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Argentine Reciprocity Fees to be Paid Online Prior to Entry 26 September 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Visa News.
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Argentina Reciprocity Entrance Fee

Since 2009, Argentina has been charging certain travelers a reciprocity fee to enter the country based on their citizenship. Previously, travelers had been able to pay the reciprocity fee at the airport  upon arrival into Argentina but this will no longer be the case. As of October 31, this fee must be paid in advance, prior to entry into Argentina.

Although the fee has been in place for some time and there are official announcements on the policy, may travelers are on aware of the fee are surprised upon arrival in Argentina. With the new declaration that the fee must be paid prior to departure for US passport holders we feel there will be even more surprised travelers entering there who are unaware of the policy changes. G3 Visas & Passports has developed this FAQ on the Argentine Reciprocity Fee to clarify some of the issues associated with the policy.

Argentina Reciprocity Fee FAQ

Do I need to pay a reciprocity fee?

Reciprocity fees are required of travelers with Australian, Canadian and US passports. Travelers with valid Argentine visas in their passports do not need to pay the fee.

Can I pay the reciprocity fee upon arrival into Argentina?

Payment will have to be made prior to entry into Argentina. Effective  31October 2012 for flights to Aeroparque and 28th December 2012 for Ezeiza International Airport, cash payments will no longer be accepted and travelers will have to demonstrate a receipt of the online payment.

How much is the reciprocity fee?

The fee and the term are different for each of the three nationalities that are required to pay the fee.

Passport Nationality Fee in US $
Australia $100
Canada $70 or $150
USA $160

Where do I pay the reciprocity fee?

The fee is paid online at one of two Argentine government websites.

Be aware that this is a foreign transaction and your credit card will most likely be charged an additional surcharge fee as a result of the international nature of the payment.

I already have a reciprocity fee in my passport, do I need another one?

This is dependent upon your nationality and term of your reciprocity payment.

  • US passports: The payment is good for ten years and multiple entries.
  • Australian passports: The payment is good for five years and multiple entries.
  • Canadian passports: There are two levels of payments available. The $70 payment is a single entry valid for one year. Interestingly, Argentina will not count as entry any additional border crossings to other MERCOSUR countries and back to Argentina. The $150 payment is good for multiple entries over a five year period.

I have a valid reciprocity payment stamp but my passport has expired, is it transferable?

Yes, the reciprocity payment can be transferred from an expired passport to the valid one. The traveler should keep a copy of the receipt from the online payment service as well as their expired passport with the valid reciprocity payment stamp in it.

I am an Argentine dual national, do I need to pay the reciprocity fee?

No, travelers  with Argentine dual nationality do not have to pay this fee even if they are traveling on a Australian, Canadian,or US passport.

I am crossing the Argentine border by boat, bus or entering into another airport other than Aeroparque or Ezieza International, do I need to make a reciprocity payment?

No. It appears from official statements that this payment is only required of travelers entering by air into  AEP or EZE. This could be subject to change.

Why do I have to pay a reciprocity fee?

This fee and validity is based on the fees and terms the respective countries (Australia, Canada, and the USA) charge Argentine applicants for entry visas.

I have an Australian, Canadian or US passport but I am resident in a MERCOSUR country, do I have to pay the reciprocity fee?

No, Australian, Canadian and US passport holders with a valid MERCOSUR residency card are not subject to the reciprocity fee.

What does the reciprocity fee stamp look like?

Upon arrival in Argentina, the border officials will place the reciprocity stamp into your passport. It will take a page so make sure you have a blank page to accommodate it.Here is an example of what the stamp looks like in your passport.

Is the reciprocity fee a visa?

No, the reciprocity fee is not a visa. It does not require a visit to an Argentine consulate or interview. It is entrance fee based on the fees charged to Argentines for entry into Australia, Canada or the US.

My passport is going to expire with in six months can I travel on it?

