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Chile: New visa arrangements for Australian citizens in 2020

Chile: New visa arrangements for Australian citizens in 2020

Chile is introducing a new electronic visa on May 9, 2020, and in the interim is waiving the current AU$170 (US$117) ‘reciprocity fee’. This came into effect as of 16 December 2019.

This means you no longer need to arrange a visa in advance, nor pay a fee on arrival.

On my recent trip to South America, we go slugged this fee effectively for a one night stay in Santiago, Chile. It’s a night we had to have because of our airline connections on Qantas out of Santiago out of Australia. It was a hefty price to pay for a one night stand!

The ‘reciprocity fee’ is really a fine for what Australia charges Chileans to visit Australia – kind of a ‘so there!’

a group of wine glasses on coasters
Bocanariz Vinobar, Santiago, Chile

New arrangements from 16 May 2020 for Australians

From May, Chile will require an electronic Visa or e-Visa which will be available online.

Unfortunately, the Chilean Government has not yet announced the fee it will charge. Expect it to remain on the tit-for-tat level it used to be – so expect AU$170 (US$117) – for as long as Australia charges a similar fee to Chileans.

a blue passport with gold text

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Visa fees are a pain in the arse all around, but e-visas, which don’t guarantee entry into a country, have made life a lot easier. The fees can also mount up adding substantially to the cost of travel if you are visiting several fee-charging countries on the same itinerary.

I will hail the day when all visas are available online, for nothing more than a small admin fee, if not free of charge.

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