Many travelers to Chile are surprised that they have to pay an entry fee shortly after getting off their plane in Chile.
You may hear this fee referred to as a reciprocity fee, entry fee, or even a reciprocity tax.
Who has to pay the reciprocity fee?
This entry fee, called the Entry Reciprocity Fee, is required of all citizens of Australia and Mexico.
When do you pay the reciprocity fee?
After you have gotten off your plane, you will need to pay the reciprocity fee before proceeding to immigration control.
You will follow these steps:
1. Pay the reciprocity fee
2. Go through immigration (Policía Internacional) to show your passport/visa
3. Proceed to pick up your checked baggage
4. Be screened through customs and the Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG) or Agriculture and Livestock Service.
How much is the reciprocity fee?
The amount of the reciprocity fee depends on your nationality:
- Australia US$ 61
- Albania US$ 30
United States US$ 160– Chile now participates in the US’ Visa Waiver Program
- México US$ 23
Keep in mind that these prices fluctuate with exchange rates so you may pay a little more or less than this.
Other country’s citizens don’t pay the reciprocity fee.
How can I pay for the reciprocity fee?
You can pay the Chilean reciprocity fee with major credit cards or cash.
Do I have to pay the reciprocity fee every time I visit Chile?
The receipt for payment of the reciprocity fee is attached to your passport. On subsequent visits to Chile, you don’t have to pay the fee again for the life of your passport. When you get a new passport, you’ll have to pay the fee again.
Why does Chile charge the reciprocity fee?
At the name reciprocity implies, Chile charges citizens of countries that charge Chileans for visa processing.
While that may be the official explanation, the money they collect isn’t used to reimburse Chileans that pay out of pocket for their own visas to these other countries. So this fee does seem to be a profit center for the Chilean government. Although granted, it is not as big a money maker as the copper industry.