No, your passport must have more than six months validity from the date of your intended return back to the US. The airlines will not allow you to board the plane in such a case. If you have an expiring passport, G3’s professional passport service can renew your US passport in as quickly as 24 hours if needed. The passport page details the process.

Do I need a visa to Argentina?

Argentina does not require visas for tourism from travelers  from Australia, Canada or the USA. Australian and US passport holders traveling to Argentina on business do not need visas but Canadian business travelers do.

We have a list available below from the Argentine Embassy in London that details what passports need visas and how long they can stay in country.

Official Announcements

Here is a compiled list from official sources on the reciprocity fee as it effects Australians, Canadian and US passport holders.

Do I need a visa to Argentina?

A list of countries required to have visas prior to entry to Argentina. The list distinguishes between business and touristic travel. Travel requirements are constantly changing we recommend contacting G3 Visas for the latest information on Argentine entry requirements and visas. If you are requiring a visa to Argentina G3 and you legally reside in the US, G3 can assist with the hand delivery of your documents to the consulate and acquisition of your visa.


The passport holders of the following countries, require visa to travel to Argentina for any purpose

A

AFGHANISTAN
ALBANIA
ANGOLA
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
ALGERIA
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN

B

BAHAMAS, THE
BAHRAIN
BANGLADESH
BELIZE
BENIN
BHUTAN
BELARUS
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
BOTSWANA
BRUNEI
BURKINA FASO
BURUNDI

C

CAPE VERDE
CAMBODIA
CAMEROON
CENTRAL AFRICAN, Republic
CHAD
CHINA, People’s Republic of                                                                     COMOROS ISLANDS                                                                                     CONGO, Democratic Republic of the                                                             CONGO, Republic of                                                                                         CUBA

D

DJIBOUTI
DOMINICA

E

EGYPT
ECUATORIAL GUINEA, Republic of
ERITREA
EAST TIMOR
ETHIOPIA

F

FIJI

G

GABON
GAMBIA
GEORGIA
GHANA
GUINEA
GUINEA-BISSAU

I

INDIA
INDONESIA
IRAQ
IRAN
IVORY COAST

J

JORDAN

K

KAZAKHSTAN
KENYA
KYRGYZSTAN
KIRIBATI
KOREA, Democratic People’s Republic of
KUWAIT

L

LAOS
LESOTHO
LEBANON
LIBERIA
LIBYMMADAGASCAR
MALAWI
MALDIVES
MALI
MARSHALL ISLANDS
MOROCCO
MAURITIUS
MAURITANIA
MICRONESIA
MOLDOVA
MONGOLIA
MOZAMBIQUE
MYANMAR (Ex BURMA)

N

NAMIBIA
NAURU
NEPAL
NIGER
NIGERIA

O

OMAN

P

PAKISTAN
PALAU
PALESTINE
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
PHILIPPINES

Q

QATAR

R

RWANDA

S

SAHRAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
SAMOA
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
SAUDI ARABIA
SENEGAL
SEYCHELLES
SIERRA LEONE
SYRIA
SOLOMON ISLANDS
SOMALIA
SRI LANKA
SUDAN
SURINAME
SWAZILAND

T

TAJIKISTAN
TAIWAN
TANZANIA
TOGO
TONGA
TUNISIA
TURKMENISTAN
TUVALU

U

UKRAINE
UGANDA
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UZBEKISTAN

V

VANUATU
VIETNAM

Y

YEMEN

Z

ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE

The passport holders of the following countries do NOT require visa to enter Argentina, when the purpose of the visit is “Tourism”

Maximum stay of 90 days
A

ANDORRA
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRIAB

BARBADOS
BELGIUM
BOLIVIA
BRAZIL
BULGARIA

C

CANADA
CZECH, República
CHILE
CYPRUS
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA
CROATIA

