and tend to be far larger than normal visa fees. What is particularly bad about this type of fee is it is blind to the length of stay, even if the stay is for merely a day. However, this type of behavior only encourages more fees which hinder grassroots people to people exchanges. In the end, this effectively impedes healthy economic and political relationships from taking root.

Active examples:

  • USA: $160 fee (officially not a 'visa fee' but nonetheless a required charge levied on the tourist). Originally an application fee, now considered a reciprocity fee after other nations have hit-back.
  • Argentina: reciprocity fees for Australians and Chinese
  • Azerbaijan: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee
  • Bolivia: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee.
  • Brazil: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee.
  • Chile: reciprocity fee for Albanians, Australians, Canadians.
  • China: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee.
  • India: $70 reciprocity fee for US fee.
  • Paraguay: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee.
  • Paraguay: reciprocity fee for New Zealand fee.
  • Russia: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee.

Former examples:

  • Argentina: Ended for U.S. nationals and (at the start of 2018) for Canadians.
  • Chile: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee, however only enforced at Santiago International Airport, removed after visa-waiver program entry. Formerly included Mexico.
  • Taiwan: $160 reciprocity fee for US fee removed in 2012 after visa-waiver program entry.

Get around[edit]

Getting around reciprocity fees is possible. One way is to get a sponsor in that country to pay for you. Another way is to simply meet the people you desire to in a third country without reciprocity fees and avoid the country altogether. However, this method is not practical for many of us unless there is strength in numbers, to do more damage to tourism industries and put pressure to end such tit-for-tat practices, an outright call for travel boycott of nations that charge entry fees is a method of defiance.

It is strongly recommended that travelers check the above information as it can quickly change. Some countries (notably Argentina) may require payment prior to arrival or entry will be refused. In some cases, such as China and Brazil, a visa will not be issued until this fee is paid, and that also may not be possible at a border.

See also[edit]