#3 Korean Passport Stamp

Brazil Passport Stamp

IMG_0683In my continued quest to get to know my neighbors, I decided to visit Paraguay. It helped that a friend of mine was going to study Guaraní for a month, and so, as doesn’t often happen, I was going to get to travel with someone, as opposed to going it alone. I don’t mind going it alone, but it’s interesting to have someone to bounce ideas off of, lovely to have someone to dine with, and who can go get you some juice when you have the mother of all colds (her, not me).

So, Paraguay it was! And with this visa, I have officially paid all the money to all the countries that demand it from my eagle-passport carrying self. Which I am not complaining about exactly, but it seems like I should at least get a badge. Or a cookie. But not a chipa, my god please not a chipa (Paraguayan snack, will describe more later).

US citizens pay Chile and Argentina a reciprocity fee, and for Suriname, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil, it’s a visa. This is due to international law, and the fact that citizens of these countries must apply for visas to come to the United States, although Chile should be losing this requirement soon, which will probably mean that they’ll pay a $14 visa waiver fee, rather than the $160, and they won’t have to apply ahead of time or risk getting rejected for reasons not clear to anyone. I have not heard whether this might mean that Chile will drop the reciprocity fee for United Statesians. In the meantime me? Already paid it and hold residency, so wouldn’t have to pay it again.

So here’s how it all works re: visas and Paraguay and ins and outs.

Arriving at the airport in Asunción, there is a desk to your right before the international police/immigration booths. You go to this desk, and hand the nice man your passport and your $160 US (though certain series of bills are not accepted in Paraguay, you should look into that), and he will do the following:

scan your passport
take your money
take a picture of you at an angle that makes you look like an egghead
virtually paste your picture into a visa form
type your information on the visa form
print out the visa form on a little black printer he has on his desk, which only jammed once
physically tape the visa form into your passport (not clear on why this is not a sticker)

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