D

DENMARK
DOMINICAN, República

E

ECUADOR
EL SALVADOR
ESTONIA

F

FINLAND
FRANCE

G

GERMANY
GREECE
GUATEMALA
GUYANA

H

HAITI
HONDURAS
HONG KONG (*)
HUNGARY

I

IRELAND
ICELAND
ISRAEL
ITALY

J

JAPAN

K

KOREA, Republic of

(*) PASSPORTS OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

L

LATVIA
LIECHTENSTEIN
LITHUANIA
LUXEMBOURG

M

MACEDONIA
MALTA
MEXICO
MONACO
MONTENEGRO

N

NICARAGUA
NORWAY
NETHERLANDS
NEW ZEALAND

P

PANAMA
PARAGUAY
PERU
POLAND
PORTUGAL

R

ROMANIA
RUSSIA

S

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
SAN MARINO
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
SAINT LUCIA
SERBIA
SINGAPORE
SLOVAKIA, Republic
SLOVENIA
SPAIN
SOUTH AFRICA
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND

T

THAILAND
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
TURKEY

U

UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
URUGUAY

V

VATICAN CITY, Estate of the
VENEZUELA

Maximum stay of 30 days
GRENADA, HONG KONG (BRITISH B.N.O PASSPORT), JAMAICA AND MALAYSIA

The passport holders of the following countries do NOT need a visa to enter Argentina, when the purpose of the visit is “Business”

Maximum stay of 90 days
A

AUSTRALIA

B

BARBADOS
BELGIUM
BRAZIL
BULGARIA

C

CROATIA                                     CZECH, República

D

DENMARK

E

ESTONIA

F

FINLAND
FRANCE

G

GUYANA

H

HONG KONG (*)
HUNGARY

I

IRELAND
ICELAND

J

JAPAN

(*) PASSPORTS OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

K

KOREA, Repúblic of

L

LATVIA
LITHUANIA

M

MALAYSIA

N

NETHERLANDS
NORWAY
NEW ZEALAND

P

POLAND

R

ROMANIA

S

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
SAINT LUCIA
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
SLOVENIA
SINGAPORE
SOUTH AFRICA
SWEDEN

T

THAILAND
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
TURKEY

U

UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Maximum stay of 30 days
GRENADA AND HONG KONG (BRITISH B.N.O PASSPORT)

International Protest Update, September 21 21 September 12

Posted by Summer Jenkins in State Department Update.
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Ten days after the first protests broke out at US Consulates in Egypt and Libya, demonstrations continue, and have now spread to nations beyond the Islamic world.  In some nations, protesters have targeted locales deemed to be American interests, such as fast food restaurants and movie theaters.  French Embassies and interests are also now at risk, following a French magazine’s publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed on September 19.

The US State Department has responded by temporarily closing dozens of diplomatic missions abroad, and has issued official warnings for the following countries:

  • Austria – planned protest at the US Embassy in Vienna on Saturday.
  • Australia – possible demonstrations in multiple locations in Perth this weekend.
  • India – Several US Consulates have been closed as a precaution following last week’s protests in Kashmir and Chennai.
  • Ireland – planned protest at the US Embassy in Dublin on Friday afternoon.
  • Jordan – several demonstrations planned at the US Embassy and other locations in Amman on Friday afternoon.
  • Mali – high risk of protests and civil unrest targeting the embassies of USA and France in Bamako on Friday and throughout the weekend.
  • Mauritania – high risk of protests at the embassies of USA and France in Nouakchott, as well as at the Grande Mosque and Marche Capital areas on Friday and throughout the weekend.
  • Nigeria – the US Embassy in Abuja and the US Consulate General in Lagos will close at 11:00AM today as a precautionary measure, as demonstrations are likely.
  • Norway – two planned demonstrations on Friday afternoon, one at the US Embassy in Oslo, and one in Oslo’s Youngstorget area.
  • Pakistan – the US Consulate General in Lahore is temporarily closed due to violent protests.  Demonstrations are ongoing in other cities, including Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi and Rawalpindi.
  • Tunisia – protests at the US Embassy in Tunis are expected on Friday.  The Embassy and Consular Section is temporarily closed to the public.
  • Turkmenistan – although no protests have yet been announced, the US Embassy in Ashgabat warns US citizens of the possibility of demonstrations arising spontaneously.
  • Uganda – the US Embassy in Kampala urges US citizens to “keep a low profile and avoid unnecessary travel,” as demonstrations are likely to occur throughout Uganda this weekend.

