Sometimes living in another country, despite all the excitement of the new experience, has its ups and downs being an outsider. Today while riding home with two co-workers, one of them asked me about my visa situation how it was going. Somehow that led into a discussion about getting a visa to visit or live in the U.S. and how unfair it can be for an outsider. I couldn’t agree more, and it’s actually one of the more shocking things I have discovered throughout my travel experiences. How difficult the U.S. government and its agencies make it for foreigners to visit the U.S., even just on holiday. I find few people back home are even remotely aware of these policies.
My coworkers made the point that it seems only fair that Argentina give the same treatment to its outsiders. As of December of last year, Argentina began charging U.S. citizens $140 USD to enter the country as part of a reciprocity treatment. I have no problem with that. My point in our conversation, however was that there is a relevant reason why the U.S. is so strict with foreign visitors given the level of people around the world who want to work in the U.S., legally or illegally, and earn U.S. dollars. Read the rest of this entry »