Visas and Residency
A passport is required to enter Argentina. Citizens of the U.S. and the EU do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days on vacation or business. For further details, contact the Embassy of Argentina in the U.S.: 1600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 20009; tel.(202)238-6400; fax (202)332-3171; e-mail: [email protected]veriomail.com; website: www.embassyofargentina-usa.org.
Visa policies in Argentina are liberal. In theory, non-visa visitors must obtain a free tourist card, good for 90 days, at the port of entry. In practice, immigration officials issue tourist cards only at major crossings, including international airports and landing docks for the ferries from Uruguay. Travelers who are not given a tourist card can fill one out upon departure.
A visa is theoretically required of all business travelers, but most business people who will be in the country for less than 90 days enter as tourists to minimize paperwork. Foreigners who will be in Argentina for longer than 90 days, or who might expect to draw official attention because of their business activities, should obtain valid business visas. Application for a business visa requires a letter from the traveler’s employer stating the business reason for travel, the anticipated length of the visit, and acceptance of financial responsibility for the traveler. Multiple-entry business visas are valid for four years.
Long-term work and residence permits are also available. Permanent residents may engage in any profit-making activity. Temporary residents may also work, but must first obtain a work permit. The Dirección Nacional de Migraciones issues work permits on application by the traveler’s employer in Argentina. Permits are valid from one to three years.
If you are thinking of staying in Argentina more than three months, it is advised that you contact an Argentine consulate well in advance and get a one-year business visa. This visa allows for an Argentine I.D. document, which is required to open a bank account and register with tax authorities.
The country is very document oriented. Whether entering with a visa or a tourist card, it is important to carry a passport at all times. Police can, and occasionally do, demand identification at any time. A passport is usually required to check into a hotel, cash traveler’s checks, and conduct other routine business.
Travelers who were born in Argentina but hold current citizenship in another country may experience legal difficulties. Under Argentine law, anyone born in Argentina (except the children of diplomats) is an Argentine citizen for life, and is subject to the military draft and other national obligations. Contact an Argentine embassy or consulate for assistance before entering the country.
Note: It is difficult to get permanent residency here unless you buy property. If you buy property through a corporation and make yourself the director of the corporation, you can basically write yourself a letter offering yourself a job. If you don’t want to buy a property, you could rent, but you would be able to spend only six months in the country (enter on a three-month tourist visa and then extend it at the immigration office for another three months). Renting may be the way to go for people who just want to spend three to six months in Argentina, especially right now, as rents are pretty low. Also, remember that Argentina enjoys opposite seasons to the U.S. If you time your six-month stint appropriately, you could live with year-round spring and summer temperatures.