Photo via Imgflip

The Donald Trump administration’s goal to “tighten up” US borders has officially started to affect Argentina. The US Embassy in Buenos Aires announced that, effective this week, it will toughen the requirements for its travel visa process. It’s not a travel ban for all citizens, as is the case for seven other countries, but it will still be pretty annoying for several people.

Visa procedure updates

  • As of this week, the State Department will require interviews for all visa applicants between the ages of 14 and 79. Less than a year ago, the Obama administration had loosened these restrictions, only requiring interviews for people between the ages of 16 and 66. Applicants outside of this age bracket could file their applications through the mail.
  • The State Department also shortened the time period people can renew expired visas from four years to one. “This may impact the wait time for scheduling an appointment at the Consulate. Individuals planning to travel to the United States are advised to begin the visa application process as far in advance as possible,” the embassy warned.

In regard to the first requirement update: the Obama administration’s decision to loosen age requirements for interviews was seen as small positive tradeoff for Argentina’s decision to suspend the payment of reciprocity fee for holders of American passports. The reason why some felt that this thank you of sorts was “small” is mainly linked to the fact that the US continued charging the visa fees Argentina’s reciprocity fee was originally developed to respond to.

The policy update might not seem to impact that many people at first glance, but it’s worth thinking about the many families who live outside the City of Buenos Aires — where the embassy is located — who will now have to schedule a separate trip to the City so their 15 year old gets the interview needed for that vacation to Disney and Miami. Same applies to 75 year old grandma.

The new requirements come as a result of another executive order signed by Trump on January 27 and, according to the Embassy’s website, intends to “enhance the security of the U.S. visa process worldwide.”