US Passports Are Terrible For Extensive Travel In Latin America

US Passport - US Passports

US Passports require more visas and monetary fees to enter more South American nations than any other developed western country.

US passports are beginning to rank somewhere between manure and “meh” for extended travels in South America, especially when pitted against the privileges that European, Japanese, Korean, or New Zealand passport holders have for the region. This is primarily due to the severe restrictions and red tape that the U.S. government enforces upon Brazilians, Argentinians, Chileans, Bolivians, and Paraguayans who wish to visit the United States.

These governments respond in kind to holders of US passports, who must pay big fees for visas ($100+) in order to enter those countries. In total, these five countries amount to a whopping 13,557,596 square kilometers of South American territory that U.S. citizens must have paid additional money to legally set foot upon. By comparison, other western nations (who actually know how to get along with the world) are offered almost unrestricted access. Oh yeah, and we’re still the only country in the world that can’t (easily) travel to Cuba.

Unfortunately, we as U.S. citizens have to pay a penalty for the not-so-brotherly ways that our government chooses to interact with the world. Peaceful, prosperous, and cordial societies equates to a very high quality passport for it’s citizens (Danish passports are considered the world’s best). Meanwhile, the more belligerent societies such as the U.S. and particularly Israel, whose passport is outright banned in 17 countries, must reap what they sow for their warmongering and bastard-like behavior towards their neighbors.

“The defining characteristic of a “good” passport is how much visa-free travel it allows. And by that I really mean visas that have to be applied for, and approved, before the trip begins, as opposed to those issued at the border. Avoiding those is the real key value.

In spite of its reputation, US passports are by no means the best one’s to have. First, if you have one, you’re a US taxpayer, which is very inconvenient, but it also means you need visas for a lot more countries than you would with some other passport. Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, for instance, all charge Americans about $150 to issue a visa. It’s a perverse form of reciprocity, as that’s what the US government charges their citizens. It’s the same kind of thinking that starts trade wars, and I expect more of it in the years to come.” – Doug Casey

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