Further protests have occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jakarta and several other cities in Indonesia, Quito, Ecuador, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The US State Department has also issued warnings for Gabon, Spain and Malta, although demonstrations in those countries are likely to be for unrelated political and economic reasons.

Russian Federation to issue three year visas for US citizens 20 September 12

Posted by Jonathan V. Phillips in Visa News.
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In a bilateral agreement, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the US Department of State are now issuing three year business or tourist visas to US citizens visiting Russia and Russian citizens visiting the US. Official statements from both governments are calling this new visa agreement historic. Here are the statements from the White House, the State Department, the  US Embassy in Moscow and the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC.

The agreement, which went into effect on the ninth of September, has caused some confusion for tourist, business and homestay visa applicants as to the exact requirements and procedures needed to apply for the three year multiple entry visa. The Russian consulate has not been very forth coming about the exact procedures and there is still some uncertainty on the exact requirements, but after some testing this past week at the various Russian consulates, we are able to report back on what we believe to the current requirements to get the newly available long term visas.

3 Year Multiple Entry Tourist Visas:

The requirements for the three year tourist visas are basically the same as they were prior to the new agreement. Tourist vouchers are still used because the Russian law requires the invitation be issued from a duly registered Russian entity. The commonly used tourist vouchers have this registration number and are contain all the required details necessary for the visa.

  • Online application (G3’s Concierge Level Service completes the online application for applicants)
  • Passport: Must be signed and have at least three and a half years of validity remaining.
  • A letter from a duly registered Russian tour company or hotel. Standard tourist vouchers that have been used in the past are sufficient.
  • Two color, identical photographs. These are standard passport photos, frontal portrait type pictures.
  • A letter from the traveler to the consulate requesting a three year visa.

3 Year Multiple Entry Business Visas:

The real change that we have seen with these new procedures is the ability to process three year multiple entry visa requests without the need of a formal invitation or telex approval from the Russian Foreign Ministry. All though applicants can still use this common type of invitation for visas, a letter  of invitation from a duly registered Russian company is now accepted as well.   This is a big departure from the past requirements that had been in effect for over twenty years. The new requirements to obtain a three year multiple entry business visas are the following…

  • Online application (G3’s concierge level service completes the online application for applicants)
  • Passport: Must be signed and have at least three and a half years of validity remaining.
  • A business letter of support from the applicant’s company in the US. The letter should identify the traveler by their full name, indicate the company will be financially responsible for the applicant for their time in Russia and request a long term multiple entry visa.
  • Two color, identical photographs. These are standard passport photos, frontal portrait type pictures.
  • A letter of invitation from a duly registered Russian entity.   A duly registered Russian company is one that has a Russian tax identification number. The letter should contain the following details: the Russian business’s tax id number, an invitation number, the organization’s official address, and the full name and position of the individual who signed the document. Complete details about the applicant must be included in the letter: the applicant’s full name as printed in their passport, date of birth, sex, citizenship, and passport number. The letter must also specify the type of visa being requested, the period of stay, location of the applicant’s hotel or residence in Russia and all cities to be visited.

