Avoiding Reciprocity Fee when entering Chile
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2012 8:59 AM Last Post By: vnrose
Jan 16, 2012 7:17 PM
Avoiding Reciprocity Fee when entering ChileWe currently have plans to fly from Mendoza to Santiago, and on the next day, fly from Santiago to La Paz, Bolivia. Under this scenario, I understand we will have to pay a reciprocity fee (= visa fee US charges Chileans) to enter Santiago by air.
Since we are a family of 4, we would like to avoid this fee. What are our best options:
If we change our flights so that both are on the same day, would we avoid the fee, since we would be transiting in Chile only? We are flying LAN, and I believe there is a stop in Iquique on the way to La Paz. Does that make a difference? (I don't know the Santiago airport and if there are different terminals/procedures for international and internal flights, and how this would work with our planned flights to La Paz.
Take a bus from Mendoza to Santiago? Then fly to La Paz?
Jan 16, 2012 7:57 PM
1Taking a bus from Mendoza to Santiago would definitely avoid the fee, as the fee is only applicable at the international entry at Santiago airport. If you have not bought your tickets and are going to be in Mendoza anyway, this would be a good idea. Leave about 36 hours to make the crossing just in case, longer in our winter when the pass could be closed due to snow for periods.
You are right in the first paragraph, unless you spend the night in the international transit area and persuade LAN to hold onto your bags overnight (unlikely).
In terms of the flight to La Paz via Iquique on the same day, I do not know. I suspect you may have to leave the international transit area to go to the domestic part of the terminal, and going thru Immigration (and thus paying the fee) and your bags thru customs to get there. I could be wrong though, if it is the same plane, however I expect you might have to leave the plane also In Iquique to stamp out of Chile. If you can stay on the plane in Iquique and book your bags thru from Mendoza to La Paz and not leave the international transit area in Santiago, you escape the fee,
There are separate international and domestic areas at the airport in Santiago, and the key is where the flight to La Paz leaves from as they would not stamp you out of Chile twice.
Phone LAN; however, you may not get a definite answer. They should be able to tell you whether you leave for La Paz from Santiago from the domestic or international terminal. I know the LAN checkin clerks here in Mendoza (who speak English) are very helpful about these things, even connecting with airlines from another alliance.
Jan 16, 2012 11:01 PM
Jan 17, 2012 5:32 AM
3The bus is about your only option unless you can find a connection at SCL within a few hours. Whatever plane you take from Mendoza, the next leg to La Paz is going to be a different plane. If you can manage the connection at SCL without leaving the transit area, then where it next stops in Chile is irrelevant. Call LAN and say you want a flight from Mendoza which connects at Santiago which will allow you to check your baggage all the way through to La Paz. A flight the next day won't work; it won't be considered a connection. If you choose a different airline to LAN, make sure they have an agreement on the baggage.
With the bus you do have to be aware of possible closures of the pass and have to build in the time for that. It closed for 24 hrs this past weekend dues to heavy rain (snow) at altitude. So it can close any time of the year, although less likely in summer. It is probably going to take 8 hours or so due to heavier traffic going through customs at this time of year. Longer around the 1st or 15th of the month as people end/start their fortmnight holiday.
Jan 19, 2012 10:59 AM
Jan 27, 2012 1:53 PM
Jan 27, 2012 8:37 PM
Feb 1, 2012 5:49 AM
Feb 1, 2012 6:52 AM
Feb 12, 2012 2:59 PM
Feb 12, 2012 3:14 PM
10Yes, as it is an international arrival and entry by flight into Santiago airport. Unless you have already paid it, because it is for 10 years. Or unless you are just getting an international connection and not going thru immigration in Santiago. Sorry. Previous entry without having to pay the reciprocity fee does not exempt you from paying it when you fly into Santiago and go thru Immigration again.
So I understand you correctly, you are "entering" Chile for the first time by car, then leaving by car, and then flying into Santiago to spend more time in Chile, or do I misconstrue your route?
If you have time, take the bus from Mendoza when you enter Chile the second time.
Feb 12, 2012 4:42 PM
Feb 13, 2012 6:43 AM
12Well, I just called the Honorary Consulate in Boston. I was told if my first point of entry is other than SCL, I will not have to pay the reciprocity fee.
Feb 13, 2012 4:08 PM
13They obviously misunderstood you because of your unusual itinerary..
go ahead...Enter into Chile by flight, and tell us whether your, previous land entry has exempted you from paying. You can pay by credit card, by the way,
If I am wrong, I will get you a glass of good malbec the next time yoyu come to Mendoza.
If I am right or wrong, please report back, as most people do not bother.
Feb 13, 2012 5:14 PM
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