Procedures for payment of Argentinian reciprocity rates change on November 1, 2012. In order to maintain compliance, when entering Argentina as a U.S., Australian, or Canadian citizen, business aircraft operators should be aware of the newly mandated fee payment process.
1. What are Argentinian reciprocity rates?
Because the U.S. charges a fee for U.S. visa processing to Argentines, Argentina is reciprocally charging a fee to U.S. citizens to enter their country. This reciprocity rate, or “fee,” is equal to U.S. visa processing fees for Argentine citizens. Reciprocity fees are also charged to Canadian and Australian citizens when entering Argentina, in amounts equal to what those countries charge Argentine citizens for visa processing. These fees only apply to passengers, not crew members, and are based on passenger citizenship, not residency. Argentinian reciprocity fees have been in place for years. This has been the case for U.S. nationals since Argentina was removed from the Visa Waiver Program as a participating country.
2. Do these fees vary?
Current reciprocity fees are 160 USD per U.S. citizen, 100 USD per Australian citizen, and 75 USD per Canadian citizen. Fees are adjusted, from time to time, based on visa fee increases imposed on Argentine citizens. Reciprocity rates were increased in April 2012 from 140 to 160 USD as a result of corresponding increases in U.S. visa processing fees. The fee may also change depending on the length of stay in the country.
3. How often must these fees be paid?
For U.S. citizens, payment of the reciprocity fee covers you for multiple entries to Argentina over a period of 10 years. The fee covers Australian citizens for one year, but Canadian citizens must pay fees on each entry to Argentina. Reciprocity rates are considered an “entrance fee.” Once you’ve arrived in the country, you may make as many domestic stops as you like without paying additional fees.
4. How has reciprocity fee collection changed?
In the past, the ground handler would typically invoice business aircraft operators for reciprocity fees payable as a part of ground handling charges. This has changed. Beginning November 1, 2012 ground handlers will no longer be able to pay reciprocity fees on behalf of passengers who’ve already arrived in Argentina. It’s now mandatory that fees must be paid online prior to passenger arrival.
5. What’s the process for paying these fees?
Before entering Argentina, citizens of the U.S., Australia, and Canada, visiting the country as tourists or on business, must pay “Reciprocity Rates” with a credit card. The National Immigration Agency (DNM) has instituted a new form of payment by way of the Provincia Pagos payment system. To pay these fees, enter the Provincia Pagos website, register to start the process, and complete a form with corresponding personal and credit card information. DNM will process the form and send you an electronic receipt. This receipt – which has a bar code – must be printed and then presented at immigration control when the passenger arrives in Argentina. The receipt will be scanned by immigration officials, information checked, and entry to the country allowed.
6. What are the penalties for not pre-paying reciprocity fees?
It’s unknown at this time what the process or penalties would be if these fees are not paid in advance.
7. How can 3rd-party providers help assist this process?
While you no longer have the option to pay reciprocity fees via 3rd-party providers or ground handlers after arrival in Argentina, your 3rd-party provider may settle these fees for you prior to arrival. It’s best practice to keep a scanned copy of reciprocity fee receipts and bar codes on file with your 3rd-party provider. U.S. and Australian citizens are covered for multiple entries to Argentina for 10 years and one year, respectively. If your reciprocity fee receipt should become lost or misplaced, you’d be non-compliant on entry. Having a back-up copy of your Argentinian reciprocity fee receipt would help keep you in compliance.
Argentina is the first country to create an online system for passengers to pay reciprocity fees in advance of arrival. Work with your 3rd-party provider to confirm requirements and correct payment methods for Argentinian reciprocity rate mandates. Don’t become snagged by this new regulatory requirement on your next trip to Argentina.
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About Laura Everington
With more than 20 years’ experience in the aviation services industry, most in the regulations arena, Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Sr. Manager, Government and Industry Affairs Laura Everington is recognized as one of the business aviation industry’s preeminent authorities on all U.S. and international regulations. Laura serves as a liaison to all the key regulatory bodies, including Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration, all of which regularly consult her for her opinion on rules creation. A naturally gifted orator, Laura, who joined Universal in 1990, is one of the industry’s most requested and respected speakers. By her own estimate, she has presented at more than 100 industry events around the globe on a variety of regulatory topics. She has also given countless interviews to the most read and respected business aviation trade publications. Laura, who is an acting member of the National Business Aviation Association’s Security Council, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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