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Information about Visas and Residence Permits in Argentina


First of all: Argentine Tourist Visa
Before buying a property we strongly recommend you see it first. What’s more, if you are planning on moving to your overseas property we advise you to spend some time in the country before taking such an important decision. Traveling in Latin America is easy for American and most European Countries passport holders. Tourist visas are not always necessary and, if they are, getting one is not a problem. In this section we provide some general information on visas and residence permits. Since this information might change, particularly regarding red tape and form filling, in January First Real Estate we are always ready to answer your questions and provide research in order to give all necessary answers with up-to-date information. Once you have been in the country and decided to become a resident the staff in January First Real Estate will gladly help you out finding out requirements and most advantageous choices for your residence status.

Tips on applying for an Argentinean Visa
Several things need to be considered here, including whether you’re living part-time or full-time in the country, and what you intend to do there. There are many kinds of visas, but here are a few common elements that may be required of you:

  • Verify that your passport is valid for the required length of time.
  • Some countries require that you have a passport valid for at least six months when the visa is granted.
  • Find a notary (or other approval authority) acceptable to the consulate.
  • Get a physician’s health certification.
  • Most countries require some sort of health certification. Find out what they need, and make sure the doctor addresses it specifically.
  • Visa photos will likely be a different size than any photo you have so far, so check this in advance.
  • Criminal record checks are required in many cases. Allow plenty of time for this, as the process to get one from your state police or other law enforcement agency may not be quick.
  • Pension verification is your most important document if you’re applying for a pensioner’s visa, while your foreign property deed will be needed if you’re getting a visa based on property ownership.
  • In some cases the copy of the property deed needs to be notarized in the country where the property is located, so allow time for this if it hasn’t been done already.

Document certification: Be sure to allow enough time to notarize or certify all required documents—and resolve any issues your country’s notary may have—and then submit your visa application.
It is helpful to make an interim stop or two at the consulate to have them review how you’re processing the required paperwork. This can help to avoid any surprises at the end when you turn in your final visa application for approval.

Specific Requirements for Argentinean Visas

Tourist Visa
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain, Ireland and other Western European nations did not need a visa for tourist trips of up to ninety days. However, always verify this in advance with your local consulate, as the situation can change.
You will need a valid passport and must fill in a landing card on arrival; you will be given a stamp for stays of thirty, sixty or (most often) ninety days. Fasten your duplicate of the landing card to your passport, preferably next to your entrance stamp, as you'll need it to leave the country and police may check it. If you do lose it, it's rarely a serious problem, but you'll have to fill in a new form at the border control.
On entering the country, you will also be given a customs declaration form. Duty is not charged on used personal effects, booksand other articles for non-commercial purposes. Make sure you declare any valuable electronic items such as laptop computers, as customs officers can be suspicious that you may be bringing them into the country to sell.
You can extend your stay for a further sixty days by presenting your passport to the main immigration department: Dirección de Migraciones, at Av Antártida Argentina 1350, Retiro, in Buenos Aires (Telephone011/4312-3288 or 4311-4118). When leaving the country, you must obtain an exit stamp.
Visitors are legally obliged to carry their passports as ID. You might get away with carrying a photocopy, but don't forget to copy your entrance stamp and landing card as well.

Other Kind of Visas in Argentina
Immigrant with Capital
This visa requires the investment of at least $102,000 pesos ($40,000 USD) in a "productive activity". This includes agricultural land that produces an annual harvest, a ranch that produces milk or beef, or other "productive activities". The acquisition of a any property does not mean you can get automatically get this visa. Buying a Buenos Aires apartment for your personal use does not qualify as a productive activity.

Contracted Personnel
This visa is available if you have already obtained a job offer from a company in Argentina. It is necessary for you to obtain the job while outside Argentina. If you are already in Argentina, you cannot obtain this visa. This visa is designed for companies who are searching for employees outside the country, not for foreign nationals already inside Argentina who are looking to compete in the job market with Argentine citizens.

Representatives of Foreign Companies
If you own a company abroad and can show proof of ownership, you can obtain a visa that will allow you to live in Argentina. Proof of the company's good standing will be required and will need to be certified by the Chamber of Commerce and the Argentine Consulate.