3 Year Multiple Entry Homestay Visas:

These private visas requirements have also been significantly changed from the previous two decades of regulations. Instead of the Izvechenie document issued from the Russian host’s local OVIR in Russia, a personal letter from the host is now accepted as the main document for visa support.  The interesting development is that the letter does not necessarily have to be from a Russian citizen; a US citizen who is in the Russian Federation legally and has the permit to stay in Russia for more than ninety days can also issue the letter.  The requirements for multiple entry homestay visas are the following:

  • Online application (G3’s concierge level service completes the online application for applicants)
  • Passport: Must be signed and have at least three and a half years of validity remaining.
  • Two color, identical photographs. These are standard passport photos, frontal portrait type pictures.
  • A notarized letter from the hosting individual in Russia. The letter should contain the identifying information about the host including the full name as printed in the passport, citizenship, passport number, date of birth and sex as well the host’s registered official address in Russia. The letter should indicate the intended address of stay for the visa applicant as well as an itinerary of cities to be visited in Russia. The letter needs to specify this is a private visa request for multiple entries. Specific details about the applicant such as full name as printed in their passport, date of birth, passport number, and sex should also be in the letter.

Additional items for all visa types:

The Russian consulate has indicated they reserve the right to ask for additional documents on a case by case basis for the new multiple entry three year visas. G3 is recommending to travelers that they should be prepared to submit the following if requested by the consulate for the new visas

  • Proof of insurance abroad. A copy of your US insurance card or special travel insurance that covers the duration of the first trip into Russia will be sufficient to demonstrate this.
  • Proof of funds. A copy of a recent bank statement.
  • Proof of employment. This could come in the form of an employment verification letter for the applicant’s employer stating wages for the last month.
  • Proof of return the USA. There is a multiplicity of documents that could be requested here to demonstrate the traveler’s intention to return to the US. These documents include, but are not limited to a copy of a lease or housing rental agreement, copy of a property tax statement, and or a copy of a marriage certificate.
  • Notarized certificate of the composition of family. This is a notarized document indicating the members of the applicants immediate family, including parents.
  • For minors under the age of 18 these requirements would be from the parents or legal guardians.

There are a few processing changes for these new types of long term visas. The multiple entry three year visas are not processed in a rush manner. Applicants can expect the consulate to take their time with these requests. Current processing is taking about 14 business days to complete. Consular fees are also higher than for single-entry visas.

G3 is monitoring these changes very closely at all the Russian consular offices we work with in the US. We expect some standardization and tweaking of the process as the consulates becomes more accustomed to servicing these multiple entry requests. We are also anticipating a higher level of scrutiny from the consulates on these long term visa requests. The Russian Embassy has advised us that it should not be a surprise if certain applicants are required an interview if deemed necessary. For the time being, applicants who meet can meet the above requirements for the particular visa they are applying for have a reasonable expectation of receiving a long term, three year multiple entry visa.

Since these are new procedures and there are still some grey areas with the process, expect updates. We suspect these protocols to become standardized over the next few weeks, as it appears the Russian consulates are still figuring out how to interpret and implement the new directive from Moscow.  G3 will be communicating these details, as they develop, to our blog, monthly newsletter, our twitter feed and of course our company Facebook page. Russian visa requests can be initiated online directly at G3’s Russia page.

Requests for Russian visa information can be sent directly to our expert staff at Russia@g3visas.com .

Preventing Processing Delays for Chinese Visas 14 September 12

Posted by Summer Jenkins in Visa News.
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With Chinese consulates becoming increasingly strict about the enforcement of visa requirements, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the documents you submit meet their guidelines.

The greatest problems we are seeing are with business visa requests, which require a very detailed and specific letter from the company to be visited in China.  At the consulate in Houston, which already has the slowest processing because they have eliminated all rush processing options, some applicants are having their processing times doubled without warning.  Consular officers have been attempting to telephone the contact person listed on the Chinese invitation letter, and if the contact does not answer — which is quite likely, given the time difference between Houston and Beijing! — the visa processing time will be extended from five business days to ten.

We believe that the best way to avoid this type of processing delay is to ensure that all of the required details are included on the business letter from China.  All of the following details must be included.

