So, I was researching travel in Africa and it dawned on me that it costs way more for an American to get a visa than it does for citizens of most other countries. This seems to hold true in pretty much every country outside of Central America and the Caribbean. The obvious answer would be that we are rich and these countries figure that they can get more money off of us. If that's the case then why would many of these countries charge Americans more than Europeans or Australians.
Are these countries only interested in marketing themselves to Europeans? Does it somehow cost more to process American passports? Is this a retaliation for US visa procedures?
Any ideas would help.
I probably wouldn't call it a 'retaliation', but it almost certainly has to do with some kind of agreement between the countries. For example Americans can't get the same working holiday visa for Australia that the rest of the world can get, because Australians can't get the same one in the US. So reciprocity is a big thing.
I would call it (and suspect it indeed is) a retaliation. I know that for example in Chile it's exactly that; the USA is charging Chileans $100 for visas, and so Chile is charging Americans the same, while visitors from most other countries are free. (I believe there's smaller 'reciprocity' fees for Canadians and Mexicans, as they also have visa fees for Chileans.) It's the same as Brazil (planning on? I don't know if this is really happening) fingerprinting American visitors (and no one else), as a reaction to the fingerprinting at American airports.
We have a terrible problem in the States with tourists and students overstaying their visas. I don't know if the high cost of the US Visa is a way of discouraging indigent travelers, or it just reflects the increased cost of security at our borders? The USA is undergoing massive attacks on all fronts at the moment - both internal and external. This is not a normal moment in history at all. I certainly don't pretend to be an expert on the subject, and certainly don't agree with many policies set down by my government.