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Chile, US waive visas; unique in Latin America

February 28, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citizens of Chile will no longer need a visa to travel to the United States for business or pleasure. Chile is the only country in Latin America to enjoy this status, joining 37 other countries in the U.S. visa waiver program.

The deal announced in Washington on Friday also means that U.S. citizens no longer have to pay a $160 “reciprocity fee” when they enter Chile.

Nearly a quarter-million Chileans traveled to the United States last year, 90 percent of them for tourism or business purposes. Starting May 1, any of these Chileans carrying an electronic passport will no longer need a visa for stays of 90 days or less, as long as they apply online for advanced authorization from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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