This is a very broad and flexible visa. The applicant must only prove that he or she has a guaranteed income of $2600 pesos monthly ($900 USD) and that this income can be transferred to an Argentine bank. This income can include an annuity, receipts from a trust, distributions from a business you own, etc. You must simply prove that the income is not tied to job located abroad and that the income will continue once you relocate to Argentina.

Entrepreneurs / Businesspeople
Entrepreneurs or businesspeople who wish to enter Argentina using this visa will need to prove their business experience, provide commercial references, and an endorsement of the Argentine consulate.

If you are receiving payments from your country's national pension system (i.e. Social Security in the USA) or you have a private pension from your former employer you might qualify under this visa. You need only prove that the monthly income totals $2100 pesos ($700 USD) or higher and that the money can be transferred to Argentina on a monthly basis.

The applicant must first enroll in a university. The university will then provide a certificate signed by an authority registered in the Department of Education. Please note that this visa will expire at the end of the degree program and cannot be renewed past that date. This is not an appropriate solution for clients looking for permanent residency.

Do I need to study Argentina's history or constitution to pass the citizenship test?
No. Unlike many citizenship test around the world, you do not need to know anything about Argentina's history or constitution. Nevertheless, you may want to learn just to become more familiar with the country you are adopting. It is not required, however.

Do I need to know Spanish to become a citizen?
You will need to be able to read in Spanish. You will be asked to read a page from a book or the newspaper. You do not need to be fluent, but you should have a basic understanding of the language. Do not worry, though. It takes 5 years from the time you first get your residency until the point where you can apply for citizenship. That is more than enough time to gain the skills you will need.

How hard is the citizenship test?
It is very simple. You are only asked to read a single page from a book or newspaper. You are not given a written exam. The only thing being tested is literacy. Before you are granted Argentine citizenship, the government wants to ensure you can read. If you plan on living in Argentina, you will acquire the skills naturally. If you plan to reside abroad, a few Spanish courses are all you will need.

What paperwork do I need?
Your residency paperwork, your passport and a new criminal records check. The paperwork is nothing out of the ordinary.

When can I apply for citizenship?
You may request citizenship five years after you first obtain your temporary DNI or two years after you obtain your permanent DNI. Whether you get a temporary or permanent DNI depends on what visa you apply for. For most people it will take five years before you can obtain citizenship. However, if you qualify for a permanent DNI right away, the wait time can be shortened to two years.

When can I get a passport?
As soon as you become a naturalized citizen, you can fill out the paperwork and obtain your passport. Wait times for passports vary based on the government's backlog of passport applications. It is usually between one and six months.

A Simple & Straightforward Path To Citizenship
Unlike many other nations, obtaining citizenship in Argentina is relatively straightforward. The first step is to obtain your visa, which will allow you to live in the country for one year on a temporary residence permit. When the year has expired, the visa can be extended for an additional year. At the end of the second year, the visa can be extended again for another year. At the end of the third year, you can extend the visa again and receive permanent residency. At this point you will be legally entitled to reside in the Argentina permanently. Two years after receiving your permanent residency, you may apply for citizenship.

Citizenship Hearing
The citizenship proceeding is not complex. You will go before a judge who will decide whether or not to grant you citizenship. You will be asked to read a page in Spanish from a book or newspaper. You will not be given a written exam or be required to know Argentina's history or constitution. The judge is only interested in determining whether or not you can read.
As long as you have no criminal record, you are in good health, and you haven't tried to collect welfare payments in Argentina, approval should be quick and easy. The judge is basically trying to determine whether you will be a burden to the state or whether you will contribute to society. If you are a citizen in good standing, there should not be any problems.

Citizens of Developing Countries
If you are from a developing country or from a current or former communist country, the judge will likely scrutinize your application more closely. The judge will want to know how long you've lived in Argentina during the two years that you've had your permanent residency to see whether you've broken ties with your former homeland and that you've fully integrated into Argentine society. If you are from a developed country, you will typically receive much less scrutiny.

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