 

Details about the applicant:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Citizenship
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Job Title
  • Company Name

Details about the trip:

  • Entry and Exit Dates
  • Purpose of the Journey
  • Cities to be Visited
  • Requested Visa Duration
  • Requested Visa Type
  • Requested Number of Entries
  • Financial Guarantee for Applicant’s Expenses

Details about the contact person in China:

  • Full Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Company Mailing Address
  • Business Telephone Number
  • Mobile Telephone Number
  • Email Address

This letter should be on letterhead, and must show both a signature and a personal seal from an executive of the company to be visited.  The personal seal is a small ink stamp; all Chinese executives will have their own stamp, which is used in conjunction with their signature on checks, contracts, legal documents and important letters.  Faxed or scanned letters are accepted.

 

A sample of a business letter is provided below.  This sample also appears in all of our visa instruction PDFs.

June 1, 2012

Consulate General ofChina

Consular Section

 

Dear Visa Officer,

We are cordially inviting Jeremy Simmons (male, citizen of USA, US Passport Number 123456789, born 25 December 1960) [Insert your name, gender, citizenship, passport number, date of birth], Vice President [Insert your position], International Public Policy, East Coast Promotions, Inc.  [Insert the name of your company] to visit China on Monday, August 3 through August 17 [Dates of your trip]. During this trip he will meet with a representative of our company to discuss the sale and distribution of our products. Meetings will take place in Beijing and he will also tour our factory in Shanghai [specify places to be visited].

His agenda is to meet and discuss business with Mr. Li Wei, Director of International Sales, [Insert Name of Contact and Job Title] at:

Company Name

Street Address

City, Country, Zip Code

Telephone Number

Mobile Phone Number

Email Address

(It is important to list full contact information for the individual you are going to visit.)                                                                                                                            

East Coast Promotions, Inc.[Insert Company Name] will assume all financial responsibility for any debts incurred by Jeremy Simmons while traveling on business in China.    [The letter must include a financial guarantee for the applicant.]

We request that you issue a single entry business visa valid 30 days [specify number of entries and duration].  I appreciate your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Letter must have the signature and seal of a company representative.]

Zhang Jin

Executive Officer

Overseas Company, Inc.

 

International Protest Update, September 13 13 September 12

Posted by Summer Jenkins in Uncategorized.
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In addition to the September 11 protests in Benghazi, Libya and Cairo, Egypt, protests have occurred in the following countries:

  • Yemen: US Embassy staff have been evacuated following a violent protest today in which hundreds of protesters stormed the embassy grounds in Sanaa.  More than 15 people have been injured.
  • Morocco: Approximately 400 people have demonstrated at the US Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco today, but no violence has been reported.
  • Israel: Israeli Muslims held a small, non-violent demonstration today at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Bangladesh:  Approximately 100 people held a small protest at the Baitul Mokarram Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh today. Additional protests at the US Embassy and other mosques have been threatened, and may occur after Friday prayers on September 14.
  • Iran: A group of approximately 500 people protested today at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.  As the US does not maintain an Embassy in Iran, the Swiss Embassy represents US interests.
  • Iraq: Protests have been held today in several cities, including Basra and Baghdad, and reports state that the militia group Asaib al-Haq has threatened attacks on US interests in Iraq.
  • Sudan: On 12 September a small demonstration occurred at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan; no violence occurred.
  • Tunisia: 200 people demonstrated non-violently at the US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on September 12.
  • Palestine: On September12,  supporters of a Palestinian militant group held a small demonstration in Gaza City.

Protests have been threatened at the following locations:

  • Kuwait: Although a protest was called for at the US Embassy in Kuwait City for September 12, it may not have come to fruition.
  • Nigeria: Although there have been no demonstrations thus far, security forces have been placed on “red alert” as a precaution.
  • Pakistan: Demonstrations have been called for in Pakistan on 14 September.
  • Afghanistan: Afghan officials, fearing unrest similar to that triggered by a Koran-burning earlier this year, have taken extensive steps to prevent violent protests.