Embassies, General Thoughts

So I know my most recent post was regarding a recent visit to the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay. But I also have some frustrations with the Paraguay Embassy in New York. I understand that the U.S. overcharges tourists and foreigners to enter our country. $140 is unaffordable for most people, including Americans themselves. It has been well known for years that Brazil also charges Americans the same $140 to enter their country, as a matter of reciprocity, but I thought Paraguay was beyond that.

When I applied for my visa in June, the options were Single Entry Visa – $45 or Multiple Entry Visa – $65. As I am helping my boyfriend to prepare for his trip down here (1 week to go!) he asked me about the price on the Paraguayan Consulate’s Website, which clearly stated $100. Unable to believe the price could possibly have jumped so high in just 3 months, I called the Consulate in NY only to find out that as a matter of “reciprocity” they raised the price on September 1.  What an outrage!

I was also less-than-pleased to realize that the Brazilian Consulate here in Asunción took matters into their own hands and rather than charging the typical $140 that it costs for a 10 Year Tourist Visa to Brazil, they charged me $175. I could do nothing about it but complain and try to explain that the fee should only cost me $140. They wouldn’t budge. This was on top of the fact that I just got a Brazilian visa 4 years ago, which theoretically should still be active to this day but is not because the person who served me in that Consulate in Buenos Aires in 2006, decided to give me the $100 Visa for 1 week, instead of the 5 years that the law stated at the time.

Why do governments take advantage of the people who wish to visit their country to spend money and foster growth in the local economy by blasting them with these ridiculous charges just as an entrance fee? Thoughts are welcome.

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