- Download our Moving to Argentina Guide (PDF)
Applying for a visa from within Argentina tends to be a complicated process. Although applications can be made in any city, expats may be required to visit the central Immigration Department in Buenos Aires for an interview regarding their application. The process can be made simpler by applying for the correct visa before entering the country.
There are a wide range of visas that expats can apply for depending on the reason they are going to Argentina. Each family member, including dependent children, need to apply for a separate visa.
Visitor visas for Argentina
Nationals on a list of countries with a visa-waiver programme with Argentina do not need to apply for a tourist visa. They get a 90-day tourist visa stamped into their passport upon arrival. These include nationals of Canada, the USA, Australia and South Africa. Expats should ensure that they have at least six months before their passport expires and at least one clear page where the visa can be stamped.
The full list of visa-exempt countries can be found on the Argentinian Migration website.
Additionally, nationals from a select few countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Ecuador can enter Argentina with just their national ID and remain in the country for up to 90 days. All other foreign nationals are required to apply for a tourist visa from their Argentinian consulate or embassy before travelling to the country. It is advisable to allow 30 days for this process.
Tourist visas in Argentina are valid for 90 days. It is possible to apply for an extension for a further 90 days in-country. To continue to stay in Argentina legally, expats will then need to exit the country before the extension lapses and return to obtain a new 90-day tourist visa.
Digital nomad visas for Argentina
Argentina has recently launched its digital nomad visa, which allows foreigners to work remotely while enjoying the country's natural beauty, low cost of living and vibrant culture; however, specific requirements for the visa are yet to be announced.
What is known so far is that only citizens of countries that do not need a tourist visa to enter Argentina can apply for the digital nomad visa. The digital nomad visa is valid for 180 days with the possibility of renewal for an additional 180 days, although those who stay in the country for more than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit. Applicants will be required to provide a copy of their CV and qualifications as well as evidence of employment to demonstrate their digital nomad status.
The visa is aimed at digital nomads and those who can show they are remote workers with sufficient income to support themselves while in Argentina. Working for an Argentinian company with the visa is not allowed, and those who want to work for an Argentinian company should instead apply for a work visa.
Work visas for Argentina
All foreigners travelling to Argentina to work will need a visa. This visa is issued by the National Directorate of Migration (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) in Argentina, and the fee for visa application varies from country to country. Once employees arrive in Argentina, they need to apply for a Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) – a national identity document. At the same time, employees need to get a Código Único de Identificación Laboral (CUIL) – a personal tax number.
The Contracted Personnel Visa is one option available to expats wishing to live in Argentina, which is for people working for an Argentinian company. The company needs to be registered with the immigration ministry and authorised to employ foreign workers. Expats can apply for this visa either before or after their arrival in the country. This visa is usually valid for one full year, and the renewal process is straightforward. Family members are also entitled to apply for a visa as dependents.
Generally, employees of large corporations will have their visas dealt with by their employers. Expats should speak with the company employing them or an official from their local Argentinian consulate to determine which visa is right for their situation.
Temporary resident visa for Argentina
Applying for temporary residence in Argentina requires expats to show that they have a fixed minimum income. This income can be from investments in foreign banks or companies, or income issued by banks in Argentina. This visa is valid for one year and renewable for up to three years. After that, the resident may apply for permanent residency.
Retiree visa for Argentina
This visa is aimed specifically at expats who are pensioners. They would have to prove that they are retired, and will need to show receipts of a pension. To qualify for this visa, applicants would have to prove a minimum monthly income. This visa is also valid for one year. After two renewals expats would be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Permanent residence visa for Argentina
In order to apply for permanent residency, the person applying must have been a temporary resident in Argentina for at least two years. Expats need to provide documentation, certified by the National Immigration Office, to prove this.
These documents are necessary no matter the reason for applying for permanent residency in Argentina. Other documents may be required depending on individual circumstances. After two years of permanent residency, expats are entitled to apply for citizenship.
*Visa regulations and requirements for work permits are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For more information on becoming a resident of Argentina, read Getting your Permanent Residency in Argentina.
"I finally got my DNI or permanent residence here about three years ago. It was a nightmare of red tape and paperwork, but now there is an online system. I really should have consulted a lawyer as I made so many mistakes doing it alone. It was a life-changing experience. The process was very difficult for me, but with the help of friends (and some strangers), persistence, patience and a few new grey hairs, it finally happened." Read about Amelia, a Canadian expat, and her experience of life in Buenos Aires.
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