Chile Approved For U.S. Visa Waiver

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Travelers from the United States can enter Chile without having to line-up to pay reciprocity fees. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated Chile for inclusion into the Visa Waiver Program as of May 1, 2014.

The United States essentially categorized Chile (unofficially) a First World country and one that no longer has citizens who need to sneak into the country for economic reasons.

Chile’s Ambassador to the United States, Felipe Bulnes, said that significant progress was made in early 2014 with the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, after several months of negotiations. There are a few reasons, according to Bulnes, as to why Chile made this progression onto the waiver program. One of the reasons for the deal was the low rate of rejections of visa applications by Chileans. Chile lowered the rejection rate, in 2013 to less than 3%.

The visa waiver program in the United States is primarily reserved for travelers from Europe, the British Commonwealth, and developed Asian countries. There are 38 eligible countries that can enter the United States for a 90-day period, provided certain requirements are met, without paying a visa or entry fee. Specifics of the program requirements and the recent list of countries are available from the Department of State at travel.state.gov.

Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, are all among South American countries where a visa reciprocity fee is obligatory.

A major frustration for citizens of the United States visiting South America is the visa charges, which occur in many countries. The United States charges citizens of these countries the same fee when entering the United States.

This agreement makes Chile the first and only Latin American country that will not need a visa to enter The United States. With the recent collaboration between the two countries, developments are expected to greatly facilitate business and tourism travel among Chile and the United States.

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Kat Kalashian

At the age of 8 Kaitlin moved to Waterford, Ireland, then to Paris, France, at age 14. Having graduated high school with an International Baccalaureate degree, she moved back to the United States for university. Awarded with Summa Cum Laude honors upon graduation, she wasted no time in moving back out of the United States. She has now lived in Panama for several years with her husband, American cat, and Panamanian dog. She loves living in Panama because of the bang-for-your-buck quality of life, the active lifestyle promoted by living on the Cinta Costera, and the year-round tanning weather.