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Argentina - Regulations for entry and stay

The law establishes three categories for foreigners that enter the country: a) permanent residents; b) temporary residents; and c) transitory residents. With exceptions, the authority may grant an authorisation of “precarious residency” (residencia precaria), which will be revocable if the reasons considered for its grant are divested.

Entry into the country by foreigners that do not meet the requirements stipulated by law and its regulations may be authorised when there exist exceptional reasons of humanitarian nature, public interest, or compliance with commitments acquired by Argentina.

Types of residency

Permanent residency

A “permanent resident” is any foreigner, who with the purpose of establishing him or herself permanently in Argentina, obtains from the National Office of Migration a permit that establishes them as such. Similarly, immigrants who are relatives (spouses, children, and parents) of Argentine citizens, natives, or by option, are understood as such, will also be considered permanent residents. Children of native Argentines or who are born abroad to Argentine natives are recognised as having permanent residency.

Temporary residency

Temporary residents are all foreigners who have entered Argentine territory under one of the following sub-categories: 

  1. Migrant worker: an individual who enters to dedicate him/herself to the exercise of some licit, compensated activity, with authorisation to remain in the country for a maximum of three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits, and with a permit to work under a relationship of dependency;
  2. Person of independent means: an individual who with steady income from their own resources or licit income from abroad, stays in Argentina. They may be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  3. Retiree: an individual who for services provided abroad receives from a government, international organisation, or private company, a pension in the amount that allows him/her a regular and permanent monetary income in Argentina. May be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  4. Investor: an individual who contributes his/her own assets to perform economic activities of interest for the country. May be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits; 
  5. Scientists and specialized personnel: an individual who is dedicated to scientific, research, technical, or consulting activities, hired by public or private entities to perform work in his/her specialty. May be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  6. Athletes and artists: hired due to their specialty by individuals or legal entities that perform activities in Argentina. May be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  7. Clergy of officially recognised cults: an individual with legal entity status issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Culture, that enter Argentine territory to perform activities exclusively related to their religion. May be granted a residency term of up to three (3) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  8. Patients undergoing medical treatments: to treat their health issues in public or private health institutions, with authorisation to remain in Argentina for one (1) year, extendable, with multiple entries and exits. In the case of minors, disabled, or sick persons that, given the significance of their pathology, must remain with escorts, this authorisation will be extended to direct family members, a legal representative or guardian;
  9. Academics: an individual who enters Argentina by virtue of academic agreements executed between higher education institutions in specialized areas, under the responsibility of the contracting centre of higher education. Its validity will be for a term of up to one (1) year, extendable for an identical period each, with authorisation for multiple entries and exits;
  10. Students: who enter the country to undertake high school, tertiary, university, or specialized recognised studies, as regular students at officially recognised public or private establishments, with authorisation to remain in the country for two (2) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits. The interested party must provide proof of enrolment at the educational institution in which he/she will study and, for further renewals, certification of his/her status as a regular student.
  11. Asylum persons and refugees: those recognised as refugees or asylum seekers will be granted authorisation to reside in Argentina for a term of two (2) years, extendable for as many times as deemed necessary by the authority in matters of asylum and refuge, addressing the circumstances as determined in legislation in effect on such matters; 
  12. Nationality: citizens native to Member States of MERCOSUR, Chile, and Bolivia, with authorisation to remain in the country for two (2) years, extendable, with multiple entries and exits;
  13. Humanitarian: foreigners that invoke humanitarian reasons that justify a special treatment by the National Office of Migration;
  14. Special: those that enter the country for reasons not provided for in previous paragraphs, and considered to be of interest by the Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Culture. 

Transitory residency

Applicable to those that enter the country as tourists, passengers in transit, neighbouring border transit, international transportation crews, seasonal migrant workers, academics, those undergoing medical treatment, and those that invoke reasons that are deemed justified of special treatment by the National Office of Migrations.