I just read an interesting article from RT.com stating that the South American country of Venezuela will now impose mandatory visas for all US citizens. Apparently in recent news, four missionaries were captured in a coastal town of Venezuela for being accused of ‘espionage activities’. In addition, a U.S. pilot was detained in Venezuela for ‘spying’.
According to the RT.com article, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a speech yesterday that said ““In order to protect our country…I have decided to implement a system of compulsory visas for all Americans entering Venezuela,”
I was disappointed because I put off visiting Caracas twice in the past year and I was looking forward to my trip to the Venezuelan capital next month. I’ve previously held back my trip to Caracas because of the highly inflated black market currency situation in Venezuela.
Most recently, Venezuela has made obtaining black market currency readily available for tourists by providing a 176.62:1 SIMADI rate instead of the official 6:35:1 rate. The 176.62 Venezuelan Bolivares rate per $1 US Dollar SIMADI rate can now be obtained from ATM’s in Venezuela and that was one of the reasons why I booked a trip to Caracas for next month.
According to Dolartoday.com, the black market rate is 222.12:1 which is only obtainable if you have solid connections in Venezuela. As you can see, the IMPLICITO rate is 91.30:1 and the SIMADI rate is 176.62:1.
Now that Venezuela has imposed a visa restriction for US tourists, I’m not sure if I will be able to visit Caracas next month. Thankfully I can still cancel my American Airlines award ticket without penalty because of my Executive Platinum status. There hasn’t been much info said on the internet about the visa situation and when it will take in effect since it was announced today. I’m not sure if Venezuela will have a Visa on Arrival program or require a full page visa on the passport where one would need to visit a Venezuelan embassy and submit a large amount of paperwork.
Since there aren’t many Venzuelan embassies and staff members in the U.S., I’m pretty sure President Maduro will adopt a Visa on Arrival program where it will cost US citizens $160 for a 90 day multiple entry visa. Why do I think it will cost $160? Because that’s how much other South American countries like Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina charge US tourists for a visa and I’m sure Venezuela will follow with that same amount. Update: Venezuela Now Issuing 1 Year Multiple Entry Tourist Visa to US Citizens for $30.00
I don’t mind paying $160 if I can get a 10 year multiple entry visa and even better if I can visit the Venzuelan Embassy in San Francisco to get a physical visa with my photo on it taking up a whole page on my passport. Update: Venezuela Now Issuing 1 Year Multiple Entry Tourist Visa to US Citizens for $30.00
As you can see, I travel internationally way too much and my US passport is practically falling apart.
Will you be visiting Venezuela even with the visa requirements?